When it comes to the beautiful, eye-soothing, and entrancing sites of adventures in North East India, Sikkim tops the list. Sikkim lies in the shadow of the lofty and majestic Himalayas. The exquisite valleys, serene meadows, and snow-capped mountains are just a welcoming sight for the sore eyes. This heavenly place abounds in sparkling rivers, lush greenery, shimmering lakes, and mountain passes. It is popularly referred to as Himalayan Shangri La as it is bordered by Bhutan, China, and Nepal from the three sides. Away from the hustle and bustle of the cities, Sikkim is what the heart calls for after a tiring life!
Sikkim as a Trekking Destination
Trekking in Sikkim is one of the most common activities of adventure providing a respite from the everyday monotonous life. The excitement for trekking is doubled here because of Sikkim’s ‘unspoiled’ land amidst the Himalayan ranges. The fresh breeze, scenic beauty of mountains, and the enchanting wilderness of Sikkim charm the traveling geeks.
There are a plethora of adventure activities to indulge in while you are in Sikkim. Be it mountaineering, snow biking, bird watching, trekking, and many more. It is a haven for intrepid souls who love trekking, offering breathtaking landscapes. If you are a travel junkie, solo trekking in Sikkim will definitely take your breath away! So, settle in, as we take you through the best trekking places in Sikkim.
1. Goecha La trek
The Kanchenjunga Goecha La trek is often referred to as the crown of Sikkim as it is one of the highest mountain passes situated in the tiny place Goecha la in Sikkim. It is at an elevation of 4950 m or 15,100 ft with the base camp at Yuksom, which is the trek’s starting and ending point.
The trek has a length of 75 km and its most capturing feature is- Mt. Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak, is clearly visible from Goecha La trek, with the cool breeze enveloping your body. Besides, you also get to have the glimmering sight of 14 other mountain peaks, like Mt. Jopuno, Mt. Thingchinkhang, Mt. Pandim, etc.
You can also visit the Kanchenjunga National Park which falls on the trekking route. This trek is one of the longest treks and takes around 11 days to complete. On the difficulty level, the Goecha La trek ranges from moderate to difficult. The best time to visit it is during the months of October and November when the sky is clear and the sunsets appear just perfectly splendid.
2. Sandakphu trek
The very word ‘Sandakphu’ means the height of poisonous plant which refers to the poisonous plants of aconite along the trails. Sandakphu is the highest peak situated within West Bengal and is also the highest point of the Singalila Ridge.
The Sandakphu trek on this hill station at an altitude of 3636 m or 11,926 ft has a moderate grade of difficulty level. It takes around 6 days to complete this trek and the base camp is at Mane Bhanjang. The Sandakphu trek is close to Darjeeling where one can visit neighboring villages like Sandakphu, Meghma, etc. Besides, the trek also provides majestic views of the four lofty mountains of Nepal Himalayas- Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu. The famous ‘Sleeping Buddha’ formation of peaks is a soothing sight to watch in this trek.
Other places of attraction here are the Rhododendron and Magnolia Spring, Kalipokhri- the black lake, etc. The best time to go for this trek is during April or October to November.
3. Green lake trek
The Green lake trek is one of the least explored places situated in North Sikkim that offers picturesque and scenic views of the beauty of the Himalayas. North Sikkim is a miniature paradise on earth offering colorful meadows, scenic fresh lakes, dense forests, and lofty mountains.
There are ascends and descends during the whole trail of this trek which is situated at an altitude of 5050 m. It will take you through the forests, the rhododendrons, oak and pine trees, colorful flowers, and rare orchids. Apart from taking you to nature’s lap, the Green lake trek also captures the soothing waterfalls and meadows along the way. It is a winter trek and has a rich biodiversity which will definitely enthrall nature lovers! It has a moderate difficulty level and has the base camp at Lachen from where the journey starts and ends. It takes around 11 days to complete this trek and the best time to visit it is during April or October.
4. Dzongri trek
The Sikkim Dzongri trek is another of the best captivating short treks in Sikkim, situated in the Yaksom (or Gangtok) area. If you are looking for short, solo trekking in Sikkim, the Dzongri trek will be the best fit! This alpine trek takes less time than just 5 days and has lesser inclinations, being the best for beginners. The trek has a maximum elevation of 4,200 m or 13, 779 ft at Dzongri and has the starting and ending points at Yaksom which is the base camp.
The trekking showcases the enchanting snow-laden trees of oak, chestnut, rhododendrons, pine, and maple which culminate in the meadows of Dzongri. The best time to visit is during the summers, witnessing the spell bounding flora and fauna all your way, spotting birds and butterflies, exotic orchids, and wild plants. Other beautiful attractions in this trek are the famous Khecheopalri Lake, and the Pemayangtse Monastery famous among the Hindus and Buddhists.
5. Mulkarkha Lake trek
The Mulkarkha Lake trek is located on the Himalayan foothills in Northern Bengal. The trek has an altitude of 7300 ft and takes around 6 days to complete. Along the trail, you move to the villages of Jhusing, Tagathan Mularkha, and Aritar besides enjoying a beautiful view of the hills.
You can witness dense forests, deep waterfalls, birds, flowers, rhododendrons, butterflies, and a myriad of natural beauty here. The difficulty level of this trek comes as easy and the starting point is from the small village of Lingzey in West Bengal.
The lake is considered a sacred, wishing lake and is worshipped by the locals. The best time to visit this trek is considered to be October to December. Besides this, the lake comes to life during the time of Ram Navami in April. You can enjoy the festival revelry and rituals by visiting at this time as well.
