Chopta Valley - Sikkim
Altitude - 14,000 ft
Latitude - 27.9 North
Longitude - 88.52 East
Weather - Below 10° C through out the year. Below freezing point in Winter and in the night.
Wonders never cease in North Sikkim. With each turn, each valley, each rivulet trying to outdo the other in the scenic beauty that it offers. Few places come close to the virgin appeal of Chopta Valley (13200 ft), just 20 minutes drive from Thangu.
The valley is frozen during the winter and provides opportunity to walk over the frozen rivers. The riot of colours during spring belies this aspect, though. An adventurous trek through Chopta valley leads to Muguthang valley at an altitude of 15500ft, another unseen destination in the greater Himalayas.
Tourists visiting Chopta valley has to stay overnight at Lachen. From here you start early morning for Chopta Valley and Gurudongmar Lake. Indian tourists may visit both but international tourists are allowed to visit only till the valley. The distance from Lachen to Thangu is just 30 kilometers. Within this short distance you will gain altitude of about 4500 feet. The green vegetation of lower altitude will soon give way to Alpine terrain with canonical trees. As you go further up, the trees give way to small bushes and beyond Thangu the vegetation is relatively less as you get into Tibetan plateau. The Chopta Valley is the last green vegetation on this route.
Chopta valley can be visited only as part of a package tour. Visit to North Sikkim requires special permit that can be organised by authorised tour operators such as ourselves. You can not visit the valley on your own. The travel and accommodation has to be booked in advanced through a recognised Tour Operator.
Where to Stay
Most tourists stay overnight at Lachen and visit the valley as part of a day tour. There are a couple of basic homestay accommodation at Thangu but it requires special permit to stay there. Being high in altitude also means you will need substantial time spend in acclimatising before you can stay overnight here.