7 Best Himalayan treks in India to Explore This Winter

Only mountains can feel the frozen warmth of the sun through snow’s gentle caress on their peaks!
7 Best Himalayan treks in India to Explore This Winter

How about ringing in the New Year flanked by frosty peaks while treading along snow-drifted trails? That sounds just like winter fairy land, isn’t it? Well, trekking in the Himalayas during winters is exactly that; winter treks in India are a wonderful experience that should be on the bucket list of the truly adventurous and thrill seekers.

These snow exploits also offer an excitingly different experience from the usual New Year’s Eve partying or family get-togethers.

The state Uttarakhand rightly termed as the “Dev Bhoomi” or the “Land of Gods” is best explored in winters if you are looking to explore the Himalayas. The colossal mountain ranges capped with snow sheet to the beautiful landscape are too mesmerising to miss.

From exploring the Yoga capital of India, Rishikesh, all these treks are easy accessible from Rishikesh thus must be tired if you are visiting Uttarakhand. The mythological attraction of every trek will intrigue you with the local culture that you will get to experience. The welcoming locals with their hospitality will make your day. The warm cup of tea in the chilly winter is just surreal experience.

Winter treks that are most awaited in Uttarakhand are a complete package in terms of view, the trail, the landscape and the attractions. To enjoy the snow covered trails that are accessible from November to March during the winter season included the weekend trek, the most desired winter trek, to the underrated trek in Uttarakhand. The following write up compiles the 7 best winter treks to plan this winter season.

1. Kedarkantha Trek: Most awaited winter trek in Uttarakhand

  • Region- Uttarakhand
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Length: 20 km
  • Altitude: 12,500 ft
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Kedarkantha Trek is counted as one of the best winter treks in India.

This 6-day Himalayan odyssey is a fulfilling expedition for trekkers. As you tread in knee deep snow laden trails, the spellbinding views of the surrounding mountains of Bandarpoonch, Black Peak, and Swargarohini leave you awestruck. The pretty hamlets, ancient culture of the villages, and the mythological waterbody of Juda ka Talab are the added perks of the Kedarkantha trek. The lake is completely frozen in the winter season that makes the trekkers experience worth experiencing. The lake is surrounded by the tall oak trees that are green in early winter months and completely naked but snow covered in the peak winter months.

The trek route suits trekkers of all experience levels as the trail is refreshing and easy to navigate. Kedarkantha is the trend-setter winter trek of India and truly called the “Queen of winter treks”. Set your foot on this trek route between December to March to get an experience of knee-deep snow in the most scenic surroundings.

2. Dayara Bugyal Trek: an easy hike with best attractions

  • Region- Uttarakhand
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Length: 24 km
  • Altitude: 12,000 ft
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Dayara Bugyal trek treats you to lavish grassland that just seems to stretch endlessly. Can you beat it; the breathtaking Dayara Bugyal covers an astounding area of 28 km². The grassland is surrounded by the majestic Himalayan ranges of Mount Srikanth, Jaonli, Bhagirathi, and Draupadi ka Danda. The winter season showcases the most exquisite beauty of the snow covered Bugyal.

The other highlights of the Dayara Bugyal trek are the clear views of the mammoth Bandarpunch Mountain throughout the route.

The alpine waterbody, Barnala Lake and splendid views from Bakaria top summit are other prime focal points of this expedition. This lake and summit is not accessible in peak winter season as the trek trail is covered by thick knee deep snow thus becomes inaccessible to reach.

The best part of Dayara Bugyal trek is that it is a relaxing climb and offers a rewarding experience. Embark on this trek between December to March to witness the most divine beauty of the sparkling Himalayan snow.

3. Brahmatal Trek: the underrated trek of all

  • Region- Uttarakhand
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Length: 24 km
  • Altitude: 12,100 ft
  • Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Being an underrated trek but with lots of attractions in store for trekkers. The beautiful trek trail, the local culture and the start of the journey is in itself scenic from kathgodam to Lohajung (the base camp). You come across the small but famous towns like Kasauni, Someashwar and Baidnath to name a few. The distance is 210 km long that takes around 8-9 hours to cover. But the drive is scenic and mesmerising.

This scenic trek is a beauty to behold in winters. The snow-laden peaks envelop the trekking trail that leads to the surreal glacial lake of Brahmatal. The alpine lake of Bekaltal is another star attraction on the Brahmatal trek route as one rarely witnesses the grandeur of 2 mountain lakes on a single trekking expedition. The trekkers get riveting views of the Himalayan mammoths like Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, Kamet, and Kala Ghoda all along the route.

Trekkers are also treatedto most intriguing glimpses of the entire Roopkund Trail from the top.

This easy winter trek in India is popular both with amateurs and seasoned trekkers. Even though Brahmatal trek is an all-season trek, winter season between December to March bewitches trekkers with an unmatched beauty of the snowy Himalayan panorama.

4. Kuari Pass Trek: the glimpse of two valleys in a single trek

  • Region- Uttarakhand
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Length: 22 km
  • Altitude: 12,516 ft
  • Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Lord Curzon discovered the Kuari Pass Trek in 1905. For this reason, the trek is also popular as the Lord Curzon Trail. Kuari Pass Trek is one of the most virtuous Himalayan jaunts as it floors trekkers with all the elements of a Himalayan exploit. From lush thickets of exotic flora to powdery trails to idyllic glimpses of the imposing mountains of Hathi Ghodi Parvat, Dronagiri, Trishul, Kamet, Mana, Bertholi, and Neelkanth, one soaks in an organic mountain experience. Both amateurs as well as experienced trekkers can embark on the Kuari Pass Trek.

