Uttarakhand, or the Land of Gods, is a heaven for trekking. Trekking places in Uttarakhand exhibit varied topography to trekking enthusiasts. Trekking trails laid between thick forests and snow-laden mountains traverse through luxurious meadows, pristine lakes, quaint mountain best treks in Uttarakhand villages and remote Himalayan valleys. All this plus famous pilgrimage sites, sacred temples, holy rivers, and humungous mountain peaks make the state a perfect retreat for trekkers and pilgrims alike.
Among the diverse treks in Uttarakhand, we have selected some trekking routes that are there. We have arranged these trekking destinations in Uttarakhand in ascending order of grade level; the easiest treks first, followed by treks of medium grade level, and finally the most challenging ones-
So, here are some of the best treks in Uttarakhand
One of the easiest treks of the Uttarakhand region, Nag Tibba is the best choice for beginners; it can be touted as a classic weekend trek. Stretched over just 2 days, this easy level trek journeys a distance of 20 km to bring you to an elevation of 9,915 feet. Beautiful campsites, high mountain peaks, holy temple of the local deity Nag Devta on the mountain summit, the traditionally unique Goat village are some of the highlights of this trek. Nag Tibba is an all-season trek that can be done throughout the year.
The cradle shaped hanging valley of Har Ki Dun is the jewel in Uttarakhand crown. Har ki Dun Trek floors one with the unmatched beauty of Uttarakhand. The 47 km long trek is spread over 7 days and touches an elevation of 11,700 feet. The easy to moderate grade level trek is steeped in mythology and offers a sublime experience to trekkers. It takes you along the scenic Tons valley, glossy highlands, dense woodlands and treats you to mesmeric glimpses of glaciers like Jaundhar glacier and Swargarohini group of peaks. Har ki Dun is one of the few winter/summer treks that can be done all the year-round except in the monsoons. The spring-summer months (May to June) are ideal for bird watchers, the months of September and October are recommended for flora lovers. The snow-laden trekking trails in December to April are perfect for snow lovers.
This easy grade level trek takes 6 days to traverse a trekking distance of 38 km. Aka “Phoolon Ki Ghati”, the expedition takes you to an imposing altitude of 14,100 feet. Touted as the most colorful Himalayan rendezvous, the Valley of Flowers trek traverses along innumerable stretches of vibrant blossoms. The trekking terrain interspersed with bubbling mountain streams, glossy meadows, mighty peaks, sacred sites, high altitude mountain lakes, and holy rivers is like a canvas painted by nature. A must-to-do trek for botanists, nature enthusiasts, bird-watchers, flower lovers and spiritual souls. The trek is wrapped in the belief that the Valley of Flowers is inhabited by gods and fairies. The floral spectrum of the rarest species of Himalayan flowers is the focal point of this trek. Witnessing the confluence of Pushpawati & Himganga rivers, and Bhagirathi & Alaknanda rivers to form the holy river the Ganges is an awe-inspiring moment of the trek. You also visit the sacred lake of Hemkund or, “The Lake of Snow” and Gurudwara Hemkund Sahib, at an elevation of 14,210 feet. The Valley of Flowers opens from June 1st to October 31st, when the beauty and grandeur of the trail are at its peak.
The 5-day easy trek of 54 km. distance treats you with haunting landscapes that have an aura of mystery about them. One touches an altitude of 13,610 feet in Dodital trek which is soaked in deep mythology as being the place where Lord Shiva beheaded his son (Lord Ganesha) and later revived him. The highlights of this trek are visits to Ganesha Temple (believed to be the birthplace of Lord Ganesha), Dodital Lake, Darwa Pass, and Darwa Top. The trek is a heaven for bird watchers and one can also watch the Brown and Golden Himalayan Trouts in the Dodital Lake. You are also treated to the lush grasslands of two Himalayan valleys, the Asi Ganga and Bhagirathi valley. Summer months from April to June and, fall & winter months from September to March offer ideal weather to undertake this trek.
Dyara Bugyal is one of the easiest and best trekking routes in Uttarakhand. Stretched over a distance of 24 km. this beautiful trek can be covered in a span of 6 days. The generous offerings of this trek make it ideal for beginners. Gigantic meadow of Dyara bugyal, the clear-water lake of Baranala, Bakaria Top summit, thickets of alpine forests, the scenic mountain village of Harsil, and Gangotri Temple flanked by Bhagirathi river are the focal attractions of this trek which takes you to an altitude of 12,000 feet. Butter Festival, celebrated in the month of August, is a typical celebration done by locals to thank the local deity.
An all-season trek except during monsoons, Dyara Bugyal is famous for its most spectacular settings.
