Difficulty

Moderate | Level 3

Duration

6 Days

Highest Altitude

12,345 ft

Age

10 to 55 years

Duration

6 Days

Age

10 to 55 years

Difficulty

Moderate | Level 3

Highest Altitude

12,345 ft

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Trek fee

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Phulara Ridge Trek

The Best Ridge Trek In Our Country

To begin with, ridge treks are extremely uncommon in our country. There is hardly a handful. In exploring the Phulara Ridge trek in April 2018, we discovered a ridge trek that is looking to be one of the best!

Now, a ridge is a place where two sides of the mountain meet. So the walk on a ridge is almost like one on a knife-edge, where there are just flanks of the mountain sloping down from either side of you. There are small ridge sections on a few Himalayan treks. However, to have an entire day’s trek on a ridge is unparalleled.

If you have done a summit climb, you would know that you stand at the highest point for perhaps 20-30 minutes. This is from where you get great views of the mountains around. On this trek though, you’re at a high point of 12,000 ft for a day’s worth of trek(4-5 hours!).

The 250-degree panorama of snow-capped mountains stays with you throughout! It almost gives you the feeling that these mountains are trekking along with you, as you traverse the ridge that curves its way into the landscape. Below you, the ground sweeps down on either side – one into a meadow, one into a valley. This is what makes Phulara Ridge a unique experience.

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Phulara Ridge Videos

Watch these videos to prepare well for your trek

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Quick Itinerary

Study this chart to know how much altitude you would gain/lose every day on the Phulara Ridge trek.

Day 1

Reach Kotgaon (6,397 ft)

Drive distance: 190 km | Drive Duration: 9-10 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Grand Legacy Hotel Lalpul, Dehradun or Library Chowk, Mussorie

Transport will be organised from 6.30 am. This costs Rs 6,500 per vehicle (for a 5-6 seater SUV) & Rs 10,000 per vehicle (for 11-12 seater Tempo Traveller) which is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Kotgaon to Sikolta

Trek Distance: 4.85 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 6,520 ft to 8,925 ft

A gradual ascent through a well-marked trail and the lovely pine forests. The sunlight cutting across the canopy is beautiful while you hear the birds chirping in these woods.

Day 3

Trek from Sikolta to Bhoj Gadi

Trek Distance: 4.45 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 8,925 ft to 11,170 ft

Another day of gradual ascent as you cross the tree line of pine, Deodhar, dwarf rhododendrons and enter the meadows of Bhoj Gadi. Watch out for the sunset where you get to witness the alpenglow of the mountain ranges.

Day 4

Trek from Bhoj Gadi to Pushtara via Phulara ridge

Trek Distance: 8.4 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude gain and loss: 11,170 ft to 9,860 ft via 12,345 ft

The most exciting day with the walk on the ridge for about 2-3 hours. As you walk on the ridge, you get the sense that the mountains with 250 degrees are trekking along with you. From the ridge, you descend down towards the meadows of Pushtara.

Day 5

Trek from Pushtara to Taluka. Drive to Kotgaon

Trek Distance: 8.1 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Drive Duration: 1.5-2 hours | Altitude loss: 9,860 ft to 6,520 ft

Descent through the denser mixed forest section compared to your first day. The trail is much more secluded and can get a bit tricky. So watch out for the trails going across. Keep your eyes open and do not get lost on the trail.

Day 6

Drive from Kotgaon to Dehradun

Drive Distance: 190 km | Drive Duration: 9-10 hours
Drop off point: Hotel Grand Legacy, Dehradun

This transport cost again has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. This costs Rs.6,500 per vehicle (for a 5-6 seater SUV) & Rs 10,000 per vehicle (for 11-12 seater Tempo Traveller) which is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id along with the mandatory documents of the Medical Certificate and Disclaimer form. This is required for trek permissions.

- There are no facilities at Kotgaon. Do not leave this or any other gears till the end.

- The stay at Kotgaon will be on our campus where we have a lodge.

- 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.

Study this chart to know how much altitude you would gain/lose every day on the Phulara Ridge trek.

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

The drive to Kotgaon takes you along the narrow mountain roads along the River Yamuna. Within an hour of driving from Dehradun, you reach Mussoorie. Further ahead, the journey takes you past Mori and Purola. You see beautiful valleys and forest cover throughout the journey. Cross the villages of Nainbagh, Naugaon, Purola, Jarmola, Mori Naitwar, and finally Kotgaon. The 18 km stretch of the dense pine forest after Purola and the drive through the Mori valley alongside River Tons will stay with you for a long time. Do not miss to watch out for them.

The village offers a beautiful view of the sun setting behind the greater Himalayas. The peaks of Swargarohini shimmer in the evening sun, standing tall over the ridges beyond Kotgaon.

Return Travel

The drive back to Dehradun follows the same route you took on your way up. The route is along the tributaries of Yamuna. The road goes along hugging the mountainside and you see the forests and valleys of Purola go by.
You are expected to reach back at Dehradun at around 7-8 pm. Plan your return journey on the next day.

