Yuksom Sikkim – The gateway to the mighty Kanchenjunga Peak

Goechala trek Yuksom Sikkim

Yuksom Sikkim – The road ends here!!! Why? Is it because the place is near to the Indian border? No, that’s not the reason. The mighty Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan peaks stand tall for miles just beyond the village, denying any possibility for even a single road to be constructed. Situated at an altitude of 1780 meter, it is a very small and peaceful town in North West Sikkim and was the state’s first capital.

Views from Yuksom Sikkim

Landscape view from Yuksom Sikkim

Yuksom is a gateway to Kanchenjunga National Park; hence it is quite popular among trekkers. At Kanchenjunga National Park one can choose from many treks available; Tashding, Dzongri and Goechala are the popular ones. With lush green surroundings, an array of monasteries, tranquil waterfalls and snow-capped mountains in the vicinity, it does not disappoint a non-trekker as well.

Views from Helipad Yuksom Sikkim

Valley view Yuksom Sikkim

How to reach Yuksom Sikkim

The cheapest and most preferred way to reach Yuksom is via railways and shared taxis. The nearest rail head is New Jalpaiguri (NJP) which is nearly 150 kms from Yuksom. NJP is well connected to major Indian cities (New Delhi, Guwahati, Kolkata etc.) via railways. For train bookings visit IRCTC.

Shared jeeps from NJP to Yuksom are rarely available from NJP or Siliguri. From (Sikkim National Transport) stand at Siliguri, you can catch a taxi for Jorethang. And from Jorethang you can get a taxi for Yuksom. Remember to reach SNT early morning, so you can reach Jorethang in time. The last taxi from Jorethang for Yuksom leaves at around 1 pm. Also, from SNT stand you can catch a taxi for Geyzing (1 or 2 in no.) and another taxi from Geyzing to Yuksom.

While you return, remember to wake up early as all taxis leave around 6-7 and are almost full.

Note: For those traveling to Yuksom from Gangtok, shared taxis are available for Geyzing.

How to reach Yuksom Sikkim

Getting around Yuksom

The town is very small and its beauty can be best enjoyed by wandering around on one’s feet. The entire town can be covered by walking for about 2 hours.

On way to Helipad Yuksom Sikkim

On way to Kanchenjunga National Park Yuksom

Planning to trek till Kanchenjunga base camp was the only reason that brought me to this beautiful village. But once on reaching, I was very much surprised that the small village had so much to offer, rather than just being a gateway to the Kanchenjunga National Park.

Landscape view Yuksom Sikkim

Breathtaking view at Yuksom Sikkim

Sadly, I had lost my trekking shoes on the way to Yuksom and therefore decided to do just a part of Goechala Trek (Kanchenjunga Base camp trek). That gave me few extra days to explore this amazing village.

Kanchenjunga National Park entry Yuksom Sikkim

Entrance to Kanchenjunga National Park Yuksom

The basic source of income for the locals is from visitors who stay here for a day or two before going further towards Kanchenjunga National park. I was surprised to see more foreign visitors than Indian Nationals. Guides, Yaks, porters, travel essential items and other stuff necessary for trekking can be found here.

Kanchenjunga National Park Yuksom Sikkim

Permit office Yuksom Sikkim

Walk till the place where the road ends, and you will reach a Helipad. From here you can witness the stunning view of the hamlet. Other than helipad, the various other attractions in Yuksom are Dubdi monastery, Kathok Lake, Kathok Monastery, Coronation Throne Of Norbugang and Phamrong waterfalls. More than the attractions, it’s the entire beauty of Yuksom which would make you fall in love with this place.

Kathok Monastery Yuksom Sikkim

Kathok Monastery Yuksom Sikkim

Before entering Kanchenjunga National Park, you need to obtain a permit from the office which is close to the park entrance. Trekking individually is strictly prohibited. Your porter or guide will arrange everything for you. For fees and more details, you can visit the Khangchendzonga National park website. I did trekking up to Tshoka.

Himalayan range Yuksom Sikkim

On way to Kanchenjunga Base Camp

Neither Bank nor ATM at Yuksom

There is no Bank or ATM facility at Yuksom. So remember to carry extra cash before visiting the place.

Dogs at Yuksom Sikkim

Dogs at Yuksom Sikkim

Stay option in Yuksom Sikkim

There are lots of trekkers from different countries, who visit Yuksom every year as it provides the access to base camp of Mt Kanchenjunga. Sikkim trekking industry has grown drastically in the recent years. Therefore, you can find few stay options here. Hotel Yangri Gang, Demazong, Limboo homestay, Lanam Cottage and Tashi Gang are the popular ones. I stayed at Demazong and after so much negotiation got a room for 300 INR/night.

Dubdi Monastery Yuksom Sikkim

Dubdi Monastery Yuksom Sikkim

Best time to visit Yuksom

The weather is pleasant throughout the year in Yuksom. However, if you are planning to trek till Kanchenjunga base camp, avoid the monsoon months of June-September and winter months of December- January. I visited Yuksom in October and the weather was amazing.

