Hiking - Destination

Trekking in Sikkim: 18 Routes that Deserve to be Explored

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Not many people are aware that the state of Sikkim in India presents natural beauty that is worthy of exploration. With its mighty mountain ranges, deep gorges, lush verdant valleys, animated waterfalls and gushing streams, trekking in Sikkim will leave you wanting for more. Sikkim is considered to be North-East’s marvel whose beauty can be compared to some breath-taking foreign locations.

Trekking in Sikkim: The Paradise in India

Why spend so much money and time on foreign travel when you can find the same natural beauty hidden in Sikkim? Check out the treks below and maybe even find some Sikkim trekking packages while you are at it!

The unique experience of trekking in Sikkim is taken several notches higher because of the element of spirituality in these treks. As you tread ahead on scenic trails, you will find colourful flags of various Buddhist monasteries scattered all along. Although many people mark their Sikkim tourist maps with prominent monasteries and visit them, the best way to explore the region is by trekking at your own pace in the lap of nature. Regardless of your trekking experience or skills, you will find a suitable trekking trail in Sikkim.

Here are some of the options for trekking in Sikkim, that are sure to motivate you for your next trek.

The Sikkim Himalayas

  • Number of days required: 13
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Ideal time to visit: June to November
  • Maximum elevation: 4900 meters

The majestic Himalayan range spans the North and North-Eastern part of India is often regarded as the crown of the country, and rightly so. This trek also culminates some part of Darjeeling in North Bengal.

The exquisite natural scenes that it presents to the viewer seem surreal. Among the many trekking trails in Sikkim, the one that also takes trekkers through the unique experience of trekking in Darjeeling is very popular.

On this trek, you will witness the glory and grandeur of natural vegetation and commercial plantations, and also get to interact with the warm locals who will be happy to get their picture clicked. You will pass through Garibas, Tonglu, Yuksam, and get a chance to see the monasteries of Tashiding and Pemayangtse before the trek culminates in Gangtok. Get trekking in Darjeeling and finish it in Gangtok now!

Himalayan trek in Sikkim
Sikkim Himalayan trek

Varsey Trek

  • Number of days required: 10
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Ideal time to visit: December to March
  • Maximum elevation: 3000 meters

This scenic trekking route in Sikkim takes the trekker to the border of India and Nepal. The predominance of rhododendron forests in this trek gives it the name ‘home of rhododendrons’. Because of the foliage-rich region, this trek is especially known for being accompanied by the chirping and cooing of birds.

On the way, you will find numerous monasteries with colourful flags. As you visit these monasteries, you will find that the trek gets a touch of spirituality. The feel-good factor in this trek is enhanced by the beautiful orchids that line the trail.

Varsey trek in Sikkim
Varsey trek

High Altitude Trek in North Sikkim

  • Number of days required: 15
  • Difficulty level: Difficult
  • Ideal time to visit: May to October
  • Maximum elevation: 4340 meters

Northern Sikkim in particular, is the abode of those mighty peaks that every professional trekker yearns for. If you are looking for adrenaline-pumping trekking in Sikkim, you should head to the north.

Many of these mountains and nearby villages require special permission for entry, hence it is advisable to apply for permission months in advance. However, once you complete this trek, all the hardships of high altitude and difficult terrain will vanish once you see the breath-taking and awe-inspiring views from the top of these peaks.

North sikkim trek
North Sikkim high altitude trek

Yuksom – Dzongri – Goecha La

  • Number of days required: 11
  • Difficulty level: Easy - moderate
  • Ideal time to visit: June to November
  • Maximum elevation: 4900 meters

Yuksom is an important city in Sikkim and was its capital in the past. It is known for its rich biodiversity and the presence of beautiful and dense forests.

On this trek that starts from Yuksom and culminates at Goecha La Pass, via Dzongri, you will get some extraordinary views of Mount Kanchenjunga and Kabru Dome, along with the views of sparkling lakes like Tsokha and Samiti.