Day 1

Reach Kotgaon (6,397 ft)

Drive distance: 190 km | Drive Duration: 9-10 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Grand Legacy Hotel Lalpul, Dehradun or Library Chowk, Mussorie

Transport will be organised from 6.30 am. This costs Rs 6,500 per vehicle (for a 5-6 seater SUV) & Rs 10,000 per vehicle (for 11-12 seater Tempo Traveller) which is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Kotgaon to Sikolta

Trek Distance: 4.85 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 6,520 ft to 8,925 ft

A gradual ascent through a well-marked trail and the lovely pine forests. The sunlight cutting across the canopy is beautiful while you hear the birds chirping in these woods.

Day 3

Trek from Sikolta to Bhoj Gadi

Trek Distance: 4.45 km | Trek Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 8,925 ft to 11,170 ft

Another day of gradual ascent as you cross the tree line of pine, Deodhar, dwarf rhododendrons and enter the meadows of Bhoj Gadi. Watch out for the sunset where you get to witness the alpenglow of the mountain ranges.

Day 4

Trek from Bhoj Gadi to Pushtara via Phulara ridge

Trek Distance: 8.4 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude gain and loss: 11,170 ft to 9,860 ft via 12,345 ft

The most exciting day with the walk on the ridge for about 2-3 hours. As you walk on the ridge, you get the sense that the mountains with 250 degrees are trekking along with you. From the ridge, you descend down towards the meadows of Pushtara.

Day 5

Trek from Pushtara to Taluka. Drive to Kotgaon

Trek Distance: 8.1 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Drive Duration: 1.5-2 hours | Altitude loss: 9,860 ft to 6,520 ft

Descent through the denser mixed forest section compared to your first day. The trail is much more secluded and can get a bit tricky. So watch out for the trails going across. Keep your eyes open and do not get lost on the trail.

Day 6

Drive from Kotgaon to Dehradun

Drive Distance: 190 km | Drive Duration: 9-10 hours
Drop off point: Hotel Grand Legacy, Dehradun

This transport cost again has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. This costs Rs.6,500 per vehicle (for a 5-6 seater SUV) & Rs 10,000 per vehicle (for 11-12 seater Tempo Traveller) which is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id along with the mandatory documents of the Medical Certificate and Disclaimer form. This is required for trek permissions.

- There are no facilities at Kotgaon. Do not leave this or any other gears till the end.

- The stay at Kotgaon will be on our campus where we have a lodge.

- 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.

PRO-TIPS

Onward Travel

The drive to Kotgaon takes you along the narrow mountain roads along the River Yamuna. Within an hour of driving from Dehradun, you reach Mussoorie. Further ahead, the journey takes you past Mori and Purola. You see beautiful valleys and forest cover throughout the journey. Cross the villages of Nainbagh, Naugaon, Purola, Jarmola, Mori Naitwar, and finally Kotgaon. The 18 km stretch of the dense pine forest after Purola and the drive through the Mori valley alongside River Tons will stay with you for a long time. Do not miss to watch out for them.

The village offers a beautiful view of the sun setting behind the greater Himalayas. The peaks of Swargarohini shimmer in the evening sun, standing tall over the ridges beyond Kotgaon.

Return Travel

The drive back to Dehradun follows the same route you took on your way up. The route is along the tributaries of Yamuna. The road goes along hugging the mountainside and you see the forests and valleys of Purola go by.
You are expected to reach back at Dehradun at around 7-8 pm. Plan your return journey on the next day.

The ridge walk is the highlight of the trek. This is the section when you are entering the highest point of the ridge with snow-capped mountains surrounding close to 270 degrees.

Picture by: Nitesh Kumar

Entering the highest point of the Ridge

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Phulara Ridge trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

One of the favourite campsites of Phulara Ridge would be this Bhoj Gadi Trek. The alpenglow from the campsite is a must-watch. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

Camping on the meadows of Phustara is an experience. Picture by Himanshu Singla

The first campsite near Sikolta. This is in a forest clearing. Picture by Harshal Choudhary

Suhas Saya

Head of DIY Team

Suhas is the head of the DIY and Documentation Team. He has been working at Indiahikes for the past 6 years. Nature, adventure, and wildlife are the top things that get his heart racing. He has done more than 10 Himalayan treks - a few of them are Roopkund, Kuari Pass, Dayara Bugyal, Buran Ghati, Kashmir Great Lakes, and Warwan Valley.

He has done a few explorations in the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, and around Bengaluru. And it was he who explored this grand Phulara Ridge trek.

What I Like and Don’t Like About Phulara Ridge Trek

What I Like About Phulara Ridge Trek

Suhas Saya

Head of DIY Team

Suhas is the head of the DIY and Documentation Team. He has been working at Indiahikes for the past 6 years. Nature, adventure, and wildlife are the top things that get his heart racing. He has done more than 10 Himalayan treks - a few of them are Roopkund, Kuari Pass, Dayara Bugyal, Buran Ghati, Kashmir Great Lakes, and Warwan Valley. He has done a few explorations in the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, and around Bengaluru. And it was he who explored this grand Phulara Ridge trek.

