A lesser known and beautiful multi-days trek in the Himalayas which is so special. Because there are not many places in this planet where you can see four of five highest mountains in the world in a single panoramic view. Yes, Phokteydara trek offers this exotic view! The fun become double when you walk amidst Rhododendron Sanctuary listening to chirping of birds. Due to the viewing angle from here Kanchenjunga and it’s group of mountains looks such a way one can clearly imagine that someone is sleeping! This rare view of Kanchenjunga is described by the local believers as the ‘Sleeping Budhdha’ formation. Apart from mountain pollution free air, refreshing forest walk and camping in moonlit night this trek has so many features. So if you want to lost somewhere in the Himalayas in search of peacefulness then this is the trek you are looking for.
In terms of the view of greater Himalayas, Sandakphu-Phalut Trek also offers similar view but Phokteydara Trek is known for wilderness and has 2 key points – Less crowd and more adventurous.
Day 1: Delhi/Mumbai to Bagdogra by plane, Drive to Uttarey.
Upon arrival our representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to Uttarey 155 km (6 hrs). En-route visit Kaluk valley. Uttarey is the westernmost corner of Sikkim and very close to Nepal border. Upon arrival check into your hotel/home-stay. Overnight in Uttarey.
*If you are coming from Gangtok then it will take around 6 hrs to reach here. You will visit Buddha Park, Ralang monastery and Singshore bridge on your way to Uttarey.
Day 2: Uttarey to Hageypani, 5 hrs
Today after breakfast we start our trek for Phokteydara. The initial one hour will be gradient walk after that it will be steep walk in dense forest. First we cross a small sherpa village on our way. Then we take a small trail and enter into a sanctuary. The name of this sanctuary is Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and it’s famous for Rhododendron flowers. Spread over 104 sq km this Sanctuary is famous for different types of Rhododendron flowers. The endangered Red Panda is also a prime attraction of this sanctuary. As we trek through and gain altitude, the vegetation also changes. You feel like walking in a fairy land and when you look right, you can see Mt. Kanchenjunga standing like a guardian. The state tree of Sikkim Rhododendron niveum can be seen this trail. Hageypani is small open area where we will camp for today. Overnight stay in tent accommodation.
Day 3: Hageypani to Kalijar, 5 hrs
You will wake up hearing the chirping of birds. The morning ambience is so nice here and as you breath the fresh air you feel the zeal inside. After breakfast we start our trek for Kalijar (3532 m) which is our stop for today. Today we also walk through alpine forest. You will get the beautiful view of Kanchenjunga along with other himalayan peaks on your way. Kalijar is a lovely campsite in this area and once we arrive here you can explore the surroundings. This forest below our campsite is famous for birdwatching. Beautiful scarlet minivet, fire-tailed myzornis, Plain-backed Thrush, rufous-vented tit, etc are some names amongst the various species of birds you see here. Overnight stay in tent accommodation.
Day 4: Kalijar to Singalila Pass exploration via Phokteydara.
Today we explore Singalila Pass via Phokteydara. Phokteydara is 30 min walk from Kalijar and you can experience a majestic 360 ‘ view of surrounding Himalayas from here. Not only Kanchenjunga, you can also see Everest, Makalu, Lhotse and other giant Himalayan peaks from here. From an angle you can also see Cho Oyu (8188 m) which is worlds sixth highest mountain. So from here you can see actually 5 of six highest mountains in the world in a single panoramic view! Also you can see other greater Himalayan peaks like Kabru, Talung, Nuptse, Baruntse and peaks from Bhutan. Enjoying this view we move towards the Singalila Pass which is another 45 min walk from here. We return to our campsite before lunch. In the afternoon we spend our time exploring local area. Overnight in tent accommodation.
Day 5: Kalijar to Uttarey via Chewabhanjan Pass, 6 hrs
After breakfast we start descending towards Uttarey via Chewabhanjan Pass (3142 m). It will be a different route and the walk will be through dense forest. On your way you will find many beautiful birds like fire tailed sun-bird, Scarlet minivet, Water redstart etc. The beauty of Mainibas falls is a prime attraction for today. It will take around 6 to reach Uttarey. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel/home-stay. Evening we celebrate our trek completion party at the hotel/home-stay. Overnight at Uttarey
Day 6: Adieos!
After breakfast we say goodbye to each other and start towards Airport/Railway station for your onwards journey. Your Phokteydara Trek comes to a happy ending!
- All airport/hotel transfers.
- Accommodation in 2 star, 3 star or 4 star hotel or Home-stay on twin sharing and single sharing with CPAI plan (Room + breakfast) basis in Uttarey.
- Accommodation and 3 meals a day (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner) during the trek.
- Morning and Evening Tea with snacks every day during trek.
- Professional and highly experienced English/Hindi speaking local mountain guide.
