Trekking in Uttarakhand is a great way to explore nature outdoors and feel a closer connection with nature and surroundings. There are a lot of places available in the state and if doesn’t matter whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or an advanced trekker, you’ll surely enjoy the experience with rich diversities in views surroundings, weather and terrains. Trekking to the magnificent sites of Uttarakhand is meant for people who wish to go much beyond their usual hill station trips and come across the unexplored parts of the region. Whether it’s a trek for pilgrimage destination, high altitude glacial lake or a famous site with religious importance, you’ll find it all everything under this beautiful state also known as ‘Devbhumi’ (land of gods). The government and nature enthusiasts make sure that these places remain free from any form of pollution or dirt. Hence it is advised for the traveller to preserve the Mother Nature while maintaining utmost cleanliness. These Himlayan treks are a sure way to come in closer proximity with the huge snow clad peaks touching clouds and providing you with their shadows.
1. GOUMUKH TAPOVAN TREK
Among the most beautiful and pleasing treks within the state of Uttarakhand is the Goumukh – Tapovan trek. The trek takes you through orchids of coniferous pine trees at the birch and Chirbasa at the town of Bhojwassa. The trek would simply take you towards the Goumukh glacier and Lanka. Throughout the entire route you’ll find beautiful looking Himalayan goats that are known as Bharal and are commonly seen grazing on grasslands. Gomukh or the snout and terminus of Gangotri Glacier are the place from where the holy river of Bhagirathi would originate.
Gomukh glacier is the final point to explore which just lies four kilometers ahead from Bhojwassa. From the Tapovan to the point of Goumukh the whole climb would be with steep ascends as the entire sight of adjoining peaks would be clear. The beautiful site of Gomukh which is also known as “Goumukhi” or “Gaumukh” is situated at an elevation of 13,200 ft in the district of Uttarkashi.
2. BALI PASS TREK
With a total trekking duration of around 13 days the trek for Bali Pass is a renowned trek to the destination of Yamunotri. The entire trek stretches througb Goving Wildlife Sanctuary and is an adobe for the rich and diverse flora and fauna. The beautiful trek commences at the town of Sankri. The whole trail would gradually climb and continues to Supin River through the beautiful little towns of Osla and Dhatamir. At the time of trail you would come across the picturesque river sites of Siyan Gad and Tons. The whole expedition would continue till Har Ki Dun, which is a cradle shaped valley with a plenty of flower varieties, surrounding Himalayan peaks and scenic wildlife Himalayan views. The whole route would later on continue to Ruinsara Tal through grasslands and conifer forests. To reach Bali Pass you would need to take a steep and continuous trek from the village of Ruinsara.
3. HAR KI DUN TREK
Also known as the “Valley of Gods” Hark ki Dun” is a trail that would simply take you to some of the most beautiful valleys and meadows in the state of Uttarakhand. This cradle shaped valley is populated with villages that are centuries old. According to ancient Hindu mythology you are following the route of Pandavas who took same route for ascending towards heaven through the mountain of Swargrohini. The beautiful snow clad peak of Swargrohini dominates the valley of Har ki Dun. Perched at an astounding elevation of about 3566 mts above the sea level, the town of Hark Ki Dun is enclosed with lush green forests and gleaming peaks. The entire valley has abundance of diverse varieties of flora and fauna and is a rich paradise for photographers and nature lovers. At the trek, you’ve got a lot to do as exploration options such as identifying rare varieties of Himalayan shrubs and herbs and their importance. Along the trek path you can easily find trees of rare varieties like Bhojpatra and Bramhakamal.
4. KALINDIKHAL TREK
Located at a breathtaking elevation of 5946 mts/19500ft above the sea level, the trek to Kalindikhal pass is among the msot strenuous and challenging treks in the Garhwal Himalayas. Commencing from the holy site of Gangotri the high expedition altitude begins from Gangotri and the end point for the trek is Badrinath, which can be easily reached through Kalindikhal. Throughout the trek the main stops would the the villages of Nandavan (4500m), Tapovan (4250m), Kalindi base (5590m), Gashtoli (3600m) and Arwa Tal (3980m). Much further the entire terrain for the trekking trail would actually add a whole lot of adventure to for your tour as further it gets covered with snow, scree boulders and glaciers. The entire trail’s distinctiveness is that it would easily let you discover more than half of Garhwal region while being in the Alaknanda River to the Bhagirathi river valley. Besides this it would also amaze you with sites of different peaks such as Vasuki, Chandra Parvat, Shivling, Satopanth and Bhagirathi.
