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    Incredible Winter Treks In Himalayas

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    It is the dream of every adventure seeker to try trekking in Himalayas. The narrow passes, steep ascends & descends, and the breath-taking views attract the hikers. Luckily enough, India is blessed with the magnificent Himalayas that provide ample opportunity to hike. Winters may not be the safest time to hike, but it is the experience that counts for the adventure junkies.

    Yes, it is tough to walk on snow sheets. The temperatures are freezing, but breath-taking views make up for all the effort and pain. As much as it is hard to believe, not all of these winter treks in Himalayas are difficult. Let’s go through the best of winter treks in Himalayas to help you take your pick from easy, moderate and difficult ones.

    EASY TREKS: Winter Trekking In Himalayas For Beginners

    1. Nag Tibba Winter Trek: Journey To The Abode Of Nag Devta

    Nag Tibba Winter Trek_18th oct

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    In addition to being a beginner’s destination for winter trekking in Himalayas in December and around the month, Nag Tibba is also a Hindu pilgrimage to the temple of Nag Deva (Snake God). Beginning in Dehradun, the trek goes through the remote villages and landscapes of Pantwari, Nagtibba, Devalsari, and Thatyur.

    Altitude: 3,050 m
    Duration: 5 days
    Route: Dehradun-Pantwari-Nagtibba-Devalsari-Thatyur
    Best Season: Mid November – March
    Highlights: Sight of the Swargarohini & Nanda Devi peaks from Thatyur, temple of Nag Tibba, and remote villages around

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    2. Dodital Winter Trek: Ft. Snow-Capped Mountains & Golden Mahseer Fish

    Dodital Winter Trek

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    The easy Dodital trek takes you through the oak woods, pines, & rhododendron forests. It includes camping around along the beautiful Dodi Lake – famous for its Himalayan Golden Mahseer Fish – before taking you to the Darwa Pass. The scenic charm and chilly weather make it among the best places for trekking in Uttarakhand in January.

    Altitude: 3,050 m
    Duration: 5 days
    Route: Sangam Chatti-Agoda-Bebra-Manjhi-Dodital-Darwa Pass
    Best Season: Mid December – January
    Highlights: Fish feeding at Dodi Lake camp, views of Bandarpunch peak (Tail of Lord Hanuman) & Dhaula Dhar ridges, and side strip to Yamunotri base camp

    3. Auli Gorson Winter Trek: A Short Stay In The Alpine Paradise

    Girls pose for a picture while others set up tents on the Auli Gorson winter trek

    From Rishikesh to Gorson Bugyal, this is one of the most beautiful winter treks in India and it takes you through Joshimath and Auli. The journey from Rishikesh to Joshimath is, however, covered by bus. You will be covering Joshimath to Auli by ropeway. The main walk is between Auli and Gorson. The deodar & oak trees and the beautiful view of the Nanda Devi peak add to the rich experience of this easy trek.

    Altitude: 3050 m
    Duration: 6 days
    Best Season: November – Mid March
    Highlights: Rishikesh base camp bonfire, breath-taking view of the Nanda Devi, and Ski valley at Auli – one of the best places for skiing in India

    Suggested Read: 12 Gorgeous Places To Visit In India This Winter Season

    4. Kedarkantha Winter Trek: Pretty Campsites Amidst Giant Pines

    Snaps from the Kedarkantha winter trek of different people

    Kedarkantha winter treks in Uttarakhand is famous for its pretty campsites in clearings surrounded by giant pines. The climb & descent through the enchanting forest ends with an icing. The trail being easy serves as a perfect winter trek in Himalayas.

    Altitude: 3,500 m
    Duration: 6 days
    Route: Sankri-Juda ka Talab-Kedarkantha Base-Kedarkantha peak-Hargaon camp-Sankri
    Best Season: Last week of December – Mid April
    Highlights: Juda-Ka-Talab & Hargaon campsites surrounded by giant pines and 360-degree view of famous mountain summits, Kempty falls, Tons Valley, and Sankri

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    5. Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek: Into The Ski Valley

    Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek

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    Bugyal in local dialect means “High Altitude Meadow”. One of the easiest winter Himalayan treks, it takes you through some of the most beautiful meadows in Uttarakhand, spanning 28 sq km and offering Nordic and Alpine skiing options. The vacant shepherds’ huts provide cozy stay options in chilly winters.

