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Trekking in North East India: 19 Offbeat Treks Worth Exploring

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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words ‘north east India’? Do you think about tea from Assam or about the native tribes that live in the hills there? Whatever it is, we are pretty sure that not many of you would have thought about trekking in north east India. Adventure enthusiasts who are always on the look-out of new challenges and experiences should head north-east.

Despite being a part of our nation, our north-eastern states have not been explored much, hence, people don’t consider making a trip to north east India. This is why we have enlisted some of the most beautiful and enchanting trekking routes of the region for you. We sincerely hope that after reading about these awesome trekking routes in north east India, you will not be able to stop yourself from going there.

Trekking in North East India: Do something different for a change!

So, without wasting any more time, let us get to know about places to visit in north east India that offer a great rendezvous with nature.

1. The Living Root Bridges in Meghalaya

Meghalaya is translated as ‘home of the clouds’ and lives up to its name. One of the most famous places to visit in the north east is the village Cherrapunji. It is famous for receiving the maximum rainfall in the world, but that’s not the only thing that you should know about the region. You can witness the wilderness and magic of the green eco-village Mawlynnong and stay in a tree house here.

You can trek to Cherrapunji from Mawlynnong and explore the living root bridges which are formed by the sturdy roots of the Ficus Elastica tree. These bridges have been used since long by the native Khasi tribal people. This trek will give you a chance to meet and interact these tribes too. Therefore, this trek is a great cultural experience too.

  • Altitude: 1484 meters
  • Duration: 6-8 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: Anytime of the year
trekking places in north india
Living Roots Bridge (Source)

2.  Reiek Mountain Trek (Mizoram)

Mizoram is a beautiful and richly endowed place in terms of natural diversity. It is rapidly making its place among tourist places in north east India by offering some very scenic trails. This easy trail is ideal for people who want to experience the beauty of Mizoram without too much exertion.

The Reiek mountain offers easy slopes, thick green forests and local flora and fauna. As you pass through the Ailawng village, you will notice a beautiful meadow with tall green grass- a distinct feature that isn’t seen in normal hilly trekking trails.

  • Altitude:1524 meters
  • Duration:1-2 days
  • Grade: Easy
  • Best time to visit: November to March
adventure tourism in north east india
Reiek Mountain Range View (Source)

Read: Kanamo Peak: The Snow-bound Mountain Ridge in Spiti Valley

3. Nathu La Pass in Sikkim

Nathu La counts among the best places to visit in north east India. The trek to Nathu La pass is as much a cultural treat as a natural treat. This is because Nathu La is located on the historic Silk Route that connected Lhasa in Tibet to Bengal. It is currently the trading border between India and China.

This Himalayan pass offers beautiful views as you tread on this trek through snake-bends. The sight of cascading waterfalls and the majestic mountains in the background is indeed a visual treat. Don’t forget to visit the Tsomgo lake and enjoy a yak safari there, making trekking in this part of north east India a unique memory for you.

  • Altitude: 4309 meters
  • Duration: 1-2 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: April- May
Nathu La Pass in Sikkim
Nathu La Pass in Sikkim (source)

4. Singalila Trek in Sikkim

This trek is the ideal option for some high-grade trekking in north east India. This trek takes you through the famous Singalila ridge and offers majestic views of some of the most famous Himalayan peaks like Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, and Makalu.

The numerous trails on this trek will take you through Dhor, Pelling, Lam Pokhari, Uttarey, Pare Megu and Chiw Bhanjyang.  Each of these places has immense natural beauty in the form of thick forest covers, animated rivulets and gorgeous views of mountains and valleys.

  • Altitude: 5000 meters
  • Duration: 10- 12 days
  • Grade: Moderate to hard
  • Best time to visit: March to May and October to December
Singalila Trek in Sikkim
Singalila Trek in Sikkim (Source)

5. Beyul of Pemako, Arunachal Pradesh

This is one of the options of trekking in north east India that offers a complete spiritual experience. In Buddhism, beyuls are hidden valleys blessed by Guru Rinpoche in the 8th century and considered to have an enlightening effect. These beyuls are not easy to reach and involve many days of continuous trekking.

If you are an experienced trekker and looking for an intriguing yet enriching experience, you should take the trek to Beyul of Pemako. This trek starts from Turing and traverses through a thick forest that is replete with many native medicinal plants and herbs, local flora and fauna and many endangered and rare flowers.

