15 Best High Altitude Trekking in India

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High Altitude Trekking Adventure Destinations in Indian Himalayas

For all the adventure buffs, there’s nothing as exciting, intriguing, fascinating, pulsating as trekking. And it’s fun ultimately doubles when there are some high-altitude treks to conquer. Most of them featuring picturesque meadows, the high- altitude treks give an opportunity to see fascinating sceneries in the world. No doubt, there are many hilly ranges in the world where you can expect such similar features, but it’s the Indian Himalayan Region where most of the trekking lovers find comfort. Home to some sky touching snow-capped glaciated peaks with a vibrant mosaic of peoples, and cultures, Indian Himalayan Region is the crowning apex of nature’s grandeur offering the range of high altitude trekking trails. Some of which even are even 5960 m. For sure, you will be thinking somewhere in the back of your mind – isn’t it 5960 m way too high for trekking? Yes, it is, but who says that beauty comes easily after all. So without further ado, here’s guide to high altitude trekking trails in India.

High Altitude Trekking Adventure Destinations in Indian Himalayas

1. Chadar Trek, Jammu and Kashmir

chadar trek

Not only this is the best high altitude trek but also a prominent winter trek too. But why it called Chadar? Is it a place? The reason why it is called so is that during the winter season the river turns into a blanket (which in Hindi means Chadar), and you will have to trek on it. Adding to thrill is that the temperature here remains -20 degree Celsius or so. Sounding thrilling, isn’t it? The trekking expedition begins from the Chilling village, it further leads to Zaribago, Deepyokma, Nyarak Village, Nyarakpulu and then to a small village called Lingshed. From Lingshed, continue trekking to Tso Mopoaldar via Nyarakpulu and then to Chilling via Tilatdo.

Altitude: 3850 m (12631.2 ft)

Duration: 9-12 days

Route: Chilling-Zaribago-Deepyokma- Naerak Pullu -Lingshed-Nyarakpulu-Tso Mopoaldar-Tilatdo-Chilling

Best Time to Visit: Mid-January–February

Grade: Moderate – Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railway Station: Jammu railway station

Nearest Airport: The Leh Airport

2. Kinnaur Kailash Circuit Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Kinner Kailash trek

Taking you to the winter abode of Lord Shiva, Kinnaur Kailash Circuit Trek is an ideal to opt for a spiritual tour to Himachal Pradesh. According to the legends, this was the place where during the month of January Lord Shiva used to organize the meeting of all gods and goddesses. This 11 days trek starts from Thangi village near Chail, navigates through scenic Charang Village, high mountain pass of Charang La standing at an altitude of 17,200 ft. above sea level, and finally ends at Manali via Chitkul, Tabo and Losar. Main highlight of the trek is Kinner Kailash Shivling, which is 79 feet high and 30-40 feet wide. From the Shivling, you can see the view of Great Himalayan Mountain Range like Mt. Jorkandan and Mt. Rangrik. You can also cut down this long trip short by getting down to Tangling, and then trek to reach Kinner Kailash.

Altitude: 5242 m (17200 ft)

Duration: 11 days

Route: Shimla – Kalpa – Lambar – Shurting – Charang – Lalanti – Chitkul – Shimla

Best Time to Visit: Mid-May – September

Grade: Moderate – Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railway Station: Kalka railway station

Nearest Airport: Jubbarhati Airport, Shimla

3. Stok Kangri Trek, Jammu and Kashmir

stok-kangri-trek

Not only this trek will take you to high altitudes but also promises to test your endurance at every time (literally). Stok Kangri Trek is counted amongst the challenging treks of Ladakh that not only includes mere trekking but also demands climbing, steep trekking through rough snow patches, mountain trekking, in short everything that can be nerve-racking. This adventurous trail commences from Sumdo, then heads to Shang La via Shang Phu, where you may see wolves. Further, you will trek down to Tokpo Rivera and make your way to Matho La by passing through Gangpoche. Then make your way to a ridge that offers the stunning view of Saltoro Kangri. Then you will trek through the grasslands which will be right behind the stream. Thereafter to the Stok Kangri Peak.

