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11 Best Himalayan Trails in India to Explore for Beginners

People say “Walking is the best way to explore a place” and to explore mountains: there’s no better way than trekking. Witnessing the rare views while being on the trails for hours, the magical moments of the surroundings, trekking will take you to a different world of nature. A fairyland of rivers, forests, meadows, glaciers, snowfields, sunrise, sunset, storms, clouds, rains, animals, birds, people and more. And, Indian trekkers are more fortunate than others for having a huge number of these fairylands in their own country. As India is blessed with the vastness of the Himalayas throughout the north across 2,400 kilometres, spanning seven states and union territories.

According to Garry Weare, a trekking legend, the best thing about the Himalayas is “Every time I pore over a map, I appreciate the remote valleys and seldom crossed passes that are still ripe for exploration.” The richness of the topography will never fail to amaze you. And surprisingly, it never gets old, in every trail every season, something is new. From the beautiful easy treks to the most difficult ones – exploring the Himalayas is no less than exploring the whole world.

Let’s discuss the trails, which are suitable for beginners to start exploring the Himalayas and some trekking tips.

What is called a beginner trek and why?

A trek is associated with many factors. Especially, when we are talking about the Himalayan treks, there is no need to say that they are the real deal. We have to overcome several factors like altitude gain, divergent terrain, alpine lakes, biodiversity, change of direction and snowfall while we choose to do a great adventure in the Himalayas. To overcome these all-contributing factors, we need some sorts of expertise in fitness, mental ability and experience. Moreover, what you need the most is an experienced trek leader who knows how to guide the novice trekkers in a high-altitude scenario.

For beginners, who want to experience the Himalayas for the first time, precisely by exploring the stunning trekking routes, many trails need no special effort to conquer. The trekking trails like Nag Tibba, Kartik Swamy, Kheerganga and Dodital in North India are easy to climb with no special effort, as they have a gentle incline through occasional undulating terrains, forests and meadows. That’s why the trails are perfect for beginners who have no prior experience.

We have prepared an informative travel guide on some of the best Himalayan treks for beginners in India. We have also mentioned some extra information about the treks which you might need while planning for these following popular trekking trails. Give it a read and comment on which one you would like to go to this year.

Glimpse Of 11 Best Himalayan Treks For Beginners

  • Deoriatal – Chopta Tungnath – Chandrashila Trek
  • Kedarkantha Trek
  • Har Ki Dun Trek
  • Valley of Flowers Trek
  • Hampta Pass Trek
  • Nag Tibba Trek
  • Kartik Swami Trek
  • Sham Valley Trek
  • Brahmatal Trek
  • Dodital Trek
  • Kheerganga Trek
Best Beginners Treks In Uttarakhand Chandrashila Trek, Kedarkantha Trek, Har ki Dun Trek, Valley of Flowers Trek, Kartik Swami Trek, Nag Tibba Trek, Dodital Trek, Brahmatal Trek
Best Beginners Trek In Himachal Pradesh Kheerganga Trek, Hampta Pass Trek
Best Beginners Trek In Ladakh Sham Valley Trek
Best Treks For Lake Summit Point Dodital Trek, Brahmatal Trek
Best Treks To Visit World Heritage Site Valley Of Flowers Trek
Best Weekend Treks For Beginners Nag Tibba Trek, Kartik Swami Trek, Kheerganga Trek

Also Check Out: Popular Himalayas Trekking Tour Packages

Deoriatal – Chopta Tungnath – Chandrashila Trek, Panoramic Views Of Other Himalayan Peaks!

Tungnath Chandrashila

One of the popular trekking tours in India for beginners, the Deoriatal Chopta Chandrashila trek is a delightful journey that everyone should experience once in a lifetime. Chandrashila, which means ‘moon rock’ is the summit of the trail. Tungnath, one of the temples of Panch Kedar is situated on the Chandrashila being one of the important parts of the trek. The summit is a viewpoint from which people can enjoy the panoramic views of the Gangotri range, Kedarnath and Kedar on the left. And on the right, they can see Gauri Parbat, Hathi Parbat, Dunagiri and the tallest Mt. Nanda Devi. Let’s know about the important features of the trail.

