Crossover treks provide you with the best of both worlds by taking you from one landscape to another. The beauty of such crossover treks in India is that trekkers get to enjoy the richness, rituals, and cultures of two different regions. The crossover trek allows you to travel from one region to another, you may be walking on ice-cold glaciers for days and suddenly finds yourself on lush green valleys. The sudden change in sceneries, views, and trails is breathtakingly beautiful.
As they say, the best thing comes to you when you least expect them to, this is exactly what a crossover trek feels like. There are tons of crossover treks in India and all of them are surplus of different and unique kinds of natural beauty, some of the Uttarakhand and Himachal based treks have meadows, snow peaks, waterfalls, and desolate trails all at once.
Some of the best treks in India will take trekkers from Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh or from Uttarakhand to Himachal Pradesh. The treks in North India will give you the most challenging yet picturesque view of green valleys, towering peaks, meadows, ice-capped glaciers, waterfalls, cold desserts, desolate trails, and mountain passes. Himalayan crossover treks are some of the most challenging treks in India that are likely to leave you gobsmacked. Dive into our list of the Crossover treks in Himalayan region
When you talk about crossover treks, Hampta Pass will be the first one to cross your mind. This trek is home to numerous dramatic terrains on its trail. This trek is rich in the ecosystem, when you move on to cross the pass by climbing through the rich green valleys of Kullu, you stand perpendicular to the mountain. From this point, you can witness the deserts of Lahaul and the nearby valleys stunningly surrounding the mountains with ravishing panoramic escapades. This crossover of lush greenery and the desert is one of its kind views to be a part of.
The trek commences from a dense forest full of deodar, pine, oak, maple trees and silver birch. The trail then opens up to a small but pretty meadow that is quaintly bounded between the huge mountains and are fully carpeted with seasonal flowers and wild grass. As you stand on the meadows, you will be able to hear the rush of Rani Nala below you. Moving forward, you reach a small campsite surrounded by a mighty Dhauladhar range from one side and here you will be standing right across the water of Rani Nala.The Shea Goru campsite
Every trekker who has completed hampta pass trek will proudly say that Shea Goru is their favourite campsite of the entire trek. The highlight of this campsite is the contrast in the geographical setting of this place, it is a beautiful patch of green oasis situated in desolate surroundings of Lahaul valley. You will notice a brook flowing adjacent to the site and will gradually turn the desert into a green valley. There are tons of exotic flowers along the stream. Even though this is the most aesthetically and soul pleasing campsite, it also happens to be the coldest campsite throughout and the temperature always drops down drastically here.
The Pass Crossing
Pass crossing is easily the highlight of this entire trek. You are sure to have a great adrenaline rush while crossing the pass and then finally pleasing the eyes with the entire setting around. There will be a difficult inclined climb as you go up and you can have both snow and loose moraine as you go up depending on the season. Eventually, after a long time, you finally reach the pass and the grandeur of the whole view will take your breath away. As you stand steadily on the pass, you will be able to see Deo Tibba and Indrasen in front of you and the cold deserts of Lahaul below you.Chandratal lake
You will be amazed to watch the stunning and less crowded Chandratal lake. However, most of the times the roads are not accessible to reach Chandratal from Manali, but if you are lucky enough to witness the lake, it will add another feather for your Hampta pass trek.
Also Check: Crescent Shaped Chandratal Lake
Snow Pass and Snow Bridges
Once you have walked alongside the stream for about 2 km, the water will gradually start disappearing and voila! You are now walking over a snow bridge that forms over the stream. The ice appears over the stream and you have to carefully cross the bridge to reach the other side. This whole experience is pretty exciting after crossing lush green valleys and rocky moraine.
Also Check: Places to visit in Spiti ValleyDeserted mountains of Spiti
Spiti is known for its rough beauty and barren mountains. The dry cold and dust storms give it an edge, yet it is a most enigmatic beauty to behold. Spiti, for lack of a better phrase, has it all. Needless to say, Spiti is one of the most beautiful cold deserts in India and beholds the spellbound beauty. After you have crossed the pass, the descent moves towards a picturesque village Lahaul and the moment you will enter the region, the whole scenery will dramatically change. The small river of Chandra will be flowing down the hill and huge dry and cold mountains of Spiti will bestow you warmly.
