Winter treks are very popular as you get to see a lot of variation in the landscape and also it is everyone’s dream to see snowfall or at least snow on the trails. Improvement in infrastructure, availability of tour services, and a booming economy are some of the factors contributing to the growth of touring, trekking, and hospitality industry in India and further more leading to an increase in travelers joining for winter treks.
Winter treks in the Himalayan snowy peaks are a memorable experience for first-timers or experienced trekkers. The adventure tours also expose the trekkers to Himalayan cultures and cuisines, glittering rivers, mystic valleys, alpine meadows, maple, rhododendron, oak, and deodar forests. A diverse range of ecological habitats, divine and holy water bodies, rare and even endangered fauna and flora, blue water lakes and much more are all parts of winter treks in India.
With the great Himalayas extend over the North of the country, there is no shortage of trekking options for the enthusiasts. Compiling a few of the winter treks in India, which always finds a place in a trekker’s calendar.
The Chadar trek has its trails lying in the Zanskar Gorge, which is located in Ladakh (J&K). It offers a stunning view of the snow-covered plateau and Himalayan peaks but is also one of the toughest treks. The Chadar trek attracts tourists and trekkers from around the globe. Sheer mountain walls can go beyond 600 meters here, while The Zanskar river (a tributary of the river Indus) can also be seen. The trek covers a distance of around a hundred kilometers, and the trekkers cover 10 kilometers distance every day. Campsites are provided by the locals, while the trekkers can choose to spend their nights in the caves. The maximum altitude of the region may be somewhere around 11,000 feet. Apart from picturesque beautiful panoramic views, local Ladakh cuisine is also a delightful offering of this trek.
Nag Tibba Trek
Nag Tibba (Serpent Peak) is a mountain peak situated at the height of 3,022 meters in the lower Himalayan belt or the Garhwal region of Himalayas. The area also has a holy significance and is believed to be the abode of for the “God of Snakes” (Naag Devta). The trek can be initiated from different areas and regions, including Shrikot, Devalsari, and Pantwari.
The winters are chilly here. The ever beautiful meadows, forests, snow-covered landscapes, seasonal flowers, and rare fauna can be witnessed all along the trek at around 10,000 feet above from sea level. The snowy peaks of the Himalayas visible here include the Kedarnath, Gangotri, Bandar Pooch, and Chana Bang make it a lovely offset for a good winter trek. The lovely and glittering Doon valley is also visible and offers a breathtaking view at night. You will find many new animals and birds here, while the Oak and Deodar forest further enhance the impressiveness of the views. One can also closely witness the Garhwali culture in this easy trek that may last from two to three days.
Kedarkantha peak is located at 12,558 feet in the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The Kedarkantha Trek has some of the most beautiful campsites including Juda ka Tal, which is a small water body located amidst Pine forest. You get mesmerizing views of the beautiful and snowy mountain peaks of the Himalayas including Bandar Pooch, Yamunotri and Gangotri range, Kala nag and Swargarohini among others as well during the trek.
There are also the lush green grasslands and alpine meadows and dark forest to witness closely.
The region receives ample snowfall during winters, which makes it a beautiful winter trek. The trek starts at around 196 km away from Dehradun, from a place called Sankri. The trek difficulty level varies in between easy to moderate, and hence can be undertaken by both beginners as well as expert trekkers. The wintertime adds to the beauty of the trail with snow-covered trees all around.
Kuari Pass Trek
The Kuari Pass trek (a 5-day trek) is one of the most beautiful and popular treks of Himalayas during winter and is located in the Garhwal region (at the height of around 4,652 meters). The Kuari Pass Trek is also known by the name “Lord Curzon Trek,” as the Viceroy of India covered the trek in the year 1905. The real and beautiful Himalayan fauna and flora are on their full and fair exhibition here.
The best attraction of this trek is the majestic and imposing view of the beautiful eastern mountain peaks of the Garhwal region.
The most popular ones include Hathi Godhi Parvat, Neelkanth, Bertholi, Trishul, Kamet, Nanda Devi, and Mana. The trek also passes through holy and major rivers including Kali Ganga, Birahi Ganga, Dhauli Ganga, and Pinder. To do the trek, you need to reach Joshimath (via Haridwar). The trek starts at the village Dhak, which offers an introduction to the Garhwali culture.
Prashar Lake Trek
The Prashar lake is located 49 kilometers north of Mandi and starts from a scenic town Baggi in Himachal Pradesh. The glittering and holy lake is situated at the height of 2,730 meters and is named after the sage Prashar who meditated here. A temple here is dedicated to the sage as well. The lake is the last point of the trek. It has an astonishing and memorable natural view of the blue waters of the lake and the majestic and imposing snow-capped Himalayan mountain peaks that together form a beautiful and breathtaking canvas.
The trek can be comfortably completed by beginners as well, and the lake is situated around 7 kilometers away from Kandalu (height 1,900 meters), a tiny hamlet 45 kilometers away from Mandi. The trail will also take you through the Rhododendrons, Oak and Pine forests.
The dramatic Dodital trek lies in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas and is bounded by the majestic and ever beautiful Himalayan mountain peaks like Swargarohini and Bandar Poonch. The lake is nestled beautifully at the height of around 3,310 meters. The trek starts at Sangam Chatti which is about 15 kilometers away from Uttarkashi. You will cross the Agoda hamlet, and the Bebra gate and will be accompanied by the dense and dark Rhododendron and Deodar forests. The trek has a 19-kilometer distance, and the best views here include deep gorges, broad valleys and the exquisite and rare fauna and flora.
If you want to undertake a winter trek in the Himalayas, try to be in a fit and good health by exercising regularly. Also, consult your doctor before actually going on the trekking journey. Remember that winters in the Himalayas will expose you to temperatures below freezing point.