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Singalila to Goechala Trek

19 days 18 nights

Code STT99

Category Sikkim Trekking Trips

  • Group Size 2-10 Person
  • Difficulty Level 1
  • Highest Altitude 4, 940 m (16,203 ft.) at Goechala
  • Trip Starts From Bagdogra
  • Trip Ends At Bagdogra
  • Accommodation Tent
  • Type Trekking
  • Destination Bagdogra Gangtok Uttarey Chiwa Bhanjyang Singalila Dhor Khangchendzonga Lam Pokhari Dzongri Lamuney Goecha La Thangsing Tshoka Yuksam Darjeeling
Dates & Prices


The traditional Goechala Kanchanjunga Trek is an extension of Dzongri Trek and its short and steep ascent from Yuksom, but the route via Singelila Ridge that follows the border Sikkim-Nepal borderline is a longer approach with gradual gain of altitude. The Singelila approach to Goechala is a new route, opened for tourists only from the year 2000.

Before we hit the trail, we explore the highlights of Gangtok- the capital of the lost Himalayan Kingdom and also visit the ancient monastery of Pemayantse. The trek begins from Dentam with easy walk, crosses the third highest suspension bridge of Asia and we camp the first day in Uttarey (6,500 ft., 1980 ft.). From Uttarey, the trail ascends to Chewa Bhanjyang (8,860 ft.) on the Sikkim-Nepal border. In Singelila area, the trek route keeps between the altitude of 12,000 ft. to 14,000 ft. with the highest point being the Dafey Bhir Pass located at an altitude of 14,450 ft. high. The terrain along the trek route is, therefore, treeless, crisscrossing, steep, rugged rocky hills with grassy meadows forming flat plains at places. Within the folds of these fragile rocky slopes, one comes across several high-altitude lake formations of turquoise green water considered pristine and sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists. Among these lakes, Ram and Laxman, Lampokhari, Laxmi Pokhari and Zomlay Pokhari are some of the well-known sacred lakes, located along the main trekking route. At places, the trail leads through the rich rhododendron forests of many hues. The trek route after Gomathang valley goes intermittently through forests of silver fir and rhododendron right upto the alpine plains of Dzongri.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 01~Flight to Bagdogra and transfer to Gangtok

Fly from Kolkata or Delhi to Bagdogra Airport. People coming from Kathmandu will fly to Bhadrapur airport in eastern Nepal. You are met by our representative at the airport and transferred to Gangtok (124 km, 4 hrs). The road passes through the towns of Siliguri, Rambi, Teesta, Melli and entering into Sikkim at Rangpo Bridge. Check in hotel and take rest for the day.

Day 02~Gangtok Sightseeing

Explore the highlights of the capital of this Lost Himalayan Kingdom. In the morning, visit the famous monastery of Rumtek situated 24 km from Gangtok, 1 hr drive. On the way back, visit the Research Institute of Tibetology. After lunch in the hotel, visit the Cottage Industry, Flower Show and the Enchey Monastery.

Day 03~Drive to Uttarey

An early departure from Gangtok by jeep to the trail-head in West Sikkim. Six exciting hours through winding roads across valleys and over hills clad with a variety of vegetation. We swoop down to cross the wild Rangeet River before climbing steeply up to Pemayangtse (2,100 m/6,888 ft.), perched dramatically on an airy ridge with a panorama of Himalayan peaks ahead. After crossing some spectacular bridges to the road-head at Uttarey (2,000 m).

Overnight in a local lodge.

Day 04~Trek to Chiwa Bhanjyang (06 hrs)

The first day of the trek takes us to Chiwa Bhanjyang (3,100 m, 10168 ft.). An easy trail rises gently through rainforest until a final steep ascent for the last couple of hours bring us to the Nepal border and our first camp.

Day 05~Chiwa Bhanjyang (Acclimatization)

As we gained significant amount of altitude the first day of trekking, it's important to halt today at Chiwa Bhanjyang in order to get properly acclimatized. You can just relax, hang around or take a hike to the nearby Singalila Peak at 3500m (11,480 ft.) that will give us some excellent views.

