Adventure

Top 15 Treks in Uttarakhand that Should be Your Summer Goals in 2018

Top 15 Treks in Uttarakhand that Should be Your Summer Goals in 2018
Updated: July 3, 2018 /

As the spring commences in India, the trees start to get dressed again, and the snowy mountains undress, what a sight it is to savour and plan your first trek of the season in 2018. The beaut Rhododendron orchards coming back to life; the chilly time of dawn and dusk; the echoes of the temple bells; the fresh breath of air; and that aroma of Maggi being prepared somewhere, you have to be in Uttarakhand for your first trek because nothing can be more rewarding than this North India destination for summer adventure holidays in 2018. A nice trekking season begins in the state soon after the winter months end. You have the perfect chance to enjoy the best hiking in Uttarakhand on some easy and moderate trails that are both beautiful and unforgettable. The best time to visit is between March and August as during this time trekking opportunities are in plenty and are to even some popular religious places like Kedarnath and Gangotri as well as to national parks like Valley of Flowers. This is why this trekking season that begins with March, is the time you make most of this adventurous state by relishing expeditions to its must-visit destinations that await to embrace you.

Chopta Chandrashila Trek

Chopta Chadrashila Trek Uttarakhand

Altitude: 2679 m to 3682 m
Time Taken: 5 Days
Trek Gradient: Moderate with sharp ascent till Tungnath (2 km) followed by arduous steep climb to Chandrashila (1.5 km).
Trek Route: Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashila

Probably the most popular trek in Uttarakhand, Chopta Chandrashila Trek is your opportunity to relish uncontaminated views of the majestic Himalayan peaks like Chaukhamba I (7138 m), Chaukhamba II (7057 m), Chaukhamba III (6974 m), Chaukhamba IV (6854 m), Nanda Devi (7816 m), Trishul (7120 m), Nandaghunti (6309 m), Kamet (7756 m), Dunagiri (7066 m), Kedar dome (6940 m), Thalaysagar (6904 m), Gangotri ranges, Janhukut (6804 m), and Mandani Parvat (6192 m) It is a one-day trek that is amongst the best treks for summer in Garhwal and should be started in the early hours of the morning, in order to return before the sunset to the camp at Chopta. Chandrashila, which is the summit point of the trek is accessible through, can be reached via Tungnath Temple that is reckoned to be the highest Shiva temple in the world. This Till Tungnath there is cemented trail which is quite steep and has 11 scissor bends but it is ok for trekking with family. From the temple onward, is extremely steep but is filled with spectacular views of the surroundings. On top of the summit is another Shiva Temple, which is said to have been built by Lord Rama to repent for killing Ravana. An arduous trek, Chopta Chandrashila rewards you with the most stunning views of the Himalayas, indeed the memories of which, will remain with your forever.

Har Ki Dun Trek

Har Ki Dun Valley Trek

Altitude: 1949 m to 3586 m
Time Taken: 9 Days (7 days trek and 2 days travelling)
Trek Gradient: Moderate
Trek Route: Sankri- Puani Garaat via Taluka-Kalkatiyadhar-Har Ki Dun

They say that Har ki Dun trek is a ‘Stairway to the Heaven.’ True, indeed, as this is the beautiful nature trail that the Pandavas followed to ascend to the heaven from Swargarohini Peak. Offbeat, less-trodden and incredibly beautiful, Har Ki Dun is the best summer trek in Uttarakhand Himalayas that can be done between the months of March and August in Uttarakhand. Accessible from Govind Pashu Vihar in Garhwal, Har ki Dun is a remote valley that can only be reached by crossing ancient villages, which date back to 3000 years; alpine meadows; glacier basins; moraine ridges; and pine forests. The trekking trail promises brilliant views of the Himalayan peaks like Bandarpoonch (6316), Blackpeak (6387) and Ruinsara Peaks. In fact, the Har Ki Dun is the only trail from where all peaks of Swargarohini – I, II, III can be sighted. It is a cradle-shaped valley, the hiking route for which runs along the Supin River, where one has the chance to cross path with wild animals like Black Bears and Swamp Deer. A large variety of birds including the state bird, Himalayan Monal is likely to be spotted on this trek that begins from Sankri, a pretty little village. Har ki Dun makes one of the best hiking & nature tours in Himalayas, and thus should be included in your list as well.