5. NANDA DEVI SANCTUARY TREK
The beautiful trek with the entire site firstly got discovered through a team of around 6 shepherds. They were the first ones to discover and explore the beautiful splendor that was concealed within the wilderness of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary. Soon after the word got spread many enthusiastic travellers and nature lovers made their way towards the sanctuary that further led to some environment problems and later on in 1983 the sanctuary was closed by the Indian Government. However with the emerging tourism the scenario has notably changed with the place welcoming travellers with whole heartedness. Trekking towards the high altitude sanctuary would be an uphill battle but once you reach the destination, the scenes that you watch are simply worth the trail. The trek introduces you with a number of enticing mountain wildlife species of the mountains like the Himalayan Thar, Bharal, Serow, and Brown Bear and so on. Another fascinating thing about the the trail is that your sight will be continuously feasted with the beautiful views majestic Himalayan peaks such as Dunagiri, Changabang, Nanda Kot and Trishul.
6. ROOPKUND TREK
The trek towards the lake of Roopkund is perhaps the most heard trek of the region that allows access to some of the most magical places in Uttarakhand. Renowned by its other name “the skeleton lake”, Roopkund Lake is a rare kind of destination mostly popular due to its mythologies and mysteries. Thousands of corpses lie around the lake as according to folklores it is known that a group of travellers were caught in Hailstorm that occurred due to the local deity who got enraged through the visitors.
Another vital fact that draws the attention of visitors is the versatility and diversity of the entire trek. You’d come across the beautiful grasslands of Bedini Bugyal and snow-clad surface at higher altitudes. The lake has also gained significance due to a number of religious beliefs, one of them being the ‘Nanda Devi Raj Jaat Yatra’. The pilgrimage travel to this destination is held once in a period of 12 years.
7. VALLEY OF FLOWERS TREK
If you’re a great lover of nature and the beautiful surroundings of the heavenly state of Uttarakhand, then you might have surely heard about the Valley of Flowers trek in the Chamoli district of Garhwal Himalayas. Located in the picturesque Bhuyander valley, the site is enriched with hundreds of flower species that provide tranquility and distinctiveness to the entire region.
Roads are accessible till the little town of Govindghat and from here on a moderate level trek commences of 19 kms that would take you to the Valley of Flowers. Travellers can rest in the Ghangharia campsite or the GMVN rest house and can continue with the trek the following day. Upon reaching the destination travellers are complete immersed in the magical views that are offered by the picturesque site. Watch the beautiful colors of flowers crossing their paths with small streams flowing through the misty mountains that surely make this a heaven on earth. Any nature lovers must visit this place at least once in a lifetime.
8. KAURI PASS TREK
If you’ve heard about the famous ski town of Auli then chances are that you might be familiar with the beautiful high altitude trek of Kauri Pass. The trek is surely a paradise for nature lover and changing terrains and sceneries are evident on the route. Considered as a moderate route by many travellers the trek is equally rewarding with its panoramic views of the prominent Himalayan peaks of Chaukhamba, Kamet, Mana, Nanda Devi and Dronagiri. The best time to reach Kauri Pass is during the months of summer, autumn or winters. Rainy months should be avoided due to possibility of road blocks and landslides. The trek starts from Auli to the beautiful Gorson forest with tree species like conifers, oaks, birch and bamboos. The trek takes you through various campsites where you can lite your evening fire and have fun with family and friends. Various travel agencies in Joshimath organize trek to this region and also provide trek guides.
9. PINDARI GLACIER TREK
Trek to the famous Pindari Glacier is perhaps one of the easiest trek routes that you can try on your holidays. The beautiful route would introduce you to the remote Himalayan villages of Loharkhet, Dwali, Phurkia and Saung. The trek route has some of the most amazing sceneries with dense forests in between comprising of different tree species such as oaks, rohodendrons and conifers making the route equally beautiful as well. The final point of the Pindari glacier is the zero point where travellers get the beautiful views of the surrounding high snow clad mountains. Upon reaching the zero point, the place mostly feels like a Himalayan base camp. The trek is mostly taken by nature lovers who’re in for a beautiful adventure. The beautiful destination is located in the Bageshwar district of Uttarakhand between the high scale Himlayan peaks of Nandakot and Nanda Devi peaks. The trek is renowned amongst locals by the name “Soul of Kumaon”.
10. PANCH KEDAR TREK
Covering all the five shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, the trek is mostly considered moderate when talking about the difficulty level. The trek mostly lasts for around 12 days with the ideal trekking seasons between the months of May to November (excluding rains). With the trek travellers would come across different legends as you’re commencing towards Kalpeshwar, which is known for cave temple, where the appearance of Lord Shiva’s matted hair was noted. The altitude of the trek path rises gradually with the magnificence of prominent Himalayan peaks. The temple of Tugnath which is also the highest temple devoted to Lord Shiva is accessible at the middle of the trek. Next stop in the trek route is the Madhymaheshwar, where appearance for Lord Shiva’s naval was noted. Later on the entire journey concludes at an astounding elevation of 3583 mts above the sea level at Kedarnath. Here Lord Shiva made his appearance in the disguise of a bull.