Dreaming of a mountain rendezvous coupled with the thrill of an expedition? Bali Pass is the right choice baby! Bali Pass experience can be summed as, “You don’t need magic to disappear, all you need is a destination!” Bali pass is that perfect destination that will leave you speechless, and later turn you into a storyteller.
This challenging yet rewarding trek is a once in a lifetime opportunity that flatters you with the potpourri of delectable trekking ingredients. Historical temples bedecked with unique architecture, thriving meadows, 360-degree views of majestic Himalayan peaks, tempting campsites, tricky trails meandering next to mountain rivers and lined with wild blossoms, sacred glacial lakes are the unmatchable highlights of this high altitude rocky pass. In a nutshell, Bali Pass overwhelms you with an unforgettable trekking experience that radiates you for the rest of your life.
The diverse terrain of Bali Pass lays a perfect foundation for the trekking enthusiasts who want to take the next step forward to taking expeditions in the future. Let’s take a quick peek of some unique facts of Bali Pass trekSome facts
- Region- Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand
- Maximum Altitude- 16,240 feet
- Bali Pass Trek Difficulty Level- Difficult
- Duration- 10 days
- Bali Pass Trek Distance- 64 km
- Start Point- Sankri
- End Point- Janki Chatti
- Best Season- May to June and September to October
- Temperatures in these months- Plus 25 degrees maximum to -10 degrees minimum
An overview of Bali Pass trek
The less frequented Bali Pass Trek connects Ruinsara-Har Ki Dun valley with Yamunotri valley. Perched at an altitude of 16,240 feet, the tricky Bali Pass trek demands that you have great physical stamina coupled with swift mental agility. A prior trekking experience will hold you in good stead as this challenging trek is meant for seasoned trekkers. The route to Bali Pass was popularised by Jack Gibson in the late 1940s, a teacher at Doon School.
Bali Pass trek is soaked in adventure and the raw terrain of this Himalayan pass declutters your mind and soul alike. Amazing hilly terrains, dense forests, lush meadows, colourful orchards enthrall you throughout the trek. As you journey along Tons, Yamuna and Supin rivers, the effervescence of these mountain rivers stirs your spirit. The sacred Ruinsara Lake and Yamunotri shrine are the calming spots of Bali pass Trek that soothe your religious sentiments. Splendid 360-degree views of the majestic trio of Kala Nag, Bandarpoonch and Swargarohini peaks stun you en route the Bali pass trek.
The trek that initially commences with an easy and gentle walk gradually transforms into a tricky and challenging walking experience ahead of Odari. The trek demands proper acclimatization, careful maneuvering of treacherous trails, smart negotiation of narrow paths and steep ascents and descents.
How to reach Bali Pass
- By Rail- Take a train from Delhi to reach Dehradun and then head to Sankri by road (210 km, around 10 hours of drive).
- By Road- Drive to Sankri from Delhi (460 km, around 9 hours of drive) or drive from Dehradun to Sankri (210 km, around 10 hours of drive).
- By air- Reach Dehradun by air (Jolly Grant Airport) and drive to Sankri (210 km, around 10 hours of drive).
Best time to Visit Bali Pass
Mid-May to June-end and early-September to mid-October are the best months to undertake the Bali pass trek.
The summer months treat you to fresh greenery and bright flowers. The Himalayas are clearly visible and cool summer breeze adds a charm to the beautiful summer months.
The fall months welcome you with the spectacular beauty of changing colours. The landscape lit with blazing reds, oranges, and hues of browns and golden looks absolutely divine.
Monsoon months are risky due to unpredictable weather and winter months experience heavy snowfall making trekking very difficult.
Bali Pass Weather/Temperature
Bali Pass is covered in the snow till the beginning of May. As the temperatures begin to rise, snow melts and there are frost and ice on the trails.
In the summer months of May and June, the day time temperatures can vary from 18 to even 25 degrees Celsius and night/early morning temperatures vary from 0 to 5 degrees Celsius.
In the fall months of September and October, the temperatures begin to fall and can range from 0 degrees to sub-zero temperatures at higher altitudes.
Bali Pass Trek History
Bali Pass gets its name from the king of monkeys, Bali. He was a mighty monkey who defeated even Ravana. He is the ruler of the Kishkindha mountain and has an important role to play in Hindu mythology. It is believed that Bali had journeyed through the mountains of this region and killed a demon at Odari, hence the name Bali Pass.
