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Five beautiful treks in Uttarakhand

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Kuari Pass

Maximum Altitude: 12516 ft

Duration: 6 days

Difficulty: Easy to Moderate

Kuari Pass is one of the best treks for the beginners. In 1905, Lord Curzon explored the trek and therefore it is also known as the Curzon trail. The trek starts from Joshimath, in the Chamoli district. From here, you proceed through the small remote Himalayan villages.

It is a forest trail covered with beautiful oak and Rhododendron trees. The forests are really old and it feels magical walking through them. Kuari Pass trek also has one of the best campsites. Each morning, you will wake up to a mesmerizing view. There is the Chitrakantha campsite which lies in the middle of a forest, and then there is the Khullara campsite from where you can see Mt Dronagiri rising in the background.

The views are beautiful and you get to see Nanda Devi and Dronagiri from the first day of the trek. The breathtaking peaks of Neelkhant,  Hathi Ghoda Parvat, Chaukhambha and Kamet can also be viewed on the trek.

The best time to visit is March-May, when the Rhododendron trees are loaded with fiery red flowers. You can also decide to trek in the months of December-February when the entire trail is covered in snow.

kuari pass
Source: Instagram handle @saurabh6111

Rupin Pass

Maximum Altitude: 15,250 ft

Duration: 8-9 days

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Rupin Pass trek starts from Dhaula village in Uttarakhand and ends in the Sangla Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is a high altitude trek and the trails are at times difficult with steep climbs. The trek takes you through the glacial meadows, snow fields and plenty of waterfalls.

rupin pass trek
Source: Instagram handle @akash.hanumante

The Rupin River runs along the trail and the blue water complements the scenery perfectly. You will pass through the lush green forests of fir, rhododendron, oak and pine. You will cross Jhaka village which is known as “Hanging village” as it is situated at the edge of a cliff giving an illusion that it’s hanging. You will also come across numerous snow bridges. Have you seen Frozen? It feels like Elsa has created these snow bridges for you to cross.

The most talked about is the Lower waterfall campsite on the trek. The campsite lies in a lush green meadow with snow covered peaks on three sides. Talk about breakfast with a view!

Towards the end of the trek, you will see the mighty Kailash peak. The best time to do this trek is May-June and September-October.

Kedartal

Maximum Altitude: 15,485 ft

Duration: 7 days

Difficulty: Difficult

In the Gangotri region of Uttarakhand, there lies a beautiful glacial lake. Still a little unexplored, Kedartal or Shiva’s lake is a hidden gem. This is a difficult trek, and the trail is also extremely remote. The path is steep and filled with boulders making the terrain a little tricky. The altitude gain also makes it challenging as your body tries to acclimatize.  You need to be prepared physically and mentally for the trek.

kedartal
Source: Instagram handle @24x7travel

There is no human habitation in the region but several mountain wildlife species such as the Blue Sheep, Goral, and the famous Himalayan Black Bear can be sighted on the trek. The sense of achievement on reaching the lake cannot be described in words. It feels surreal to complete such a difficult terrain.

The lake changes colour depending on the weather. It can look blue, emerald or gray but it is always serene and mesmerizing. The lake sits amidst the famous and big mountains of our country. Mt Thalaysagar, Mt Bhrigupanth, Manda Parvat, Mt Jogin, Mt Gangotri rise in front of your campsite. Magical!

If you want to experience snow, then May-June are the best months to trek. The lake is also partially frozen during these months. However, the trek is more challenging due to snow. The months of September and October are best for majestic mountain views. The landscape is also more colorful after the monsoons.

Click here to read about Roopkund Lake, another beautiful trek in Uttarakhand!

Valley Of Flowers

Maximum Altitude: 14,400 ft

Duration: 6 days

Difficulty: Moderate

In the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand lies a palette of colours for you to trek and explore. With one side where tall cliffs greet the sky, the other side covered in snow clad mountains and a serene river  meandering  between  the  two,  we  present  to  you  a  picture-perfect  trek. With approximately 80 species of flowers growing in the valley, the sight is nothing  short of a treat for the eyes.

You should also take the challenging climb to Hemkund Sahib because a gorgeous alpine lake lies at a height of 14,300 ft! Cliffs merged in clouds, Pushpavati river gliding through the valley, a gurudwara situated next to a stunning high-altitude lake and a valley covered with a blanket of flowers, make this a trekkers paradise!

Valley of  Flowers  is  one  of  Uttarakhand’s  most  popular  treks  and  Hemkund  Sahib  is a significant pilgrimage point, thus, you will find the trail covered with fellow trekkers and pilgrims alike and all of us shall greet and motivate one another along the way. It is noteworthy to mention  that  despite  its  great  popularity the  trail  of  this  trek  maintains its cleanliness. The credit for this goes to the volunteers who keenly keep it clean.

valley of flowers trek

Govindghat is the base camp of the trek and Ghanghariya is a small village from where you do the day treks to Valley Of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib. The best time to visit is July-September as the monsoon is when the flowers are in full bloom.

Har Ki Dun

Maximum Altitude: 11,500 ft

Duration: 7 days

Difficulty: Easy

Har ki Dun trek is for the people who are not experts in trekking but still want to see the unprecedented natural beauty of Uttarakhand. Perfect for beginners and people from every age group, Har ki Dun is a cradle shaped valley in the heart of GB Pant National Park. It is one of the best summer treks which take you through some of the most beautiful scenic views. You will cross dense alpine forests, meadows and patches covered with orchids.

Har ki Dun is also known as ‘Stairway to the Heaven’ as Pandavas followed this trail to reach Swargarohini Peak. Har Ki Dun is also the only valley from where you can see Swargarohini – I, II, III, Bandarpoonch and Black Peak, all together. With the beauty around, all the myths and fables seem real and not so hard to believe.

Starting from Sankri, the trek takes you through the remote villages of Garhwal. You get to know the local culture and see the minimalistic lifestyle of the people. It makes you wonder whether the mountains are the answer for happiness.

The region is also full of wildlife and different species. This trek is for nature lovers, adventure seekers and everyone who want to spend some time in the tranquility of the mountains. The best time for this trek is in the summer months of May-June or during September-October.

har ki dun trek
Source: Instagram handle @wintersockss

Click here to check out five beautiful places to visit in Uttarakhand!

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