8 Best Winter Treks in India (December, January and February)

8 Best Winter Treks in India (December, January and February)

Category Month Wise Guides Season Wise Guides Guides To Choose Treks Thursday Trek Talk

By Swathi Chatrapathy

2023-10-10

Table of Content:

Himalayan winter treks are truly nature’s gift to mankind. Even the toughest of trails feels like a walk in paradise, thanks to the majestic snow-covered landscape. Below are seven winter treks in India that you must do in the upcoming winter.

September is the month when you should start planning your winter trek. It is wise to choose from the best winter treks in India as early as possible, so that you can decide on dates and book your flight tickets at a reasonable price. An early decision helps you prepare physically and mentally for the snow trek.

Use this guide to make a wise choice among the top winter treks in India. Do not miss the pro tips mentioned along with the trek information.

Top 8 Winter Treks to do in the Himalayas

Not all winter treks are snow treks, as India offers a variety of landscapes in different regions. While one can choose from winter treks in Himachal Pradesh, other regions like Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Maharashtra, Pune and Chattisgarh also offer mesmerising options for trekking in the winter.

It is obvious that winter treks in the Himalayas are completely different from winter treks in Maharashtra. However, both regions offer equal opportunities to enjoy and soak in the beauty of nature while simultaneously learning from your surroundings. Here are the seven best winter treks you can do in the winter season.

Also, check out our winter camp for children.

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1. Dayara Bugyal Winter Trek

Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

Duration: 6 days (Including travel to and from the basecamp)

Dayara bugyal, indiahikes, meadows, winter, himalayan treks

The snow-laden meadows of Dayara on a winter trek. Picture by Ravi Ranjan

This is a trek I love simply because it’s such a relaxing climb and yet gives you such grand returns. You never expect such views and experiences on such an easy trek! Dayara Bugyal Trek is one of the best winter treks in Uttarakhand, thanks to the meadows blanketed in shimmering white snow. It feels like an unending snow trek!

Protip: Given the ease of the climb, it is one of the easiest winter treks for beginners and family groups. But don’t let that stop you if you are an experienced trekker—you can go on this trek ten times and you won’t tyre. I would also recommend it to those who have already seen it in another season. It’s a completely different trek in the winter.

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View Dayara Bugyal Trek

2. Brahmatal Winter Trek

Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

Duration: 6 days (Including travel to and from the basecamp)

Brahmatal, indiahikes, frozen lake, winter, himalayan treks

The frozen lake of Brahmatal. Picture by Devang Thapliyal

Most of the staff at Indiahikes love winter treks. Brahmatal is our co-founder Sandhya’s favourite trek. When she went last year, she stood at the summit with a riveting view of two of the most celebrated mountains—Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti. She also saw the entire Roopkund trail laid out before her—literally a bird’s-eye view. I would highly recommend reading this personal note she wrote after her Brahmatal trek to get an idea. It is one of the perfect winter treks in India when it comes to mountain views.

Brahmatal vs Dayara Bugyal: Which is a better snow trek?

Protip: It is one of the best winter treks in the Himalayas. So, choose this if you want a grand snow experience. Most trekkers come back raving about the snow here. Also, be physically prepared because it has some good climbs.

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View Brahmatal Trek

3. Deoriatal – Chandrashila Winter Trek

Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

Duration: 6 days (Including travel to and from the basecamp)

Deoriatal chandrashila, winter, himalayan treks, indiahikes, tungnath

Trekking to the summit of Chandrashila in winter. Picture by Satyen Dasgupta

Once popular as one of the best winter treks in India, Deoriatal-Chandrashila witnessed a fall in its popularity when the forest department closed some crucial campsites in the recent past. However, winter treks with Indiahikes can never be dull, so we have found new alternative campsites on this grand snow trek.

The trail, of course, remains charming with its vibrant forests, the lake and the climb to the Tungnath temple and Chandrashila summit.

Protip: This trek gives a highly unfair reward for the amount of effort you put in. You get to see almost all the most magnificent peaks in the Indian Himalayas, including Mt. Nanda Devi, India’s highest summit. You get the real experience of winter treks in Uttarakhand, thanks to the never-ending blanket of snow. If the dates suit you, don’t think twice; just go for it.

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View Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

4. Kedarkantha Winter Trek

Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

Duration: 6 days (Including travel to and from the basecamp)

Kedakantha - Snow Trek - Winter Trek - Indiahikes - Forest - Snow Forest - Kedarnath - Uttrakhand

The oak and pine forest on the Kedarkantha trek. Picture by Boppaditya Chandra

Do I need to introduce this trek? This trek exploded in terms of popularity when we opened it up in winter 2011. Since the beginning, Kedarkantha has been among the most popular winter treks. It has endeared campsites and a thrilling summit climb, which makes it one of the most difficult winter treks in India.

Most trekkers treat it as a bucket list trek, and they’re completely justified because it’s not every day you come across such a perfect winter trek. Here's everything you need to know about Kedarkantha trek.

Protip: We are doing this trek from the Kotgaon route and not from Sankri. This new trail is isolated and it bypasses the crowd. I have to say it is a lot prettier than the older route as well.

