If you’re reading this article, I’m assuming that you’re considering taking your child on a trek. And that’s wonderful!
At Indiahikes, we strongly believe that children must trek. When they’re young and observant is the best time to expose them to the outdoors. They absorb lessons of resilience, confidence, leadership and also learn to protect the environment. These are deep values that take a very long time to imbibe in a person, but it can happen over just a few days on a trek.
With further ado, here are the best treks for children. These are all treks in the Himalayas. These are good treks for children. They have just the right mix of trek and leisure.
1. Dayara Bugyal
Duration – 6 days | Pick up point – Dehradun | Recommended age: 7-10 years
Out of all our easy-moderate Himalayan treks, Dayara Bugyal would be the best suited for children. It involves just 3-4 hours of trekking everyday. The whole trail promises lots of learning, as your trek mostly through dense forests and open meadows.
Big, snow-clad mountains of the Garhwal Himalayas follow you from day one! So if you want to expose your child to the mountains for the first time, this is the best trek. It also has easy access and an easy exit in case your child does not take well to trekking.
Explore the Dayara Bugyal Trek
The meadows of Dayara Bugyal offer a great setting for children to trek. Photo by Arjun Majumdar
2. Deoriatal – Chandrashila
Duration – 5 days | Pick up point – Haridwar | Recommended age: 7-10 years
Everything about Deoriatal – Chandrashila trek lends itself as one of the best treks for children. The drive to the base camp, Sari, is short.
The first day’s trek is just around 2-3 hours long. The second day is slightly long, but on relatively flat terrain through lovely forests. The next day involves a grand summit climb, which is just difficult enough for children to get the thrill of completing it!
The scenery of the lake, the big mountains and the quaint villages offer great exposure to the outdoors. So it’s a perfect trek for children and first timers too!
Explore the Deoriatal – Chandrashila Trek
The view of Mt. Chaukhamba from the Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek makes a deep impression on the mind of a child. Photo by Jothiranjan.
Duration – 6 days | Pick up point - Dehradun | Recommended age: 8-12 years
Kedarkantha has been the go-to trek for families for a long time. Because of the short distances, beautiful campsites and the grand summit climb, it makes for a great trek for both parents and children.
What makes it difficult are the steep ascents. Right from the onset, it climbs and gains altitude quickly. But the daily distances are short. If your child is fit and active in sports, he/she will be able to do this trek comfortably.
Explore the Kedarkantha Trek
The trek distances and campsites are perfect for children to start experience a Himalayan trek. Photo by Sitabja Dasgupta
4. Kuari Pass
Duration – 6 days | Pick up point - Rishikesh | Recommended age: 12-14 years
Kuari pass is a mountain lovers’ delight. You have an unending vista of the biggest mountains in India opening up right from day one. You even get to see the clearest view of the full face of Mt Nanda Devi, India’s highest mountain.
More than this, Kuari Pass is a near-perfect trek. You go through ancient forests filled with oaks and rhododendrons. Just as your eyes are getting used to the tree canopy above, the trail opens into meadows. This interplay of different kinds of landscapes makes the trek very exciting.
Explore the Kuari Pass Trek
Kuari Pass offers a brilliant view of Mt. Nanda Devi. The highest peak in India which children read about in their textbooks. Photo by Vaibhav Jain.
5. Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek
Duration – 6 days | Pick up point - Rishikesh | Recommended age: 11 -15 years
Out of the other meadow treks in our country — Dayara Bugyal, Gidara Bugyal, and Bhrigu Lake trek — Ali Bedni has the grandest of mountain views. That’s because of one thing — the sight of Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti jutting right out of the meadows.
Jutting out doesn’t mean you see the tops of these mountains, you see the entire face — almost 6000-7000 feet of it — rising right in front of you.
Explore the Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek
For children, trekking on the meadows of Ali Bedni Bugyal at tender age is unforgettable. Photo by Sandhya UC.
We have several other treks that might suit children. But the above are the best of them. If your child already has some high altitude trek experience, you can consider some of our moderately difficult treks for him/her.