Goecha La (el. 4940 mt or 16,207 ft) is a high mountain pass
in Sikkim, India in the Himalaya range.(La means 'high
mountain pass' in Tibetan).
The trek to Goecha La starts in Yuksom (the former capital of
Sikkim), where the motorable road ends at an elevation of 1770
meters. It takes about seven and a half days to reach Goecha
la and return to Yuksom. Key halting points are Phedang,
Bakkhim, Sachen, Tshoka, Thansing, Dzongri, Kokchurong, Samiti
Lake and Lamuney.
The initial days of the trek proceeds through dense forest
cover, enters bugyals, and ends in rocky landscape. During the
month of may the trek is highlighted by the presence of
rhododendrons of various colours. The documentary film Goecha
La in Search of Kangchenjunga by George Thengummoottil is
based on Goecha La trek.
The southeast face of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world's third
highest mountain, is viewable from the pass, which is also a
base camp for those aspiring to scale the mountain (Mt.
Kangchenjunga is believed to be holy and the mountaineers halt
a few meters before the peak).
Trekking in Sikkim is very different from trekking in any
other part of the Indian Himalayas. The mountains, the trails,
the people and the culture is in such sharp contrast to the
rest of the country that for any trekker the Goechala trail is
The Goechala trek starts at Yuksom, a fairly large settlement
in West Sikkim. It was once the capital of Sikkim, so the
culture in the town shows. It is also a nice quaint hill
station and for those who want to avoid the hustle bustle of
Darjeeling, Yuksom is a nice gateway.
The Goechala trek in Sikkim is also one of the most optimistic
trails the Indian Himalayas has to offer - the enchanting walk
through the Tshoka Rhododenderon forests, the huge Dzongri and
Thansing meadows, the remarkable blue waters of Samiti lake,
the looming presence of Kanchejunga and Pandim, the icy trail
to Goechala make lots about the trek very romantic.
Yuksom is the last place to buy provisions for the trek. So
stock up well before you start the trek. You get almost
everything at Yuksom so there really isn’t any need to buy
things at Siliguri, Kolkata or Gangtok.
In Sikkim, the Goecha La trek takes the trekker up-close for a
amazing view of the mighty Kanchenjunga amidst a imposing
landscape of the other lesser Himalayan giants within its
range of mountains.
This is an extension of the Dzongri trek - and trekking beyond
the meadows Dzongri is raw adventure at its best where the
visitor is taken into the land of towering mountain peaks
directly above and camp is set amidst the view of deep
landslides and high mountain glaciers.