Pin Parvati Pass trek is one of the most difficult, spectacular, and exhilarating and thrill challenging treks. It is advisable that only seasoned and experienced trekker attempt this trek. Situated at an altitude of 17,457 ft, Pin Parvati trek route is home for many dense forests, widespread green meadows, full of culture, stunning escapades, and exotic flora and fauna. Being an exquisite crossover trek, every new day will be more contrasting to another. Trekkers can begin the Pin Parvati Pass trek itinerary from two sides, one from Kullu side and another from Spiti side; either way, you choose, you are going to be blessed with gorgeous views and adventurous trails.
The trans-Himalayan region of Spiti beholds the alluring landscapes and cultural footing throughout. The trek commences from the cold desert of Spiti and right from the Pulley Bridge of Tunda Bridge to alpine meadows of Odi Thtach to the deep dense forests near Kheerganga and finally till the pass, you will keep experiencing the eccentric and unique escapade. The trekker will witness each second passing through from the deserts of Spiti till the lush green meadows of Parvati valley.
If you wish to start the Pin Parvati Pass Trek from Kullu side, then it takes about 11 days full of thrill and adventure till Manali. Between the trails, you are blessed with the pristine beauty of natural escapades of different kinds, starting from green meadows, blooming flower valleys, gushing waterfalls, alpine forests and more. As the trek begins with a drive from Barsheni to Kullu, you will see a ton of terrestrial sceneries along the route. You will also find the popular Pin valley national park here which shelters snow leopards and various Himalayan birds. The trail further opens up to the picturesque village of Mudh in Himachal. Parvati pass trek best time is to do it in the second half of the year towards the end of August. Pin Parvati Pass in September is regarded as the best to do the trek by many travellers.
Rupin pass trek Himachal Pradesh always tops the list when we talk about a trek full of surprises. With every passing day of the trek, the hype keeps building up and the trail never fails to surprise you. Rupin Pass is situated at an altitude of 15129 ft starting from the tiny village of Dhaula, Uttarakhand to the stunning Sangla Valley in Himachal Pradesh. Each step you take, new scenery awaits for you as every new day unfolds a new variety of escapades. One unique thing about Rupin pass as compared to the other crossover treks in India. This remarkable valley promises you two entirely different experiences in two different seasons. If you do the Rupin pass trek in June or May, you will find the valley covered in the pristine white sheet of snow and frozen waterfalls that will be no less than an enchanting vista of paradise full of haze and fog.
When it comes to the second half of the season and you want to do the Rupin Pass trek in October-November, the fluffy blanket of snow disappears giving way to the numerous stunning colours and clear blue skies. The valley takes a new birth after being washed away.
The trek commences from the very charming village of Dhaula placed quaintly on a mountain slope with Rupin River flowing across by. The total of 52kms is covered in 7 days and the whole journey is full of green meadows, waterfalls and spellbound views of mountain ranges in the backdrop. Rupin Pass is home to the infamous three-stage waterfall that lets you have an exquisite 360-degree view of various mountain ranges, especially the Kinner Kailash range. After crossing the multiple gorgeous creations of nature, your trek finally comes to an end with the village of Sangla in Himachal Pradesh which is another treat to your eyes and soul.
The valley you cross in June will be entirely different from the valley you will cross in October will be a completely different one.
The ravishing waterfalls and stream will remain untouched and frozen during the winters and covered in thick layers of snow, whereas the water will be gushing down the mountain slope if you experience it during the summers. You will find snow bridges in both the seasons, however, during the month of June, you will find an abundance of snow-coveredtrails which will enhance the difficult level of walking over it.
There are plenty of dark dense and lush green forests of Pine, Oak, fir, and Rhododendron in the trek. You will find all the exquisite trees and exotic colours as you cross them during summers. However, you will only find the white winter land during June. Even the tallest of the trees will be covered in the shreds of snow and the pretty colours of Rhododendron will hide away under the fluff of snow.
There's another unique thing you come across in Rupin pass- The Jhaka village or popularly called as the Hanging village on Rupin pass trek. This village is positioned in such a way that it lies over the utmost edge of the mountain. If you notice from a certain angle, it will appear to be hanging through the cliff. Along with the primaeval views of Kinner Kailash, you will also be fortunate enough to visit the two-story temple at Sewa of Kinnauri culture which will be an experience in itself.
If you are a big fan of soft snow, mountains covered with the thick white layers, frozen waterfalls and the gloomy yet beautiful haze, the best time for Rupin Pass trek will be during May or June. However, if you want to see the natural colours of the valley, soak in the warm sun rays yet the cold breeze of Himachal and want to click the natural photos of the valley in under the clear blue skies; visit Rupin Pass during the latter part of the season when the valley is happily flourishing and blooming.