State: Uttarakhand

Starting and Ending Point: Sari Village

Length of the Trail:

  • Sari Village to Deoria Tal: 5 kilometres
  • Deoria Tal to Chopta via Rohini Bugyal: 18 kilometres
  • Chopta to Chandrashila via Tungnath: 5.5 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Sari Village to Deoria Tal: 4 hours
  • Deoria Tal to Chopta via Rohini Bugyal: 8 hours
  • Chopta to Chandrashila via Tungnath: 3.5 hours

Days Required: Minimum 3 Days

Highest Point: Chandrashila Peak (3,690 metres)

Best Season:

  • March to April
  • September to November
  • December to March only for snow trek

Also Check Out: Chopta Tungnath Trek Upcoming Fixed Departures

Kedarkantha Trek, Breathtaking Views From Summit!

Kedarkantha Winter Trek

A six-day long trek through the natural beauty of Govind Pashu Vihar National Park in Uttarakhand, the Kedarkantha trek is the best easy trek in the Himalayas. The snow-covered trails during the winters offer stunning views and unique opportunities to witness life in the remotest villages in the mountains. As you reach the highest point of the trail, the Kedarkantha Peak at a height of 3,800 metres, you will be amazed by the views of the majestic peaks of the upper Himalayas. Not only the snow-clad peaks, but the amazing campsites like Juda ka Talab, Hargaon and Kedarkantha base are also the rewards you get in Kedarkantha Trek. Some important features are as follows.

State: Uttarakhand

Starting and Ending Point: Kotgaon

Length of the Trail:

  • Kotgaon to Khujaai: 5.2 kilometres
  • Khujaai to Dhoka: 3.5 kilometres
  • Dhoka to Kedarkantha Summit to Mohlani: 9 kilometres
  • Mohlani to Kotgaon: 4 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Kotgaon to Khujaai: 5 hours
  • Khujaai to Dhoka: 3.5 hours
  • Dhoka to Kedarkantha Summit to Mohlani: 8 hours
  • Mohlani to Kotgaon: 5 hours

Days Required: Minimum 6 Days

Highest Point: Kedarkantha Peak (3,800 metres)

Best Season:

  • December to February
  • March to April
  • May to June
  • Mid-September to November

Also Check Out: Best Summer Treks in India

Har Ki Dun Trek, Experience of An Ancient Route!

Har Ki Dun Trek

A cradle-shaped valley flanked by alpine forests and snow-covered peaks at a height of more than 3,500 metres, the Har ki Dun trail is one of the best Himalayan treks for beginners. The trail is one of the oldest routes of the Himalayas and offers glimpses of life in 2,000 years old villages. As legend has it, the route of Har ki Dun was taken by the Pandavas of the Mahabharata on their conquest of heaven. The spectacular views of the untouched valleys in the Garhwal Himalayas will be one of those memories of the Har ki Dun trek, which you cannot forget for life. Important points are as follows.

State: Uttarakhand

Starting and Ending Point: Taluka (You will reach Taluka from Sankri by a car)

Length of the Trail:

  • Taluka to Osla: 13 kilometres
  • Osla to Har ki Dun: 12 kilometres
  • Stay at Har ki Dun
  • Har ki Dun to Osla: 12 kilometres
  • Osla to Taluka: 14 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Taluka to Osla: 7 hours
  • Osla to Har ki Dun: 7 hours
  • Stay at Har ki Dun
  • Har ki Dun to Osla: 6 hours
  • Osla to Taluka: 4 hours

Days Required: Minimum 7 Days

Highest Point: Har ki Dun (3,612 metres)

Best Season:

  • March to June
  • September to December

Also Check Out: Upcoming Har Ki Dun Fixed Departure Tour

Valley of Flowers Trek, Trek To Explore Exotic Himalayan Flora!

