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Dzongri Top Trek - 7 Days

Dzongri Top Trek
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Dzongri Top Trek is a short, high altitude and one of the most interesting trekking routes in Sikkim. Dzongri trek is the small trek option of the Goechala Trek. This remarkable trek begins from Yuksam and finishes at Yuksam in 5 days. For the trekkers who want to explore more in a short duration the Dzongri trek is the most apt option. Trekkers on this wonderful trek get to explore and see the mesmerizing exquisiteness of scenic landscapes during trekking. In actual fact, Dzongri and Dzongri La (view point) is the paramount spot to get a view of the spectacular mountains and its towering peaks in the Sikkim Himalayas. Along with the impressive Mt. Kangchendzonga (8585 meters), the 3rd highest mountain in the world, you can also discover some of the most famous peaks during this trek from the Dzongri View Points like Mt. Kabru south (7317 meters), Mt. Kabru north (7338 meters), Mt. Simvo (6811 meters), Mt. Pandim (6691 meters) Mt. Kabru Forked (6108 meters), Mt. Rathong (6679 meters), Mt. Kumbhakarna (Janoo) (7710 meters), Mt. Kokthang (6147 meters), Mt. Goecha Peak (5127 meters) and Mt. Frey Peak (5830 meters).

The Sikkim Dzongri Trek commences from Yuksom, which is the erstwhile capital of Sikkim and is located at a height of 1,780 meters. The trail thereafter ascends to Tsokha en route Bakhim, which is perched at an elevation of 2,700 meters. The entire trail to Tsokha cuts through tropical forests, splashing water bodies and fascinating rhododendron forests. From Tsokha the trek leads off to Dzongri via Phedang passing through the mystic, wild and colourful valley and lively gorges. The journey divulges the entire stretch of the Sikkim Himalayan region and once can spot the peaks like Mt Pandim, Mt Thenchinkhang and Mt Jhopuno at a binocular distant. From Dzongri one can even capture the majestic Himalayan range and be embraced with appealing views of Mt Khanchendzonga, Mt Kabru, Mt Koktan, Mt Jhoponu, Mt Thenchinkhang and Mt Narsing peaks. The downhill trek follows the same route via Tsokha to Yuksom and winds up at Gangtok.

Dzongri Trek is considered as one of the most excellent trekking destinations in the North-Eastern area in India. Nestled in the fabulous Himalayas, this destination offers many spectacular and charming views of the nature's exquisiteness. Sikkim is best destinations for the travelers across the globe as it has a lot to offer from the panoramic views of the unparalleled Kanchanjunga range, monasteries, ancient temples and many other things. This place is the hidden gem in the north-eastern region; trekkers on this adventurous and interesting trek to get introduced to the captivating splendor of picturesque backdrops and exotic wildlife. The Yuksom to Dzongri trek in Sikkim is for sure is one of the most interesting trek of which you will definitely want to be a part of. It is a trekking excursion that will bring you close to the nature and during the whole journey you can explore the virgin peaks, the pictorial landscapes and towering mountains. The trek is usually called as the 'Walking in Paradise' and undeniable it will be right to say that this trekking destination is a certainly a traveler's delight.

View from Dzongri Top

Best Time to Visit Yuksom to Dzongri Trek

Best time to trek Dzongri Trek: The best season for trekking in this region is the summer between mid of March till June mid. After that, another right time is in the autumn during mid September till November.

If you want to go for trekking in this region then you must not go trekking during monsoon season, i.e. between (end June to mid of September) as the path of the trail becomes slippery and muddy. Also during this season landslides and loose rocks are quite common and as a result the approaching roads get blocked.

Winter:In the winter season, particularly in the month of January and February it is impossible to trek in this region. As during this period, it snows really very heavily after Dzongri and from here the trails become unapproachable and weather quite foul. Also during this time you will not be able find any guides. In winters the temperature in this region can fall below -20 degree Celsius. Occasionally some expeditions take place in the winter, but they are managed and guided with knowledgeable and experienced mountaineering guides. However it is seen that most of the expeditions that are commenced during this odd and extreme weather conditions fails.

