So you’ve decided to take the Sandakphu Trek in Sikkim, and you know that it won’t be easy to prepare for the challenge! With some planning and preparation, though, you can be fully prepared to conquer this mountainous trek and enjoy every step of your journey. Here are the top tips for planning your Sandakphu Trek in Sikkim in 2023!
What You Need to Know About the Sandakphu Trek
The Sandakphu trek, an advanced trek that takes you to some of Sikkim’s most stunning views, is now an official government trail. And even though it’s only been recognized as a legitimate route within recent years, it’s already one of Sikkim’s most famous treks. That said, it’s still not easy—in fact, it can be quite challenging at times. But if you have time and are looking for a challenge (and breathtaking views), then read on!
In Which Season Should I Do the Trek?
When planning a trek of any kind, one of your first questions will probably be when should I go? If you’re looking to tackle Sandakphu Trek, like so many other trekkers each year, then it’s important to note that July is one of the best months on average for good weather. The temperatures during these summer months can reach upwards of 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit), which makes hiking much more comfortable. Additionally, monsoon season doesn’t typically begin until August or September, meaning there won’t be heavy rain and snowfall to contend with.
How Long Does it Take to Reach Keokradong peak?
The Sandakphu trek is one of Sikkim’s most popular treks, which climbs to a sacred peak and monastic complex—Keokradong. Depending on your speed, your trip could take anywhere from two days to five days or more (your pace will largely depend on how many breaks you take along the way). If you decide to hire porters (strongly recommended), then there’s an additional day added onto your journey.
What Training Do I Need?
As with any extreme physical activity, if you’re going to be trekking to 16,500 feet—the peak of Sandakphu (or Mt. Khangchendzonga) in Sikkim—you need proper training. But what kind? On a very basic level, if you haven’t climbed a mountain before, there are some things you need to know: What kind of health issues should I be concerned about?
What Kind of Clothes Should I Wear?
The Himalayas tend to be cooler than other mountain ranges, meaning you’ll want to pack long sleeves and pants. These types of clothes are better suited for trekking as well. For footwear, don’t bring flip-flops or sandals, as your feet will be walking over sharp rocks; wearing sturdy boots is a much safer option.
What Gear Should I Bring?
Although you can buy a pack and trekking poles at your destination, it’s worth having them with you when planning your trip. Don’t forget some first-aid items such as blister tape and mole skin, too—you don’t want to risk getting blisters on a hike of uncertain length. It is also useful to pack certain foods that are light and easy to carry (and tasty). At least two water bottles should be included; one large enough to fill up at streams along your path. Finally, make sure that you bring warm clothes and waterproof gear (just in case). For example, rather than wearing cotton socks or long underwear (which can soak through with water), bring synthetic or wool options instead.
Choosing a Guide Service Provider
There are a number of tour operators that offer tours in and around Sikkim, but it’s worth doing some research to figure out who you want to go with. Decide whether you’d like to walk independently or if you prefer having a guide service (such as Adventure Alternative). There are pros and cons to each: having a guide can be great because they can act as your liaison with local villagers and may offer suggestions on what else you might want to do while in town. But keep in mind that not all guides will hike at exactly your pace, and there is potential for issues if they have other people they need to get back on schedule.
Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before Doing my First Hike
Tips to Make Your First Hike a Successful One – Whether you’re attempting an overnight trek, a day hike, or anything in between, there are some things that can make it easier—and safer—for you. These tips will help you master your first excursion and prepare you for bigger challenges on future adventures.