There are not many treks that could be categorized as winter treks in India. With abundance of snow in Himalayas, most of the popular trekking routes are beyond reach for trekkers and adventure enthusiasts. However there are some routes which do qualify as winter treks in Indian Himalayas. In this blog, we introduce you to 12 Best Winter Treks in India, which, though treaded by avid trekkers and adventure enthusiasts every year, still offer something new, something exquisite with every expedition. Experience an India, not found in books and stories rambling through these 12 Best Trails and you will find a contentment that is familiar only to a necessary explorer of all times.

The essential elements of an ideal trek, which are adventure, experience and beautiful sighs and scenes are all conspicuous in these expeditions as they takes one through some of the most memorable journeys, such as those that one reads about only in fables and adventure stories. Scenery full of exotic meadows, magical oak forests, refreshing and majestic waterfalls and lakes, remote and primitive villages are all to be found and seen on these hikes as their mesmerizing beauty remain etched in the mind forever

Chadar Trek – Frozen River Zanskar Trek

The Chadar Trek in Ladakh is one of most challenging, picturesque and exciting winter treks in India, though also one of the toughest and adventurous. Undertaken by a number of local and international tourists every year, the path of the expedition is over the frozen Zanskar River (a tributary of the Indus), surrounded by massive and steep mountainous walls. The weather is severely cold and one needs a thorough preparation before embarking on the excursion. The word Chadar, is a local word, used for the blanket of snow that carpets the over the river and then used as a trail. The entire stretch, that approximately spans nearly 100 km, takes in total of about 8 days one side depending upon the conditions. In most cases, the trekkers have to spend nights in caves or in space provided by the locals and eat the local Ladakhi food. But harsh conditions notwithstanding, it is one of the most memorable journey you will ever undertake.

Maximum Altitude: About 10,900 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Take approximately 7-9 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Moderate Difficulty. The weather is chilling and is always in minus degrees.

Distance Covered: Approximately 70-100 kilometers.

Kauri Pass Trek

Kauri pass is an amazing trek that affords the traveler one of the most incredible sights of majestic Himalayan peaks including Chaukhamba Range, Mana, Kamet and Abl Gamin, stretching as far as the Tibet border. More peaks such as the Changabang, Dunagiri, Nanda Ghunti, Dronagiri, Rishi Pahar, Neelkanth are also visible. The Kauri pass trail is also called Lord Curzon Trail in the honor of the former British Viceroy of India, who first hiked through it. The hike, taking through beautiful scenic landscapes begins from the village of Dhak, after arriving to Joshimath from Haridwar by road. The trek approximately takes about 5 days to complete. A tent, a permit, a guide and food supplies are important for a trekker to keep with them, which can be organized at the Joshimath itself.

Maximum Altitude: About 12,763 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes about 4-6 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate.

Distance Covered: Approximately 33 kilometers.

Nag Tibba Trek

Nag Tibba or serpent’s peak is the highest peak in the Nag Tibba range, which is one the three principle range of the Lower Himalayas besides Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal. Perched at a height of approximately 9,924 feet above sea level, the trek is mostly characterized by picturesque and scenic views and offers clear and unhindered sight of the beautiful Bandarpoonch peak as well as the Gangotri group of peaks, Kedarnath peak, snowy crests of Chanabang and Doon valley. Nag Tibba is one of the best winter treks in India for beginners and draws hundreds of tourists from across the globe to its threshold. The place is said to be the mythological abode of Nag Devta and is full of mesmerizing flora and a mix of Deodar and Oak forests humming with a rich diversity of birds and animals and is a wonderful opportunity to observe the Garhwali way of life closely.

Maximum Altitude: About 9,924 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes about 2-3 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate.

Distance Covered: Approximately 16 kilometers.