4. PRANG LA PASS
Situated at a massive altitude of 18373 Ft (5600 M) Prang La is a beautiful mountain pass that connects the Chicham village of Spiti, Himachal Pradesh and Karzok village, Ladakh. Incepted as an ancient trade route between Spiti and Ladakh, people would always traverse along the valley to participate in the market where barter of goods takes place at the Ladarcha ground. The whole pass is rich in history but is no cakewalk even for the expert trekkers. The trail is full of challenges and you will rapidly gain altitude by covering even a short distance. There are remote villages, rough and rocky terrain and even a long glacier walk.
The trek spreads for 8 days and a total of 120 km is covered. It takes a lot of energy and determination to complete Parang La. The most fascinating thing to notice about this trek is the mountains and the pathways are formed with a unique pattern from Spiti being under the sea. It has been like that before a million years ago and thus you will find a lot of houses with unique fossils of marine animals. The trail fluctuates between expansive green meadows, steep climb, long cold desert and even traversing of the glacier. The diversification of activities of the trek puts it on the to-do list of every wanderer who loves mountains.
Parang la is not a very crowded trek and thus the remoteness will also give you a high chance of spotting much wildlife such as blue sheep, ibex, donkeys, wild birds, snow leopards and more as compared to the other Himalayan crossover treks. Another highlight of this trek is the picturesque walk along the Tso Moriri Lake for the whole two days. You will have a backdrop of pristine shades of blue water and unclimbed snow clad mountains in the background.
Along with the trail, you will only spot a few local shepherds and otherwise, you will not have any human encounters pertaining to its geographical challenges.
5. PIN BHABHA PASS TREK
Pin Bhabha is hands down one of the most dramatic and full of surprises crossover treks in Himachal. The whole trail is so diverse that you will experience a new trek in the same trek with every new day. The vastness of the scenery, the change of the escapades just keeps getting stunning with the new incomings. Pin Bhabha is a rather easier version of Pin Parvati Pass trek. Thus if you want to experience the beautiful natural views but do not want to put your life on a stake, Pin Bhabha is a great alternative. Here are a few highlights of Pin Bhabha trek that makes it a once in a lifetime worth of experience.The dense forests of Mulling
If you grew up reading the mystery novels where they described a forest full of tall coniferous trees and pine trees, the dark forest of Mulling will give you the exact right out of a storybook feeling. You will be crossing a dense forest while walking on the roots on the very first day of the trek. The musty smell of forest and nature will take over your senses. The best part about crossing through the forest is the Bhabha River that will cut through the forest on the left side and you will suddenly see a turquoise blue line emerging on one side of the forest. As you keep walking in the shades of dark, the route will open up to the unexpected grasslands of Mullin and the sudden burst of light and colours will leave you awestruck for a while.The wholesomeness of Karah meadows
The second day of the trek will take you to Kashmir without actually going to Kashmir. The spectacular meadows of Karah will remind you of the gorgeous grasslands of Kashmir. This is inarguably the most beautiful camp setting for the whole of the trek.
As you stand in the camping site of Karah, you will witness the two valleys meeting ahead of you. In the background, there will be a tall snow-capped mountain and along your side will be the pretty grassy hill.
There's a small hillock situated at your camp for you to have a better view of the valley. There's a widespread grassland with hundreds of sheep grazing and a quiet river flows alongside the camp. If this is not your idea of beauty then nothing will be.The River Delta of Phutsirang
Pin Bhabha is one of its kind treks because it's one of the rarest treks which has a river delta in it. Camping at Phutsirang will give you a beautiful background and also helps with the acclimatization. Not just the river delta but the water also forms tiny islands around the camp that you can hop on. Amidst the grasslands, so many tones of green, blue, brown and orange make it a stunning sight to savour. The altitude setting is at 13,500 feet and the river flows beautifully under the shining sun. You can take long walks around the grasslands and relax around the green velvet of Phutsirang.Pin Bhaba Pass crossing
After two days of spellbinding beauty, you finally reach the pass crossing day which will be difficult but equally stunning like the previous two days. As you climb up the trail, the snow-capped peaks will reach up to your eye level now. The whole process of pass crossing is divided over a series of ledges and as soon as you start with the first ledge, the real fun begins. The pass can only hold a few trekkers at a time being very narrow in shape. As space starts to get narrower, the thrill starts increasing. The Spiti Mountains will surround you and the scenery below will leave you stunned. As the steep levels out, you will be able to see Pin valley spread beautifully with a blast of too many colours.
