Hiking - Destination

Trekking in Uttarakhand: 17 Destinations that Needs to be in Your Trekking List

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When we hear the name Uttarakhand, our mind automatically pictures enormous mountain ranges with alpine lakes, animated water rivulets, and beautiful valleys. Such is the natural beauty of this state of India, also known as the ‘Dev Bhoomi’, or the land of God. Trekking in Uttarakhand is considered to bring man closer to God and to nature.

Garhwal region of Uttarakhand is the most well-known and famous among hikers. The Garhwal hills have numerous trekking options for everyone, ranging from easy treks to challenging ones. This region has major peaks of North-Western Himalayas, the beauty of which is beyond description. Some of the best places in Uttarakhand are also revered Hindu religious sites.

17 Best Trekking Spots in Uttarakhand 

If you have not experienced the thrill of trekking in this region, this article will motivate you to plan your next trek here. The best time to visit Uttarakhand for trekking is usually between March and November.  However, the months of July and August should be avoided owing to heavy rains that render this region prone to landslides. Peak winter months between December and February are also not recommended because heavy snowfall blocks many treks. We have compiled a detailed list of some of the most popular trekking destinations, many of which are ideal weekend treks in Uttarakhand.

Let's discuss the various Uttarakhand trekking destinations, highlighting their features and difficulty level and the ideal time to visit them - Are you ready with your checklist?

1. Bali Pass Trek

Ideal Duration: 13 days
Altitude: 15744 feet
Best time to visit: April to June, September to November

The first trek in our list takes you to a destination that is among the best places to visit in Uttarakhand in June. The trek commences at Sankri village and traverses through Govind Wildlife Sanctuary as it passes along the river Supin. With a gradual ascent towards the villages Osla and Dhatamir, you will be passing rivers Tons and Siyan Gad.

As you trek ahead, you will notice a half moon shaped valley full of wildflowers. This is the famous Har Ki Dun valley and has a rich flora and fauna. The trek then continues to the Lake Ruinsara Tal through grassy flatlands and along forests. 

The Bali Pass is located after a climb from the Ruinsara Tal, crossing which you will reach Yamunotri Shrine. This place has important religious significance for locals.

 Bali Pass Trek
Bali Pass Trek (source)

2. Dayara Bugyal – Dodital Trek

Ideal Duration: 10 days
Altitude: 13612 feet
Best time to visit: March to November

Dayara Bugyal features among the top places to visit in Uttarakhand in winters. This is because it is considered to be India’s equivalent of Nordic and Alpine skiing. However, when it isn’t so cold, this place is also the starting point of a scenic trail that traverses through ridges and valleys to finally reach a beautiful sparkling lake called Dodi Tal.

If you visit this place in April, you will find a crystal-clear and sparkling lake. The panoramic views that you witness through this trail are breath-taking and refreshing. This trek falls under one of the most scenic routes for trekking in Uttarakhand.

Check the Complete Guide to Dayara Bugyal Trek: Visit the Scenic Meadows of Uttarakhand

Dayara Bugyal trek
The breathtaking views - Dayara Bugyal

3. Kuari Pass Trek

Ideal Duration: 6 days
Altitude: 12516 feet
Best time to visit

This trek is often recommended as the first trek on the Uttarakhand tourist map and is ideal for inexperienced hikers. Kuari Pass trek welcomes the hiker with vast and thick forests of oak and rhododendrons. Another reason for this trail of trekking in Uttarakhand being so popular is the presence of many campsites like Chitrakantha and Khullar.

The finals views of peaks like Dhauli Ganga, Mandakini and Kaliganga make the perfect ending for this beatific trekking route. This trek encompasses some of the rare places to visit in Uttarakhand in December since the route is completely accessible in the snow.

Do read the complete Guide on Kuari Pass Trek: The Gateway Through the Indian Himalayas

Kuari Pass trek
Kuari Pass trek

4. Dodital Darwa Pass Trek

Ideal Duration: 8 days
Altitude: 13612 feet
Best time to visit: Anytime of the year except for July and August.

