GoPo picks it's top 10 trek routes in Himachal Pradesh on letsgopo.com

Top 10 Trekking Trails in Himachal Pradesh

July 04, 2017

Every year, thousands of travellers flock to the Himalayan region attracted by the imposing beauty of the place, the culture and the landscape. Himachal Pradesh, nestled within the Himalayas, is no exception. A study in contrasts, the state sees a wide spectrum of terrain ranging from lush, fertile and bio-diverse land to the cold, barren and stark lands of the Spiti region, from plains to peaks. Hence, the region is naturally blessed with a plethora of trekking trails to suit varying degrees of difficulty and individual fitness levels. Here’s our round-up of some of the popular trekking trails in the region, in no particular order:

 

Pin Parvati Pass Trek

PIN PARVATI TREK

Image Credit

One of the most memorable and challenging trails in the Country, completing this trek is no mean feat and should not be attempted unless you have extremely high fitness levels and experience with high altitude treks in the past. The trek involves several challenges including bouldering through the Parvati valley over the angry Parvati river, unpredictable weather, AMS or altitude sickness, tricky river crossings like the one over the stream from the Pin glacier which flows down at a steep incline and tackling the hidden crevasses and steep overhangs of the glaciers and snowfields at the Pass. Additionally, at an altitude of upto 17,500+ feet, communication can be patchy and evacuation a challenge. Hence, embarking on this trek almost requires one to mandatorily complete it. That said, this route has its rewards as one crosses through an entire spectrum of terrain: from lush forested land to alpine meadows to cold desert to glaciers- in the span of hours. Additionally, one may spot the elusive Snow Leopard on this trail. Lastly, the trail crosses the hot water springs at Parvati Kund: a dip in these can almost make you forget the challenges of the trek!

Duration: 10-12 Days
Distance: 110 KM
Best Months to Travel: July to September
Grade Level of Trek: Challenging

 Hampta Pass Trek

Hampta Pass Trek

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Near Manali, the Hampta Pass trek also offers an almost surreal transition from the green thickets of the Kullu-Manali Valley, to the barren valley of Chandra in Lahaul. Moreover, one ascends an overhand high in the mountains from where one can enjoy a panoramic view of the deserts of Lahaul. En-route, one can also experience rare flowers and birds; gushing streams and; thickets of Walnut, Pine, Oak, Deodar and Alder.

Duration: 5-6 Days
Altitude: 14,035 ft.
Best Months to Travel: June to October
Grade Level of Trek: Moderate- Difficult

 

Triund Trek

Triund TrekImage Credit

Triund lies at the foot of the Dhauladhar range and is about 18 KM from Dharamshala. This trail is fairly popular with tourists and locals alike. With well marked forest trails, plenty of eating spots en-route and a relatively easy ascent, this short trek can be attempted without a guide as well. Highlights of this trail are the spectacular views of the Kangra Valley and the experience of walking through thick forests of Rhododendron and Oak trees. One can take this trail either from McLeodganj or Dharamkot. The latter is about 7 KM away with a steep incline only in the last 2 KM. This makes this route perfect for weekend treks as well.

Duration: 1-2 Days
Altitude: 9,760 ft.
Best Months to Travel: March-May
Grade Level of Trek: Easy

Kinnaur-Kailash Trek

Kinnaur-Kailash Trek

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An arduous trail, through somewhat cut-off and isolated parts, this trek is best for experienced trekkers. The locals in the region are either Buddhists or Hindus and the region holds equal spiritual significance for both cultures. The Sutlej River that flows from Mt. Kailash near Mansarovar flows through the Kinnaur valley making the region revered to Hindus, especially Shiva devotees. They believe that this is the pathway between heaven and Earth. Infact, Mt. Kinnaur Kailash (at 19,850 ft) is regarded as the mythical home of Lord Shiva. The trek begins from Kalpa via Triung Valley and the Raldang Peak; and back to Kalpa via Sangla Valley. The trail also involves a steep ascent to the Charang La Pass at 17,198 ft.
Duration: 7-8 Days
Altitude: 17,198 ft.
Best Months to Travel: June-September
Grade Level of Trek: Moderate to Difficult

 

