Moderate | Level 2
TREK STARTS FROM
The new Ranthan Kharak trek in Kumaon is even better than our good treks
Trekking in Uttarakhand is synonymous with trekking in Gharwal. Yet, unknown to most, the neighbouring Kumaon has stunning mountains, magnificent forests, undulating meadows, and vast clearings. Kumaon is largely unexplored and has received little attention. Kumaon's Ranthan Kharak Trek is just one of many undiscovered trekking gems.
Let’s begin by celebrating the big mountains. On this trek, you see India's highest peak, Nanda Devi, and its sister peak, Sunanda Devi (also known as Nanda Devi East). We can see the sun rise over these two formidable peaks from our Chophu camp. On our right, sticking out of the clouds, is the impressive, jagged peak of Nanda Kot.
Even though Mt. Dangthal is not as tall as these mountains, being closer, it dominates our view. On the far east, we have Mt. Mrigthuni towering over the landscape. On the west, the five magnificent Panchachuli peaks stand out from the Ranthan Kharak ridge.
But there is more to Ranthan Kharak.
The forests are exceptionally dense and deep. Flora and fauna enchant every moment. The trees and birds in the virgin forests are just as diverse as the ones we see on our Goechala Trek.
Kharak means “clearings” in the local language. On this trek, there are some stunning clearings to trek through. In two such clearings, we set up camp! You don't get to camp in such settings every day. Frankly, we find the clearings on the Ranthan Kharak trek more beautiful than those on the Kedarkantha.
The trek transforms into an exciting ascent as we continue up the ridge towards the Ranthan peak. Large mountains flank us on either side of the ridge. The famous mountain ranges of Gharwal and Kumaon reveal themselves. The ridge itself, winding in and out of the folds of the mountains, gives the impression that we are riding an escalator to the summits. On either side of the ridge, the valley drops off into invisibility into rolling hills. It is an exhilarating experience.
Ranthan Kharak Trek is a gem in the Kumaon Himalayas that our trekking community still needs to discover. It is a rare opportunity that you must not let go of.
Ranthan Kharak Video
Elevation map of the Ranthan Kharak Trek
Drive from Kathgodam to Gogina
Drive distance: 235 km | Duration: 10-11 hours | Pick-up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Kathgodam Railway Station
Altitude gain: 1,818 ft to 6,415 ft
Transport will be organised from Kathgodam Railway Station at 5:30 AM. The cost of the cab for a 5-6 seater will be Rs 8,500 per vehicle and Tempo Traveller will cost Rs 12,000
Trek from Gogina to Namik Campsite
Trek distance: 6.5 km | Duration: 6 hours | Altitude loss and gain: 6,415 ft to 5,938 ft to 7,390 ft
An Easy-moderate day with sharp descent from Gogina to Ramganga river followed by a steep ascent through the forests to reach Namik village.
Trek from Namik Campite to Bajimanian Kharak
Trek distance: 5.4 km | Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude gain: 7,390 ft to 9,690 ft
Another day which is of Easy-Moderate. Gradual ascent through some lovely forest sections and the Kharaks or clearings through the day
Trek from Baji Kharak to Chophu Camp via Thal Tok
Trek distance: 5.9 km | Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude gain: 9,690 ft to 11,752 ft
Gradual ascent on the trail followed by a ledge walk towards the meadows. The climb picks up from the meadow towards the moraine region of Thal Tok and Chophu.
Trek from Chophu Camp to Parava Thor via Ranthan Top
Trek distance: 9.2 km | Duration: 8-9 hours | Altitude gain and loss: 11,752 ft to 9,210 ft via 12,887 ft
A day with Rocky and bouldery terrain with steep ascent until Ranthan Top. Decent back the same way to reach Parava Thor.
Trek from Parava Thor to Gogina
Trek distance: 10.7 km | Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude loss: 9,210 ft to 6,415 ft
A gradual descent till you reach Namik village. From Namik, its the reverse of steep descent until Ramganga and then ascent to Gogina
Drive from Gogina to Kathgodam
Drive distance: 235 km | Duration: 10-11 hours
You are expected to reach Kathgodam Railway Station by 7.00 pm. Cost will be Rs 8,500 per vehicle and Tempo Traveller will cost Rs 12,000
Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending on 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 Gogina village. Do not leave things till the end.
- The stay at Gogina will be in a lodge
- We have a Cloak Room facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Anything beyond one luggage is chargeable at Rs 500 per luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.
Please note: Twin-sharing tents may not be available this year. 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.
Elevation map of the Ranthan Kharak Trek
Book flexible flight tickets:
You are going on a Himalayan trek, where there are several unpredictable factors. It's best to book flexible flight tickets, which you can reschedule if required. These are available for a small added cost with most travel companies.
Trekking down on the vast meadow of Thala Kharak and entering into the forest section. Photo by Nitesh Kumar
The thrilling ridge trail with magnificent views of snow-clad mountains as you approach Ranthan Top. Photo by Nitesh Kumar
The first rays of morning light hit the snow-clad mountains of Nanda Devi, Danghtal, Tharkot, Maiktoli and other peaks. Photo by Nitesh Kumar.
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 Ranthan Kharak 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.
Day 1: Drive from Kathgodam to Gogina
Drive distance: 235 km | Duration: 10-11 hours
Altitude gain: ⇗ 4,597 ft (1,818 ft to 6,415 ft)
Highlights: Watch out for the roads post-Binsar. And do not miss out on the beautiful section from Kangar through the pine forest covering.
The pickup from Kathgodam Railway Station will start at 5:30 AM if you are trekking with Indiahikes.
If you are travelling on your own, then plan to start early in the morning and head towards Bageshwar via bus. From Bageshwar, you will need to find a shared gaadi directly to Gogina or the adventure of cab hopping from Baradi to Sama to Gogina.