6. Kanchenjunga Base Camp
The Kanchenjunga Base camp trek is located at an altitude of 17,000 ft in Darjeeling. It will leave you to spell bounded with its scenic forests of rhododendrons, magnolia, pine, spruces to the lush green meadows and snow-covered Himalayan peaks.
It is an 8-day trek with a difficulty level between moderate and difficult and the base camp at Yuksom is the starting point as well. The Kanchenjunga base camp trek shares the border with the ranges Kabru, Rathong, and Talung in the south and Kirat Chuli peak and Pyramid in the north. The trek offers an exhilarating view of the mountains and forests and takes you to the Western Sikkim closer to Nepal.
The best time to visit here is in the months of April and May. The Kanchenjunga trek explores the hidden treasures of Sikkim with the thick pastures, rhododendron and pine forests, and freshly meadows.
7. Singalila trek
The Sikkim Singalila Uttaray Trek is a perfect trek that offers you a gorgeous view of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, and many other lofty mountain peaks. It is one of the new treks in Sikkim which recently opened in the year 2000. It is situated at an altitude of 4900 m or 12,140 ft at the Singalila Range which separates Darjeeling and Sikkim from Nepal. It is one of the best trekking places in Sikkim and has a moderate difficulty level. It is a long trek that takes around 14 days to finish with the base camp at Mane Bhanjang.
The bonus with Singalila trek is that it is a round trek which gives you a full-fledged, panoramic view of the Himalayan ranges. Besides, the trek offers you vast attractions with trails through Singalila Wildlife forest, Samiti Lake, Goechala View Point, and Laxmi Pokhari, Uttarey, Chewa Bhang yang, etc. The ideal time to visit the Singalila trek is from March to May and September to November.
8. Tholung trek
The Tholung trek is one of the best trekking places in Sikkim situated in the Gangtok area at an altitude of 7,999 ft. For every backpacker loving the natural beauty, a trip to the Tholung trek will be memorable. It is a 10-day trek that starts from the base camp of Bagdogra and extends till Lingsha.
The trek takes you through the eye-soothing mountainous landscape, with the beautiful flora and fauna variety along the way. The eye-soothing hills, hamlets, alpine trees, and yaks will take away all your tiredness.
There are many famous sightseeing locations near Tholung trek, like the Tolung Monastery, Tolung River, Ring Pi Chi River, and many more. The best time to visit the Tholung trek is between March and May. Although this trek has a high difficulty level, it will captivate you with the majestic scenery of valleys, forests, lakes, and hill sights.
9. Versay trek
The Versay Trek is located near the Indo Nepal border thus, offering an eye-captivating glimpse of the Himalayas. It is situated at an altitude of 3,060 m or 10,039 ft with the base camp at Damthang. It is not so difficult to trek and takes around 7 to 8 days to reach the end.
For nature lovers, this trek will give immense peace and joy. One can witness the red and pink rhododendrons all the way, with the mosses adding beauty to the entire canvas. Versay trek is one of the offbeat treks of Sikkim and provides the best weekend getaway for fellow trekkers.
The capturing wildlife in Sikkim can be visualized here along with the wondrous Himalayan ranges. The best time to visit it is during the winter months from December till March. During the trekking one can witness the beautiful monasteries and orchids along the trails.
10.Tosar lake trek
The famous Tosar Lake is located between the Mangan range and Chola range in the Sikkim. To its south-east is a giant mountain cliff which is believed to be sacred and is worshipped by localities.
The Tosar lake trek is located at an altitude of 13,123 ft and takes 16 days to complete. The base camp of Tosar Lake trek is in Mangan located in the North Sikkim. It is a moderately difficult trek and possesses the traditional cow and yak trails which make it more exciting.
The Tosar lake trek begins through the temperate forests of bamboo, oak, alpine, and rhododendrons. On reaching the end, you can visit Darjeeling for sightseeing along with Pamayangtse, Yoksom, and the iconic Buddhist Monastery. The best time to visit this trekking in North Sikkim is from March to June and September to December.
11. Lhaba Tarum Tsachu Trek
The Lhaba Tarum Tsachu trek is another one from the famous treks in North Sikkim. This trek goes along the border with Tibet and offers breathtaking views of Dongkhya peak, Lako peak, Karpo La, etc.
The trek starts from Lachung which is the base camp, towards the Lhaba pass and is at an altitude of 4200 m. It takes around 9 days to finish the Lhaba Tarum Tsachu Trek. It is a moderate trek on the difficulty level.
It is the only trek in Sikkim which has a mountain trek, lake trek, jungle trek, and rhododendron trek. Apart from the lush green mountain slopes and wildlife, you get the clearest view of Mt Kanchenjunga from the Lhaba Tarum Tsachu trek as it is only 16 km away.
Thus, there are wide ranges of best trekking places in Sikkim that offer the perfect respite to all the trekking buddies. You can witness the diverse flora and fauna of Sikkim along with the pebbly trekking trails. Trekking in Sikkim allows one to bond with many ethnic groups like Gurung, Limbu, etc.You can know the locals more closely by getting a sneak peek into their culture, festivals, rituals, and their everyday lives. Trekking in Sikkim gives a different form of pleasure to your soul as it offers a picturesque view with amazing elevations. If you are planning a trip to Sikkim, it doesn’t need any re-thinking as this place will make every traveler fall in love with it!