Difficulty

Difficult

Duration

10 Days

Highest Altitude

15,015 ft

Age

13 to 55 years

Duration

10 Days

Age

13 to 55 years

Difficulty

Difficult

Highest Altitude

15,015 ft

optional additions

Trek fee

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Dafeybhir Pass Trek

Trek to Sikkim's Best Kept Secret

Dafeybhir Pass (also called Danphebir La or Dafeybhir La) is a high altitude pass at approximately 15,000 ft. The name means ‘Mountain of the Himalayan Monals’.

The Dafeybhir Pass trek takes you close to the Sleeping Buddha range (Mt Kanchenjunga and its family of peaks). So close that the view you get from Phalut seems miles away in comparison.

The next best thing on this trek is a plethora of azure alpine lakes near the Pass that will leave you wanting more.

While these remain the major highlights of the trek, many other elements make this trek one of the most challenging and thrilling treks in Sikkim.

First is the region itself. Trekking in Sikkim has a unique charm to it. Unlike our treks in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim is very different in its landscape. It is a treasure trove of natural resources and has a rich cultural history. Right from the time you enter Sikkim, you will be taken aback by these differences.

Next, the trek is a mix of everything that you can imagine. It has beautiful Rhododendron, Fir, Oak and Bamboo forests, thrilling ridge walks, graciously flowing rivers, precarious trails, extremely long and steep ascents and descents, up-close mountain views, and stunning high altitude alpine lakes. You name it, the Dafeybhir Pass trek has got it all!

But these rewards come with greater challenges. The trek is not easy by any means. Right from the start, you gain altitude quickly. Add to this the tricky terrain through rocks and boulders, extremely cold campsites because of no tree cover for most of the trek, and lack of water sources on multiple days, Dafeybhir Pass will knock the wind out of you!

This trek is suitable for extremely fit, experienced trekkers who are used to the hardships of a high altitude trek.

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Trek fee

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Quick Itinerary

A route map of the Dafeybhir Pass trek

Day 1

Drive from NJP / Bagdogra to Uttarey

Drive Distance: 160 km | Duration: 6-7 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: NJP railway station / Bagdogra airport

Transport will be arranged at 9.30 AM. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of cab – Rs.7,000 per vehicle, shared among 5-6 trekkers.

Day 2

Trek from Uttarey to Chittrey

Trek Distance: 6.20 km | Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Gain: 6,400 ft to 8,670 ft

Moderate. Trek through the rhododendron forests that ascend gradually, with the last kilometer getting steeper. Sapa Khola serves as the water source all along the way.

Day 3

Trek from Chittrey to Gairi

Trek Distance: 6.50 km | Duration: 8 hours | Altitude Gain: 8,670 ft to 11,410 ft

Difficult. Steep ascent for the first 2.5 kilometers through Oak, Rhododendrons and Bamboo forests with an almost 3,000 ft of ascent. Water source is available only till Chewabhanjang. Refill your water bottles before entering the ridge zone.

Day 4

Trek from Gairi to Dhoor

Trek Distance: 4.30 km | Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Gain: 11,410 ft to 12,300 ft

Easy. Ridge walk on rolling terrain all through. There are no water sources closer to Dhoor. You will have to take a detour of half a kilometre to reach the water source.

Day 5

Trek from Dhoor to Pahadimegu

Trek Distance: 8 km | Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Gain: 12,300 ft to 12,645 ft

Moderate. Long walk on the ridge till Pahadimegu. There is a water source at Pahadimegu only in Spring. It might dry up in Autumn, in which case the nearest water source is about a kilometre away, towards the forest.

Day 6

Trek from Pahadimegu to Lampokhri

Trek Distance: 7.20 km | Duration: 8 hours | Altitude Gain: 12,645 ft to 14,205 ft

Moderate - Difficult. Gradual walk on rolling, rocky and muddy terrain with a 2,000 ft ascent. Lampokhri lake and a few other small lakes are the water sources on this day.

Day 7

Trek from Lampokhri to Dafeybhir Pass via Lakshmi Pokhri and Zumley Pokhri; back to Lampokhri

Trek Distance: 9.40 km | Duration: 12 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 14,205 ft to 15,015 ft; back to 14,205 ft

Difficult. A series of ascents and descents while exploring different lakes around Dafeybhir Pass. Multiple water sources along the way. Ensure you refill your water bottles at all these sources as it is a long day.