About Valley of Flowers Location

The most amazing monsoon trek in the Himalayas to explore the exotic flora, the Valley of Flowers Trek attracts trekkers from all over the world. A valley surrounded by whitewashed mountains and filled with colourful wildflowers – the Valley of Flowers is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Chamoli District in Uttarakhand. The park, measuring eight kilometres in length and two kilometres in breadth, is spread across an area of 87.5 square kilometres. With numerous waterfalls and glaciers, the trail goes through the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and reaches the bouquet of blooming flowers like wild roses, primula, and potentilla in the valley. Valley of Flowers opens in June every year.

State: Uttarakhand

Starting and Ending Point: Poolna

Length of the Trail:

  • Poolna to Ghangaria: 9 kilometres
  • Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers to Ghangaria: 7.4 kilometres
  • Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib to Ghangaria: 12 kilometres
  • Ghangaria to Poolna: 9 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Poolna to Ghangaria: 6 hours
  • Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers to Ghangaria: 6 hours
  • Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib to Ghangaria: 9 hours
  • Ghangaria to Poolna: 4 hours

Days Required: Minimum 6 Days

Highest Point: Hemkund Sahib

Best Season: July to September

Also Check Out: Best Monsoon Treks in India

Hampta Pass Trek, Witness The Confluence Of Three Passes!

Hampta Pass Trek Himachal

Hampta Pass Trek is considered one of the most amazing crossover treks in India. One of the most beautiful mountain treks in Himachal Pradesh, the Hampta Pass trek is a six-day-long journey through the most dramatic landscapes of the Kullu-Manali Valley. The trails encompass undulating grasslands, cascading waterfalls, gushing streams and a beautiful emerald lake ‘Chandratal.’ The most surreal experience you will witness in this trek is the confluence of three passes – Hampta, Rohtang and Spiti. Moreover, you will also experience the Buddhist culture and tradition in the remote Himalayan villages in Himachal Pradesh through the trail.

State: Himachal Pradesh

Starting and Ending Point: Manali

Length of the Trail:

  • Drive to Jobra Roadhead from Manali.
  • Jobra Roadhead to Jobra: 1.5 kilometres
  • Jobra to Jwara via Chika: 4.5 kilometres
  • Jwara to Balu ka Ghera: 5 kilometres
  • Balu ka Ghera to Hampta Pass to Shea Goru: 8 kilometres
  • Shea Goru to Chhatru: 7 kilometres
  • Drive back to Manali from Chhatru.

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Jobra Roadhead to Jobra: 2 hours
  • Jobra to Jwara via Chika: 4 hours
  • Jwara to Balu ka Ghera: 4 hours
  • Balu ka Ghera to Hampta Pass to Shea Goru: 9 hours
  • Shea Goru to Chhatru: 4.5 hours

Days Required: Minimum 6 Days

Highest Point: Hampta Pass (4,287 metres)

Best Season: June to October

Also Check Out: Popular Easy Treks in Himachal Pradesh

Nag Tibba Trek, A Weekend Trek!

Nag Tibba Winter Trek

A weekend trek out of Mussoorie, Nag Tibba is one of the best Himalayan trekking holidays for beginners. The length of the trail is around 15 kilometres and you can easily complete it within a day. The trail will let you go through the landscapes of forests, ridge walks and some amazing clearings. The gentle incline of the terrain is perfect for trekkers who have no prior experience. The main attraction of Nag Tibba Trek is the summit at 3,022 metres. You will be amazed by the views of the snow-covered Himalayan ranges from the summit. On a clear bright day, trekkers can enjoy the views of the peaks like Bandarpoonch, Kala Nag, Swargrohini, Kala Nag and Gangotri from the Nag Tibba Peak summit point.