6. KANG LA TREK
Kang La is a breathtakingly beautiful, glaciated pass with an altitude of 5465 M (17929 Ft). The Kang La pass is situated on the primary Central Himalayan range. The Kang La crossover trek must be on your list of Himalayan treks 2021. This trek starts from Miyar Valley, Lahaul with plenty of virgin alpine pastures and wildflowers. The trek passes through Kang La to Zanskar Valley, Ladakh with an alpine world full of ice and rock.
The trail will take you through one of the longest Himalayan glaciers to access the isolated Padum village in Zanskar. This challenging crossover trek covers a distance of around 95 km with emerald-green sacred lakes, countless meadows, and monstrous rock peaks.
Throughout the Kang La crossover trek, you will pass through high altitudes and challenging terrains. If you are looking for high-altitude trekking in India, the Kang La trek will take you through some of the highest Himalayan peaks.
The Miyar valley, owing to its isolated trail nature, hosts some of the most pristine wildflower meadows and wilderness.
Once you reach Padum and drive to Kargil through the Penzi La Pass, you will witness the mesmerizing Drang Drung glacier with 6000m peaks. While trekking to Kargil you will witness the 7000m twin peaks of Kun and Nun that ascends from the Suru Valley. Falling in the list of the best Himalayan treks 2021, the Kang La pass trek will begin at Manali, Himachal, and finally, come to a halt at Srinagar, J&K.
The best time to visit the Kang La pass is July to October. The various attractions of the Kang La trek include –
- Tandi, a region where Bhaga and Chandra river blend into one
- Padam and Khanjar village of the Miyar Valley
- Phalpu, a place that rests on the lap of mountains and glaciers
- Manali, Kargil, Srinagar, and Ladakh
7. BORASU PASS TREK
No trekking in India is complete without a crossover trek through the Borasu Pass. Considered as a high altitude trekking in India with an altitude of 5450m, this classic Himalayan trek will take you through Chitkul in Sangla Valley, Kinnaur, and Har-ki-Dun Valley in Uttarakhand.
Coming under the list of best crossover treks, the Borasu Pass connects the two states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand. Trekkers will witness the mesmerizing Har-ki-Dun valley, Zhukia Glacier, and Morinda Taal glacier. The trek will take you through narrow ridges, numerous boulders, mountain meadows, and sparkling glaciers. The trek usually takes 3 to 4 days with challenging rock boulder and snow steep trails.
The best time to visit starts from September to June. Trekkers can also visit this place during June. The Borasu pass trek India begins from Taluka and takes you through the lush green beauty of Har-ki-Dun valley. The nerve-wracking trek ends with the Baspa river. Considered one of the most exhilarating treks in North India, the Borasu Pass will take you through dangerous mountain ridges and colossal valleys. Trekkers who are looking for a challenging high altitude trekking in India will love this virgin trail of the highest peaks and dense forests.
8. LAMKHAGA PASS TREK
The Lamkhaga Pass is considered one of the best crossover treks with an altitude of about 5420m. The Lamkhaga Pass trek India will take you through one of the most unexplored and untouched regions of Himachal Pradesh.
Considered one of the most demanding treks in North India, the Lamkhaga Pass is surrounded by 6000m and 5000m peaks. It connects Chitkul in Himachal Pradesh and Harshil in Garhwal. Being one of the most challenging treks in India, the Lamkhaga Pass links Gangotri to Kinnaur.
The Lamkhaga pass trek India will take you through some of the most isolated valleys of Uttarakhand including the Jalandhari Valley. Trekkers will need an Inner Line Permit for the Lamkhaga trekking in India as it is near the Indo-Tibetan border.
Considered one of the best Himalayan treks 2021, the Lamkhaga pass trek will enable trekkers to access the last Indian Village, Chitkul. You will also witness the breathtaking beauty of Kinner Kailash and several other towering Himalayan peaks. The best time to visit here is from May to June and from September to mid-October. You will find many packages for 10-11 days for the Lamkhaga Pass trek.
As one of the best treks in India, the Lamkhaga pass offers various sightseeing locations including –
- Harshil, a small town situated on the River Bhagirathi bank
- Gangnani with a natural hot water spring
- The scenic beauty of Gundar-Dumpty
These were the best crossover treks in the Himalayas that allows you to discover unique cultures and landscapes. Put on your trekking shoes and get ready for some of the best trails of the Himalayas.