The Puspa lake trek is one of the most unexplored treks in the region. Very few people know this is a possible route and hardly anyone seems to have been there. The lake itself was only a symbol on the map till Puspa Lal Gurung, the founder of Black Yak expeditions, then working as a technical guide for scientists from a research institute in Gangtok, led the scientists to the lake in 2006. They were studying high altitude lakes in the region and Puspa’s job was to find and lead them to the lakes. This one of the great treks that emerged from this research.
Highlights: Not only does this route pass through Dzongri, giving you the benefit of seeing all the sights that Dzongri has to offer, but takes you even closer to many of the mountains you see from Dzongri. Go up to Dzongri and then turn left towards Tigap la pass near which you set up camp for the excursion to the lake. You will find yourself standing under Kokthang and the Kabru range while at the lake as it is surrounded by these high peaks. The lake can only be seen from one side due to this. The sight must be seen to believe although we photos to share with you. Altitude quickly, which helps in recovery.
Day 1: Travel from NJP/Bagdogra airport to Yuksom by jeep. It is a 6-7 hours appx.
Day 2: Yuksom (1750m) to Sachen (2250m). 8km appx.
Day 3: Sachen (2250m) to Tsokha (2950m). 8km appx.
Day 4: Tsokha (2950m) to Dzongri (3950m). 10km appx.
Day 5: Dzongri Rest Day /acclimatization.
Day 6: Dzongri (3950m) to Tigap la (4316m). 9km appx. It is a 4-5 hours long walk appx.
Day 7: Tigapla base (4316m) to Puspa Lake (4927m) and back.
Day 8: Tigap la base (4927m) to Dzongri (3950m).
Day 9: Dzongri (3950m) to Bakhim (2650m).
Day 10: Bakhim (2650) to Yuksom (1750m).
Day 11: Leave Yuksom for NJP/Bagdogra airport.
Day 1Travel from NJP/Bagdogra airport to Yuksom by jeep. It is a 6-7 hours appx.
This day ride through the hills. Upon arrival in Yuksom, prepare for the trek that starts the next day. If time permits, one could also see around Yuksom. The Dubdi monastery, the Coronation throne are a couple of the local attractions. Additionally, Yuksom is a historically important place for Sikkim as it was annointed the first capital of Sikkim in 1643 AD.
Day 2 Yuksom (1750m) to Sachen (2250m). 8km appx.
This is a fairly easy walk and helps trekkers to find their rhythm and gradually get used to the demands of the trail. The distance is about 8k and it takes between 3.5-4.5 hours for most trekkers to reach Sachen. Trekkers tend to skip this camp site at times, however this is not recommended unless one is a regular and experienced trekker who has done multiple 800m single day altitude gains before.
Day 3Sachen (2250m) to Tsokha (2950m). 8km appx.
The walk begins in an easy fashion from Sachen and takes about about an hour to the bridge over Prek chu (chu meaning river). From the bridge to Tsokha is a straight ascent of about 5 km and is a good introduction to the climb the next day. Bakhim (meaning Bamboo Hut) breaks the climb. There is a tea stall at Bakhim and one can sit here and enjoy the views of the valley below. Trekkers are often astonished at how much they have climbed in the previous hour and half. Rhododendron trees abound around Bakhim and here onwards till you are above the tree line they will remain a constant companion. It is a further hour and half to Tsokha.
Day 4Tsokha (2950m) to Dzongri (3950m). 10km appx.
This day is often referred to as the ‘test day’ since it is a relentless and fairly steep climb from Tsokha to Dzongri. You will gain altitude fast and it is important to not rush up the slope. Time the ascent to reach Dzongri is about 5-6 hours and you will still reach comfortably by 2pm, assuming you start at around 8am. The trail passes via Phedang (3690m appx.) which almost slices the walk into half. It looks like a possible camp site but teams do not prefer to camp here because of lack of water near the campsite. Water here must be brought from far (20 min walk one way). Thus, teams rest here for a while, have their packed lunch/rations provided to them in the morning, and proceed to Dzongri. In an hour, you will come across Deorali top, the highest point on this day at over 4100m. Hereon, the trail eases out and descends slightly to dzongri. Many people, upon arrival in Dzongri, will experience a mild headache due to the 1000m effective gain. Make sure you stay warm and hydrated. Let the guide/team leader know about any headache or health difficulty. Usually the headache should subside in a couple of hours. NOTE: There is no water source on the trail on this day and trekkers must fill up at Tsokha and ration the water wisely.