Since part of this trekking route also goes through Kanchenjunga National Park, there will be no dearth of flora and fauna on this route.  As you finish this trek at Goecha La pass, you will be rewarded with the grand views of Talung glacier and adjoining Onglakhing moraines.

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

Yuksom – Dzongri – Goecha La trek in Sikkim
Yuksom – Dzongri – Goecha La trek

Dzongri trek

  • Number of days required: 7
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Ideal time to visit: March to June, and August to November
  • Maximum elevation: 4000 meters

This trekking route in Sikkim is the perfect blend of rendezvous with nature and spending quality time with family. On this route, you will pass through dense forests that criss-cross with gushing rivulets.

You will see some enchanting views of Himalayan mountain ranges with Mount Pandim and Mount Jhopuno in the backdrop, and a colourful bed of flowers sprawled in the front.

You start at Yuksom, and traverse through Bakhim and then to Tsokha and Dzongri. On the way, you cannot miss the charm of steep gorges and green valleys spotted with colourful blooms. By the time you end this trek at Gangtok, you would be completely mesmerized by the natural beauty you just witnessed.

Dzongri trek in Sikkim
Dzongri trek

Trek to Singalila Ridge

  • Number of days required: 13
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Ideal time to visit: March to June, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 3600 meters

This is one option of trekking in Sikkim that is open to hikers of all age groups. It lies in the Himalayan range between Darjeeling and Sikkim, and offers a great variety of visual treats for you and your family. You witness the gorgeous green valley sprawling with fresh flowers against the backdrop of mighty and majestic mountains.

The occasional streams and rivulets that you encounter on way will add to the charm of this pristine trail.

This trek begins in Darjeeling and goes through Manay and Bhanjang to reach Tonglu. From there, the trek proceeds towards Gairibas and Kalpokhri to finally reach Sandakphu, the highest point in this trail.

The return trail passes through Molley and Phalut and finally ends at Rimbik.

Singalila Ridge trek in Sikkim
Singalila Ridge trek

Trek to Tosar Lake

  • Number of days required: 16
  • Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult
  • Ideal time to visit: March to June, and September to December
  • Maximum elevation: 4000 meters

This trek is ideal for people who wish to see the magnificence of mighty peaks from a distance.

Tosar Lake is situated between Mangan and Chola ranges. From the lake, you can clearly see the majestic mountains.

This trek spans through lush and thick forests where you will see lots of yaks and cows. The monotony of green hue from the trees and grass is broken by colourful splashes in the form of seasonal flowers and blooms.

Tosar Lake
Tosar Lake

Sandakphu Trek

  • Number of days required: 8
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Ideal time to visit: March to June, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 3600 meters

Yet another amazing option for trekking in Sikkim to explore hidden gems is the trek to Sandakphu. This trek, too, is shared between Darjeeling (North Bengal) and Sikkim.

On this trek, you will have a clear look at a tallest mountainous arc of the world that is formed by the peaks Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, and Kanchenjunga.

Other than views of these snowy peaks, this trek also provides the thrill of passing through lush green valleys that are lined up with seasonal flowers. The chirping of birds in the background is almost magical. This trek starts from Darjeeling and passes through Maneybhanjang, Tonglu, and Garibas, before reaching Sandakphu. Return trail of this trek passes through Phalut, Rammam, and Rimbik before reaching Darjeeling.

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

Panorama of Peaks from Sandakphu
Sandakphu Trek

Green Lake Trek

  • Number of days required: 15
  • Difficulty level: Difficult
  • Ideal time to visit: March- April, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 5000 meters

Thrill seekers are especially fond of this great trekking option in Sikkim and you are required to get special permission to travel this trail.

Green Lake is in the foothills of Kanchenjunga mountain and adjoining the Zemu glacier. This trek requires full preparation in terms of gear and fitness, and should only be attempted by experienced trekkers.