Certainly one of the easiest treks that can be covered in just 4 days is Khaliya Top trek which takes you to an altitude of 13,124 feet. The 15 km. Khaliya Top trek is famous for splendid views of Himalayan and Tibetan peaks from Zero Point, wildlife photography, bird watching and touring the valleys near Khaliya Bugyal. One can also sight the Himalayan Blue Sheep, locally known as Bharal, the barking deer, the mountain antelopes and many more exotic animals in the trekking route. The months of December to February are perfect for winter enthusiasts when the region is covered in snow. Skiing on the snowy-slopes is an experience of a lifetime. If looking for a summer retreat, then go for a trekking trip between April and June.
The 6-day Kuari Pass trek of moderate grade level spreads over a distance of 30 km. The trek touches an altitude of 11,000 feet; the moderately easy trekking trail offers an ideal ground for beginners. The trek floors you with the dynamic landscapes of Auli (famous for its ski slopes), Joshimath (sacred town for Hindus), dewy meadows of Khullara and Kuari Pass. The awe-inspiring view of the sacred peak of Nanda Devi, standing at a height of over 25,853 feet, is one of the star attractions of this trek. The trek is best held in April-June and September-November.
It is one of the most beautiful treks of Uttarakhand. Spread over 18 km, this moderate difficulty trek is a heady mix of Himalayan Odyssey. The 5-day trek takes you to the remote mountain village of Sankri, a magical water body of Juda Ka Talab, and finally to the Kedarkantha summit at an elevation of 12,500 feet. The spell-binding 360-degree view of celebrated mountain peaks at the summit is the climax of this trek. The best time to venture on Kedarkantha is between December, January, and February when snow is at a peak.
One of the best winter treks of Uttarakhand, Brahmatal trek treats you to the beauty of two glacial lakes-Bekaltal and Brahmatal, the Lake of Lord Brahma. It is believed that Lord Brahma meditated on the banks of the holy lake. It takes 6 days to cover the distance of 30 km of Brahmatal trek, which is located just opposite the mystic Roopkund Trek. Enroute you are treated to the Nanda Devi peak, Mount Trishul and Mount Kamet- the sacred mountains of the Hindus. You get to camp by the glacial lakes. The glorious sight of Ali Bugyal, Bedni Bugyal, Junargali and trekking trail of Roopkund trek is another unique feature of the Brahmatal trekking route. One touches the ambitious altitude of 12,100 feet at the Brahmatal Summit. The months between December, January, February, March, and April are the best to undertake this trek.
This weekend trek of moderate difficulty is easily done in 6 days and covers a distance of 15 km to reach an altitude of 13,550 feet. The refreshing trek takes you to the highest Shiva Temple perched at an altitude of 12,150 feet at Tungnath Peak. Luxuriant bugyals, dense woodlands thick with the chirping of mountain birds, and exotic views of Mt.Trishul & Nanda Devi (India’s second tallest mountain) are the points of interest here. The beautiful Lake of Deorital with its shimmering waters is another star attraction of Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek. Post-monsoon months from September-November with clear skies and salubrious weather are ideal for this trek.
If you are seeking an adventurous expedition into the higher reaches of Uttarakhand, then Pindari Glacier trek is your true calling. This 7-day trek brings you to an altitude of 11,335 feet. This wholesome trek of 64 km is peppered with trekking trails for all type of trekkers-whether beginners or seasoned. There are level trails, stream-crossings, moraines and mountain ridges that can be traversed with moderate difficulty; hence the trek is ideal for families too. Zero Point, the endpoint of the trek perched at 11,335 feet is a slice of heaven. Exploring the Pindari Glacier, enjoying mesmeric mountain views, trekking along Pindar and exploration of remote mountain villages are the highlights of this trek. One can also enjoy adventure sports like ice climbing and mountain biking on this trek. It is rightly said that trekking in Uttarakhand is incomplete without a trek to Pindari Glacier. October is the ideal time to undertake this trek. If seeking some adventure, then one can also venture from November-March when winter is at its peak.
This trek of moderate to difficult grade level stretches along 64 km and can be covered in a duration of 8 days. This is one of the high-altitude treks that require previous experience, not recommended for beginners. Gomukh Tapovan Trek is soaked in deep religious ambiance and spirituality. The trek takes you to Gomukh-the source of the holy Ganges. Here lies the Gangotri glacier at an elevation of 12,760 feet. Witnessing the birthplace of river Ganga, taking a holy dip at Gomukh, revelling in the scenic view of Bhagirathi Peaks and exploring Tapovan, the high-altitude alpine meadow perched at a height of 14,642 feet are the high points of this trek. April to June (spring-summer months) and September to November (autumn months) is the best time to undertake this trek.
