The Kedartal Trek has been known as one of the sought after treks present in India that provides the participants with a great view of the mountains. The trek is definitely not for the faint-hearted as it is difficult and only the people with great physical endurance are able to take part in the trek. The trekking trail takes people through some of the best pine forests that one can experience. It is also the trek that provides the trekkers with an opportunity to sight the bharals or the blue sheep. The moderate to difficult trekking trail makes it even more adventurous mostly for the youth who want to experience adrenalin rushing through their veins. The trek does last for 7 days on an average, so it is a great way to explore one’s need for adventure.
About Kedartal Lake
The Kedartal Lake is also known as ‘Shiva’s Lake’ which is a glacial lake present at the height of 15,580 ft. or 4,750 meters above the sea level. It is located in the Gharwal region of the Himalayas. The lake is mostly famous because it is the source of Kedar Ganga and it is mainly fed by the snowfall from the nearby peaks of Meru, Thalay Sagar and others present in its vicinity. Due to the belief of Hindu’s that Kedar Ganga originated from Shiva and fell on earth due to Bhagirath, this is a holy lake for the followers of Hinduism. The lake is present near Gangotri and every year several people trek to see its beauty. The descent is quite steep which makes it a difficult trek but it provides an exceptional view of the flora and fauna of the area. Kedartal trek difficulty is to be kept in mind while availing this trek.
How to reach Kedartal Lake?
- By Train: When you are looking forward to your trek to the Kedartal Lake, you will need to travel till Rishikesh which is often the beginning point of the journey. For that, you will need to take a train to the Haridwar Railway Station which is well connected to the rest of India. From there one needs to book a car or travel by bus to Rishikesh and then travel to Uttarkashi and continuing to Gangotri, which is the base camp for the Kedartal Lake.
- By Road: If someone is travelling by car, then they should drive towards Haridwar and then to Rishikesh following which they can pass Uttarkashi to finally reach Gangotri. They have to keep a few days for completing this path as it does occupy a lot of time. The drive from Uttarkashi to Gangotri lasts for 95 KM and it provides a spectacular view. If you are coming from Delhi to Kedartal, then a road trip to Haridwar is also a great option.
- By Air: The Jolly Grant Airport present in Dehradun is the nearest one to Rishikesh. So, after landing at the airport, one has to book a car towards Rishikesh and they will also have to make a stop at Uttarkashi to finally reach Gangotri.
The Kedartal trek Uttarkhand begins at the Gangotri base camp and on the first day, they need to trek till Bhoj Kharak which takes about 4 to 5 hours on an average. On the second day, they will trek till Kedar Kharak which again takes 5 hours on an average and a person needs to pass lofty terrains. On the third day, a 5-hour take finally helps a person to reach the Kedartal Lake where they get to make a stop and then they start the descent on the next day. Take help from a Kedartal trek route map to know more.
Best Time to Visit Kedartal
There are two best times for engaging in Kedartal trekking. The first one lasts from May to June which are summer months and the next one is from September to Mid-October which is the post-monsoon months. These months are the Kedartal Trek Best Time for the visit as the weather remains pleasant and one can have a clear view of their trekking trail. During the post-monsoon months, the place becomes heaven. The trek remains closed in the winters due to the difficult terrain, heavy snowfall and the sub-zero temperature which aren’t the perfect conditions for survival.
Kedartal Weather Round the Year
When someone is thinking of going on a trekking trip, they need to know about the weather that the place gets throughout the year. It helps to judge the situation and fix a plan accordingly. Kedartal Lake is present in a mountainous region, so it is obvious that it will get its share of chilly weather.
In the summers, trekkers can expect an average temperature of 10 - 12 degrees Celsius in the daytime whereas at night it can fall to 8 - 6 degrees Celsius or even more.
The monsoons aren’t preferred because it is difficult for a trekker to take the trail when it is raining constantly and they will also have a dull view of the mountains. It is also quite difficult for a car to even reach Gangotri.
The post- monsoons are moderately chillier as the Kedartal Weather will be looking forward to winters and the temperatures can dip to -9 degrees Celsius. The monsoons are harsh during the winters and the common dwellers leave the place as it receives extremely low temperatures that may even reach -16 degrees Celsius. It is forbidden to trek during this time due to the Kedartal altitude.
- Summer Months from May to June: 10 to 12 degrees Celsius during Daytime and 6 to 8 degrees during Nighttime
- Monsoon Months from July to August: 14 to 18 degrees Celsius during Daytime and 6 to 10 degrees during Nighttime
- Post-Monsoon Months from September to October: 10 to 9 degrees Celsius during Daytime and 0 to -2 during Nighttime
- Winter Months from November to April: -6 to -4 degrees Celsius during Daytime and –20 to -11 degrees Celsius during Nighttime
Is the Kedartal Trek safe?
It is advised for the trekkers to find a local guide or book their trek with a tourism company when they are thinking of participating in the Kedartal trek Uttarakhand. It is a difficult trek because of the lofty terrains that they will need to cover. The minimum age of participating in the trek is 12 years and a person needs to have the right level of physical fitness. To make the trek safer, it is advised to refrain from visiting the trail during the monsoon months and it is completely forbidden to visit the area during the harsh winters.
Kedartal Lake Trek Difficulty
When someone is looking forward to a trek, it is important to assess the level of difficulty before participating in it. The Kedartal trek difficulty is regarded to have a level of moderate to high difficulty. It is definitely not for those who are about to trek for the first time. The lake is one of the highest glacial lakes present in Uttarakhand and to reach the lake one needs to pass difficult terrains. Trekkers will need to pass pine woodlands, high-elevation pastures, and sliding zones to finally reach Kedartal. When someone is venturing on the trek, they should pack according to the weather and also meet the different requirements.
Is the Kedartal trek recommended for beginners?
No, Kedartal trekking involves difficult terrains that can be hard to tread and one needs to climb more than 4750 meters above sea level. It is for the seasoned trekkers who have the experience of climbing in difficult situations. One needs to cover a total distance of about 70 KM on this trek. To decrease the difficulty, one should try to visit during the summer months as well as during the post-monsoon months. Keep the Kedartal altitude when planning for this trek.A Quick Glance to Some of the Amazing Facts of Kedartal Lake Trek:
- Region: Garwhal Region of the Indian Himalayas, Uttarkhand
- Trek Altitude: 4,750M
- Trek Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
- Trek Duration: 6 Days
- Distance: 32 KM
- Start Point: Gangotri
- End Point: Gangotri
- Base Camp: Gangotri
- Temperature: During summer months, the average temperature during the day is 10-12 degrees Celsius and the average temperature at night is 6-8 degrees Celsius. People who are visiting after monsoons can find the temperatures dipping to -2 degrees Celsius at night. During the harsh winters, the temperature can even fall to -20 degrees Celsius.
- Nearest Railway Station: Haridwar Railway Station
- Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun
- Last ATM: Take out your money at Haridwar
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.