Day 8

Trek from Lampokhri to Naya Pataal

Trek Distance: 9.40 km | Duration: 7 hours | Altitude Loss: 14,205 ft to 8,155 ft

Difficult. A steep descent of 6,000 ft in a single day will take a toll on your knees. Take it really slow. Refill your water bottles at Lampokhri as you have water sources only closer to Naya Pataal.

Day 9

Trek from Naya Pataal to Senkhola

Trek Distance: 5.20 km | Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Loss: 8,155 ft to 5,560 ft

Moderate. Rolling descent for 2,500 ft through Rhododendron, Silver Fir and Bamboo forests. Senkhola river flows along with you, which acts as your water source for the day.

Day 10

Drive to NJP/Bagdogra back from Senkhola

Drive Distance: 155 km | Duration: 6-7 hours | Drop off point Indiahikes trekkers: NJP railway station / Bagdogra airport

This transport cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of cab – Rs.7,000 per vehicle, shared among 5-6 trekkers.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges

- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent

- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

A route map of the Dafeybhir Pass trek

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

There are two ways to reach your pick-up point -- reach NJP railway station by taking a train, or reach Bagdogra airport by taking a plane. If you cannot reach the pick-up point before 9.30 AM on Day 1 of the trek, plan your travel in such a way that you reach NJP / Bagdogra the previous day (Day 0) and stay for the night.

Return Travel

While returning, you will reach NJP / Bagdogra by 5.00 PM. Plan your travel any time after 8.00 PM from NJP railway station / Bagdogra airport.

Day 1

Drive from NJP / Bagdogra to Uttarey

Drive Distance: 160 km | Duration: 6-7 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: NJP railway station / Bagdogra airport

Transport will be arranged at 9.30 AM. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of cab – Rs.7,000 per vehicle, shared among 5-6 trekkers.

Day 2

Trek from Uttarey to Chittrey

Trek Distance: 6.20 km | Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Gain: 6,400 ft to 8,670 ft

Moderate. Trek through the rhododendron forests that ascend gradually, with the last kilometer getting steeper. Sapa Khola serves as the water source all along the way.

Day 3

Trek from Chittrey to Gairi

Trek Distance: 6.50 km | Duration: 8 hours | Altitude Gain: 8,670 ft to 11,410 ft

Difficult. Steep ascent for the first 2.5 kilometers through Oak, Rhododendrons and Bamboo forests with an almost 3,000 ft of ascent. Water source is available only till Chewabhanjang. Refill your water bottles before entering the ridge zone.

Day 4

Trek from Gairi to Dhoor

Trek Distance: 4.30 km | Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Gain: 11,410 ft to 12,300 ft

Easy. Ridge walk on rolling terrain all through. There are no water sources closer to Dhoor. You will have to take a detour of half a kilometre to reach the water source.

Day 5

Trek from Dhoor to Pahadimegu

Trek Distance: 8 km | Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Gain: 12,300 ft to 12,645 ft

Moderate. Long walk on the ridge till Pahadimegu. There is a water source at Pahadimegu only in Spring. It might dry up in Autumn, in which case the nearest water source is about a kilometre away, towards the forest.

Day 6

Trek from Pahadimegu to Lampokhri

Trek Distance: 7.20 km | Duration: 8 hours | Altitude Gain: 12,645 ft to 14,205 ft

Moderate - Difficult. Gradual walk on rolling, rocky and muddy terrain with a 2,000 ft ascent. Lampokhri lake and a few other small lakes are the water sources on this day.

Day 7

Trek from Lampokhri to Dafeybhir Pass via Lakshmi Pokhri and Zumley Pokhri; back to Lampokhri

Trek Distance: 9.40 km | Duration: 12 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 14,205 ft to 15,015 ft; back to 14,205 ft

Difficult. A series of ascents and descents while exploring different lakes around Dafeybhir Pass. Multiple water sources along the way. Ensure you refill your water bottles at all these sources as it is a long day.

Day 8

Trek from Lampokhri to Naya Pataal

Trek Distance: 9.40 km | Duration: 7 hours | Altitude Loss: 14,205 ft to 8,155 ft

Difficult. A steep descent of 6,000 ft in a single day will take a toll on your knees. Take it really slow. Refill your water bottles at Lampokhri as you have water sources only closer to Naya Pataal.