The drive through this section of Uttarakhand is something to look forward to. The roads take you through one of the most travelled and interior parts of the state.
The initial section takes you through the famous cantonment town of Almora. After you cross Nainital and Almora, you hit the mountain town of Binsar. Post-Binsar, you are hugging the river of Gananath towards your left and the cliffs draping on the mountain slope. This section is something to look forward to.
After you cross Kangar and head to Bageshwar, this is the stretch to fall in love with. A few minutes into the travel journey next, the section is covered with pine trees. If you have your drive on your own, then even better. This pine-covered region and stretch is something you will remember for a long time.
About 6 hours into the travel, you hit Bageshwar. Bageshwar is a temple town and your last major town in the district. It is the confluence of two rivers of Saryu and Gomati. Finish getting all your last-minute essentials done.
Pro Tip: You will find everything you need in the market lanes of Bageshwar. From ice axe to spoons to memory cards, whatever essentials you are looking for.
The route next follows the Saryu river. From Bageshwar, the climb starts towards Baradi followed by the village of Sama and then finally makes your way to Gogina.
Do not miss out on the view of the valley towards your right and the forest covering. The canopy above you is a dreamy setting to have. If there are rains during this stretch, then it makes it even more charming. It reminds you of entering through the roads with rainforests of Western Ghats. To your surprise, there is a big waterfall from Gogina across the valley to your right falling more than 1,100 feet!
All your tiredness goes away when you take a small walk on the lanes of Gogina.
Get a room for yourself and hit the bed to get good rest after the long, memorable travel to reach Gogina. Your trek starts the next day in the morning. If you are going on your own, there are 2-3 homestays in the village. The details are given in the Frequently Asked Questions at the end of the documentation.
Day 2: Trek from Gogina to Namik Campsite
Trek distance: 6.5 km | Duration: 6 hours
Altitude loss and gain: ⇘ 477 ft ⇗ 1,452 ft (6,415 ft to 5,938 ft to 7,390 ft)
Difficulty: An Easy-moderate day with sharp descent from Gogina to Ramganga river followed by a steep ascent through the forests to reach Namik village.
Highlights: To begin with, the descent to the Ramganga river starts through the gorge by crossing a suspension bridge. The forest section on the first day until you reach Namik is a highlight. Interacting with the villagers and soaking into the remote culture of Namik would be another point to add.
The day starts with the initial trial through the roads and houses of Gogina village for about the first couple of kilometres. You go through the village lanes and cross a small bridge.
Close to 2.2 km from the starting point, the mud trail suddenly takes a sharp dip from the mud trail where a jeep can perhaps go forward. Watch out for this plunge down. It is very easy to miss out and go forward towards another village. There are a couple of huts below the slope to give you an indication. Looking at the GPX file will be helpful if you are trekking on your own to spot this turn.
The descent is through loose mud and stones. A couple of tricky sections through big rocks and the trail gets into a thin ledge that you need to take.
The first sight of the Ramganga river is seen towards your right in the gorge and the left-hand side has cliff sections. If the conditions are overcast or raining, be treated with clouds encapsulated in the valley and hanging on the cliff.
After the hut, the descent takes a steeper route through the forest until you reach the Ramganga river. You’ll see a big suspension bridge to cross the river. The hanging metal bridge is similar to the ones you see in Nepal. It will bring a smile to your face.
The bridge bobs up and down when you start walking along the centre. If there are heavy rains during your trekking timeline, expect to see a furious Ramganga flowing beneath your feet.
There is a small river, Pouri Rauli joining the Ramganga river. Make a mental mark of this river. You get to see the small streams of the Pouri Rouli on the trek becoming bigger and bigger, eventually joining the main Ramganga river.
From here, the trail takes a very sharp ascent and an altitude gain of more than 1,400 feet climb within a few hours to reach Namik village and slightly further ahead. The trail is well made through the rock-cut steps following a zig-zag pattern on the mountain slope. Your cardio will be tested in this section.
On the trail, you see a small natural cave-like shelter. Make a mental note of this. After the cave, your steep ascent is coming towards the last stage. If it is pouring heavily, enter the cave and wait for the rains to subside.
Look out for the views on your left. The ariel view of the valley is something to remember at the end of the day.
Until now trekking through the forest section, you come across the prominent trees of Green Oaks, maple, Ringaals (dwarf bamboos), and chestnut trees. The fragrance of Deodar is strong in the air, however, Rhododendrons are yet to be seen in numbers and one needs to climb up to a higher altitude for this to start.
Towards the side, you have some lovely ferns and some wild snake berries. Do not mistake for strawberries. Most of the snake berries are not edible and can make you sick if consumed.
The first sign of the Namik village is through the introduction of the Anganwadi or the Government Primary school for kids from the village. Soon when you start trekking up, you come across a few houses and farmlands. The campsite is about a 1.5 km ascent from here through the village.
Namik is a very pretty setting with step farming being followed. Most of them grow potatoes, wheat, rajma and pulses or millets according to the season. During the Spring season, you will see them harvesting the crop while in Autumn. The village is spread from bottom to top approach and in steps. It is different compared to Gogina which was spread apart.
Walk through the village and get to see a glimpse of the daily lives of those living here. You can also have friendly conversations and chats which the locals are very much looking forward to having with you. The camping ground is above the village and closer to their temple.
You will cross the Balchan temple arch and also a few initial temples above the village. A few more minutes and you enter a big clearing or ground where the campsite can be set up.
There is a good water source near the campsite. You get a terrace view of the entire village and the valley. Opposite you is the village of Keemu and the Namik glacier on your right-hand side. Take the time to explore around or even spend more time in the village talks.
