15 Winter Treks in the Himalayas

15 Winter Treks in the Himalayas

| November 04, 2019 |

Trekking is considered therapeutic. But consider the wintertime snowfall. The highest peaks of the world forged from the ancient meeting of the tectonic plates– the Himalayas. And there you have it, one of the most rewarding sport for thrill seekers. These winter treks have been curated ranging from popular to underrated, treacherous to cakewalks, for your pick-your-adventure that suits you best.


1. Dayara Bugyal Trek

BEGINNER’S LUCK

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One of the perfect trek for beginners, this trek in the summertime is a haven filled with grasslands and wilderness. But the winter transforms the landscape with heavy snowfall blanketing the land and alpine lakes, when highland meadows allow for skiing. Oak and pine trees are lined with snow, making it feel like a journey through a snow-globe.

Region: Uttarakhand
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Highest Altitude: 11978 ft
Temperature: -4°C to 25°C
Trekking Distance: 29 km

2. Kedarkantha Trek

GOLDEN KID

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It is impossible to talk about Indian treks without talking about the quintessential one. Kedarkantha is a tried and tested trek that is beloved by trekkers of all levels of experience and age. Hardly does one come across a climb trek as perfectly designed as this, with campsites along the way, snow-capped summit views, forest walks and the indescribable feeling of achievement from the top of the peak.

Region: Uttarakhand
Difficulty: Easy - Moderate
Highest Altitude: 12,500 ft
Temperature: -5° to 10°C
Trekking Distance: 22 km

3. Brahmatal Trek

THE CREATOR’S ABODE

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The only Indian trek to provide trekkers a direct view of the peaks Nanda Ghunti and Mt. Trishul and Brahmatal lake, where Lord Brahma is said to have meditated, this is a unique journey with immense religious significance. It takes you through passes that include the frozen Roopkund Lake, lovely rhododendron forests, and white snowy meadows.

Region: Uttarakhand
Difficulty: Moderate
Highest Altitude: 12,250 ft
Temperature: 0°C to 10°C
Trekking Distance: 24 km

4. Sandakphu Phalut Trek

HIPSTER’S PARADISE

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Sandakphu is the highest peak to sit on the border of two countries. Its unique geographical position allows trekkers to view four of the world’s tallest peaks in a single trek— Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Makalu. This trek flirts with the Indo-Nepalese border, making for an international cultural experience. The travellers stay in accommodations like tea houses in Buddhist villages along the way, experiencing the rich and varied culture the trail offers.

Region: West Bengal
Difficulty: Moderate
Highest altitude: 11,950 ft
Temperature: 5°C to 18°C
Trekking Distance: 47 km

5. Mukta Top Trek

VIRGIN TRAILS

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This virgin trail in the Garwhali region of Uttarakhand receives hardly any footfall, making it almost entirely secluded. It is filled with the same features that are captivating about other treks in the area— the captivating meadows, the gratifying climb to the top, the enchanting views. However, the forests on this trail include bamboo, which aren’t seen on any other trail. Its meadows are untouched and perfect for camping.

Region: Uttarakhand
Difficulty: Moderate
Highest altitude: 11,838 ft
Temperature: -2°C to 13°C
Trekking Distance: 13 km

6. Deoriatal-Chandrashila Trek

THE GIFT

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This trek is a summit climb that is almost too rewarding in its views considering the effort the actual climb requires. The view from top is a perfect 270 degree that lets you see all the Himalayan peaks from Eastern to Western Uttarakhand including but not limited to Mt Trishul, Mt Nanda Ghunti, Mt Kamet, Mt Dunagiri, and more. The trail through the abundant forests allows for some birdwatching, and in wintertime becomes a wondrous setting.

Region: Uttarakhand
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Highest altitude: 12,083 ft
Temperature: -8°C to 11°C
Trekking Distance: 30 km

7. Valley of Flowers Trek

TO THE LOVERS

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There are legendary tales spun about this trek, how travellers overwhelmed with the scent of the blooming flowers fall to the ground. On each side of these flowering meadows lie tall stone faced cliffs, braving the sky. Clouds heave in the schism, and below lies the trail. If it sounds too good to be true, it actually isn’t. Although better experienced in the monsoon when flowers bloom by the thousands, the valley may become inaccessible due to snow in winter months and it may not be possible to trek.