Day 9

Trek from Naya Pataal to Senkhola

Trek Distance: 5.20 km | Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Loss: 8,155 ft to 5,560 ft

Moderate. Rolling descent for 2,500 ft through Rhododendron, Silver Fir and Bamboo forests. Senkhola river flows along with you, which acts as your water source for the day.

Day 10

Drive to NJP/Bagdogra back from Senkhola

Drive Distance: 155 km | Duration: 6-7 hours | Drop off point Indiahikes trekkers: NJP railway station / Bagdogra airport

This transport cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of cab – Rs.7,000 per vehicle, shared among 5-6 trekkers.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges

- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent

- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

There are two ways to reach your pick-up point -- reach NJP railway station by taking a train, or reach Bagdogra airport by taking a plane. If you cannot reach the pick-up point before 9.30 AM on Day 1 of the trek, plan your travel in such a way that you reach NJP / Bagdogra the previous day (Day 0) and stay for the night.

Return Travel

While returning, you will reach NJP / Bagdogra by 5.00 PM. Plan your travel any time after 8.00 PM from NJP railway station / Bagdogra airport.

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Dafeybhir Pass trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder

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Trekking transforms lives. It has completely changed my life. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible. 

I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences. 

I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.

In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.  

Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine.

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Highlights

Highlights of the Dafeybhir Pass Trek

1. The Sleeping Buddha

If there is just one highlight on the Dafeybhir Pass trek, it has to be the view of the Sleeping Buddha. This trek takes you as close as you can get to seeing the sleeping Buddha formation of Mt Kanchenjunga and its family of mountains without breaking it.

While we agree the same can be seen from the Sandakphu – Phalut trek, we were blown away by the proximity at which we were seeing these mountains.

Our Slope Manager, Akshay Upreti says, "This trek probably offers the closest views of Mt Kanchenjunga while still retaining Sleeping Buddha formation. While Goechala trek takes one closer to the range, one can not see the Sleeping Buddha formation."

A sea of clouds form below you as the first light of the sun hits the Kanchenjunga massif. Picture by Akshay Upreti

2. The Alpine Lakes

Next, the alpine lakes at more than 14,000 ft take our vote as a major highlight on the Dafeybhir Pass trek. There are not just one or two, but more than five alpine lakes that you can explore near the Dafeybhir Pass.

You’ll be camping right next to Lampokhri, a huge azure lake that shines under the clear sky in Spring and Autumn, but turns milky white after freezing in Winter.

Along with Lampokhri, there are Lakshmi Pokhri, the twin lakes of Zumley Pokhri, Timbu Pokhri and many other small, unnamed lakes sprinkled all around Dafeybhir Pass.

Lampokhri Lake remains frozen till the end of winter, just below Dafeybhir Pass. Picture by Akshay Upreti

3. The thrill of trekking along the Indo-Nepal Border

For more than half of the trek, you will trek along the border of India and Nepal. Many a time you will find yourself placing one foot in India and the other foot in Nepal!

The only other trek that provides this experience is Sandakphu - Phalut.

While you are trekking on the ridge that separates the two countries, you are treated to unobstructed views of Mt Everest cluster on your left, and Mt Kanchenjunga cluster straight ahead.

A milestone that says 'Nepal' at the Indo-Nepal border on the Dafeybhir Pass trail. Picture by Akshay Upreti

4. The beautiful Rhododendron, Oak, Fir and Bamboo forests

A trek is incomplete without the existence of magical forests on the trail. And the Dafeybhir Pass trek has them in abundance.

Right from Day 1, you’ll trek inside the Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary which is lit with scarlet, pink, and yellow rhododendrons throughout the Spring season. Along with rhododendrons, the forests are filled with silver oak, fir and bamboo trees that keep you company.

You enter the rhododendron forests again on the last day of the trek which is a sight for sore eyes!

Forests in such abundance naturally attract a lot of birds, which in turn makes them a birder’s paradise.

The Dafeybhir Pass trail is filled with rhododendron, oak, fir and bamboo forests that keep you company on the trek. Picture by Akshay Upreti

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Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Dafeybhir Pass trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

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PRO TIPS

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Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Dafeybhir Pass

Leaving the Mountains Better

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of the waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing the use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.

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