Valley of Flowers Trek

Valley of Flowers Trek Uttarakhand

Altitude: 1920 m to 3505 m
Time Taken: 7 Days
Trek Gradient: Easy to Moderate
Trek Route: Govind Ghat/Poolna – Ghangria – Valley of Flowers

Like everyone puts it, Valley of Flowers is where you go to see the riots of colours that are there due to the unbridled blooming of flowers. This best trekking place that is ideal in the months of July and August in Uttarakhand is a way to witness a slice of paradise on earth, and indeed is one of its kind opportunity. Valley of Flowers is a two-day trek that does not fail to give long duration treks a run for money. The picturesque views of the sea of flowers; lofty snow-clad mountains; scintillating streams and brooks, can make anyone fall in love with this place instantly. The trek begins from Poolna (Earlier it was Govindghat), which is also the base for a trek to popular Sikh pilgrimage of Hemkund Sahib. From Poolna, a 9 km trek partially along the river takes one to the tabular land of Ghangaria, which becomes a place for a night stay. From Ghangaria another 3.7 km trek leads to the paradise called Valley of Flowers where you get to walk on a carpet of grass from time to time. Witness various types of bees and insects hovering on a variety of flowers like Blue Poppy, Meadow Geranium, Hooked Stick Seed, Himalayan Rose, River Anemone, Snake Foil,White Leaf Hog Foot and Dog Flower along with Brahma Kamal. The trek ends at a place from where you can see a glacier. Valley of Flowers is a special trek , and thus missing out on it is something you must never do.

Nanda Devi East Base Camp Trek

Nanda Devi East Base Camp Trek

Altitude: 1850 m to 4800 m
Time Taken: 17 Days (4 days travelling/14 days trekking)
Trek Gradient: Difficult
Trek Route: Munsiyari-Lilam-Bugdiyar-Martoli via Rilkot-Patta-Bitalgwar-Nanda Devi East Base Camp via Narspanpati Herding Ground.

Since Nanda Devi is reckoned to be one of the most beautiful mountains in the world, its base camp has to make it to the list of top treks in Uttarakhand. During this trek that begins in the Upper Kumaon Region of the state, one has the opportunity to get the closest to the twin peaks of Nanda Devi Mountain, since the Nanda Devi Inner Sanctuary has been closed for visitors, which otherwise made for the closest encounter with this Himalayan Mountain. Nanda Devi East Base Camp is a difficult trek, and thus is for the seasoned trekkers who will endure 14 gruelling days in order to get the rewarding views of a lesser-trodden and surreal region in Uttarakhand. On this expedition, Gori Ganga River is a constant partner that add beauty to this trek. The initial climb of the trek is comparatively easy but the difficulties gradually increase as one goes higher in altitude. During the climb, trekkers have the chance to witness surreal remote villages, lush meadows and pretty waterfalls that are located every few kilometres. A number of switchbacks between Oak and deodar forests and narrow ridges should be expected on this trek. One also has the opportunity to pay homage at the Nanda Devi Temple that stands in the shadow of this mighty peak in Martoli. The trail also goes through the patches of birch and rhododendron forests, which may melt your heart with the views. The final stretch of the trek, one has to cross several ice bridge and boulders, however, the view of the majestic Nanda Devi post it can make up for everything that you had to go through.

Gangotri – Gaumukh Trek

Gangotri Gaumukh Trek

Altitude: 3064 m to 4328 m
Time Taken: 07 Days (4 day travel/3 days trekking)
Trek Gradient: Moderate-Difficult
Trek Route: Gangotri – Chirbasa – Bhojbasa – Gaumukh

What can be more interesting than witnessing the origin point of a river as sacred and popular as Ganga. It is a reason enough to choose Gangotri-Gaumukh Trek, though, there are plenty of things that you will fall in love with while on this trek. Beginning from one of the most popular religious destinations in Uttarakhand, Gangotri, this is an exciting trek that encounters several waterfalls, glaciers, and offers surreal views of Himalayan peaks like Mt. Shivling (6543 m), Mt. Meru (6660 m) and Sudarshan Parbat (6507 m). It is one of those rare expeditions where you can savour a view of an entire mountain (Mt Shivling) from bottom to the top, and it is truly spectacular. The Bhagirathi River constantly gives you company on this adventurous trail that cuts and runs through narrow and wide valleys, Gaumukh Glacier and boulders and moraine. This trek in Uttarakhand is truly worth repeating, and each time you attempt it, there will be something new to see and learn.