Altitude: 5242 m (17200 ft)

Duration: 11 days

Route: Leh – Stok Village – Chang Ma – Mankorma – Base Camp – Stok Kangri – Base camp – Leh

Best Time to Visit: July to September

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railway Station: Jammu train station

Nearest Airport: The Leh Airport

4. Darcha – Padum Trek, Jammu and Kashmir

Darcha-Padum-Trek

There’s something about the Darcha Padum Trek, it’s strenuous and even after getting so many cuts and slits adventurers just don’t quit as the views are so much promising. By opting for this trek, you will explore Lahaul area and all the three main regions of Ladakh. Now, do you get the idea why is it so much strenuous? The trek is not all about walking on the hill but also includes trudging through several high mountains, beautiful valleys and lofty glaciers, and crossing river streams. Commencing from the Darcha in Lahaul valley, the trek will take you to places like Palamo, Zanskar Sumdo, Chuminakpo, Lakong, Purne and Ichar before reaching Padum.

Altitude: 5090 m (16699.48 ft)

Duration: 14-15 days

Route: Manali – Darcha – Palemo – Zanskar Sumdo – Chumi Napo – Shingo La (5090m) – Lakham – Kurgiak – Tetha – Purni – Ichar – Mune – Padum – Leh

Best Time to Visit: July to September

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railway Station: Chandigarh railway station

Nearest Airport: Bhuntar Airport Kullu

5. Goecha La Trek, Sikkim

goecha la trek

Ahh! Goecha La. there’s something about this place! Its charming, pretty and supernatural. And that’s perhaps the reason why it is counted amongst the most romantic treks in India. But what’s so much romantic about this trek? Well, by opting for this trek, you will trudge through rhododendron forests along with the blue water of Samiti Lake and the sprawling meadows. Kick starting from Yuksom, this beautiful trek covers destinations like Tshoka, Phedang, Dzongri, Kokchurang, Thangsing and Lamuney. Before planning a trip to Goecha La, make a point to take the special trekking permit from Gangtok.

Altitude: 4,940 m (16,207 ft)

Duration: 10-12 days

Route: Yuksom – Bhakim – Tshoka – Dzongri – Thangsing – Lamuney – Goecha La – Kockchurang – Tshoka – Yuksom

Best Time to Visit: Mid-March to Mid-June and September to Mid-November

Grade: Moderate to challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railway Station: New Jalpaiguri railway station

Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport

6. Auden’s Col Trek, Uttarakhand

Auden Col Trek

One of the toughest trek that you can undertake at the Garhwal mountains, Auden’s Col Trek was discovered it in 1935 by the John Bicknell Auden, a British Geographical Survey officer. And that is how the trek got its name. The interesting feature of the trek is that it forms a bridge between north – west ridge of Gangotri III, which stands at an elevation of 6,580 meters and the ridge coming from Jogin I at 6465 meters on the east. The trekking expedition begins from Gangotri; cuts and runs through Nala Camp, Rudugaira Base Camp, Basecamp Gangotri Group, before concluding at Auden Col base camp. Further, it will cover attractions like Khatling Glacier, Waterfall Camp, Chowki, Masar Tal, Vasuki Tal, Kedarnath, Gaurikund, Rudraprayag and then end at Rishikesh.

Altitude: 5490 mts (18011.81 ft)

Duration: 18 days

Route: Rishikesh – Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Nala Camp – Rudugaira Base Camp – Basecamp Gangotri Group – Auden Col base camp – Khatling Glacier – Waterfall Camp – Chowki – Masar Tal – Vasuki Tal – Kedarnath – Gaurikund – Rudraprayag – Rishikesh

Best Time to Visit: Mid-May – Mid May – Mid October except July and August

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railhead: Haridwar

Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun

7. Kalindikhal Trek, Uttarakhand

Kalindikhal Trek

Here comes the yet another toughest trek of the Garhwal mountains – Kalindikhal Trek. Commencing from Gangotri, this trek will take you to some of the most iconic attractions like Tapovan (4250 m), Nandanvan (4500 m), Vasuki Tal (5300 m), Kalindi Base (5590 m), Kalindikhal (5948 m), Arwa Tal (3980 m), and Gash told (3600 m). Be it trudging through the snow glaciers, climbing over the boulders or even river crossing, the trek includes everything thrilling. Another uniqueness of the trail is that it lets you explore half of Garhwal from the Bhagirathi river valley to the Alaknanda river valley.

