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Chopta Valley in North Sikkim

Chopta Valley is a popular tourist destination in North Sikkim. The valley can be reached from Lachen on the way to Gurudongmar Lake. Lachen is the place where you are most likely to stay overnight if you are traveling to North Sikkim destination of Gurudongmar lake.

You will start early in the morning from Lachen and reach Chopta valley in about 2 hours. International tourists are not allowed to travel further North as the boarder to China is very close. Many Indian tourists, not comfortable with the extreme high altitude of Gurudongmar lake (About 17000 ft), limit their tour of the area to Chopta valley.

The valley of flowers as it is known is a riot of colors during summer months. As you approach the valley, you can see the tall trees of Lachen area slowly going away and smaller shrubs becoming more common. Beyond Chopta valley greenery wanes even further and the pasture turns quite devoid of vegetation. From here the mountains starts to barren and sharp contrast to green Sikkim hills where you have spend the last few days.

Chopta valley can be travelled as part of a day trip from Lachen. Visit to the valley is normally combined with a trip to Gurudongmar lake. From Lachen first you would be travelling to Thangu, a distance of just 30 km which takes close to two hours due to hostile environment and steep ascent.

A 45 minutes drive from Thangu further north reaches to the virgin and uninhabited land of Chopta Valley. At 13500 ft with close proximity to Tibet the valley provides one of the few accessible places in Sikkim where one can actually walk over a frozen river. The valley is rich with Alpine vegetation.

An adventurous trek through Chopta valley leads to Muguthang valley at an altitude of 15500ft, another unseen destination in the greater Himalayas. Eyes, as far as it can reach, find here a vast flat pasture crisscrossed by numerous snow-fed streams.

The high alpine valley of Muguthang is only inhabitable for rare high altitude ruminants and their predators. However, some nomadic tribes from Tibet occasionally settle here for food and for grazing their yaks.

Map of Chopta Valley

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