Dodi Tal is a very beautiful lake located in the lap of high mountains at an altitude above 10,000 feet. It is the perfect starting point for some of the best places to visit in Uttarakhand, as many other trails also start from Dodi Tal.

The lake is surrounded by a lush green forest of pine trees, oaks and rhododendrons and offers the perfect spot for camping, boating and bird watching. But more experienced hikers prefer to take the challenging route from Dodi Tal to Darwa Pass and then to Hanuman Chatti.

This trek features in the list of places to visit in Uttarakhand in October because the weather will be pleasant and the trail will not be blocked by snow.

Check out details for Dodital Trek- Discover the Emerald Lake in Garhwal Himalayas

Dodital Darwa trek
Dodital Darwa Pass Trek 

5. Satopanth Lake Trek

Ideal Duration: 8 days
Altitude: 14203 feet
Best time to visit: June to October

This route for trekking in Uttarakhand is counted among one of the more spiritual trails. The triangle-shaped Satopanth Lake, situated at 14203 feet, is a glacial lake that has immense religious significance in India. It is believed that Lords Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva occupy one corner each of this lake. 

The trek is challenging and the terrain can be difficult to cross, therefore, this trek is not meant for beginners. Magnificent views of Neelkanth, Satopanth and Chaukhamba peaks await anyone who completes this trek. The crystal-clear water of the Satopanth lake shimmers in the sunlight and is a visual treat.

Satopanth Lake Trek
Satopanth Lake Trek (source)

6. Valley of Flower Trek

Ideal Duration: 6 days
Altitude: 12654 feet
Best time to visit: July- September

Among all places for trekking in Uttarakhand, this trek is perhaps the most famous for its enchanting natural beauty. The Valley of Flowers was declared a national park in 1982 and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. There is no settlement allowed in the park, but it is open for trekking, but all visitors should purchase tickets for entering.

Along with Nanda Devi National Park as its neighbour, the Valley of Flowers attracts thousands of nature enthusiasts. The trek starts at Ghangaria and the trail is fairly easy. Rented ponies are also available. You will witness the beauty of nature in the form of milky white streams and rivulets, bright flowering plants, and indigenous mountain flora and fauna. 

This trek is among the rare places to visit in Uttarakhand in August. While many other treks are dangerous in the months of July and August because of slippery terrain and risk of landslides, this trek safer and in full glory after the rains.

Check out Valley of Flowers Trek, Chamoli - All the Details that You'll Need

Valley of Flowers
Valley of Flowers

7. Dodital Bamsaru Khal Pass Trek

Ideal Duration: 10 days
Altitude: 15091 feet
Best time to visit: May to October

This trek is ideal for experienced hikers who wish to cover a challenging trek in the summertime. This trekking route of Uttarakhand marks the area between Gangotri and Yamunotri. Bamsaru Khal is not as popular as other valleys in the region, but this trek is sure to enthrall the hikers with magnificent views of the Asi Ganga Valley and the Chayya Gidara Valley.

Dodital trek
Dodital Bamsaru Khal Pass Trek (source)

8. Auden Col Trek

Ideal Duration: 18 days
Altitude: 17876 feet
Best time to visit: May to October

The Auden Col trek is considered to be a very tough and challenging option of trekking in Uttarakhand and is not recommended for anyone without prior experience at such height. If you possess the required skills and experience for this trek, you can be sure of being rewarded with some of the best scenic treats of the region.

This trek commences from Gangotri and passes through numerous valleys and forests to reach Nala Camp and then Rudra Gaira Camp. The trek goes on to culminate at Auden Col via Gangotri base camp. Visiting the Khatling glacier is also possible on this route.

You will have to stay in camping tents on many nights and the weather can be very cold, hence, adequate preparation has to be done for this trek.

Also, check all about  The Gangotri Gomukh Tapovan Trek - An Adventure of a Lifetime

Auden Col
Auden Col trek (source)

9. Har Ki Dun Ruinsara Tal Trek

Ideal Duration: 13 days
Altitude: 11697 feet
Best time to visit: Anytime of the year 
except December-March and July-August.