Highlights of Bali Pass
- Jaunsar Villages- Villages of Sankri, Osla, and Gangad take you back in history with their unique culture and beliefs. Locals here believe that they are the ancestors of Kauravas and worship Duryodhana as their God. The wooden-stone architecture and beautiful carvings of the temples of these villages are the architectural heritage of the state of Uttarakhand. The idyllic setting, exquisite beauty and serenity of these mountain villages floor you. The simplicity of the villagers will charm you no end; along with experiencing the local culture, you also get a chance to savour on the local delicacies and delicious mountain tea.
- Beautiful mountain rivers- The bubbling mountain rivers of Yamuna, Tons and Supin enliven you with their effervescence. The trek starts in the Tons river valley and finishes in the Yamuna river valley.
- Exotic wildlife and rich vegetation- The trek journeys through Govind National Park which treats you to wildlife like Langoor, Wild Fox, Indian Crested Porcupine, Yellow Throated Marten, Wild Boar, Black Bear, and Bharal, the mountain goat. Mountain Birds like Koklass Pheasant, Brown-fronted Woodpecker, Scaly-bellied Woodpecker, Crested Kingfisher, Himalayan Swiftlet, Himalayan Griffon and Russet Sparrow chirp all the way long.
- Vast meadows- The alpine meadows of Devshu Bugyal hemmed by tall trees, and lofty mountains of Swargarohini and Kalanag standing tall in the background are the ultra selling points of this trek.
- Brahma Kamal- This legendary flower is a rare sighting in the Himalayas but Odari campsite in the Bali Pass trek treats you to the life-restoring flowers of Brahma Kamal.
- Splendid Views- Bali Pass trek treats you to the beautiful views of Supine Valley, and 360-degree views of sacred Swargarohini, Kala Nag, and Bandarpoonch.
- Extra bonuses- The sacred Ruinsara Lake bejewelled with the Swargarohini peak in the background is the star attraction of Bali Pass trek. According to the legend, Pandavas frequented this region during their period of exile. Yamunotri Temple, a pilgrimage site for the Hindus is another highlight of this historic high altitude trek. This temple dedicated to Goddess Yamuna is one of the four Chota Char Dhams. The Yamuna, the second most holy river of Hindus originates at Yamunotri.
- Camping- This is one of the few legendary treks that treats you to camping at an astounding altitude of 13,452 feet.
- Bali Pass- Negotiating the tricky trails with swift maneuvers as you journey ahead of Odari is a thrilling experience. As you reach the pass, colossal peaks and frozen Saptarishi Kund are a treat to watch. The velvety the Dyara Bugyal is visible from the top of the pass.
Is the Bali Pass Trek Safe
Interspersed with challenging terrains, uphill hikes, steep descents, narrow passes, and tricky trails, Bali Pass requires good physical and mental fitness. This high altitude pass is one of the toughest in the Uttarakhand. However, it has a shorter trekking trail (64 km) as compared to other “Difficult Level” treks. This requires long trekking hours on moraine debris and glaciers that need careful maneuvers.
It is highly recommended that you undertake the trek in the company of a guide who has enough knowledge and experience about the trekking route.
Is the Bali Pass Trek Recommended for Beginners
Since Bali Pass trek takes you to an elevation close to 16,250 feet, it is highly recommended that you have a prior trekking experience for this trek. This challenging altitude trek requires proper training, it is advisable that you train yourself 2 to 3 months before undertaking this trek. As a trekker, you will require technical equipment like crampons and rope to undertake this trek.
Due to high-altitude and changing weather conditions, proper acclimatization is required, it is better that you arrive 1 to 2 days before you begin your hike.
Health and Safety
- For any Himalayan Trek, Ideal BMI for a trekker should be 18.5 to 24.9
- To keep a check of this please calculate BMI here
- Below given Safety checks should be done to get prepared for any Himalayan Trek.
- Balance : As well said a balanced mind and body gives out best in every condition and that too works in Himalayan treks as well.
- Legs Strength : Body and Legs Strength is required to carry body weight as well as the backpack while trekking in uneven multi terrains. Generally, a good strength on legs works out good in any Trek. One can gain legs strength by doing simple Squats.
- Muscle Flexibility : While trekking in Trans Himalayan region with a flexible body one can easily achieve full range of movement and this can be really helpful for trekkers as well as trek leads. A good flexible will be an advantage while walking on trails, climbing and river crossing etc. Flexibility can be achieved by simple stretching, yoga etc.
- Cardiovascular Endurance : Cardiovascular endurance is defined as the ability of lungs and heart to transmit oxygen to the body muscles. All Himalayan treks are basically ascending descending the slopes and for this trekkers should be having a good cardiovascular endurance. Anyone planning for a Himalayan trek can attain this capacity by doing any cardio exercise like running, swimming, cycling etc.