I’m super excited to announce our new trek!
To begin with, ridge treks are extremely uncommon in our country. There are hardly a handful. And the Phulara Ridge Trek is already looking to be one of the best.
While the Phulara ridge is a huge highlight, there are at least 4 other things to look out for on this trek. I’ll get to those in a bit.
First, let’s talk about the ridge, because from what my colleague Suhas Saya says, “nothing beats it!” He explored this trail in April 2017 and cannot stop singing praises of it!
The thrilling ridge-walk
This trail starts off from Sankri, which is in western Uttarakhand, almost touching Himachal. If you are familiar with Kedarkantha, it has the same base camp, Sankri. However, the trail to Phulara ridge heads in a different direction.
From Sankri, over two days and two camps, you climb up to the Phulara ridge. That’s when the fun begins. You traverse this ridge for a long time — it’s almost an entire day’s trek.
“It’s a great feeling to be standing up there! There are snow-capped mountains at eye level. Clouds float at your feet. Below you, the ground sweeps down on either side. You’re absolutely on the edge and you walk along this stretch for nearly 4-5 hours! It’s nothing like I’ve experienced before,” he says. (Between you and me, Suhas is not someone who is easily impressed. He’s got enough trek experience to last a lifetime. So if Suhas speaks in superlative terms, it has got to be good!)
Do you see that ridge extending all the way in the distance? Yes, that’s your trail on this trek. Picture By: Suhas Saya
Apart from the ridge itself, he says there are lots of things to look out for on this trek.
First, of course, the mountain views from the ridge.
While walking on a ridge is an experience in itself, being able to see big mountains at eye-level is something else!
It’s rare to be at such a high point for so many hours on any trek. You might know that if you have done a summit climb. You stand at the summit for perhaps 20-30 minutes, from where you get great views of the mountains around.
On this trek though, you’re at a high point (around 12,000 ft) for nearly 4-5 hours, and the panoramic view stays with you throughout!
“For me, it felt like the mountains were trekking along with me. I was hoping it would never end,” says Suhas.
Mountain views of the Garhwal Himalayas from the Phulara Ridge Trek.
Next, the forests.
“There are very different forests for such a short trail. You walk through oaks and pines on the first day. And on the last day of the trek, you see different kinds of oaks, pines, dwarf rhodos, silver birches and maples,” says Suhas.
“And there was nobody else on the trail. I had the forest all to myself. I felt like the chirps, the whistles, the rustles were all saved just for me,” he adds with a smile.
With nobody else on the trail, forest walks are always a pleasure!
Initial Ascent through lovely pine forests. Keep your ears and eyes open to spot birds. Picture by Suhas Saya
Then the alpine meadows of Pushtara
Once you’re out of the forest, the alpine meadows suddenly come onto you! Folds and folds of carpeted green hills spread out as far as your eyes can see. “The meadows seemed endless! I remember thinking how there was so much packed into such a short trek!”
And Suhas went when the meadows were just beginning to flower — in April. And he camped right in the middle of it. 🙂 This is where you’ll be camping too.
He says the trek needs to be seen when there are flowers. Which is why we have scheduled the trek in September, when we’re likely to see post-monsoon flora.
Beautiful wild flowers cover most of the trails. Picture By: Suhas Saya
Finally, the birds on the trail
When I asked Suhas whether he spotted birds on the trail, he just had one thing to say.
“What birds? I spotted not one, not two, but 11 Himalayan monals on the trail.” Monals are very shy birds. It’s super rare to spot them. Monals, next to peacocks are the most colourful birds you’ll ever see.
He also spotted barbets, woodpeckers, Himalayan whistling thrushes, drongos and many other birds whose names he wasn’t sure of.
The Himalayan Monal (male) PC: Ajit Hota
Enough said. I hope you can be one of the first trekkers to set foot on this trail.
It’s a trek with a rare highlight of a ridge-walk. Which, frankly, is one of its kind in India. A 6-day trek, of easy-moderate difficulty. It’s perfect for first timers and an unusual trail for experienced trekkers.
We have put out four dates. Take a look at the trek dates and details here
Suhas himself is the Trek Coordinator for this trek. If you have any questions, just shoot an email to him on firstname.lastname@example.org.
What you should do now
1. Head over to the Phulara Ridge Trek page.
2. If you want to work with us: Head over to our careers page. We have lots of positions open. So the sooner you apply, the better.
3. If you ended up here by chance and were actually looking for treks to do: Then head over to our upcoming treks page. You’ll find all our Himalayan treks there.
4. If you want to see the 13 best treks of India: Then get our free guide book here.