Roopkund Trek

Roopkund Pass Trek

Altitude: 2438 m to 4876 m
Time Taken: 08 Days (5 days trekking and 3 days travelling)
Trek Gradient: Moderate
Trek Route: Lohajung – Wan – Ghairoli Patal – Bedni Bugyal – Patar Nachauni – Bhagwabhasa – Roopkund – Junargali

Roopkund Trek, apart from being an ideal place for best adventure trips, it is an opportunity to introspect that how small and incapable we are as human. Tucked away in the alpine Uttarakhand, behind those majestic meadows and Himalayan Peaks, Roopkund Lake is a place that you must plan a trek to if you are an adventure enthusiast. The expedition boasts being amongst the best in Uttarakhand as one has the chance to traverse the breathtaking meadows of Ali and Bedni and the gurgling and scintillating streams only to find a pristine lake dotted with 300 human skeletons, the last part created that eerie feel right? Well, apart from its isolated location and back-breaking yet scenic hiking trail, Roopkund is indeed famous for its mysterious human skeletons that are said to have been here since ages. It is believed a group of pilgrims and locals were travelling through this trail when cricket ball size hail stones hit their head and killed them, this happened somewhere in 854 AD and the body of these people turned into skeleton which we see now. Coming back to the trek, Roopkund is a tedious journey with quite a rewarding view. Throughout the trek, imposing Himalayan Mountains, Trishul (7120 m) and Nandaghunti (6309 m) are your companions, and Chaukhamba range, Neelkanth peak, Kedarnath, Kedar Dome and several other mountains are the encounters you have with on one point of the trek or the other. The trail is full of steep climbs and slippery descents but the end result is always something to remember forever.

Kuari Pass Trek

Kuari Pass Trek

Altitude: 2040 m to 3814 m
Time Taken: 9 Days (6 days trekking and 3 days travelling)
Trek Gradient: Easy to Moderate
Trek Route: Guling – Khullara – Chitrakantha

Reckoned to be one of the best treks for beginners, Kuari Pass would be ideal for those heading to Himalayas for the first time. This trek in Uttarakhand takes one on an ancient forest trail that every now and then open to a meadow and then cuts and runs through oak and rhododendron forest. Beginning from Guling, the trekking route passes through stunning places that have incredible views of the Himalayan mountains on offer. On the way, one can relish the spectacular Mt Nanda Devi (7816 m), Mt Dronagiri (7066 m), Hathi Peak (6727 m) and Ghoda Peak. From the ridge (on Lord Curzon’s Trail) that one reaches after climbing up from Khullara, a 360-degree view of Himalayan peaks like Chaukhamba, Neelkanth and Nilgiri await to fill one with memories. Apart from the marvellous views, this trekking expedition also lets the trekkers enjoy a fabulous camping experience. Hardly there are treks that have such majestic camping spots, and Kuari Pass is truly an exception. In places like Chitrakantha and Khullara, one can relish quality camping time with the backdrop of Mt Dronagiri. Kuari Pass is an amazing trek in Uttarakhand, and thus must be done to inspire oneself for more adventures in the Himalayas.

Mt Shivling Trekking

Mt Shivling Trek

Altitude: 3048 m to 4800 m
Time Taken: 13 Days (including travelling and trekking)
Trek Gradient: Easy to Moderate
Trek Route: Gangotri – Bhojbasa – Gaumukh – Tapovan – Nandanvan-Vasuki Tal

Mt Shivling Trek is more or less same as the trek to Gaumukh-Tapovan as we discussed earlier in this blog. And one has to be prepared to become awestruck with such uncontaminated beauty of nature on offer all through this trek. This expedition in Uttarakhand is an opportunity to sight one of the most beautiful mountains of Indian Himalayas, that too from bottom to top, which is an unlikely case. Beginning from the sacred religious destination of Gangotri, the trekking route for Mt Shivling runs along the Bhagirathi River and occasionally cuts through pine forests. One also gets to traverse the pretty meadow of Tapovan that stretches far and wide offering to be the best campsite during this trek. The distant views of Bhagirathi Peaks and the glacier make for an imposing sight to catch. The highlight of this trek is the Gangotri Glacier walk which is both exciting and thrilling. Also, the surreal views of Mt Satopanth (7075 m) and Vasuki Tal (4880 m) are likely to keep the memories of this trek forever etched in your heart.

