The landlocked state of Sikkim is a gateway to the Himalayas and home to the world’s 3rd highest peak – Kanchendzonga. The treks in this area are tougher than your average fare and will test the mettle of even the most hardcore trekkers.

Here’s a list of 8 thrilling treks in Sikkim with difficulties ranging from easy to challenging,

1. Dzongri Trek

Maximum Elevation: 4,200 m

Grade: Easy to Moderate

Starting Point: Yuksom

Duration (ex Gangtok): 6 days

Best time to visit: March to June & September to December

This trek starts from Yuksom, goes till Dzongri and back. It can be called as the shorter version of Goecha La trek as the same trail further leads up to Goecha La top. The route provides stunningly beautiful views of the third highest peak in the world – Mt. Kanchendzonga (8,585 m) and also many other peaks

The trail passes through the lush green forests with views of breath-taking mountains and wonderful landscapes. The Dzongri trek is one of the easiest and yet rewarding treks, in terms of experience and beauty, in Sikkim.

 

2. Tholung Trek

Maximum Elevation:  2,500m

Grade: Easy to Moderate

Starting Point: Lingza

Duration (ex Gangtok): 7 days

Best time to visit: March to June & October to November

The sparsely populated Tholung valley in North Sikkim is located below Mt Siniolchu(6,900m) and Mt Lamo Anden(5,200 m). This protected area is home to the Lepchas who live in small villages in the dense forested slopes above the valley. There’s also a monastery in Tholung, which houses many relics and antiques collected from other monasteries.

The trek goes up a beautiful alpine forest trail to higher valleys in Lingza region. One can commonly find yaks grazing in this region, below the snow-capped mountains.

 

3. Lhaba La Trek

Maximum Elevation:  4,300m

Grade: Moderate

Starting Point: Yumthang

Duration (ex Gangtok): 6 days

Best time to visit: March to May

This trek North Sikkim starts at Yumthang and takes you across the Lhaba La (pass) (4,300m). The trail mostly passes through Rhododendron forests and is perfect for trekkers who want to explore a newer area with stunning views of the Himalayan ranges, as you get as close as 16 km to the Kachendzonga.

After crossing the Lhaba La, one will descend to Yutomey and towards the Tarum Hot Spring, where one can soak themselves to rejuvenate tired feet in the natural hot spring to end the trek.

 

4. Green Lake Trek

Green Lake Trek

Maximum Elevation: 5,000 m

Grade: Moderate to Tough

Starting Point: Lachen

Duration (ex Gangtok): 11 days

Best time to visit: April to May & October to November

The trek to Green Lake is considered to be one of the most beautiful treks in this region. The base camp to the Mt. Kanchendzonga, Green Lake is situated on the Zemu glacier in north Sikkim at an altitude of 5,000m.

The trail is a beautiful walk through thick cover of alpine forests, rhododendrons and blossoms of varieties of flowers all around. The views on the trek are a panorama of Himalayan peaks with Kanchendzonga towering the highest.

Being at an altitude of more than 5,000 meters, proper acclimatization is necessary to avoid any altitude sickness. There are no rest houses or huts on this trek; hence proper equipment such as tents, food, etc. needs to be brought along.

 

5. Versey Trek

Maximum Elevation: 3,000m

Grade: Moderate

Starting Point: Hilley

Duration (ex Gangtok): 6 days

Best time to visit: March to May (For Rhododendrons in full bloom) & September to November

The Versay trek is known for the rhododendron sanctuary. It passes through a thick cover of rhododendrons which during the flowering season are a riot of colours.

Located on the Singalila range, the sanctuary itself is the starting point of the Singalila trek.  Starting from Hilley, the trail to Versay has a number of monasteries which add a spiritual charm to the trek. The region has a wide variety of fauna and avian species which one can encounter and photograph during the trek.

 

6. Singalila Trek

Singalila Trek

Maximum Elevation: 4,600m

Grade: Tough

Starting Point: Utteray

Duration (ex Gangtok): 12 days

Best time to visit: March to May & September to November

The Singalila trek starts from Uttarey and goes to the Singalila range, the lesser mountain range that rises from north of Darjeeling and converges with the Kanchendzonga range.

One can witness the Himalayan mountain peaks, ranges and passes from both India and Nepal. The trek also has amazing views of both the Kanchendzonga range as well as of the Everest!

The Singalila trek takes you from Uttarey to Yuksam but can be done the other way also.

 

7. Tosar Lake Trek

Maximum Elevation:  4,000m

Grade: Tough

Starting Point: Naksuk

Duration (ex Gangtok): 16 days

Best time to visit: March – June and September – December

Tosar Lake is located at an altitude of 4,000 meters between the Mangan and the Chola Range. The lake has a giant cliff looking over it and is considered sacred and worshiped by the local people. This region provides some of the best views of the Khanchendzonga.

The trail starts from the road head at Naksuk, above Naga village and passes through a cover of conifer, bamboo, rhododendron and pine forests. It follows the yak trails in the Reserve Forest. The trek is popular for the amazing mountain views, beautiful fauna in floral and forest cover and variety of species of birds.

 

8. Goecha La Trek

Maximum Elevation:  4,940m

Grade: Tough

Starting Point: Yuksom

Duration (ex Gangtok): 8 days

Best time to visit: April to June

One of the most popular treks in this region, Goecha La trek goes up close for a stunning view of the mighty Kanchendzonga (8,585 m) and also several other towering Himalayan peaks.

Goecha La trek starts from Yuksom and, as mentioned above, is an extension of the Dzongri trek. Going beyond the meadows at Dzongri, this trek takes you among the towering mountain peaks. On this trek one cannot stop and wonder at the scale of these Himalayan giants and our own triviality in front of them.

Some of the most well know peaks seen during this trek are Mt. Pandim (6,691m), Mt. Kabur north (7,338m), Mt. Kabur south (7,317m), Mt. Kumbhakarna (7,710m), Mt. Simvo (6,811m), Mt. Rathong (6,679m), Mt. Kokthang (6,147m), Mt. Goecha (5,127m) and many others.

 


 

Read our Lamadug Travelogue,

The Trek to Lamadug-Khanpari – 2nd October 2014 (Part I)

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Also, we have a list of winter treks you can take this season, 

11 Winter Treks Perfect for Beginners

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