As a kid drawing beautiful scenery meant envisioning two isolated mountains with sun rising or setting right behind it. The bright and beautiful sky, we painted, with birds flying around it complemented the lavish green meadows and the stream flowing through it from the mountain. This was what a beautiful scenery meant for all of us, but sadly, we had to stay contempt with the exotic locations the movies showed us as we never got to see the beauty we envisioned in real life.
Welcome to Kuari Pass trek. At a height of 12,500 ft, Kuari Pass holds a unique experience that makes it different from all the other trek routes – the view of mountains, streams, ridges, forest and the pass that the trek route has to offer, all in one single trek. From the very first day, the panoramic sight of rich green meadows in front of snow-covered Nanda Devi sets the mood for the entire trek and as the route progresses you get through various meadows, streams, ridges and cliffs and rivers. With a simple and easy trek route with only a moderate level of trekking being involved, this trek route is every trekker’s paradise for the view that it offers at such minimum difficulty, giving the trekker a taste of everything that nature has to offer in the mountains.
Best time to visit Kuari Pass Trek
Kuari Pass with its rich variety that it has to offer- the mountains, meadows, valleys and streams, every season adds its unique brush stroke on the feature it prefers. This makes the trek suitable for all the trekking months of the calendar that is, leaving aside the monsoon season. Having said that, since it’s a crossover trek, late winters or early summers takes the edge as the most preferable season.
With little to light snowfall, it is the Spring season that brings out the most beautiful of the trek trail. With enough snow en route, the pass reaches its full glory in nature’s month of colors. During the springs you get to experience the sight of the bushes of bright pink rhododendron flowers laid out in the golden meadows and the bugyal, with the snow-covered valleys in the background. The streams are trickling with fresh water from the melted snow it received in the winters and the forest and the trees of pine, oak, maple, and birch get an extra bump in its vibrancy as the spring adds new life to them.p>
Also, being spring, nature itself gets a new life. The sound of the birds chirping in the forest, the sight of white herds of sheep grazing in the lavish green grass with the snow-covered mountains in the background offers a sense of peace and serenity in any traveler’s mind. At night, the star-studded sky above the dark dense forest of oak with the soft glow of the tents in the campsite against the silence of nature is euphoric in all its sense.
Being Spring, the temperatures are not at all harsh but has a soft cold chill in the air. With temperatures ranging from plus 13 to plus 3 at Joshimath – the lowest campsite during this trek and plus 7 to minus 5 at Khullara, the highest campsite, the temperature drop, and wind chills are quite bearable. Moreover the ascent in quite steady and gradual and because of the low incline it is quite easy to get accustomed to the temperature change. The temperature change and the steady climb makes it a perfect trek for a beginner and also is suitable for trekkers of every age group.
What makes Kuari Pass trek special
Lord Curzon, a government diplomat, also being an avid traveler and explorer chose this trek route to explore and marvel at the beauty of the Garhwal regions of the Himalayas in 1905, giving this trek route an alternate name – Lord Curzon Trail. The trek starts from Auli, which is famous for its ski slope and the view of a snow-covered Nanda Devi, standing at a height of 7,800 meters, and that’s just the first day. The view of Nanda Devi from Auli is special for the fact that you get a clear view of the whole Nanda Devi Mountain along its entire outline against the bright blue sky, revealing its monumental stance right in front of you.
The uniqueness of the view is that you get to see the whole of Nanda Devi without the hindrance of any trees or vegetation and the view of a white peak right in front of the green terrain of meadows, is a view of a lifetime. The trek offers you a view of beautiful snow-capped mountain ridges and along with that the rare view of isolated mountains like Mt Dronagiri, Mt Neelkanth, and Mt Hathi Ghoda, standing tall and forming a contrasting silhouette against the crimson sky is Kuari Pass Trek feature alone. Not only that, you get to see the mountains up close standing tall right in front of you just across the valley which is a view that stands out from all the other treks.
Next in the trek, you get to experience the beauty of Gorson Bugyal, a one of its kind high altitude meadow, from where the Nanda Devi seems bigger and closer to you. Apart from the mountains as a specialty, nature has poured all its beautiful features in this Kuari Pass trek as it is one of those treks where you get to hike through the meadows and the forest along with the mountains as well. The stretches of dense oak forest and rhododendron trees and the path traversing through these forest gives you a deep dive in all of nature’s beauty as the sound of the birds tweeting and flapping around takes away all the fatigue of the hike. The forests are laid out in undulating terrain and the sun is softened by the vegetation adds a warmth to the hike. The oak forests stand out in the hike for its rich flora and fauna and the way the sun rays peek through the leaves hit the ground in all its golden glory. Even the campsites being in the forest or close to it, makes you feel close to nature and admire the beauty of it.
In the end, on reaching the highest point of the trek, it’s a view that’s worth remembering. While you climb through the ridge to the top, you get to see mountains opening up in the horizon right in front of you one after the other. With you standing on top of the summit surrounded by different mountains of the Garhwal Himalayas, you look down upon vast stretches of valleys and forests with gushes of white streams of pure water flowing down from the melting snow of these peaks. Do make sure to fill your water bottle from these streams as these are the freshest water as it can ever be and also with all its minerals it acts as your energy replenisher.
How to reach Kuari Pass
Although in proper terms, the trek commences from Auli, your journey with us starts from Haridwar as it being the most accessible location of the trek route. Haridwar is a religious site and a city with a high population, it is highly connected by road and train commencing from all the major cities every day. That being said, being a religious site, train seats to Haridwar are subject to availability, so it is better to book beforehand. Other than that, you can always take a deluxe bus ride of 5 hours from Delhi to Haridwar or a one from Dehradun to Haridwar for1 hour 20mins, whichever deems convenient for you. You can contact our team to arrange for a pickup From Haridwar to Joshimath.
Tips for Kuari Pass trek
Fitness: With the trek being labeled as easy to moderate in terms of difficulty, you need basic fitness. The incline being low, the climb or the decent is not quite steep, so you need to stay healthy. Maybe to have smooth trekking experience, you can practice waking up early and jogging, one month before the trek to build up your stamina and get yourself used to 5-7 km of the trek that you will experience every day in this trip.
Clothes: Since it’s a gradual climb from 8,600 ft to 12,520 ft in spring, you might experience a range of temperatures from plus 10 to minus 3 in the entire trek. So, along with your usual trekking equipment, it’s advisable to pack your heavy winter clothes. During the trek, the trick is to wear the clothes in layers so that you can put on or remove them according to your wish.
With all said and done, its time you prepare yourself to visit the Pass and gather an unforgettable experience as it makes you live the sight you envisioned in your childhood as you stand right in front of the mountains looking at you from the horizon taking you away to a different world altogether, the world that your innocence once made you draw.