Trekking in the Indian Himalayas
The Indian Himalayas have hundreds of trekking routes that run across the splendid landscape. These treks take you across lush valleys, deep gorges, high altitude passes and to some of the highest points of India. Trekking in the Himalayas of India is truly a life-changing experience that lets you explore the pristine beauty of remote landscapes and the rich cultural heritage of quaint villages tucked in the many folds of Himalayan foothills.
Where would you like to go? Check out the Top Treks in Himachal Pradesh. Heading to Uttarakhand instead? Here’s a list of Top Treks in Uttarakhand. If you’re looking for something truly spectacular, check out the Best Treks in Ladakh.
The Indian Himalayas
The Indian Himalayan Region is part of the Himalayas in India, running across the northern states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Sikkim. The Indian Himalayas are home to some of the world’s tallest mountains like Mount Kanchenjunga, the world’s third-highest peak at 28,169 feet, and many other towering peaks like Nanda Devi, Kamet, Saltoro Kangri, etc.
Along with such sky-piercing peaks, the Indian Himalayas are home to immense beauty. Ancient rivers carved deep gorges in the land. Crystalline alpine lakes freeze and thaw as the seasons change, and fill rivers that gush down into the plains. Glaciers crawl down the sides of glaciers, rumbling and groaning as they move. High altitude passes keep the secrets of ancient trade routes. Silent deserts remain unchanged over decades, while forests bloom and flourish on the slopes.
And within the many folds of the Himalayan ranges, there are quaint villages with unique cultures and rich heritage, inspired by both Hinduism and Buddhism with a tinge of Tibetan influence. The Indian Himalayas are home to some of the highest villages in the world too – Spiti itself has Komic and Kibber, as well as the world’s highest post office at Hikkim.
There are hundreds of trails that run all over the Indian Himalayas to these locations, making it one of the best trekking destinations in the world. Every year, thousands of adventure lovers, nature enthusiasts, trekkers and mountaineers flock to the Himalayas of India to explore the gorgeous cultural and natural wonders that are only found here.
Indian Himalayan trek: Difficulty
In India, there are Himalayan treks for all fitness levels, from short easy treks for absolute beginners to multi-day summit climbs to high mountains and passes suitable only for the experienced. Here are some of the best Indian Himalaya trekking destinations based on fitness levels:
Easy Himalayan treks in India
The Indian Himalayas have many easy treks that consist of en easy trail that can be done by beginners as well as families who want to explore the Himalayan landscape. And even though these treks are easy, they still showcase the alluring beauty of the Himalayas including the snow-capped peaks, glaciers, lush forests, lakes, etc.
Some of the top easy Himalaya trekking destinations in India are:
Triund trek: An easy trek to the gorgeous alpine meadow located in Kangra, Himachal Pradesh; perfect for bird watchers, stargazers and photographers.
Chopta-Chandrashila trek: A perfect trek for a beginner to the Chandrashila peak at 13,123 feet in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary, offering beautiful views of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Chaukhamba, etc.
Valley of Flowers trek: A serene family trek to the breathtaking meadows of the Valley of Flowers that are covered in thousands of colourful wildflowers and surrounded by snow-clad Himalayan peaks in Nanda Devi National Park of Uttarakhand.
Moderate Himalayan treks in India
The Indian Himalayas also has a number of trails that are moderately challenging. These treks are the perfect doorway into high-altitude Himalayan trekking and mountaineering. These treks push your endurance levels and challenge your comfort while at the same time being accessible. Most of these treks are perfect for experienced trekkers but even beginners with high fitness levels can also attempt these treks.
Some of the top moderate-level Himalayan treks in India are:
Brahmatal trek: A trek to the high-altitude Brahmatal lake in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, at an altitude of 12,500 feet offering splendid views of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Kamet, etc.
Kuari Pass trek: A trek that crosses the high-altitude Kuari pass at an altitude of 14,002 feet in the heart of Garhwal Himalayas offering gorgeous views of Nanda Devi, Dronagiri, Chaukhamba and many other peaks.
Hampta Pass trek: A trek to the high altitude Hampta pass at 14,100 feet that winds across the Pir Panjal Range connecting the lush valley of Kullu to the desolate Spiti Valley.
