7 Enthralling Treks In Uttarakhand For Adventure Seekers
Uttarakhand is often associated with Ganga, Haridwar, pilgrimage and other sacred and holy sites. However, there is a lot more to this Northern state. A place of breathtaking beauty; a place that offers a panoramic view of the snow-capped Himalayas, roaring streams, serene lakes, and walks among the alpine meadows and deciduous forests; that's Uttarakhand. Over 60% of the state is covered with forests, and one can enjoy this landscape by indulging in treks.
Uttarakhand has a varied topography, and each has its kind of treks to offer. Here is a list of 7 Popular Treks in Uttarakhand :
One of the most popular treks in Uttarakhand is the Valley of Flowers. Situated at the height of 3,658 metres in Bhyundar Valley in Chamoli district, it is a relatively easy trek and is visited by people for the beautiful view of the wildflowers in full bloom. It is 4-5 day long trek that begins from Govind Ghat. The final stop is the valley spread across an area of 87.50 square km. This trek was discovered by mountaineer Frank Smith in 1931 and has been recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site. This trek is a treat for nature enthusiasts and photographers. One can bask in the serene environment of the Himalayas and witness some of the most enthralling views of the wildflowers. It is also home to fauna like Musk deer, Himalayan Black Bear, a variety of birds and butterflies. One should come prepared for rainfall as the best time to visit is during monsoons.
Level - Easy Best time to visit - June end to September Time period - 4 to 5 days
Kuari Pass is another easy trek which is suitable for people who do not have much experience in trekking. Kuari means ?doorway? is a pass situated at the height of 12,516 feet. It is a beautiful trek where one gets to experience walking through oak and rhododendrons forest cover and extensive meadows and witness spectacular views of peaks like Dronagiri, Nanda Devi, Hathi-Ghodi peaks, among others. Kuari Pass trek also offers an excellent camping experience with beautiful campsites. Curzon trail is another name of this trek, because Lord Curzon, one of the Viceroys of India was the first person to come across the path. It begins from Lata which is close to Haridwar and ends at Auli. The panoramic view of the Himalaya from the top of the Kuari Pass is worth the climb.
Level - Easy to moderate Best time to visit - December to January Time period - 6 days
Kedarkantha trek is a beautiful winter trek. It starts snowing here in December, and one can come across this snow even in April. The trek takes you through pine trees with extensive clearings in between which are covered with snow. Along the way, you also get a peek into the rural way of life and can even interact with locals. The trek begins at Gaichawan Gaon, which is approximately 180 km away from Dehradun. The snow-clad Kedarkantha peak is situated at the height of 12,500 feet and offers spectacular views of Dhauladhar range, Chansil Pass, Rupin valley and Har ki Dun valley. Although a little strenuous, the snow-covered Kedarkantha trek is definitely worth the effort.
Level - Easy to moderate Best time to visit- December to April Time period - 6 days
4. Har Ki Dun Trek
Har Ki Dun trek is an excellent trek for first-timers. The Har Ki Dun valley is situated below the Har Ki Dun peak at the height of 11,768 feet and remains snow-clad from December to March. The trek is breathtaking as it goes along the Supin river and ends at the remote and isolated Har ki Dun valley. Along the way, one can also spot ancient villages, believed to be around 3000 years old. The valley is also famous for the myths associated with it which have earned it the name of ?Valley of Gods?. It is believed that the Pandavas took this same route when they ascended to heaven. The trek begins at Sankri and goes through Govind National Park which is home to a variety of flora and fauna like conifers and deciduous species and Asian black bear, leopard, musk deer, golden eagle, among others. From here, one can see the Swargarohini group of peaks, Bandarpoonch and Black peak. Trekking across this valley during October and November is yet another experience as the valley isn't covered with snow and remains lush green.
Level - Easy to Moderate Best time to visit - April to June and September to December Time period - 7 days
5. Roopkund Trek
Roopkund is another very popular trek of Uttarakhand. It is situated at the height of 15,750 feet and is a treat for adventure seekers. The trek takes you through dense oak forests of Ghairoli Patal, lush green and picturesque meadows Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal, deep snow, and the famous Roopkund lake where you are often treated with fascinating stories associated with it. The trek beings at Lohajung and along the way, you get to see Mt Trishul, Mt Nanda Ghunti, Chaukhamba range, Neelkanth peak, Kedarnath and a few others. The climb to Roopkund ?skeleton? lake which in itself is a crater on the mountaintop is taxing. From there one can also climb up to 16,000 feet to snow clad Junargali.
Level - Moderate Best time to visit - May to June, September to October Time Period - 8 days
6. Rupin Pass Trek
Rupin pass trek can be summed up in the word perfect. The trek also runs along the river Rupin and offers one something new regarding terrain as it unfolds. People embark on this trek to witness the blue waters of the river and watch it lead up to fascinating three fall waterfall. This is a unique trek as it begins at Dhaula which lies in Uttarakhand and culminates at Sangla which is in Himachal Pradesh. The trek takes you through snowfields, pine, apple and apricot trees and the Rupin river valley. In this trek, even the campsites are beautiful. It is filled with ascents and descents and some trails that are not well cut out. Although this trek is arduous, the sense of achievement as one stands on the Rupin Pass across the Dhauladhar Range at the height of 15,380 feet with a view of the Kailash peak, is worth the effort.
Level - Moderate to difficult Best time to visit - Mid May to June end, September to Mid October Time period - 8 to 9 days
Auden's Col Trek is counted among the most strenuous treks in India. It is a high altitude trek which is situated at the height of 17,876 feet. The trek begins from Gangotri, goes through Auden's Col which is a high mountain pass and involves passing the Khatling glacier and ends at Kedarnath. Auden Col trek is named after Auden Bicknell Col, a British Geographical Survey Officer who discovered this pass in 1935 and was able to cross it in 1939. This pass connects Rudragaira and Bhilangana Valley. It often takes a few days to trek up to this pass which in itself requires a lot of effort. Crossing the Auden Col pass is another matter, although the views are truly magnificent. While trekking, one passes through dense alpine forests, meadows filled with flower, along rivers and also narrow cliffs and risky moraines, all filled with crevices. This trek is often considered more of an expedition. It is a little tricky and should only be pursued by experienced trekkers.
Level - Difficult Best time of the year - May to June, September to October Time Period - 15 to 20 days
These were some of the most picturesque and enthralling treks in the state of Uttarakhand. They offer a serene environment, breathtaking views and a sense of adventure which a trekking enthusiast cannot afford to miss.