Day 06~Chiwa Bhanjyang to Dhor (3800m/12,464 ft., 7 hrs)

A gentle uphill traverse through forest and then over a more exposed hillside brings us to prayer flags adorning our first pass and views of distant mountains - a taste of what is to come. As we gradually gain height, we will appreciate the previous day’s acclimatization. The occasional yak herder’s hut is the only sign of habitation as we look down far below to the rice fields and cardamom plantations. Our camp is in a remote and sheltered hollow below the ridge.

Day 07~Dhor to Pare Megu (3800m/12,464ft., 7 hrs)

We get up early morning, before dawn and walk five-minute onto the ridge for the spectacular sunrise view on both Everest and Khangchendzonga. We have a number of ascents and descents today, maintaining a steady height, spiralling from one side of the ridge to the other until a rough steep ascent takes us across a pass. Beyond, the trail wends its way steadily through rhododendrons and past several Hindu shrines where a second easier pass drops down to our camp close to a shepherd’s summer settlement. Look out for the Blue Sheep on the high craggy mountainside.

Day 08~Pare Megu to Lam Pokhari (4300m/14,104ft., 5 hrs)

We walk through woods until we begin a steady rise up a broad valley where we catch our first closer view of the entire Kabru range dominated by Mount Pandim (6,691m, 21, 947ft.). A further 2 hours of ascent will bring us to our camp with Everest and a host of other Khumbu giants dominating the distant skyline. An afternoon of rest and acclimatization for the following day’s foot slogging.

Day 09~Lam Pokhari to Gomathang (3900m/ 12792ft., 6 hrs)

Now we are in high mountain country and have left the tree line far below. The last two days, we walked through the land of Nepal and today, we pass the sacred lake of Lam Pokhari, which marks our entry back into Sikkim. We can expect a little snow underfoot as we climb to our first pass, Danphey Bhir La - the Pass of the Pheasant at 4,530 m (14, 854ft.). From here, we get a bird eye view of whole Sikkim, stretching out well into Tibet and Bhutan. Continue ascent another hour, we arrive Kag Bhir La- the pass of the crows where we may be lucky to enjoy the views of Himalayan Panoraman; peaks including Khangchenjunga. Reluctantly, we then must head downhill making a steep descent to our riverside camp at Gomathang.

Day 10~Gomathang to Tikip Chu (3850m/12,628ft., 8 hrs)

We leave our lovely meadow camp to climb through forests of sweet smelling silver fir and rhododendrons. Soon we are in high mountain terrain again. Look out for the brightly colored Danphey birds (Impeyan Pheasant)- the national bird of Nepal, which nest in the high crags around the Kamsey La, 4,200 m/13, 776ft. As we drop down into the meadows of Kokling, we are already looking up at our next pass of 4,300 m/14,104ft. that we reach with a steady ascent up a steep crag to a skyline dominated by the dizzying pinnacles and icy cliffs of Kanchenjunga. Once again, we end the day’s hike with a steep descent to our campsite by the Tikip Chu, which has its source high on the Rathong Mountains (6,679 m/21, 907ft.).

Day 11~Tikip Chu to Dzongri (4030m/13,218ft., 3 hrs)

Today, we trek to Dzongri where we join the traditional route of Goechala Trekking. A steady climb through ancient fir forest, juniper and rhododendrons gradually opens out to the summer pastures of Dzongri. Another high camp, but we should be well acclimatized by now, probably in contrast to some of the trekkers we meet who could be on day 3 of their Dzongri Trek at 4,000 m/13,120ft.- the headache zone!

Day 12~Dzongri to Lamuney (4,200m/13,776ft., 06 hrs)

Down the hill to Kokchulang, where we are likely to meet other trekkers, making us look back in retrospect towards really appreciating the peace and solitude of our last few days. We move easily up the valley passing the busy trekkers campsite of Thangsing to our own riverside camp a short distance below the Samiti Lake.

