10 Best Treks to do This Spring in The Himalayas

Across India, from mid March until April, people are not really trekking. Parents are overwrought with kids’ exams. Deadlines in offices somehow hang in the air.

Meanwhile, quietly on the side, a splendid season of trekking between Mid March and April slips by

This worries me. I’ll tell you why.

Mid-March marks the beginning of spring

In mid March, when winter starts to recede, snow is still around. A carpet of fresh grass sprouts around these snow patches. It makes meadows and clearings above 9,000 feet a delight. The lush grass with ankle-length flowers against the backdrop of snow is a visual treat. Shaking off the harshness of winter, new leaves start sprouting on trees. Flowers bloom. The landscape is a riot of colours. Spring is in the air. 

Birds wake up from their winter slumber. Their voices spring through the forests. For those who love bird photography this is the time of the year to trek. 

A Himalayan Monal spotted on the Deoriatal Chandrashila trek in spring. Picture by Ajit Hota

If these were not enough, there is the magic of rhododendrons.

For me, the rhodos is a big reason to go trekking. What a sight they make! In spring, rhododendrons with their scarlet and pink flowers burst into bloom. It is as if the hills are on fire! When rhodos bloom they envelop trees. Sometimes it is difficult to spot leaves through the flowers! 

Rhododendron tress lining the Deoriatal-Chandrashila trail. Picture by Yogesh Shinde

My favourite rhodos are, of course, the scarlet ones. They are not very common so it is terrific to see if there is a scarlet playing hide and seek around a bend! Some slopes have the yellows and whites in between the pinks. Sunlight flirting through these blooms make trekking a joy!

The rare scarlet Rhododendron bloom on the Sandakphu trail.

Trekking in spring is great for the crackling summit views.

Let me explain. Two months later, in summer, when it is peak trekking season there is a smoky haze over the mountains. Forest fires, smog, heat and dust  contributes to this. Mountain views are disappointing. 

Worse, in summer when the sun heats up the earth, the forests transpire, releasing a lot of water vapour in the air. the cool air of the mountains quickly gather up these water vapour and turn them into clouds. It is not uncommon to see a bright clear day patched with lots of clouds by 11 in the morning. The big mountains that you have been planning to see are now almost hidden. 

On the other hand in spring mountain views are worth dying for. You get clear blue skies that stretch from horizon to horizon. The air is crisp — the views crackling. 

The Chaukhamba massif at dawn, as seen from the Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek. Picture by Yusuf Serki

I remember last year when I was trekking to the top of Chandrashila summit, I stood for a moment to take in what I was seeing around me. There they were, right in front of me, like a fan of playing cards, the entire range of eastern and western Gharwal mountains of India. I was seeing the greatest mountain ranges in India at their sharpest best. 

Another time, I took a short walk to the summit of Hatu peak near Shimla. It was the second week of March. There too the sprawling summit views took my breath away. This time I was gazing at summits of eastern Himachal. So sharp they were that I could tick off almost thirty or forty summits in the horizon.  

When you walk into a tourist office and see a big landscape picture of mountain ranges — the photographs are almost always taken in early winter or in March/April. 

I share with you a list of the best treks to do in between Mid-March and April end. I have left out a few that I feel don’t make this list.

Alpenglow on the Kanchenjunga massif at dawn, as seen from the Goechala trek. Picture by Sreejith

10 Best Himalayan treks from Mid-March to April 2021

Click on the names of treks for the dates, itinerary and costs. 

1. Deoriatal-Chandrashila

THE best rhododendron trek of our country. And to damn everything, it also has the best mountain views from the summit. Can’t ask for more.

Click here to explore more about the Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek.

2. Brahmatal

Another trail blessed with superb rhodo forests. Kills it with the meadows on top, the lovely Brahmatal lake and jaw dropping views of Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti. This trek is a trekkers favourite.

Click here to explore more about Brahmatal trek.

