About Rupin Pass
A crossover trek with surprises and changing scenery on every turn; that’s what a brief description of Rupin Pass would be like. Considered one of the best trek routes in India, this high-altitude trek is a favorite amongst adventure-seeking souls. At an elevation of 15,350ft, this high-altitude trekking experience of Rupin Pass offers you diversity in every form. During the trek, you experience every kind of terrain with sudden variations. From snow cover fields to rocky terrain; from lush green meadows to deep folds in the mountain; from glaciers, snow bridges, icy slopes to habitations, and religious sites- you have it all in one trek. Although summits are a highlight of most trek routes, Rupin Pass’ diversity and the experience it offers all through the trek route has proven to be an attraction for trekkers from all over the world. Even though trekking for 5 to 6 hours on average while advancing 10 km each day can prove strenuous for some, the thrill of adventure and the experience it offers along with the marvelous sights makes it all worth the effort.
Even though it is considered a trek of difficulty in terms of difficulty level, Rupin Pass in India attracts lots of adventure-seeking souls. After starting from the greener parts of the region with a moderate temperature, the trek route takes you to snowfields and valleys of lofty peaks with the temperature taking a significant dip.
Quick Facts about Rupin Pass Trek
- Region- Dhauladhar range of the Himachal region
- Trek Altitude- 15,250 ft
- Trek Difficulty Level- Difficult
- Trek Duration- 7 Days
- Distance- 52 km
- Start Point- Shimla
- End Point- Sangla (Shimla)
- Temperature- Average day temperatures vary at Rupin Pass from plus 18 degrees Celsius to plus 10 degrees Celsius.
- Nearest Railway Station- Shimla Railway Station
- Nearest Airport- Jubbarhatti Airport Shimla
- Network– Shimla is the last spot where you will find the network. With increasing altitude, you might not get a network on your cellphones.
- Last ATM- Rohru
- Pickup Point on Day 1- Shimla Old Bus Station
- Departure time from Shimla Old Bus Station on Day 1- 7 a.m.
- One-way cab from Shimla to Bawta at standard traveling charges INR 1,250/- per person
- One-way cab from Sangla to Shimla at standard traveling charges INR 1,250/- per person
- The vehicle model will be informed a day before your trek date.
- The vehicle model depends on availability and the group size.
- Trek Starts from Bawta on Day 2
- Distance from Shimla to Basecamp, Bawta- 195 km takes around 8-10 hours.
- Treks end at Sangla on Day 7 at around 11 p.m.- 12 a.m.
- Departure to Shimla from Sangla on the same day at around 3 p.m., 220 km takes around 8-10 hours.
- Arrival time on Day 7 at Old/new Bus Station Shimla- 11 p.m.
- Drop Point on Day 7- Old/new Bus station Shimla
- Buses are available for Chandigarh and Delhi from the New Shimla Bus Stand.
- If you are planning to stay in Shimla, Old Shimla bus station will be a good option.
- The distance between the Old to New Bus stand is 4.5 km, which takes around 15 minutes.
- Cloakroom: There is a cloakroom available in Shimla.
- Buffer day can be used if a trip gets delayed due to of roadblock, bad weather, or any unforeseen circumstances. Buffer day is not included in the cost. If buffer day is not used in the Expedition then it can be used to explore Shimla or Sangla by trekkers themself. If used, the amount for the day will be collected there. If not used the return will be on the 6th day.
- The forest permits for international clients will be as actual and are to be paid by the trekker at the base camp only.
About the Rupin Pass trek
Stretching across the two Himalayan states of India, the Rupin Pass trek is a high-altitude trek that features a brilliant spectacle of natural diversity and the wilderness of nature. This trek is highly popular among the Indian as well as foreign trekkers and those planning this arduous journey this summer season could expect a great expedition ahead. The journey begins from Shimla, Himachal Pradesh, and concludes at Sangla and would require you to cross the state border to enter Himachal near Kinnaur.
With the Rupin Pass trek starting from Shimla and Bawta serving as a basecamp, you pass through small secluded hamlets and get to see the likes of beautiful waterfalls all through the trek. In this route, you get to visit the famous hanging village at Jhaka and experience standing on a snow bridge with river Rupin flowing right below you and falling off the edge of the mountain and forming a beautiful waterfall in front of your very eyes.
