A rare weekend trek with views of 55 high mountains
The name Deoban comes from “Deo”, which refers to Deodar trees and “ban”, which means forests. True to it’s name, the trek has one of the few Uttarakhand trails that is dominated by Deodar trees.
Usually, in Uttarakhand trails, you find clumps of these trees growing together in a mixed forest, but not an entire trail filled them. An entire trail of Deodar trees is something that is mostly found in Kashmir or Himachal. In Uttarakhand, it’s fFaa rarity.
Picture the woodsy scent of the sap surrounding you as you walk among these incredibly tall trees. They are so tall, you might be giving yourself a neck ache trying to look at their tops. These trees are over 600 years old and their age seems to lend a certain sentience to them. It is no wonder that trees were named “devdaru” – which comes from Sanskrit word that means “divine wood”/ “timber of Gods”.
To experience this alone, you must do the Deoban trek.
55 Mountains To Watch Out For
In just two days, Deoban weekend trek offers you a view that is exclusive. On a clear day, you can spot close to 55 mountains from the highest point of this trek — including Nanda Devi, the tallest mountain entirely in India. This is a rare feast for the eyes. It is difficult to find these views on a seven day trek, much less a two day one!
The view from the summit. Picture by Trek Leader Tanmay
This weekend trek is quite close to the popular hill station of Chakrata (22 km away to be precise). It’s easily accessible from New Delhi and Dehradun. You can make it to the top and back just over a weekend. Wonderous forests, clearings and great mountain views – frankly, this trek is far too rewarding!
Banner image by Mahipal Bhisht
Day 1: Pick up from Dehradun Railway Station at 6.30 am.
Drive from Dehradun to Lokhandi.
Trek from Lokhandi to Sarswati Campsite (8,193 ft)
Trek distance: 3.5 km
Day 2: Trek from Sarswati (8,193 feet) to Vyas Point (9,279 feet) and back to Koti Kanasar
Trek distance: 6.26 km ascent + 10 km descent
Drive back to Dehradun.
Reach Dehradun Railway Station by 8 pm.
Important points to note:
1. The breakfast during transit from Dehradun to Koti Kanasar is not included in the trek fee.
2. You will be staying in tents overnight (3 per tent).
3. Keep your original govt. approved ID card with you.
4. Ti reach Dehradun, avoid the Mussoorie Express. It’s always late. Take the Nanda Devi Express or Jan Shatabdi Express.
5. Plan your return travel post 9 pm from Dehradun.
Day 1: Dehradun to Lokhandi to Sarswati.
Distance: 90 km drive and 3.5 km trek.
Time: 4 hrs drive and 2 hr trek.
The road journey from Dehradun to Lokhanditakes 4 hours and passes through hill towns of Chakrata and Sahiyya. The trek starts from Lokhandi after lunch.
The trek today is a short one – only 3 km. It begins with a small walk on the road which goes to Koti Kanasar and a gradual ascent from the village, deeper into the forest filled with Deodar and big Pine trees.
After a gradual ascent of 500 m, the pine dominated forest starts becoming more dense. Here, you literally walk on the edge of the mountain on very narrow trail.
From here, the ascent becomes very gradual , almost flat but still narrow. The trail opens up in small meadow type area after 30 minutes. Use this as a rest stop.
The trail goes further to the right, heading North East. The sun hardly reaches the ground here. If you’re trekking in winter months, around here is where you’ll start to see snow.
Watch out for another ridge, which you will soon have to cross. The trail here is mostly mud, rocks and some snow in winter. The trail ascends for another 90 minutes or so and then begins to descend gradually. Throughout, the trail is well-marked and hard to miss. As a land mark, you’ll spot a couple of chaniya huts on the trail.
Once you’ve covered 2.5 km from Lokhandi, the trail gets steeper and goes down to a clearing surrounded by tall trees. This is your camp for the night. It’s the Saraswati Campsite.
Towards the north of the camp, you’ll find snow covered mountains peeking at you. The campsite has a hidden water source. It has potable water even in winter. This campsite gets cold at night, so wear your layers.
Day 2: Sarswati to Vyas Point and back to Koti Kanasar via Sarswati. Ride back to Dehradun
Distance: Total 16.07 km trek; 6.26 kms ascent and 9.81 km descent. Then 110 kms drive to Dehradun.
Time: 6 hrs of trek and 3.5 hrs drive
Today is a long trek. Aim to leave by 5 am. There will be no water source on the way, so you need to carry sufficient water (atleast 2 litres). It begins with a steep ascent, after 800 mtrs of which you will see couple of ‘Chhanni’ (Shepherd’s Shelter). The trail ascends through mixed forest of pine, oak and after 600 mtrs, it merges with another trail that comes from Chauniya.