Difficult Himalayan trek in India
Along with the easy and moderate treks, the Indian Himalayas are also home to many challenging treks that take you to high-altitude lakes, frozen rivers and mountain peaks while bracing harsh winters of the Himalayas. These treks should only be attempted by experienced trekkers.
Here are some of the topmost difficult Himalaya trekking destinations in India:
Stok Kangri trek: A thrilling trek to the highest peak in the Stok Range at 20,182 feet offering breathtaking views of Ladakh including the Zanskar and Karakoram ranges.
Goechala trek: An exciting trek to the high-altitude pass in the untouched landscape of Sikkim offering mind-blowing views of Mount Kanchenjunga.
Kedartal trek: A challenging trek to one of the highest lakes in Uttarakhand at 14,518 feet, offering mesmerizing views of the Bhrigupant Peak, Join group of mountains and the imposing Thalayasagar.
Indian Himalaya trekking: Best time to go
The Himalayas of India experiences dramatic climatic changes when the seasons change. The landscape of the Himalayas changes entirely as a new season arrives, and with it, some routes are washed away, some become inaccessible, and some open up. So, there are trekking routes for every season and the best time to go for a Himalaya trek depends entirely on what you want to experience.
Summer treks in Himalaya
Summer, in the Indian Himalayas, is the season when the snow finally begins to melt, uncovering the gorgeous flora that was hiding underneath the white blanket of snow. Along with this flora come the many birds and animals out of hibernation.
The standstill landscape of winter is now replaced with a pleasant sun shining over the gorgeous landscape, paired with clear skies, cool breeze and superb views. Although there is still snow in the upper reaches, the climate is not as harsh.
Here are some of the top summer treks in the Himalayas:
Nag Tibba trek: A great trek to the 10,000 feet peak in the Lesser Himalayas of Uttarakhand offering magnificent views of the Bandarpoonch Range, Kedarkantha, Chanabang, Black Peak, etc.
Kheerganga trek: A trek in the Parvati Valley of Kullu region, where you enjoy the gorgeous views of Parvati and Tosh rivers, the glacier of Lahaul Spiti and the lofty Himalayan mountains.
Har Ki Dun trek: A gorgeous valley trek in one of the least explored parts of the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary of Uttarakhand, at the base of Fateh Parvat, where you can enjoy the breathtaking views of Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, etc.
Monsoon treks in the Indian Himalayas
During the monsoon months, the Himalayas are lashed with heavy rains that leave many routes and trails inaccessible. But there are some trails that are accessible. During these months, the colours of the Himalayas come out vividly surrounding you with the ineffable beauty of the lush valleys bustling with flora and fauna against the splendid backdrop of the snow-covered mountain peaks.
Monsoon trekking in Himalaya is perfect for nature lovers who want to explore the gorgeous landscape of the Himalayas in all its glory. Here are some examples:
The Great Lakes of Kashmir trek: A magnificent trek to the famous blue-green lakes of Kashmir including Vishansar, Kishnasar, Gadsar, Satsar and the twin lakes of Gangabal, set amidst the gorgeous Himalayan landscape.
Kanamo Peak trek: A thrilling trek to the peak of a glacial mountain at 20,000 feet in the arid Spiti Valley, where you can see the dramatic views of Lahaul-Spiti, Peak Shila and the Pin Parvati Pass.
Pin Parvati Pass trek: An exciting trek across the high-altitude pass at 17,400 feet connecting the lush Parvati Valley in Kullu to the desolate Pin Valley in Spiti.
Winter Himalayan treks in India
Winter, a season when the Himalayan landscape gets covered in a thick blanket of snow and lashed by the biting cold winds with sub-zero temperatures. This harsh environment renders many treks inaccessible.
And though trekking during these months can be a challenge, the mind-boggling views of the snow-covered mountains, sprawling snowfields, frozen lakes and rivers more than make up for the effort. There are many snow treks in the Himalayas of India, here are some of them:
Chadar trek: Trek over the frozen Zanskar River in sub-zero temperatures and visit frozen waterfalls and remote villages while enjoying the unique view of Ladakhi landscape.
Sandakphu trek: A trek to the highest mountain peak of West Bengal at 11,900 feet that lets you catch the majestic views of Kanchenjunga and Goechala, etc.
Kedarkantha trek: Trek to a beautiful peak at 12,500 feet, offering views of Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini and Black Peak.