After hiking through the dense forests of fir, rhododendron, and oak, the woodlands open up to a magnificent view of the Kailash Peak as you reach the end of the trek. After the summit day, you pass through Ronti Gad and Sangla with your trek ending at Shimla, and after an experience in the mountains, the local culture feels distinctively different from the place that you started. Your trek route will be 52 km in length with beautiful scenic beauty to treat your eyes. The Rupin Pass trek is divided into 7 days, with you covering about 7 to 8kms on average each day.
On the trek trail, you will experience a distinctive change in landscape and terrain with changing altitude. At first, the trail takes you through the Govind National Park or Govind Vanya Pashu Vihar. The trek route is through coniferous woodlands and small towns and villages that have settled on the banks of the stream valleys at lower altitudes. You experience the mesmerizing view of vibrant colorful meadows, also known as Thach; wildflowers with a varying range of colors; waterfalls; vast stretches of ice-covered fields overwhelm you as you reach a higher elevation. In the summer season, these stretches of land stay covered with snow while in the post-monsoon season, you can find wildflowers blossoming along your trek trail. This looks beautiful and creates a serene ambiance as you experience the beauty of nature in your trekking route. From the Rupin Pass summit, it's a different spectacle altogether. The view of the Kinnaur Kailash range and Charang Ghati ridges from the pass will leave you spellbound.
It is not only the sudden changes in the features of nature that add to the serene ambiance of the Rupin Pass trek but also places like Poku Devta temple, the two-story temple of the Kinnauri culture at Sewa add a different dimension to this trek altogether. As your trek route takes you through remote villages, your cell network, along with the temperature, starts taking a dip as you gain altitude. As the Rupin Pass trek transverses through secluded villages to the lofty Himalayan peaks, you can draw your required bit of cash from the ATM at Rohru, which is on the way to Bawta, before your trek commences.
Alternate Rupin Pass Trek Route
Rupin Pass trekking route transverses through two different states of India, passing through vivid features of nature and offering breathtaking spectacles along the way. The trek route of Rupin Pass starts from Dhaula in Uttarakhand and ends in Sangla in Himachal Pradesh. The beauty of the trek route lies in the fact that it lets you experience the uninhabited snow-covered Himalayan region as well as the two very distinctive local cultures of the two adjoining states.
The Rupin Pass trek route provides an adventurous thrill as well as a serene and calming experience. The trail passes through ancient mountain villages, which are quite essential and have been referred to multiple times in the Hindu religious texts and epics, to the rich alpine meadows and valleys where mountain peaks soar above Rupin Pass. The mountainous terrain of the region is perfect for an adventure-seeking soul as the trail advances through rough terrain and three different valleys of Rupin, Baspa & Pin, with each having its unique feature.
Rupin Pass trek trail in India takes you on a trek route that's along the river Rupin. The trail starts from Dhaula, where the rivers Supin and Rupin merge and form the Tons river which flows along and acts as Yamuna's tributary. The trail takes you through an adventurous journey to the river Rupin's origin. As you walk along the river banks upstream, you will experience the river's sharp turns and twists as it flows through the mountain terrain.
On following the river to its origin, the route takes you through remote villages of Uttarakhand like Sewa, Jiskun, and Jaskha of Himachal. You get to experience the local culture and lifestyle of these villagers as the people of Jiskun and Jakha belong to the religious sect of Satsangi and lead a vegan life. These villagers exhibit norms and rituals that are quite similar to the Kinnaur locale, and their houses and attires do say the same. On your last day as well, you will pass through the villages of Baspa valley in Chitkul. During your trek route and campsites at Dhaula, Sewa Jiskin, and Sangla, try to interact with the locals nearby and get to know more about them, their culture, and their history, to get the maximum out of your trek. Trust me, on your way back home you will have an adventurous trek experience with loads of interesting stories to share.
The trek commences from the hamlets of Dhaula and goes through Sewa, Jiskun, and Surwas Thatch. This route takes you to Dhanderas Thatch and is a much more comfortable trekking route than the others with occasional steep climbs and rugged terrain, but it provides you with the best views of the region itself. From Dhanderas Thatch campsite, you can see the mesmerizing waterfall, on top of which you climb. It is an exciting adventure in itself to climb on top of the Rupin Pass Upper Waterfall. The view one gets from the top is something one cannot forget. From the Upper Waterfall campsite, the trek moves on to Ronti Gad, crossing the Rupin pass via the Rati Pheri. The trek then ends at Sanga, which is a thorough descent from Ronti Gad. From here, you can take a bus or a cab which can drop you off at Shimla.
