W.With the extended lockdown, things are getting tougher for everyone inside, but I think it’s a much needed move to keep everyone safe.
I thought we should stop brooding over COVID. Let’s talk about the mountains instead. 🙂
Today I want to share some secrets about the Valley of Flowers that no one will tell you. That kind of insight only comes after spending months, year after year in the Valley of Flowers, like our Trek Leaders do.
I’ve talked about that Valley of the Flowers hike with our slope manager, Gourab Nandy. Gourab is one of our most charismatic slope managers. You may have met it, it’s hard to miss!
I asked him what it was right time to see Best of Flowers in the Valley of Flowers. This is the number one question for any trekker who emails me.
Gourab gave me some information that even most trek experts don’t know! I thought it was a treasure trove of information! I am sharing it with you today.
│When is the best time to visit the Valley of Flowers?
Gourab spent three months with leading trekkers on the Valley of Flowers Trek in 2018. “I’ve seen the valley change week after week, not just in terms of flowering, but also in terms of the amount and intensity of rain,” he says.
Gourab shared these secrets with me. I’ll break it here for you.
│Our top recommendation – Visit the Valley of Flowers August is the best time
“I would recommend every close friend to visit the Valley of Flowers in the first 15 days of August. Not in July. Not even in the last week of August and not even in the first week of September, ”he says.
I was pretty surprised by what he said. Because it is well known that the valley is beautiful during the entire months of July, August and until mid-September.
He explained it to me like an avid professor.
‣ Flowers in August
“In my observations during my time there, the first 15 days of August see a large number of flowers – most of those I saw in the three months. In the last week of August I saw flowers wither and shed their petals. Hikers will still see plenty of flowers so they won’t be disappointed. But ask a Trek Leader and they will tell you what the Valley of Flowers looks like in the first few weeks of August, ”he says.
If you want to see the valley in full bloom, August is the best time to visit the valley of flowers and do the hike.
‣ Rain in August
“Expect a lot of rainfall, but it’s fun to hike in the rain,” says Gourab. Then he adds a Zinger: “Although I have noticed a lot of rain in Govindghat at higher altitudes, it is not always difficult. A good drizzle may be occurring and your rain gear can easily protect you from those drizzles. “I didn’t expect to hear that!
‣ Crowds in August
“The amount in the valley is still not too big in the first weeks of August. You may see larger crowds on weekends, but if you plan your hike on weekdays you don’t have to worry about the crowds, ”he says. I’ve checked off a mental checklist.
August is the best time to visit the Valley of Flowers. But what if you can’t in August? Don’t worry, we’ve got that covered too.
Trekking bonus in August: “This has nothing to do with the hike, but the Badrinath Temple is almost empty at this time. Although the road beyond Govindghat is unpredictable due to the Lambagad landslide zone, Badrinath Temple is nearly empty. You can spend more than an hour in the main part of the temple in front of the deity. You can see that aarti without interference. When there is a crowd, you can usually barely stand there for a minute, ”says Gourab.
The best time to visit the Valley of Flowers is in the first half of August. This is when you see the most of the flowers. Photo taken by Gourab Nandy in August.
│So what about the Valley of Flowers in July?
In July, the Valley of Flowers traditionally opens to hikers, tourists and pilgrims.
“At the beginning of July it is very nice to see the lush green valley. There aren’t too many flowers yet, but if you ask me, the valley itself is very beautiful, ”says Gourab.
Our co-founder Sandhya UC adds: “July is also the time to experience a bit of snow, walk on snow bridges and see melting patches of snow. With the hike soaring to such a great elevation (~ 14,000 feet), the snow persists even through July. Only later in July does the rain wash away the snow. ”
‣ Flowers in July
“There aren’t too many flowers until mid-July. But the green in the valley doesn’t make you feel like you’re missing out. From mid-July the flowers begin to bloom profusely. After that, the valley becomes extremely colorful, ”says Gourab.
