12 treks in Uttarakhand that you must do!
Encased with ethereal magnificence, Uttarakhand, The Land of Gods, is one of the most beautiful places in India. Located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain ranges, the state has abundant scenic beauty and adventure opportunities. It is famous for the Chardham Yatra which is one of the most prominent pilgrimage circuits of India. As the summers are around the corner, there isn't much of an argument needed to prove why it is a perfect refuge from the scorching heat. Tourists gather here to get the perfect trekking experience. Here is a list of top treks in Uttarakhand, these terrific trekking trails will take you to various hamlets, temples, lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, Himalayan peaks and other astounding and enchanting attractions.
1. Valley of Flowers TrekEmbellished with colorful wildflowers and enormous variety of fauna, this place is truly a paradise for photographers and nature lovers. The 14 km trek starts from Govindghat near Joshimath and takes you through rough terrains, steep climbs, slim passages and scenic views along the Lakshman Ganga River. After a 3 km ascend from Ghagaria you will step into the Valley of Flowers, a national park and a UNESCO world heritage site. Experience the magic of nature with flowers, birds, and butterflies everywhere. It is considered to be one of the best places to visit during monsoons in India. During winters everything here is covered in virgin snow and when the summer lurks around the corner, the snow melts and the colorful beauty of the place gets unveiled.Location: In Chamoli district near JoshimathDuration: 9-10 hours by trekkingGrade: EasySeason: July to October
2. Roopkund TrekRoopkund trek is not only famous for its adventure but also for the mystery associated with it. Roopkund lake which is nestled at an altitude of 5,029 meters, is popularly known as ‘Skeleton Lake’. The lake and its surroundings are peppered with bones and skeletal remains of humans, who are said to have died in a hailstorm here in the fourteenth century. The trek begins from Lohajung and ends at Roopkund, passing through Ran ki Dhar and Bhaguwagasa, it is placed in the route of pilgrimage site of Nanda Devi Temple. The trek takes you through spectacular terrains, religious sites, lush forests, cascading streams and peaks of Trisul and Bedni Bugyal. It is a blend of adventure, mystery, and mesmerizing views, going for this trail is a decision you will never regret.Location: Located in Chamoli district in the lap of Trishul massifDuration: 7-8 daysGrade: Moderate to ChallengingSeason: September-October and May-June
3. Chopta Chandrashila TrekThis trek is the gateway to the vibrant colors of Himalayas as during summer or late spring season the entire region is painted in red of rhododendron flowers. This trek is also famous for winter trekking when the whole region is covered in perfect white snow. The trek starts from Sari, which is the base camp for this trek. From Sari, the steady but enthralling trek will take you through Deorital lake and jaw-dropping views of the sunset from Chaukhamba Peak. The trek proceeds through views of mighty Himalayan ranges and lush and scenic views of pines, oaks and rhododendron forests to Chopta. Trekking in this region is a different experience as the brushing forest changes its hues according to change in color. The trek continues to the village of Tungnath, which is the base of Chopta Chandrashila Trek. The trek finishes when you reach the peak of Chandrashila, from where you can enjoy stunning views of nearby peaks like Kedar, Chaukhamba, Nanda Devi and Trishul.Location: Located in the Rudraprayag district and 254 kilometers from RishikeshDuration: 6 days trekGrade: Easy to ModerateSeason: All round the year except December and January
4. Pindari Glacier TrekA trek which is perfect for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and photographers, is the Pindari Glacier Trek. Lying in the Upper Kumaon Himalayas at an altitude of 3,353 meters, and pressed between Nanda Kot Peak and Nanda Devi Peak, it is one of the most popular attractions for tourists. The trek takes you through pleasing rhododendron forests, paths lined with flowers, pristine lakes, charming bridges and exquisite flora and fauna. You can drive from Kathgodam to Loharkhet, from where the trek begins. It is a 6 hours drive between these two places. An 11-kilometer trek passing through lush forests and scenic trails will take you Dhakuri. The next stop will be Khati, the largest village in this region and has various mythological stories attached to it. Khati is believed to be as the home to Pandavas during their exile. The trek ends at Pindari glacier, passing through Dwali and Phurkia, taking you through gurgling rivers, log bridges and, snow-filled peaks.Location: Located in Bageshwar district near KathgodamDuration: 8-9 days from taking from Kathgodam and backGrade: ModerateSeason: September-October and April-June
5. Dodital trekDodital trek is one of the most amazing trek routes in Uttarakhand, nestled at height of 3310 meters above sea level. This place is named after a rare Himalayan trout ‘Dodi’ which is found here. The trek begins from Sangam Chatti and takes you to Bhebra through Agoda settlement, which will mark the beginning of Dodital and Darwa Pass trekking. You can enjoy camping along the rivulet in Bhebra. Listen to the music created by birds and the views of mighty Himalayas as you proceed through oak, pine and bamboo forests. After reaching Dodital you can either relish the natural luxury of the lake or can continue the trek up to Darwa Pass. The Dodital Lake is a perfect campsite to camp under a clear night sky surrounded by pine and oak trees. During your trek, you can catch mesmerizing views of Himalayan and Dhauladhar ranges. This trek will take you through a beautiful temple which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ganesha.Location: Located in Uttarkashi districtDuration: 6 days when starting from DehradunGrade: ModerateSeason: April-September
