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Singalila Phoktey Dara Trek

07 Nights/08 Days
Price per person USD 670 - INR 32,500
Difficulty
Difficulty
Easy to Moderate
Duration
Duration
8 Days
Maximum Altitue
Maximum Altitue
3700 m / 12,140 ft
Pickup Point
Pickup Point
Bagdogra / NJP
Drop Point
Drop Point
Bagdogra / NJP
Base Camp
Base Camp
Uttarey
Min/Max Age
Min/Max Age
4 to 65 years
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
March to June & Sept to Dec

Trip Overview

One of the most beautiful easy to moderate trekking trails in Sikkim which offers panoramic and finest views of Kanchendzonga and the Everest group of a mountain range from Phoktey Dara viewpoint and the Singalila Ridge. Phoktey Dara is situated at the height of 3734 meters

Due to the proximity of the high Himalayas of Sikkim and Nepal side, the views of the Himalayan range from Phoktey Dara and Singalila pass are fascinating and sublime. One can witness the 4 highest peaks of the world from this trek such as Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchendzonga, Mt. Makalu, and Mt. Lhotse. Apart from the view of these highest peaks, one can even see the 360 degrees panorama of the snow-capped mountains, and the famous “sleeping buddha” formation of the Mt. Kanchendzonga ranges from the Phoktey Dara and Singalila Ridge.

One even gets the view of the Phalut and Sandhakphu campsite which falls along the same Singalila ridge on West Bengal and Nepal side, and Barsey Rhododendron sanctuary, and verdant forest of the eastern Himalaya from the hilltop of Phoktey Dara and Singalila Ridge.

Phoktey Dara trek route is inside the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and Singalila National Park. The trail throughout the trek is pristine, scenic, and adventurous and goes through the lush green temperate forest, mixed coniferous forest, subalpine birch fir, and conifer Forest to moist dry alpine scrubs. The forest is lively and rich in biodiversity and mostly remains wet and damp throughout the years. The sanctuary is 104 square km and is home to Red Panda, Barking Deer, Himalayan Black Bear, and many other rare Himalayan species. It is also home to many varieties of butterflies and is rich in birdlife. This trekking route is also famous among birding enthusiasts and nature photographers.

Phoktey Dara trek starts from the village of Uttarey situated at the far western corner of Sikkim which is closer to the international border with Nepal. This trek can also be extended towards Dzongri and Goechala Kanchendzonga route and end up at Yuksam.  

Itinerary

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    Day 1

    Bagdogra Airport/NJP Railway station to Uttarey (2012m/170 km/7-8 hrs drive) (Hotel/Homestay)

    Our staff will warmly receive you upon your arrival at Bagdogra Airport or NJP Railway station. Afterward, drive towards Uttarey through the beautiful adventurous NH 10 highway crossing Melli check post on the way. Uttarey is a beautiful Himalayan village situated at the far western corner of Sikkim at the Indo Nepal border. Upon arrival at Uttarey check in to the hotel and get refreshed. Evening free to explore the beautiful Uttarey village. Overnight stay at Hotel/Homestay

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    Day 2

    Uttarey to Achalay (2950m/12 km/6-7 hrs trek) (Camping) – B/L/D

    On the first day of the trek, you will be trekking through the beautiful dense sub-alpine forest of Rhododendron, Magnolia, and other varieties. In the beginning, you will be passing through a small typical Kagyud monastery, Sherpa village, Laminey pokhari, and Hillary park before you start stepping into the slightly higher ground from where you can get to see the beautiful valley of Uttarey and adjoining hills. The trail throughout the trek passes through a well-preserved dense forest rich in both flora and fauna with magnificent views of Mt. Kanchendzonga and Mt.Kumbakarna. Overnight Camping

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    Day 3

    Achalay to Kalijhar (3580m/9 km/5 hrs trek) (Camping) – B/L/D

    Today after breakfast you will trek towards the beautiful Kalijhar campsite. It’s quite an easy day trek but a little harder at the end. En route, you will enter the tropical alpine forest and rhododendron forest with a distinct view of Mt. Kanchendzonga and other snow-capped mountain peaks. The route today is rich in bio-diversity with varieties of plants and animal life. Himalayan herbs and exotic and rare species of flora and fauna are also abundantly available throughout the route even though they are not seen or sighted easily. One can hear the chirping of birds, the rushing sound of the cold wind, and stillness at every next corner during the trek. The route today to Kalijar will pass through Hageypani, Gurasey Dara, and Thulo Dhap. Overnight Camping.