The trek starts from Gangtok and passes through Lachen and Tallem before reaching Jakthang. From here, this trail passes through the challenging stretch of Zemu Chu that faces severe floods. Camping is done in Yabuk but it gets freezing cold at night.  As you continue your trek, you witness views of mountains Simvu and Siniolchu to reach Lhonak valley from where Green Lake is reached.

Green lake trek in Sikkim
Green Lake trek

Trek to Tholung Lake

  • Number of days required: 9
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Ideal time to visit: March to May
  • Maximum elevation: 2430 meters

If you are looking for an option for trekking in Sikkim that doesn’t last more than 10 days, then you should definitely opt for this trek.

The Tholung lake trek offers beatific scenic delights between Bagdora and Lingsha in the form of floral valleys, alpine trees and the crystal-clear waters of river Ring Pi Chi and Tholung lake. And of course, the cover of clear blue sky and cottony white clouds lend a surreal feeling.

Tholung lake trek in Sikkim
Tholung lake trek

Trek across Hidden Himalayas

  • Number of days required: 14
  • Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult
  • Ideal time to visit: March to May, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 4950 meters

No other route for trekking in Sikkim offers views of so many hidden peaks in the mighty Himalayas.

Given its difficult terrain, this trek is not suitable for families and novice trekkers. However, the hardships of this trek are rewarded generously in terms of awe-inspiring views of Yuksom, Goecha La, Tshoka, and Phedang. Mount Kanchenjunga is also viewed in all its glory.

The trek is said to be especially enchanting from Dzongri onwards as it reaches Thangshing and Samiti Lake. You can be assured of the most thrilling mountainous expedition if you go on this trek.

Hidden Himalayas trek in Sikkim
Hidden Himalayas trek

Tribal Villages Trek

  • Number of days required: 1
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Ideal time to visit: March to June, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 3000

Apart from the conventional trekking in Sikkim, a few less popular, but equally fascinating trails exist between small tribal villages. This trek excites those who believe in taking the road less travelled on.

The trek from Ravangla to Maenam spans about 10 kilometers only but provides some really nice and memorable scenic views. You will be passing Dzongu on the way and should visit the Tholung monastery here. As you traverse ahead, you walk along river Rimpi and will find numerous caves.

Another rewarding trek is between the tribal villages of Demthang and Tendong. It starts from Namchi and is as much a cultural experience as a picturesque one. On this trek, you will visit the holy Tendong hill and witness the relics of Buddhist Lamas.

Tholung monastery trek in sikkim
Tholung monastery on the Tribal villages trek

Lhaba Tarum Tsachu Trek

  • Number of days required: 6
  • Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
  • Ideal time to visit: March to May
  • Maximum elevation: 2650 meters

This trek in Sikkim is perfect for families and trekkers who are just beginning to explore their passion. This gently sloped trek offers easy trails through the forests and takes them along valleys and waterfalls without a major elevation change.

This trek is the perfect way to gather natural gems in the form of scenic delights and visual treats. This trail doesn’t pass through any mountain peak but offers distant views of the Himalayas.

Lhaba Tarum Tsachu Trek
Lhaba Tarum Tsachu Trek

Darjeeling – Kanchenjunga - Martam

  • Number of days required: 18
  • Difficulty level: difficult
  • Ideal time to visit: March to May, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 4940 meters

This trek is for those trekkers who believe in exploring the bounty of nature to the fullest.

It encompasses several natural marvels in the form of tea plantations in Darjeeling, the majestic sun rises and the sun sets between mighty, snow-clad peaks; diverse flora and fauna; enchanting forests; floral valleys, sparkling lakes and cascading waterfalls. On this trail, you will pass through hilly regions in Yuksam, Tsoska, and Dzongri, before continuing on to reach Thangshing, Samiti Lake, Goecha La, Lam Pokhari, Kasturi La and Labdang.

The trek continues to Tashding and Martam, and finally ends at Gangtok. It is to be noted that some parts of this trek may require the use of a motor vehicle.

