Trekking in Uttarakhand
The Land of Gods, Uttarakhand, is one of the most exciting adventure getaways into the Indian Himalayas. Home to some of the tallest mountains not only in India but also the world, like Mt. Nanda Devi, the Himalayas of Uttarakhand are truly a trekker’s paradise. Here, you are immersed in fantastic and dramatic vistas of towering peaks, lush valleys, wild rivers and sprawling glaciers, along with dense alpine forests and meadows.
While trekking in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand, you will enjoy the majestic views of India’s highest peak completely within the Indian borders, Mt. Nanda Devi, along with various other peaks like Kamet, Sunanda Devi, Abi Gamin, Mana Peak, etc. You’ll also witness the magnificent glory of the glacial-fed rivers of Ganga and Yamuna cutting through the landscapes.
Additionally, two-thirds of the state is covered in lush forests of oak, pine and rhododendrons surrounded by sparkling amphitheatres of the Himalayan peaks, and many patches of scented meadows that double as serene campsites on your Uttarakhand trek. These forests are home to some rare flora and fauna.
Trekking places in Uttarakhand
While trekking in Uttarakhand, you are exposed to all of this and much more, making the Himalayas of Uttarakhand one of the best trekking destinations in the country. These treks range from easy to difficult, here are some of the best treks in Uttarakhand based on the same:
Easy treks in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand has a number of easy treks for beginners who want to experience what trekking in the Himalayas feel like. These treks usually have a short itinerary and take you to the lower reaches of the Himalayas while offering splendid views and trails. Some of these treks can even be done by families and children. Here are the top easy treks in Uttarakhand:
Valley of Flowers trek
This trek to Valley of Flowers is one of the most serene and top trekking places in Uttarakhand that takes you to the gorgeous valley in the Nanda Devi National Park. During the months from June to September, the valley gets blanketed in thousands of colourful wildflowers of varying hues and shades. You are treated with marvellous views of the lush valley sitting in contrast to the soaring peaks of the Garhwal Himalayas, and many streams and waterfalls gracing the landscape.
Considered one of the most scenic treks in the Indian Himalayas and one of the best winter treks in Uttarakhand, this Kedarkantha trek takes you to the summit of Kedarkantha through the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. You’ll trek through the fragrant forests of pine, maple and rhododendron to reach the summit. And once at the summit, you will enjoy marvellous views of the Rupin and Buran ranges along with the peaks of Swargarohini, Kalanag and Bandarpoonch, and the lush Har Ki Dun Valley too.
Chopta Chandrashila trek
The Chopta Chandrashila trek cuts through the lush forests of Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary to reach the Chandrashila peak at 13,000 feet. It is a relatively easy trail that is accessible year-round and en route, you pass Chopta, the Switzerland of India, and Deoriatal, a lake steeped in the mythos. Once at the summit, you get to see the towering peaks of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Chaukhamba and many more Himalayan mountains.
Nag Tibba trek
The Nag Tibba trek The Nag Tibba trek is a splendid adventure that takes you to the abode of the Snake God or Nag Devta, as the locals call it. This is one of the best treks in Uttarakhand that takes you to an altitude of 10,000 feet, offering stunning views of the Bandarpoonch Range and the peaks of Kedarkantha, Chanabang, Black Peak, Srikanth along with the shimmering lights of Mussoorie in the distance. You also get to trek through the forests of misty oak, scarlet rhododendrons and the purple bauhinia trees.
Sar Pass trek
The easy trek to Sar Pass is one of the most popular treks in the Shivalik Range of the Himalayas of Himachal Pradesh. This terrific trek takes you through the dense forests of pine and rhododendrons to an altitude of 14,000 feet, making it a great introduction into the high-altitude Himalayan trekking. This trek offers magnificent views of the Himalayan peaks, the lush Parvati Valley, and many sparkling streams and waterfalls along the way. This, paired with the temperate climate and quaint villages bustling with rich culture make the experience of the trek marvellous.
Moderate treks in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand has many moderate treks too that have moderately challenging treks that are suitable for experienced trekkers, but fit beginners can also attempt these trails. High fitness levels are required for these treks. Here are some of the top moderate level treks in Uttarakhand:
Kuari Pass trek
Located in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, on the south of the Indo-Tibetan border and on the western edge of the Nanda Devi Bio-reserve is the high altitude Kuari Pass. On this moderate trek to Kuari Pass, you cross green meadows and alpine forests - all in the company of the frosted Himalayan Peaks like Kamet, Mana Peak, Abl Gamin, along with the Chaukhamba Mountain Range.
Har Ki Dun trek
Har Ki Dun, the Valley of Gods, is located in the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary and is one of the least explored regions of the Garhwal Himalayan Region. This trek to Har Ki Dun is one of the best summer treks in Uttarakhand. The scenic trail is located at the base of Fateh Parvat and cuts through alpine meadows and dense pine forests. En route, you are treated to the magnificent views of Bandarpoonch and Swargarohini peaks. All of this comes together to give you a complete Himalayan experience.
This gorgeous Brahmatal trek takes you to the high altitude lake of Brahmatal that is fed by a nearby glacier. The lake is located at an altitude of 12,500 feet offering magnificent views of various 7000-metre peaks like Mt. Trishul, Mt. Nanda Ghunti, etc. The trek to the lake follows under the shade of oak and rhododendron forests, and you also get to spend a night in cosy tents at Bekaltal, another alpine lake en route to Brahmatal.
Challenging treks in Uttarakhand
After easy and moderate treks, there are some glorious trails that should only be attempted by experienced trekkers who have done prior Himalayan treks. These treks usually have steep ascents, challenging trail and harsh weather conditions. But the views these treks provide more than make up for the effort. Here are some of the top challenging treks in Uttarakhand:
The Kedartal trek takes you to an altitude of 15,580 feet to the pristine glacial lake located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. The trail is challenging, cutting through pine and birch forests, high altitude pastures and glaciers. All the while, offering some terrific views of various Himalayan mountains like Thalayasagar, Bhrigupanth, Manda Parvat, Jogin and Gangotri.
Gaumukh Tapovan trek
This challenging trek takes you around the Gangotri Glacier to Gaumukh, the mouth of the river that nourished an entire civilization. The trail consists of boulder ridden pats and ruthless climate, beyond the treeline and offers breathtaking views of glaciers, Mt. Shivling and the twin peaks of Meru Mountain.
Bali Pass trek
This difficult trek takes you to the high altitude Bali Pass, at 16,207 feet,from the lush Har Ki Dun Valley to Yamunotri. This splendid trek lets you enjoy some breathtaking views of Bandarpoonch, Kalanag and Swargarohini peaks. En route, you pass the conflux of Tons and Ruinsara Rivers, and the Ruinsara Valley and scented meadows of Devsu Thach. You also get to spend a night at Ruinsara Tal under the cover of the starry sky.
Trekking in Uttarakhand Summary
- State: Uttarakhand
- Nearest city: Dehradun
- Total days: 1 to 14 days
- Grade: Easy to challenging
- Season: Throughout the year