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    Day 4

    Kalijhar to Danra Barkhey (3200m) via Phoktey Dara (3700m/5 hrs trek) (Camping) – B/L/D

    Today is the main day of the trek as you will be heading towards one of the most beautiful viewpoints of the Singalila range, Phoktey Dara Viewpoint. Wake Up early morning between 3-4 am and get ready to trek for 35-40 minutes to the hilltop with chilly cold wind to witness the most amazing view of sunrise along with the 360 degrees panoramic and a mind-blowing view of Mt. Kanchendzonga and its adjoining peaks within Sikkim. On the other side the great Mt. Everest, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Nuptse, and Dhaulagiri range in Nepal will give a soothing treat to your soul. Standing on the ridge of Phoktey Dara one not only catch sight of Mt. Kanchendoznga and Mt Everest range but also the Chola range along with the scintillating views of Nepal and Sikkim rural hamlets. After spending time at the viewpoint descend back and head towards Danra Barkhey. Danra Barkhey campsite is one of the beautiful locations to witness the Khangchendzonga range of mountain peaks adorned with the Rhododendron forest. Overnight Camping.

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    Day 5

    Danra Bharkhey to Deoningali Dhap (3140m/4-5 hrs trek) (Camping) – B/L/D

    Today after breakfast you will trek through a breath-taking view of the massive and Panoramic Mt. Kanchendzonga range and the Mt. Everest Range. The trail throughout the trek is of Conifer, Magnolia, Bamboo, and rhododendron forests. As you will mostly be descending today you will be leaving behind the alpine landscape and mountain ridge of Singalila every moment. Overnight Camping.

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    Day 6

    Deoningali Dhap to Barsey (3048m/4-5 hrs trek) (Camping) – B/L/D

    Today, you will hike through a soft romantic, and beautiful trekking trail till Barsey, a recognized Rhododendron Sanctuary famous for varieties of Rhododendron. Versey has one of the most beautiful campsites with a panoramic view of the Mt. Khangchendzonga range. Today you will witness the rich growth of ferns, mosses, lichens, shrubs, magnolias, primulas, Potentillas, poppies, and aconites while trekking through the verdant forest. The place is a natural habitation for Red Panda, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Blood Pheasant, and many other mammal species. Overnight stay at camp.

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    Day 7

    Barsey to Uttarey via Deoningali Dhap (2012m/5-6 hrs trek) (Homestay/Hotel) – B/L/D *OR* Barsey to Hilley (2743m) and Drive to Pelling (2150m/1 hrs trek/5 hrs drive) (Hotel stay)

    Today after breakfast you will be trekking through a less traversed route towards Uttarey. It is a beautiful trekking trail yet can be challenging due to its less-traveled nature and can be wet and damp with unclear paths. The trekking trail passes en route Deoningali Dhap and is beautiful and enjoyable with the virginity of the dense wild forest of Rhododendron on a mild slope way of walks. Overnight at Homestay/Hotel *OR* Today after breakfast, hike towards a beautiful hamlet Hilley. The trek from Barsey to Hilley is a relatively easy trek through a gorgeous Rhododendron forest with a magnificent view of Mt. Kanchendzonga. Apart from rich varieties of Rhododendrons, one can witness the growth of ferns, mosses, lichens, shrubs, magnolias, primulas, and potentillas throughout the verdant forest trail. It is also a popular location for spotting varieties of birds including colored Satyr Tragopan or Peasant, locally known as Kalij. Upon arrival at Hilley take a short break and drive towards Pelling. Overnight at Hotel/Homestay

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    Day 8

    Pelling to Airport/Railways Station

    After breakfast drive towards the Airport/Railway Station with wonderful memories

Trip Highlights

1) Phoktey Dara Viewpoint – One of the finest viewpoints in the whole of the Singalila range.

