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Top 10 winter treks in india

CHALLENGE THE ADVENTURER IN YOU THIS WINTERS

Overview

India being the homeland of the mighty Himalayas, gives us a chance to experience some of the most adrenaline-pumping treks which many of us have never seen or heard of before. 

Often, treks are most enjoyed during the winter season when the challenge of travelling across the mountains almost doubles due to knee-deep snow and chilly weather. Also, we are sure that most of you can agree to the fact that nothing tastes better than Maggi which is cooked in the hills and a piping hot cup of tea with a breathtaking view of the mountains.

Today, we are going to share our top 10 treks including some easy winter treks, which you can plan on going with your gang in the winter season.

1. Mukta Top Trek

Mukta Top Winter Trek
Difficulty level– Moderate

Highest altitude– 11,838 ft

Duration– 6 days 

Total distance– 28km (To and fro)

Best time to visit– November and December  

The Mukta top trek is a newbie in comparison to the popular Kedarkantha trek, but that does not make it any less fun. If you are a lone-wolf or someone who just wants some days of isolation, away from the hustle-bustle of the city, this trek might be just the right fit for you.

Unlike other treks, this trek starts off at a relatively lower altitude,   allowing you to enjoy the view of Himalayan forests more closely. On your way up to the mountaintop, you will come across a plethora of bamboo trees. As you go a little higher, you will also find plenty of pine and oak trees. If you are a forest lover, this is a must-visit place for you. Reason? This two-day trek is covered almost entirely in forest trails, which is a treat to the eyes of nature lovers.

We are not sure how many of you are aware of the fact that Uttarakhand’s state    bird is none other than the majestic Himalayan Monal, which is often seen as you cover these forests. If you are a birdwatcher, you must carry a pair of binoculars to take a close look at some beautiful birds like bulbuls, russet sparrows and many more. 

After the forest trails come to an end, you will find yourself in the middle of the meadows, which are most likely to be completely covered in snow.

2. Kuari Pass

Kurari Pass winter trek

Source: Himalayanhikers

Difficulty level– Easy

Highest altitude– 12,716 ft.

Duration– 6 days 

Total distance– 21.5 km (To and Fro)

Best time to visit– December to March  

The name of this trek explains it all! For those who don’t know, Kuari pass means doorway to heaven and was first explored by Lord Curzon. If you have never been on a trek before, this trek could be the ideal starting point for you. 

The Kuari pass trek begins from Joshimath near GovindGhat (Base camp of the two major trek in Uttarakhand, Valley of Flowers & Shri Hemkund Sahib), and you will also get a chance to cross Auli on your way. Auli is famous for its skiing slopes during the winter season. Some of the peaks which you can witness during this trek are Neelkanth, Dronagiri and Mukat Parbat. 

The base of this trek is Rishikesh, which is quite close to Haridwar. A number of direct buses are available to Haridwar from almost all the major cities in India. This trek would give you a distinctive view of the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand and you might also come across some leopards or black bears during the trail. The major highlights of the Kuari Pass trek are the view of Nanda Devi Massif, the Vinayak Pass, Tali Top and the Gorson Bugyal. 

3. Kedarkantha Trek

kedarkantha winter trek

Source: eUttaranchal

Difficulty level– Easy

Highest altitude– 12,500 ft.

Duration–  4 days

Total distance– 20 km (To and fro)

Best time to visit– December to February

The Kedarkantha trek is one of the most popular winter treks in India, and is also known as “The Queen of winter treks”.This trek is enjoyed by both regular trekkers as well as beginners. Via this trek, you will get a chance to experience the magnificent Gangotri, Bandarpoonch and Kinner Kailash mountain ranges. 

Kedarkantha trek starts off from Sankri (Uttarakhand) and goes on for a total distance of 23 km, with the nearest major city being Dehradun. Upon reaching the Kedarkantha base, you will have a magnificent 360 degree-view of snow capped summits all around you. However, the final reward of this trek is the Kedarkantha peak, which has a view that cannot simply be described by words. 

While facing the north, you can witness the mighty Covered Himalayan Ranges of Uttarakhand at an eye-level. This trek is one of the most popular winter treks and a must-visit place if you are someone who is planning to start his trekking journey anytime soon. 