  • Altitude: 4267 meters
  • Duration: 24-26 days
  • Grade: Moderate to hard
  • Best time to visit: August to November
trekking in arunachal pradesh
Beyul of Pemako (Source)

6. Tinjurey Trek, Sikkim

For those of you who are looking for easy and comfortable trekking in north eastIndia, the Tinjurey trek is a must. This trek starts to form the Tashi viewpoint close to Gangtok and culminates in Tinjurey in the Phambong-lho wildlife sanctuary. With easy walking terrain and a comfortable trail through magnolia and maple forests, this trek is ideal for families. When you reach Tinjurey, you will be rewarded with an excellent view of Kanchenjunga peak and a gorgeous view of the city of Gangtok.

  • Altitude: 2500 meters
  • Duration: 1 day
  • Grade: Easy
  • Best time to visit: March to June

7. Namdapha Rainforest (Arunachal Pradesh)

This experience of trekking in Arunachal Pradesh is truly one-of-a-kind. Only serious wildlife and nature lovers should sign up for this trek because this trek involves staying in the thick rainforests of Namdapha and living the life of a forest dweller, with minimal technological support.

adventure tourism in north east india
Namdapha Rainforest trail walking (Source)

However, the hardships of this trek are rewarded in terms of indescribable. This trek is also the perfect way to get a taste of cultural and tribal life in this region. Thus, trekking in north east India offers much more than the simple change of surroundings.

  • Altitude: 4480 meters
  • Duration: 10 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: October to April

8. Dzukou Valley (Nagaland)

Valley of flowers is probably among the most famous trekking places in north India, but you should not underestimate the Dzukou valley in Nagaland in terms of floral beauty nestled in lush green valleys. This spectacular destination for trekking in north east India is like a soft floral carpet protected by green verdant hills. You can visualize the Pauna peak from here.

This trek is fairly easy in most parts and consists of gushing streams through the trail. Don’t forget to visit the friendly village Khonoma and mingle with the locals over a bonfire session.

  • Altitude: 2438 meters
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Grade: Easy to Moderate
  • Best time to visit: November to March
trekking routes in north east india
Dzukou Valley in Nagaland (Source)

9.  The Bailey Trail Trek (Arunachal Pradesh)

Get ready for some cultural trekking in north eastIndia when you sign up for this trek. This trail was part of a historic trade route between Tibet, India, and Burma. This trek is ideal for camping in some of the most scenic surroundings. As you tread ahead on this trail, you will witness the grandeur of Gorichen and Kangto peaks and pass through numerous glacial streams and lush green valleys.

Don’t forget to visit Tawang to see the second oldest Buddhist monasteries in the world.

  • Altitude: 4572 meters
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: October to May

10. Gorkhey- Phalut Trek (Sikkim)

This beautiful trek route lies in the middle of the bigger Singalila trek, but it is a good option for those who don’t want to have arduous trekking in north east India. Gorkhey village is a beautiful place, covered with pine trees. As you tread towards Phalut, you will witness mesmerizing views of the valley.

  • Altitude: 3636 meters
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: April- May, and September to November
trekking places in north india
Gorkhey Village (Source)

11. Goecha La Trek (Sikkim)

This option for trekking in north east India features among the best treks in the country. Considered to be a difficult trek, this route promises grand views of sixteen Himalayan peaks, including Kanchenjunga.

The trek starts from New Jalpaiguri and passes through Sachen, Dzongri, Thansing, and Lamuney to reach the Goecha La peak. From here, you can see the tear-drop shaped Goecha lake.

  • Altitude: 4937 meters
  • Duration: 12 days
  • Grade: Moderate to difficult
  • Best time to visit: April- May, and September to November

Get the Complete Guide to Goecha La Trek - The peak of Eastern Himalayas

adventure tourism in north east india
Goecha La Trek (Source)

12.  Yuksom Dzongri Trek, Sikkim

This trek is a shorter route to the more elaborate Goecha La trek. You will start this trek from Yuksom that has the oldest Monastery in Sikkim- the Dubdi Monastery. You will pass through Tshoka before you arrive at the Dzongri viewpoint from where you can witness peaks of Pandim and Tenchinhkhang and the Laxmi Pokhari lake.

  • Altitude: 4200 meters
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: April- May, and September to November

Also, check Trekking in Uttarakhand: 17 Destinations that Needs to be in Your Trekking List

13. Green Lake Trek, Sikkim

This is north east India’s equivalent of some of the famous destinations that offer lake trekking in north India. The beauty of Green Lake trek is best observed by the eye. The trek starts from Lachen, which is located about a hundred kilometers off Gangtok.

trekking routes in north east india
Green Lake Trek (Source)

As you tread ahead in this trek, you will pass through Talem, Jakthang, and Yabuk. On your way, you are sure to get enchanted by the magnificent colors of poppies and primroses that line your trek. The thick rhododendron forests will provide you with soothing shade as you reach the Green Lake.

