Not every day do you get to witness blooming flowers on a Himalayan trek. And most trekkers believe it happens only in the Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand.
Not true. That’s a common myth of the monsoon season.
Flowers do not bloom only in the Valley of Flowers. You’ll be surprised to know that in monsoon, you find flowers blooming in stunning patches on treks that have rarely been associated with flowers.
Unfortunately, no one talks about it.
So in this blog, we’ve got seasoned trekkers and trek leaders talking about their favourite flower-sections. And they’re not from the Valley of Flowers!
Let’s start with the most dramatic one.
Pin Bhaba Pass Trek
This trek is known for its scenic cross over from Kinnaur to Spiti. And you find flowers on both sides. But there are specific sections you need to watch out for.
You come across the first flower section while trekking from Mulling to Karah. The landscape is lush, there’s Australian sheep with thick wool grazing on the pastures.
It reminds you of the vistas of Kashmir. Yet, nothing prepares you for the flowers.
“Just an hour before reaching Karah you see it. I was taken aback to see this section filled with so many flowers. It was so unexpected! And I remarked to a fellow trekker, ‘it suddenly feels like am in the valley of flowers!’” says Senior Trek Leader Nitesh Kumar who spent July and August months on the Pin Bhaba trek.
A riot of buttercups swaying in monsoon winds. Photo by Gourab Nandy.
The next section pops up towards the end of the trek, after you have crossed over to the Spiti side.
The fiery bistorts punctuating the purple Spiti landscape. Photo by Gourab Nandy
View Pin Bhaba Pass Trek
“On the other side of the pass, the landscape is barren, with purple-coloured gravel. And punctuating this purple, barren landscape are these vibrant red-velvet fleece flowers,” shares Nitesh.
Very rarely do trekkers see this coming. This is why witnessing flowers on a trek like Pin Bhaba Pass is an unforgettable experience.
This is one of the most underrated treks when it comes to flowers. Like Pin Bhaba, this one also has two flower-sections that take your breath away.
The first one is right after you cross the stream after Dhundi. The valley opens up, you have Beas river flowing right through the valley and in front of you is the commanding view of the Seven Sister peaks, Hanuman Tibba.
“It’s a brilliant setting, and that’s when you see it. While trekking through the valley you stumble upon this 200 m stretch of flowers. There are tiny yellow flowers growing in clumps around you. It’s hard to take your eyes off them,” Nitesh says.
Trekking through a valley filled with flowers on Beas Kund. Photo by Jothiranjan.
If you thought this flower-section was stunning, Nitesh claims the next one is better.
“Personally, the next section is one of the highlights of the trek for me. It comes just below the highest point on the Beas Kund trek,” Nitesh shares.
This section is famous with other trek leaders too. Sharwari Brahme, Trek leader and Trainer at Indiahikes is also a fan of this particular flower section on the Beas Kund trek.
“You’ll find flowers growing on both sides of the trail here. You’re practically walking on flowers as you attempt the summit push,” she says.
Trekking through the heady scent of flowers on the summit push. Photo by Nitesh Kumar.
View Beas Kund Trek
“And the scent, it’s so heady! The section is filled with fragrance because you have a wide variety of flowers, junipers, and other herbs, all growing together here,” she adds remembering the fragrant ascent.
Warwan Valley trek
Everyone talks about the grand vistas, the glaciers, pass crossings and remoteness of the Warwan Valley trek. But rarely do trekkers mention the stunning wild flowers growing here.
“Flowers on the Warwan Valley trek are just lovely! The first section is right after you cross the Chalong Nala,” says Izzat Yaganagi, Head of Experiential Learning at Indiahikes.
In this section you are trekking through a wide, flat river basin. The Chalong Nala forks into many tributaries. And the wet, marshy land offers a perfect platform for flowers. You’ll find many vibrant bistorts as you cross through this section.
These vibrant bistorts are quite similar to the ones you saw on Pin Bhaba Pass trek. Photo by Izzat Yaganagi.
The next section comes towards the end of the trek, after you cross the last campsite and are about to reach the first village.
“Towards the end of the trek you pass through fields and quaint villages. You also come across wild and cultivated plants, flowers,” says Izzat.
The blooming flower beds closer to civilisation on the Warwan Valley trek. Photo by Izzat Yaganagi.
View Warwan Valley Trek
In fact, towards the end of the Warwan Valley trek you’ll see flowers blooming most of the remote villages. “I recollect spotting a carpet of flowers towards the Sukhnai village,” says Suhas Saya, Head of Documentation and DIY at Indiahikes.
Monsoon is a great time to witness blooming flowers
The comfortable temperatures and high mountain air tinged with humidity is a perfect setting for blooming flowers. So in monsoon, you’ll also find flowers blooming near Jwara on Hampta Pass, near Jonker Thatch of Bhrigu Lake, and even on the Gorson Bugyal of Kuari Pass trek.
This is why limiting your pursuit of flowers to just one trek is a rookie mistake. If you time it right — says towards the end of July and early August — you have good chances of spotting flowers on most Himalayan treks.
Having said that, do you already have a favourite flower-section in the Himalayas? If so, where is it? Drop your answer in comments.