While the trek is not particularly hard, having a decent level of fitness before planning the trek is of no harm. Also, you might have to say goodbye to your mobile network after Sankri. 

4. Har-Ki-Dun Trek

Har ki dun easy winter trek in india

Difficulty level– Easy

Highest altitude– 11,480 ft..

Duration–  6 to 7 days

Total distance– 47km (To and fro)

Best time to visit– December to February

Located in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas, the Har ki dun trek is one of the in-demand treks of all time. This beautiful valley is located at the base of Fateh parvat, and is surrounded by dense pine forests. 

Another important highlight of this place is that you might get a chance to experience the wildlife more closely. Black bears, langurs and wild boars are considered the native habitats of this region. With the scenic beauty and thrilling experience, this trek seems like the ideal package for both amateur and experienced trekkers. 

You can also expect some rock climbing sessions at this place, and challenge yourself to do one. Another fun fact about this village is that it is more progressive than many parts of the world. Reason being? Some of the villages here follow the matriarchy rule in which the head of the family is a woman. While many parts of India are still struggling to give women equal rights and opportunities, this village has already given its due respect to women in its society.

The entire valley is covered in flowers but sadly, that sight is limited only for tourists who visit this place during the summer season. If you have an ample amount of time on your plate, we suggest you visit the wooden temple at Osla village, nearby you can also spot some guesthouses and general stores which can fulfil your daily needs.

Be ready with your camera and tripod stands to record the most memorable moments of your life because this trek offers a variety of unusual scenic beauties and local communities which have a different yet fascinating culture.

5. Bhramatal Trek

Bhramtal trek in january

Difficulty level– Easy

Highest altitude– 12,600 ft.

Duration–  5 days 

Total distance– 35 km (To and fro)

Best time to visit– December to February

Many adventure freaks have a misconception that short-treks fail to give you a  thrilling experience. I simply do not agree upon this! Reason? The Brahmatal trek gives you an incredible view without any major challenges on your way. 

The entire trailing experience leaves you mesmerized by the scenic beauty of the place and you can actually enjoy all of it while trailing across the mountain, without worrying about any upcoming major hurdles.

What makes everything even more magnificent is the snowfall which covers the entire region, giving you a look of land covered with cotton balls. The trees dancing in the direction of the wind might make you fall in love with this place and give you a soothing yet peaceful feeling. Bonus! You will also catch a look of two incredible lakes, the Brahmatal lake and the Bekaltal lake during this trail. 

Another highlight of this trip is the view of two gigantic peaks  Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda ghunti, standing in such close proximity that you might have a jaw-dropping look on your face when you reach there. 

6. Chadar Trek

Chadar trek in winters

Source: CNN

Difficulty level– Moderate to Difficult

Highest altitude– 11,200 ft.

Duration–  9 days 

Total distance– 105 km (To and Fro)

Best time to visit– January to February

Never been to Ladakh before? This trek might be the exact reason behind your first Ladakh visit! The Chadar trek is a trek of moderate difficulty but is surely worth every penny. The reason why this trek is different from other treks is that you’ll have to walk on a thick glass-like layer of ice, with a view of huge mountains right there for your company. It is almost like walking on a sheet of ice (baraf ki chadar). At around 11,000ft, you might feel like you are somewhere in the North pole. 

One of the major highlights of this trip is the Nerak waterfall, which would probably be completely frozen right from top to bottom. Also, you can see the river flowing underneath the sheet of ice. The experience is once in a lifetime kind of experience and I am sure that you cannot afford to miss it. The trek might be difficult for some, hence the local administration has made healthcare checkup mandatory for every Chadar trek participant, keeping in mind the safety and well-being of the trekkers. 

Lastly, the ration on this location is transported via sledges, you find refuge in caves and have your own Man Vs Wild experience. The Chadar trek allows you to know the Zanskari culture closely, as you get a chance to meet the locals and experience their hospitality. 

7. Nag Tibba Winter Trek

nag tibba winter trek

Source: Moxtain

Difficulty level– Easy

Highest altitude– 3000 ft.

Duration–  3 days

Total distance– 19 km (To and Fro)

Best time to visit– Throughout winters

The Nag Tibba trek is the nearest trek to Delhi and ideal for kids and beginners. If you are a college student or maybe a school student who plans to go on a not-so-difficult trekking experience on your winter break, keep reading, this trek is for you. 

