What Makes Kuari Pass A Terrific Winter Trek?

There are very few Himalayan ranges that are accessible in winter. And Kuari Pass happens to be one of them.

Kuari Pass receives its first snow-fall around last weeks of December. From then on, it turns into a delightful snow trek. It has everything a trek ought to have – wide expanses of meadows, rustic oak and deodar trees against the backdrop of beautiful snow capped peaks.

Kuari Pass in winter. Picture by Santanu Sain

It might not be hard to imagine how beautiful the scenery can get with a blanket of fresh snowfall, but to be there and wade through that snow is a completely different feeling! It’s wonderful! The trails leading from Tali Top to Kuari Pass gives one an impression of doing a full scaled Himalayan alpine expedition in truck loads of snow.

The Kuari Pass trail deep under a blanket of snow

All this, while the best of Indian Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Dronagiri, Kamet, Chaukhamba, Trishul, etc. stand in the distance watching over you. It’s a magnificent feeling!

Nanda Devi from Kuari Pass trek Indiahikes
Mt Nanda Devi – Gorson Bugyal offers outstanding views of India’s tallest summit

Not only do you trek in snow, but you have the rare chance of witnessing a snowfall. Especially if you time your trek right – in the last week of December. You’ll have a story to tell when you go to sleep in a grassy campsite and wake up to a snowed out campsite.

“Our campsite turned white within 10 minutes” writes Santanu Sain, who shot this picture.

Things to look out for Kuari Pass Winter Trek

1. The prospect of exploring the less traveled region of Himalayas in peak winter has its own lure. As you move away from the crowded town of Joshimath, you can observe the virtual silence in the air. No wonder silence is sacred in the Garhwal Himalayas.

2. The trail goes through a landscape that changes with each uphill heave and downward scurry. From the high passes swathed in silver oak, the route plunges through tunnels of rhododendrons. As you haul yourself up to the top of the pass, enjoy a spur of flying saucer clouds hovering over high mountains.

3.The historical route explored by Lord Curzon in 1905 is still popular among back-packers. The four-day trek is the marquee route along the western rim of the UNESCO-prescribed Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve and is a must for any mountain lover.

On the way to the Lord Curzon trail. Picture by Sushma Honnappa

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8 thoughts on “What Makes Kuari Pass A Terrific Winter Trek?

  1. Hi india hikes

    I will be doing my first trek towards Himalayas .. So I am interested in doing it with India hikes as your customer service is well famous ..

    I am thinking of doing the Kuari Pass trek with you guys so wanted to know if March would be a good time to trek or not as I am more of a snow person and want to feel snowfall so Is there any chances that In the month of March that route has snow fall ??

    Kindly reply … I wanted to book the slot for March then .. Awaiting your reply

    1. Hey Ankita
      March is a really good time to do the Kuari Pass trek if you want to trek on snow. Go ahead and book it I’d say 🙂

      1. I want to do my first trek soon and Kauri pass is the trek I zeroed in on! Unfortunately, I dont think I would be getting any leaves from my company until April end. Would it be a good idea to travel during April last week/ may 1st week? I am finding it difficult to take a decision here! Would the mountains be still snow-capped? Would it have the same beauty as in the start of April or before?

        1. Hi Anil,
          Kuari Pass will be beautiful even in the last week of April/first week of May. It is unlikely that you will get to trek through snow anywhere on the trail however, the big mountains that you see around will all be snow capped.
          Another trek you must consider if you are trekking in early May is Dayara Bugyal. The meadows on this trek are lush green and beautiful at this time.

  2. Hello, I am interested in doing Kuari Pass either mid April 13th or at the end of April 2019 around 28th. What will the conditions and temperatures be like mid April and end of April and do you have tours running at these times? Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Yani,
      April is spring time so you can expect so see snow begin to melt. The weather during this time is generally pleasant and temperatures can range from -5 to 10 degrees.
      Unfortunately, we are not running this trek for now. Because of the Uttarakhand High Court’s ban on camping in meadows, we can’t run this trek anymore because the best camping spots on this trail are in the meadow areas.