Highlights of the Rupin Pass trek
With the starting point and the ending point of the Rupin Pass trek being different and in two different states, you get to see the intertwining and the transition from one local culture and tradition to another. The base camp of Rupin Pass is at Dhaula, which is a small hamlet in the Himachal region. The first day of the trek will take you through the rhododendron, fir, and oak woodlands and fields with apple and apricot trees beautifying the sight of the Rupin River flowing past you. Not only that, you will experience the serene ambiance of the vast stretches of meadows as well.
On the second day, you cross the border of the two states and experience frequent topographical changes. As you hike through forests and descend to cross streams and runlets, you reach the riverside at Haldi Khad. You experience the thrill and the entrancing sights as you the trail to Jiskun village is along the edges of a cliff from here, you can see the river Rupin take its course.
The campsite at Suruwas Thatch is quite famous for the view it offers. You get to see the valley and the famous Rupin waterfall. If you are looking for streams, waterfalls, and rivers, you get that in abundance at the Rupin Pass trek. There are numerous waterfalls along the rugged terrain. Not only that, in this trek, you get to trek from the base of the Lower Waterfall to the top of the waterfall with an ice axe and trekking pole.
The trek is an adventure in every way. The campsite at Upper Waterfall campsite is set on the top of the waterfall at a vast meadow. Here you can see various small streams join together to form river Rupin which drops below as the river falls from such a great height and disappears into the horizon after flowing through the meadows. It’s an experience with a view that gets imprinted in any trekker’s mind. After that, you feel that all your effort in the trek was worth it. As you reach towards the end of the trek, the beautiful view of the Kinner Kailash is bound to render you speechless.
Throughout the trek, you will experience beautiful forests and trees of oak, fir, golden-leaved maple, and multi-shaded rhododendron trees, along with several other coniferous trees. Rupin Pass trek’s beauty lies in the fact that it not only lets you experience snow in an adventurous trek through rugged terrain but there is a snow bridge in itself that you have to cross to get on the other side of the river Rupin. It is a beautiful experience as you can feel the river rushing under the bridge and the rocks tumbling one over the other under your very feet.
How to reach Rupin Pass
The base camp of the Rupin Pass trek is Bawta. But with Shimla being a more accessible location, we arrange a pickup from Shimla itself. You can contact our team for further details.
- By Flight
Nearest airport- Chandigarh Airport. From the airport, there are several bus services as well as cab services available to Shimla. From Shimla, it is a beautiful 198km drive of 7 to 8 hours.
- By Train
Nearest railway station- Kalka Railway Station and the Chandigarh Railway Station. From the railway station, there are several bus services as well as cab services available. It is a beautiful 198km drive of 7 to 8 hours.
- By Road
Shima is accessible to all the major cities of India by road, and there is a bus service available from most of the major cities of India. After reaching Shimla, you can opt for a bus or a cab as there are several bus services as well as cab services available. It is a beautiful 198km drive of 7 to 8 hours.
Best time to Visit Rupin Pass Trek
Since it’s a crossover trek, it is always advisable to visit in the summer or post-monsoon season. Although open throughout the year, except for the monsoon season (for landslides and slippery trenches), the Summer season has been proven to be the favorite of all the trekkers because of the pleasant weather conditions. Trekkers ideally prefer to visit Rupin Pass from mid-April to June and from September to October.
Weather and temperature around the year at Rupin Pass
In summer, the average temperature of Rupin Pass reaches the highest of 20 degrees Celsius and the lowest of 3 degrees Celsius, while in winter 18˚C to minus 7˚C. Average day temperatures at Rupin Pass vary from plus 18 degrees Celsius to plus 10 degrees Celsius. At night, average temperatures range from 0 degrees Celsius to minus 7 degrees Celsius. With gaining altitude, expect to see a drop in temperature, which takes a further dip after the sun sets down behind the horizon. So, pack your bags accordingly. You can always wear clothes in layers to retain body heat and have a pleasant and comfortable experience during the trek.
Difficulty level of the trek
With a vast stretch of 52 km being covered within 7 days, by trekking 7-8 km per day, the Rupin Pass trek in India is considered moderate to difficult in terms of difficulty. It is important to note that ‘difficulty’ can be a relative term. People with proper fitness and an active body often find the trek to be smooth and enjoy a peaceful summit climb and descent. The trek covers a variety of terrain, from pleasant, tranquil meadows to rugged terrain, and hikes on the narrow roads at the edges of cliffs. It also has occasional descends and climbs that be overwhelming for some but can be equally exciting enough for trekkers to come back again to experience something new that the trek has to offer.