The trek is one of the most popular treks near Dehradun and is an ideal weekend destination to chill with your family or friends. An added advantage of this trek is that because of not being on a much higher altitude, this trek is available throughout winters, even when most of the popular treks are closed. The trail goes around a thick deodar forest, after which you find yourself in a completely remote zone. The total distance of the Nag tibba trek is 19km (to and fro), and the temperature goes as low as -7 degrees. 

Some of the most popular floras of this region are- Dadi ke nuskhe wala phool (grandma’s remedy), and modu, a fruit which tastes sweet and sour. 

8. Panwali Kantha Trek

Panwali kantha trek

Difficulty level– Easy

Highest altitude– 11,500 ft.

Duration–  5 days

Total distance– 41 km (To and fro)

Best time to visit– December to February

So what makes the Panwali Kantha trek so special? We have the answer! This trek allows you to have the rarest views of complete mountain ranges of Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath altogether. Also, if you are lucky enough, you might come across the rare blue mountain goat too. 

Anybody who is fit can manage to do this trek and enjoy the beautiful view of these gigantic mountain ranges. The trek offers a visual treat and goes along the holy pilgrimage route from Gangotri to Kedarnath. You can also witness Himalayan bears and rare musk deer if the odds are in your favour. 

9. Markha valley Trek

Markha Valley trek

Difficulty level– Moderate

Highest altitude– 11,480 ft.

Duration–  5 days

Total distance– 65 km (To and fro)

Best time to visit– May to September is considered the best time for this trek

The Markha valley trek is very similar to the Chadar trek in many aspects and allows you to explore the high passes and erotic wildlife of Ladakh like never before. Via this trek, you will find yourself lost in the colours of Ladakhi culture. The long stretches of the chilling Markha river make this trek a better alternative to the Chadar trek. Also, the Hermis national park obviously adds up to the wildlife expedition which you cannot afford to miss. 

Ladakh is also known for Buddhism, and if you are someone who is truly fascinated by the Buddhist culture and wishes to experience it more closely, this is the right place for you. 

Also, you will get a chance to experience the rich wildlife of this region as Yaks, Blue sheep and Pikas are commonly spotted here. 

10. Spiti Winter Trek

Spiti valley trek

Difficulty level– Moderate

Highest altitude– 13,123 ft.

Duration–  10 days

Total distance– 41.5km on foot and 13km via car (To and fro)

Best time to visit– November to March

Located in Himachal Pradesh, Spiti valley is one of the coldest and inaccessible locations of the region. The chilly weather often goes as low as -30 degrees in winters, leaving you shivering with cold and a piping hot cup of tea might be your saviour. 

For those who don’t know, Spiti is also considered one of the highest and harshest villages in Asia. Peaks like Kanamo, Chau-Chau Kang Nilda, and Mt. Gya are easily visible during this trail. 

The 9-day trek is not one of the easiest treks out there, which is why we had saved it for number 10 on our list! What makes it difficult is not the route, but the extremely harsh climatic conditions. The availability of this trek starts in November and goes on until the fourth week of March. 

You will also enjoy the view of the frozen Spiti river during this trail, some of the defiant streams can be seen cutting down through the ice, making their own way.  Another major highlight of this trip could be the two very famous monasteries- The Ki monastery and the Tabo monastery, which are beautifully embedded in snow, leaving you mesmerized by the breath-taking sight.

During this trail, you will pass a number of remote villages like Dhankar, Demul, and Komic. Also, you will trek across the frozen Dhankar lake and witness the glossy glass-like textured river during the chilly winters. 

Conclusion

These were the top ten winter treks in India, specially picked by us for you all. Whether you are a novice or an experienced trekker, this blog has got something for everyone. If you have never been on a trek before, we bet you are missing out on something awesome in your life. Trekking is not just a fitness activity, it is a soul-searching experience which often makes you challenge your own abilities and go beyond your comfort zone.

Lastly, trekkers have no religion. Their only religion is adventure, peace and nature.  So what are you waiting for? Choose a trek from the above-mentioned list, call your friends, pack your bags and let’s go! Even if you don’t have someone to accompany you, we advise you to go solo and experience the true mountain culture raw and uncut.