Prashar Lake Trek

peaceful and amazing offbeat hikes in Himachal Pradesh. The place gets literally wrapped up in snow in winters and the majestic view of golden rays, kissing the high altitude peaks at a distance is one of the most fabulous sights one can ever see. The destination of the trek is a beautiful lake with deep blue waters, held sacred by the local people. There is a three storied pagoda, located just along the lake, dedicated to the sage Prashar, who is said to have meditated here. Reaching here one can get clear and magnificent sights of the Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal and Kinnaur range. The maximum altitude of the trek is about 8, 477 ft. above sea level and normally takes about 2-3 days to cover, if started from the Baggi village. The most memorable feature of the trek is the amazing calm and serenity about the lake, which must and should be experienced. The silence is spiritually uplifting and combined with the stunning views, brings the trekkers here again and again.

Maximum Altitude: About 8,477 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Take about 2-3 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Distance Covered: Approximately 8 kilometers from Baggi village.

Kedarkantha Trek

One of the classical winter treks in India, the Kedarkantha is a beautiful and exciting trail that spans through landscape of incomparable beauty, taking you through mesmerizing remote villages, expansive pastures and meadows, snowy courses and majestic view of the great Himalayas. The Trek starts with a small village called Sankari, driving to which is too, a scenic excursion. Kedarkantha is one of the easiest trek of the lot and is easily traversable by first timers and children. The destination is situated in the hills of the Tons valley and the trail takes you through the rich and protected flora and fauna of the Govind National Park. Reaching the target, one can find most elegant views of great mountain ranges such as Swargrohini, Bandarpoonch, Black peak etc. The people of the region are extremely friendly and helpful making the journey easy and comfortable as well as an unforgettable one.

Maximum Altitude: About 12,500 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Take about 5-6 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate. No prior experience of trekking is required.

Distance Covered: Approximately 20 kilometers.

Dodital Trek

A dramatic and picturesque trail located at an incredible height, Dodital trek is an absolute treat for the nature lovers. The hike is essentially a forest trek and it passes through some the most beautiful thickets of Oak, Rhododendron, Fir and Deodar. In winters, the landscape gets entirely capped in snow and one can find stunning scenery all around. The camp sites are relatively easy to access. Dodital is a sacred lake and home to the famous Himalayan Golden Mahseer Fish and the surrounding area is believed to be the abode of Lord Ganesha. After reaching Uttarkashi, the trekker may take a short jeep excursion to Sangamchatti, from where the real hike begins. One can take this route via Agoda to Dodital and Darwa pass and return by the same route. Another alternative path is through Hanumanchatti through Yamunotri road to Kandola. However there is no facility for hikers on this route. The trek includes camping along the mesmerizing Dodital Lake as well as affording incredible views of Bandarpoonch peak and magnificent snowy peaks of Dhauladhar. This beautiful jungle pathway can also be used as a route between the Gangotri and Yamnotri regions.

Maximum Altitude: About 13,615 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes about 5-6 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult.

Distance Covered: Approximately 27 kilometers.

Chopta Chandrashila Trek

Chopta Chandrashila trek is one of the famous and most panoramic treks in the entire Garhwal region, which takes you through to Tunganath, the highest situated Shiva temple in India and one of the five Kedar temple which is highly revered in Hinduism. Beyond the temple, the hike actually begins. The trail lets you pass through stunning sights as there is little to refute, the title given to Chopta as the “Mini Switzerland of India”. Situated at the maximum altitude of 12,877 ft. above sea level, this is an all season hike that affords you the most beautiful vision of Nanda Devi, Kedar, Trishul and Chaukhamba peaks and an amazing all-embracing view of the Garhwal Himalayas. The lush, verdant valleys of the region gets completely blanketed with snow in winters and presents an awesome view. Chandrashila is a short but arduous ride but there are fences been fixed through the path which makes walking a bit easy and pleasant.

Maximum Altitude: Approximately 13,200 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes about 3-4 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Distance Covered: Approximately 5 kilometers.

Sandakphu Trek

Known widely as the “Trekker’s Wonderland”, Sakdakphu is the highest point in West Bengal from where you can catch some of the most unforgettable sights of world’s highest mountain peaks of Mt. Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu. With some of the most fertile regions of rich flora comprising that of rhododendrons, magnolias, primulas, orchids and ferns of distinct varieties, describing the path, the hike is a delightfully picturesque and thrilling. Most of the trek lies along the India-Nepal border, sometimes making the trekker move in and out of both the countries. Another major highlight of this hike is the Kalapokhri or the Black Pond. It is a curious pond whose water never freezes, be it any season or weather. This is the reason why the Buddhists consider this water holy. Another popular point through the trail is The Valley of Poison (called Bikhey Bhanjyang). As a matter of fact, a poisonous flower called Aconite grows here from where the valley derives its name. While trek may vary from moderate to difficult along the route, the trekker is nevertheless rewarded with beautiful sights and stunning experience when reaching the summit.