Is the trek safe?
Absolutely! Yes, there are steep climbs, sharp descents, and walk through narrow trails at the edge of the cliff. But, the trek route that has been chosen for you is safe enough for trekkers and provides beautiful views. With necessary, proper precautions and good trekking shoes (which is a must in mountain trekking) along with the help and guidance of our trek leaders, you will have a great experience in the trek. Since the trek involves steep climbing and sharp descents, you must wear proper mountain trekking shoes that are waterproof. They must be waterproof because you will cross snow-covered fields, and it will be uncomfortable for you if your feet get wet.
Is it recommended for beginners?
Well, it depends. Mountain trekking is more about mental endurance than about experience. There are many first-timers or complete beginners who have completed the trek successfully and have reported having a beautiful experience. There are stories of how they fell in love with mountain trekking after the Rupin Pass trek and have started trekking often.
That being said, it is essential to note that a bit of experience trekking before this does help to know what to expect in a high-altitude trek. At high-altitude treks, the biggest worry is Acute Mountain Sickness or AMS, which has nothing to do with being first-timers or experienced professionals. You can easily stay away from any such problems if you keep yourself hydrated throughout the trek and listen to the tips of the trek leaders.
Preparation Tips for a successful Rupin Pass trek
- Trek essentials
You must carry a proper waterproof trekking bag, along with your winter clothes, and basic camping essentials. Wear proper trekking shoes and break them in before you go off for trekking. Contact our team to rent trekking shoes along with other mountain gear.
- How to dress up
The trick is to layer up. Yes, you will be carrying winter clothes to beat the cold temperatures. But, while trekking, you might feel hot. So it is important that instead of wearing one heavily insulted winter wear, you layer up light winter wear so that you can take them off at your convenience during a day’s trek.
Rupin Pass is a high-altitude trek. It involves 7-8 km of trekking per day with occasional steep climbs and sharp descents. It means that you will require stamina and proper fitness to have a smooth and comfortable experience. A month before the trek, you can start exercising and build up your body fitness and stamina. An hour’s session of strength and endurance-building exercises for a month should be enough for you. If you are a smoker, since the mountain air is thin, it is better if you cut back on your smoking and stop a month before your trekking dates so that your lungs function at full capacity.
- Rupin Pass
Day 1: Shimla to Bawta
- Pick up at 6:30 am from Shimla Old Bus Station.
- Drive to Bawta(7,700 ft); 9-10 hours.
- Accommodation, and food in homestay at Bawta.
Day 1 would involve a 9-10 hours drive from Shimla to Bawta, the base camp for the trek. You can reach Shimla by boarding an overnight train from New Delhi Railway station. Transport from Shimla would be arranged by us for additional charges. Trekkers can choose to reach on their own also till Bawta if they are aware of the route and public travel options.
The drive from Shimla to Bawta is good as roads are well maintained and you will encounter pleasant sights of hills all around you.
Day 2: Bawta to Jhaka
- Altitude gain from 7,700 ft. to 9,000 ft.
- 5 km Trekking
- 4 hours of Trekking
- Lunch and Snacks at mid point
- Accommodation and food in Homestay
Day 2 is a moderate trek ascent till Jiskun followed by slight descent that would require you to tread on various topographic features. It would be an 5 kms trail that ends at Jhaka, your camping site for the night. You will get to see the Selwan Khad as you proceed ahead where you can refill your water bottles.
Given the moderate level of trekking, it would be a great pleasure to enjoy the soothing weather and relish some snacks with tea as you approach towards Jiskun. This section of trek takes about 4 hours and will take you to an altitude at about 9,000 ft.
Day 3: Jhaka to Dhanderas Thatch
- Morning tea and breakfast at Jhaka.
- Start trekking from Jhaka to Dhanderas Thatch.
- 11 km trekking in around 8 hours. Altitude gain from 9,000 ft to 11,700 ft.
- Packed Lunch is provided.
- Stay in Tents.
Your third day will be an exciting 11 km trek of about 8 hours. Starting early in the morning, you walk out of your campsite at Jhaka and make your way to Dhanderas Thatch. As today’s trek trail is a bit tricky, you will be given instructions on how to have an enjoyable trek day, with minimum difficulty. Today’s trail is exciting and adventurous in every way. With a tricky terrain that is slippery and prone to landslides, it is important that you are careful while trekking.