Day 5 : Dzongri Rest Day /acclimatization.
This day you stay on at Dzongri and take rest. You may choose to wake up early and walk up to Dzongri top to see a full panoramic view of all the snow-capped mountains around at sunrise. One can see at least 10 peaks here from left to right, including Kokthang, Rathong, Frey’s peak, Black Kabur, Kabru dome, Kabru north and south, Kanchenjunga, Pandim, Tenzingkhang, Japnoo, Narsing and a few others. Return from Dzongri top to the campsite and rest here for the day. Trekkers could also consider a side excursion to Dzongri La. Dzongri la is about 2 hours from the Dzongri campsite. The trail from Dzongri la further goes towards Chowrikhang, the base camp for altitude and glacier training established by Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling. One could consult with the guide and decide to spend more time exploring the region on this day as well.
Day 6Dzongri (3950m) to Tigap la (4590m).9km appx. It is a 4-5 hours long walk appx.
You continue walking from Dzongri to Doring, a small herder’s village. The trail to the left continues towards, Tigap Chu that flows from the Rathong glacier and eventually meets the Rathong chu. From the stream the trail turns upward towards Tigap la pass with a fairly easy gradient. We set up camp near the pass for the night. For much of the trail, one is around the tree line going in and coming out of the forest from time to time. Rhododendrons will remain a constant feature.
Day 7 : Tigapla base (4590m) to Puspa Lake (4926m) and back.
Take the trail on the right towards the lake. The trail on the left goes towards Tigap la pass leading you over the border into Nepal. The trail to the lake is mostly on glacial moraine and will be quite exhausting for those not used to walking on moraine. You will not see the lake till you reach as the lake will be above eye level and you will keep gaining height till you reach. Spend some time at the lake and then turn back towards the camp site. Descent over moraine will be more stressful on the knees. Return to camp and relax for the day.
Day 8: Tigap la base (4590m) to Dzongri (3950m).
This 4 hour walk will bring you back to Dzongri where you will stay the night. One simply has to take the same trail one took to go up, back to Dzongri.
Day 9 :Dzongri (3950m) to Bakhim (2650m).
You will not halt at Tsokha this time and instead descend further to Bakhim. This reduces the descent on the following day.
Day 10 : Bakhim (2650) to Yuksom (1750m).
Final day of the trek will take you back to where it all began, Yuksom. It will take you about 4-5 hours to return to Yuksom. Once back, it is time to celebrate your accomplishment.
Day 11: Day 11 Leave Yuksom for NJP/Bagdogra.
After having breakfast, we depart to NJP or Bagdogra Airport depending upon the trekker’s mode of transportation to their respective homes. It is advisable to start early since it is a long drive. We suggest to pack the luggage in advance before starting to your journey. The distance from NJP/ Bagdogra airport is 155 kilometres which ideally should not take more than 7 to 8 hours. Lunch can be enjoyed at Jorethang or Malli Checkpost. After having lunch, continue your drive to your destination at the N J P/Bagdogra Airport.
Please contact us directly through phone or email us through filling up the enquiry form for the Best Rates and Availability. The rates depend on Number of people and the minimum required number of the person for the trek. The more the number of trekkers the better the Price. The given rates will be based on per head per day basis which will include all the necessary facilities required during the trek from the point of start to the end. We arrange up to the maximum number of 60 people and minimum should not be less than 2 people.
We provide considerable rates for the bigger group, Student Group, Religious Group and Senior Citizens. The rate is based on quality service requested by groups. Do email us firstname.lastname@example.org know the special prices and services provided.
PRICE INCLUDE AND EXCLUDE
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN PRICE
1: 2 nights in the standard hotel at Yuksom (MAP plan).
2: Accommodation during the trek (camping/guest house).
3: All meals – vegetarian (starting from dinner at Yuksom and ending with breakfast at Yuksom.
4: Meals while on trek (Veg& Egg).
5: Trekking permits and forest camping charges.
6: Accommodation on trek Trekking equipment (sleeping tents 2 Or 3 man Dom, Dining tent, Kitchen Tent, Toilet Tent, sleeping bags walking stick etc.
7: Safety equipment (first aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretcher, etc.
8: Services of an expert trek leader (qualified in basic/advanced mountaineering courses).
9: Services of an expert trek team (guides, cooks, helpers, porters/mules.