The climb to Vyas Point will be gradual. After 550 mtrs, the trail opens to a clearing and there will be a majestic view of the mountain on your left.
The trail now moves through sparse, light jungle. On your right, after about 1.25 kms, spot Jadi village and many more towns through a clearing. The Shivalik range can be seen in their different hues. As those mountains fall on the west, the light that falls on them in the morning makes them come alive in a way that takes your breath away.
Another 200 mtrs from this spot, is the view of a greater mountain on your left. It is almost like you don’t know where to look with the Shivaliks and the Greater Himalayan ranges competing for your attention. Then the trail will merge with kachha motorable road that comes from Jadi village to Forest Office, Vyas Point.
After 700 mtrs on this road, take the trail that goes up on your left. After 400 mtrs of steep climb, the last one for the day, you will reach Vyas Point. A mesmerizing view awaits at the top!
The Himalayan mountains – fifty-five of them – bathed in sunlight. The peaks you will see include
Swargarohini Massif( 6252 meters)
Kirti Stambh(6270 meters)
Mandani parvat(6193 meters)
Nanda Ghunti(6309 meters)
Sumeru Parvat(6351 meters)
Bethartoli Massif(6352 meters)
Rangrik Rang(6553 meters)
Gangotri Massif(6672 meters)
Chaukhamba Massif(7138 meters)
Kedarnath Peak(6940 meters)
and Majestic Nanda Devi(7816 meters).
It is a very rare experience to view all this in a weekend trek.
Take the same trail back to Sarswati where you can have lunch. Descend to Koti Kanasar and take the ready cabs. You will reach Dehradun by 8 pm.
How to get to Koti Kanasar
Delhi → Dehradun → Koti kanasar
Koti Kanasar is a small village on the border of the Dehradun District and Sirmaur District. It shares its border with Himachal Pradesh, another Indian state.
Indiahikes organises transport from Dehradun to Koti Kanasar. The cost of the transport is included in the trek fee. The transport will be organised at 6.30 am from Dehradun Railway Station on Day 1. You will reach Koti Kanasar by 11.00 am.
To reach Dehradun
The best way to reach Dehradun is to take a train from Delhi. Here are the options –
- 12205 Nandadevi Express – 23.50 – 5.40
- 12055 DDN Jan Shatabdi – 15.20 – 21.10 (reach the previous night)
If you cannot find a train, then take a bus. To stay on the safe side, book buses online in advance. Book such that you have some buffer time to make it to Dehradun on time for the pick-up; buses usually get delayed.
The trek ends back at Koti Kanasar. Indiahikes arranges transport from here to Dehradun. The cost is included in your trek fee. You will reach Dehradun late in the evening. Book your onward journey from Dehradun after 10.00 pm.
The Deoban trek is classified as an easy-moderate trek. It is not a very difficult trek in summer and autumn. In winter, it could be a little challenging with a lot of snow.
For your cardiovascular endurance
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.
Here’s a fitness routine that works:
In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, phase out your distance targets in the following manner –
–>Target completing 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin.
–> Gradually increase your pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in 40 mins.
–>If you are 45 years or above, try to cover 5km in less than 47 minutes.
If you are somebody you prefers cycling over running, then try to cover 18 km in 60 minutes.
How to send us a proof of your fitness routine? It is not mandatory on this trek, but you can still send us.
Record your run on an app like Nike Run. Start recording your run when you start running. At the end of your run, hit the stop button.
Take a screenshot of the summary of your run and upload.
Here’s a guide to help you get fit for the trek.
Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.
On this page, you will find
Useful videos to help you with your gear
1. Trekking shoes: The terrain may be rough and you will need trekking shoes with good grip. Regular sports shoes will not be comfortable enough. You can watch this video to learn how to choose the right trekking shoes.
2. Backpack (30-40 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame. Rain cover for backpack is essential.
On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. But enough to keep you warm.
1. Three warm layers (Winter): The highest altitude you reach in this trek is 9,914 ft and the climate may require you to have more warm clothes. You will need at least three warm layers (two lights layers such as fleece and woollen and one padded jacket) for this trek. In non winter months, two warm layers should suffice.
2. One trek pant: One pair of pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry an extra pair just in case it rains. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
3. Two collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Again, wear one and carry one. Let one of these be a dri-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes after reaching the campsite fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek.
4. Thermals (Optional): Those who are more susceptible to cold can carry thermals to wear at night.
1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. There might be snow closer to the lake, so carry a pair of sunglasses.
2. Suncap: The sun is more hard at high altitudes, which is why a sun cap is mandatory.
3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of fleece or woollen hand gloves which is water resistant.