    Altitude: 3,600 m
    Duration: 6 days
    Route: Barsu/Raithal Village-Barnala Bugyal-Dayara Bugyal-Bakariya Top
    Best Season: Mid December – February
    Highlights: Barnala Lake, meadows, ski valleys, and shepherds’ huts

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    MODERATE TREKS: Himalayan Winter Treks For Those With Some Prior Experience

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    6. Brahmatal Trek: A Fairly New Winter Trek In Uttarakhand

    Mountains view

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    The snow-laden mountains are hard to be scaled in peak winter season. Brahmatal is one of the very few winter treks in Uttarakhand in January-February. And despite the cold season, it is not very difficult to scale.

    Altitude: 3,270 m
    Duration: 7 days
    Route: Kathgodam-Loharjung-Bekaltal-Brahmatal-Daldum-Kathgodam
    Best Season: Mid January–February
    Highlights: Brahmatal lake at the mountain top, jungles with snow beneath the leaves, and terrific panoramic views

    7. Singalila Sandakphu Winter Trek: Search For The Red Panda

    Snow mountains

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    Confined in the North-East, Singalila Sandakphu trek is best done in the winter season. It is the only trek in India that lets you see some of the tallest mountains in the world – Everest, Kanchenjunga, Makalu, and Lhotse. Furthermore, you may be lucky enough to find red pandas and Tragopan.

    Altitude: 3,636 m
    Duration: 7 days
    Route: Dhontrey-Tonglu-Garibas-Sandakphu-Phalut-Rammam-Rimbik-Darjeeling
    Best Season: October – November
    Highlights: Monasteries, snow-capped mountains, Tiger Hill, and views of Kanchenjunga, Everest, Makalu, & Lhotse

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    8. Har Ki Dun Winter Trek: The Trek To The Amphitheatre Of Gods

    Har Ki Dun Winter Trek

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    Har Ki Dun winter trek, set in the vicinity of the Kedar Kantha Trek, snakes through a pretty valley dotted with villages that boast of unseen Himachali architecture. The trek eventually takes the trekkers through forests of chestnut, walnut, & willow trees.

    Altitude: 3,560 m
    Duration: 8 days
    Route: Sankri-Taluka–Osla–Kalkatiya Dhar-Har Ki Dun
    Best Season: Mid November – Mid March
    Highlights: Osla village, Kala Nag, Bandarpunch, Ruinsara peaks, Jaundhar glacier, and the majestic Swargarohini

    9. Dzongri Winter Trek: From The Erstwhile Sikkim Capital

    Snow mountains

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    The Dzongri trek enthralls adventure enthusiasts and novices alike. The trek beginning in Yuksom – erstwhile capital of Sikkim, paves its route through beautiful gorges, forests laden with Himalayan flowers, and panoramic views of Mt Pandim, Mt Thenchinkhang, & Mt Jhopuno.

    Altitude: 4,020 m
    Duration: 8 days
    Route: Yuksom-Tshoka-Dzongri-Halt
    Best Season: Mid November – March

    10. Kuari Pass Winter Trek: The Lord Curzon Trail

    Kuari Pass Winter Trek

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    The Kuari Pass trek was discovered by the erstwhile viceroy Lord Curzon and is popularly known as Lord Curzon trail among the Europeans. On the downward trail, trekkers can halt at one of the most amazing ski resorts in India – Auli.

    Altitude: 4425 m
    Duration: 8 days
    Route: Dhak-Chitrakantha -Tali Top-Khulara-Kuari Pass-Tali -Auli-Joshimath
    Best Season: Mid December – February
    Highlights: Sunrise views of Mt Kamet, Mt Chaukhamba, Mt Trishul, & Nanda Devi

    CHALLENGING TREKS: Winter Treks In Himalayas For The Pros

    11. Chadar Trek: The Frozen River Trek In Zanskar Valley

    Chadar Trek

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    With temperatures falling to as low as -35 degrees Celsius, the Zanskar river freezes to form a sheet of ice. People often compare this experience of winter trekking in Himalayas to sliding on ice rinks. But the beautiful sight of the frozen river and the Shanti Stupa en route makes the experience all the more exciting. See our complete Chadar Trek Guide, if it’s on the cards anytime soon.

    Altitude: 3850 m
    Duration: 9 days
    Route: Chilling-Zaribago-Deepyokma- Naerak Pullu -Lingshed-Nyarakpulu-Tso Mopoaldar-Tilatdo-Chilling
    Best Season: Mid January – February
    Highlights: Shanti Stupa and Walk on frozen river
    What makes it difficult?
    The temperatures are uncomfortably freezing throughout the day. Walking on the ice sheet itself is very difficult. Also, trekkers come across icy rocks and boulders that they need to climb.