Altitude: 5946 m (19500 ft)

Duration: 18 days

Route: Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Bhojwassa – Gomukh – Nandanvan – Vasuki Tal – Khara Pathar – Sweta Glacier – Kalindikhal Base – Kalindi Peak – Raja Parav – Arwa Tal – Ghastoli – Mana – Badrinath – Rishikesh

Best Time to Visit: Mid-June – July & August

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railhead: Haridwar

Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun

8. Panpatia Col Trek, Uttarakhand

Panpatia Col Trek

Before starting this trek, let me give you a short disclaimer, many people have opted for this trek, and most of them lost their way and never came back. After this short yet bombastic introduction, you must have understood Panpatia Col Trek’s intensity. The trek is tough and that’s perhaps the reason why it is offbeat but it is unique as it connects the two most sacred monuments of Uttarakhand- Badrinath, and Kedarnath. The trek starts from Badrinath, then heads to Nilkanth Khal via Dumkal Kharak. Further, you will visit the snout of Panpatia Glacier and later towards Panpatia plateau. After Panpatia plateau, you will cross Panpatia Col, the trail leads to Maidagala Tal. Thereafter, you will start trekking downhill to Ransi.

Altitude: 5260 mts (17255 ft)

Duration: 15 days

Route: Rishikesh – Joshimath – Badrinath – Shepherd camp – Snout camp – Moraine Camp (4300m) – Base of Parvati Col – Panpatia Snowfield – Camp I – Across Panpatia Col (5260m) – Camp at Sujal Sarovar – Kachni – Nanu chatti – Ransi – Rudraprayag

Best Time to Visit: Mid-May – Mid October

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railhead: Haridwar

Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun

9. Pin Parvati Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Pin Parvati Pass Trek

Pin Parvati trek is not meant for faint hearted people (i mean, literally). The highest point of the trek is the Parvati and Pin valley, which is located at an altitude of 5300 meters, and was first crossed by Sir Louis Dane in the year 1884. The trek is approximately 108 kilometres long and to complete you will need at least 16 days. The trek commences from Khirganga, ends at Manali and during the journey covers the attractions like Tunda Bhuj, Thakur Kuan, Odi Thach, Mantalai Lake, and Base of Pin Parvati Pass.

Altitude: 5319 m (17452 ft)

Duration: 16 days

Route: Khirganga – Tunda Bhuj – Thakur Kuan – Odi Thach – Mantalai Lake – Base of Pin Parvati Pass – Campsite over Pin Pass – Tiai – Mud – Gulling – Kaza – Manali

Best Time to Visit: July – September

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railhead: Joginder Nagar railway station

Nearest Airport: Bhuntar Airport

10. Shivling Base Camp Trek, Uttarakhand

Shivling Base Camp Trek

Reckoned amongst the most spiritual treks of Garhwal Himalaya, Shivling Base Camp Trek is a tough trek that requires a lot of skill and determination. In 1974, the Tibetan Border Police discovered it and till now it is quite favorite amongst the trekkers. During the journey, you will get an opportunity to see peaks like Hanuman Tibba (5,370 meters), Bhrigu Parbat (6,000 meters), Bhagirathi I (6,856 meters), Bhagirathi II (6,512 meters) and Bhagirathi III (6,454 meters) and Mt. Meru (6,400 meters). Besides, the trek covers the many sacred destinations of Uttarakhand like Gangotri, Gaumukh, and Vasuki Tal.

Altitude: 5263 mts (17263 ft)

Duration: 15 days

Route: Uttarkashi – Gangotri – Bhojwassa – Tapovan – Nandanvan – Vasuki Tal – Bhojbasa – Uttarkashi

Best Time to Visit: May – Mid October

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railhead: Haridwar

Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport Dehradun

11. Bara Bhangal Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Bara Bhangal Trek

Regarded as the most challenging trek, Bara Bhangal offers a good look inside the Himachal Pradesh. Stretching from 2,050 meters to about 5,000 meters, the Bara Bhangal trek offers the view of most magnificent view of the peaks like Indrasan, Deo Tibba, and Hanuman Tibba. Starting from Lama Dugh at 3,380 meters, which is about a 4 -5 hours of drive from Manali, the trek passes through Rani Sui, Taintagiri Glacier, Phulan Got, Koari, Bara Bhangal village and Balu Got, Taintu Pass before reaching Manali. The trek also cuts and runs through various hot water springs that believe having medicinal value and further the rich alpine bed produces many medicinal plants.

Altitude: 5260 mts (17255 ft)

Duration: 15 days

Route: Lama Dugh – Riyali Thach – Base of Kalihani Pass – Devi ki Marhi – Dal Marhi – Bara Bhangal – Marhi – Plachak

Best Time to Visit: May to September

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railhead: Joginder Nagar railway station

Nearest Airport: Bhuntar Airport

12. Junglam Hemis to Padum Trek, Jammu and Kashmir

Junglam Hemis to Padum Trek

Surely, on this trek, you will be having the best time of your life; it will take you such routes where even google can’t reach. Beginning from the Hemis monastery, the trek cuts and runs through the beautiful Markha Valley and Junglam before concluding at Zanskar. Demanding a lot of determination and skills, the trek passes places like Kongmaru La, Dhungri, Phay, Shingbuk La, Tso Kar, Nuruchan via Horlam La, Rachungkaru, Kyamuri La, Kartse La, Gyama, Karzok, Kiangdom, Umlung, Parang La and finally reaches Kibber.

