Top 8 Off-Beat Himalayan Treks For Summer 2019

You know, I have an issue with trekkers. Most of them want to go to the mountains to experience solitude and nature. And yet, they call and ask us about the most popular (and crowded) treks. Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun, Rupin Pass… Don’t get me wrong. These treks are beautiful! It’s not without reason that people sing praises about them. But they don’t give you that feeling of seclusion, at least not any more.

These are treks that have gotten popular by virtue of being around for a long time.

But, there are newer treks that are as beautiful. And it bothers me that trekkers don’t know about these treks.

Which is why I’m putting down a list of the best lesser-known treks to do this summer. If any of these treks don’t take your breath away, let me know.

I’ve sorted them out by order of their difficulty. We’ll go from easy to difficult treks. Btw, I’ve put down a brand new weekend trek that we have opened up at the very end!

I’ve also mentioned small notes in this colour with each trek. These notes will help you plan out your trek.

1. Phulara Ridge Trek

Phulara Ridge. Picture by Himanshu Singla

This is a trek hidden in plain sight. It starts from Sankri, the same base camp as the popular Kedarkantha. While Kedarkantha sees massive crowds, this trek silently watches on.

“It is the loveliest ridge trek in India. When you stand on top of the Phulara ridge, snow capped mountains stretch in a 270 degree arc in front of you. On the other arc, rolling hills stretch into the horizon. Below you, mountain slopes fall on either side. This ridge walk lasts three hours, but every minute, you feel you are on top of a summit,” writes Arjun Majumdar, our founder.

Note: If you’re looking to trek with your family, this is a good option! Time it from mid-April onwards till mid-May for a safe amount of snow!

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Region: Sankri, Uttarakhand
| Duration: 6 days
| Best month: April, May, June

Check Phulara Ridge dates here.


2. Mukta Top

Mukta Top. Picture by Assad Dasad

Mukta top is one of our latest discoveries. It’s unfortunate that we have hardly been able to run this trek. It has been buried in snow ever since winter began. But we’ll open it up this April.

With endearing forests, a lovely lake and bewitching views from the top, this trek has a lot of promise. It is also a rare trek where you see bamboo forests because it starts from a much lower altitude than most treks.

Note: Frankly, it is at par with Chandrashila, Kuari Pass and Kedarkantha. Don’t think twice, it’s a trek to watch out for this summer.

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Region: Kaflon, Uttarakhand
| Duration: 6 days
| Best month: March, April, May, June

Check Mukta Top dates here.


3.Beas Kund

Beas Kund. Picture by Akhil Menon

This is a trek we started running last autumn. It is an old trail in our country, but has been ignored for a long time.

Honestly, we regret not having gone on this beautiful trail before! The wide valleys on this trek are rare to find, especially on such a short trek. With the Beas river flowing in the middle of the valley, and bright blue skies adding contrast to the landscape, it’s a trek you shouldn’t miss.

Note: If you’re looking for an easy-moderate trek in June, choose this. The grasslands will be beautifully green, flowery and you’re likely to find some snow on the upper reaches of the trek.

Difficulty: Easy – Moderate
Region: Near Manali, Himachal Pradesh
| Duration: 4 days
| Best month: June, July, August

Check Beas Kund dates.


4. Bhrigu Lake

Bhrigu Lake. Picture by Sandhya UC

For a long time, Bhrigu Lake had become an excursion of sorts to the alpine lake and back, blanking out all the other goodness of the trek.

Our founders rediscovered this trek in 2017 and came back stunned by the meadows. “It comes close to the meadows of Bedni Bugyal and Ali Bugyal!” exclaims Sandhya UC, our co-founder. Coming from her, that’s saying a lot, because I know of her love for Ali and Bedni Bugyal. The meadows on this trek are something else — there are sheep grazing almost always, and in summer, you’ll see them against lovely blue skies. It’s picture perfect and it’s a great trek for beginners.

Note: If you want to see snow, then do this trek early in June. The lake is likely to be frozen too! For greener pastures, wait till July and August.

Difficulty: Moderate
Region: Near Manali, Himachal Pradesh
| Duration: 4 days
| Best month: June, July, August

Check Bhrigu Lake dates here


5. Buran Ghati

Buran Ghati - Indiahikes - Sandhya UC - River view
Buran Ghati. Picture by Sandhya UC

Any nature lover will go weak at the knees on this trek. This is by far the most perfect trek we have seen — it has the best parts of India’s greatest treks stitched together in one trek. I had sent you a brilliant video on it last week. Watch it here if you missed it.

This trek has the prettiest forest sections, unimaginably beautiful meadows of Dayara, and perhaps the best campsite out of all our treks, nestled in the meadows. To add to that is the thrilling pass crossing at 15,000 ft. where you rappel down a snow wall. It’s an incredible trek and I hate to say it, but I think everyone at Indiahikes is biased towards this trek!

Note: For the first time, we are running this trek in May. (We usually start in June.) If you want to see a low of snow, choose May. If you want to see a good mix of greenery and snow, choose June! The rappelling down at 15,000 ft will be there in both the months. 🙂

Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
Region: Near Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
| Duration: 8 days
| Best month: May, June

Check Buran Ghati dates.


6. Khopra Ridge

Khopra Ridge. Picture by Himanshu Singla

Khopra Ridge is our newest trek in Nepal. And not many people do this trek. It’s strange because it’s right there in the Annapurna Sanctuary, right beside the Annapurna Base Camp trail, and yet it’s hardly known. In my opinion, it’s a super underrated trek.

