The best gift you can give your child is the gift of the outdoors. If you go trekking with kids, you’ll be teaching them early how to love nature, enjoy a trek, and respect the rules of the wild. This ensures that they’ll be equipped for almost anything later in life. Trekking with kids teaches them not to take for granted the comforts of their home, to adjust to inconvenience, and to rough it. Here are some of the top options for trekking with children.
1. Valley of Flowers Trek, Uttarakhand
The gorgeous Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand is a perfect option for trekking with children. You’ll be walking along easy paths, and will have a taste of river-crossing and a slightly steep incline at Hemkund Sahib, but you’ll also get to explore waterfalls, glaciers, towering mountains, mighty rivers and quaint villages while trekking with children. This beautiful valley is located in the Nanda Devi National Park and is best visited in July and August as the flowers are in full bloom during this time.
2. Nagtibba Trek, Uttarakhand
The Nagtibba trek is one of the top options for trekking for children, because it takes you to the top of Nagtibba at 10,000 feet, but has an easy trail. You’ll trek through forests of oak with orchids dotting the trail. Goats and woolly sheep graze on the slopes around you, and you’ll see high Himalayan peaks like the Bandarpoonch peak. At night, you’ll camp in open meadows under clear starry skies, amidst wild mint and fragrant shrubs. The summer and winter months are the best time to attempt the Nagtibba trek.
3. Dayara Bugyal Trek, Uttarakhand
The Dayara Bugyal trek is considered to be one of the most beautiful options for trekking for kids, because of the fairy tale landscape. While trekking with children, they’ll get to romp over India’s most beautiful high-altitude meadows, walk through pine forests, and gaze up at towering Himalayan peaks. At night, they’ll camp in scenic locations in tents. The trek is recommended for everyone i.e families with children, nature lovers and adventurers alike.
4. Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila Trek, Uttarakhand
Chopta is a quaint hill station in the Kedarnath wildlife sanctuary and is a gorgeous option for trekking with children. It is popularly known as the 'Mini Switzerland’ of India, thanks to its rolling green hills and lush meadows. It’s a top choice for trekking with kids. The climb is moderately easy but poses a fun challenge when it comes to Chandrashila peak. The peak is a summit of 13,123 feet and is home to Tungnath, the highest Shiva temple in the world.
5. Beaskund Trek, Himachal Pradesh
This is a top option for trekking for kids, because it is easy, and starts from close to Manali. Children will have a chance to trek past glaciers, up lushly forested slopes, passing the tree line, jump over streams, and trek up into meadows where shepherds bring their flock to graze on the sweet grass. The emerald-green Beaskund lake is the highlight for those trekking with children, and it is great for taking postcard-perfect photographs. All this is accompanied by views of surrounding peaks such as Shitidhar and Friendship Peak in the Kullu region.
6. Triund Trek, Himachal Pradesh
Located about ten kilometres from the bustling city centre of McLeodganj, this trek in Kangra Valley is an easy but gorgeous adventure and is one of the top options for trekking with children. 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. While trekking with children here gives you breath-taking, 180-degree views of some of the most famous peaks in India, it’s only a four-hour trail and will take you up to a campsite in the mountains. The views from here are a good enough reason to stay for the night. If you’re trekking with children, this is one of the top Himalayan treks for beginners in Himachal Pradesh.
7. Bhrigu Lake Trek, Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh has some of the best options for trekking with children, and the Bhrigu Lake is one of the most scenic treks in the region. This 3-day trek is perfect for first-time trekkers and for trekking for kids. You’ll trek up to the pristine Bhrigu Lake located at an elevation of 14,100 feet, through apple orchards and dense forests of deodar and pine trees. Apart from soaking up the views from Bhrigu Lake, you’ll also be able to take a dip in the hot sulphur springs at Vashisht on your way back.
8. Korigad Trek, Maharashtra
Korigad fort is a beautiful fort close to Lonavala, and is a great option for trekking with children. It is an easy 6 km trek, with stone-cut steps leading up for the most part. The top of the fort has a large, flat plateau, with most structures completely intact. Trekking with children here lets them explore the ramparts of the fort, see ancient cannons, splash in the fresh water ponds, and enjoy a rainy day in the Western Ghats. Trekking for kids in Maharashtra has a few options that are safe and suitable, and this is one of them.
9. Dudhsagar Trek, Goa
Trekking with children to Dudhsagar Waterfall takes you across state lines, from Maharashtra to the border of Karnataka and Goa. The children will love the overnight train journey, and will trek through the tropical forest of Kulem, surrounded by trees and wildlife, until they reach the waterfall. En route, trekking with children takes them across streams, making them scramble over slippery stones, and walk along railway tracks and dark train tunnels to get to the waterfall. This four-tiered waterfall cascades down from a height of over 1000 feet, sending a spray of mist in all directions and churning the water below to milky white, hence the name Dudhsagar, meaning 'sea of milk'.
10. Indrahar Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh
This exciting 5-day trek to Indrahar pass starts from the charming Tibetan Buddhist town of McLeodganj and takes you through the vast undulating meadows of Triund. Trekkers will visit mountain temples and monasteries, witness the daily life of Himalayan shepherds, and spend a lot of time enjoying spectacular views. The highlight of this 5 day trek is possibly the views of Mani Mahesh Kailash Peak and the Pir Panjal range from Indrahar Pass. This is a moderately challenging 5 day trek and is perfect for newbies and people with past experience looking for a fun trek in the Himalayas.