- All expenses for guide and porters.
- All necessary permits needed for the trek.
- Still and video camera charges.
*Note: Freshly prepared nutritious meals will be provided during the trek. You will have Indian and Nepali cuisines for your lunch and dinner mostly.
- Any personal nature of expenses such as telephone call, battery recharge, shopping, extra porters, beverages, laundry, etc.
- Your travel insurance.
- Any kind of insurance which covers medical or emergency evacuation, lost and theft expenses etc.
- Client’s Personal gear for the trek.
- Additional cost for delay which is out of management’s control like landslide, bad weather condition, itinerary modification with a view to safety concern, illness, change of government policy, political instability, strike, road blockade or any other natural calamities, etc.
- Tips for trekking staff and driver. (Tipping is not mandatory. It’s up to your satisfaction.)
- Anything that isn’t in the ‘include’ list.
Things to carry:
- Comfortable and warm clothes.
- Good backpack (50-60 L). If you want to offload your backpack then carry a daysack(20 L).
- Good quality trekking shoes, slippers and extra pair of socks.
- Rain Jacket/Poncho.
- First aid kit and basic medication (if any).
- Sunscreen lotion or any other skin moisturizers.
- Water bottles, backpack and energy bars/snacks.
- A pair of sunglasses.
- Headlamp (with spare batteries).
- Personal toiletries.
- Climatic conditions in the high altitude zone is different from the plains; take adequate time to get acclimatized to high altitudes.
- Pay attention to your guide to enjoy a safe and sound trekking experience.
- Do not consume alcohol or any other intoxicants during the trek.
- During night if you have to go outside of your tent then inform your tent mate or guide.
- Carry basic medications and a first-aid kit during the trek.
- It’s our responsibility to keep the nature clean. Please do not encourage littering the local places or campsites.
- While visiting any religious sites do not hurt the local sentiment and maintain quietness.
- You can offload your personal baggages for the whole trek at an additional cost.
- Tipping is not mandatory. It’s up to your satisfaction.
Frequently Asked Question
What is the best season for Phokteydara Trek?
You can visit almost anytime the year except the Monsoon (Jun 15 – Sep 15) but to be specific there are 2 best seasons for Phokteydara Trek. 1) The Spring season starting from April to mid June and if you visit this time you will get amazing blooming view of Rhododendrons and Magnolias in the forest.
2) The post monsoon season is starting from mid September to mid November. During this time the sky remains clear for days and you can get clear view of the mountains.
The winter season stats actually from late December. You can visit that time and experience another exotic snowbound view of Phokteydara which very few people have seen. But remember to trek in the winter you need to come up with good physical and mental preparation. The time for monsoon is from mid July to mid September. During monsoon the sanctuary stays close.
Is there any chance of getting snow?
If you visit during January then there is chance of getting snow/ice. From February to April first week you can get snow on the ridge.
What about the wildlife?
Phokteydara trek is in Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary which is famous for rich flora and fauna. The large animals are Asiatic black bear. However, they are very less seen in the trek routes. No wildlife attack on trekkers have been recorded so far. But it’s not advisable to go for unguided walks in this sanctuary.
Tell me about the difficulty of this trek?
The level of difficulty for the Phokteydara trek is MODERATE with the mixed sections of steep and gradual ascents and the trail passing through the alpine trees and forest covers. Please note that as it’s a high altitude trek, trekkers are expected to join with full mental and physical preparation.
What about the food and drinking water during this trek?
Nutritious veg meals along with the egg dishes and safe drinking water will be provided during the trek.
Can you tell me which type of shoes should I carry for this trek?
Please do not carry normal sports shoes. As you need the good traction during the trek a pair of good trekking shoes are recommended choice.
Tell me about the clothing and equipments needed for this trek.
Remember the temperature will be cold throughout the trek with the possibilities of rain. We highly recommend that you carry Down jacket, Thermal inner wear, Balaclava, Gloves, Raincoat/Poncho etc. It will be sub-zero condition at the night of Kalijar campsite, so prepare accordingly. Use layers for better insulation and don’t wear tight clothes. If you have more questions then let us know. We will be happy to assist you.
Sandakphu - Phalut Trek or Phokteydara Trek, which is the best?
Both of this trek offers similar greater Himalayan view. Sandakphu – Phalut Trek is a Tea house trek where trekkers stay at trekkers hut, family run guest-houses everyday. It’s also more popular that Phokteydara trek so you will see other trekkers also of you way. Sandakphu-Phalut trek is more about local cultural with Panoramic Himalayan mountains view.
On the other hand, Phokteydara trek is a camping trek where we pitch tents in our dedicated campsites. Since it’s a lesser-known trek you will hardly found any group here and that gives you complete serenity. Phokteydara trek is more about adventure with Panoramic Himalayan mountains view.