Maximum Altitude: About 11,500 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes about 8-9 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate.

Distance Covered: Approximately 45 kilometers.

Har ki Dun Trek

Har ki Dun is one of most popular treks in the Garhwal region and is relatively moderate enough to let the trekkers with no prior experience to slog through its paths. Lying in the Uttarkashi district of the Uttrakhand state, it is located very close to the border between Uttrakhand and Himachal Pradesh and is redolent with stretches of beautiful scenes and raw natural beauty that offers real treat for the eyes. The trail passes through some of the most remote and least explored regions of the Garhwal region. The people of the area are simple-hearted, warm and friendly towards outsiders. Along with the stunning views of the surrounding mountains, the forested path area is abundant with amazing wildlife and it is a kind of heaven for the nature lovers and bird watchers. Situated at the base of Fateh Parvat, Har ki Dun is believed to be the same site from where king Yudhisthira, the eldest of the Pandavas, ascended to the heaven with a dog. During winters, the place get completely covered with snow and offers excellent sight for the snow trek.

Maximum Altitude: About 11,000 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes approximately 6-8 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Medium Difficulty. However, no prior experience of trekking is required.

Distance Covered: Approximately 90 kilometers.

Chamba – Dalhousie Trek

Abundant with a rich wealth of deodar forests all over, the Chamba – Dalhousie trek is amazingly beautiful throughout, rendering excellent sights of Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges. The maximum altitude of this hike is nearly 8,000 ft. above sea level but the path is relatively easy through the dense forests, traversing from inside of Kalatop – Khajair wildlife sanctuary, while trekkers also hike through the top of Dhauladhar mountain range from where superb sights of other Himalayan peaks could be admired. With its wonderful sights, cool weather, picturesque forest path, it is very popular with regular hikers as even children could be brought due to its relatively relaxing and easy trail. Khajjiar, one of the important spots is also called the Mini Switzerland by the locals and tourists.

Maximum Altitude: Approximately 8,000 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes about 3-4 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate.

Distance Covered: Approximately 35 kilometers.

Dzongri Trek

Beautifully cradled high in the Himalayas between the imposing peaks of China, Bhutan and Nepal, Sikkim, from which the scenic trek of Yuksom-Dzongri passes through, is a blessed land of unmatched beauty and raw nature that so much enthralls a visitor and trekker. The hike crosses through amazingly scenic landscapes, from the forests of Rhododendron to the valleys wrapped with lichens and moss, with a lot of chances for birding. The trek has often been labelled as the “walk through the paradise” and can be as easily called a traveler’s pleasure.

Maximum Altitude: About 13,800 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes about 9-10 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Distance Covered: Approximately 60 kilometers from Yuksam, one way.

Dayara Bugyal Trek

Often clubbed together with some of the easiest and accessible treks in India, Dayara Bugyal is a perfect starting hike for the beginners and takes one through panoramic landscapes, dense oak forests and lush green meadows. Perched at a stunning height of approximately 10,000 ft. above sea level Dayara Bugyal (meaning meadow in local language) is spread across 28 square kilometers and offers an excellent arena for skiing as it gets completely covered in snow during winters. The trek begins from Barsu village, located at 45 kilometers drive from Uttrakashi district which acts as a base camp for the hike. The destination is surrounded by beautiful mountains and along the way one can catch the view of Barnala Tal. Dayara Bugyal is also thought of as one of the most scenic of all treks and moving through clear water bodies, expansive grasslands and breathtaking views all over makes the trek particularly favorite for many of the seasoned hikers.

Maximum Altitude: About 10,000 ft. above sea level.

Duration: Takes about 5-7 days to complete.

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate.

Distance Covered: Approximately 27 kilometers.


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