During the winter season, mountain trails in India take on a subliminal beauty. Nature that seems to lift your spirits as you cross frozen streams, wintry grasses, and snow-covered trails! Nature’s colorful side shines through in the spring, while it’s playful side shines through in the winter. Winter is the time of year when the massive mountain peaks, blanketed in snow, entice trekkers from all over the world to visit the Himalayas for the first time.
Some trekking options in the Uttarakhand, Ladakh, Himachal, and Sikkim Himalayas are available all year. If you’re looking for a hiking adventure this winter, here’s a detailed list of the best winter treks in India that promise a perfect package of excitement, adventure, and a memorable holiday experience.
Chopta Chandrashila Winter Trek
The Chopta Chandrashila trek is one of the most popular and easiest treks in Uttarakhand, passing through a pristine lake, the highest Shiva temple, and remote villages spectacularly lit against the backdrop of Chopta Valley. The trekking expedition begins in Ukhimath and continues to Deoriatal via Sari Village.
Chopta is a birdwatcher’s heaven. One can see Himalayan birds such as Himalayan Hill Prinia, Lammergeier, and others. Trekkers will see the world’s highest Shiva temple in Tungnath. After receiving Lord Shiva’s blessing, trekkers will proceed to the summit of Moon Rock, i.e. Chandrashila at 4000 mts. The trek will provide a rewarding view.
Dodital Winter Trek
The trek from Sangamchatti to Dodital is one of the best for those who want to experience trekking for the first time. The journey is simple in the summer, but it is difficult in the winter because it is covered in snow. This trek begins in Sangamchatti and passes through dense forest, where one can see a plethora of Himalayan birds flying freely in the sky. As trekkers begin their ascent to Agoda village, they can see the summits of Western and Eastern Uttarakhand appear in the distance.
Trekkers can either relax in the camp or participate in Hiking on the banks of the Assi Ghat River. After spending the night in a camp on the banks of the Assi Ganga River, trekkers will climb a steep incline to reach Manjhi the next day. Trekkers will unwind and plan an overnight camp at Manjhi. The trekkers’ next destination will be Dodital Lake, which they will reach after ascending through zigzag paths.
Dodital Lake is thought to be Lord Ganesh’s abode in mythology. Dodital Lake is regarded as one of the most beautiful high-altitude lakes in North India, and it is famous for being home to Himalayan Trout, known as Dodi in local parlance.
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Bedni Bugyal Winter Trek
The trek will begin in the holy city of Rishikesh and will take you to the various elevations of the Garhwal region. Trekkers will arrive in Wan Village after a long drive from Rishikesh and passing through the scenic trails of Karnprayag. There will come a point in this journey when there will be no trees to be seen; all that will accompany you until the end will be meadows.
Every visitor to Bedni Bugyal is greeted by flower-strewn meadows. During the winter, however, the green pastures are transformed into a snow carpet, and one can see snow as far as the eyes can see. A sacred lake can be seen among the meadows, where devotees offer Tarpans. Bedini’s highlights include mountains, deep valleys, and lofty mountains, as well as an enormous panoramic view of Trishul and the Nanda Ghunti mountains.
After an overnight camp in Bedni Bugyal, trekkers will ascend to Ali Bugyal, another Bugyal. The landscapes and topography change abruptly as one treks towards the Ali Bugyal.
Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek
If you ask a trekker about the easiest trek in Uttarakhand, they will tell you about the Dayara Bugyal Trek. During the winter season, the area receives heavy snowfall, and as a result, this trekking trail transforms into a ski slope that spans an area of 28 square kilometers. Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek is ideal for beginners because it showcases the best of Garhwal Himalaya in a short period of time.
The trek will begin in Barsu or Raithal village and will end in Barnala after passing through the pine forest. Barnala is a tree-lined meadow that transforms into ski slopes in the winter. The famous Barnala Lake can be seen on the far left side of the fields. The lake’s magical feature is that, despite being surrounded by dense forest, the lake’s surface remains clean.