Day 3: Trek from Namik Campite to Bajimanian Kharak
Trek distance: 5.4 km | Duration: 6.5 hours
Altitude gain: ⇗ 2,300 ft (7,390 ft to 9,690 ft)
Difficulty: Another day of Easy-Moderate. Gradual ascent through some lovely forest sections and the Kharaks or clearings through the day
Highlights: The day is mixed with a combination of trekking through the mixed forests and Kharaks. Walk barefoot at these clearings and don't miss to soak into the sounds of the forest - from the fallen leaves to the flowing stream and the birds chirping. Do not miss to spend some time at Balchan Kund and reflect on the beauty.
Today’s trek to Bajimanian Kharak or Baji Kharak (to keep it short) is an easy-moderate climb. The well-laid-out stone trail takes you through a series of forests and clearings.
Follow the trail. After 250 meters, you come across another clearing with many huts. The setting is very pretty in the morning to turn back and soak in the views. You have cattle grazing on the glades of green grassland with huts spread at irregular intervals.
You now enter the forest section. The tree population consists of maple, oaks and the presence of multiple rhododendron trees. It forms a brilliant canopy just above your heads. If you are trekking during March and April, expect a full bloom of Rhododendrons around you.
As you hear the leaves crunching beneath your feet, you start hearing the sounds of the stream on your right side approaching closer. Take small steps, enjoy and continue forward with one step at a time.
After a few more minutes into your ascent, you come to a small diversion. It is hardly a diversion until anybody points it out to you. Take the trail that is more prominent towards your right. However, note this particular point. This is the trail connecting to a shortcut on the slope from Thaltok, a col which you go to the next day. This route or path can be used for evacuations purpose from Thaltok to reaching here.
When you cross about 800 meters from the diversion, you cross a cement bridge. You can fill your water bottles here and take a small break. This is the Pauri Roli stream joining the Ramganga River. A small steep climb comes up next that takes you to the first Kharak on the trek.
The clearing will leave you awestruck. With fallen logs, tall oak trees and walls of rhododendron trees as boundaries, the Kharak is something you need to feel with your bare feet. Take out your shoes and walk on the grasslands. The locals call this huge clearing Raj Gailgadi.
If you are into birding, then you are in for a treat. From Verditor Flycatchers, woodpeckers, barbets, laughing thrushes and the chirping sounds of the numerous other birds are delightful.
A few more minutes into the trail, you see 4 to 5 shepherd huts. You can look into how these sustainable huts have been built and the materials used. A lot of thought is put even into how the partitions of the hut have been done and with the fencing of rocks, and mud used.
You can take a few minutes for yourself to explore the Kharak. There is one main oak tree which the locals worship as Golu Devta. There are ribbons and strings attached to this particular tree. The locals believe in the forest spirit which acts as protection for their cattle, and people in this forest region.
Your next big Kharak, the Parava Thor is about 1 km from here.
The next section starts with the forest again with one water source in between. A small clearing and covered with trees again. And suddenly, you have the opening of Parava Thor. This meadow is comprised of three layers. The third layer will be the last campsite of the trek.
Follow the trail further into the forest for another 500 metres to come across the concrete bridge. You are closing into your campsite of Baji Kharak which is a further 400 meters to go. The upper clearing has a few shelter huts and the Balchan Kund towards the South west from the main trail.
Do not miss going to the Balchan kund. Plan to spend sometime during the evening or early morning near the kund. The environment is filled with birds chirping around, sun rays passing through the trees like pillars of light and hitting the pondy marsh. This place holds a special place for a lot of locals who come here to worship and go back to the village.
During the exploration, our team started spotting Monals from this region along with other birds of woodpeckers, flycatchers, warblers and other water birds because of this water body. Even a couple of Yellow martins were seen playing around Balchan kund. So this is a perfect place to have the campsite and explore around.
Day 4: Trek from Bajimanian Kharak to Chophu Camp via Thal Tok
Trek distance: 5.9 km | Duration: 7-8 hours
Altitude gain: ⇗ 2,030 ft (9,690 ft to 11,720 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate. Gradual ascent on the trail followed by a ledge walk towards the meadows. The climb picks up from the meadow towards the moraine region of Thal Tok and Chophu.
Highlights: Enjoy the walk with views of the Kharak approaching closer when you trek on the trail. The climb or ascent from the meadow towards Thal Tok and later to Chophu will test and be adventurous.
You are taking the western side of the trail which seems like a U-turn. The trail if taken without a stop can lead you to Munsiyari after many days of trekking (close to 3-4 days more)
The day starts with a gradual ascent on the stone trail with clearings and dwarf rhododendrons throughout the trail. Notice the colour of the flowers changing from red to pink as your climb higher up.
After almost a kilometre of trekking, you come across a clear diversion of the trails. There is one trail going straight and another taking a left turn. The one going straight heads towards the Sursungri Khal Pass which connects to the Munsiyari trail. Shepherds usually take their cattle for grazing here. There is a small indicator with a piece of cloth tied to a rock.
Take the trail on the left. This section feels good on the legs. The trail takes a small dip and evens out on the ledge.
As you go ahead, you see the grand Thala Kharak grassland. Try to spot white dots in between the grassland and rocky terrain. Shepherds and sheep are usually present in grazings on this meadow. You also see Thal Tok where the U-shaped depression is present. This is the col that one needs to take to reach the Chophu campsite.
The ledge is about a kilometre long before you enter the meadows. There is one concrete settlement before entering the alpine meadows. You can go left, right and soak into the beauty of these meadows. Like other bugyals, your mind will just see this stretching across the horizon.
After about 400 meters of walking on this meadow, you notice the big mountain slopes towering on your right and the path which looks a lot steeper than the previous walk here. You start noticing Juniper shrubs all around you.
The climb is through a series of switchbacks. The trail zig-zagging its way through the mountain is about 500 meters but feels much more with the ascent. A closer comparison to this climb would be similar to the gateways of entering a Sahyadri fort. The big steps and climb to the top. This ascent however is at much higher altitudes but gives you a similar feeling from inside as you enter the gateway of one high point to another.