2) Highest mountains of the world - Stunning and Panoramic views some of the highest mountains in the world such as Mt. Everest, Mt.Lhotse, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Kanchendzonga, and many others.

3) Sleeping Buddha mountain view – The famous sleeping buddha formation of Mt. Kanchendzonga and its group of peaks is seen from this Trek

4) Rhododendron – Pristine and undisturbed forest of Rhododendrons. Many varieties of Rhododendrons are found.

5) Flora and Fauna – Many endangered and exotic animals and plants are found

6) Less explored Himalayan trail – The particular trekking trail is pristine and less explored

7) Uttarey - A typical Himalayan village settlement and a starting point of Uttarey Chewabhangyang Trek. The Village falls right near the Nepal Border name Chewa Bhangyang.

8) Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary – Spreading across 104 Square km Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary is home to large varieties of Rhododendron flowers and home to numerous endangered mammal species such as Red Panda, Barking Deer, Himalayan Black Beer, Marbled Cats, etc. 

 

Health and Fitness

You have to be Relatively Fit and Healthy to undertake the Singalila Phoktey Dara trek. Trekking for 4 to 6 hours a day is one of the most important requirements for this high-altitude trek. Apart from good health conditions basic mental preparation is also very important to undertake this Trek.

People suffering from Acute Heart and Lung diseases, Asthma, and High blood pressure are not recommended to take up this trek. However, since this is one of the easiest high altitude trekking routes available with a gradual height gain it can be done with proper professional guidance and preparation.

To complete this high-altitude trek regular exercises like running, skipping, aerobics, Zumba, and long-distance uphill trekking (4 to 5 times a week) are highly recommended. One should start making basic physical preparation at least a month before a trek. These exercises help you during the Trek.

The packing of right and comfortable clothing also makes a difference in the completion of Trek, so it is necessary to be disciplined while packing your clothing for the trip. You can contact us for help with clothing choice and packing!

During the Trek, we provide a basic medicine Kit that includes Medicine for High Altitude sickness, Headache, Diarrhoea, Vomiting, Common Cold, etc. All of our medicine is scientific medicine purchased in India, however, we advised you to bring your small medicinal kit for the trip if possible. 

Trekking/Tour Tips

1. A common tendency among young blood and beginners is to show enthusiasm by walking fast with excitement. Even the experienced sometimes try to show off by walking fast, this is soon exhausting and not recommended. Walk slow - warm up gradually and continue at a slow comfortable pace before pushing yourself a little more.

2. Develop a personal rhythm. Maintain your steps to synchronize with breathing. This will help minimize getting out of breath.

3. Walking in Himalayan trails with loose soil and rocks is tricky. So, avoid stepping on loose soil and rocks and place the foot flat and firm with a better grip. Always follow the rule ‘heel first’ while walking on the Himalaya trail. 

4. Walking in a zigzags manner while ascending on a very steep slope is advisable. While descending walking zigzag is a good technique to avoid excessive pressure on knees and avoid knee pain and blisters.  

5. Avoid stepping on loose stones and soil to avoid an accident.

6. Avoid overtaking fellow travelers on a narrow trail. Only Overtake at comfortable wide space if necessary. 

7. While ascending and descending a slope or over loose stones, leave sufficient space between the next person so that any stone rolling down does not hit trekkers below.

8. Do not run down a slope. Bend knees a little while descending. Dig heels into soft snow or soft ground.

9. Our Himalayan condition is mostly wet so avoid wet grass, wet roots, and the muddy zone which can be very slippery. Be careful while walking on them.

10. Shortcuts on a foot trail should be avoided.

11. Always put on warm clothing while taking a rest. This will help avoid getting cold, cough, and high-altitude sickness

12. Respect the sentiments and traditions of the local hill people.

13. Always carry enough water in your water bottle as water is essential in avoiding altitude sickness.

14. Wear a comfortable and right set of trekking boots, pants, and jackets. Avoid wearing new trekking boots directly for the Trek. Get used to it by wearing it before the trek. Carry all necessary clothing.