State: Uttarakhand

Starting and Ending Point: Pantwari

Length of the Trail:

  • Drive to Pantwari.
  • Pantwari to Khatian: 5.2 kilometres
  • Khatian to Nag Tibba to Pantwari: 9.3 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Pantwari to Khatian: 5 hours
  • Khatian to Nag Tibba to Pantwari: 6 hours

Days Required: Minimum 2 Days

Highest Point: Nag Tibba (3,022 metres)

Best Season: Mid- March to June & September to February

Also Check Out: Popular Easy Treks in Uttarakhand

Kartik Swami Trek, The Shortest Trek In India!

Kartik Swami Trek

Kartik Swami Temple is located in the Rudraprayag District of Uttarakhand near the Kanakchauri village. One of the best treks for beginners in Uttarakhand, a three-kilometre trek through dense forests in the foothills of the Garhwal Himalayas from Kanakchauri village will let you reach the temple. One can experience the ethereal beauty of the Himalayas through this scenic trek. The temple is dedicated to Kartikeya, the elder son of Lord Shiva and seeking blessings from him is considered one of the best things to do in Rudraprayag. During the spring, the trail becomes colourful with blooming rhododendrons and in winter you can see unobstructed views of the peaks from the temple such as Kedarnath Dome, Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, Neelkanth, Meru-Sumeru and Chaukhambha.

State: Uttarakhand

Starting and Ending Point: Kanakchauri Village

Length of the Trail:

  • Kanakchauri to Kartik Swami Temple: 3 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Kanakchauri to Kartik Swami Temple: 1.5 hours

Days Required: Minimum 2 Days

Highest Point: Kartik Swami Temple (3,050 metres)

Best Season: October to May

Also Check Out: Best Winter Treks in India

Sham Valley Trek, The “Baby Trek”!

Sham Valley Trek

If you want to explore the remotest villages in Ladakh, you must experience the Sham Valley Trek. Also known as the ‘baby trek,’ it is another easiest trek in India. The trail goes through the lower part of Ladakh, which is known as the Sham region. Apart from the experiences of staying in homestays and tasting the authentic homemade Ladakhi cuisines, you can also visit some ancient monasteries on the Sham Valley trek. The trail starts from Likir and passes through some of the quaint villages in Ladakh, where you will witness the minimal lifestyle of mountain people. You can also extend the trek for more days if you want to visit the Rizong monastery, which is located at the top of a rocky side of a valley and can be reached by hiking from Yangthang.

State: Ladakh

Starting and Ending Point: Leh

Length of the Trail:

  • Drive to Likir.
  • Likir to Yangthang via Phobe La: 9 kilometres
  • Yangthang to Hemis Shukpachan: 8 kilometres
  • Hemis Shukpachan to Temisgam: 10 kilometres
  • Drive back to Leh.

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Likir to Yangthang via Phobe La: 5 hours
  • Yangthang to Hemis Shukpachan: 3 hours
  • Hemis Shukpachan to Temisgam: 5 hours

Days Required: Minimum 4 Days

Highest Point: Mebtak La (3,874 metres)

Best Season: July and August

Also Check Out: Best Easy Treks in Ladakh

Brahmatal Trek, Alpine Lake Summit In Winter!

Brahmatal Trek

Trekking to most of the alpine lakes in the Himalayas cannot be possible during winter as the roads get closed due to snowfall. But, Brahmatal Trek is one such trek that lets you visit the lake along with camping near it. Brahmatal Trek is undoubtedly one of the Himalayan hikes you have to experience once in a lifetime. A magnificent setting of nature with crystal clear water, a shrine on the bank, fringed by snowy peaks – is all you will get when you reach the summit. Besides winter, Brahmatal Trek is one of a few great Himalayan treks that can be done in summer. Another major attraction of this trek is the breathtaking views of Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti from the summit.

