Yelbong : The Best Experience of River Canyon Trek

Must try the canyon Trek at Yelbong, Experience the beautiful walk at Rumti River. Real homestay inside a serene forest and beautiful village.

By Izifiso
10 Min Read

For offbeat travel, secluded hill stations with rocky river valleys, foaming waterfalls and verdant forests cannot go wrong. So is the case with a remote but beautiful hill station called Yelbong in Kalimpong district of West Bengal. The most prominent attraction there is its famous River Canyon Trek in River Rumti. In this blog, let me tell you about my experience of this adventure and more in Yelbong.

My journey details of Yelbong

One fine morning in between our Puja holidays, my two friends and I reached Siliguri Junction by train from Sealdah. From Sealdah, we got into a car pre-arranged by our homestay managers at Yelbong. This car was to take us to Bakrakot. The journey was rough almost two hours until we stopped to change cars at Bakrakot. From Bakrakot, it was a 7 km stony path with wild jungles on both sides. This would lead to Yelbong.

Wilderness Journey…

 As we drove along in the remote wilderness, the wheels jerked above the stony forest roads. It was indeed a thrilling experience as we drove through the green surroundings of uninhabited forests. Here and there we could hear birds chirping. Our adventure in the midst of raw, wild nature had started.

As we reached the Izifiso Yelbong homestay we were welcomed with liquid refreshments. After getting settled into our lodgings and unpacking our luggage, we observed in and around the homestay. Our homestay was right in the midst of the forest with absolute natural greenery all around. In the distance, we could get a clear view of the Rumti River valley. After walking around for about half an hour, we proceeded to have lunch.

Day 1:

Explore the Yealbong Village

After having lunch, we went to explore the surroundings and Bobo Ghat view point. One of the staff at our homestay went with us as a guide. This local village trek took almost 30 minutes. It was indeed a pleasant walk through the winding hilly paths through forests. Butterflies flew here and there, chirping of various birds and a cool breeze greeted us.

Yelbong view Point
Yelbong view point

From the viewpoint we had a great view of the entire forested village. Siliguri and parts of Dooars, Gorubathan and Oodlabari could also be seen from here. It was nearing nightfall when we reached the homestay. Under the clear starry night, we had an amazing bonfire. After that, we had our dinner and retired. On the next day, we were to go on the cherished river canyon trek. It will be our dream come true moment.

Day 2:

Finally The Yelbong River Canyon Terk started…

On day 2, we rose to an early breakfast as afterwards we were to set out for the river canyon trek. It was a downhill walk from our homestay to the Rumti riverside. From our homestay we were provided with helmets as the trek is a tricky one full of boulders and rocks. To prevent any injury to the head these precautions were taken. Again a guide from the homestay went with us to show us the way through the trek. As we reached the bank of river Rumti, we were mesmerized by its beauty.

Way to my Dream…

The gushing swift flow of the river and its stony sides flanked by tall trees made the valley look heavenly. Through the riverside we reached the mouth of the canyon. This was to be the starting point of our trek. It was a really challenging way. For starters, the cave was way low for any sunlight to reach there. Only a narrow beam of sunlight entered through the mouth of the canyon far above the river.

Climbing through steps on boulders, our feet getting washed by the river water we proceeded. Underneath our feet was the gushing flow of water, all around us boulders with fantastic patterns created by river erosion. At the deepest, darkest interior of the cave was a spring. Such was the way that we had to swim through the spring at one point. After crossing this part, we again came upon the path bordered by boulders. For the last part, we climbed up boulders to reach the surface.

Beyond The Canyon Cave

Now we had come again upon the stony surface after crossing the cave. Here we saw the rainbow waterfall, a gushing flow of water falling from the heights. Since it was not that sunny then, we could just barely make out the rainbow. Giant butterflies passed us here and there as we made our way back to the homestay. Once there, we had our lunch.

In the evening we again had a fascinating bonfire with sumptuous barbeque. At night we again went to the surroundings for a spooky experience of forest walk. The eerie silence of the dark village was only pierced by the murmuring chirp of crickets. And above was a starlit sky. After that, we returned and went to bed. That was how our last night at Yelbong came to an end.

Day 3:

Last day at Yelbong

After Breakfast, we went around for a walk to say good bye to the mountains. We promised the beautiful butterflies that we will return again. So after lunch we left Yelbong to cherish the beautiful memories with friends at Kolkata.

My experience of Yelbong

It is indeed a wonder that such a beautiful place with a river canyon can exist in the very heart of West Bengal. This is why offbeat travelling is so fulfilling because every day it helps to discover unknown brilliant destinations. While the Grand Canyon of River Colorado is a global spectacle, Rumti River Canyon too is a beautiful experience. Even more fascinating was crossing the canyon on our feet.

Best time to visit Yelbong

So, now it only remains for me to provide you leads so that you too can have this amazing experience at Yelbong. So, what is the best time to visit Yelbong? During monsoons, it might be a little risky. This is because of the slippery state of roads and the canyon at this time. However, summer is a great time as the trek through the cool river valley feels great.

However, these days trekking gets restricted at times due to the rising water levels of Rumti. Still, from October till March the canyon remains open for trekking. This is the tourist season, so you can surely visit during this time.

Where to stay

There are no hotels or resorts because this is only a small village. One such offbeat location, Izifiso introduced its Homestay. A chance to live in a wooden house surrounded by mountains. Book online when you are planning for Yelbong. Check all details about Izifiso Yelbong Homestay.

Some things to keep in mind

  1. Always take guide for the trek. Guides will charge 500 for every 6 people on your team.
  2. The last 4 kms will give you real off-roading flavour. It is stony and uneven, thus big cars are to be taken to journey there. This is because they give good ground clearance.
  3. It is only during October to March that the trekking in the canyon is open.
  4. Try to book your stay in advance as it is difficult to get bookings during season.
  5. It is advisable to hire a driver who knows the place and roads well because it is a tricky journey.

Have a great trip!

Check out a Travel vlog on Yelbong.

Check out the related blog at the

Find Us on Socials

Share this Article