‣ Rain in July
In July, the monsoons are just beginning in our country. “It doesn’t rain much in the first half of July. So it’s a very pleasant experience to hike in the valley, ”says Gourab. But rain can be expected after mid-July, similar to August.
‣ Crowds in July
“One good thing about trekking in July is that the valley is least crowded in this month. Tourists and trekkers usually come from the end of August. So you don’t see too many other people in July. It’s a big bonus for such a popular hike, ”says Gourab. In case you didn’t know, Valley of Flowers is one of our most crowded hikes.
There aren’t too many flowers in July, but the valley is beautifully lush. Image by Gourab Nandy
│What if I wanted to do the Valley of Flowers in September?
“That would be my final recommendation,” says Gourab. And our co-founder Sandhya seems to agree. “That’s why,” adds Sandhya, “we never walk the hike again after the second week of September.”
‣ Flowers in September
“There is no quality in flowers in September,” Gourab frowns. “Most of the flowers have withered and there are very few left. Here, too, hikers won’t be very disappointed as the valley itself is picturesque and lush, but if they’re just coming to see the flowers then September is definitely not the time, ”says Gourab.
September is not the best time to hike to the Valley of Flowers if you want to see flowers along the way. But there is something else that is unique about the trail in September.
‣ Rain in September
“It rains a lot less in September. The monsoons are retreating and are almost dying by mid-September. So that’s a bonus for trekking into the Valley of Flowers in September, ”says Gourab. Ironically, when the rain goes away, it takes the flowers with it.
‣ Crowds in September
“The valley becomes much denser, especially because in September many pilgrims visit the Gurdwara in Hemkund Sahib. This is more pronounced on the weekends. If you’re going to the mountains to get away from the crowds and have some time to yourself, September is not the time, ”says Gourab.
│Does the best time to hike into the Valley of Flowers change with climate change?
I met our trek leader Akshay Upreti who spent three months in the valley in 2019. His observations were very similar to Gourab’s.
“In 2019 I found that the valley was full of flowers in the last week of July and until August 15th. After that, the flowers slowly began to wither and decrease in number, ”says Akshay. So he stands by all of the observations I shared with you earlier.
│Another common misconception about the Valley of Flowers Hike
When I spoke to Akshay, he brought up another misunderstanding that trekkers have.
“It is known that there are more than 500 types of flowers in the Valley of Flowers. Hikers often expect all 500 types of flowers. They often fell off the comb when they didn’t see that many flowers, ”he says.
“It is true that there are around 500 types of flowers in the Valley of Flowers. But they don’t bloom at the same time. These flowers bloom at different times in the valley throughout the year, not necessarily in July, August or September. When hikers come during these months, they can expect many varieties, but not all. This season, however, the valley is in full bloom at its best, ”he explains.
So there is some inside information about the Valley of Flowers that no one will tell you about.
To sum it up, if you really want to see lots of flowers, plan your hike from the last week of July to mid-August. Expect quite a bit of rain during this time, but nothing you can’t do without These experienced monsoon trekking tips.
On the other hand, July and September give you a lush valley, there are still flowers but not that many. But it’s a good time to hike with less rainfall. Of the two, July is better than September.
There are over 500 types of flowers in the Valley of Flowers. But they bloom in phases throughout the year. You will see large numbers of these flowers in July, August and September.
│Back to my COVID-19 update
Despite the extended closures, we hope we can start our hikes by June. We have opened updates for the Valley of Flowers Trek. On this page you will find all information and dates of the Valley of Flowers trek.
There you will also find the list of our Monsoon hikes, Walks after the monsoon, Autumn hikes, and Winter hikes Here. Many of our trekkers are already planning for them because they want to keep a great distance between the coronavirus and the treks.
In the meantime, I will bring you such information from the trekking world every week. I hope that they will help you to stay in touch with the mountains even in these COVID times. 🙂