The beauty of the Kuari Pass trek is mesmeric between December to March as the entire trek trail is covered in a blanket of snow.

The attractions of this trek apart from the vast mountain ranges view from the top that is like the cherry on the top of a cake but the famous ski destination of India, Auli is also an attraction in this trek.

The gorson Bugyal or the meadow covered in the blanket of snow and Auli are unmissable while embarking Kuari pass trek. Another attraction of Kuari pass trek is the Tali forest campsite with Tali Lake. You can stay a day extra in Auli and enjoy skiing there.

5. Chopta Chandrashila Trek: The best short trek

  • Region- Uttarakhand
  • Duration: 4 days
  • Length: 15 km
  • Altitude: 13,500 ft
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

The Chopta Chandrashila Deoria Tal journeys amidst the lap of nature and offers you a refreshing break from the routine monotony of life. Glossy pastures, dense Himalayan forests, and Mountain Rivers along the trail entice trekkers with their virginal beauty.

Tungnath Temple, the sacred and highest shrine of Lord Shiva is the USP of this trek. The serene ambiance of the temple offers a spiritual solace to the fatigued trekkers.

However, the Tungnath temple route remains closed during winter months.

But, scaling the Chandrashila summit and soaking in the virginal winter vista from the top is an unforgettable memory.The summit and the vicinity is blanketed under a thick sheath of snow in December till the end of April.

One must remember that most of the times, reaching the summit becomes nearly impossible in January and February because of large volumes of snow. If you want to scale the summit and have an enjoyable winter experience, then December, March, and April are the best months.

Deoriatal (Deoriya or Devaria) lake is another prime attraction of this trek. The lake has a mythology associated with it and is believed to have been built during the Mahabharata times.

The moderately easy trail of the Chopta Chandrashila trek is perfect for beginners as well as experienced trekkers.

This trek is best suited for all the nature lovers or even bird watchers as you come across a lot of species including the State bird of Uttarakhand, Monal. Being a short trek this trek has new major attractions every day be it the Tungnath temple or the chopta village or the Deoriatal Lake. This trek has it all.

6. Nag Tibba Trek: the weekend getaway

  • Region- Uttarakhand
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Length: 20 km
  • Altitude: 9,915 ft
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

If you’re seeking a quick and easy rendezvous in the snowy scenery of Uttarakhand Himalayas then Nag Tibba trek should be your top priority. This classic trek can be completed easily over the weekend in a span of two days. Nag Tibba is truly called a beginner’s trek for its easy yet bewitching trail. Trekkers enjoy magnificent views of Bandar poonch, Srikanth, Swargarohini, Black peak and many other Himalayan giants’ enroute.

Nag Tibba is in fact one of the best Himalayan treks for beginners as it offers a perfect ground to experience the Himalayan jaunt. The goats village is also an attraction nearby which gives you an experience of Himalayan retreat in the lap of mountains away from the hassle of civilization.

If lucky, one can also witness snowfall while treading on this trek during winters. The higher locations of the trekking trail are covered in snow from the months of January to early March.

7. Chadar Trek: frozen lake trek

  • Region- Jammu and Kashmir
  • Duration: 9 days
  • Length: 62 km
  • Altitude: 11,483 ft
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

Are you game to embark on some difficult winter treks in India in the rugged Ladakhi terrain? If yes, then think no further than the Chadar Trek. It is going to be the most overwhelming experience to walk on the icy river flanked by the pristine beauty of nature. As you trek along the glassy and frozen Zanskar River, the twists and the turns in the route leave you awestruck. You have rust colored mountains on one side that stand in sharp contrast to the white snowy panorama; truly a shot from the story book! You also witness the quaint hamlets and the interesting culture of the local populace.

But, the 62 km journey to this winter wonderland is not a cup of tea for all. The dramatic changes in the terrain and unpredictable weather conditions are only for the truly adventurous and extremely fit trekkers.

And of course, as the name explains, Chadar, (the sheet of ice) Trek is typically enjoyed during winters as the trail treads over the frigid Zanskar river! The months of January and February are best suited for the demanding yet exciting Chadar Trek. This trek is recommended for experienced treks as this trek require expertise to trek thus new trekkers or seasoned trekker should prepare well before embarking on this trek journey.

To wrap up –

These winter treks promise a grand snow experience in the bounty of nature. The best time to embark on these winter expeditions is from December to mid March when the frosty landscape shimmers in its prime beauty.

And, just remember, within this expanse of pristine grandeur there are many enriching experiences, some natural and some cultural.

So this new year, do not think twice to pack your bags and set foot on one of the above listed winter Himalayan exploits! Let this New Year be an excuse to bring out the adventurer in you.


Author’s Bio:
Shanu is a content writer at Moxtain. She is an accomplished content writer with an experience of more than 5 years. She has penned down an autobiography on her adorable pug, “Clifford The Great Indian Dog”. The book is available at Erin Mills Public Library, Mississauga, Canada. She has also penned down many short stories for the online portal storyforyou.in



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