    12. Chopta Chandrashila Winter Trek: Hike To Lord Shiva’s Highest Temple

    Snap-shots of different trekkers on a Chopta-Chandrashila winter trek

    The Chopta Chandrashila trek connects Deoriatal Lake, the highest Shiva temple, and remote villages nestled in the backdrop of the Chopta Valley. At Chopta, one can see Himalayan birds such as Himalayan Monal, Hill Prinia, Golden Eagle, and Lammergeier.

    Altitude: 4,090 m
    Duration: 7 days
    Route: Ukhimath-Deoriyatal-Sari-Chopta-Tungnath-Chandrashila
    Best Season: Mid November – March
    Highlights: World’s highest Shiva temple at Tungnath, Chandrashila (moon rock), bird-watching in Chopta, and views of Nanda Devi & Trishul peaks
    What makes it difficult?
    The trails are difficult to spot beneath the snow carpet that makes it difficult. Add to this the sub-zero temperatures (falling up to -10 degrees Celsius), and you know that you are going to have a tough time.

    13. Snow Leopard Trek: The Ultimate Wildlife Empyrean

    Scenes from the famous Snow Leopard winter trek in Himalayas

    The Snow Leopard Trek takes you through a wildlife expedition in the snow-capped Hemis National Park. Nestled among the Himalayas in Ladakh, the trek gives a chance to see some of the most endangered species in India. And the additional scenic views only add to the long list of rewards to the strenuous trek.

    Altitude: 4,100 m
    Duration: 13 days
    Route: Leh-Phey-Hemis National Park-Zingchen-Leh
    Best Season: Mid January – February
    Highlights: Snow Leopard, Tibetan wolves, horned sheep, blue sheep, and Eurasian Brown Bear
    What makes it difficult?
    The temperatures in winters stay below the freezing point throughout the day, ranging between -5 degrees Celsius and -10 degrees Celsius. Also, being a 13-day long trek, it is a very tiring experience.

    So hurry! Pack your bags and go on these winter treks in Himalayas before all the snow melts away. Here are some FAQs answered for a clearer view regarding this!

    Which Himalayan trek will have snow in Winter?

    Most of the Himalayan treks are beautified with snow in winter.

    Which are top 5 Winter treks in India?

    Chadar Trek, Nag Tibba, Kuari Pass, Dayara Bugyal, and  Brahmpatal Trek are among the top winter treks in India.

    Further Read: 9 Astounding Treks In Ladakh That Need To Be On Every Hiker’s Bucket List

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    Frequently Asked Questions About Winter Treks In Himalayas


    Q. How do you trek in snow?

    A. Trekking in snow is not a difficult task if you keep certain rules in mind and follow them properly. 
    Some of the rules that you must follow are:
    1. Since days are shorter during winter, begin early.
    2. Keep an extra pair of socks with you. 
    3. Keep drinking water during the trek.
    4. Carry the essential items needed for the trek.
    5. Be aware of the snow cornices.

    Q. Which is the best winter trek in India?

    A. Chadar trek – Frozen river Zanskar trek is the best winter trek in India. It is one of the toughest yet the most adventurous winter trek in Himalayas. Not only is it famous amongst the locals but also across the world for its picturesque views. The trail will take you through the Zanskar river which is frozen and is 100kms long! It takes 8 days to complete one side of the trek.  

    Q. How do I get to Nag Tibba?

    A. Nag Tibba is the highest peak of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. It is one of the most popular treks in India. Getting to Nag Tibba is quite an easy task. The base camp is located 85 kms away from Dehradun. Once you reach the bus stand of Dehradun, take a bus to Pantwari. The route is hassle-free and offers picturesque views. After reaching Pantwari, you will have to trek for 4 kilometers in order to reach the base camp.

    Q. How do you trek Sandakphu?

    A. If you want to trek to Sandakphu, you will have to reach Manebhanjan in Darjeeling. Sandakphu is situated at a distance of 32 kms from there. If you are a professional hiker and can trek upto 8-9 hours a day, then you will be able to complete one way in just 2 days, otherwise it takes 3 days. 

    Q. How can I get to Rupin pass?

    A. Rupin pass is located in Dehradun. The trek begins from Dhauala. The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun. And if you are coming by train, then the nearest railway station is Dehradun. Once you reach the airport, you can take a cab to the pass. If you reach Dehradun by train, there are two buses that leave by 5:30 am in the morning for Naitwar. From Naitwar you can take a taxi to Dhauala.

    Q. What should you not do while trekking in winter?

    A. There are few things that you should keep in mind while trekking in winter to avoid any issue. Some of the things you should remember are:
    1. Do not wear shoes with holes.
    2. Don’t forget your gloves.
    3. Avoid taking corners for shorter route.
    4. Do not go out without drying up your hair.
    5. Do not leave your necessary items in your vehicle.

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