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.
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.
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.
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.
The Kareri Lake trek is an easy 3 day trek in Himachal Pradesh. It is a shallow glacier-fed lake nestled in the midst of towering peaks. On the Kareri Lake trek, you’ll walk along a river, see small Himachali villages, and hike through pine forests. Kareri Lake is one of the spots on the trek routes to Bleni Pass and Minkiani, so you might meet fellow trekkers on their way up or down.
Prashar Lake is said to have been built by the Pandavas, and has a three-storeyed temple next to it. You’ll trek up through forests, along rivulets, up to where the lake lies glistening like an emerald. The Prashar Lake snow trek is famous, but it is lovely in all seasons. You’ll be camping on the green slopes around the lake, with beautiful views in all directions.
The Rajmachi trek takes you to one of the most famous trails in Maharashtra. You’ll visit the twin forts of Manoranjan and Shrivardhan, stop at Kondane caves and waterfall. On an overnight trek to Rajmachi, you’ll camp at the famous Rajmachi village, or stay in a rustic village home, and head out to explore the forts the next morning. This trek can also be done in a day.
Tucked away in the midst of the dense Andharban forest, Devkund waterfall is one of the lesser-known treks in the Western Ghats. It is close to Tamhini Ghat, which makes it easily accessible for trekkers from Pune. The trail is not too long, but the reward at the end is spectacular. Devkund Waterfall cascades down from a cliff top into a deep green natural pool, and entices tired trekkers to jump in for a swim or dip their toes in.
The Kunti Betta hill is said to have been the home of the Pandavas for a short time during their exile. It offers great views of Pandavpura lake and the fields around. The rocky landscape looks spectacular at dusk or dawn, and many itineraries do a night trek here. On night treks to Kunti Betta, you’ll enjoy a campfire at the top of the hill.
The Kudremukh trek takes you to the second highest peak in Karnataka, past streams and waterfalls, into the Kudremukh National Park. In the monsoon, the water bodies are full and the forest is green and lush. However, it is also a gorgeous winter trek as it stays misty and cool for most of the day.
The Makalidurga trek is close to Bangalore, and is an easy trek that is suitable for beginners. For these reasons, it is a popular trek in Karnataka. arrive at the top to explore Makalidurga fort, from where you’ll be able to see Gundamagere Lake and the green landscape all around.
The rocky, boulder-strewn terrain of Ramanagara makes it ideal for rock-climbing, photography, rappelling, and trekking. It is surrounded by forests and offers a good mix of landscape to those who are trekking through.