Dzongri Trek, Sikkim
A shorter version of the Goecha La trek, the trek to Dzongri provides plenty of charms of the longer journey, albeit in the winter settings of March. A long trail through magnolia and rhododendron forests, floating bridges, cosy trekker’s huts and tall peaks peeping above the clouds enthuse one and all on the snowy trek. To reach the ~4000m altitude Dzongri Top in snowy conditions is rewarding for the trekkers, for the views on display are captivating. The Kanchenjunga peaks dominate the skyline, a number of smaller, but equally stunning peaks spread out all around balance the panorama perfectly. A leisurely day at the calming Dzongri campsite is the perfect way to relax amidst the natural beauty the Eastern Himalayas have to offer.
Duration: 8 days
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Max Altitude: 3500m
Starts from: Yuksom, Sikkim
Ends at: Yuksom, Sikkim
Best Season: Feb - Mar
(for Dzongri Winter Trek)
INR 14,000/- per trekker
Yuksom - Sachen - Tsokha - Dzongri - Dzongri Top - Goecha La - Thansing - Tsokha - Yuksom
25 Mar - 01 Apr 2018
custom trek dates
Day 1: Arrive at NJP. Pick up from NJP / Siligruri and drive to Yuksom via Jorethang
Day 2: Trek from Yuksom (1690m) to Sachen (2160m)
Day 3: Trek from Sachen (2160m) to Tsokha (2930m)
Day 4: Trek from Tsokha (2930m) to Dzongri (3930m)
Day 5: Rest day at Dzongri (3930m), short trek to Dzongri Top (3980m)
Day 6: Trek from Dzongri (3930m) to Tsokha (2930m)
Day 7: Trek from Tsokha (2930m) to Yuksom (1690m)
Day 8: Drive from Yuksom to NJP / Siliguri via Jorethang
Arrive at NJP / Siliguri and drive to Yuksom (6 to 7 hours)
Loading our backpacks atop the four-wheeler, we take our seats for the 6 hour drive to Yuksom. The drive winds through scenic country roads and along the Teesta River to make its way to Jorethang, where we stop for refreshments. Jorethang is a major hub for all those entering Sikkim from New Jalpaiguri. A busy but well-organized taxi stand, a square market block lined with colourful shops and small restaurants serving mouth-watering local delicacies are worth exploring during the brief halt here.
The road climbs up steeply after Jorethang, high above the Rangit River. And it ends at Yuksom, the erstwhile capital of Sikkim. We may just have enough time to take a walk through the paved lanes in Yuksom, visiting the Karthok Monastery and soak in the peaceful atmosphere of the Karthok Lake.
Trek from Yuksom to Sachen (4 to 5 hours)
The trek to Sachen starts from the trail leading into the forest behind the houses at the far end of Yuksom. Crossing over a few landslide prone areas and suspended bridges over the Rathong Chu, we head deeper into the forest. A steady gradual ascent brings us to a small clearing amidst the forest – Sachen, where we camp for the first night. A trekker’s hut is visible below the trail and can provide shelter for a few trekkers. A small camping ground that can accommodate about ten 3-man tents lies above the trail.
Trek from Sachen to Tsokha (4 to 5 hours)
The forest cover gets denser and bright red rhododendrons stand out along the trail, as we gain in altitude steadily during the trek to Tsokha. The trail passes through Bakhim, where a couple of huts provide a good resting point on the arduous climb. One of the huts doubles up as a tea-shop and provides refreshments which the trekkers can indulge in before completing the short climb ahead to Tsokha.
Tsokha is a well laid out campsite with a couple of forest huts and basic toilets. On a clear day, Tsokha provides good views of the distant mountain peaks we are headed towards. Another camping ground is located near a small pond on the trail heading out of Tsokha towards Dzongri. There are a few basic tea shops here too, where the trekkers can relax in the evening.
Trek from Tsokha to Dzongri (6 to 7 hours)
From Tsokha, it is a long and tiring trek all the way up to Dzongri. It takes about 6 hours to gradually make your way through the steep trail amid the magnolia and rhododendron forests to reach the highest point for the day. On the way, we cross the meadows of Phedang which lodges a solitary trekker’s hut. Opposite this hut, another narrow trail diverts and meanders to the river-side campsite of Kokchurang.
After a much needed break near the prayer flags atop the steep trail up from Phedang, we resume our journey towards Dzongri. A level walk hereafter for about an hour and we finally reach the Dzongri campsite. Dzongri offers a small, flat camping ground in a trough in the vicinity of a few houses, also doubling up as tea-shops selling trinkets and camping utilities in addition to tea and basic refreshments.
Rest day at Dzongri, short trek to Dzongri Top (~1 hour)
A day for some rest and to explore Dzongri. We will be camped at Dzongri for the day and undertake short hikes around the campsite at our leisure.
In the early morning hours, we head out on a short half hour trek to Dzongri Top – a viewpoint that offers magnificent sights of the Kanchenjunga massif and adjoining peaks. An unforgettable panorama of the tallest snow peaks in West Sikkim – Kabru Dome, Rathong peak, Kakthong peak, Frey peak apart from the famed Kanchenjunga peaks dominate the skyline. The early morning rays of the sun impart a mesmerising golden glow to the mountain tops.
Trek from Dzongri to Tsokha (4 to 5 hours)
We now begin our descent back to Tsokha along the same route we had taken two days earlier. The steep slopes are navigated once again as we trek down to Phedang, enter the forest cover after and descend to the comfort of the trekker’s huts at Tsokha.
Trek from Tsokha to Yuksom (5 to 6 hours)
We retrace our trek back through the forest trail and the now familiar terrain to pass through Bakhim, Sachen and finally get back to Yuksom where the guest house rooms await the weary trekkers. A special dinner is prepared for the night, to go along with the memorable experiences of the 6 day trek.
Drive from Yuksom to NJP (6 to 7 hours)
The 6 hour drive back to New Jalpaiguri is the agenda for today. Most trekkers choose to head out to one of the cosy little restaurants in the Yuksom market. Yak Cheese preparations along with the usual ‘momos’ and ‘thukpa’ are always in demand. The vehicle typically leaves Yuksom by 10 a.m. to make it to New Jalpaiguri by early evening. Those with more time on hand, can take a detour to Pelling or Varsey and spend a day or two relaxing in these picturesque towns before heading back to New Jalpaiguri / Siliguri.
INR 14,000 per person (excluding travel between Siliguri & Yuksom)
INR 15,500 per person (including travel between Siliguri & Yuksom)
Trek cost includes:
Trek cost does not include:
New Jalpaiguri (NJP) / Siliguri, West Bengal
New Jalpaiguri (NJP) is well connected by train with major cities in India. The nearest airport is the Bagdogra airport, around 15 kms away.
Reporting Date & Time:
Please plan on reaching NJP latest by 12:30 pm on Day 1. All trekkers will be assembled and will leave together for Yuksom from NJP latest by 1:30 pm.
Return Date & Time:
Please plan on return travel from NJP after 5 pm on Day 8. All trekkers will leave together for NJP from Yuksom latest by 9:30 am on Day 8.
What to bring, how to prepare for a high altitude trek
Please go through the list of the personal trekking gear you are expected to carry for the trek, high altitude trek preparation and more in the Information section.