Auden’s Col Trek

Auden's Col Trek

Altitude: 3048 m to 5400 m
Time Taken: 18 Days (5 days travelling and 13 days trekking)
Trek Gradient: Difficult
Trek Route: Gangotri – Nala Camp – Rudragaira Base Camp – Gangotri Base Camp – Auden Col Base Camp – Khatling Glacier – Zero Point/Waterfall Camp – Chowki – Masar Tal – Vasuki Tal – Kedarnath – Gaurikund

A technical trek that requires walking & hiking on glaciers and use of ropes every now and then, Auden’s Col is for seasoned trekkers who would need two whole weeks to accomplish it. It is a high mountain pass that connects Gangotri Valley with Kedar Valley in Uttarakhand and is said to be the most adventurous religious trek. It begins from Gangotri, and passes through a deep and dark Pine and Birch Forest from where one can relish an occasional sighting Jogin and Kedartal Range. The trek becomes arduous when one reaches the notorious Khatling Glacier. During this adventurous expedition, one gets to traverse high altitude lakes like Masar Tal and Vasuki Tal. The memories of camping along the scintillating Rudragaira River are also an essential part of this difficult yet amazing trek in Uttarakhand.

Kalindikhal Trek

Kalindikhal Trek

Altitude: 3048 m to 5946 m
Time Taken: 10 Days
Trek Gradient: Difficult
Trek Route: Gangotri – Bhojbasa – Nanadanvan – Vasuki Tal – Khara Pathar – Kalindikhal Base – Raja Parav – Arwatal – Ghastoli – Mana – Badrinath

Another difficult trek in Uttarakhand, Kalindikhal lets you cover over half of the Garhwal Region. The trek that begins from Gangotri ends at the most famous religious destination of the state, Badrinath. However, it is a gruelling trek that requires a lot of physical stamina and a skill to walk over glaciers, boulders, scree and snowfields. On this adventurous journey, one gets to traverse Bhagirathi River Valley to Alaknanda River Valley during which the imposing views of majestic Himalayan Mountains like Mt Satopanth (7075 m), Vasuki, Bhagirathi, Shivling (6543 m) and Chandra Parvat are guaranteed. The trek also give one the opportunity to sight majestic and dreamlike alpine lakes like Vasuki Tal (4880 m). Though it is only for the seasoned trekkers and can only be accomplished after undergoing some gruelling days of trekking, it does make a rewarding expedition in the lap of Uttarakhand Himalayas.

Satopanth Lake Trek

Satopanth Lake Trek

Altitude: 3300 m to 4330 m
Time Taken: 08 Days (4 days traveling and 4 days trekking)
Trek Gradient: Moderate to Difficult
Trek Route: Badrinath – Mana Village – Laxmi Van – Chakrateerth – Satopanth Lake

Tucked away in the Garhwal Himalayas, the emerald lake of Satopanth is a perfect detour from the bustling religious destination of Badrinath. The trekking experience to this gem of a place is truly unforgettable as it is replete with moments spent commendable places like the last village of India, Mana. The trek that begins from top tourism place, Badrinath also crosses spectacular waterfalls like Vasundhara and dreamlike forests of Birch trees. Walking over the Dhano Glacier and the unparalleled view from Balakun of the convergence of two giant glaciers are amongst the major highlights of the Satopanth Lake trek. Camping at Chakratirtha that overlooks the Satopanth Glacier and has Swargarohini and Chaukhamba Ranges towering in the background is also a memory to preserve from this gorgeous trek that ends with the surreal view of the jade green lake after a pleasant ridge walk.

Garuda Peak Climbing Trek

Garuda Peak Climbing Trek

Photo: https://goo.gl/NwY9np

Altitude: 2286 m to 6000 m
Time Taken: 11 Days (including travelling and trekking)
Trek Gradient: Moderate to Difficult
Trek Route: Jumma – Ruing Village – Dronagiri Village – Garuda Peak Base Camp – Camp One – Garuda Peak

One of the lesser-known peaks, Garuda that stand tall at an elevation of 6000 m and makes an interesting trekking and climbing expedition in Uttarakhand. During this trek, you have an opportunity to enjoy the unsurpassed beauty of the Garhwal Himalayas that comprises of charming remote villages, mighty mountains and glaciers. The journey for Garuda Peak begins from Jumma, which is some 45 km from top tourist destination in Uttarakhand, Joshimath. The trekking trail then crosses villages of Ruing and Dronagiri, where you have the opportunity to interact with the locals and take a peek inside their daily lives. During this gruelling trek of 8 days, one has the company of Hathi Parbat (6507 m), Gauri Parbat (6708 m), Satminal (6911 m), Dunagiri Parbat (7066 m), Trishul Parbat (7120 m), Mt. Kalanka (6931 m), Changabang Parbat, and several others which somehow make up for all the difficulties that one has to face.