Take it slow and one step at a time, especially at the final stretch.
You now enter Thal Tok, the col on the ridge which acts as a tunnel for winds crossing the mountain slopes. If you remember the shortcut which was mentioned earlier, the trail connects here on the ridge.
There is one shelter house where you have two rooms. One room can be used by trekkers where wooden planks are present along with the Himalayan Pika (Mountain hares) and the other room is slightly damaged inside.
If you are trekking on your own, you can think of staying the night here. However, the challenge is finding the water source. There is nothing very close to the shelter house. You need to trek for about 500 meters towards the Northern side where you have a depression of two spurs and water trickling underneath the boulders.
The climb from Thal Tok to Chophu campsite is a stiff climb again through a zig-zag trail. The trail if taken completely leads you to Chophu Top. However, the campsite is set up below the shoulder and a diversion from the main trail. You have a water source near the campsite and one of the reasons for selecting this location.
Enjoy the camping experience at Chophu campsite. Protected from the winds at a slopey elevation, close to the water source, you have open views of the valley and the entire mountain range in front of you. On a clear day, you get to see the sun setting and hitting the camp.
If you explore around the campsite and region of Chophu, don't be surprised to see Monals flying around or mountain goats leaping across the mountaintops. It is a true photographer's paradise to capture some amazing shots.
Don't miss on waking up early the next day early in the morning, at around 5 am. The first rays hit the snow-capped mountains of Dangthal, Nanda Devi ranges, Tharkot, Nandakot, Mrigthuni, Maiktoli and other ranges we see.
Day 5: Trek from Chophu Camp to Parava Thor via Ranthan Top
Trek distance: 9.2 km | Duration: 8.5-9 hours
Altitude gain and loss: ⇗ 1,912 ft ⇘ 1,765 ft (11,122 ft to 9,210 ft via 12,887 ft)
Difficulty: Moderate. A day with rocky and bouldery terrain with steep ascent until Ranthan Top. The day involves you to decent back to the clearings.
Highlights: A day with the views of the big mountains. Cherish the trail with walking on the ridges and ledges.
This day is going to be long and difficult compared to the other few days. The trail is again through a well-defined pathway to Ranthan Top which continues ahead to Sudhamkhan and Nanda Kund. The combination of ridges and ledges is awaiting you today. Watch out for the change in texture and geographical patterns from the previous 2-3 days.
Start your day as early as possible. Once you finish your breakfast and wind up from the campsite, retrace your steps back on the main trail and the one going up. The trail takes a good ascent as you are blessed with the mountain views.
Chophu Top is about 500 meters of the climb from the campsite and takes close to 15-25 minutes depending on your fitness level. Small groups do camp here at Chophu Top which is at 12,030 feet. However, there is a big scarcity of water sources close to this top.
The path continues in between the boulders and opens you towards a new portal of experience. It is now a ridge walk for a kilometre from Chophu Top until you reach Ranthan Top. Your ascent now increases and the zig-zag pattern welcomes you again. You see Ranthan Top from here while the mountains are getting closer and closer with each step you take.
When you reach the high point of the Ranthan Top, the majestic mountain views are a treat! On the left-hand side, you have all the peaks of Garhwal and towards the right, you have the Kumaon mountain peaks and ranges.
On a clear day, you see the massive peaks on both sides of the valley. Dangthal is standing tall right in front of you along with the other ranges towards your the North which is much closer while the eastern side gives you visuals of the Panchachuli ranges, Rajrambha, and Meneka Peak of the Kumaon mountains.
The ridge can be further explored for a while which takes a dip towards a pass and then starts to climb up again towards the side of the mountain.
During the Summer season, you start noticing verglass and snow sections coming up in the next section. You are heading towards the trail on the North Face of the mountain. This is usually in the shadow region and does not get enough sunlight for the winter snow to melt. The ledge covers with snow are a test for even the most experienced and can be a safety hazard. It is better not to pursue ahead in difficult conditions and turn back from the point where it's safe to go. If you are planning for this season, then the start of June may be a good option to think of reaching Nanda Kund.
If you are going during the autumn season and if the weather is good, you can think of going all the way to Nanda Kund which is further 4-5 km from here crossing the fields of Sudhamkhan and then a sharp climb towards Nanda Kund. The campsite would be feasible at Nandakund directly because according to the locals, there are no water sources nearby Sudhamkhan.
Otherwise, spend some time reflecting on the journey so far and start your plans of returning to the meadows which is a long way down.
They return until Thal Tok follows the same trail of descent through the ridge and ledge first. Be careful when descending. You are likely to put more weight on the legs while descending. There are also chances of slipping when you have a higher pace. So having two trekking poles on this trek is bliss.
Once you reach Thal Tok, it feels like you are on top of the world looking down at all the different sections that you have taken so far. Recollect on the pocketed clearings you took after Namik, the trail towards Balchan Kund, and further up to reach the meadow.
We will cut across this section of Thala Kharak meadow and enter through the forest to reach the third clearing from your right which is Parava Thor. This is about 2.5 km from Thal Tok through the forest sections. The trail might not be as prominent compared to the other days. These trails are mostly used by shepherds with their sheep or cattle to take a shorter route up to the meadow. Use the GPX file to check if you are deviating too far from the campsite which is marked.
Parava Thor Kharak can be divided into 3 layered clearings. The upper two layers are usually taken up by the shepherds for grazing their cattle. In case these levels are covered with animal dung and faeces, go to the lower most one which is empty and you have good open space with a nice view. The water source is hardly 200 meters from the campsite.
