Love The Outdoors? Top Treks In Uttarakhand You Must Explore
The state located in the west of Nepal, and is at the foothills of the great Himalayas, is not just a favourite pilgrimage spot for Hindus but also houses the Gangotri Glacier, which is the source of the holy Ganga river. Uttarakhand is also home to the second tallest mountain in India – Nanda Devi – 25,643 feet tall. No wonder then that travellers describe Uttarakhand as an ‘Abode of the Gods’. It isn’t surprising then that there are numerous trekking trails in and around. Here’s a look at some of the most beautiful treks in Uttarakhand:
1. Bali Pass Trek
This trek is meant for pros only, given the challenging landscape. This trek route goes via the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, so do expect to see exotic flora and fauna on the trail. While walking across the rivers, Tons and Siyan Gad, through thick woodlands, to reach the magical lake of Ruinsara Tal, you witness unparalleled views of Bandarpoonch, Kalanag, and Swargarohini peaks. The tough trek seems so worth it then!
Altitude: 16,250 feet
Trek Duration: 9 Days
Best Season to Visit: May–June and September-October
2. Rupin Pass Trek
Mighty waterfalls, mystical views of the many surrounding peaks, and exotic flower-laden pastures make the Rupin Pass trek unforgettable. Your route starts from the little township of Dhaula, and over the next seven days, you climb about 10,000 feet to get to Rupin Pass as you cross from Uttarakhand to Himachal. The best part of this route is that you pass several beautiful villages on your way that make perfect rest stops.
Altitude: 15,250 feet
Trek Duration: 8 days
Best Season to Visit: May-June and September-October
3. Kedarnath Trek
The mere thought of walking over 18 km in just 4-5 days at an altitude of over 6000 feet may seem harsh. But what makes it worth the hike is the 360-degree view of the many popular mountain peaks. You start from the village called Sankri in Uttarakhand, and by the time you reach the Kedarkanth peak, you will feel like you have reached the skies! It’s simply gorgeous.
Altitude: 12,500 feet
Trek Duration: 5 days
Best Season to Visit: December-April
4. Kedartal Trek
Situated in the Garhwal Himalayas’ Gangotri area, this trek in Uttarakhand is perfect for you if you are a complete mountain person. It has extraordinary views of the magnificent Himalayas, including the Jogin peak, Bhirgupanth peak and the Thalayasagar peak. This glacial lake can be called the hidden gem of Uttarakhand. Amid the snow-capped peaks and stunning landscape, you can also get a sight of several wild mountain species, like the Blue Sheep, Goral, and the famous Himalayan Black Bear, on this trek.
Trek Duration:7 days
Best Time to Visit: May-June and September-October
5. Har Ki Dun Trek
Har Ki Dun has been described as one of the easiest ones in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas. During the Har Ki Dun trek, you get to witness the beautiful Tons river valley. Lovely highlands and dense woodlands circle it. The pre-rain months are ideal if you love bird-watching, while post-monsoon months are perfect for flower lovers. The trekking trail has enough snow from December through April, making it perfect for you if you love snow. This trek is simply sublime.
Altitude: 11,500 feet
Trek Duration: 7 days
Best Season to Visit: March-June and September-December
Difficulty Level: Easy
6. Satopanth Lake Trek
This Uttarakhand trek will take you to Satopanth Tal, which is an amazing glacial lake. Its beauty is heightened by the soaring snow-laden hills like Neelkanth, Satopanth, Chaukhamba I and Balakun. These mind blowing mountain ranges on the crystal-clear waterbody are truly a sight to behold. The holy trio – Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh are believed to have meditated at the three corners of this gorgeous lake. This trek is a spiritual journey, as most describe it. It is an isolated trekking trail and a must-do for those who love challenges as much as peace in serene natural beauty.
Altitude: 14,600 feet
Trek Duration: 8 Days
Best Season to Visit: June, September, and October
7. Valley of Flowers Trek
The Valley of Flowers, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is probably the most leisurely trek in Uttarakhand. You may attempt to trek this route even without the help of local trekking agencies. This 4-5-day-long trek attracts visitors for its fantastic display of wildflowers, and the valley is often called the “Switzerland of India”. Do expect a lot of rain and go prepared accordingly. When here, you can also trek up to Hemkund Sahib – a pilgrimage site at an altitude of 14,200 ft. The exotic floral spread will make up for any challenges (if any) along your trek.
Altitude: 14,200 feet
Trek Duration: 4-5 days
Best Season to Visit: June-October
Difficulty: Very Easy
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**Before you decide to go for any of these treks in Uttarakhand (or travel anywhere at all), do check the Covid-related travel advisory. There may be last minute updates taking into account the situation at the moment.