Hiking

5 Winter Treks In India You Do not Need To Miss In 2020

In this post, I’m sharing the best winter treks in 2020.

Before that, I want to share an important COVID news update with you.

On September 22nd, the Uttarakhand state opened up its borders completely to trekkers. They have removed the requirement for a COVID negative certificate. They have removed all travel restrictions they had for tourists. It has returned to what it used to be like pre-COVID times.

This is wonderful news for trekkers because the state is welcoming trekkers wholeheartedly. They are opening up hotels, lodges, transport facilities and making travel a lot easier for tourists and trekkers. There are no more barriers for travellers to Uttarakhand.

Which is why I’m sending you a list of our best winter treks, as early as September. 

Now is when you should start planning your winter trek — you’ll get to choose the dates you want (although our popular winter treks are already down to their last slots) and your flight tickets will be least expensive now. You’ll also have enough time to physically and mentally prepare for your winter trek. 

Further, to keep trekking safe, we have put in a 31-point safety check in place, which will be strictly followed on all treks. 

Use this as a guide to choose your winter trek. Watch out for a few pro tips that accompany these treks as well.

Here are the top 5 winter treks in India you must do in 2020

1. Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek

You never see snow in as much abundance as in winter. This is Dayara Bugyal in winter. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

This is a trek I love simply because it’s such a relaxing climb and yet gives you such grand returns. You never expect such views and experiences on such an easy trek! And in winter, it’s even prettier (if that’s possible) with the meadows blanketed in shimmering white snow.

Given the ease of the climb, this trek is especially good for families and beginners in winter. But don’t let that stop you if you are an experienced trekker — you can go on this trek ten times and you won’t tire. I would also recommend it to those who have already seen it in another season. It’s a completely different trek in winter.

Difficulty in winter: Easy-Moderate
Highest altitude: 11,978 ft
Duration: 6 days
Available in: November, December, January, February, March

 

2. Brahmatal Winter Trek

best winter treks in indiaThe Brahmatal trek is something that all trekkers rave about for the snow experience. Picture by Devang Thapliyal

This is our co-founder Sandhya’s favourite trek. When she went last year. she stood at the summit, with a riveting view of two most celebrated mountains — Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti. She also saw the entire Roopkund trail laid out before her — literally a bird’s-eye view. I would highly recommend reading this personal note she wrote after her Brahmatal trek to get an idea.

Choose this if you want a grand snow experience. Most trekkers come back raving about the snow here. Also, be physically prepared because it has some good climbs.

Difficulty in winter: Moderate
Highest altitude: 12,250 ft
Duration: 6 days
Available in: November, December, January, February

 

3. Deoriatal Chandrashila Winter Trek

best winter treks in indiaThe Chandrashila summit climb sees a lot of snow in winter, and you get to slide down from the summit all the way to the bottom. Picture by Satyen Dasgupta

This is a trek we dearly missed in winter last year. It used to be one of India’s most popular winter treks. The popularity died down when the forest department closed some crucial campsites. But now new alternative campsites have come up. So we’re back to running this grand trek. The trail, of course, remains as charming with its vibrant forests, the lake and the climb to the Tungnath temple and Chandrashila summit.

This trek gives a highly unfair reward for the amount of effort you put in. You get to see almost all the most magnificent peaks in Indian Himalayas including Mt Nanda Devi, India’s highest summit. And you get to experience snow in winter. If the dates suit you, don’t think twice, just go for it.

Difficulty in winter: Easy-Moderate
Highest altitude: 12,083 ft
Duration: 6 days
Available in: November, December, March, April

 

4. Mukta Top Winter Trek

best winter treks in indiaMukta Top is one of our most secluded winter treks. Picture by Assad Dadan

If you’re looking specifically to get away from crowds, pick this one. Rarely do we come across a spectacular trek that has enchanting forests, meadows, superb mountain views and a very satisfying summit climb. Mukta Top is one of them.

The seclusion at Mukta Top comes at a cost though. It’s mildly tougher than all other winter treks because it starts a good 2000 ft lower than all others. So make sure you’re extra fit for this one! 

Difficulty in winter: Moderate
Highest altitude: 11,838 ft
Duration: 6 days
Available in: November, December, January, February

 

5. Kedarkantha Winter Trek

best winter treks in indiaYou’ll not see snow-laden pine forests like the Kedarkantha trek on any other trail. Picture by Bappaditya Chandra

Do I need to introduce this trek? This trek exploded in terms of popularity when we opened it up in winter 2011. It has endearing campsites, a thrilling summit climb, and one of the best winter experiences in the Himalayas. Most trekkers treat it as a bucket list trek, and they’re completely justified because it’s not every day you come across such a perfect winter trek.

We are doing this trek from the Kotgaon route, and not from Sankri. This new trail is isolated and it bypasses the crowd. I have to say it is a lot prettier than the older route as well. Read all about this route here

Difficulty in winter: Moderate
Highest altitude: 12,500 ft
Duration: 6 days
Available in: October, November, December, January, February, March, April

 

So those are the good winter treks to explore this year. Just remember, any time from mid-December to the end of March will give you a good snow experience! 

We have also opened up the dates all the way till April. If you like to plan early, you can get started here. 

If you need help making a decision, drop in a comment below. 

We’ll help you out!

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