Day 13~Lamuney to Zemanthang ( 4650m/15,252ft., 04 hrs)

It's a steep uphill to the crest of the ridge behind the lake that emerges dramatically into a harsher world of higher Himalayan scenery. In the foreground glaciers and snowfields suddenly look accessible and behind, the gigantic snow peaks loom close, especially on nearby Mt. Pandim, soaring over our heads. We move on more easily through this spectacular alpine terrain into our final high camp nestled in a sheltered green hollow, a little below Goecha La.

Day 14~Zemanthang to Goechala to Thangsing (3,800m/12. 464ft., 9-10 hrs)

We begin today before dawn aiming for Goecha La, which lies at almost 4, 940 m (16,203ft.). Around us is an awe-inspiring Himalayan landscape of tumbling glaciers, pinnacle ridges and soaring peaks dominated by the mighty bulk of Khangchenjunga. Reluctantly we return to our camp and after breakfast, we head down to Thangsing where the air feels wonderfully rich.

Day 15~Thangshing to Tshoka (3000m/9,840ft., 5 hrs)

We follow the traditional route back to the main valley. Tshoka is an enchanting little Tibetan settlement perched on a mountain spur. It will be our first encounter on this trek with permanent village life, and the novelty of having a roof over our heads will add a new dimension to the journey.

Day 16~Tshoka to Yuksom

Our final day, and freewheeling downhill almost all of the time. We descend through rainforest rich with bird-life and flowers, across spectacular bridges spanning cascading rivers whose sources are high in the mountains we have so recently left behind. Tired and elated we arrive in Yuksom. On arrival, check in at hotel.

Day 17~Drive from Yuksom to Darjeeling

Today, we drive to Darjeeling- the Queen of Hills! 19km (12 miles) from Yuksom, we stop to visit the Tashiding Monastery- a site where Guru Padmasambhava meditated. We visit the monastery and continue on our journey on the winding roads through tea gardens. The journey takes about 5 hrs. We arrive at Darjeeling mid-afternoon. We check in hotel and take rest for the day and later in the evening, you may want to take leisurely stroll at Chowrasta.

Day 18~Explore Darjeeling

Today early morning, we drive to Tiger Hill for the sunrise and panoramic views of Mount Kanchendzonga. On a clear weather day, we will have splendid views of the eastern Himalayas. On the way back, we stop to visit Yiga-Choling Monastery at Ghoom.

We will enjoy leisurely breakfast with Darjeeling Tea and then embark on the tour of Darjeeling. We will visit Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park that preserves Siberian Tiger, Himalayan Black Bear, Red Panda, Snow Leopard and many other animal and bird species, and the nearby snow leopard breeding center. Our next stop will be Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, a training center for mountaineers which also houses the museum- Natural History Museum, with its fine display of Himalaya wildlife. We will also visit the Tibetan Refugee Self-Help Center, a major center for the production of Tibetan rugs, woodwork and leather goods and a recommended place if you want to buy some souvenirs. We will visit some tea gardens and tea processing centers to learn about the world-famous Darjeeling Tea.

Depending on availability of time and if you are interested, you can also experience steam engine toy train ride in the Himalayan Railways of Darjeeling-recognized by UNESCO as the world heritage site.

Day 19~Departure

After breakfast, we are transferred to the airport in Bagdogra or Bhadrapur for your flight to next destination.

Meals : Breakfast

Trip Map

Trip Info

Cost Includes

  • Accommodation on twin sharing in A class and deluxe properties in Darjeeling and Gangtok and best available in Uttarey and Yuksom.
  • 3 meals a day prepared by trekking crews during trekking. In the cities, meals will be provided at the hotel.
  • All transfers and sightseeing by private vehicle
  • English speaking local guides and trekking crews.
  • Sightseeing admission fees
  • Sikkim entry permits.
  • All camping and kitchen gears
  • Pack animals or porters to transport gears and supplies

Cost Does Not Include

  • Expenses of personal nature such as drink, optional tipping, laundry, phone etc.
  • Airfares to and out of Bagdogra
  • Extra expenses caused due to nature and unforeseen events
  • Travel Insurance
  • Environmental protection fee US$ 200 per group payable on the spot.

