Latest Updates About Treks Affected By High Court Order

With the High Court imposing a ban on camping in the alpine meadows / bugyals of Uttarakhand, there has been a big impact on our treks and the routes.

This is because almost on all Uttarakhand treks, we camp in meadows. And that’s out of the picture now.

In this post, we’re putting together status updates from each trek and any changes in the route / itinerary that have come about as a consequence of the ban.

Let’s dive right into it.

Roopkund

This trek has taken the biggest hit. We are not running the trek.

The meadows of Bedni are central to the trek. You first camp in the forests of Gehrauli, then in the meadows of Bedni for two days and then proceed to the meadows of Pathar Nachuni.

Bedni Bugyal is at a crucial altitude. Trekkers usually camp there two nights to acclimatise better. Skipping that would mean an enormous increase in chances of altitude sickness.

So as of now, the Roopkund trek is off limits.

The dreamy Tarsar Lake on the Tarsar Marsar trek – perfect alternative to the Roopkund trek in September. Picture by Sudheer Hegde

If you have registered for the Roopkund trek with Indiahikes in September or October, here are your options.

(Your trek coordinator would have written to you with alternatives)

You have options to join these treks in September

1. Tarsar Marsar (Kashmir) **Recommended
2. Sandakphu (West Bengal)
3. Gaumukh Tapovan (Uttarakhand)
4. Hampta Pass (Himachal)

You have options to join these treks in October

1. Sandakphu (West Bengal) **Recommended
2. Buran Ghati (Himachal)
3. Gaumukh Tapovan (Uttarakhand)

Kedarkantha

We are running the Kedarkantha trek! The forest department has given us permission to run this trek.

However, we will be following this route.
Dehradun → Sankri → Juda Ka Talab → KK Base → KK Summit → Har Gaon → Sankri → Dehradun

The mesmerising Juda Ka Talab campsite on the Kedarkantha trail.

This was our old route to Kedarkantha. It’s what got Kedarkantha its popularity. It has few of the prettiest campsites amongst all our treks.

The only downside is that the trail might be a little crowded. That’s something we will have to cope with. But don’t worry, the vastness of the mountains will make up for it.

Our current route through Jalota and Pukhrola involves camping in what the forest department classifies as meadows. So that trail is inaccessible right now.

If you have registered for the Kedarkantha trek with Indiahikes:

Hold onto your registrations. Don’t make any changes in your plan. You will be going on the trek as scheduled.

However, you will be taking the new route. Most of us at Indiahikes fell in love with Kedarkantha because of this route. So don’t think twice, go for it.

Har Ki Dun

The Har Ki Dun trail too has been affected by the ban because the final Har Ki Dun campsite is in an alpine meadow.

So you will not be camping at Har Ki Dun.

Har ki Dun Vamsi Krishna Osla village farmlands with a view of the swargarohini in the backdrop
Trekking beside the Osla village farmlands with a view of the swargarohini in the backdrop

However, you will have a day to trek to Har Ki Dun and back from the Simatra campsite.

Will you be going to Jaundhar Glacier or Maninda Tal? Yes. Although both the places are beyond Har Ki Dun, the trek leader will take a call based on weather and other factors. Expect to go to one of these excursions.

What if you have signed up for the Har Ki Dun trek with Indiahikes?

Carry on with your trek and travel plan. You don’t have to make changes.

You will be following the same route. But the camp locations have been moved to accommodate changes in distance and altitude.

Here is the new itinerary.
Dehradun → Sankri → Drive to Taluka and trek to Gangaad → Osla → Simatra → Simatra to HKD and back → Chilurgad → Trek to Taluka and drive to Sankri → Dehradun

Dayara Bugyal

The Dayara Bugyal trek is also back in action.

You will be trekking in the grand meadows of Dayara and also going all the way to Dayara Top just as planned.

But you will not be camping in the Dayara Meadows. Instead, you’ll be camping in the forests.

If you have registered for the Dayara Bugyal trek with Indiahikes

Stick to your plan. Don’t make any changes in your travel.

There are changes in the route though.

The addition is the trek from Gui to Barnala. It’s a fantastic forest trail. And Dayara has few of the best forest trails compared to most Uttarakhand treks. So it will make up for not camping in the meadows.

Here’s what the route will look like:
Dehradun → Raithal → Gui → Barnala → Dayara Top and back to Barnala → Barsu → Dehradun

Kuari Pass

We have not yet received permission to organise this trek. Gorson Bugyal occupies a large part of the Kuari Pass trail. So this trek is still on hold.

What if you have registered with Indiahikes?

Don’t do anything yet. Stick to your plan. There is a way to do the trek without camping in the meadows. Once we get permission to trek there, which is likely to happen soon, we’ll let you know.

If your trek is in the next few weeks, then your trek coordinator will get in touch with you and let you know what steps to take.

Gaumukh Tapovan

This trek has not been affected by the High Court order.

Camping at Tapovan has been called off so you will be camping at Bhojbasa and instead be going on an excursion to Tapovan from there.