One of the less explored treks, Devkyara trek is covered in 10 days and takes you to an elevation of 13,450 feet. Spread over 50 km, it brings you close to the most untouched terrains of Uttarakhand. You explore the valleys of Rupin-Supin, trek along the effervescent Supin river, visit the remote Devykyara Bugyal at 12,290 feet and enjoy the less-frequented fauna of the region. One may spot animals like Black bears, wild boars, and langur families on the trekking route. The large pine forests are home to exotic bird species and colorful Himalayan Monal, the state bird of Uttarakhand. You may also witness the traditional celebrations by locals along the trekking route. The Devkyara Bugyal trek can be held as both winter/summer treks. However, it is best undertaken during the months of May-July and, September-October.
Stretched over 8 days, the difficult trek of Rupin Pass journeys through a distance of 52 km to reach an astounding elevation of 15,250 feet. The dynamic vistas of two different states-Uttarakhand (from where the trek starts) and Himachal Pradesh (where the trek ends) are the highlights of rupin pass trek which floors you with the interchanging transitions of two distinct local cultures and traditions. Suruwas Thatch Campsite flanked by Rupin waterfall is beauteous. The view of the majestic Kinner Kailash is amazing. Rivers, lofty waterfalls, mountain streams, and flower-bedecked meadows are your constant companions during Rupin pass trek. Crossing the snow bridge to reach the other side of the river Rupin is an exhilarating experience of this trek. The months of mid-April to June, and from September to October offer ideal trekking conditions for this trek.
Kedartal, the name itself sounds so enticing. This trek spread over 32 km can be done in 6 days. Despite the moderate to difficult grade level, Kedartal is still one of the most sought-after treks of Uttarakhand. Interspersed with tricky ascents and steep hikes, the trek invites hundreds of devotees every year to its sacred terrains. Kedartal, or The Lake of Lord Shiva, cradled amidst the colossal snow-shielded peaks, at an elevation of 15,580 feet is the star attraction of this trek. The lake is the source of river Kedar Ganga, which originated from Lord Shiva. One also revels in exotic wildlife on Kedartal Trek with occasional spotting of Blue Sheep or Goral and the famous Himalayan Black Bear. The best months to embark on this trek are between May to June (summer months), and also from September to Mid-October.
The difficult and high-altitude Roopkund trek takes 8 days to traverse the distance of 53 km. One touches an altitude of 15,700 feet to reach the mysteriously beautiful glacial lake of Roopkund, which is indeed the climax of this expedition. The lake perched at the lap of Trishul Massif is speckled with human skeletons. Camping at the stunning campsites of Ghairoli Patal, Patar Nachauni, Bhagwabasa, Roopkund & Junargali is an experience wrapped in pure bliss. One also gets to see the expansive grasslands of Ali Bedni Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal. The dominant peaks of Mt. Trishul, Mt. Nanda Ghunti and Chaukhamba are also the attractive features of this mystic trek. Sadly, the trail to Roopkund Trek is closed by the government because of the damage caused to the biodiversity of the region due to excessive trekking activities.
A high-altitude trek of difficult grade level, Bali Pass Trek is spread over 10 days and covers a distance of 64 km. At an imposing altitude of 16,240 feet, Bali Pass Trek is challenging yet spiritually satiating. Exploring the typical mountain villages of Sankri, Osla, and Gangad with their unique culture and architecture is the best part of this trek. One trek inside the Govind Ballabh Wildlife Sanctuary and witnesses the exotic flora-fauna of the state. Journeying along Yamuna, Tons and Supin rivers, hiking to the rolling meadows, visiting the scared Ruinsara Lake and lavishing in high-altitude camping at 13,452 feet make this trek a memorable experience. Swift maneuvers leading to the majestic Bali Pass is an exhilarating experience of this trek. The view of massive peaks and frozen Saptarishi Kund at Bali Pass leaves you spellbound. The climax of the trek is paying obeisance at Yamunotri Temple, one of the four Chota Char Dhams of Hindus. The months between May to June and September to October offer ideal weather conditions for this trek.
One of the most challenging yet adventurous treks of Uttarakhand, Auden’s Col is certainly not for the chicken-hearted. One requires technical maneuvering through steep cliffs, crevasses, moraines, and glacier-crossings. One of the high-altitude treks of Uttarakhand, Auden’s Col requires proper acclimatization as you touch an astounding elevation of 18,000 feet. The trekking distance of 115 km is covered in 12 days. The trek connects Gangotri and Kedarnath, the two important pilgrimage sites of Hindus. One gets to visit the Gangotri Shrine, Khatling glacier and Jogin 1 glacier, get extra-ordinary views of Gangotri Peaks and reach the highest point 17,800 feet. If you are seeking an isolated sojourn in the remote terrains of Uttarakhand then Auden’s Col is your best bet. Summer months (May) and post-monsoon months (October) are the best to embark on this trek.
This season takes time to explore the road ahead, the magical road that leads you to the opulent trails of Uttarakhand.