State: Uttarakhand

Starting and Ending Point: Lohajung

Length of the Trail:

  • Drive to Lohajung.
  • Lohajung to Gujrani: 4.6 kilometres
  • Gujrani to Tilandi: 2.9 kilometres
  • Tilandi to Brahmatal: 5.5 kilometres
  • Brahmatal to Lohajung: 8.45 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Lohajung to Gujrani: 5 hours
  • Gujrani to Tilandi: 5 hours
  • Tilandi to Brahmatal: 6 hours
  • Brahmatal to Lohajung: 8 hours

Days Required: Minimum 6 Days

Highest Point: Brahmatal (3,400 metres)

Best Season:

  • March to June
  • December to February

Also Read: Best Trekking Destinations in Uttarakhand

Dodital Trek, An Autumn Trek!

Dodital Winter Trek

Dodital is named after Dodi, which means Himalayan trout in the local language. The lake is situated at a height of 3,310 metres in the lap of the Himalayan peaks flanked by deodar trees all around. Apart from the peaceful environ and the amazing views of Dodital, the place also attracts visitors for being home to a Ganesh Temple, which is situated on one corner of the lake. As per mythology, Lord Ganesha was born here. Trekkers can also trek to Darwa Top from Dodital Lake. Though the route is covered with snow for most of the year, people can trek only in autumn. It is one of the top Himalayan trekking places in India from where people can enjoy the mesmerising views of several snowy peaks along with the gorge where Ganga and Yamuna meet with each other.

State: Uttarakhand

Starting and Ending Point: Sangamchati

Length of the Trail:

  • Drive to Sangamchati.
  • Sangamchati to Bhebra: 8 kilometres
  • Bhebra to Manji: 9 kilometres
  • Manji to Dodital: 6 kilometres
  • Dodital to Darwa to Dodital: 10 kilometres
  • Dodital to Bhebra: 15 kilometres
  • Bhebra to Sangamchati: 8 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

  • Sangamchati to Bhebra: 5 hours
  • Bhebra to Manji: 5 hours
  • Manji to Dodital: 3 hours
  • Dodital to Darwa to Dodital: 7 hours
  • Dodital to Bhebra: 8 hours
  • Bhebra to Sangamchati: 4 hours

Days Required: Minimum 7 Days

Highest Point: Darwa Top (4,150 metres)

Best Season:

  • April to June
  • October to December

Also Check Out: Popular Moderate Treks in Uttarakhand

Kheerganga Trek, An Easy Trek For Beginners!

Kheerganga Trek

One of the top 10 easy Himalayan treks for beginners in the Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh, Kheerganga Trek is an invigorating journey itself. It’s a two-day long weekend trek, starts from Barshaini on foot, a village located just 45 minutes away from Kasol. The trail goes through dense forests along the flowing Parvati River. One of the best trekking routes in the Himalayas, the trail of Kheerganga Trek is filled with numerous waterfalls where you can get refreshed or take a rest in between the journey. The main highlight of the trek is relaxing in a hot spring after reaching the destination. Relaxing and bathing in the hot water and admiring the surrounding mountains at the top will wash away all of your tiredness from the hike and give you a one-of-a-kind experience for life.

State: Himachal Pradesh

Starting and Ending Point: Kasol

Length of the Trail:

  • Drive to Barshaini.
  • Barshaini to Kheerganga: 12 kilometres

Trekking Duration (Approx)

Barshaini to Kheerganga: 8 hours

Days Required: Minimum 2 Days

Highest Point: Kheerganga (2,950 metres)

Best Season: March to June

Also Check Out: Best Trekking Places in Himachal Pradesh

Expert Guide on The Things You Should Keep In Your Backpacks For A Himalayan Trek

Trekking Tips

A trek should be minimal, specifically the packing. Your backpack should be weighted light as you have to carry it while ascending the hills upwards so that it lets you maintain your pace without draining energy. Moreover, your backpack should be packed in the correct order according to the things you need to access first to the last. Here’s a list of must-pack essentials that you should remember to carry while preparing for trekking in the Himalayas.