Day 6: Trek from Parava Thor to Gogina
Trek distance: 10.7 km | Duration: 5-6 hours
Altitude loss: ⇘ 2,795 ft (9,210 ft to 6,415 ft)
The tough part of the trek is behind you. Today is your last day and the trek takes you back to Gogina, the start point of your trek via Namik village again.
The day is mostly of descent through the forest section until you reach Namik village. Cross the stream first and then followed up with the Raj Gailgadi clearing. The village is 4 kilometres from the campsite.
If you had missed out on exploring the village of Namik, it is a good chance to do so. Spend about half an hour taking a small break before starting again with the last stretch until you reach back Gogina.
The last stretch begins with a reversal. The trail takes a steep descent to the suspension bridge and then once you cross the bridge, it starts with the ascent. Watch out for any rockfalls happening on the sides of the cliff or if the weather is bad.
Keep in mind where the steep descent had started to reach the first sight of the huts. When you are nearing this, watch out for the trail which climbs up quickly to the mud trail. This is very easy to miss out and you might take the wrong trail and then scramble up to reach the village trail to Gogina.
Once you have reached the mud trail, it is very straightforward to reach the place where you had started from. The journey of the past 5 days in this unique setting comes flowing to your mind and you have a smile on your face with this new experience, a journey of learnings that you are taking back from this trek.
Day 7: Drive from Gogina to Kathgaon
Drive distance: 235 km | Duration: 10-11 hours
Start the day early in the morning. If you are leaving on your own, then inform the previous day to the shared cab in the market area. They usually start at 6 am.
You have only 2 or 3 shared cabs going from Gogina to Bageshwar during the day. The timings are not fixed. They leave based on when the gaadis get full.
To get the number of these drivers, we have listed them under Frequently Asked Questions.
If you are trekking with Indiahikes, we will have the vehicles arranged. The drive takes you on the same route which you had taken for your onward journey. Expect to reach Kathgodam by 7 pm.
Do not miss buying the local fruits if you are trekking in the Summer season. The roads near Binsar and Nainital are filled with plums, peaches and apricots.
Suitable for Fit Beginners
Ranthan Kharak trek, which climbs to 12,887 ft, is not difficult. It is rated as 'moderate'. That too is only because of the longer trekking days compared to the Easy-moderate treks of Dayara Bugyal, Kedarkantha or Deoriatal Chandrashila.
A moderate rating refers to marginally longer trekking days with a few steep climbs (example: climb to Thal Tok and Ranthan Top). This makes it a notch more difficult than the easy-moderate treks.
But the trek has easy exits and there are fewer technical sections.
To get a clear picture, imagine covering a total of 40 km in 5 days. You gain approximately 6,472 ft during this journey, which is mild when spread over 4 days.
That means, on average, you cover 8 km every day. This includes gradual ascents and descents.
That's doable in a well-paced itinerary, like the one we follow for the Ranthan Kharak trek at Indiahikes. The key is to pace it out and let your body get acclimatized to a higher altitude.
But if you cut it short, say skip camping at Bajimanian Kharak, then you are exposed to the risk of AMS. In such a situation, be very cautious of any discomfort in your body which may point to AMS. We will talk about this in detail in the next section.
Apart from AMS, be careful during the steep descent from Ranthan Top. It is long and tricky if you are descending during the rains or if there is a whiteout on the ridge or the ledges. Wearing good quality trekking shoes with a great grip helps here. (For details read: How To Choose The Best Trekking Shoes In India)
On the Ranthan Kharak trek, you go up to an altitude of 12,887 ft. The days are divided so that the altitude gain is not too much. However, it is still possible that you could be hit by AMS on any of these days. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can easily survive at high altitudes.
Exit points on the Ranthan Kharak trek
- The closest hospital to Ranthan Kharak trek
What you must know about AMS
When you are exposed to trekking at the high altitudes, your body might not be well-rested or acclimatised to the altitude. There are always risks of AMS even for the fittest and the most experienced trekkers. You must pay close attention to your body and the symptoms on a high-altitude trek. Stay alert for any signs of altitude sickness.
Attend to your uneasiness and take curative measures. Check your vitals before you start the trek - Your BP reading, and oxygen saturation levels at every campsite at least twice. If you are feeling uneasy, you can even go on a curative course of Diamox. Hydration and rest are very important as well. If you do not feel normal after a few hours or overnight, do not proceed further on the trek.
To help you understand AMS better, we've put together a complete guide about it. This is a series of videos you must watch before you get onto any high-altitude trek:
- What Is Altitude sickness? A Quick Look At AMS, HAPE And HACE
- How To Treat Altitude Sickness – AMS, HAPE, & HACE
- How To Prevent Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), HAPE and HACE
- 3 Life Saving Drugs You MUST Have To Tackle Altitude Sickness – AMS, HAPE and HACE
If you experience any symptoms of AMS, even in the slightest, start taking steps to treat the sickness.
At Indiahikes, our Trek Leaders are trained and equipped to take care of any emergencies related to AMS.
Medical Emergencies can strike on any trek. The key to dealing with them lies in knowing your exit points. Know how to get out and reach the nearest hospital quickly.
On the Ranthan Kharak trek, your best bet is to descend to Gogina and then head to Bageshwar for any emergency.
When you are deep into the trek -- say at Chophu campsite -- you easily take a day to reach the village of Namik or Gogina. If you cannot afford that much time, check for the alternative shortcut route mentioned in our Detailed Trail Information. That is a shorter route through the ridge connecting Thal Tok to the borders of Namik village.
Closest Hospital to Ranthan Kharak Trek
In case of a medical emergency, the closest hospital is at Bageshwar.
If you need serious medical attention, you will have to head further down to Almora or Haldwani for better facilities.
In case of a medical emergency, the closest hospital is at Bageshwar.
If you need serious medical attention, you will have to head further down to Almora or Haldwani for better facilities.