A view of the Bhagirathi sisters on the way to Gaumukh Tapovan. Picture by Sushma Honnappa

If you have registered for this trek with Indiahikes:

You have nothing to worry about. Go ahead and have a good trek.

Here’s what your itinerary will look like:
Dehradun → Dharali →Chirbasa(via Gangotri) → Bhojbasa → Acclimatisation walk to Gaumukh and back to Bhojbasa → Dharali (via Gangotri) → Dehradun

If you have questions, drop in a comment and we’ll help you.

PS: We have not updated these fresh itineraries on the main trek pages because these are temporary changes.


What you should do now

1. If you want to work with us: Head over to our careers page. We have lots of positions open. We also have lots of applications coming in. So the sooner you apply, the better.

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Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy is the Chief Editor at Indiahikes. She heads the content team and runs a video series called Trek With Swathi. Before joining Indiahikes, she worked as a reporter and sub-editor at Deccan Chronicle. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications such as Deccan Herald. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates that mind like nothing else can. Through her work at Indiahikes, she hopes to let more people experience this sense of liberation, by spreading information about trekking and by instilling the right spirit of trekking in them.Read Swathi's other articles. Watch Swathi's video series here.

35 thoughts on “Latest Updates About Treks Affected By High Court Order

    1. Hi Utkarsh that’s a long way away. We have been in touch with the forest departments. Hopefully, we will get permission to run the trek in the next few weeks.

  1. Hello mam.
    I am planning dayara bugyal winter trek (23rd dec batch)soI just want to ask you if dayara bugyal winter trek is on??

  2. Thanks Swathi. What about the treks in December? I have registered for Kuari Pass on 24-29 Dec and want to know the alternates available at the same time in Himachal or elsewhere outside UK.

    1. Hi Manish, we have received permission to run Dayara Bugyal and Kedarkantha. So you could shift to those. Kuari Pass looks a bit doubtful.

      1. Thanks Swathi. I shifted my trek to Dayara bugyal but i got a mail today from my trek coordinator that there’s a local union at Joshimath who does not want any outside organizations to run the trek. So the treks are likely get affected again? Do i need to worry even after getting permission from forest dept.?

        1. Same here . I did not cancel my trek/flights for Darya Bugyal after reading this article .However i received a mail yesterday from India hikes that it is still not certain . I am in a fix now .Which information I have to go by ?

    1. We are still waiting for permission from the forest department to run the Brahmatal trek. We are likely to get it though.

    1. Hi Suraj,

      We are hopeful of getting permissions for Kedartal. The papers haven’t been issued yet but a good chance of this to be successful.

      Thanks,
      Aditya

  3. Hi Swati,
    Thank you for all the efforts to put together such useful information. Can one still camp at Tapovan?

    Kind regards
    Singh

  4. Hello,
    Any latest updates on HAr Ki Dun Camping? Can’t even we stay at GMVNL tourist guest house to cover Jaundhar Glacier or Maninda Tal?

    Thanks,
    Sumeet

    1. Hi Keerti, the Deoriatal-Chandrashila trek is closed. Camping is not allowed at Deoriatal or Chopta. It has been closed for more than 6 months and is not likely to open.

  5. Hello mam,
    We are planning Kedarkantha trek in oct. We are 8 adults want to do this trek without help of any agencies. Now my question is that will forest dept give permit for this trek?

    1. Hi Rajdeep, then perhaps you’ll have to speak to a guide and take a written permission beforehand. It’s best to contact a local.

  6. What is approximate distance between Simatra camp site and Har ki Doon? Whether it will be possible to reach before sunrise?

  7. Hello mam i have booked dayara bugyal trek but i received an email today stating that some local union is opposing the trek so what is the status of the trek?

  8. Hi Swathi!
    We have registered for Brahmatal 30th Dec batch. Is Brahmatal trek affected by the order? If yes, then what are the alternatives for us?

    1. Hi Himanshu,

      December is still some time away. We’re hopeful that the trek will open up by then. If not, we will give you an alternative in the same date range. We will also keep you updated with the latest on this.

      Thanks,
      Aditya

    1. Hi Abhishek, both of them are of similar difficulty. But Sandakphu would be a better choice if you’re a first timer. You won’t get a camping experience though, because you’ll be staying in tea houses. If you would like to camp in tents, and have that wilderness experience, then Har Ki Dun is the trek to do.

  9. I registered for Kuari Pass trek 8th Oct batch. Is there any possibility of this trek going through?
    Has the Joshimath local union issue been sorted out?

  10. Hi Swathi I have registered for Kuari Pass trek for 29th Oct Is this trek going through and if not is there any other alternative trek to do

    1. Hi Omi, there seems to be some issue with the local union in Joshimath. If that gets sorted, then we’ll be able to do the trek. If you have already registered, your Trek Coordinator will be in touch with you regarding the plan of action.

  11. While lifting ban for military personnel the Uttarakhand high court had decided to relook the possibility of extending the facility to civilian trekkers also and had expressed some decision would be taken on 24th Sept.2018. Any update?

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