After Barnala, hikers will proceed to Dayara, which is endowed with vast meadows. During the winter season, the slopes of Dayara are the best place to ski. After Dayara, trekkers will proceed to Bakariya Top, the trek’s final destination.
Kuari Pass Winter Trek
Kuari Pass Exploration Lord Curzon’s best contribution to India is Winter Trek. The trekking expedition begins in Joshimath, a city that has evolved as a hub for all trekkers. The trek will take you down to lesser-known passes before arriving at the highest point of the trek, the Kuari Pass. Once at Kuari Pass, the trekker will be greeted with a beautiful view of many peaks such as Nanda Devi, Chaukhamba, Hathi-Ghodi Parvat, etc. Tourists can enjoy one of India’s most beautiful snow skiing destinations, Auli while descending the trail.
Har Ki Dun Winter Trek
The Har Ki Dun is one of the most astonishing treks in the Himalaya region, found in the middle of a cradle valley, just below the Har ki Dun. The stunning Har ki Dun Trek can be found in the enticing land of Uttarakhand. The trek begins in Dehradun and continues to Sankri.
The trek from Sankri is well marked and passes through dense forest with stunning views of the valley. Taluka can be reached from Sankri by trekking or hiring a jeep, whichever option is most convenient for trekkers. The trail from Taluka village will initially descend and then gradually continue on the left side of the valley adjacent to the river Rupin. Later, the trail will wind upwards and continue until it reaches the village of Gangar, after passing through forests densely forested with Chestnut, Walnut, and Willow trees.
While trekking, there will be a point where tourists can get a bird’s-eye view of Osla village. Seema, near the village of Osla, will be the next campsite. The path from Seema will take you to Har ki Dun Valley. Visit Morinda Tal in Har ki Dun Valley for a picturesque view of Kala Nag, Bandarpunch, Ruinsara peaks, Jalandhar glacier, and the majestic Swargarohini.
Singalila Sandakphu Winter Trek
Prepare for a grandiose, extravagant trek to some of Himalaya’s most breathtaking villages. Tonglu will be the starting point for the trekking expedition. Trekkers will arrive at Garibas after traversing the forest in search of the Red Panda and the Tragopan.
The trekkers will then proceed to Sandakphu, from where they will be able to see the peaks of Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga, Baruntse, Chamling, Chomolonzo, Machapuchare, and other Annapurna range peaks. Trekkers will pass through a mountain pass to reach Phalut after spending the night in Sandakphu under the stars.
Throughout the journey, the breathtaking view of the Himalayas never leaves your sight. The next stop on the trek is Rammam, which is probably one of the best places in the Himalayas to watch the sunset. Trekkers will arrive in Rimbik, the final destination of the Singalila Sandakphu Winter Trek, after descending through the Srikhola villages.
Frozen River Chadar Trek
When it comes to one of the best winter treks, the frozen river, also known as Chadar, is a strong contender. The Frozen River Chadar Trek, as the name suggests, is covered in snow during the winter months. Trekkers will begin the trek in Tilat Sumdo, then further to Naerak Pullu and finally to Chilling. Aside from the towering and picturesque peaks, there are frozen waterfalls and monasteries to be found here.
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This is our favorite trek. When we visited last year. We stood at the summit, with a breathtaking view of two of the world’s most famous mountains, Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti. She also had a bird’s-eye view of the entire Roopkund route in front of her. To gain a perspective, I would highly recommend reading this personal statement she penned after her Brahmatal journey.
Whether you are a seasoned trekker or a newbie, the Kuari Pass trek is a must-do. It is a must-do in any season for vistas of two of India’s most famous mountains, Mt Nanda Devi (25,673 feet) and Mt Dronagiri (23,182 feet). There is an added interest in the winter. The snow in its nearly flawlessly sculpted woodlands.
Snowflakes settling on oak leaves over a white carpeted forest floor transports you to a setting that would make Santa Claus jealous. All of this adds up to an unrivalled winter trekking experience in the Himalayas!