3. Sandakphu

Super crystal clear views of the sleeping Buddha (Mt Kanchenjunga range). And then you also see 4 of the tallest mountains in the world (Mt Everest included). Not to forget the Indo-Nepal trek experience. Yes, rhodos too.

Click here to explore more about the Sandakphu trek.

4. Goechala 

The closest you can get to the Kanchenjunga massif without actually climbing it. It is right under your nose. Also it is the trek to do for rhododendrons in the east.

Click here to explore more about the Goechala trek.

5. Kuari Pass

This is a trek that blows everyone’s brains out with its terrific views of India’s highest mountain, Mt Nanda Devi. It is one of our most “complete” treks with few of the best forests, campsites, ridge walks and mountain views.

Click here to explore more about the Kuari Pass trek.

6. Kedarkantha

Our most popular trek. All the goodness of a winter trek. The snow is still around minus the bone-chilling temperatures. Terrific campsites and a thrilling summit climb. Again, a very complete trek. Can’t ask for more.

Click here to explore more about the Kedarkantha trek.

7. Dayara Bugyal

One of the best meadow trek of our country, with powdery snow still on them. The views of Mt Bandarpoonch from the meadows can flatten anyone. Great trek for families.

Click here to explore more about the Dayara Bugyal trek.

8. Pangarchulla

If you are looking for a power packed thrilling summit climb, climbing all the way till 15,069 ft, then Pangarchulla Peak trek offers it in spades. It’s a difficult trek with a small window when it is accessible to trekkers, that’s only in April. If you are fit, and are looking for an adrenaline rush, go for it.

Click here to explore more about the Pangarchulla trek.

9. Har Ki Dun-Ruinsara Tal

The cultural favourite — in the early part of the trek you pass through ancient wooden villages that still stand the same despite being many centuries old. The stories and legends of these villages date back to the mythologies. Later, the astounding scenery changes every day can leave anyone breathless. And then Ruinsara Tal pulls all possible expectations from under our feet. Such places exist in our country?

Click here to explore more about the Har Ki Dun-Ruinsara Tal trek.

10. Nag Tibba Weekend trek

A trek so close to Mussoorie but packs in everything of a big trek. Lovely forests, good rhodos too, terrific sunset views, all packed in a weekend! You can even see snow in early March here.

So those are our best treks from mid-March to April.

Click here to explore more about the Nag Tibba Weekend Trek. 

 

| Also look out for Exclusive Treks for Families:

In the same season, we also have exclusive family treks to Kedarkantha and Dayara Bugyal. We organise the trek specially for families with children, to enhance their learning from the outdoors.

Find dates and details of exclusive family treks here.

Most of the groups already have registrations going up, though not full yet. It’s best to sign up now if you want the luxury of choosing dates that suit you. 

If you have any thoughts or questions, drop in a comment below. One of us from Indiahikes will get back to you.

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31 thoughts on “10 Best Treks to do This Spring in The Himalayas

    1. Hi Asit, the trek fees of almost all the treks we have shared on this page are below Rs 10,000, except perhaps the Nepal treks. So you could choose any of them.

  1. Can I go for Buran ghati trek in February or March month coming year. Is the trek accessible during this time and will it have snow?

    1. Buran Ghati is blocked with too much snow all the way until May. The trek opens up only from May onwards and remains open till June end. Then it closes during monsoon and opens up again in September.

    1. Can you please suggest some Summer Treks for beginner, in which we stay at houses (instead of tents) like VOF or Sandakphu.

      1. Hi Tejas, Sandakphu and VoF are our only treks where we stay in tea houses / lodges. If you haven’t done SAndakphu already, it makes for a great summer trek. Would that not suit you?