Ranthan Kharak trek is open for trekking during two seasons of the year - Summer and Autumn. The window period is the best for going all the way to Ranthan Top.
Since the trek does not go to very high altitudes, you can start slightly earlier compared to our other summer treks of high altitudes like Rupin Pass or Buran Ghati. However, if you are doing the trek during the spring season, be prepared to return down from either Thal Tok or Chophu Top and the trails would be covered with snow depending on the snowfall of the winter season.
During summer, the trek can be done from the end of April to the end of June. While in autumn it can be done from mid-September to the end of October. These are the best times to do the Ranthan Kharak trek.
Here's a glimpse of Ranthan Kharak in May.
Ranthan Kharak in Summer (end of April to end of June)
Between 15 °C to 20 °C | Night Time Temperature: At night, the temperature drops to almost 2 °C
You will have snow during the late weeks of April towards the Ranthan Top. During May, snow starts to recede at higher altitudes
No. of warm layers required: 3 warm layers
Summer is one of the best times for trekking in the Kumaon region.
In this season you can observe different shades of green right throughout the trek. The colour of the trail also starts changing shades of white to greens as you approach the higher regions of the meadow and alpine zone. Wildflowers start blooming on the meadows and around the campsites when you hit June. The grasslands turn a bright shade of green interspersed with bright yellow flowers.
Along with the different types of flora on the trek, the mountain views start opening up on clear days.
It is truly a colourful experience with the forests, grasslands, and flowers coming to life after months of winter.
Note: If you are trekking just during the end of spring and the beginning of summer, you are blessed with the visual treats of Rhododendrons. Even just for this bloom of Rhododendrons, one must trek during Spring. The combination of reds and pinks is a dreamy setting to wonder about. This might mean you not being able to go all the way to Ranthan Top or having to tackle/navigate sections of snow if you go a bit earlier in Spring.
Ranthan Kharak in Autumn (mid-Sept to the end of Oct)
Between 12 °C to 18 °C | Night Time Temperature: At night, the temperature can drop to 0 °C
Snow can start during the early weeks of November
No. of warm layers required: 4 warm layers
The autumn season is a shorter one as compared to summer.
Despite this, autumn is one of the best times to do the Ranthan Kharak trek. The views are much sharper and crisper compared to the Summer season. This is something to witness from Ranthan Top. The magnificent views on both sides of the ridge walk are a delight!
The trail changes colour as you trudge deeper into the trek. Initially, you’ll notice many shades of green near the base camp. This continues as you trek through forests and grasslands. But as you gain altitude and enter to the meadow section, you’ll notice more yellows, oranges, and browns.
By end of October or the start of November, if the weather turns bad, there are chances of witnessing the first winter snowfall of the year.
To reach Gogina, the basecamp of the Ranthan Kharak Trek, you have to first reach Haldwani or Kathgodam as the starting point.
How to reach Kathgodam:
Example you have registered for 30th April (Day 1) Ranthan group
There are two ways to reach Kathgodam.
1. Reach Pantnagar by connecting flight on 29th April, and stay overnight at Kathgodam (Day 0).
2. Choose a flight/ train that reaches New Delhi by 29th April (Day 0), which is the day before Day 1 on the itinerary. From Delhi please take only the train, as they are more reliable than buses. There are two train options which you can consider.
Option 1: Take the Uttaranchal Sampark Kranti Express train (15035) which leaves from Delhi at 4:00pm and reaches Kathgodam at 10:30pm. Take good rest in any Hotel at Kathgodam.
Option 2: Take the Ranikhet Express (15013) which leaves Delhi at 10:05 PM and reaches Kathgodam at 05:05 AM (30th April, Day 1).
Pro Tip: For Option 2, book the train ticket from Jaisalmer and choose the boarding as Delhi. The tickets are easily available this way. And vice versa, on last day book overnight train from Kathgodam to Jaisalmer, but get down at Delhi.
If you are taking the pickup through Indiahikes, then your Experience Coordinator will share the driver details a day or two before your trek date. The pickup from Kathgodam Railway Station will start at 5:30 AM.
How to reach the basecamp on your own
However, if you intend to take an adventure of travelling on your own, then you can go through the details given below:
The travel to Gogina has to be split into two different stages. The first leg of the journey takes one until Bageshwar. The second leg can be either a directly shared cab from Bageshwar to Gogina or further split into Bageshwar-Baradi-Sama-Gogina.
Kathgodam to Bageshwar using Public Transport
If you are travelling from Haldwani, there are direct buses to Bageshwar. You can go to the ISBT and get local buses plying. Buses usually start from 5 am onwards. There are good chances of getting the seat since this is the starting point for these buses.
If you had taken an overnight stay at Kathgodam, then take the bus from the stand outside the Railway station. Be there at 5.30 am and wait for the buses coming from Haldwani. The bus costs around Rs 290 per person from Kathgaom to Bageshwar.
Tip: The first bus or the buses starting from Haldwani can be completely packed and you might have to stand until Almora which is about two hours away. Later from Almora, the crowd reduces and there are higher chances of getting a seat until Bageshwar.
Using shared vehicle
If you are taking the option of a shared cab, then the cost will be around Rs 700-800 per person from Kathgodam/Haldwani to Bageshwar. During the peak season, you might be asked to pay even Rs 1,000 per person.
Bageshwar to Gogina
From Bageshwar, there are no buses to Gogina. You will have to take either a shared vehicle or a private vehicle all the way.
Shared vehicles are always easier on the pocket compared to a private vehicles. However, there will be times when you don't have an option. It can be because of a wedding happening in the village or some elections or some other reason. So if the shared vehicles are not available, then you will have to take the private vehicle or wait for one day and get the next day.
For the option of shared vehicles, this would be the cost - Rs 100 per person from Bageshwar to Baradi and then about Rs 200 from Baradi to Gogina per person.