Summer:In the summer between (May to June) the usual temperature of the day varies between (15°C - 25°C), and in the night temperature ranges from (8°C to 15°C). At Dzongri during this season the daytime temperature varies between (7°C - 15°C) and at the night varies between (3°C to -2°C).

Autumn:In autumn between (Mid September to end October) the ordinary temperature of the day varies between (13°C - 20°C), and in the night temperature goes between (2°C - 7°C). At Dzongri during this season the daytime temperature varies between (3°C - 10°C) and at the night it is between (3°C to -4°C).

Snow:The trail ahead of the first view point at Goechala remains under snow till early April. However, by the month June, this part of the trail turns out to be completely accessible. However, on the higher altitude you can still find snow in some part even in September and October.

Day 1
Drive from NJP – Yuksom (123 Km) (7-8 hrs Drive)

Day 2
Yuksam (5500 Ft) To Tsokha (9600 Ft) (14 KM / 5 - 6 Hrs.)

Day 3
Tshoka (9,600 ft) – Dzongri (12,800 ft) via Phedang (12,000 ft) (12 Km) (6-7 hrs)

Day 4
Dzongri to Dzongri Top & Acclimatize At Dzongri

Day 5
Dzongri To Tshoka (12 KM/5 To 6 Hours)

Day 6
Tshoka To Yuksom (14 KM/5 To 6 Hours)

Day 7
Yuksom To NJP/ Bagdogra

Day 1:  Drive from NJP – Yuksom  

  • Drive:  150 km
  • Altitude: 5,500 ft
  • Time taken:  7 - 8  hours drive from NJP.
  • Stay: Accommodation in guest house

New Jalpaiguri Railway Station(NJP) is located in the Jalpaiguri District which is considered to be the Gateway to the Northeast. All major cities and towns are connected to NJP via the Indian Railways. The closet airport is Bagdogra Airport which is about 16km from NJP. From NJP we take a taxi to Yuksom in Sikkim. This journey will take us approximately 6 hrs. Yuksom is a beautiful town in West Sikkim which was once the capital of Sikkim. Overnight stay in Yuksom

Yuksom Village

There are two things that you need to do at Yuksom before the trek begins. One, make an entry at the police station. For this you need a photo identity proof with three photo copies. Two, you need to pay the permit fees at the forest check post (trekkers do this in the morning when they are starting the trek). The fee to be paid is broken down into small elements like tent, porter, yak and other charges. Camera charges are extra. Their is no ATM in Yoksom, so last ATM is at Legship. 

Day 2 Trek from Yuksom (5500 Ft) To Tsokha (9600 Ft) 

  • Altitude: 7000 ft
  • Trek: 14 Km / 5-6 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Moderate
  • Water sources: Carry 2 litres of water from Yuksom. You will cross streams intermittently where you can refill your water bottles.
  • Stay:  Overnight stay in tents / Trekkers’ hut.

This is the first day of the trek. After walking across open fields we enter the beautiful valley of the Rathong river. En route appreciate ancient Oak, Conifer and Bamboo forests and the luxuriant ferns and delicate orchids that line the trail . Yuksom (1760m) marks the entrance to the Kangchenjunga National Park. Just after leaving the village you can see Baktim on a ridge high above the confluence of the Rathong and Prek Rivers, which will give you an idea of how to pace yourself for the day. We continue walking until we reach the bridge over the river,Perk. Prayer flags in the distance are an indication of the start of the Goechala trail. We trek through Oak and later Rhododendron forests. On the way we pass through Bakhim.

Bakhim has a forest rest house and a tea and snack stall. We can stop and rest for a while and enjoy the view of the Yuksom Valley. From Bakhim, Tshoka, is about an hour. The last section of the hike is steep, so walking at a regular slow pace is advised. You will camp at Tshoka, an abandoned Tibetan Village, now turned into a campsite by the national park authorities. Make any urgent phone calls from here, before going much deeper into the national park, as no networks can be accessed over there. Spend the evening at ease before an early dinner is served. You can stay for the night in trekkers’ hut or in tent.

