Trekking near Lonavala offers city-dwellers in Mumbai, Pune and surrounding cities a quick and easy getaway from the hustle and bustle of urban life. It only takes a short drive to enter the rolling green Sahyadris, a hotspot for nature-lovers, bird-watchers, and trekkers. The Lonavala trekking region is abundant with forts, hills, rock-climbing areas, gentle slopes for beginners and rough terrain to challenge experienced trekkers. Read our blog post about the Western Ghats.
Thanks to the hilly terrain dotted with rocks and boulders, there are some fairly tough treks near Lonavala. Almost all treks increase in difficulty during the monsoon when strong winds and slippery trails slow down your progress.
Trekking near Lonavala is a good option for beginners as it is not too far from the cities of Mumbai and Pune, so anyone can do a day trip. If you are a first-timer, choose one of the shorter treks like Korigad or Tikona so that you can take your own time and enjoy the views.
Lohagad Fort is also known as the 'iron fort' and is a must-visit during the monsoon. It is one of the most popular treks near Lonavala and consists of an easy trail. The rain makes this trek a truly magical experience and you can see the clouds wrap around the fort, shrouding it in mist. The most distinctive feature of the Lohagad fort is the Vinchu Kata, one of the ramparts of the fort, which resembles the tail of a scorpion.
Visapur Fort is located close to Lohagad and is a popular trek near Lonavala for beginners. The trek to the huge ruins of Visapur Fort is easy and there are many thrilling surprises on the way. You can explore cannons, mysterious caves, small shrines, secret escape routes and many cisterns.
The trek to Tikona fort is easy even though the triangular shape of the mountain makes it appear difficult to climb. There is a narrow staircase carved into the rock on this mountain for the ease of trekkers and the top of the fort offers some spectacular views of Tung Fort, Lohagad Fort, Pawna Lake and Visapur Fort.
This trek near Lonavala is a high-endurance trek and perfect for experienced trekkers and fit beginners. It offers a quick weekend escape from Mumbai city. The Rajmachi trek is a paradise during the monsoon and the trails are dotted with streams, waterfalls and puddles. The entire region is covered in a blanket of green and you'll enjoy magnificent views of misty mountains and rain-drenched forests. You can also expect to see glimmering fireflies fill the air.
Kataldhar waterfall is a spectacular gushing waterfall hidden deep within the forests around Lonavala. It is a lush paradise during the monsoon and you'll trek on narrow trails through dense forests. The flow of the water is also stronger and more abundant during the monsoon than other seasons. From the vantage point at the waterfall, you can also catch views of Rajmachi and Shrivardhan Fort as well as the Shirota Lake.
Torna Fort is one of the highest forts in the region and is a large structure with two major wings stretching out of it. It is also known as Prachandagad, which literally means 'massive fort'. Ascribed to its size and structure, it is graded as a challenging trek and is not recommended to beginners. The top of the fort offers spectacular views of the Sahyadri range and the surrounding landscape.
Duke's nose is a popular trekking spot near Lonavala and is suitable for beginners. It involves a short trek and offers some epic views of the lush greenery of the Sahyadris. Named after the nose of a nobleman, this trek is best enjoyed in the thrill of the rain. You can also try your hand at some very exciting adventure sports like rappelling, slacklining, and more.
Korigad Fort is a beautiful hill fort situated around 20 km from Lonavala near Aamby Valley, Maharashtra. This is an easy 6 km trek that takes you through the lush green countryside of Maharashtra. You'll climb 510 steps carved into the mountainside to reach the top of Korigad Fort. It is perfect for beginners who are looking to get away from the city for a weekend and you will be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
The Tung fort offers a fun trek where you'll climb up a steep rock-cut staircase to the top of the fort. It is a relatively easy trek, but the monsoon makes way for some slippery sections. You'll explore the ruins of ancient temples and water reservoirs and catch gorgeous views of the Lohagad, Visapur, Tikona and Korigad, as well as the waters of Pawna dam.
The monsoon is the best time for Lonavala trekking. It is during this season that the entire region gets showered by rain and waterfalls and pools are abound. All the highest points of the hills have streams and rivulets gushing down, and you’ll be drenched by the time you get back. The views are spectacular, with clouds rolling in as you trek, and sudden showers to cool you off.
In the winters, Lonavala gets very cold in the evening, thanks to the hills around. The morning mist hovers in the air till late morning, making it a perfect time for camping.
The best time to go trekking near Lonavala is during the monsoon season. The rain transforms the Lonavala trekking region into a lush green paradise. The region also gets studded with streams, flowing rivulets, gushing waterfalls and countless pools. The atmosphere is cool and you'll be treated to some spectacular views. Expect to be drenched in the rain as you trek through the greenery.
The winter blankets the whole region in a layer of cool mist that hangs around in the air till late in the morning. It is the ideal time to embark on camping trips. The evenings are really cold, so be sure to bundle up.
Lonavala is well connected to both Mumbai and Pune by means of road and rail. You can hire a cab, a private vehicle or choose to drive your own car to Lonavala. The journey to Lonavala by road promises to be pleasant and exceptionally scenic. There are also many buses going to Lonavala. You can then make your way to the starting point of the trek through local vehicles. The Lonavala Bus Depot is close to the railway station. Lonavala is also connected to Mumbai and Pune via frequent trains to Lonavala railway station.
Some operators even offer pickup from popular landmarks around Mumbai and Pune to the starting point of the trek. Do check the inclusions/exclusion section of your trip to make sure this offer is available on your trip.
You can also choose to travel by air if you're not from Mumbai or Pune. Lohegaon Airport in Pune is the closest domestic airport to Lonavala. One can board flights from any city in India to Pune and travel to Lonavala in a hired local vehicle. You can also board flights to Mumbai and then travel to Lonavala by bus or car.
While trekking near Lonavala, wear quick-dry apparel consisting of a t-shirt/shirt which is preferably full-sleeved and long trekking pants. Wear a good pair of trekking shoes that offers ankle support. Cover yourself with a raincoat or poncho to protect yourself from the rain and always apply sunscreen before you set off.
Carry a small backpack to hold your personal essentials, bottles of water, some snacks and energy bars. Carry warm layers for the chill that sets in during the early morning and late evening and a change of clothes. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses, a cap and insect repellent to protect yourself from mosquito bites.
The fitness preparation required depends on whether the trek near Lonavala you choose is graded easy or challenging. Some treks like the Lohagad Fort trek is easy and is even a great experience for families with children. However, treks like Rajmachi and Torna requires prior trekking experience. You can prepare for such treks by undertaking a regime of endurance increasing exercises.
If you are a newbie, you should choose short treks with easy trails. The easiest treks around Lonavala are Korigad, Tikona, and Lohagad.
The tough treks around Lonavala are Rajmachi, Torna, and Tailbaila. These treks are usually done overnight and might involve a night of travel or camping.
Make sure you have warm layers for the early morning or late night chill, as well as a change of clothes. Wear sturdy shoes and carry a small backpack instead of a duffel bag. You should pack at least two bottles of water per person, insect repellent, sunscreen, a cap and sunglasses, as well as dry snacks and energy bars.
Lonavala is now a hotspot of adventure activities, with plenty of options in and around Lonavala. You can go hot air ballooning in Lonavala, rafting in Kolad, paragliding in Kamshet, or you can go camping in Pawna. The campsites around Pawna are very scenic and perfect for a chilly night around the bonfire.