Malana Trek

Malana River en route the Malana trekImage Credit

A week long, popular trek that offers stunning views of the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas, Bara Banghal & the Pir Panjal ranges. The trek starts from Ganachalani, close to Manali, up to the Chanderkhani Pass and down through pine and oak trees. The Chanderkhani Pass provides great views of the Deo Tibba, Parbat and Pir Panjal mountain ranges. While on this trek, one must visit the Malana Village, a remote and isolated village, at the base of Deotibba and Chandrakhani. The people in this village follow a very strong village democracy, the oldest democracy in the world. The village has its own laws and customs and decisions are made by a 11 member council called Koram that is comprised of village elders. They decide on whether to allow visitors in.

Duration: 5-6 Days
Altitude: 9,938 ft.
Best Months to Travel: April-October
Grade Level of Trek: Moderate

 

Beas Kund Trek

Beas Kund TrekImage Credit

Starting near the Solang Valley in Manali, this trek is fairly popular among trekkers. The trail has a fairly gradual ascent with certain stretches being very steep. This, coupled with the fact that it’s a 2-3 day trek, makes it a popular trek for first time trekkers and weekend trekkers as well. The trail that follows the Beas River offers great views of the Pir Pinjal ranges and the meadows of Dhundi and Bakarthach. It also offers views of popular peaks like the Friendship peak in the background. The trek follows the rivers Beas to Beas Kund, a glacial snow-fed lake at its source.  Interestingly, the name Beas is believed to be derived from Vyas, the sage that wrote the Mahabharata. It is believed that this sage used to take his daily baths in this lake.

Duration: 7 Days
Altitude: 14,000 ft.
Best Months to Travel: Mid May-Mid October
Grade Level of Trek: Moderate

 

Baralacha- Chandratal Trek

Baralacha- Chandratal TrekImage Credit

The trail from Baralacha to Chandratal Lake is relatively easier but no less stunning in terms of natural beauty. The Chandratal Lake derives its name from ‘Chandra’ meaning moon. The lake is crescent shaped and has crystal clear, turquoise coloured waters. Many travellers draw parallels between this lake and the Pangong Tso in Ladakh. Infact, several trekkers try this route as a cheaper and less time intensive way of recreating a trek across the Ladakhi terrain.

Duration: 4 Days
Altitude: 16,043 ft.
Best Months to Travel: June- October
Grade Level of Trek: Easy-Moderate

Prashar Lake Trek

Prashar Lake TrekImage Credit

A relatively easy trek, the Prashar Lake trek is perfect for beginners and families and can be easily fit in over a 3-day weekend. Named after Sage Prashar who is believed to have meditated here in ancient times, the lake is an oval shaped one with a temple dedicated to the sage on the side of the lake. Interestingly, the lake also has a circular island in a corner which is believed to change shape and location from time to time. The trek passes through forests and local villages giving one the opportunity to sample the local Himachali culture. The trail also offers spectacular views of the Dhauladhar, Pir Panjal and Kinnaur ranges.

Duration: 2 Days
Altitude: 8,900 ft.
Best Months to Travel: April- October
Grade Level of Trek: Easy-Moderate

 

Bhrigu Lake Trek

Bhrigu Lake TrekImage Credit

Did you know that the Bhrigu Lake changes colour and shape almost every week? Additionally, this trail is among the very few in the world, where one can walk along alpine meadows until the very end of the trail. These two reasons are reason enough to plan a trek to this glacial lake.  A moderate level trek, this begins from Gulaba which is just an hour’s drive from Manali.

Duration: 4 Days
Altitude: 14,000 ft.
Best Months to Travel: Year round
Grade Level of Trek: Easy-Moderate

 

Buran Ghati Trek

Buran Ghati TrekImage Credit

A relatively less frequented trek, the Buran Ghati trek is often compared to the Roopkund Trek in terms of the skill level required. While it is as scenic as most other treks in Himachal, what really sets it apart is the element of adventure involved. The trek involves climbing and then rapelling down a 1300 ft snow clad mountain face to cross the pass...need we say more?

Duration: 7-8 Days
Altitude: 15,000 ft.
Best Months to Travel: May-June, September
Grade Level of Trek: Challenging


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