There are two seasons to do the Goechala trek. April-May and then September end to November. These are the only four months during which the Goechala trek is accessible. And out of these, autumn is a better time to be on the trek.
I'll tell you why.
Trek in autumn for mountain views
The biggest reason to do the Goechala trek is the grand views of big mountains that you see. You don’t just see one summit — the Kanchenjunga. But 14 other big summits. That’s a lot for any trek — especially as close to the eyes as on the Goechala trek. It is no wonder trekkers consider Goechala to be the closest to the big mountain treks of Nepal.
Autumn colours on Goechala trek. Photo by Hassan Kumar
Yet, to see the big mountains you need clear views. It is only in Oct-Nov with the haze out of the way that you get the best views. The mountains are razor sharp, the sunrises and sunsets jaw dropping. For photographers it is always Oct-Nov. Like any season, there are flip sides too. Oct-Nov is early winter in India. The air is crisp and cold. Temperatures dip to minus beyond Thansing. Early winter snows could block the final access to Goechala on some days. Yet, with all its flips, Goechala is best done in Oct-Nov.
Trek in spring for snow and rhododendrons
While autumn definitely has an edge. Spring on Goechala cannot be overlooked. It has its own charm.
Choose April-May if you are really bent on trekking in summer. The snows have just melted, the meadows have a touch of green, the Rhododendrons are out in bloom. The flip side: Even though April-May are non-rainy months, the trek is often wet. Clouds and bad weather often come in way of the grand views.
Camping at Thansing in summer. Photo by Sourav Mukherjee
Goechala is one of the most famous treks in the north-east. Doing it in either seasons is rewarding. But if it comes to choosing one -- then autumn has an edge over spring due to the mountain views.