Tshoka Campsite

Day 3: Trek from Tshoka (9,600 ft) – Dzongri (12,800 ft) via Phedang (12,000 ft)  (Exhausting Day)

  • Altitude: 12,800 ft
  • Trek: 10-12 Km / 6-7 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Moderate to Difficult.
  • Water sources:  Carry sufficient water, as there are no sources of drinking water en route.
  • Stay:  Overnight stay in tents / Trekkers’ hut.

This is the day which all Dzongri trekkers look forward to . The climb is steep today . If you come here in spring the trail passes through the densest forests of blooming colourful Rhododendrons. You get spectacular views of the Kangchendzonga range from here, although the mighty peak won’t be showing up until you climb up Dzongri top. After a few hours into the trek we reach Phedang, a large clearing with superb mountain views. Today’s hike is a bit strenuous than the last one, as you climb up to the top of the mountain, climbing almost 1000m in less than 6 hrs. Pre-monsoon season in these mountains is pretty cloudy; without much rain, while one can witness clear skies in the months of September till December. Continue on the trail & reach Dzongri . It is large meadow surrounded in all direction from Snow clad peaks of Kanchenjunga range. Enjoy the experience of surrounded by Himalayan might from all directions . Camp overnight at Dzongri.

Dzongri Campsite

Day 4: Trek from Dzongri (12,800 ft) – Dzongri Top (13,700 ft) & Acclimatize At Dzongri.

Way to Dzongri top

Today we start a steep ascend to Dzongri top which will take up about an hour. This is the highest point on the trek from where we will get a 180 degree panoramic view of the Singalila and Kanchenjunga ranges. If we start early at 4am we can reach the top just in time for the sunrise. Experience how the golden rays of the sun interact with this magnificent mountain range. You can spend the whole day exploring and enjoying the fabulous views of the soaring mountain summits by climbing upwards towards the Dzongri Top.

From this very spot you can get the magnificent panoramic view of various towering peaks like, Kabru (7353 meters), Pandim (6691 meters),Kanchenjunga (8534 meters), Koktang (6147 meters), Narsingh (5825 meters), and Ratong (6678 meters), and towards the western side you can see the wonderful Singalila Ridge. The Singalila Ridge separates Sikkim from Nepal. We will have dinner and stay overnight in the tents at the campsite.

Acclimatizeing At Dzongri

Day 5Return trek from Dzongri (12,800 ft) to Tshoka (9,600 ft) 

  • Altitude: 9,600 ft
  • Trek: 10-12 Km / 6-7 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Moderate
  • Water sources:  Carry sufficient water, as there are no sources of drinking water en route.
  • Stay:  Overnight stay in tents / Trekkers’ hut.

We trek back with amzing views of snow clad peaks of Himalayas as close as we were in heaven for a day. You could literally see the mountain peaks waving goodbye from behind the clouds.

 

Day 6Return trek from Tshoka (9,600 ft) – Yuksom (5,500 ft) via Bakhim (8,600 ft) and Sachen (7,000 ft) 

  • Altitude: 9,600 ft
  • Trek: 12-13 Km / 6-7 Hrs
  • Trek gradient: Moderate
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Tshoka. You will cross a few streams where you can refill your water bottles.
  • Stay:  Accommodation in guest house

Post breakfast; prepare yourself for the final stretch of this venture. Take a quick halt at Bakhim. From Sachen the trail goes up and down with mosty downhill. The last section has a few ascents before you reach Yuksom. This is the last day of trek, You retrace your footsteps back to where you started, marking the completion of one of most beautiful trek of the Himalayas. Stay overnight at Yuksom. The trip ends here. You can plan for your return on the next day.

Day 7:  Drive from  Yuksom  - NJP

  • Drive:  150 km
  • Time taken:  7 - 8  hours drive from Yuksom.