  • Altitude: 4572 meters
  • Duration: 14 days
  • Grade: Moderate to Hard
  • Best time to visit: April- May, and October- November

14. Rechala Trek, Sikkim

This beautiful trek route is waiting to be popularized. It starts from Mulkharka village near Siliguri and traverses through the Neora valley forest in Kalimpong and Jorpokhri. The Rachela pass itself is devoid of much vegetation but the trail offers scenic delights and a variety of flora and fauna. The glorious views of Kanchenjunga, Nathu La pass, Neora valley, Chiola range, Singalila range and Rangli valley is enchanting.

  • Altitude: 3152 meters
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: April- May, and September to November

15. Sandakphu Trek, West Bengal

Trekking in north east India has plenty of options for easy trekking. Sandakphu trek is one of them. The trek takes you through New Jalpaiguri, Manebhanjan, Tumling, Singalila national park and finally to Sandakphu peak.

The entire trail is enchanting and offers great views of the surrounding mountains. The Singalila national park is like a colorful paradise with multihued flowers.

  • Altitude: 3639 meters
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: April- May, and October to December

Check out the Guide to Sandakphu Trek: A Trekker's Paradise

trekking places in north india
Sandakphu Trek(Source)

16. Phoktey Dara Trek, Sikkim

Considered to be one of the most beautiful trekking routes in Sikkim and Darjeeling, this option for trekking in north east India is perfect for catching extra-ordinary views of Dhaulagiri, Everest, Kabru, Narsing and Pandim peaks.

This trek also offers unmatched views of Darjeeling tea estates, Barsey sanctuary, and Nuthaley viewpoint.

  • Altitude: 3733 meters
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: April-May and September to November

17. Varsey Phalut Trek, Sikkim

Very few destinations of trekking in north east India match the beauty of this trek. Varsey, also known as Barsey, is famous for its rhododendron sanctuary consisting of more than 40 varieties of rhododendron. This sanctuary is the starting point of this trek.

During full bloom, the sanctuary seems to be a carpet full of different hues. There are a lot of other trekking routes from here. If you choose to go to Phalut, you will pass through Hilley, Deolingalidhap, Thulodhap, and Thorebhulebhanjan. Phalut is the second highest peak of West Bengal and the mountain is inhabited by the Falutian tribe.

The return journey will be via Gorkhey, Sirikhola, and Rimbik to New Jalpaiguri.

  • Altitude: 3600 meters
  • Duration: 7 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: May and September to November

18. Siang Valley Trek, Arunachal Pradesh

This trek is one of the low-altitude trekking options in north east India. You will cover the trail along the river Siang and passes through grassy meadows, lush green grass fields, and beautiful flower-lined trails as you travel through Ziro and Talley to reach the Siang valley.

  • Altitude: 1550 meters
  • Duration: 7-8 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Best time to visit: October to February
trekking in arunachal pradesh
Siang Valley (Source)

19. ​​​​​​​Mainam la Trek, Sikkim

If you are looking a relatively easy and short option for trekking in north east India, then you should consider this trek. This trek starts at Ravangla that lies on the ridge between Mainam and Tendong hills. You will pass through the Mainam wildlife sanctuary on this trekking route, famous for the red panda, Himalayan black bear, black pheasant cat and mountain birds.

You will cross the lush green vegetation consisting of oaks, rhododendrons, magnolia and pine trees on this trail. As you approach the Mainam peak, you will witness a grand view of Kanchenjunga peak and many other beautiful mountains. Not far from this point is another viewpoint called Bhaledunga, that offers awesome views of the verdant valley.

  • Altitude: 3290 meters
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Grade: Easy to moderate
  • Best time to visit: April- May, and September to November

These are some of the options for you to consider when you think about trekking in north east India. The beauty of these treks is that most of them are still unknown to a large number of people. It is important to highlight the natural beauty of this region and encourage traveling to these regions so that everyone can know about the best places to visit in north east India.

The best part of many of these trails is that they are still covered in a veil of mystery because of pristine and untouched landscapes. Trekking in north India is very popular and big groups of trekkers head to famous north Indian trekking destinations like Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Read: Trekking in Himachal Pradesh: 29 Best Destinations (with Difficulty Level)

In contrast, because of many undiscovered trails in the north-eastern part of our country, adventure tourism in north east India is still in infancy.

Summary

Our country’s north-eastern states have been away from the limelight when it comes to natural expeditions and adventure outings. This is unfortunate because some of the most enchanting glacial lakes, streams, and verdant valleys can be found while trekking in north east India.

Have you ever visited some of these places? Are there more places in the north east that you would like to add to this list? Let us know.

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