8 - 9 Days Goecha La Trek Itinerary
Day 0: Night Hault at Hotel Yusom Residency / Red Palace
Day 1: Yuksom to Sachen to Tshoka - 3050 m. ( The hault will depend on the fitness of the Client)
Yuksam to Sachen - 4 hours
Sachen to Tsoka - 4-5 hours
Overnight camping We walk gently uphill, following the Rathong River gorge, through dense mixed jungle with magnolias, rhododendrons, ferns and several varieties of orchids, brightly colored birds, and the occasional monkey. After an hour or so we cross the Paha Khola Bridge, (1,733m/ 5,685ft.). There is a swimming spot by a waterfall (for those who dare!) after two hours, and we can stop for lunch by a bridge over stream. Passing by sweet smelling viburnum we cross the Prek Chu River and then ascend steeply for two or three hours to arrive at Bakhim. A little higher up is the picturesque Tibetan refugee settlement of Tshoka where we set up camp. This is a long trekking day and you should expect to be pretty tired by the time you arrive at the camp.
Day 2: Dzongri - 4320 m.
Trek: Tshoka to Dzongri - 4320 m.- 7 hours
Overnight camping A fairly steep climb above Tshoka takes you into beautiful rhododendron forests, and you continue along a well-defined uphill path to Phodang. A brief climb beyond brings you to a meadow where we can pitch our tents in a campsite with views of Koktang, Rathong, Kabru, Khangchendzonga, Simvo and Pandim. As usual on trek the choice of campsite depends on many variables, one of the most important is the close supply of water.
Day3: Trek up to Dzongri-la (pass area)
You can view the Rothang glacier area from here .
Day 4: Thangshing - 3800 m.
Trek: Dzongri to Thangshing - 5 to 6 hours
Overnight camping Today we ascend gradually over open hillside for a mile or so to a low ridge visible from the campsite (13,500 ft/4,115m). From here, "chortens" (stupas for those who have died) and prayer flags overlooking fabulous views of Khanchendzonga and Pandim make ideal photo compositions. You then descend, at first traversing down towards Pandim on the far side of the valley, and then dropping steeply down on a good path through rhododendron forest to the Prek Chu River at 12,300 ft/3,749 m. for lunch. There is a new trekking lodge here that the crew may use for cooking. We cross the river and ascend gradually for one and-a-half-hour, through pinewoods to reach a grassy campsite, beneath the unclimbed peak of Pandim. A new hut has been built here, which may be available for cooking and even sleeping.
Day 5: Lamuney (near Samiti Lake) - 4298 m.
Trek: Thangshing to Lamuney - 3 hours
Overnight camping Today's walk is fairly short to give you plenty of opportunity to rest before tomorrow's big day. You begin by continuing your walk parallel to the Prek Chu River. Sacred Samiti on the opposite side is a beautiful emerald green lake nestled in the midst of brightly colored wind-torn prayer flags.
Day 6: Goecha La
Lamuney to Goecha La (4,984 m.) and return to Thangsing (6 hours)
Overnight camping An early start today to beat the inclement weather conditions that is common during the latter part of the day. Set off in the early morning climbing the hill behind the Lake before traversing the moraine and then descending to the sandy bed of an empty lake. The whole area above Samiti Lake is called the Zemathang Plateau. You cross this under the shadow of Pandim and then ascend moraine to a height of about 15,700 feet where you rest above a glaciated lake mottled with snow and icy pinnacles. The Goecha La Pass is another hour away. We traverse the lake and proceed across a slope, and then on a well-trodden path to our objective, which is festooned with brightly colored prayer flags. The views of the east flank of Khangchendzonga and the mountains and valleys in the distance are stunning. We then return to our campsite at Thangsing.
Day 7: Tshoka - 3800 m.
Thangsing to Tshoka - 7 to 8 hours
Overnight camping It's worth getting up early to take a short hike to the ridge behind the camp. From here there are fantastic views of Khangchendzonga and one can look back up to the Goecha La. Leaving Thangsing, you take a different route, avoiding the long climb to the Dzongri Plateau. Descending to the Prek Chu, you contour around jungle to emerge at Phedang. Continue to Tshoka along another steep descent. This will save us a day on the return march, but does involve quite a long day.
Day 8: Yuksam
Tshoka to Yuksam -7 hours
Overnight in hotel Today you descend to the Prek Chu following the route you took up on the first day, and then contour gradually downwards to reach the village of Yuksam, our starting point.