“When you stand on top of the Khopra ridge, you don’t see one or two big mountains. You see 23 of them! That’s a lot for any trek, even in Nepal. Also, there are very few treks in this world where you walk for two whole days on a ridge. Leave alone a trek with such astounding mountain views. When you combine these two, the Khopra Ridge becomes a very special trek,” writes our founder, Arjun Majumdar, in his latest article on Why Khopra Ridge is a great alternative to Annapurna Base Camp.

Note: The views on this trek are grand in April! The earlier you go in the year, the grander the views! So go here in April if you’re looking for a adventure amongst the big mountains of Nepal!

Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult
Region: Pokhara, Nepal
| Duration: 8 days
| Best month: April

Check Khopra Ridge dates.


7. Kedartal

Kedartal. Picture by Vikas Sharma.

One of our tougher treks, definitely not for beginners. It climbs up to 16,000 ft to the Kedartal Lake. You get up close to big mountains Mt Thalaysagar and Mt Bhrigupanth.

This trek rates high on adventure. It is also an endurance test of sorts, since it has long days, tough terrain and climbs to a very high altitude. If you want to avoid treks like Rupin Pass and Gaumukh Tapovan, and yet experience the same adventure, then choose this trek.

Note: Choose this trek only if you are very fit and have some prior high altitude trek experience. Also, with the kind of winter we have had this year, expect a lot of snow in May, even towards mid-June.

Difficulty: Difficult
Region: Gangotri, Uttarakhand
| Duration: 7 days
| Best month: May, June

Check Kedartal dates.


8. Pundrik Lake Weekend Trek – Our Newest Trek!

Pundrik Lake Trek. Picture by Yash Thakur

I’m super glad to introduce you to our newest weekend trek — Pundrik Lake. It is in the heart of Himachal, close to Shimla. It’s not a very tough trek, it covers short distances over two days and doesn’t climb to high either.

But for the ease of the trek, it’s incredibly rewarding. You have the rare opportunity to trek through pine forests for a long time (on most treks, pine forests end very quickly!). You then enter lovely grasslands, which slowly lead you to the lake. The trail and campsites are actually well-maintained, and surprisingly, nobody goes there.

Note: This is a wonderful weekend trek to do if you’re near Delhi. You just have to get on a Manali bus and get off at Aut. We have just two dates in April. So sign up quickly! 🙂

Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
| Duration: 2 days
| Best month: April

Check Pundrik Lake Dates.


What to do next

1. If you have any other treks you’d like to suggest, or if you have questions, drop in a comment below.

2. If you’re looking for more summer treks, you’ll find a list of all our upcoming treks here.

3. If you would like to work with us, here’s our careers page.

4. If you’d like to see the 13 best treks of India, get a downloadable guide here.

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy is the Chief Editor at Indiahikes. She also runs a video series, Trek With Swathi. Before joining Indiahikes, she worked as a reporter and sub-editor at Deccan Chronicle. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications such as Deccan Herald. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates that mind like nothing else can.Read Swathi's other articles. Watch Swathi's video series here.

27 thoughts on “Top 8 Off-Beat Himalayan Treks For Summer 2019

  1. Hi Swathi,

    It’s been a year since I subscribed to indiahikes, but now writing to you for the first time. Actually I am from Himachal, one of my friends ( husband wife n their three years old kid) are visiting, so can you please guide me, how shall I arrange bir , billing and barot trip, with a small trek of 6-7 kms. Where to camp n if you can suggest some other place if you know so that it’s a memorable trip for all.

    Regards

    1. Hi, it’s a very popular tourist destination. So visiting the place shouldn’t be an issue. Go for small hikes in and around Bir town. There are lots of trails (paghdandi types) everywhere. You can do these hikes that last for an hour or two and come back to Bir where there are multiple camping options.

  2. Hi, I have signed up for the Mukta Top trek in the 31st March- 5th April batch.What is the likeliness of snow on the trail during that time? Will the trek function as planned? Several reports on your website as well as news reports suggest snowfall in the ranges at or around that time.

    1. Hi minimum age varies depending on the treks. But 7 is the youngest we take. On the higher side, we take even 70 year olds on treks as long as they are fit!

    1. Hi Manasa Har Ki Dun would be a great follow up to Deoriatal. It’s very different from Deoriatal. You’re constantly trekking and camping next to a river, going through the deepest, oldest Himalayan villages, and trekking to an amphitheatre with stunning mountain views! It’s a good trek to do in the beginning of May – https://indiahikes.com/har-ki-dun/

    1. Hi, the next trek in June is Dayara Bugyal but it’s from June 23 to 28. We will announce on the website when we schedule future batches 🙂

  3. I am planning a trek for the first time with my family in October. Which trek would you suggest best suitable Deoriatal orHar ki Dun or Butang hati?

    1. If you’re taking children, then definitely the Deoriatal trek. Avoid Buran Ghati unless everyone is very fit! Har Ki Dun is a slightly difficult trek for first timers.

  4. Hi me and my wife are planning for an easy – Moderate trek in the month of june in Uttarakhand. Can you please suggest best suitable trek with high chances of snow and also availability. Thanks !

    1. Hi Rajat, Bhrigu Lake would be a very good option for you and your wife – indiahikes.com/bhrigu-lake-trek
      It’s a moderate trek, suitable for fit beginners. And there will definitely be snow in June! 🙂

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