4. Balaclava or a woollen cap
5. Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.
- Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. We do not like biodegradable wet wipes because they take a long time to decompose in the mountains. Use toilet paper instead.
- Sanitary waste: Make sure you bring your used sanitary napkins back to the city with you. Carry a zip lock bag to put used napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose sanitary napkins in the mountains.
- Cutlery:Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons. We do not allow biodegradable or disposable cutlery on our treks.
- Two water bottles: 1 liter each
- Plastic covers: While packing, use Ziploc covers to compartmentalization of things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes. You also need ziploc packets to keep soiled sanitary napkins if you use them on the trek.
Mandatory Personal Medical Kit
- Diamox – 6 tablets (to prevent AMS)
- Crocin – 3 tablets (fever)
- Avomine – 3 ablets (motion sickness)
- Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
- Combiflam – 4 tablets (Pain killer)
- Norflox TZ & Lomofen– 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
- Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
- Omez/ Rantadine – 3 tablets (antacids)
- Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
- Gauze – 1 small roll
- Band aid –5 strips
- Cotton – 1 small roll
- ORS – 10 packets
- Betadine or any antiseptic cream
- Moov spray (aches, & sprains)
- Knee cap, if you are prone to knee injury
- Anti fungal powder
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
- Disclaimer- Download PDF
If you’re shopping or packing for the trek, you can download this quick and simple checklist for offline use.
Rent gear from Indiahikes
How safe is the Deoban trek?
The Deoban trek is an easy trek. Though it’s an easy trek there are certain things that you must be aware of. The trek is a short trek but it can get really sunny as you walk up. Dehydration is something that is really common if you don’t have enough fluids to hydrate yourself.
At Indiahikes, safety of a trekker comes first. You will experience it first hand on the slope. Your team is accompanied by experienced trek leaders, safety gears, high end trek equipment, high altitude first aid kits and most importantly the right information.
If there is a medical emergency on the trek, your trek leaders are trained to handle crisis, especially related to altitude and medical emergencies. Indiahikes team carries high altitude medical equipment, oxygen cylinders, and other emergency kits.
Most situations are resolved by the trek leader’s intervention. If, however, evacuation is required, it is carried out by the Indiahikes team. There are plenty of exit points throughout the trek so any evacuation needed is taken care of. The affected participant is moved down to the nearest emergency medical centre as soon as possible. This can take time, even 1-2 days, especially from high camps. Medical expenses, if required, at the medical centre are to be borne by the participant.
What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety
Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.
Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:
1. Fitness criteria before registration
Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Nag Tibba trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Nag Tibba trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.
2. Monitoring health on a trek
On the Nag Tibba trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required. Your blood pressure levels will be checked if the need arises.
3. High Altitude Medical Kit
Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.
4. High Altitude Trek Equipment
To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.
All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.
With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.
Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.
5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek
You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.
We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please login to your account and cancel.
Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.
The cancellation charges are as under:
Cancellations prior to 7 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellations less than 7 days from the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (bank charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.
A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important. You need to be able to jog a distance of 5 km in 40 mins before the start of the trek. Unable to do so can make your trek difficult.
In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.
Indiahikes has the right to reject trekkers who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.
Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason a trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.
Backpack offloading charges – Rs 500 plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 335 per day, plus GST of 5%. You can opt for offloading directly your dashboard after your payment is done for the trek.
Partial offloading is not allowed. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.
Transport from Dehradun to Lokhandi and return to Dehradun will be arranged by us and is included in the trek fee.
Can you pick me from Mussoorie?
Mussoorie is not on the way, we take the route from Dehradun to Chakrata and then Lokhandi. You will have to come to Dehradun station.
How do we reach Lokhandi?
Indiahikes will arrange pick – up vehicles/shared cabs from Dehradun to Lokhandi at 6.30 am. This will be in shared cabs. The transportation cost is included in your trek fee.
Is there an option to offload my backpack on this trek?
Yes, there is an option to offload your backpack. This will cost Rs.500 + 5% GST if you inform us in advance. If you decide to offload once you reach Koti Kanasar the amount will be Rs.335 per day + 5% GST. The offloaded bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. Strolleys, duffel bags, suitcases etc. are not allowed. Online offloading in advance is possible up to two days prior to the trek start date.
Is there mobile network on this trek? Are there any electricity charging points on this trek?
You will receive good network up to Dehradun after which it will be intermittent. There are some spots on the trek where signal is might be available. So make sure you finish your important telephone calls before starting from there, and inform family members about poor connectivity during the trek. You will not have access to electricity charging points anywhere during the trek.
Do you have a locker facility?
You can leave your extra luggage for the trek in the vehicle that takes you to the basecamp, we do not have any other facility.
