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Hilley to Uttarey






        

Hilley to Uttarey Trek is a relatively lesser known trekking trail in West Sikkim. The trail, famous for Rhododendrons and different species of birds, is the gateway of the Singalila Ridge Trek. The starting point of the trek is Hilley and should end at Sandakphu, following a breathtakingly beautiful trail. 


The highest point of this trek is Phoktey Dara. Situated at 3733m, Phoktey Dara trek is famous for the hill top view point to witness the panoramic view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Dhaulagiri, Mt. Makalu, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Nuptse and in the east one can see the magnificent view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Pandim, Mt. Kabru, Mt. Narsing, Mt. Rathong, Mt. Sinolchu, Mt. Kokthang. For the majestic sunrise and sunset, Phoktey Dara is considered as a very extraordinary view point of Sikkim. From Phoktey Dara, we will be heading towards Uttarey in West Sikkim crossing Chiwabhanjang and camping at Mainebas Falls. Here is a tentative itinerary of the trek :- 


Day 1 – Meet at Siliguri/ NJP. Drive to Hilley. Overnight stay in lodge.


Day 2 – Hilley to Deoningali Dhap :- Our exciting journey through the forest trail starts today. The entire trek route is a paradise for bird watchers as we can get glimpses of birds like Leiothrix, Sunbirds, Fulvettas etc.  After walking for a couple of hours, we reach Varsey. We trek along the gradually undulating trail through the forest for the next 6 – 7 hours till we reach the swampy camping site at Deoningali Dhap.


Day 3 – Deoningali Dhap to Thulo Dhap :-  The first part of the trek from Deoningali Dhap is steep which turns gentle after sometime. We gain in more height and after walking for a total of 6 – 7 hours, reach Thulo Dhap (3200 m), next to a stream. The last part of the trek is through a swampy stretch and care needs to be taken from the shoes to get wet. Witness the views of the mountains from Thulo Dhap and an amazing sunset !


Day 4 – Thulo Dhap to Kalijhar :- Today is the toughest part of the trek as we move through the steep trail towards Kalijhar. As we gain in height, the forest gradually becomes thinner and the lofty trees give way to smaller shrubs. The tough trek is rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of Kanchenjunga and other mountains. Water is scarce here and we need to ration water carefully. Also, it can very cold and windy and adequate care needs to be taken.


Day 5 – Kalijhar to Mainebas Falls :- We wake up early in the morning and trek towards Phoktey Dara to witness the sunrise. On a clear day, one can view the wide range of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, and other mountains. After spending some quality time, we trace our way back to Kalijhar. We have our breakfast and start descending towards Mainebas Falls. Today is a long day as we trek to Chiwabhanjang SSB Check Post where we enlist our names. Though there is an option to camp at Chitrey, we will prefer Mainebas Falls camping ground. It will stretch the descent by another couple of hours but is worth the toil.


Day 6 – Mainebas Falls to Uttarey :- We walk through the green canopy of the forest to witness the Mainebas Falls, which is said to be a "Hidden Falls" as it is not visible behind the thick curtain of greens. "Maine" means "Bees" in Nepali. There are numerous bee hives surrounding the waterfall thereby signifying the nomenclature of the place. The bravehearts can take a dip at the icy cold river, which, though intimidating at the beginning will wear away all the hardships of the trek and will re-energize you. We start descending towards Uttarey which will take 4 - 5 hours.


Day 7 – Uttarey to Siliguri/ NJP :- Today is the concluding day of our trek as we move from Uttarey towards Siliguri/ NJP


Destination - Hilley to Uttarey 

Duration - 6 Nights and 7 Days

Accommodation - Camp/ Tent/ Trekker's Hut

Pickup & Drop - Nearest Railway Station/ Airport/ Bus Terminus

Best Time To Visit - April - May/ September - November