Trekking is a fun and adventurous activity that is enjoyed by people who want to indulge themselves in physical activities. India as a country is filled with options when it comes to trekking. The states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh have some of the best trekking destinations because of the Himalayas. Many paths still lay undiscovered, but here we will talk about two of the most popular trekking paths, the Roopkund trek as well as the Hampta Pass Trek. Both of the paths have quite similar elevations but the Roopkund trek is regarded slightly more difficult compared to the Hamta Pass trek. So, let us know a bit more about them.
The Hampta Pass is a trek that falls in the Kullu valley and Spiti valley of Himachal Pradesh, a state present in Northern India. The trek mostly starts from Manali and it takes one through Jobra, Chika, Balu ka Ghera and they will cross the Hampta Pass and pass to Chatru. The trek is known for the spectacular landscapes. In the end, one can travel to the Chandra Tal lake which is at an elevation of 4,250 m. Finding a beautiful campsite is never an issue when you are on this trek.
The Roopkund Trek is an expedition to visit the glacial lake. The trek takes place in the state of Uttarakhand and the trek generally starts from Lohagunj. The trek provides a great view of the Garhwal Himalayan ranges. Along with that, the trek is also known for providing amazing Bugyals which are vast meadows. In the trek one also gets to see barren stretches of land and mountain ridges. The lake is quite beautiful especially during the summer months when it is thawed and you can see greenery beside it. The trek is also known for the view of peaks such as the Neelkanth peak, Kedarnath and Kedar Dome.
Here are some key difference between Hampta Pass Trek and Roopkund Trek
The max elevation of a trek plays a critical in making the choice. Often beginners have a problem with the elevations, so they try to start with treks that have a lesser elevation. When we look at the Hampta Pass trek we do find that the max elevation is 4,270 m or 14,005 ft. compared to it the Roopkund Trek has a max elevation of 5,029 m or 16,495 ft. So, one should be prepared to trek in high-altitude for both the trekking routes and they should be prepared for it.
The duration of the trek is one more thing that people often care for when they are choosing a trek. Beginners will often go for treks that will last only a few. In this case, the Hampta Pass trek generally lasts for 5 days whereas the Roopkund Trek can last for anywhere from 7-8 days depending on the path. The duration of the trek depends on several things such as the trekking distance along with the elevation. The trekking distance in case of the Hampta Pass trek is 28 KM whereas for the Roopkund trek it is about 53 KM.
The difficulty of a trek often defines the people that can actually go on the trek. It is always advisable to train yourself before you embark on a trek. People who are engaged in trekking often analyse the physical toil that they will need to do when they are going for the trek and they train their body according to it. The Hampta Pass trek is regarded as an easy to moderate trek whereas the Roopkund trek is regarded as a moderate to difficult trek.
When you are in the Hampta Pass trek you will often need to pass paths that are quite steep and often the paths are covered in rocks. You will also need to walk for long durations along with your backpack. The most difficult part of the trek is definitely the time when you cross the Hampta Pass and the descent is also a little tricky. Even after all these points, Hampta Pass is still considered as a trek that can be easily undertaken by those people who are interested in trekking and are physically fit to walk for long durations. It is similar to the Valley of Flowers trek.
The Roopkund trek takes you to one of the most beautiful glacial lakes that you can find in India. The steady uphill treks of the path make it a little difficult for the trekkers. The high-altitude and the harsh cold winds of the trek make the trek truly difficult. You will also need to pass narrow ridges when you are on the trek. But the difficulty is worthy as it provides a spectacular view of the lake along with the nearby peaks. The Roopkund trek is definitely for those who have prior experience of going on high-altitude treks where the terrains can be difficult.
Type of Trek:
Both the Hampta Pass trek and the Roopkund trek are where you will need to camp as the whole journey lasts for 5 days to 8 days. There are specific campsites for both the treks where you will get to rest. You will definitely get a guide when you are trekking and provisions will be made for your food. Both of them are in the Himalayas but different states of India. When you are booking the trek, you should definitely inquire about the things that will be provided to you on the journey.
On top of that, Hampta Pass is regarded as a crossover trek that takes you from the Kullu valley to the Spiti valley. It is regarded as one of the best crossover treks because it takes you through different terrains, pastures, and even rivers and streams. You get to cross over from the lush green Kullu valley to the cold and almost barren Spiti valley and in midst of it, you attain an elevation of 14,100 ft from 6,000 ft. The Shea Goru campsite is one of the main attractions in this crossover trek as it can bring out the difference present in Lahaul. The campsite is like a stretch of the green oasis which is surrounded by panoramic bare mountains.
On the other hand, the Roopkund trek is a glacial lake trek. The glacial lake is the main attraction because of the mysterious human skeletal remains that can be seen when the lake thaws. The snow-capped mountains and the glaciers surrounding the lake are often the attractions. This trek is regarded as more difficult compared to the Hampta Pass trek because of the narrow ridges and the harsh icy winds.
Best Time to Visit:
One should always check the best time to visit for a place that they are interested in. Trekking is often seasonal especially for those paths which tend to be difficult. Along with specific seasons come the expectations of seeing the terrain in different ways. Valley of Flowers is one such trek which is popular in a seasonal way to see the blue Primula flowers.
The best time to embark on the Hampta Pass trek is during the months of mid-June to mid-October. If you want to see snow, then we will recommend you to visit in the months of June and July as it melts by the beginning of August. The temperature in these months is also moderate and you can expect the nights to be chilly but it won’t go below -2 degrees Celsius whereas in the daytime you can expect anything from 20 degrees to 12 degrees Celsius. You can also visit Chandra Tal Lake during the initial summer months.
The best time to go on the Roopkund trek is during the summer months when the lake is not frozen during the months of May and June. You should always avoid the monsoon month of July and so you can also visit during the months of August and September. In these months you can expect the temperature to be around 18 degrees to 13 degrees Celsius during the daytime and 7 degrees to -5 degrees Celsius at night. So, definitely keep this in mind when you are packing.
The Highlights of the Treks:
When you are on a trek, you will definitely want some special points that you would like to see. There are some moments that you wait for when you are on the trek. The blue flowers of the Valley of Flowers trek are definitely something that is loved by all trekkers. So, here we will mention some of the highlights for the Hampta Pass Trek and the Roopkund trek.
- The beautiful River Rani
- Dhauladar Range from Chika as you ascend the Balu ka Ghera
- The flower-filled valley and meadows on the path
- Hampta Village
- Stretches of Rhododendron trees
- A view of the Pir Panjal Range
- Chandra Tal Lake
- The mesmerizing views of the Gharwal Himalayan Ranges
- The view of the Bugyals and meadows which make Rooking unique and with great campsites
- Roopkund glacial lake with the skeletal remains
- The view of Mount Trishul
- Alpine forests of Oak and Rhododendron
- High-Altitude paths
So, here are the things that you are most likely to experience when you are in the Hampta Pass trek and the Roopkund trek. Both of the treks are beautiful and provide a good amount of adventure. Hampta Pass is perfect for those people who are just starting out with trekking and the high-altitude trek in the Himalaya will definitely please them. The Roopkund trek is a better choice for those who want to explore the Himalayas for a longer time and have had some prior experience of trekking. Both of the treks are amazing and you can choose among them according to your will and plan. We will recommend you to explore both of the treks to have a view of the different parts of the majestic Himalayas.