As you walk out of Jhaka, you cross mixed cross fields and walk into a dense dark jungle. The change in vegetation is interesting and brings a sense of adventure. As you cross the jungle and hop across the little rivulets and streams that you come across, you will come up to a wooden bridge.
After a bit of hiking from here, start your steep ascent to Saruwas Thatch through the vibrant mountain vegetation of Deodar and Walnut trees. On completing the trekking for the day by gradually decending to Dhandarus Thatch, you reach your destination at where you rest in the tents.
Day 4: Dhandaras Thatch to Upper waterfall
- Start trekking from Dhanderus Thatch to Upper waterfall.
- 5 km trekking in around 4 hours. Altitude gain to 13,300 ft
- Moderate ascend for the day.
- Fill you water bootles from small water point enroute, the streams.
- Hot Lunch at campsite stay in tents. Followed by evening snaks and dinner.
Your fourth day of the trek constitutes of 5km of trekking, Today’s trek make you reach an attitude of 13,300 in about 4hours. Having said that, it is a ascent till upper waterfall after which, where you end up wondering how a trail like this was cut out from a rock face.
With the trail terrain and the surroundings changing abruptly, your climb to Upper waterfall is quite interesting as well as entertaining. With an initial zig-zag trail, you hike through the mixed dense forest with the cliff on the other side.
Proper acclimatization and briefing for this day is essential.
Day 5: Upper waterfall to Ronti Gad via Rupin Pass
- Start trekking from Upper waterfall
- 11 km for trekking in 10 hours. Altitude gain from 15,350 (Rupin Pass) to 12,300 ft.(Ronti Gad)
- Packed Lunch is carried
- Reach Ronti Gad by late evening, Evening snacks, dinner, and camping at Ronti Gad campsite
This will the longest and perhaps the most challenging segment of the Rupin Pass trail. From 13,100 ft, you will gain an elevation of 15,400 ft which would be followed by a steep descent to 13,100 feet. As the water sources are limited, it would be important to refill your bottles at Rati Pheri campsite.
From Upper waterfall, it begins with an hour of steep climbing that would lead you to Rati Pheri Campsite. At this site, you would be able to see only the stretches of snow all over the place. It is through these snowy tracts that you would be trekking to reach Rupin Pass gully. But crossing the boundless snow fields with a glimpse of Rupin Pass at a great distance may prove to be quite challenging as well as tantalizing thing to do. Given the absence of well-defined tracks, walking on snow may require you to take due precautions as slips and slides are quite common here. Sense of direction is equally important. From Rupin pass, it would be a gentle walk followed by a climb down to Ronti Gad.
Day 6: Buffer Day
- This day is used in any campsite depending on the fitness level of the trekkers.
- Accommodation and food in Tents
This day can be used for any day where the weather conditions are not supportive be it harsh contineous rains or any other climatic barrier. This buffer day can be used earlier or later in the itinerary. Acclimatization for Rupin pass trek becomes a neccesity thus this day cannot be ignored. Many a times trekkers feel tired thus this rest day can be utilized then.
In order to complete this challenging trek both preparing well and listening to your body is a must. Be vocal about any headaches, nausea, dizziness, pain in chest etc and immediately inform the trek leader. With adequate fitness, staying hydrated and proper acclimatization this trek can be done with no difficulty.
Buffer day is not included in the cost. If buffer day is not used in the Expedition then it can be used to explore Shimla or Sangla.
Day 7: Ronti Gad to Sangla and Drive back to Shimla
- Morning tea and breakfast at Ronti Gad.
- Certificate distribution and group photo before departure.
- 12 km Trekking
- 8 hours of Trekking
- Drive from Sangla to Shimla by 3 pm. Expected arrival time in Shimla is between 00:00 am to 1:00 am, please make your hotel booking at Shimla accordingly.
The itinerary comes to an end and this last day is less challenging as there is 8km descent from Ronti Gad to Sangla. Be cautious as climbing down from an altitude can be hurtful for knees if not taken care of so listen to the instructions given by the trek leader throughout.
After Reaching Sangla those who have further plans can bid adieu to the group, collect your trek certificate, with a bundle of memeories and in hope to take a new challange again soon.
Those who have booked your travel with us can board the cab for the 9-10 hours long drive from Sangla to Shimla. You will be reaching Shimla late at night so pre book your stay or travel accordingly.