Top 5 treks in Himalayas every trekker should pursue

Our country offers many mountain ranges in its various parts for trekkers to quench their thirst. Some of them are Sahyadri Ranges, Aravalis, Nilgiris, Annamalai, Karakoram, Shivaliks, Garo and Mizzo hills to name a few. There are many more as well. Each of our Top 5 treks in Himalayas is a unique landscape in themselves. While the ranges from the west offer more of a tropical experience along with its dense flora, the Aravallis are more dry in nature whereas ranges from the north and northeast are a mix of forests and snow covered peaks. 

So let’s jump onto our  lis of top 5 treks in Himalayas that we feel every trekker should pursue.  

5.  Kashmir Great Lakes in Kashmir

  • Starting Point – Sonamarg
  • Highest Altitude – 13,200 ft
  • Number of Days – 7
  • Endurance – 7/10
  • Difficulty level – Easy to Moderate
  • Highly recommended for the beginners
Bugyal during KGL
Bugyal during KGL trek

Great Lakes trek  is one of its best offerings to adventure enthusiasts like us. Not at a very high altitude, this trek meanders through passes, mountain peaks and beautiful lakes situated high up in the Himalayas. Enchanting sights all around keep you glued to them. The moment you get tired of the hike, just stop, take a moment, look around you and all the tiredness vanishes away in a moment. That’s the beauty of this trek. 

Sometimes you huff and puff your way up the  steep hikes, at other times walk over moraines with little difficulty while sometimes you descend through the dense pine forest and at times literally run through the meadows – the bugyals… Small yellow flowers in them make it look like a location right out of a movie. You can just lay down there with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other. It just makes a perfect location for an avid reader. 

A different terrain everyday, which makes it an interesting trek. There are 7 alpine lakes that are covered as part of this trek which are Vishansar, Kishansar,Satsar,Gadsar, Gangabal,Nandkul. But recently 2 more lakes have been added to the list of treks, Tarsar Lake and Marsar Lake making a total of 9 now. Also there is a separate trek conducted for Tarsar and Marsar lakes. 

There is so much to this place. One really needs to trek and explore it rather than just listen or read about it.

4. Roopkund, the Mysterious lake in Uttarakhand

  • Starting Point – Lohjung
  • Highest Altitude – 15,700 ft
  • Number of Days – 6
  • Endurance – 7/10
  • Difficulty level – Moderate
  • Previous trekking experience preferred
Frozen lake at Roopkund
Frozen lake at Roopkund

This beautiful trek showcase snow-clad peaks of Mount Trishul and Nanda Ghunti throughout the year on its trail.  The achievement of reaching the summit at an altitude of ~16000 ft is exceptional. And especially when it comes to Roopkund – the mysterious lake on the top, just makes you wonder what would have happened up there. Kund means lake, so it is referred to as Roopkund and not Roopkund lake trek.

Till date more than 700 skeletons have been found at this location making it mysterious. There are a lot of legends and stories around the mysterious skeletons found at the bottom of the lake but no one knows the truth about what really happened up there.

Situated in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, this is one of the very popular trekking destinations in India. There are 2 seasons for this trek – Spring (April – June) and Autumn (September – October). Roopkund is  surely one trek which should be in the bucket list of every trekker. 

3. Rupin Pass Trek in Himachal Pradesh

  • Starting Point – Dhaula near Mussorie
  • Highest Altitude – 15,300 ft
  • Number of Days – 6
  • Endurance – 7/10
  • Difficulty level – Moderate
  • Previous trekking experience preferred

Situated in Himachal, this is one the most beautiful passes high up in the mighty Himalayas. The whole route is so mesmerizing and unfolds a new landscape every day. The aqua green waters of River Rupin and its milky white flow gushing over the big boulders keeps you company all along the journey in its different forms.

Some other interesting points to witness are the famous hanging village, pine forests and the huge waterfall which is divided into 3 stages – lower, middle and upper waterfall. This trek offers a variety of scenic views to soak into. 

Interestingly, the summit of this trek is a Pass – covered in snow. If you are lucky, you might even witness a snowfall as well. You get to experience sliding in snow in some places while descending back. 

2. Stok Kangri in Ladakh

  • Starting Point – Leh
  • Highest Altitude – 21,000 ft
  • Number of Days – 5-6
  • Endurance – 9/10
  • Difficulty level – Difficult
  • Not recommended for beginners
Stok Range
Stok Range

Stok – The highest trekking summit in India. This is one of the most fascinating treks that we have done. We did it at the end of July 2015 when there was no snow till the base camp situated at an altitude of 16000 ft. The trek is non-technical when done during the months of July and August due to less snow in the region. But it becomes technical if attempted during winters. Difficulty level of the trek is quite high considering the terrain. Though every trek requires some level of acclimatisation but Stok is one of the treks where it is a must. 

From the summit, you get to witness Zanskar valley and Indus Valley with panoramic views of the Stok Range. Summit day is the toughest as you climb from 16000 ft to 20000 ft. It is 12-14 hrs hike  to the summit from the basecamp. And 90% of your walk on the summit day is in knee deep snow. 

It is exciting at the start but slowly it becomes challenging. It takes all your efforts and breath to even put a step forward but once you reach the summit, the sense of achievement is overwhelming. You literally feel as if you are at the top of the world. A white world is what you witness from high above. A feat that seemed impossible makes you feel so proud when accomplished.

1.  Chadar Trek in Ladakh 

  • Starting Point – Leh
  • Highest Altitude – 11,000 ft
  • Number of Days – 5
  • Endurance – 8/10
  • Difficulty level – Moderate
  • Recommended for beginners
A walk on the frozen river - porters carrying the essentials
A walk on the frozen river – porters carrying the essentials

Chadar trek also features as one of the most renowned treks internationally. Situated in Leh, this trek is unique in itself. This is one trek where you do not gain altitude rather you walk on a frozen river. It’s an unforgettable experience. With temperatures as low as -25 to -28 degree celsius, the Zanskaar river freezes into a thick sheet of ice and the trek gets arduous. But what makes it arduous is not the endurance but rather walking the slippery ice. Not technical but still you need a technique to walk on it, you need to form your own rhythm else you might just land on your knees. 

But the incomparable beauty of the valley compensates to all the falling. Even though you get to see only ice and brown barren mountains all along, but the landscapes you come across on this journey are simply breathtaking. 

This Trek has 2 versions – a 5 day hike till Nerak (the shorter and the most common one) and a 10 day trek till Padum, the last village in Zanskar Valley. 

Read More:

Chadar Trek : Prepping For The Frozen World
A Walk On Frozen Zanskar River – Our Experience Of The Chadar Trek

Trekking in the mountains gives you an opportunity to be in nature, to communicate with nature, to feel the love, the bliss. You don’t feel alone in the solitude but rather you “find yourself”. When you are in nature, high up in the mountains, these thoughts no longer sound strange. Reaching the summit on a trek gives you a feeling of achievement. It makes you believe in yourself. 

This was our list of Top 5 treks in Himalayas that we have been to and we think that every trekker should pursue. But there are many more that we wish to summit in the forthcoming years. Do share with us some of your best experiences and keep checking this space for more interesting travel content. 

Happy Trekking!

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