Is The Gaumukh Trek Open?

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Is The Gaumukh Trek Open?

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By Saba Husain

2022-09-08

Is the Gaumukh Trek Open?

Gaumukh trek is open for both pilgrims and trekkers mainly between May to October. 

May - June (Summer season) is a good time for both pilgrims and trekkers to visit. 

July - August (Monsoon season) is not recommended for trekkers as it is untenable, but pilgrims can still visit during this season. 

September - October (Autumn season) is the most recommended season for trekkers though it's less popular with pilgrims.

When is the best time to go to Gaumukh Tapovan?

Summer and Autumn are the best times to go for the Gaumukh Tapovan Trek.

Gaumukh Tapovan in May and June

Day Time Temperature: Between 15 °C to 20 °C 

Night Time Temperature: At night, the temperature drops to almost 0 °C

Snow/Rain in Summer: You will find receding snow on the trail. Unpredictable precipitation.

Summer is a popular time to do the Gaumukh Tapovan trek, especially for trekkers who are drawn to trekking in snow.

In early summers, you will find snow along the trail. This is also the time when you cross the Bhagirathi river over the natural snow bridges. The snow remains till Gaumukh and sometimes even beyond until the mid of May.

But by mid-summer (late May-early June), you will find the final traces of snow. But you’ll start noticing the sparse vegetation of the valley. The little vegetation that you find on the trail (most of which lies on the way to Chirbasa) starts turning green.

Gaumukh Tapovan in September & October  

Day-time Temperature: Around 15 °C 

Night Time Temperature: Temperatures can go as low as 3-5 °C below 0 °C

Snow/Rain: The weather is stable with clear skies. Low chances of precipitation.

The setting shifts as we move to autumn. This is the best season to do the Gaumukh Tapovan trek for excellent views of the entire valley.

Autumn also brings colours to the trail. The vegetation en route to Chirbasa turns into shades of yellows, browns and maroons. The Bhagirathi too turns a deeper shade of blue. Its flow is gentler compared to summers.

This happens because the drop in temperatures freezes the glaciers and streams, constricting the flow of water. All of this adds a little bit of colour to the otherwise stark valley.

Compared to summer, the autumn season on the Gaumukh Tapovan trail is shorter. It’s barely 4-5 weeks long. There’s a reason why this season wraps up so quickly.

The region experiences pre-winter snows sometime in October. More so at higher elevation campsites like Bhojbasa and above. So, after mid-October, the weather makes trekking untenable. It is time to wind up the season again until the summer next year.

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How do I get permission for Gaumukh Trek?

As you will be trekking through the Gangotri National Park, a permit is required to do this trek. This can be obtained at the Forest Department Office in Gangotri. All details are available on the Uttarakhand Forest department portal - https://www.swstourismuki.com/  The office visiting hours are - 8:00 to 10:00 am and 5:00 to 7:00pm. The fee is 150 INR pp for Indians and 600 INR pp for foreigners.

If registering online, you need to upload a scanned copy of photo id - Adhaar card/ Passport copy and CoVid vaccination certificate. Details  of the Permission Letter will be sent on the email address used while registration.

If you are visiting the office directly, carry all the photocopies of the above mentioned documents.

If you are 60 years and above, you are required to upload/carry a medical fitness certificate. 

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Saba Husain

About the author

Saba Husain is an avid trekker who has completed many Himalayan treks including Brahmatal and Markha Valley. She comes from the education sector with more than a decade worth of experience in leading, coordinating and mentoring teachers and students. A yoga practitioner who enjoys long distance walking and cycling, she epitomizes the concept and science of ‘mind over body’. A firm believer in the philosophy ‘everyone must trek as it transforms lives’, she has taken her passion for trekking to educate beginners moving into this exciting space by sharing her experiences.