First off, you won’t find Zemu Glacier on a regular schedule of Sikkim tourist attractions. This is because the trek that leads up to this magical glacier, at the base of the mighty Kanchenjunga, is rated moderate to difficult. That being said, the road to Zemu Glacier is straight out of a painting. Flowing waterfalls, twinkling streams, and pristine views from the backdrop of a trek unlike any other in the region.
As you pass through thick forest areas, you will be amazed at the flora and fauna that inhabit this snowy region. Blue poppies in bloom dot the wayside and you will soon lose count of the varieties of rhododendrons. The trail reaches a height of nearly 5,000 m, making this a challenging journey but an adventure of a lifetime. You can view the mountainscape from nearly every tourist spot in Sikkim. Zemu Glacier, being at the foot of the third-highest peak in the world, is at the heart of nature and a bucket-list-worthy experience.
When to reach
The best time to visit Zemu Glacier is in the summer months between March and June. The weather during these months makes clear skies, easier trekking, and brilliant views that stretch out as far as the eye can see.
If you want to push yourselves to the limits, October to mid-December is your option. If you do plan a winter trek, make sure you find out whether permits are provided and if porters are available.
How to reach
You need to reach the town of Lachen, the starting point for your trek to Zemu Glacier. This town in northern Sikkim is about 120 km from Gangtok. On the way, you will pass several popular attractions like Tashi View Point, Kabi Longstok town, and Phodong Monastery, among others.
An overnight stay at Lachen and you’ll be ready for a short jeep ride to Zemu. This is where your actual trek begins to Talem, walking by the Zemu River, which is at a height of 3,240 m. From Talem you move on to easier terrain as you reach Jakthang. The rhododendron forests here are a colorful splash against the clear blue sky.
Now the trek will see you move through various ascents and descents and you will reach the nose of the Zemu Glacier near Yabuk. As you move away from Yabuk, you will witness Mt. Siniolchu on your way to Green Lake. This is where you will witness the beauty of Zemu Glacier.