Easy-Moderate | Level 2
8 to 55 years
8 to 55 years
Easy-Moderate | Level 2
One of the Finest Summit Climbs for Beginners
Kedarkantha (not to be confused with the popular Temple Kedarnath) is a 6-day long trek in Govind Pashu Vihar National Park in Uttarakhand (6 when including the travel days from Dehradun to the base camp and back). Kedarkantha is easily one of the most popular treks in India — popular amongst seasoned trekkers and beginners alike.
There are many reasons why it is a very popular trek to do in the Indian Himalayas. The most important of them is this — the summit climb.
The summit climb of Kedarkantha is a very rewarding one. Right from the base camp of the trek, the summit looms large. As you start your trek in the early hours of the morning and steadily climb up the steep slope, the world opens up around you.
The climb is not easy. The entire stretch is steadily steep. As you get closer to the summit, it gets tricky as well. But the big mountains of the upper Himalayas keep you company until you finally reach the summit.
As you stretch yourself and take in the views of the Himalayas from the summit, you feel a strong sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. This is an unparalleled feeling.
Very few treks offer the same adventure, making it popular among beginners for its finest summit climb.
Outside the summit, the trek is also unique for its beautiful clearings. Very rarely you will find stunning clearings on a trek that makes way for some rest spots and beautiful campsites. This trek is filled with clearings on all the different routes. What's more, the clearings are just at the right locations, giving you beautiful vantage points to appreciate the trek and its views.
The third biggest reason this trek is unique is its beautiful forests. All three routes have beautiful diverse forests that will immerse you. If you are not careful, you will get lost in them (in a good way).
Watch these videos to plan and prepare for your trek.
Day-wise elevation chart of the Kedarkantha trek.
Drive from Dehradun to Kotgaon
Drive Distance: 200 km | Duration: 10-11 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Grand Legacy (near Laal Pull) Hotel, Dehradun
Transport will be arranged at 6.30 AM. The cab can also pick you up from Library Chowk, Mall Road, Mussoorie at 7.30 AM. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of the cab – Rs.6,500 per vehicle for an SUV, shared among 5-6 trekkers, or Rs.10,000 per vehicle for a Tempo Traveller, shared among 11-12 trekkers.
Trek from Kotgaon to Khujaai
Trek Distance: 5.20 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Gain: 5,570 ft to 8,920 ft
Moderate. Gradual ascent for 2 – 2.5 hours followed by a steep ascent. Carry 2 litres of water. There’s one water source half way through the trek
Trek from Khujaai to Dhoka
Trek Distance: 3.50 km | Trek Duration: 3.5 hours | Altitude Gain: 8,920 ft to 10,870 ft
Easy. A half kilometre of ascent to a meadow followed by half a kilometre of a level walk. Gradual ascent which becomes steep for the last 300 metres to Pukhrola. Carry sufficient water. You will find streams along the trail to refill your water bottles.
Trek from Dhoka to Mohlani via Kedarkantha Summit
Trek Distance: 9 km | Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude Gain: 10,870 ft to 8,270 ft via 12,500 ft
Easy to moderate. 2-3 hours steep ascent to reach the summit. Steep descent to Akhoti Thatch. Carry two litres of water. The first water source is at Talkhetra, around 2 hours into the descent.
Trek from Mohlani to Kotgaon
Trek Distance: 4 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude Gain: 8,270 ft to 5,570 ft
Easy. Gradual descent all the way. Carry sufficient water. There is one water source, around 1.5 hours into the trek.
Drive back from Kotgaon to Dehradun
Drive Distance: 200 km | Drive Duration: 10-11 hours | Drop off point for Indiahikes trekkers: Grand Legacy (near Laal Pull) Hotel, Dehradun
This transport cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of the cab – Rs.6,500 per vehicle for an SUV, shared among 5-6 trekkers, or Rs.10,000 per vehicle for a Tempo Traveller, shared among 11-12 trekkers.
- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges
- On the trek, you will be staying 2 in a tent
- We have a Cloak Room facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.
Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.
Day-wise elevation chart of the Kedarkantha trek.
If you're planning your travel, choose to travel by bus instead of train. They're usually on time compared to trains. If you're travelling by train, choose the Jan Shatabdi Express and reach Dehradun a day before Day 1 of the trek.
While returning, you will reach Dehradun between 6.00 PM and 7.00 PM. Plan your travel any time after 9.00 PM from Dehradun. The Nanda Devi Express will suit your schedule well.
Campsites at a Glance
At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Kedarkantha trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.
Thanks to terrific clearings in forests, such as this one at Julota, there is no dearth of beautiful campsites on the Kedarkantha trek. Picture by Harish NN
A snowy Pukhrola Campsite in winter. Picture by Anirudh Gargi
The Akhoti Thatch campsite is surrounded by age-old coniferous trees. Picture by Jothiranjan
Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder
Trekking transforms lives. It has changed my life completely. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible.
I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences.
I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.
In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.
Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine.
What I Like and Don’t Like About the Kedarkantha Trek
What I Like About the Kedarkantha Trek
You’ll not see snow-laden pine forests like the Kedarkantha trek on any other trail.
Picture by: Bappaditya Chandra
Clearing in the Forest
Know Your Trek
We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.
Use this section to learn about the Kedarkantha trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.
Things Nobody Tells You About Kedarkantha
Did you know that you'll be trekking inside a wildlife sanctuary on the Kedarkantha Trek?
The Kedarkantha trek begins in the majestic Govind Pashu Vihar Sanctuary and National Park. The area is rich and filled with biodiversity. Flora and fauna in the sanctuary are of a Western Himalayan type.
There are three categories of Western Himalayan flora: Broadleaved forests, Subalpine conifer, and Subalpine shrubs and bushes. One of the best things about Kedarkantha is that you get to witness all three kinds.
During the ascent, you'll notice the striking change in flora and fauna. From forests and shrubs to vast meadows, Kedarkantha has it all.
In Kedarkantha, you get breathtaking views of the river Tons and Thamsa. The blue turquoise colour of river Tons can wash away your worries.
Not only this, India's first Snow Leopard project began here. Huge efforts have been made to conserve the Snow Leopards by the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary.
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