Leave Yuksom early morning and reach NJP by 4.00 – 5.00 pm. The trip ends here

The Trip Cost Includes

  • Food all along the Trek(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a cup of coffee or tea)
  • Food as per menu on the trek
  • Forest Permits/Camping Charges , if any
  • Tents, Sleeping bags, mats,Technical equipment
  • Safety Equipments.
  • First Aid Medical Kit(Your Trek Leader will carry the Medical Kit but we also advise to bring yourself for your own use, as far as possible)
  • Trek guide, cook, helpers, porters & mules for carrying common luggage.
  • Services of a Mountaineering qualified & professional Trek Leader.
  • 2 Nights Hotel stay.

The Trip Cost Excludes

  • Meals during road Journeys.
  • camera charges in kanchenjunga national park
  • Porter/Mull to carry personal luggage.
  • Insurance.
  • Any expense of personal nature.
  • Any expense not specified in the inclusion list.

Trekking Gear

  • A rucksack with rain cover
  • A water bottle or a hydration pack
  • A Hand/Head Torch with spare batteries
  • UV Protection Sunglasses
  • A trekking pole

Clothing:

Since it is a high altitude trek, at least 3 layers of clothing is mandatory. A full sleeve shirt, a fleece jacket, and a padded jacket are imperative. An additional layer (Thermal bodywarmers) for the evenings in the high altitude campsites are strongly recommended

  • Quick Dry Warm lower or Track Pants - 2
  • Full sleeves T-shirts - 2
  • Thermal Bodywarmer Upper & Lower - 1
  • Fleece Jacket - 1
  • Padded Jacket -1 (Goose down or feather is preferable)
  • Full sleeves sweater - 1 (Needed if you feel cold at high altitudes despite 4 layers)
  • Rainwear (Jacket & Pants) - 1
  • Thick woolen socks -  1 pair
  • Cotton socks - at least 2-3 pairs
  • Undergarments - 1 for every day of trekking
  • Pair of Warm Gloves - 1
  • Woolen cap - 1

Footwear

  • Hiking shoes (Preferably ankle high) -1
  • Pair of lightweight Slipper/Sandals - 1 pair.

Toiletries

    • Sunscreen lotion, lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, toilet roll, cold cream, small towel.
    • Anti-fungal cream: Carry an antifungal cream if you are sensitive to sweating and prone to skin irritations around genitals or groin area due to lack of bathing.
    • For women:
      • Tampons or sanitary napkins,
      • 2-3 zip pouches to dispose off non-biodegradable waste
      • Vaginal wash to avoid any irritation due to lack of bathing.

Miscellaneous

    • Water bottle
    • Camera (optional)
    • Personal medicine kit. Though our trek leaders carry a fully equipped first-aid kit, make sure you consult your doctor before the trek in case you have any special ailment.
    • Dry fruits, energy bars

 

Fitness Required

The Dzongri Trek falls in the category of Moderate treks. The trail is fairly laid out path and has very few steep ascends or descends. Water is available through out the trail. But still if you are thinking of your first big Himalayan trekking experience its better to be prepared. Here is the training schedule to prepare for the trek. Our treks are generally planned in a way that on an average you have to cover around 9 Kms in 6 hours although there may be slight variation depending on the terrain. This works out to roughly 1.5km per hour which is equivalent to walking in the plains at 6km per hour. You can train yourself to run 3 kms in 30 minutes as per the schedule given below. Remember always start your training program with stretching and warm up exercises.

Flexibility

Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Fitness exercises

  • Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins or Walk continuously for 10 km (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better)
  • Hold your breath for 40 seconds
  • 3 sets of Climbing 30 – 40 steps in one stretch
  • Push Ups – 10
  • Lunges & Squats – 15 X 2 sets

 

Monitoring health on a trek

Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.

On the trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects a day.

  • Oxygen Level
  • Pulse Rate 

High Altitude Medical Kit

Your trek leader will also be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, DexamethasoneYour Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high campsites for any emergency situations.

Acclimatisation in high  altitude

This is one of the most important aspects of travelling in the high Himalayas and cannot be ignored or set aside. Acclimatisation basically means our body adjusting to lower levels of oxygen (rarefied air) & reduced air pressure as me move up. In case one does not acclimatise properly there are chances of the person facing extreme discomfort and this can be fatal in extreme cases. While there is no set route to getting properly acclimatised there are a general precautions and steps that one can take to initiate good acclimatisation.