Milam Glacier Trek

Milam Glacier Trek

Altitude: 2290 m to 4200 m
Time Taken: 13 days (4 day traveling/9 days trekking)
Trek Gradient: Moderate
Trek Route: Munsiyari – Lilam – Bugdyar – Martoli – Ganghar – Pachu – Burfu – Glacier – Rilkot – Bugdyar – Lilam – Munsiyari

Reckoned to be one of the most popular treks in Uttarakhand, Milam Glacier had to make it to this list for its breathtaking trail and a great trekking experience. This expedition is probably one of the best ways to explore the upper realms of Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand, which would include sighting some surreal valleys and meadows; finding the source of River Goriganga and paying visit at a high altitude Nanda Devi Temple in Martoli. The embarked journey also offers views of some stunning gorges through which flows shimmering streams. The sight of ghost villages along with that of lofty mountains peaks of Nanda Devi and Trishul make this trek worthy of all the efforts. The trek begins from the pretty town of Munsiyari, which is famed for rendering the chance to view the picture perfect Panchachuli Peaks. Truly, Milam Glacier trek is an epitome of adventure, it is also an inspiration to keep the flame of exploring ignited forever.

Adi Kailash & Om Parvat Trek

Adi Kaislash and Om Parvat Trek

Altitude: 950 m to 4419 m
Time Taken: 12 Days (including travelling and trekking)
Trek Gradient: Tough
Trek Route: Dharchula – Lakhanpur – Lamari – Budi – Nabi – Namapa – Kutti – Jollingkong – Kutti – Namapa – Nabi – Om Parvat – Nabi – Chialekh – Lamari – Dharchula

A journey embarked to sight two stunning and sacred mountains of Uttarakhand Himalayas, is an expedition of a lifetime. Famed for their religious significance, Adi Kailash (5945 m) also known as Little Kailash and Om Parvat (6191 m), which is recognized by the prominent OM sign naturally marked by the snow make for an interesting trek in Kumaon Himalayas of the state. The two mountains that seem to stand quite close to each other can be covered in a 12-day trek that begins from Dharchula in Pithoragarh District. The picturesque trekking trail comprises of verdant valleys, charming little tribal villages, and pretty farmlands. The expedition is also an opportunity to sight the sacred Gaurikund (High Altitude Lake) that sits at the foot of Adi Kailash Mountain, where you can offer prayers. On a clear day, trekkers also have the chance to view the majestic Annapurna Peak in Nepal in a distance. This trek is truly magical and there is indeed nothing can match its beauty of nature or aura.

Dayara Bugyal Trek

Dayara Bugyal Trek

Altitude: 2255 m to 3810 m
Time Taken: 06 Days (3 days travel/3 days trek)
Trek Gradient: Easy to Moderate
Trek Route: Raithal – Gui – Dayara Bugyal – Dayara Top – Barsu

Want to have that feeling of walking right into the Windows’ wallpaper? Well, then you need to traverse Dayara Bugyal, a high-altitude meadow gracing the land of Uttarakhand. Dayara is reckoned to be amongst the top two alpine meadow destination in India that is gorgeous like paradise, the other being Bedni Bugyal, which is also situated in Uttarakhand. An all-season trek that is best for the beginners, Dayara Bugyal can be reached from Raithal, which is 9-hour drive from the famous tourist attraction, Haridwar. If your trek is scheduled at the onset of spring, you are in for a visual treat of multi-hued flowers that are strewn in the meadow. Its easy to moderate trekking trail cuts and runs through oak and rhododendron forests, which are absolutely stunning and have a breathtaking background of lofty Himalayan Peaks like Bhagirathi Peaks, Bandarpoonch, Black Peak and several other snow-clad mountains. Dayara is a photographer’s paradise, and thus is a must if you are a new trekker motivated to explore the beauty of Uttarakhand.

Uttarakhand is truly a paradisiacal land that is dotted with some extremely beautiful trekking trails. I had a great time composing this blog and all I want to right now is pick a trek, pack my bag and head out to Uttarakhand. If this blog urged you to do the same, do LIKE and SHARE it. And in case you have chosen which place to trek next but are confused as to how to plan it, then give us a call at +91-9810352536 or drop us an email at info@tourmyindia.com. We are one of the top Himalayas trekking agencies that offer the best trekking packages and would be glad to serve you as well. So, choose us for your best trekking tours for 2018 in Uttarakhand.

Nidhi Singh

About

From the Lake District, Nainital, Nidhi Singh is a travel writer whose love for mountains can be seen in her write ups. Talk about solo travelling, indulging in adventure activities, binging on good food, planning budget trips or the Aurora Borealis and you will get all her attention. It is the wanderlust that keeps her going and if at all she could get one wish granted she would love to live a life less ordinary.

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