  • Trekking shoes, which you need the most. Any trek requires sturdy trekking shoes having good grip, ankle support, comfort level and endurability to handle snow.
  • A 50-60 litre backpack, which has quick access pockets and good hip and shoulder support.
  • The right choice of clothes, to maintain 3-4 layers, especially for snow treks.
  • Sunglasses, to prevent snow blindness in winter treks.
  • Sun cap, to keep your body temperature in control.
  • Synthetic hand gloves, to grip and steady your hands in the snow.
  • Woollen socks, 3-4 pairs, to keep you warm.
  • Balaclava or woollen cap, to keep your head protected from cold wind. Make sure the cap covers your ears whenever necessary.
  • Trekking pole or stick, to ensure stability and support while ascending.
  • Other mandatory items you should pack in your backpack are:
    • Raincoat
    • Raincover for luggage
    • First-aid kit
    • Toilet kit
    • Cutlery
    • Personal Medicines
    • Important documents

Hope this travel guide on the best hiking trails in Himalaya will help you a lot to choose a trail to start trekking if you are a beginner. We know there is no limit to exploring the Indian Himalayas for adventure travelers. So, there could be more hiking trails that are suitable for beginners. Share your best memory of one such trek with us in the comments.

Other Important Trekking Resources

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which are the best Himalayan Treks for Beginners?

Following are the best Himalayan treks for beginners:

  • Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek
  • Kedarkantha Trek
  • Har Ki Dun Trek
  • Valley of Flowers Trek
  • Hampta Pass Trek
  • Nag Tibba Trek
  • Kartik Swami Trek
  • Sham Valley Trek
  • Brahmatal Trek
  • Dodital Trek
  • Kheerganga Trek

Which are the top Himalayan treks that you must experience in India?

Some of the top Himalayan treks that you must experience in India are:

  • Brahmatal Trek
  • Sandakphu Trek
  • Valley of Flowers Trek
  • Hampta Pass Trek
  • Buran Ghati Trek
  • Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
  • Kedartal Trek
  • Everest Base Camp Trek
  • Goechala Trek
  • Bali Pass Trek

Which are the best Himalayan treks in India for the spring season?

Some of the best Himalayan treks in India for the spring season (March and April) are:

  • Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek
  • Sandakphu Trek
  • Kuari Pass Trek
  • Dayara Bugyal Trek
  • Kedarkantha Trek
  • Har ki Dun Trek
  • Chirbatiya Trek
  • Khopra Ridge Trek

Which are the top Himalayan treks in India for the winter season?

The top Himalayan treks in India for the winter season:

  • Sandakphu Trek
  • Kuari Pass Trek
  • Chadar Trek
  • Hampta Pass Trek
  • Nag Tibba Trek
  • Kedarkantha Trek
  • Har ki Dun Trek
  • Dzongri Trek
  • Prashar Lake Trek

Which are the top safety tips for trekking in the Himalayas?

The top safety tips for trekking in the Himalayas:

  • Choose your guide wisely.
  • Train yourself physically and mentally before a trek.
  • Solo trek sounds fine until you get lost. So, always trek in a group.
  • Always pack your necessary things first.
  • Pack your daily medicine and other important medicines with a first-aid kit.
  • Do not leave the trail and get busy doing other things or inform others before leaving.
  • Learn some survival skills to manage you and your teammates in an emergency.
  • Get acclimated properly to avoid altitude sickness.

Published: 01 Aug, 2022

About the author

Nandini Bhattacharya

From the ‘City of Joy,’ Kolkata, Nandini Bhattacharya is a Travel Writer by profession and traveller by passion. She loves to explore places around the world, new cultures, different cuisines and all new things that one can learn outside the home. She also loves to document her journey so that people can be inspired and travel more. Nandini is a nature lover and talks about sustainable tourism. She wants to make this world a good place where people can live healthy and happily.