10 Best Treks in the Indian Himalayas

From snow clad, to stark, to lush green, there’s a myriad of trek trails in India for anyone who is an adrenaline junkie. The mystic mountains of Himalayas in India that are an exotic beauty, have always attracted adventurers and trekkers from around the globe. Trekking in the Himalayas has so much to offer and the experience is sure to stay for life.

Though it is impossible to narrow down on 10 best treks (I personally feel, all the Himalayan treks are kickass), and so I have collated these based on personal experience, reviews from friends & other trekkers I met, terrain of the trail & difficulty levels. Trekking is for everyone who believes ‘adventure is out there’. So go ahead and check out my top 10 picks – in no particular order. Plan your next (or first) trek and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!

Stok Kangri – Ladakh

Stok Kangri

Photo: Alberto Bertotto [under CC BY-NC 2.0 via Flickr]

Stok Kangri is an adventurous trek in the ‘Land of Passes’ – Ladakh. It is one of the toughest treks hence it’s recommended only for seasoned trekkers. The Stok Kangri peak offers grand, uninterrupted views of the entire Zanskar and the Indus Valley.

Difficulty level: Challenging – Difficult

Best time: July – August

Nearest airport: Leh

Goecha La – Sikkim

goechala

Photo: By Denis De Mesmaeker [under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 via Flickr]

With a breathtaking view of Kanchenjunga – World’s third highest mountain in the backdrop, Goecha La (Goecha Pass) is situated in the beautiful state of Sikkim. Trekking through the dark forests of rhododendrons and ancient oaks, traversing the enchanting lakes to reach the stunning glaciers with panoramic views of Kanchenjunga, will leave you with a desire for more.

Difficulty level: Challenging – Difficult

Best time: April – May, September – December

Nearest airport: Bagdogra

Chadar – Ladakh

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Photo: By Ankur Bose

Chadar, literally meaning a ‘blanket’ of ice is supposedly one of the most adventurous and one-of-its-kind winter treks in India. The Zanskar river freezes up as the Himalayan winter sets in the remote Zanskar Valley, near Leh. Trekking on this frozen spectacle is the one unforgettable experience.

Difficulty level: Challenging – Difficult

Best time: January – February

Nearest airport: Leh

Roopkund – Uttarakhand

Ali-Bugial-4

Photo: Via wetravelsolo.com

Popularly known as a ‘skeleton lake’ or ‘mystery lake’, Roopkund is the glacial lake located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. Wandering through the incredibly beautiful bugyals or the meadows with an unmatched combination of pristine high altitude lakes, oak and semi-buried rhododendron forests, gurgling brooks and spectacular mountain views; the trek has everything to whet the appetite of any adventure enthusiast.

Difficulty level: Moderate – Difficult

Best time: May – June, September – October

Nearest airport: Dehradun

Rupin Pass – Himachal Pradesh

rupin pass

Photo: Via blogpipers.com

This high altitude mountain pass, crossing many desolate Himalayan ranges of Dhauladhar, lies on a traditional shepherd trail. The trail throws in surprises around every corner. From walking on the rickety wooden bridges, to walking in surreal landscapes dotted with stunning waterfalls, streams and river, glaciers & snowy slopes, open snowfields with semi-buried rhododendrons to charming flowery meadows, the trail is a feast in every possible way.

Difficulty level: Moderate – Difficult

Best time: May – June, September – October

Nearest airport: Dehradun

Chandrataal – Himachal Pradesh

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Also called ‘The Lake of Moon’, Chandrataal Lake sits at an altitude of approximately 4300 metres or 14000 ft, amidst the dry and arid desert valley of Spiti in Kinnaur region of Himachal Pradesh. Accessible from either – Kunzum La or Batal, both the trek routes are equally charming, the lake is a real stunner.

Difficulty level: Moderate – Challenging

Best time: June – September

Nearest airport: Bhuntar (Kullu-Manali)

Indrahar Pass – Himachal Pradesh

Indrahar_Trek_(3)

Photo: Via Thrillophilia

Located near McLeodganj, Indrahar is an ancient mountain pass in the Dhualadhar mountain range of Himalayas. The trail passes though tranquil hamlets, dense forests of silver oak, deodar and bamboo, and lush green pastures, further to offer panoramic views of Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal range of the Central Himalayas.

Difficulty level: Moderate – Challenging

Best time: May – June, September – October

Nearest airport: Dharamsala-Kangra

Valley of Flowers – Uttarakhand

 vof2

Included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Valley of flowers National Park is an alpine valley in the Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand. Home to a stunning scenic beauty, the valley gives one a feel of walking in a fairyland.

Difficulty level: Easy – Moderate

Best time: July – September

Nearest airport: Dehradun

Hampta Pass – Himachal Pradesh

hampta

Photo: By Raphael Affentranger [under CC BY-ND 2.0 via Flickr]

Difficulty level: Easy – Moderate

Best time: May – October

Nearest airport: Bhuntar (Kullu-Manali)

Kuari Pass – Uttarakhand

kuari.jpg

Photo: By sush_makj [via Flickr]

Kuari meaning ‘a doorway’ is located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand. True to its name, the trek opens a doorway to breathtaking views of the Himalayan grandeur. Accessible throughout the year, the spring & winter treks are famous for their splendor.

Difficulty level: Easy – Moderate

Best time: April – June, September – January

Nearest airport: Dehradun

Which are your best ones? Please comment below to share more to this list.

Happy Trekking! Happy Travels! 


7 thoughts on “10 Best Treks in the Indian Himalayas

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