Muguthang / Lhonak Valley - History, Timings & Entry Fee

Adventure / Trekking

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Lachen): 59 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 6-8 Hours

Place Location: Near Muguthang Village

Transportation Options: Walk/Trek

Travel Tips: Indians need Inner Line Permit to visit Muguthang Valley while Foreigners are not allowed to visit this Valley.

At a distance of 19 km from Chopta Valley, 24 km from Thangu, 51 km from Guru Dongmar Lake and 59 km from Lachen, Muguthang Valley is a mountain valley situated to the east of famous Chopta Valley near Lachen. It is one of the popular places of trekking in Sikkim and among the must visit places in Lachen.

Also called as Lhonak Valley, it is situated at an elevation of 14,850 feet and can be reached by trekking from the Chopta Valley. This valley is normally uninhabitable except for some occasional settlements by Tibetan nomads for grazing their Yaks. This high mountain valley is basically under the constant vigil of Indian Army as this is the last outpost of Indian Army in the eastern part of extreme North Sikkim. From here they monitor the Nepal-Tibet border.

Lhonak Valley is a trans-Himalayan grassland in the exposed river valley of Goma Chu in northwest Sikkim, with boggy marshes, glacial lakes, barren scree slopes and glaciers. High alpine valley of Muguthang is only inhabitable for rare high altitude ruminants and their predators. Lakes and marshes here are used as stopover sites for migratory water birds. Muguthang is also popular for the annual Yak race which takes place during the festival of DrukpaTeshi.

Muguthang Valley can be reached from Chopta Valley by trekking through the high 5,900 m pass, the Lhonak La. This trek provides a fantastic view of glaciers, clear lakes, and rare flora. This 12 km trek starts from Kalapathar where the vehicular side road ends. After 3 hours of uphill walk one can reach Lhonak La. The Lhonak Pass itself is narrow and festooned with prayer flags. From here the view of the Lhonak Valley is marvelous and spell­binding. From Lhonak La, a gentle walk down into the valley takes visitors to Muguthang. Yak safari can also be arranged on demand during the trek. This trek is recently opened and is close to the Tibet border. From Muguthang, it is also possible to reach the Green Lake Base Camp.

Summer is the best season and the valley remains accessible for visitors. Snowfall makes the Valley inaccessible in winter.