Be ready to be weirded out, max, by what Sandakphu means. After all, it is not every day that you think of trekking to the “Peak of the poison plants.” Jokes apart, Sandakphu got its name from the multiple poisonous genera of the nearby plants. Now, you would have had to worry about it had you been a cattle feeding on these. Luckily or unluckily, you aren’t, and hence with its brightly colored flowers and stunning views, Sandakphu Trek makes for a fantastic trek for you.

sandakphu trek

A relatively easy trek, Sandakphu trek’s summit is reached at an elevation of 3,637 m (11,932 ft) as the Singalila Ridge. What makes the Sandakphu trek unique is the panoramic view that it offers, with 4 out of 5 highest peaks of the world visible. So, you can clearly see Mt Kanchenjunga, Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, and Mt. Makalu at the dawn break. The view from Sandakphu stretches west to east and consists of peaks from Nepal, Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, and Arunachal. You will love the dazzle of the bright red-pink-golden hues of the rising sun as the dawn breaks at the altitude, eventually engulfing the valley below.

sandakphu trek route

So, that was about the Sandakphu trek in short. Let us start with the essential bits about the Sandakphu trek.

Major places to visit on the Sandakphu Trek

1. Chitrey

This ultra beautiful mountain town is located 3 m from Manebhanjan and serves as the base camp for Sandakphu trek.  The city hosts a historic Buddhist monastery. Remember to have Maggi, momos, and noodles here- you’ll love them.

2. Tumling

A beautiful hamlet with equally stunning vistas, this place offers good lodging and is usually the first stop on the trek. In addition to enjoying the picture-perfect view of the Kanchenjunga, you can use your time here to mingle with the locals and try the native cuisine.

3. The Sleeping Buddha (Mt Kanchenjunga)

You’ll be able to see this majestic mountain right from the start of the trek. However, it starts playing hide and seek after a while. Be on the lookout, though, as you’ll love what you see.

sleeping buddha

4. Singalila national park

One of the most visited locations in West Bengal, the Singalila National Park has leopards, red panda (YESS!!!), yellow-throated marten, barking deer, and wild boar, among others. This national park also has several exotic bird species, such as the satyr tragopan, the scarlet minivet, the kalij pheasant, and the blood pheasant. 

red panda

5. Srikhola

The Srikhola river comes when you are trekking back from Sandakphu. A beautiful place to be, the river forms a part of the Singalila National Park, and many people get to see a red panda or two here.

The Best time to visit Sandakphu Trek

The Sandakphu trek again can be done at any time of the year. However, we are listing what the weather is like in the respective seasons so you can take your pick.

Sandakphu Trek in April (Spring)

It is the spring season here, and you will love the blossoming rhododendrons covering the entire stretch. The place is vibrant around this time, and the wildlife can be seen too.

PS: The park is closed to tourists from 16 June to 15 September every year on account of the monsoons. 

Sandakphu Trek in October-November (Autumn)

Autumn is usually the best time to visit the Sandakphu trek. The sky is generally clear and gives an extremely clear view of the mountains and the spectacular scenery. If you want to see some snow, you should trek around January and February.

Let us have a look at the weather that the trek experiences.

  • Temperatures in December: The lowest temperature can go to about -9 degrees and a high of a maximum of 7 degrees. 
  • The weather in January/February is colder and may drop to -11 degrees at night. There may also be moderate snowfall, but it would not be a hindrance to the trek.
  • The weather in March and April is comparatively pleasant and comfortable, with the lowest being -3 degrees in March. In April, though, the lowest goes to 1 degree, and the highest can be as much as 16 degrees.

sandakphu trek

How to get to Sandakphu

The options are daily straightforward and go like this

  • You can take a flight to Bagdogra or Kolkata depending on what suits you the best
  • N.J.P. is the closest train station and is in Sikkim’s southwest corner. You can take a direct train to N.J.P. or go to Kolkata and then take another to N.J.P.
  • You can also travel by road. Plenty of buses run between Kolkata, Siliguri, and N.J.P. While the roads aren’t the best for travel, you can still take a sleeper bus and get it at highly reasonable prices.
  • Alternatively, if you love road trips, you can drive to the base camp and hike from there in the car. 

Things to Carry on Sandakphu Trek

While we will be coming with a detailed blog on it, we are listing the most significant bits to carry along for a quick reference. So, this is what you must pack for the trek:

  • Backpack and its rain cover. Make sure the capacity is 50-60l and has comfortable shoulder straps
  • A hiking pole
  • Head Torch
  • 2 l water bottles or hydration packs
  • Basic first aid kit
  • A Sun cap/or a balaclava
  • Neck gaiters
  • Sunglasses with side cover
  • T-shirts 7 to 8
  • Fleece T-shirts and jacket
  • Wind and waterproof jacket
  • Trek pants
  • Trekking shoes
  • Flip-slops
  • Personal utilities like sunscreen, hand sanitizer, moisturizer, toilet paper/wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, lip balm and quick dry towel

Lastly, let us look at the two Sandakphu Trek itineraries that TrekNomads offers.

The first is the Sandakphu trek, and the other is the Sandakphu short trek. Sharing the itinerary for both of them below for your easy reference.

Sandakphu-Phalut Trek Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Arrival at Bagdogra (I.X.B.) & transfer to Mane Bhanjang 
  • Day 2 – Trek to Tumling from Mane Bhanjang
  • Day 3 – Trek to Kalapokhri from Tumling
  • Day 4 – Trek to Sandakphu from Kalapokhri
  • Day 5 – Trek to Phalut from Sandakphu
  • Day 6 – Trek to Gorkhey from Phalut
  • Day 7 – Trek to Srikhola from Gorkhey
  • Day 8 – Travel to Darjeeling
  • Day 9 – Sightseeing in Darjeeling
  • Day 10-  Departure from Darjeeling to home city

Sandakphu-Short trek Itinerary

  • Day 1 – Arrival at Bagdogra (I.X.B.) & transfer to Mane Bhanjang 
  • Day 2 – Trek to Tumling from Mane Bhanjang
  • Day 3 – Trek to Kalapokhri from Tumling
  • Day 4 – Trek to Sandakphu from Kalapokhri
  • Day 5 – Trek to Srikhola from Sandakphu
  • Day 6 – Travel to Darjeeling
  • Day 7 – Sightseeing in Darjeeling
  • Day 8-  Departure from Darjeeling to home city

To book Sandakphu Trek, click here

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