If you’ve only got a few days, and you’re eager to get away to the wild, these short treks in India are perfect for mini adventures. On these short Himalayan treks, you’ll get to spend a few nights out in the wild, enjoy a camping experience, and see some spectacular sights. Here are our top suggestions for short Himalayan treks.
The short trek to Nagtibba can be done in 1-3 days, and begins from Dehradun or Mussoorie. It takes you up to almost 10,000 feet to see the Bandarpooch and Kedarnath peaks. You’ll pass quaint villages, walk through oak and pine forests, and camp at two different campsites. Nagtibba is a ridge peak that offers views of verdant mountain slopes and beautiful landscapes. This short Himalayan trek in Uttarakhand takes you to a good height, but is a fairly easy climb.
As far as short Himalayan treks go, the gorgeous Valley of Flowers is one of the top choices. The Valley of Flowers is a world heritage site located within the Nanda Devi National Park in the far interiors of Garhwal Himalayas. Every year, over 300 species of wildflowers bloom across the valley, including rare species of orchids, poppies, Cobra Lily, anemone as well as the elusive and rare Blue Poppy, and Brahmakamal. Apart from this, there are waterfalls, glaciers, towering mountains, mighty rivers and quaint villages to be seen. The months of July and August are the best times to undertake this short Himalayan trek as the flowers are in full bloom during this time.
The Malana-Chanderkhani Pass trek is a favourite short Himalayan trek in Himachal Pradesh because it takes you through evergreen meadows, pine and oak forests, and picture-perfect valleys. You’ll have a chance to see the legendary village of Malana, with its unique lifestyle and ancient architecture. En route, you’ll see the snow-covered peaks of Pir-Panjal and the Parvati mountain range. The Chanderkhani Pass Trek takes you high up to a pass at about 12,000 feet, long the top of a ridge. This route also involves negotiating some tricky descents, crossing a gorge, and walking beside the gushing Beas river. With a host of experiences to offer on this short 5-day trek, the Chanderkhani Pass trek finds itself on a list of the top treks in Himachal Pradesh.
This short Himalayan trek can be done in 5 days, and is not a hard one. Chopta is a quaint hill station in the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary and it is popularly known as the 'Mini Switzerland’ of India. The beautiful Chopta-Chandrashila-Tungnath region is a famous destination for trekkers and thrill seekers, and is one of the top treks in Uttarakhand. The Chandrashila mountain peak is a summit of 13,123 feet and is home to Tungnath, the highest Shiva temple in the world. This climb is a fun challenge in the middle of an otherwise moderate trek, and offers panoramic views of the mighty Himalayas is ample reward. The best time for this short trek is from April to November, however the trek is also popular during the winter months of November and December because of the onset of snowfall.
This short trek to Dayara Bugyal is considered to be one of the most beautiful treks in Uttarakhand, with visitors describing their experience as nothing short of a fairy tale. The easy trek takes you up to one of India’s most beautiful high-altitude meadows, surrounded by towering Himalayan peaks, and offers you the chance to camp in scenic locations at every stop. This short trek is recommended for everyone i.e families with children, nature lovers and adventurers alike. The Dayara Bugyal trek begins at Barsu and takes you through old oak and pine forests, up to an altitude of more than 10,000 feet above sea level. You’ll visit the famous alpine lake near Barnala Bugyal, and you’ll see famous peaks like Kala Nag, Bandar Poonch, the Gangotri Massif I and II, among others.
Located about ten kilometres from the bustling city centre of McLeodganj, this short trek in Kangra Valley is an easy but gorgeous adventure and is one of the top treks in India for beginners. There are rocks to scramble over, peaks swathed in mist, and cold air all around. Trekkers visit sacred mountains, ancient temples and quaint 'pahadi' villages hidden in valleys, waiting to be explored. This adventure gives you breath-taking, 180-degree views of some of the most famous peaks in India. The short trek to Triund takes about four hours to complete and the view of the evening sky from Triund is a good enough reason to pitch a tent here for the night.
This short trek in Himachal Pradesh is perfect for beginners, and starts from Manali. You trek past glaciers, up lushly forested slopes, passing the tree line, seeing mountain streams dot the landscape, and up into meadows where shepherds bring their flock to graze on the sweet grass. The emerald-green Beaskund is the highlight of this trekking route in Himachal, and it is great for taking postcard-perfect photographs. This short Himalayan trek is also accompanied by views of surrounding peaks such as Shitidhar and Friendship Peak in the Kullu region.
Kedarkantha is a beautiful ridge peak in the Tons River Valley, Uttarakhand, India. At 12,500 feet, the 5-6 day short trek offers stunning 360-degree views of some of the highest Himalayan peaks like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, and Black Pearl. The Kedarkantha trek lets you camp at Juda-ka-Talab, one of the prettiest campsites around, set alongside a small pond amidst oak and pine forests. The Kedarkantha trek is a rare short Himalayan trek that is easily accessible throughout the year. The best time to visit is between December and March, when the landscape turns from beautiful to spectacular. A snow trek to Kedarkantha will take you along a trail that is completely covered with thick, pure white snow.
This short trek in Himachal Pradesh begins at Setan, close to Manali, and takes you up to an idyllic campsite next to a lake, from where you can see the Kullu Valley. You’ll trek along a path through deodar and pine forests, and besides a flowing stream. You will camp under starlit skies and wake up to panoramic views of the Kullu Valley, which is why this is one of the prettiest short treks in India.
Located in the paradise that is Parvati Valley, the Kasol trek is one of the top short treks in India, for its location and many attractions. You’ll find yourself in some of the prettiest campsites, with views of pine forests and oak stretching out all around. There are clear rivers to sit by, rocky patches to scramble over, and therapeutic hot springs to take dips in. Kasol attracts backpackers from around the world, and you’ll find delicious food and plenty to see and do here, making this one of the top short Himalayan treks in India.
This short trek for beginners takes you to Grahan, about 10 kms away from Kasol, and about ten times more secluded than these crowded destinations. It’s an easy trek, except for one or two steep patches, and is a perfect short Himalayan trek for beginners in India, and for those looking to escape the crowds. This weekend trek near Manali offers you a chance to walk through fragrant pine forests, pass through quaint villages, and listen to the sound of the Parvati river that flows by alongside.
This short trek for beginners usually begins at Kasol, and lets you get away from the crowds and into the peace of the mountains. It can be a steep climb, but you’ll cross green fields, orchards filled with fruit trees, and the blue Parvati river nearby. At the top, you’ll be able to see Malana village, Chandrakhani Pass, and some of the famous snow-tipped peaks in the distance. It’s one of the top short Himalayan treks for beginners because it takes you through cool, pine-scented mountain forests and into nature in one short climb.
The Bijli Mahadev route is one of the top short Himalayan treks for beginners, because it takes you along an easy route to a temple that looks down over stunning views of Kullu. The temple has a 60-foot iron staff that conducts lightning during storms, and is worshipped by locals from around the region. This short Himalayan trek takes you through pine and cedar forests to the Matikochar ridge and onward to the temple. From the top, you can see paddy fields, fruit orchards, and peaks in the distance.
This trek is one of the easier ones in Himachal Pradesh, and is suitable for families, beginners, and anyone looking for a short mountain getaway. You start from an altitude of 8,530 ft at Gulaba and will traverse gorgeous deodar and pine forests and apple orchards. All along the way you get stupendous views of the mountains and get to admire the snowy peaks of the Pir Panjal range. The trail winds through the green valleys of Kullu and into the more barren landscape near the Rohtang Pass as you go higher until you reach a height of 14,009 ft at the lake.