The Dzongri trek lies at an altitude of about 4020 meters in Sikkim. In this trail you can view the magnificent sight of the great Kanchenjunga range and Mount Pandim – and that too from a very close angle. The majesty of the range crisscrossing the regions of Nepal, China Tibet and India is mind boggling to say the least. The breathtaking view of over 10 greater Himalayan peaks from the Dzongri top or Dzongri La is the destination of this trek. But your trek is not just about the destination. It’s also about the journey through the mystic and magical snow covered forest of Khangchendzonga National Park. As you hike along this path, you can witness a panoramic view of picturesque valleys, colourful flowers, green vegetation, and spell-binding meadows – laden with rhododendron, magnolia pine, maple, and oak forests. Perfect for beginners, this trek starts from the Yuksom village and takes you through other quaint hamlets such as the Tshoka village. It is one of the challenging but most exciting and fulfilling trails in the country.
Click here to read about Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek in detail!
Maximum Altitude: 13,123 feet
Trek duration: 8 to 9 days
Difficulty level: Moderate
Best time to trek: Mid-March to May and September to November
Day 1: Arrive at Yuksom
Yuksom, a small remote village of West district was the birthplace of Sikkim’s Buddhist Civilization, situated at an height of 1780 mt and was the first Capital of Sikkim. The word Yuksom means “ meeting point of three lamas”, witnessed the coronation of Phuntsog Namgyal, the first Chogyal (religious king) of Sikkim in 1641. It is the gate way to high altitude trekking through Kanchendzongha Wild Life Sanctuary. The trek route through Dzongri leads towards various named and unnamed peaks and passes of Mt. Khanchendzongha Range with real test of hardcore adventure. Upon arrival in Yuksom, prepare for the trek that starts the next day.
Day 2: Yuksom-Sachen-Bakhim-Toksha; 18 kms approx.
This is a fairly easy walk and helps trekkers to find their rhythm and gradually get used to the demands of the trail. The distance is about 8km and it takes between 3.5-4.5 hours for most trekkers to reach Sachen, which is the mid-point. You can choose to get some rest at this place and have your lunch or snacks here. This stretch of the trail is mostly paved with stones and climbs through dense tropical forests of pine, bamboo, fir, oaks and flowering trees like magnolias and rhododendrons. It’s also a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. Other than many species of birds, the forest area here is a habitat of varieties of animals including red pandas, Himalayan black & brown bears, barking deer, wild goats, Tibetan antelope and lot more. Don’t worry, they won’t come on your way.
From Sachen, your next stop will be at Bakhim, a small scenic and enthralling village in the hills. Bakhim will be the perfect place to take a short break to have some refreshment at the nice tea stall here, soak in the wonderful views of the Yuksom valley and move on to the Tsokha Village. You will find lots of colorful prayer flags fluttering on the bridge wishing you good luck for the steep climb ahead. It’ll take another one hour for you to reach Toksha, which offers the first real view of the Himalayan snow peaks including the Mt. Pandim.
Day 5: Tshokha To Dzongri; 12 kms approx.
This day is often referred to as the ‘test day’ since it is a relentless and fairly steep climb. From Toksha the climb gets really steep all the way up to Dzongri. The distance is about 8kms and you can cover that in about 6-hours. The mantra for this stretch is to go slow and every step towards Dzongri will only take you closer to the heavenly view of Kanchenjunga.
The trail passes via Phedang (3690m appx.) which almost slices the walk into half. There are two roads that diverge from here. The straight one to the top goes to Dzongri while the other one that descends goes to Kokchurang. One can halt at Phedang and have some lunch before proceeding on a much steeper climb to Dzongri. In an hour, you will come across Deorali top, the highest point on this day at over 4100m. Here on the trail eases out and descends slightly to Dzongri, , a place which is also known as “The meeting place of men and mountains, of god and nature“. Night stay at Dzongri.
Day 6: Rest day at Dzongri
You spend the day at Dzongri and take some rest after all the hard work you did to reach here. You may choose to wake up early and walk up to Dzongri top to see a full panoramic view of all the snow-capped mountains around at sunrise. A brisk walk of close to 45 mins takes one to Dzongri Top where the grand panorama of Kanchenjunga and Pandim create a spell binding effect on the five senses. One can see at least 10 peaks here from left to right, including Kokthang, Rathong, Frey’s peak, Black Kabur, Kabru dome, Kabru north and south, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Tenzingkhang, Japnoo, Narsing and a few others. Return from Dzongri top to the campsite and rest here for the day.
Day 7: Dzongri to Toksha; 12 kms
After relaxing at Dzongri, you’ll trek all the way back to Tshokha through the same path you took to go up. It will take you close to 6 hours to reach Tshoka where you’ll be spending the night.
Day 8: Tsokha to Yuksom; 18km approx.
Last day of the trek takes you back over the same route you took to come up. Descend all the way to the suspension bridge over Prek Chu below Bakhim, which can take anywhere between 1.5 to 2.5 hours. From the bridge, there is a climb for another 20 mins after which the trail takes you over gentle ups and downs while constantly losing altitude towards Yuksom. Expect yourself to reach Yuksom in between 5-7 hours.
Day 9: Yuksom to Bagdogra/Siliguri
From Yuksom, you will have to take local transportation back to Bagdogra or Siliguri.
Click here to read about Tholung trek in Sikkim!
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