Maximum Altitude: 15100 ft
Duration: 11 days
I think we at OHOT have made it quite evident how much we love the Northeast India. So I guess it’s high time we start talking about one of our favourite treks from there. A trail decorated with rhododendrons, colourful prayer flags fluttering in the sky, an alpine glacier lake, Mt Kanchenjunga saying hello, and a sunrise to die for – there are many reasons to fall in love with this trek.
The trek starts from Yuksom town in Sikkim. The trail is blessed with a wide array of beautiful flora and fauna which is considered as one of the most pristine trails in the world. With awe-inspiring campsites and intimidating yet beautiful peaks, the Goecha La trek is a heaven for trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers. You will cross few suspension bridges built across small streams. The trek will take you through the enchanting mountain meadows. I love that fresh greenery these meadows offer. How come the crayons are never able to recreate the green? I guess we can’t compete with nature in that department.
Talking about colours, you’ll come across a gorgeous turquoise blue lake. It’s the kind of blue which you can spot from faraway when it’s just a dot. And as you come closer, you think the blue will vanish but it stays as if telling you that sometimes the reality can look better than your imagination. The reflection of Mt Pandim in the still waters is a visual treat.
You’ll love walking through the lush jungles. The wild dense forest, the pin drop silence of the mountains and the ravishing streams which often get engulfed in thick blankets of fog might give a spooky feeling for a minute or two, but the thousand twinkling stars, the backdrop of a gigantic mountain range and the beautiful terrain will fill you with the sense of belongingness.
And what should I say about Kanchenjunga. You will get numerous chances to witness the dawn over the Kanchenjunga Range and each one of them looks stunning. But it is the sunrise over the snowcapped Kanchu (yes, mountains have nicknames too) that has made the trek extremely popular. The sunrise is so famous that the last point on this trek is dedicated to it and is called Goecha La Sunrise Point. From here you can see Kanchenjunga dominating the vista and a vast panorama of peaks around. You can see glaciers, streams, moraine ridges and if you are observant enough, you can locate a sheer ice fall of Pandim from here. The Kanchenjunga range radiates the prettiest orange glow while the sun beams in background. The day can’t get any beautiful than this.
Best Time to Visit
Summer (April-June) and Autumn (September-October) are the best seasons to hit the hiking trails of Goechala. From June end till beginning of September it’s better to avoid the track, as it is the monsoon time and landslides, slippery roads, muddy tracks is quite common making it difficult and dangerous to trek. Since heavy snow marks the winter season, it should also be avoided by the trekkers.
How to Reach
You can fly into Bagdogra airport or take a train to NJP. From here, drive down to Yuksom which will take around 5 hours.