10: Transport from N J P / Bagdogra airport to Yuksam and return.
Note: Normally other company charges extra for uploading Bag Pack, but black yak expeditions allow up to 10 kg free. More than 10 kg you have to pay ₹. 250/- per day per bag pack.
If you have bag packs weighing more than 10 kg than you can give it to the yaks or horses prior to the trek before leaving arranged exclusively for the trek. The back pack cannot weigh more than 10 kgs. No suitcases/trolleys’/duffel bags will be allowed.
Withdrawing cash: If you are intended to visit places like Yuksam for Goechala Trek or Dzongri Trek or sightseeing then don’t expect for withdrawing cash in Yuksam because Yuksam does not have ATM services till updated the year 2021.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
1: We do not provide travel insurance except for any Expeditions.
2: Food during transport is not included (pick up point to and from the base camp to drop point)
3: Alcohol, Soft Drinks, bottled water
4: Anything Not Specifically Mentioned Under the Head.
5: Any costs arising out of unforeseen Circumstances like Landslides, Road Blocks, Bad weather, etc.
6: External purchase you make during your travel or on trek routes like food, local crafts or drinks.
7: Itinerary includes transport for pick up and drops yet if you do not want then you can exclude this option) Transport to and from the base camp (N J P/Bagdogra airport to Yuksom and return)
8: Any charges for carrying still/video cameras etc.
9: Personal expenses of any kind.
10: Anything apart from the inclusions.
11: Tips for guides, cooks or trekking staffs and telephone calls, laundry, etc.
If you are trekking with Black yak expeditions
Arrive at (NJP) Railway Station, Siliguri or Bagdogra airport by 9 to 11: am is very good (on your own)
Black Yak Expeditions will arrange pick-up vehicles from NJP railway station and Bagdogra airport to Yuksom the base camp of your trek. We provide luxury vehicles like INNOVA, ZXILO or normal vehicles like TATA SUMO GOULD, BOLERO, etc. And mini cab suitable for 2 or three family with light travel bags like, Wagoner, Alto etc. We cannot arrange shared jeeps because it is not reliable. Above all there are no direct shared jeeps to certain parts of Sikkim from pick up points. You have to break down your points while taking shared jeeps. For example if you are traveling to Yuksom for Goechala Trek or Dzongri Trek there are no direct shared jeeps from New Jalpaiguri Railway station NJP or Bagdogra Airport. First you have to reach silliguri junction from there you have to take a vehicle to Jorethang. (Jorethang is a small business town or main point that connects to most part of Sikkim.) Even though if you reach Jorethang than here comes another challenging part that is all the regular shared jeeps that comes to Jorethang from Yuksom Leave within 2:00 pm. So you have to be there within 1:00 or 2:00 an. Even after that there is no 100% guaranteed that you will get the shared jeeps because it is pre booked by locals by call and you should also keep one thing in mind that in tourist season most of the vehicles are pre-booked. So thinking about shared jeeps is not good at first place.
Transport is arranged in a Tata Sumo (or similar vehicle). Each cab costs Rs. 5500/-
If you request pre booking for pick up and drop along with trek or tour package than this statement is not applicable to you since Black Yak Expeditions will pay for the charges but in case if you have not asked for pick up and drop facilities than you should know that the transportation cost is additional, to be shared among the trekkers and paid directly to the drivers.
On the day of pickup at least do your best to be present at New Jalpaiguri Railway Station (NJP) or Bagdogra Airport within 9:00 Am or 10:00 Am. Incuse if we start late from this two points than we will reach certain trekking basecamps like Yuksom very Late at night and that can cause great inconvenience to you as we have to begin the trek early next morning. It takes around 6-7 hours from New Jalpaiguri Railway station NJP or Bagdogra airport to Yuksom. Expected arrival time at Yuksom is 5 pm. Due to ongoing constructions on the route and sometimes heavy traffic jams it can delay our travel on the route.
Depart from Yuksom early morning.
Black yak expeditions we will arrange reserved vehicle to drop trekkers to NJP railway station or Bagdogra airport.
The transportation cost from Yuksom to NJP/Bagdogra is additional, to be shared among trekkers and paid directly to the driver.
The approximately cost for reserved vehicle is Rs. 5,500/-
Expected arrival time at NJP/Bagdogra is 5 pm. It is wise for you to book your train/flight tickets late in the evening to give you enough buffer time. Or Plan extra days in your itinerary to avoid busy schedule.