Moderate | Level 3
10 to 62 years
10 to 62 years
Moderate | Level 3
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.
Phulara Ridge Videos
Watch these videos to prepare well for your trek
A map of the Phulara Ridge trek.
Reach Kotgaon (6,397 ft)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
A map of the Phulara Ridge trek.
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.
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
What I Like and Don’t Like About Phulara Ridge Trek
What I Like About Phulara Ridge 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.
Why fitness matters on the Phulara Ridge Trek
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.
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.
Do you know how the Phulara Ridge trek got its name?
Phulara Ridge was never called Phulara Ridge. It was christened so by the head of our Exploration Team, Suhas Saya, who explored the trek late in September 2019.
The name came about on a cold winter evening. We sat around the fireside, with cups of tea in our hands. We tossed around a few names — all to do with the ridge because that was the attraction. We thought of “this ridge trek” and “that ridge trek”, but none sat well.
It was Suhas who suddenly blurted out, “let’s call it Phulara! I have seen the number of wildflowers on this trail. The flowers on this trek will do justice to the local name.” It sounded splendid! And that’s how the now-famous Phulara Ridge Trek got its name.
This is one of the few pleasures of exploring treks! Very often you get to name campsites, locations and clearings... But sometimes, just sometimes, perhaps once in a lifetime, you get to name a new trek. This was one of them.
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