Chopta Valley - Sikkim
Altitude - 14,000 ft
Latitude - 27.9 North
Longitude - 88.52 East
Weather - Below 10° C throughout the year. Below freezing point in Winter and in 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 a 20-minute drive from Thangu.
The valley is frozen during the winter and provides an 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 have 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 the valley. The distance from Lachen to Thangu is just 30 kilometres. Within this short distance, you will gain an altitude of about 4500 feet. The green vegetation of lower altitudes 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 the 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 North Sikkim requires a special permit that can be organized by authorized tour operators such as ourselves. You can not visit the valley on your own. The travel and accommodation have to be booked in advance through a recognized Tour Operator.
Where to Stay
Most tourists stay overnight at Lachen and visit the valley as part of a day tour. There is a couple of basic homestay accommodation at Thangu but it requires a special permit to stay there. Being high in altitude also means you will need substantial time to spend in acclimatise before you can stay overnight here.