1. The Ridge Walk

Phulara Ridge Trek was a trek that we explored in 2018. 

I had done nine legendary treks before the Phulara Ridge. I call them legendary because they are some of the most loved treks of India. 

Yet, my experience on the Phulara Ridge was so very unique that it left me wondering why I had not done this trek earlier. This unique experience is what has made me want this trek to appear on the trekking map of our country.

First, it is the ridge. We have ridges on many of our treks, but none are like the Phulara ridge where you walk for almost 3 hours connecting one mountain top with another, on a long undulating ridge walk. Snow-capped mountains walk along with you. 

If that was not enough, as the ground slopes away, tiny flowers in myriad colours pop out under your feet. On the side of the slopes where the earth meets the treeline, you have dwarf rhododendrons hugging the sides. 

All along the knife-edge are bursts of mesmerising long meadows spanning the entire forest cover on both sides.

Walking on a ridge is like walking on a summit for several hours. Picture by Nithesh.

2. The Pushtara and Bhoj Gadi Meadows

On the second day, you get to the Bhoj Gadi meadows, a long clearing where shepherds have discovered a paradise for grazing their sheep. It is almost a perfect spot to pitch your tents. The evening when I was there, I witnessed the most glorious sunset as the sun dipped behind the Kedarkantha summit. I walked to the ridge to see the evening glows light up the entire valley below in colours hard to imagine. The vantage point of the Bhoj Gadi meadows is unique.

The next day, right after you descend from the Phulara ridge, you get to the Pushtara meadows. If I have been effusive about the Bhoj Gadi, then I am not sure what to say about Pushtara. Almost like a green carpet being rolled out, you have folds and folds of carpeted green hills spread out as far as your eyes can see. I wish I could have spent my entire life just sitting there, so splendid are the settings. 

In addition to the rolling grasslands, I also had a carpet of wildflowers in an equal stretch. But flowers or no flowers, Pushtara is a locale that will stay in your mind forever. 

Based on the season you trek, the colours of these meadows change dramatically. You may get a lush green verdant turf or a golden velvet filled with bright colours. I have done this stretch a few times in different seasons. Every time the colours have taken my breath away. 

You get to camp in the Pushtara meadows, which in June and September, are laden with wildflowers. Picture by Deb Dutto.

3. Seclusion of trekking through virgin forests

The seclusion of trekking in these virgin, almost untouched forests adds more to the adventure. 

One is the well-trodden trail on the first day of your trek. But the more interesting walk comes on your last day. These forests have rarely been trodden on. You are likely to be the only ones on the trail. The beauty of this is that the sounds of birds can be deafening in this section. 

The chirps and whistles of birds along with the sound of your feet crunching the leaves beneath your shoes are beautiful. You might even spot the shy Monals on the trek! On my exploration, I spotted eleven! 

The dense and serene forest section from Pushtara to Taluka

4. The local villages on the trek

Kotgaon, which is your base camp, has a very rich culture. It is a blend of Uttarakhand and Himachal with the richness of both. Spend some time at the temple, because it is rare that you get a temple on the edges of a large ground with the Swargarohini peaks as the backdrop. 

The village in itself has a very homely feeling. You want to spend more time exploring the culture.

The unique culture of Himachali touch in Uttarakhand of Kotgoan village. Picture by Jothiranjan

What I Don't like About Phulara Ridge Trek

1. Short Trekking Window

I wish the Phulara Ridge had a longer trekking window. This trek lies in the shadow region where snow doesn't melt until the end of the summer season. This is why there is only a very short window for doing this trek between the end of May and June. The next window is in Autumn between Mid September and early November.  

The trek is mesmerising. So make the most of this small gap of time to do this trek. 

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 Phulara Ridge 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 these extremely useful.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

PRO TIPS

Why fitness matters on the Phulara Ridge Trek

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On Moderate treks, you walk for about 6-8 km each day. The ascents and descents could get steep. The maximum altitude will range between 13,000 ft to 14,000 ft. You’ll come across tricky patches frequently (like snow or scree), which require you to navigate with a certain amount of caution. There might also be small stream/river crossings.

Your goal is to 5 km with an intention to finish within 35 minutes.

Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll also need to submit your Treadmill Test within 7 days of registration.

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Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Phulara Ridge Trek

Did you know that Phulara Ridge is an extension of the famous Kedarkantha peak?

When trekkers stand at the Kedarkantha summit, they see a long ridge extending in front of them. If you start trekking on this ridge, you end up on the Phulara ridge! 

That’s not all. When you continue on the same ridge extending from Pushtara, you can reach a high altitude pass called Phachu Khandi, which eventually goes to Janki Chatti of Yamunotri. Hundreds of years ago, this was a trade route from the Sankri side to Yamunotri. 

On the other side, the trail where the Phulara Ridge trek ends is the starting point of another ancient trek, the Har Ki Dun trek. In fact, if you get lost in the forests of Pushtara, you may even end up on the Har Ki Dun trail, at the Datmir village.

Leaving Mountains Better

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of the waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing the use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.

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