6. Kuari Pass TrekThis trek begins from Dhak Village and takes you through narrow tracks and panoramic views of Gauri Parvat, Nanda Devi, Dronagiri, Neelkanth, Chaukhamba, Kedarnath, and Kamet. The Kuari Pass trek is also known as Curzon trail. The trail will take you through dense forests of Oak, Bamboo, and Rhododendron. The trek has a peaceful ambiance that will calm your mind and will get stuck in your heart forever. The aura at the top of Kuari Pass will haul you to the unending charm of the place and make you feel like you are in heaven for a while.Location: Located in Nanda Devi Biosphere inDuration: 10 daysGrade: ModerateSeason: April-June and September-December
7. Nag Tibba TrekNag Tibba trek or the trek to Serpent’s peak is a wonderful delight for adventure seekers which is situated at a height of 3048 m. This trek has exciting trekking routes through thick jungles and meadows. The locals believe that the place is the abode of Nag Devta who they are worshipping since ages. The trek starts from Pantwari and proceeds to Nag Tibba Temple, which is an 8 km route. You can enjoy a refreshing bonfire after reaching the base camp. In the morning you can witness the stunning views of peaks like Gangotri, Kedarnath, Changbang peak etc. This trek is a perfect weekend getaway and a perfect place to get away from a routine boring work life.Location: Located in Pantwari village near MussoorieDuration: 2 days from dehradunGrade: EasySeason: Round the year
8. Deorital or Chandrashila TrekDeorital or Chandrashila Trek is short trek which offers breathtaking views of the surroundings and is one of the best summer treks in Uttarakhand. Deorital and Chandrashila with village Chopta is a short trek with alluring surroundings. The first part of the trek takes you to Deoria Taal, which is at an altitude of 2440 m above the sea level. The trek continues to Chopta through lush meadows nestled in the Himalayas. This route further takes you to Tungnath temple, which is known as the world’s highest Lord Shiva temple. After 1 km long trek from the temple, you will reach at the summit of Chandrashila peak.Location: Located in Pantwari near DehradunDuration: 2 days trekGrade: EasySeason: All round the year
9. Rupin Pass TrekRupin Pass trek is situated at an altitude of 4,650 meters, and the intensity of snow in this trek can make it a challenging one. It is lined along the river Rupin and takes you through the gushing river, snowfields, glacier, waterfalls, lush meadows and deodar forests. This trek starts from Dhaula and comes to an end at Sangla in Himachal. You will pass through the hamlets and can get a sense of local culture which will take you closer to the place. You will be entranced by the view of lofty Kailash Peak in front of you.Location: Located in Uttarkashi district and is 8 hours drive from DehradunDuration: 8 daysGrade: ModerateSeason: May-June and September-October
10. Har Ki Doon TrekHar Ki Doon is also known as the Hanging Valley of Gods and is situated at an altitude of 3566 meters. This trek takes you through lush greenery and verdant beauty of the mountains. This is one of the most remote and unexplored places of Garhwal Himalayas. The forests here are packed with wildlife and are paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers. The trek can be done in summers as well as winters and is a moderate trek, also known as beginners trek. The trek starts from a hamlet Sankri which is at a 10 hours drive from Dehradun. You can drive to Taluka and can also start the trek from there and continue towards Osla. In your way, you might come across the wilderness of the Himalayas and amazing views of wild Orchids. After a 11 km trek from Osla, you will reach Har Ki Dun passing through a picturesque view of valleys and glaciers. On reaching Har Ki Dun you will see the amazing peaks of Swargarohini and Har Ki Dun.Location: Located in Uttarkashi district and is a 10 hours drive from DehradunDuration: 7 to 8 days if you board from DehradunGrade: Easy to ModerateSeason: September-November and March-June
11. Panch Kedar TrekPanch Kedar Trek covers 4 shrines in the captivating Kedar valley and offers a memorable experience. It is a trek favorable for both novice and expert trekkers. The trek begins from Kalpeshwar, which is popular for its cave temple and continues towards Rudranath. Kalpeshwar is believed to be the place where ere mated hair of Lord Shiva appeared and Rudranath is the place where the head of the lord appeared. The next stop is Tungnath village, which has the world’s highest Shiva temple. Finally, you will reach Kedarnath passing through Madhya Maheshwar. The trail takes you through a wonderful mix of scenic beauty and serenity.Location: located in Rudraprayag district in Kedar valleyDuration: 12 daysGrade: ModerateSeason: April-June and September-October
12. Nanda Devi TrekNanda Devi is the second highest peak in Indian Himalayan range and Nanda Devi base camp trek is one of the best places to experience trekking in Uttarakhand. If trekking at high altitudes is your thing then it is the trek you must do. It takes you through a panoramic view of Himalaya, winding trails, exhilarating passes, and lush forests. The trek starts from Munsyari and ends at Nanda Devi base camp taking you through Lilam, Bogudiar, Rilkot, Ghanghar and Pachu Glacier. You can savor the view of nearly ten peaks including Trishul, Nanda Kot, Changa Band, and Dunagiri. Explore the wild beauty at the Nanda Devi Sanctuary with species like Brown Bear, Bharal, Himalayan Thar and a plethora of other wild animals.Location: located in Chamoli district having base camp in JoshimathDuration: 10 daysGrade: moderate to challengingSeason: April-OctoberThe above-mentioned treks will reward you with a lifetime experience. Choose from any of these stretches and explore the undiscovered part of yourself.