If you take a private vehicle for your group, then from Bageshwar the cost will be Rs 3,000. From Sama, a private vehicle will cost Rs 1,400.
Here are a few contact details of the drivers whom you can reach out to for the shared vehicles: GS Rautela - 9458945993, 9012131473; BS Koranga - 9389834093, 9657037574
What to Pack For Your Trek
These are documents required for legal purposes by Indiahikes and the forest department. Without any of these, you will not be allowed to trek.
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar Card, or passport will do. This is required by the forest department for your identification.
- Medical and Disclaimer certificate. There are two sections to this. One is to be filled by a practicing doctor and the second is filled by you. The disclaimer certificate is a legal requirement.
Download the PDF, read carefully, print it back to back, and sign it. This must be handed over to your Trek Leader during the registration at the base camp. This is a requirement by both the forest department and Indiahikes – Download the PDF
Note: Please carry the above document with you. The document needs to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed, and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp. Please print these back-to-back on two sheets. Do not print separately and help in reducing paper usage.
Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack. This keeps them from getting wet. Please note there is no facility to get printouts and photocopies at Tapoban or Karchhi.
1. Trekking Shoes
Ranthan Kharak requires sturdy trekking shoes, has good grip, has ankle support, and can handle snow. Here is a quick video on how to choose your trekking shoes.
| Buying Tip: The Trek series and MH series are good options by Decathlon. They are tried and tested. There isn’t any necessity to buy the higher-priced models. Here is a list of other budget shoes that trekkers are using.
| Rental: We have the Trek series and the MH series by Decathlon available for rent from the Indiahikes store. They are already broken into and in good condition. Rental shoes are not dirty or unhygienic. This is how they are kept clean. Rent here.
For a trek like Ranthan Kharak, you need a 50-60 litre backpack. Make sure your backpack has good hip support, shoulder support and quick access pockets. Here is a guide on how to choose a backpack.
| Buying Tip: Wildcraft, Decathlon and Adventure Worx usually make good backpacks. While Wildcraft has more expensive ones, the other two brands have budget-friendly backpacks to choose from.
| Rental: The 48-litre backpack by Adventure Worx is available for rent from the Indiahikes store. They are custom-made for our Himalayan treks. Rent them if you don’t have a backpack. Rent here.
Wearing layers is the mantra in the mountains. Layers give you maximum protection from all elements. And when the weather changes in the mountains (as it happens every few hours), you take off or put on layers as required.
Base layer: 3 T-shirts
Wear one T-shirt and carry two. Carry full-sleeve dry-fit T-shirts (preferably collared). These prevent your arms and neck from getting sunburnt. In the rarified air on the trek, especially at high altitudes, UV rays can burn you in no time.
Dry-fit T-shirts quickly dry your sweat, they are easy to wash and in case of a rainy day, they dry quicker. Round neck T-shirts are ok, but collared ones are better.
| Cotton or Synthetic? As Indians, we love cotton. Down in the plains when the heat is blistering 40°C it makes sense to wear cotton. But it takes a long time to dry when it gets wet. In the mountains, where it is cooler, synthetic is what you wear. They wick sweat rapidly and keep you dry. (But they do tend to smell quickly, so carry a roll-on deodorant with you.)
| Buying tip: You can get dry-fit T-shirts from Decathlon. Also, stores like Reliance Trends and Max have dry-fit T-shirts. They don’t usually cost much.
| Pro Tip: If you are extra susceptible to cold, you could get a set of thermal inners. In our experience, wearing two T-shirts over another works as a better thermal. And they save you weight and space since you’re already carrying them.
4 Insulation layers
For the Ranthan Kharak trek, you will need at least 4 warm layers.
You will need 1 pair of inner thermals, light fleece layers, 1 light sweater and 1 padded jacket. Do not get your grandma-stitched sweaters, which can be very heavy. You need sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.
For your outer layer, a padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t need a water-resistant material. But you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure your padded jacket has a hood as well.
| Do you need a down/feather jacket? Not really. A regular padded/shell jacket will do. This video here will help you to learn more about the difference.
| Note: Down/feather jackets are not available these days. Many jackets masquerade as down/feather jackets. They are essentially fine polyester-filled jackets. They mimic the function of a down jacket but are usually expensive.
| Rental: Padded jackets made by Fort Collins are available for rent at the Indiahikes store. They are custom-made for Indiahikes and trekkers find them terrific, even in winter. Rent here.
Two trek pants
Two pairs of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry one just in case it rains. Trek pants with zippered cut-offs at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They dry up soon in case of small stream crossings/rain.
| Buying tip: Go for pants with zippered pockets. They come in handy to keep your phone, handkerchief or pocket snacks.
| Track pants or trek pants? Stretchable track pants make a good backup and can double up as your thermal bottoms. But track pants are not trekking pants — so don’t use them as your main outerwear. Keep them only as a backup.
Mandatory Accessories, without these too you won’t be able to do the trek.
These accessories are mandatory. Don’t go to Ranthan Kharak's trial without them. Trekkers generally put off purchasing / borrowing the accessories for the last minute. We suggest the opposite. Start gathering these accessories first.
Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. On a trek like the Ranthan Kharak trek, expect to walk on stretches of snow during the start of the season. A small overexposure to direct sunlight on snow can lead to snow blindness (about a half hour’s exposure). That’s because fallen snow is like thousands of mirrors that reflect direct UV rays. So you need sunglasses with UV protection.
| Wearing tip: Wear sunglasses if the trekking day is bright and sunny (on open sections, meadows). On a snowy section, you must never take off your sunglasses until the section has been fully crossed.
| Buying Tip: Try getting sunglasses that wrap around instead of those that have openings on the side. Even peripheral UV ray exposure is not a good idea.
| If you wear spectacles: If you wear spectacles, you can get oversized sunglasses that you wear over your regular glasses (available at Decathlon). If that is cumbersome, photochromic lenses work equally well. Here’s a quick guide on managing sunglasses with spectacles.
| Contact lens users: If you use contact lenses, you can use them on the trek too. The lens solution will not freeze. You will also not face any problems in changing your lens in your tent. Just carry enough cleaning solution with you to clean your fingers well. Wear your sunglasses over your contact lens. Read this article for more guidance on managing contact lenses on treks.