Altitude: 5200 mts (17056 ft)

Duration: 17 days

Route: Leh – Shang Sumdo – Latza Kongmaru – Kongmaru La – Langthang Chu – Zalung Kapro La – Tilat Sumdo – Char Char La – Zangla umdo – Zangla – Padum – Rangdum Mulbekh – Leh

Best Time to Visit: July, August and September

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach:

Nearest Railhead: Jammu Railway Station

Nearest Airport: Leh Airport

13. Tsomoriri – Spiti Valley Trek via Parang La, Jammu and Kashmir

Tsomoriri Lake

Tsomoriri – Spiti Valley trek will take you back to the time when there were no roads and local villagers of the Spiti valley used to walk all the way to the Tsomoriri for the trade purpose. Nerve wrecking even today, this trek continues to fascinate tourists. The trek begins from the campsite at Kaza and then traverses through Parang La via Dumla, Thaltak Meadow, Jagtha, Bonrojen, Dak Karzong, Datang Yongma and Chumik Shilde.

Altitude: 5600 mts (18372.7 ft)

Duration: 10 days

Route: Kaza — Dumla – Thaltak Meadow – Jagtha – Bonrojen – Dak Karzong – Datang Yongma – Chumik Shilde – Tso Moriri – Karzog – Leh

Best Time to Visit: July & August

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach

Nearest Railhead: Joginder Nagar railway station

Nearest Airport: Bhuntar Airport

14. Green Lake Trek, Sikkim

green-lake-trek

As the name suggest, it will take you to the iconic green lake of Sikkim by crossing fascinating sights comprising green meadows strewn, and layers of white snow. Journey to the lake commences from Green Lake, and then you will cross Tallem, Zema, Jakthang, Yabuk and then finally conclude your trek at the Green Lake basecamp. The jaw-dropping landscapes with unusual rock formation and rhododendrons-strewn trails make this Green Lake trek extremely famous amongst the trekkers. Moreover, the trek will give you an opportunity to witness and contemplate the culture of Sikkim. The trek is mainly known for its biodiversity and pulsating landscapes that remain itched in your life forever.

Altitude: 4935 mts (16186ft)

Duration: 16 days

Route: Lachen – Talem – Jakthang – Yabuk – Green Lake – Yabuk – Jakthang

Best Time to Visit: April & October

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach

Nearest Railhead: New Jalpaiguri Railway Station

Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Airport

15. Bhaba Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Bhaba Pass Trek

Finally, comes the last but the most thrilling trek of the list – Bhaba Pass trek. The high-altitude trek crossings over the Bhaba (4,850m) is an experience of the time. Opening from Shimla, the trail cuts and runs through the stunning attractions, dewy meadows, stark landscapes full of alpine flowers, stunning river valley, before reaching the final destination Mudh. Along with all these unique nature elements, most unique part of the trek is that you will get to know the rich Himachali culture and Buddhist monasteries.

Altitude: 5260 mts (17250ft)

Duration: 11 days

Route: Kafnoo – Mulling – Kara – Fustirang – Bara Bulder – Parka – Mudh

Best Time to Visit: June – Mid October

Grade: Challenging

How to Reach

Nearest Railhead: Joginder Nagar railway station

Nearest Airport: Bhuntar Airport Kullu

India is full of high altitude treks that await attention. With dramatic jungles, snow-capped mountains eloped in the clouds, sparkling white glaciers, dripping rhododendron forest., and extreme wilderness, there’s nothing better than Himalaya for high altitude trekking. And for high altitude trekking in India, there’s nothing better than Tour My India. Pick a trek that suits you and book yourself a wonderful trekking tour. For any queries, please feel free to contact me at +91-9212553109 or post your questions in the comment box below.

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About

Having an experience of more than 16 yrs in the Himalayas, Arun is the main driving force & mentor at the Peak Adventure Tours, a leading adventure travel agency in India offers trekking tours in Indian Himalayas including Nepal, Bhutan & Tibet. A long history with exceptional experiences he is the “Marathon Man” in the field of adventure. Today Arun looks after the Peak Adventure and shapes & designs the venture of the organization. He is contributing to this blog as a regular guest author.


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