Guide and crews

The trek is led by a local Tour Guide and supported by a trekking crew and pack animals. Your Guide will be a college graduate, trained and certified by local government authorities. Your guide will be with you throughout the trip to lead you on the trail, help organize, coordinate with the crews and animal drivers and assist you interact with the villagers. Your guide knows the trails, villages, local culture, local language, some flora and fauna and will be always willing to share their knowledge with you. They are easy going, flexible and ready to adjust the trip to suite your pace and needs.

The crews come with all the supplies and camping gears. They will set up and break  camps for you. The crew member comprises a special cook who is trained to cook western style as well as the local delicacies. We will use porters or pack animals to transport the gears and supplies.

This is a moderate plus graded trekking

Unlike the traditional trekking route, we start this trek from the lower elevations of the Singalila areas and gradually attain the altitude that allows us plenty of time to get acclimated. The most strenuous part of the trek is the walk to the Goecha La pass from our camp near below Samiti Lake. The days average 5 to 7 hours walking on good trails, with a maximum altitude of 4940m (16,203 ft) at Goechala pass. Our highest camp is at Lamuney below the sacred Samiti Lake at 4250 m (13,940 m), which is a beautiful location surrounded by towering snow-capped peaks. The climax of the trek will be the close views of the massive eastern wall of Kangchenjunga, rising a sheer 4200 m (13,776 ft.) above the Talung glacier from the Goecha La pass (4940 m/16,203 ft.). We will have pack animals and Sherpa staff to carry the gears, supplies and your luggage and all you carry is a light day pack and you will walk on your own pace; of course you will try to avoid the large distance with your fellow trekkers. You will have plenty of time to stop for photography, chitchat with the people sharing the trail and occasional breaks. This trek is well within the capabilities of most people although a reasonable level of fitness is required as there will be much ascent and descent with the occasional difficult day. Travelers with pulmonary and cardiac issues may consult with their physician before they sign up for this trip. All travelers are recommended to begin at least two months prior departure some exercises that includes jogging, uphill walking, cycling or swimming.

What is a trekking day like?

One of the kitchen crews greets you in the morning around 6 a.m., while you are still inside the tent, with a hot steaming mug of tea or coffee and soon you are supplied a jug of hot water for brushing teeth and washing. Then, you will pack your stuff and head to the breakfast table. While you are eating breakfast, our crews will break down the camp and porters and pack animals will set off. We start walking after breakfast, between 7:30 and 8:30 am. You will walk at your own pace but make sure you will not make distance with other trekkers. You will have opportunity to stop along the way to explore villages, interact with the villagers, take photos and take rest. Our kitchen crews will have given us a lunch pack at breakfast time and we will stop for lunch around 11:30 am. We reach our camp usually 3 to 4 pm. Soon we arrive at our camp; we will be served tea and cookies or snacks. We settle in our tent and take rest or read few pages of books or write journal or engage ourselves in photography while our crews are cooking dinner for us. Dinner is served usually 6:30 pm. After dinner, if you are not tired, you can join the crews and play cards. Sometime, crews may bring local drums and sing folklore songs and dance to entertain the trekkers.

Preparing for the trek, vaccination and medications

Once you decide you are going on a trekking trip, it is strongly advisable that you begin a fitness training. Taking a lot of walks, particularly up and down hills is the best way to prepare for a trekking trip. Additionally, you can also do jogging, aerobics, cycling and fast swimming. The more you are physically conditioned before embarking on a trekking trip, the more you are going to enjoy the trip.

India does not require any mandatory vaccinations but you may still consider some vaccinations such as Hep A, malaria, rabies etc. You need to consult your physician before you decide to take any vaccination. Our final trip dossier will also list some recommended vaccinations. Our crews carry a basic first aid kit but recommend that each traveler also carry a personal first aid kit including any prescription medication you require.


In the cities, we stay in first class hotels where choices are available and we pick the best one when choices are limited. In Darjeeling, our choice of hotels is May Fair or New Elgin and Netuk House or Norkhill in Gangtok. You will have private bathroom with running hot and cold water and most modern amenities. During the trek, we will pitch tents which will be spacious for 2 persons. We provide thick sleeping mattresses, sleeping bag, camping style chairs, tables, toilet tents and all kitchen utensils and cutleries.