This trek is the top destination among the places to visit in Uttarakhand in October and is considered to be an easy trek. Just after the end of monsoons, the whole valley comes to life with brightly coloured flowers and foliage. If you go here before monsoons, you will still witness some blooms and hear the melodious chirping of mountain birds all along the trek.

Har Ki Dun is believed to be the mountain from where the Pandavas made their journey to heaven. This lap of trekking in Uttarakhand is sure to give you a spiritual insight. The trek ends at Ruinsara Lake that presents a pretty picture of a high altitude alpine lake.

Do check the details for Har Ki Dun Trek: One of the Oldest Trekking Trails in India!

Har Ki Dun
Har ki Dun

10. Nanda Devi Sanctuary Trek

Ideal Duration: 10 days
Altitude: 13940 feet
Best time to visit: April to October

The trek to explore the renowned Nanda Devi Sanctuary is nothing short of blissful rendezvous with nature. Passing through beatific valleys, forests, and passes, this trek offers the reward of a dozen majestic peaks of the region, including Nanda Kot, Trishuli, Dunagiri, and Changabang, to name a few. 

This trail of trekking in Uttarakhand also gives you a chance to witness some regal mountain animals like the Brown Bear, Serow, Bharal and the Himalayan Thar. However, this trek is not for the faint-hearted. It involves an arduous trekking route and it is recommended that people doing this trek have some experience under similar conditions.

Do read Trekking in the Himalayas: How To Avoid Himalayan Bear Attacks

Nanda Devi
Nanda Devi

11. Chopta Chandrashila Trek

Ideal Duration: 9 days
Altitude: 13415 feet
Best time to visit: Anytime of the year, except in December and January.

This magnificent trek is considered to have spiritual significance because of the transit through the famous Tungnath temple. The trek is fairly easy for a large part, except for the ascent after Tungnath temple that needs caution. 

This trek will take you through panoramic views of the valley and culminate with glorious sight of peaks like Kedarnath, Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, and Trishul. This trek is an ideal start for people who wish to do spiritual trekking in Uttarakhand.

You can also read Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek: The "All In One" Himalayan Trek to Start with

Chandrashila Trek
Chandrashila Trek

12. Kalindikhal Trek

Ideal Duration: 20 days
Altitude: 19500 feet
Best time to visit: May to August.

If we have to pick one trek that is very tough and should not be taken lightly, it is the Kalindikhal Trek in the Garhwal region of Himalayas. The fact that this trek requires almost three weeks to complete is proof of its difficulty. 

The trek starts from Gangotri and culminates at Badrinath via Kalindikhal. The terrain is replete with snowy slopes, glaciers, and big rocky obstacles. You will have to stay overnight at many places like Tapovan, Nandanvan, Vasuki Talm Kalindikhal, Arwa Tal etc.

This trek will reward you with a glorious view of Bhagirathi, Shivling, Chandra Parvat and Vasuki, but this visual treat comes at the cost of hardships of trekking under extremely tough conditions. 

Kalindikhal Trek
Kalindikhal Trek

13. Panch Kedar Trek

Ideal Duration: 20 days
Altitude: 11755 feet
Best time to visit: May to October.

This destination for trekking in Uttarakhand has a special religious and spiritual significance and is a common pilgrimage trek in India. It begins in Kalpeshwar and culminates in Kedarnath, via Rudranath, Tungnath and Madhya Maheshwar. The route is believed to have been the pathway of Pandavas when they went to meet Lord Shiva, who evaded the Pandavas. 

The five temples on this route signify the form taken by Lord Shiva, as the hair at Kalpeshwar, navel at Madhya Maheshwar, face at Rudranath, arms at Tunganath and the hump of a bull at Kedarnath.

You will find numerous small villages and their natives will welcome you with a warm smile. This trek is ideal for people who want to camp under the stars in a serene and quiet setting. Thousands of devotees take this trek for witnessing these religious sites.