        1. Thanks for your reply Swathi.
          I have done both Sandakphu(Winter) & VoF treks. As this would be my Wife’s first trek, I’m carefully choosing a trek where she will have a little luxury of staying in house, (considering her major fear of tent washrooms :D) at the same time (sort of) easy enough to make her enjoy the world which is so dear to us (Firsts are most imp).
          I can plan for Sandakphu (Summer) then: &
          1) If you have any other trek options after reading above story, would love to know them.
          2) As i have done Sandakphu from IH already, if there is some kind of policy where they allow you for free next time (same trek) or any other discounts as such.

          1. Hi Tejas, that’s right. If you have done the Sandakphu trek with us earlier, you’re welcome to repeat it. You do not have to pay us for it.

  2. We, a group of 6 friends, are going to Deoriatal Chandrashila trek in 2nd Week of April. My question is what will be the condition of Chopta to Chandrashila stretch in that time? Will it be totally snow covered or very diffcult to trek? Will my shoe Quechua MH100 be able to handle that portion??

    1. Hi Souvik, what a lovely trek you’ve chosen in April. 🙂 Around the second week of April, expect to see some snow on the climb to Chandrashila. May not be too much, but there will be dome. It will definitely not be difficult to trek. The trail is nearly laid out on this trek, so at least the trail will be clear of snow. There might be snow on either sides of it.

      The MH100 shoes are good enough to tackle this snow!

  3. I have done Kedarkantha and Kashmir Great Lakes with Indiahikes. Now confused between Deoriatal-Chandrashila and Sandakphu for March end. Do suggest which one to choose.

    1. Hi Shubham, it’s a tough choice between the two. But your past treks makes this decision easier. If you have done KK and KGL, then do Sandakphu. It’s a very different trek from the past two treks and will make for a whole new trek experience.

      1. Hi swathi,just came back from sandakphu trek.planning to do abc or Something in kashmir…in mid may or june ..kindly opine regarding the same

        1. Hi Dr Yogita, so nice to see that you’re already planning another trek after your Sandakphu trek. 🙂 In May and June, Kashmir is still closed with too much snow on the trails. So plan between July and September. In July is when the season to trek in Kashmir starts.

  4. HI, Can we expect rhododendrons in bloom in Kedarkanth trek from mid March to April?
    I want to choose between Deoriatal-Chandrashila and Kedarkanth as a first time trekker.

    1. Hi Unmesh, Kedarkantha doesn’t have rhodo forests like Deoriatal or Brahmatal. It has shorter dwarf rhododendrons on the way to the summit. They will be in bloom. But if you want to see real rhodos, choose Deoriatal. 🙂

  5. I recently did Sandakphu trek. The variety of landscapes we came across, thick pine forests, bamboo forests, clear meadows, beautiful summit views, it was really amazing.
    I want to go on a summer trek and again I want a variety of landscapes. Which one would you suggest among moderate level treks?

    1. Definitely the Har Ki Dun trek, especially if you are going in April. If not Har Ki Dun, then Buran Ghati later in May/June. Both of these have lots of variety and are a good follow-up to Sandakphu.

    1. Yes, there will be snow towards the upper reaches of the trek. This snow will remain all the way till the end of April.

  6. I have 15 year experience of Himalayan treking,5 to 6 treks with Indiahikes,can I partipate at age of 67,I am physically fit.

    1. You’re welcome to join us sir. All we look for is fitness and the right spirit of trekking. So please go ahead and sign up. 🙂

  7. Hi..

    i have done Goechala Trel last year.

    I want to attempt the Sandkapu as i want to go in Feb.

    Is it too easy trek or kind of challenging. ?

    Thanks,
    Harsha

  8. I’m looking to trek the Rupin pass with my son (13 year old) in June. Is there an age limit for kids. Both of us athletic, run 10Ks and play tennis regularly

    1. Hi Sriram, if both of you run 10k and play tennis regularly, then your son can definitely do the Rupin Pass trek. Just mentally prepare him for the cold and the snow. Outside of that, he should be able to manage the physical aspect of the trek comfortably.