 Halts and Rests:

1. While taking a rest, lie against a tree trunk, a big stone, or on flat ground. Place your legs on your bags or any other higher ground. This helps regulate blood circulation.

2. Stop at any comfortable point after the first start to readjust your rucksack, jackets, or tie a shoelace for better comfort and adjustment.

3. Do not make frequent or prolonged halts. Too many small stops destroy the walking rhythm. Frequent rests are not helpful. You should follow your own rhythmic walking pace and technique to avoid unnecessary tiredness. A stop should be made only at natural stopping points, like on the top of a ridge, or before an ascent, or at a scenic viewpoint.

4. Stop and place yourself on the safer (Mountain) side to give way for the pack animals to pass through. Avoid bags carried by the animals that can push you. Be aware of the yak's horn too. 

 

Inclusion / Exclusion

SERVICES INCLUDED:

1) HIGH ALTITUDE TREKKING PERMITS/PERMISSION
2) LOCAL ENGLISH-SPEAKING GUIDE
3) EXPERIENCED LOCAL COOK
4) LOCAL PORTERS
5) PACK ANIMALS
6) 2 MEN TENTS / HUTS
7) KITCHEN & DINING TENTS
8) SLEEPING BAGS
9) MATTRESSES
10) HOT WATER BAGS
11) NATIONAL PARK FEES AND PERMISSION
12) TOURISM FEES AND PERMISSION
13) ENVIRONMENTAL FEES
14) ALL MEALS AND DRINKS THROUGHOUT THE TREK  
15) TABLE & CHAIR
16) BASIC MEDICINAL KITS

SERVICES EXCLUDED:

1) INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC FLIGHT TICKETS
2) TRANSPORTATION TO / FRO STARTING & ENDING LOCATION
3) INSURANCE OF ANY NATURE
4) ALCOHOL AND BEVERAGES
5) TIPS AND GIFTS
6) PERSONAL SHOPPING COST
7) ANYTHING NOT INCLUDED IN INCLUDED LIST

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

HOW TO REACH UTTAREY?
The closest Airport and Railway station to Uttarey, Sikkim is PAKYONG AIRPORT & BAGDOGRA AIRPORT / NJP Railway station. You have to fly either to Bagdogra Airport or Pakyong Airport or board a train to NJP Railways station. From there you can drive to Uttarey with a private reserve vehicle.

Pakyong Airport is around 7 hours’ drive and Bagdogra Airport / NJP Railways station is around 8 hours’ drive from Uttarey.

WHAT GEARS AND CLOTHING TO CARRY FOR SINGALILA PHOKTEY DARA TREK?
No matter what season you are planning for the mountains are always going to be cold, rough, and tough so it is necessary to pack yourself with adequate and proper clothing. Here is the standard kit checklist for the Trek.

Proper packing of the trekking gears is necessary with eyes on the weight limit. It is important to have a good brand of clothing.

Basic Gears:
BackPack & rain cover or Duffel bag (50 to 70 ltr)
Day Pack & rain cover (20 to 30 ltr)
Walking stick (1 pair or at least one)
Water Bottle (2 bottles of 2 ltr each)
Thermos flask (1 nos)
Head Light (1 Nos with 4 pairs of batteries)
Gaiters (1 pair)

Upper and Lower Clothings:
T-Shirt (2 to 3 full sleeves). Mostly noncotton
Fleece T-shirt (1 nos)
Thermal Inner-wears or base layers (1 nos or 1 pair) such as long jones
Fleece Jacket (1 nos)
Down, Feather, or Holofil Jackets (1 nos)
Wind and Waterproof jackets & pants (1 pair)
Trekking Pants (1 pair). Comfortable and durable
Short Trekking Pants (1 nos or 1 pair)
Poncho (1 nos)

Headgears:
Woolen cap (1 nos)
Sun cap (1 nos)
Balaclava or scarf (1 nos)
Sunglasses (1 nos) U/V protected and dark