Ensure you do not keep any valuables at the base.
Laptops, mobile phones, cash or any important items cannot be kept here.
Can I change into trekking clothes before the trek starts?
You can use the Dehradun railway station rest rooms, they are clean. Or the next place is the campsite on the trek.
In our years of experience as a trekking organisation, we have observed that adults imbibe lessons from the outdoors on a daily basis. Children are much more receptive to the world in their growing years. It is the perfect time to inculcate valuable lessons from trekking which will stay with them throughout their life.
On a family trek, not only are you exposing your child to trekking at a young age but you are also deepening your bond as a family. Trekking facilitates this sense of heightened bond as well their own personal growth.
Kedarkantha is right up there as one of the best treks for children.It’s a trek that comes with a huge sense of achievement upon climbing the summit at 12,500 ft! The bonus is that it covers short distances everyday and you’re at the next campsite before lunch!
This initiative is under the Experiential Learning Programme.
How Is It Different From A Regular Trek?
Family treks will have only families with their children of age limit 8 to 17. Children of age 13-17 can also join this trek without their parents. Further we also have scholarships for children trekking as part of the family treks. For 8 -12 year olds 50 % scholarship, and for 13-17 year olds a 30% scholarship.
Parents have the support and comfort of having other parents in the same group. Children will trek and be engaged in activities along with other children. This will encourage them to form meaningful bonds of friendship.
On the first day, we will organise the children into teams. They will be responsible for certain camp related activities and will switch roles every other day.
Here’s a peek into what the teams will do:
- The Camp set-up team oversees pitching of tents. They make sure pitching and dismantling is done properly. They also help those who need assistance.
- The Green Trails team ensures that everyone are engaged with keeping the trails and campsites clean. They oversee waste segregation. They see to it that the toilets and washing areas are set up and clean.
- The Cooking team assists the cook and helps in serving all meals. They ensure that all eat well and there is no wastage.
- The Trek Leader Assistants team assists the Trek Leader in keeping discipline with regard to timing. They will also aid those who are struggling or need any help.
Along with this there will also be co-operative games, star gazing on clear nights, story time, wilderness survival tips and knowledge sharing sessions.
Reflections at the end of each day will allow children to contemplate their learnings and experiences of the day. It’s a time of introspection and gratitude.
What Scholarships we provide
We are offering a scholarship to all children trekking with us on the exclusive family batches.
- 8 – 12 year olds – 50% scholarship
- 13 – 17 year olds – 30% scholarship
You can follow these steps to avail them:
Step 1: Click on the date that suits you on the selected trek page.
Step 2: Start the registration process. You will require unique emails IDs for all participants, including the children.
Step 3: For the scholarship – before making the payment, send an email with a proof-of-age of your child to email@example.com. Any id card with the Date Of Birth will do.
Note: Mention the subject line as “Proof of age for (selected trek).”
Step 4: Our Trek Coordinator will get back to you within 24 hours with a voucher for your child.
Step 5: Make the payment once you get a thumbs up from the Trek Coordinator.
Will My Child Be Safe on trek?
We understand that trekking with your child may cause you to worry about their safety. All our past family trekkers however have always found our treks to be safe.
Here are some of the commonly asked questions we receive from parents.
– Who will ensure safety on the trek?
Our Trek Leaders are certified Wilderness First Responders. They have been trained in wilderness survival and emergency medical aid. They are capable of taking care of any emergency on a trek.
Our staff is constantly in touch with each other though radio communication to ensure that all the children and safe and sound.
– What safety gear do you carry?
We carry fully stocked high altitude first aid kits, oxygen cylinders, ropes and stretchers. In addition to this these treks have easily accessible exit routes for any emergency evacuation. Click on this link to watch a video about what equipment we use.
– How do I prepare my children for a Himalayan Trek?
Active preparation is important for any trek, especially for children. Watch this video on how to get children trek fit.
Also remember to pack the right things for the trek.
Our Experience With Children
In 2018 alone, we have taken 943 children below 18 years of age on our Himalayan treks. This is not counting the 1000+ school students we have taken on local and Himalayan treks.
There is no doubt that children naturally learn more in the outdoors. The joyful memories created and the natural learning experienced can last a lifetime!
- There are 18 participants in a batch
- We usually overbook by 3 to bring down the total participants after cancellations to between 16-18. Rate of cancellation is usually between 4-5 in a batch.
- On cancellation the next participant on our waitlist is immediately sent an auto notification to confirm their participation.
- Chances of waitlist getting confirmed is 80% if registration is done about 45 days prior to trek start date. 70% between 30-45 days. 50% if less than 30 days.
- Batches that are 'full' have crossed their waitlist limit. Further slots are unlikely.