This trip includes 3 meals a day. During hotel stays, you will eat your breakfast and dinner in the hotel and they will provide lunch pack for the sightseeing day. Most hotel and lodge restaurants usually provide western style as well as local delicacies and choice of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. During the trekking, our kitchen crews provide hot breakfast and dinner and lunch is provided in the box that they prepare during the breakfast time. They usually set fixed menu and you will have choices of western style as well as local varieties. Local delicacies include curried vegetables, chapattis, samosas, lentils and variety of rice dishes and other nourishing meals, prepared with local supplies and produces as much as possible. Our staff will medicate water for cooking and ensure a good levels of hygiene for all food preparations.

Best time for trekking

Eastern Himalayan areas experiences cold winters between November to February and monsoon affects Darjeeling from the end of May/June to the middle of September. The best season to take this trip is between mid March through to mid June and this is also the time, the rhododendron and orchids come in bloom. October and November are also good months for this trip. March to early May is when sunshine is quite abundant. Temperatures on trek will range between daytime highs of 20 to 25°C(68 to 77°F) with quite chilly evening temperatures with around 5°C (40°F) but temperatures may drop to below freezing at higher altitude. Your final trip dossiers include the weather details depending on what season you are traveling.

Camping Gears and equipment

You do not need any special equipment or clothing for this trek. We will provide all camping gears that includes two persons tent, a sleeping bag, mattress, chairs, tables and toilet tent. You will need to bring your personal clothing and boots. A detailed equipment list is provided on booking.

Passport, Visa and Permits

You will require a passport valid for at least 6 months at the time you enter India. You will also require Tourist Visa which you need to obtain beforehand as Indian does not grant visa on arrival. Besides, Sikkim requires a special entry permit that we will obtain locally for you. Starting from 2008, India has outsourced their visa processing to a third party agency. If you need  more info on this, please write or call us.

International and internal travel, pre trip and post trips

Our land service starts from Bagdogra Airport in West Bengal, India or Bhadrapur Airport in Nepal. So, basically you can buy your international airfare to Delhi or Kolkatta in India or Kathmandu, Nepal. You need to allow a couple of nights in the gateway city before you fly to Bagdogra or Bhadrapur. We can make the arrangement for accommodations and transfers and in the gateway cities and also take care of the internal airfares.
After the trekking, you may add a day trip to Taj Mahal for a day or two or visit the pink city of Jaipur for another two days. If you are starting or finishing your trip in Nepal, you should allow 2-3 days in Kathmandu touring the temples and palaces around and consider 2-3 days jungle safari rides in Chitwan National Park and two days in the beautiful Pokhara Valley

Note on Itinerary

Although we will do our very best to adhere to the itinerary schedule as listed; it is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Booking and Cancellation

When you are sure you are traveling, please don't delay in booking. The internal flights are the key factor in determining whether your trip can be realized or not. A deposit of US$300 is requested along with complete trip application form and passport copies.
Balance payment is due 90 days prior to your departure. Depending on the number of applicants, we may set an early payment date. Credit card payment attracts additional fee.

Cancellation fee

  • 90 days prior departure: Administrative fee US$ 150 per person.
  • 60-89 day's prior departure: US$ 250 or 25% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 45 days to 59 days prior departure: US$ 450 or 50% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • 30 days to 44 days prior departure: US$ 600 or 75% of the land cost whichever is higher.
  • Less than 30 days: 100%

Travel Protection Plan

While we plan do our best to make your trip smooth and seemless, there may be chances of unforeseen events and conditions such as illness, accident, inclement weather, and flight cancellation or missed connection or loss of baggage etc. that may cause interruption or delay or total cancellation of your trip putting your hard earned travel investment in jeopardy. It’s also possible that you may need medical assistance, emergency evacuation or medical transportation when you get ill or involve in an accident when you are traveling in remote areas. Far & High’s Tour cost does not cover any of these expenses or losses and so we strongly recommend you that you should protect yourself and your travel investment against those unfavorable conditions.


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(Formerly Highland Asia Travel)

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