Hand gears:
Waterproof gloves (1 nos)
Woolen gloves (1 nos)

Feet gears:
Waterproof Trekking boots (1 nos) preferably ankle high Goretex, North face, Colombia or Quechua
Snickers or running shoes (1 nos) preferably from any reputed brand
Gaiters (1 nos)
Sandals or flippers (1 nos)
Cotton socks (4 pairs)
Woolen socks (2 pairs)

Personal utilities:
Sunscreen cream
Moisturizers
Hand sanitizers
Toilet papers and wipes
Anti-bacterial powders
Lip balm
Toothbrush and toothpaste

Proper packing of the trekking gears is necessary with eyes on the weight limit. It is important to have a good brand of clothing.

CAN I EXIT HILLEY / UTTAREY ON THE LAST DAY OF THE TREK DIRECTLY?
Yes, you can if you are looking to reach any other location near to these places OR if it is too urgent and necessary. Driving to Airport and Railway directly after the trek is not recommended.

We will advise not to plan to leave HILLEY /UTTAREY directly after the last day of Trek as it will be too tiring and hectic. Driving at night on the Himalayan road is not comfortable and enjoyable.

The earliest you will reach Hilley on the last day of the trek is around noon and Uttarey at 3 pm so long hours drive thereafter is not possible.

CAN I LEAVE EXTRA BAGS AT UTTAREY AND COLLECT THEM ON THE LAST DAY OF THE TREK?
Yes, you can keep a bag of clothes at Uttarey and collect it after the trek. We will advise you to leave one set of clothing for the last day as normally pack animals arrive late on the last day of the trek.

You can even keep valuables and cash at our office safely and collect them after the trek.

WHAT DOCUMENTS NEED TO BE CARRIED?
Indian trekkers must carry identification documents such as VOTER ID CARRD, DRIVING LICENSE, AADHAR CARD, INDIAN PASSPORT. Original documents need to be carried along with 4 pcs PASSPORT SIZE photograph.

Foreigners need to carry INDIAN VISA, PASSPORT & SIKKIM INNER LINE PERMIT along with 4 pcs PASSPORT SIZE photographs.

A medical fitness certificate is also mandatory.

IS THERE CONNECTIVITY DURING THE SINGALILA PHOKTEY DARA TREK?
There is no phone connectivity during the Singalila Phoktey Dara trek. Uttarey is the last village where you can get a good phone and internet connection.

At certain specific locations between Uttarey to Achalley, you can get Vodafone, Airtel, and Jio networks. Even at certain other locations, you can get a phone network if the weather condition is favorable.

There is no electricity throughout the Singalila Phoktey Dara trek.

HOW IS THE WEATHER & TEMPERATURE DURING THE SINGALILA PHOKTEY DARA TREK?
There are two distinct seasons for doing Singalila Phoktey Dara Trek. Mid-March, April to May (Spring) and Mid-September, October to November (Autumn). Normally weather remains good and clear in those given periods however there is no guarantee as weather is extremely unpredictable in our Himalayas and does change within hours and days.

The temperature at each campsite depends largely on each day's specific weather condition.

Spring (Mid-March, April till May)
* Uttarey and around
Morning and Evening – 12 to 16 degrees centigrade
Day time – 18 to 24 degrees centigrade
Late Evening and Mid Night – 8 to 14 degrees centigrade

* Achalley, Kalijhari around and above
Morning and Evening – 4 to 12 degrees centigrade
Day time – 12 to 18 degrees centigrade
Late Evening and Mid Night – minus 10 to 4 degrees centigrade

Autumn (Mid-September, October till November)
* Uttarey and around
Morning and Evening – 8 to 14 degrees centigrade
Day time – 16 to 21 degrees centigrade
Late Evening and Mid Night – 2 to 10 degrees centigrade

* Achalley, Kalijhari around and above
Morning and Evening – minus 8 to 10 degrees centigrade
Day time – 2 to 14 degrees centigrade
Late Evening and Mid Night – minus 15 to 2 degrees centigrade

 

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