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View Kedarkantha Trek

5. Sandakphu – Phalut

Difficulty: Moderate

Duration: 7 days (Including travel to and from the basecamp)

Sandakhpu phalut winter himalayan treks indiahikes

Molley campsite on Sandakphu Phalut trek in a winter setting. Picture by Dwaipayan Purkait

If you are not interested in winter treks in Himachal or Uttarakhand, then Sandakphu – Phalut in West Bengal can be the best choice for trekking in the winter. It offers you a strong cultural experience. You get a peek into what the Nepali trekking culture is like. It’s a trek on the border of India and Nepal, constantly weaving in and out of the two countries (feels very international, I tell you!). It feels as if you are doing one of the winter treks in Nepal.

While it’s difficult to do other Nepal winter treks, this one gives you views of four of the tallest mountains in the world—Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Makalu and Mt. Kanchenjunga with moderate climb. No other trek gives you that.

Protip: Not many trekkers know this, but on this trek, you stay in tea houses for a few days, and you also get the Indiahikes camping experience for two days. It’s a great way to experience the best of both worlds. The snow on this trek will give you the feel of winter treks in Kashmir, Uttarakhand or Himachal Pradesh. So do keep that in mind.

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View Sandakphu Phalut Trek

6. Kuari Pass Winter Trek

Difficulty: Easy – Moderate

Duration: 6 days (Including travel to and from the basecamp)

Kuari pass winter himalayan treks indiahikes

The summit push to Kuari pass. Picture by Anshuman Kumar

Looking for one of the easy winter treks in India? This should be your choice. Irrespective of you being a seasoned trekker or a beginner the Kuari Pass is a snow trek you need to do. It is a must-do for the views of some of India’s most celebrated mountains – Mt. Nanda Devi (25,673 feet) and Mt. Dronagiri (23,182 feet) – in any season.

Protip: In winter, there is an added attraction. The snow in its almost perfectly crafted forests. Snowflakes settled on the Oak leaves above a white carpeted forest floor take you instantly to the land which would be Santa Claus’ envy. All this gives you an unmatched winter trekking experience in the Himalayas!

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View Kuari Pass Trek

7. Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek

Difficulty: Moderate

Duration: 4 days

Chhattisgarh jungle trek indiahikes winter trek

A bliss of walking along the Gopat river. Picture by Nitesh Kumar

While most winter treks in India are situated in the Himalayas, this one goes through the heart of the dense jungles of Chhattisgarh.

It’s hard for the jungles to not set your imagination ablaze. The jungles constantly transport you to the mysterious world of the jungle book. As you trek to the jungle, you feel the omnipresence of wildlife and tribal life as well. For every trekker, this trek is a must-do.

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View Chhattisgarh Jungle Trek

8. Manali Kaisdhar Trek

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 4 days

On the Manali Kaisdhar hike, you hike in the best forests of Manali. Photo by Akhil Sharma

At Indiahikes, we want everyone to trek because trekking transforms lives. However, for everyone to trek we need treks that can be done by everyone.

On the Manali Kaisdhar Trek, the trails are short and flat. There are hardly any tricky sections to navigate. And the best part is that it requires no preparation and can be done by anyone.

The rewards you get out of the Manali Kaisdhar hike are much greater than the effort you put in. In just four days, you get a chance to immerse yourself in nature. You walk in the deep woods dominated by dense coniferous trees, come across a waterfall, walk to the ridge: the highest point of the trek, and get a glimpse of the culture of remote Himalayan villages. If that’s not enough, you are treated to stunning views of the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges. 

Click on the image to view the Video

View Manali Kaisdhar Trek

As we come to an end to this list of seven winter treks, we recommend you to explore at least one this year. To enjoy a grand snow experience, you can plan your winter treks in December or any other month till the end of March.

For a hassle-free experience, choose from the list of upcoming treks and book your winter trek with Indiahikes.

If you need help making a decision, drop in a comment below.

We’ll help you out!

FAQs

What are some of the most popular winter treks in India at the moment?

Some of the most popular winter treks in India include the Kuari Pass Trek, the Kedarkantha Trek, the Chopta Chandrashila Trek and the Sandakphu Trek. While all these treks are easy for beginners and family groups, Indiahikes offers necessary guidance and helps you prepare mentally and physically for your winter trek.

Which are the best winter treks in India for beginners?

Dayara Bugyal and Brahmatal are among the easy-to-moderate winter treks for beginners. Both of these Uttarakhand treks are equally rewarding, as they offer vast meadows blanketed in shimmering white snow in winter. From Brahmatal summit, you get a view of majestic mountains like Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti.

Swathi Chatrapathy

Chief Editor

About the author

Swathi Chatrapathy heads the digital content team at Indiahikes. She is also the face behind India's popular trekking video channel, Trek With Swathi. Unknown to many, Swathi also writes a weekly column at Indiahikes which has more than 100,000 followers.

A TEDx speaker and a frequent guest at other events, Swathi is a much sought after resource for her expertise in digital content.

Before joining Indiahikes, Swathi worked as a reporter and sub-editor at a daily newspaper. She holds a Masters's in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates the mind more than anything else. Through trekking, Swathi hopes to bring about a profound impact on a person's mind, body and spirit.

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