Darjeeling – Kanchenjunga Trek
Darjeeling – Kanchenjunga trek

Trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp

  • Number of days required: 11
  • Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult
  • Ideal time to visit: March to June, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 5000 meters

This trek caters to the dual pleasure of outdoor camping and trekking. Since this trek involves climbing and staying at high altitudes, trekkers must ensure their fitness and carry proper trekking and camping gear for this trek.

Beginning in Darjeeling, the Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek gives ample visual treats in the form of plantations and verdant valleys before moving on toward Yuksom, a region that is replete with dense oak and rhododendron forests.

As you move ahead, you will cross Bakkhim, Dzongri, and Bikhbari. Camping at Bikhbari will be a unique experience under the clear, star-lit sky. Proceeding ahead, you will reach Chaurikhang near Rathong Glacier, where the Kanchenjunga base camp lies. On the way, you will have enough time to admire and amaze yourself with the views of Frey’s peak, Kabur, and Koktang.

Trek to Kanchenjunga Base Camp
Kanchenjunga Base Camp trek

Singalila – Goecha La Trek

  • Number of days required: 21
  • Difficulty level: Moderate to difficult
  • Ideal time to visit: March to June, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 4900 meters

This trek takes the best of the two above-mentioned trekking routes in Sikkim by combining the thrill of exploring Singalila ridge as well as Goecha La pass.

You get close views of the Nepal- Sikkim border as you reach Goecha La pass. The good thing about this route is that it has gradual ascent and thus, the trekker gets enough time to acclimatize to the elevation.

The trek covers Darjeeling, Maneybhanjang, Garibas, Sandakphu, Raman and Dzongri. Also, you can visit the monasteries at Tashiding, Rumtek and Pemayangtse. Don't forget to mingle with the locals and get a taste of their customs on this culturally enriching trek.

Singalila – Goecha La Trek
Singalila – Goecha La trek

Rhododendron Trek

  • Number of days required: 10
  • Difficulty level: Moderate
  • Ideal time to visit: April - May
  • Maximum elevation: 1728 meters

This unique and one-of-a-kind Sikkim trekking route is a real visual treat. The whole trail is lined with Rhododendron flowers that add a rosy touch to your experience. Along with different varieties of rhododendron, other wildflowers and seasonal blooms will make this one of the most colourful treks that you have ever heard about. This trek is ideal for nature lovers, bird watchers, and photographers.

The route traverses from Barsey to Yumthang. You pass through Rabongla, Borong, Phoktey, Uttarey valley and, Deonin Gali Dhap on your way back. Another feature of this trek is that you will pass through two wildlife sanctuaries- Barsay and Maenam.

Rhododendron trek sikkim
Rhododendron trek

Kasturi Orar Trek

  • Number of days required: 16
  • Difficulty level: Difficult
  • Ideal time to visit: March to May, and September to November
  • Maximum elevation: 5000 meters

Kasturi pass gives hikers a unique experience of trekking in Sikkim because this trail offers fantastic views of Goecha La, Thangsing valley, and Dzongri.

The picturesque background that you will witness will be like a picture from a book. You will also pass through the Kanchenjunga National Park and get a chance to have a cultural interaction with native villagers.

Owing to the high altitudes that the route has at Mount Pandim and other mighty glaciers, adequate trekking gear, and physical fitness are pre-requisites for this trek.

Kasturi Orar Trek
Kasturi Orar trek

Sikkim is gaining a lot of popularity because of its scenic landscape and unpolluted air and water. Thanks to the film industry, a lot of destinations in Sikkim are being shown on the big screen and getting noticed. If you want to explore the region, you must plan a vacation and visit Sikkim.

The best way to explore it is by trekking. Regardless of your level of expertise, you will find a suitable route for trekking in Sikkim.

We are sure that some of the above-mentioned trekking routes have managed to stir interest in your heart. We look forward to reading your trekking experience in Sikkim!

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