Panch Kedar trek
Panch Kedar trek

14. Kedarnath Vasuki Tal Trek

Ideal Duration: 8 days
Altitude: 11758 feet
Best time to visit: May to October

This trek is yet another spiritual experience trek of India. It starts at Gaurikund, where you can take a dip in natural hot sulphur springs. As you trek ahead, you will observe cascading waterfalls, animated rivulets and lush green valleys before you can view the magnificence of Chaukhamba peaks and Mandakini Valley. 

The trek culminates at Vasuki Tal, which is a sight to behold. The sparkling clear water shines like a jewel in the middle of the mountains. It is also known as Shiva’s Lake and believed to be the starting point of the river Kedar Ganga, that later joins the river Bhagirathi.

During this lap of trekking in Uttarakhand, you will pass through Bhoj Kharak and Kedar Kharak en-route. These are beautiful camping sites and offer panoramic scenic views. The trek is not for beginners because certain sections are steep and could be dangerous.

Kedarnath Vasuki tal trek
Kedarnath Vasuki Tal Trek

15. Roopkund Trek

Ideal Duration: 9 days
Altitude: 16499 feet
Best time to visit: May- June 
and September- October

Some destinations for trekking in Uttarakhand have some spine-chilling tales associated with them. One such story is regarding the Roopkund Lake nestled in Mount Trishul. When the snow melts and the lake get clear, you can see hundreds of corpses at the bottom of the lake. It is believed that these corpses are of travellers who irked the local God. This has created enigma among travellers who visit this site to satiate their curiosity.

Apart from the mystery surrounding the lake, this trek is also famous for its breath-taking views of snow-capped peaks of Trishul, Nanda Ghunti and Badrinath; and Bedni Bugyal grasslands.

It is to be noted that this trek is not an easy climb. Therefore, some prior experience in the Himalayas is required for taking this trek.

Check the Complete Guide on Roopkund - A Trekker's Paradise

Roopkund trek
Roopkund trek

16. Shivling Base Camp Trek

Ideal Duration: 13 days
Altitude: 17263 feet
Best time to visit: May- June, and September- October

This trek is considered to be a pious and spiritual one because of the many revered sites that are on the trail. The Shivling is a religious form of Lord Shiva and this trek is replete with mountains, glaciers, and lakes that have been mentioned in ancient Hindu scriptures. If you are looking for some spiritual and divine experience while trekking in Uttarakhand, this trek is for you.

The trek takes you through the holy river the Ganges and the various sources that feed it. Other visual treats in this trek come in the form of views of Meru Bamak and Kirti Bamak glaciers. This trek is not meant for beginners.

Shivling Base Camp Trek
Shivling Base Camp Trek

17. Pindari Glacier Trek

Ideal Duration: 10 days
Altitude: 13612 feet
Best time to visit: April to June and September – October.

This trek is known as the soul of Kumaon and takes you to the famous Pindari glacier that is nestled between Nanda Devi peak and Nanda Kot peak. This trek is not very difficult and takes you through a series of waterfalls, animated streams and rivers, dense green forests and multi-hued flowers. 

One key feature of this trek is the presence of numerous solid wooden bridges that make for frame-worthy photographs. You will meet plenty of locals on your way and they will be happy to interact with you.

In addition to these treks, there are few other options for trekking in Uttarakhand, for example, the Nag Tibba trek, Kedar Kantha trek, Gomukh Tapovan trek, Bedni Bugyal trek etc. Some parts of these treks are perfect for one day trek in Uttarakhand.

Check out all details you need for Pindari Glacier Trek in Uttarakhand: Get an Access to Glaciers!

Pindari Glacier trek
Pindari Glacier trek

With a plethora of mountain peaks, glaciers and high-altitude lakes, trekking in Uttarakhand is the best way to witness nature in its full glory. Except for the harsh winter months of December and January, which have colossal snowfall, these trekking routes are generally well-laid.

However, it is to be kept in mind that there are not many places to visit in Uttarakhand in August, even if the route is unblocked. This is because the months of July and August witness heavy rainfall in the hills and render these treks prone to landslides.

Therefore, the readers are encouraged to read in detail about the trek before planning their trip.

Cover Source!
 

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