Goechala trek, the most popular trek in the state of Sikkim (and for good reason), is an adventurer’s dream. It has a remarkable collection of flora and fauna, which adds to this adventure’s undeniable charm. An absolute classic, this trek gives us spectacular views of Kanchenjunga, so close it feels like you can touch it. The rhododenderons on this trail impress all who venture through, like multicolored ornaments hanging in the forest. The base camp has boasts a view of many splendid peaks like Kanchenjunga peak, which is one of the most superlative and stunning peaks of the Himalayan Range. The other visible peaks include Kabru, Yokhum, and Ratong, which are the icing on the cake to an already breath-taking view. The sight from Goecha La itself is said again and again to be well worth all the walking it takes to reach here. With its high altitude lakes, drinkable rivers and vibrant prayer flags, this whole trek becomes one serious trekkers simply can’t miss. Some things, however, stand out as the trek’s most captivating features.
- Tshokha: Tshokha, a small hamlet against the backdrop of a striking valley, will charm you. Its little cluster of houses in the Kanchenjunga National Park region remain the only active settlement in the area. In addition to the friendly locals, the wildlife and flora of the area is notably distinct, a sure attraction.
- Sachen: Unexplored and lushly decorated in flora, Sachen can be reached by trekking from the town of Yuksom through green meadows that lie alongside the Rathong River. With several acres of forest areas surpassing Mentogang River, Sachen lies at the pinnacle of 7,200 feet. Collections of rustic log huts can be seen, and Perk waterfall captivates and soothes all who have the privilege of witnessing it.
- Dzongri: Dzongri is known as ‘the meeting place of men and mountains, of god and nature’ for a reason. Its mystical valleys are adorned by vibrant gorges amidst flower cossets. It offers an impeccable vision of the breath-taking Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world. Temporary trekker huts line this region, and it is often a sought-after campsite for trekkers. One can walk amongst a meadow of rhododendron blooms and follow the log trail that leads to Dzongri. The viewpoint upon reaching the top of Dzongri stands at 13,675 feet, and Tibetan prayer flags adorn the views of the peaks of Kanchenjunga, Kabru, and Pandim.
- Thansing:Standing at an elevation of 12,900 feet, the valley trail to Thansing is layered with refreshing views of healthy meadows at the base of the Jopine ranges. It is lined by a few chortens, or Buddhist worship spots, that is perfectly situated against the backdrops of the snow-dusted Pandim and Kanchenjunga Peaks.
- Lamuney: Lamuney boasts phenomenal views of mountains and ridges, picturesque meadows and green grasslands. This campsite is where the pristine attraction of Lake Samiti can finally be visited. The sunlight, clouds and snow all play together to perform and ever-changing, absolutely mesmerizing natural show.
While the above five are generally the top-ranked favorites of the trail, we couldn’t leave out some particularly special honourable mentions. They made not have made the final cut, but their beauty, charm and uniqueness create experiences that trekkers along the Goechala trail will not soon forget.
Sunrise on the Kanchenjunga Range: The sweetest sight, the opportunity to witness the sunrise over the Kanchenjunga range on Goechala trek is a once in a lifetime wonder. Trekkers are not allowed all the way to Goechala Pass itself, but the view from View Point 1 and Dzongri is priceless!
Rhododendrons: Like mentioned above, the trail to Goechala is adorned with a spectacular array of rhododendron forests. And come spring months of March and April, they arrive in full swing, much to the excitement of any trekker along the trail. They range in color from dark lavender to sweet pastel pink, with white, purple, rose-tint and everything else in between. The walk through this forested section of vibrant floral décor is an unforgettable reminder of just how lucky we are to call this earth home- and that we should protect it, too.
The Samiti Lake: The Samiti Lake is another notable reason to take out your camera on the Goechala trek. Its still waters will enchant you, and the reflection of Mount Pandim on its surface is not a sight easily forgotten.
The Goecha La trail blends the typical moist and seemingly evergreen forests of the Eastern Himalayas with a stunning array of giant peaks that guard the trail almost the entire way. There is no better way to get your first taste of trekking the Eastern Himalayas than to follow the Goechala trail. This trek route brings you up and close to one of the highest mountains like no other, and will win your heart for sure.