Goechala trek route Yuksom Sikkim

Somewhere on the trek

Food options in Yuksom Sikkim

Being a remote place, Yuksom has infrequent meat supplies. Therefore I would suggest staying away from eating non-vegetarian food. Do try Yak cheese Momos and Bamboo drink which are quite special here. Norliong and Yak restaurant are the popular places to dine. I also tried the food at Demazong. ( Hotel I stayed in). The food was prepared by the hotel owner’s family and it was pretty good.

Stay Place Goechala Trek Yuksom Sikkim

Such an Amazing place at Yuksom Sikkim

You can combine your Yuksom trip with nearby places like Pelling, Geyzing, Ravangla, Zero point, Gangtok, Darjeeling, Namchi, and Kalimpong.

You can check out my earlier posts on these places.

Onacheaptrip at Pelling Sikkim

Do follow me on Instagram as I am regularly posting travel posts and stories over there. Also, you can message me on Instagram if you want to join me on my next trip.

Are you looking for some essential travel gear? Check out my post on What’s in my Backpack.

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16 thoughts on “Yuksom Sikkim – The gateway to the mighty Kanchenjunga Peak

  1. Really informative article! I will be completing Goecha la in October and i’ve a few questions to ask, Till what point does the trek take you to now, which view point? Do you recommend to hire a local guide or go with a well reputed travel agency? A little information about the travel from NJP to Yuksom would be really helpful!

    1. Hey Akhil, Thank you so much!! That’s great to hear that you are planning for a Goecha la trip. The last point is Goecha la itself which is known as the Base camp of Mount Kanchenjunga. Yes, you can definitely hire a local guide for the same. You can find the same at Yuksom just at the entry of the national park.
      Shared jeeps from NJP to Yuksom are rarely available from NJP or Siliguri. From (Sikkim National Transport) stand at Siliguri, you can catch a taxi for Jorethang. And from Jorethang you can get a taxi for Yuksom. Remember to reach SNT early morning, so you can reach Jorethang in time. The last taxi from Jorethang for Yuksom leaves at around 1 pm. Also, from SNT stand you can catch a taxi for Geyzing (1 or 2 in no.) and another taxi from Geyzing to Yuksom.

  2. Hi,

    Do you have any contact no of your homestay? or any ones near by? Also of any trek guides?

    Is there an area where I can find budget Homstays in Yuksom?

    1. Hey, Sorry I don’t have any contact of Home-stay over there. Since Yuksom is very small town, there is nothing like specific area, you can just ask at the reception of few hotels over there for the rate and choose the one which you find cheap. Also there is an office at the entry of Kanchenjunga national park, you can ask for guide over there. Don’t worry once you reach the town, you will find everything easily over there. Hope that helps!! Happy travelling!! 🙂

  3. Hi! Thanks for the detailed information.
    We are planning a drive in to Sikkim this October. My car is Maruti Suzuki Wagon-R. Can you please enlighten about the road condition, whether it will be drive able for me right up to Yuksom or not?

    1. Thanks for the appreciation Rakesh!! I went to Yuksom in October 2016 and the roads were in pretty bad conditions as huge construction work was going on. I could mostly see the jeeps plying on that roads. I am not sure of the road conditions right now. But probably they wont be good either, be prepared for bumpy rides all the way 🙂 And I have a big doubt on how feasible it will be to take Wagon-R on such roads. Let me know that clarifies your doubts!! Happy travelling…cheers!!

      1. Thanks Abhishek.
        Bumpy road is not the issue actualy. Just it should not get stuck at any point. Wagon-R’s road clearance is a little higher than other hatch back cars but not like SUVs definitely.
        However, we would give it a try with consulting locals for road information beforehand.

  4. This article is brilliant and well detailed! Certainly helpful for me. I am going to Goecha La this year, I wanted to know, could you share some more information regarding travel from Yuksom to NJP? How long is the journey approximately? I was wondering what is the fastest possible way to get back to the city and eventually fly out from Bagdogra the same day.

    1. Thanks for appreciation 🙂 Only shared taxi is the mode of transport from Yuksom to Siliguri. Few of taxis ply from Yuksom to Jorethang(65 kms-3 hours – 7 AM), from where you can catch and catch another from Jorethang to Siliguri( many taxis).Once you reach Yuksom, remember to book return journey in advance as the taxis are mostly full and most of them leave around 7 AM. 1-2 taxi is also available which goes directly to Siliguri. So on the same day, you can definitely reach Bagdogra. Wish you a happy journey!!!

  5. Your articles are full in itself with every minute detailing. I don’t have to search anywhere else about a place when I am going on a trek or holiday. And your photography makes your posts very lively, which transports me to the place itself. Definitely you have a long way to go Abhishek. Keep exploring hidden places.

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