Region: Uttarakhand
Difficulty: Easy To Moderate
Highest Altitude: 14,400 ft
Temperature: Day: 12°C-20°C; Night: 4°C-10°C
Trekking Distance: 47 km

8. Goechala Trek

PEAK FORM PERKS

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To take on the task of the Goechala Trek is not for everyone, but for those who make up the resolve to see it through, nature has its reward for them— the view of the sunrise on the Kanchenjunga. It displays the diversity of North Eastern culture as you dive through the trek, with campsites that are intrinsic to its flavour. It is an experience that must be lived by the physically fit adventurer.

Region: Sikkim
Difficulty: Difficult
Highest Altitude: 15,100 ft
Temperature: 2°C to 18°C
Trekking Distance: 90 km

9. Har Ki Dun Trek

GATEWAY TO THE HIMALAYAS

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One of the country’s oldest and most established trekking trails, Har Ki Dun has a lot to offer when the winds blow cold. It has charm aplenty, with the barrage of snowfall, intimidating peaks, riversides, glaciers, frozen lakes juxtaposed with the warmth of the villages and people along the trail. It requires someone with a frozen heart not to melt for this trek.

Region: Uttarakhand
Difficulty: Easy To Moderate
Highest Altitude: 11,675 ft
Temperature: 2°C to 15°C
Trekking Distance: 12 km

10. Chadar Trek

OVER THE FROZEN RIVER

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A trek so popular it becomes a staple on people's bucket lists the second they hear of it, everyone who returns talks of it as though they’ve had a spiritual reckoning. It’s been marketed globally with monks walking over the frozen Zanskar river barefoot. However, it is in no way an easy task to undertake. It involves unhospitable conditions, wherein some places the ice may not be frozen and detours may change the amount of time taken and it can only take place in the coldest months when the river is completely frozen over. The sights seen will include waterfalls frozen mid-motion, bubbles trapped under ice and pure unadulterated winter. If the terms are acceptable, your spiritual reckoning may be upon you too.

Region: Leh, Ladakh
Difficulty: Difficult
Highest Altitude : 11,123 ft
Temperature: -30°C to -3°C
Trekking Distance: 105 km

11. Snowline Trek

HIMACHALI TOURIST DETOUR

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This trek is an expansion upon the popular Mcleodgunj-Triund trek, that allows one to explore the snowfall in the Pahadi area including views of waterfalls and glaciers that comprise the region. It has both, a tranquility away from crowds and popular tourists draws with comfortable stays. The relative ease of this trek makes it accessible for anyone looking for beautiful views of the snow-clad peaks but not too much physical strain.

Region: Himachal Pradesh
Difficulty: Easy
Highest Altitude: 11,950 ft
Temperature: 2°C to 15°C
Trekking Distance: 28 km

12. Nag Tibba Trek

THE WEEKEND GETAWAY

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A quick weekend getaway trek, this offers the winter wonderland escape to city dwellers yearning for snowfall. As you go up and down a mountain, you experience a variety of different landscapes change before you within a short frame of time, making the experience memorable. There are meadows, forests, unexpected streams and —naturally—a gorgeous view from the summit.

Region: Uttarakhand
Difficulty: Easy
Temperature: 6°C to 16°C
Highest Altitude: 9,914 ft
Trekking Distance: 16 km

13. Stok Kangri Trek

ULTIMATE THRILLSEEKING

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This is India’s highest trekkable summit. It lies higher than most continents’ highest mountains ever. The trek itself is fairly straightforward, however the bragging rights are immense. But it takes a lot of acclimatisation with being at high altitudes and training to trek the Stok. For those who pull it off successfully, the journey is one of the most picturesque in all of India— if not the world.

Region: Ladakh
Difficulty: Difficult
Highest Altitude: 20,100 ft
Temperature: -20°C to 10°C
Trekking Distance: 40 km

14. Hampta Pass Trek

MANALI DIARIES

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While this may not be one of the most adrenalin-pumping trek, but it is one well suited for families and groups looking for a relaxed journey to view the peaks the Himalayas have to offer. It is considered one of the most convenient ones, and offers gorgeous wide open pastures under clear skies. The base lies in Manali, making it all the more appealing for those on vacation or road trips.

Region: Himachal pradesh
Difficulty: Moderate
Highest Altitude: 14,100 ft
Temperature: -7°C to 18°C
Trekking Distance: 35km

15. Prashar Lake Trek

VIEWS ON ICE

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The existence of Prashar Lake— a crystal blue clearwater lake— is an open secret. Hidden away from hordes of tourists, in the winter months it freezes over. This unassuming small trail is a gift, with local temples, villages, oak forests and apple orchards. The view of the mountains once you reach the lake is stunning.

Region: Himachal Pradesh
Difficulty : Easy
Highest Altitude: 9,000 ft
Temperature: -5°C to 10°C
Trekking Distance: 4.5 km

 

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