By Taxi or Jeep:

Reach here the destination in around 5 hours from New Jalpaiguri/Bagdogra via private or shared jeeps. Bus service is not available to Yuksom, there are taxis accessible to Yuksom from Gangtok, Tashiding, Pelling and Gyalshing. Shared Jeeps are usually not available after 1 PM.

By Train :

The nearest rail head is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which is about 150 kilometers away from Yuksom. From New Jalpaiguri NJP, you can easily book a taxi to reach Yuksom. You must leave NJP by 11 AM as it will take approx. 6 to 7 long hours to reach at Yuksom through Jorethang. It is not wise and advisable to travel at night as the road that head toward Yuksom is inadequately lit.

By plane :

Bagdogra is the nearest airport; it is about 12 kilometers towards the west of Siliguri and about 135 kilometers from Yuksom. Taxis are easily available from Bagdogra Airport.

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FAQS

What is the Dzongri Trek?

Dzongri Trek is a moderate high altitude trek done primarily during the pre-monsoon and post monsoon. The trek is situated in the state of Sikkim.

What will be the minimum temperature during Dzongri Trek ?

The temperature usually depends on the time of the year you prefer for trekking. During the trek in the month of September to November and March to June the temperature can go low at 10 Degrees Celsius during the night, in the month of December to March the temperature reaches in minus.

Can I take the Diamox?

Diamox is a helpful medication for the people to reduce the high altitude sickness, but it is sensible for you to consult the doctor prior taking it.

How difficult is the Dzongri Trek?

Dzongri Trek is considered by comparison an moderate high altitude trek. But you need to have good physical fitness to complete this trek. Doing cardio vascular exercises is very helpful for preparing for this trek

How much we have to trek each day?

Normally our trek are designed in such a way that we reach our camp by lunch time and on an average trekking distance is roughly 9-11 Kms each day and it takes around 6-7 hours by an average trekker to cover that distance.

Is it safe for girls to go on a trek?

Safety is prime importance for us, and we lead our groups and do give it to the third party to manage. It's safe for even a single girl trekker to join our fixed departures.

What kind of shoes will be required?

For trekking in the Himalayan region you need to have trekking shoes with excellent ankle support which is a must make sure you get a durable and lightweight footwear. You can opt for Quechua that provides with the best mountain hiking.

How do you deal with an emergency situation?

Our trek leaders and guides are certified mountaineers who have years of experience and have knowledge of first aid in the backwoods and they always carry essential first aid medical kit with them. They assess your physical condition at each camp so as to ascertain about your fitness level and can take required action. All the additional expenditure will be borne by the trekker in case of the rescue.

How big are the trekking groups?

We make it a point not to have more than 15 people in a trekking group as we believe that the best way to enjoy adventure is in small sustainable groups.

Can I offload my backpack on a mule/porter. What are the charges for the same.

When you are in the mountains you should be self-sufficient and you should carry your own backpack. The charges to offload a backpack of roughly 9 kg or less is about 350 per day.

What is there in Food menu during a trek ?

We server wholesome and nutritious Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Evening Snacks. The food is vegetarian. Vegetarian food is preferable at high altitudes as it is easy to digest.

Can you customize a Dzongri Trek?

Yes Dzongri Trek can be customised, if you would like to travel independently, you are invited to choose any of the trips at your convenient time for any number of people. The Cost for private customized trip is fixed on the basis of group size, trek area, duration and trek style.

Price From INR14,000 INR13,000/person
13,000
Total 13,000 INR

Trip Facts

  • Sikkim Himalaya
  • 7 days
  • Moderate
  • 13,778 ft
  • Day time: 8°C-15°C; Night time: -5°C-5°C
  • 50-55 Kms
  • March - June & Aug - November
  • 10-15 trekkers
  • Rhododendron forest, alpine meadows, rocky
  • New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
  • Bagdogra, West Benga
  • New Jalpaiguri (NJP) to New Jalpaiguri (NJP)
  • Meals while on trek (Veg + Egg)
  • Guest house, Camping, Trekkers hut

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