A sun cap is mandatory. Trekking without a sun cap can lead to headaches, sunstrokes, quick dehydration and a sharp drop in trekking performance.
| Tip: In the mountains, the general rule is to keep your head covered at all times. During the day a sun cap protects you from the harsh rays of the sun (it is doubly stronger with naked UV rays). A sun cap keeps your body temperature in balance. In the evening/early morning, the reverse is true. Your head loses your body heat quickly. A woollen cap prevents heat from dissipating from your head.
| Pro Tip: Sun caps with flaps are a blessing for trekkers. They cut out almost all UV leaks. They prevent sunburns in every possible way. They are a lot more effective than sunscreen lotion. A wide-brimmed sports hat also helps to prevent sunburn in a big way.
3. Synthetic hand gloves
On a trek like Ranthan Kharak, you want the gloves to keep you warm. Get synthetic hand gloves that have waterproofing on the outside and a padded lining on the inside. If you find the combination difficult to get (not likely), wear a tight-fitting fleece hand glove inside a synthetic hand glove. Hand gloves are mandatory on this trek.
4. Woollen cap or Balaclava
Ensure these cover your ears. In the cold mountains, you lose maximum heat from your head, not from your hands, feet or the rest of your body. This is why you need to keep your head protected, especially when the sun is down. Early mornings, late evenings, and a cold trekking day are when you must use your woollen cap.
Your ears are sensitive too, so a woollen head cap that covers your ears is essential. A balaclava is a modern version of the woollen cap. It covers your ears, neck and parts of your face as well. Do not get a woollen cap that only covers your head.
5. Socks (3 pairs)
Apart from two pairs of sports socks, take a pair of woollen socks. Sports socks give you cushioning plus warmth. Again the mantra is to wear synthetic socks or at least a synthetic blend. Cotton socks soak in water and sweat. They are very hard to dry.
As for woollen socks, they help you to keep warm and snug at the night. If you cannot get woollen socks, wearing two sports socks serves the purpose as well.
Trekkers are often confused about whether they need to get a headlamp or a handheld torch. You need to get a headlamp because it leaves your hands free to do other activities. On the Ranthan Kharak trek, you’ll need your hands free to wash dishes, pitch tents and hold your trek poles.
| Buying tip: Ensure your headlamp covers a wider area and is not too focused as a single beam. On a trek, your headlamp must help you see around you as much as ahead of you.
7. Trekking pole (a pair)
Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Ranthan Kharak trek, there are steep ascents and descents. A pair of trekking poles will make the difference between a comfortable and a strenuous trek. In India, we tend to use a single trekking pole. However, two trekking poles give you greater stability and balance. They also increase your walking pace.
| Rental: Imported side-locking trekking poles are available for rent at the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
On a trek, the weather can change quickly. A bright sunny day can turn into a downpour in a matter of minutes. Carry a poncho or a rain jacket to tackle this. A poncho is a big rain cover with openings for your arms and your head. It is extremely effective because it covers both you and your backpack. It is extremely light and weighs next to nothing.
| Pro tip: Rain jackets are more streamlined and less cumbersome but weigh more. Rain pants are not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.
| Rental: High-grade ponchos are available for rent at the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
9. Rain cover for your backpack
Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes and your warm gear in your backpack. Your backpack must stay dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built-in rain-covers. If your backpack does not have a rain cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover or (b) or cutting a large plastic sheet to the size of your backpack. You can roll the plastic sheet around your backpack and keep it in place with a string or elastic.
| Pro tip: It’s good practice to compartmentalise your clothes, accessories and other things in plastic covers inside your backpack. That way, even if it rains and your backpack gets wet, your things are water-proof inside the backpack.
10. Daypack (20-30 ltrs, optional)
In your daypack, you carry essentials like water bottles, rainwear, emergency medicines, a headlamp, some snacks and a warm layer. Your main backpack that carries most of your equipment is accessible only at the campsites.
A daypack is a smaller backpack that is usually of 20-30 ltr capacity. Laptop bags are not daypacks. Do not get them.
Other mandatory requirements
1. A toilet kit
Keep your toilet kit light. Carry just the basics — toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturiser, lip balm, and a roll-on deodorant. You will not be able to have a bath on the trek, so don’t overload on soaps and shampoos.
| Pro tip: Carry miniature-sized items. You will not need more than that. If you’re travelling in a group, share one toothpaste for all.
| Pro tip: Avoid getting large toilet rolls. The smallest size roll is more than enough for a trek like the Ranthan Kharak trek.
| For women: If you are likely to have your periods on your trek date, don’t worry about it. You can use your pads, tampons or menstrual cups on the trek. There will be toilet tents where you can get changed. Make sure you carry ziplock bags to bring back your menstrual waste. Don’t leave behind any waste in the mountains. Watch this video to learn how to dispose of your sanitary waste.
Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leakproof. You are expected to wash your cutlery. Trekkers often expect Indiahikes to wash their cutlery. When you allow Indiahikes to wash your cutlery, your cutlery becomes part of a mass washing system. You immediately invite germs, and bacteria to settle on your cutlery. The incidence of stomach disorders rises exponentially.
| Pro tip: Carry stainless steel cutlery. Avoid fancy high-grade plastic cutlery. Stainless steel cutlery is infinitely easier to wash in cold water. Grease is easier to remove and hygiene is at its highest.
| Two 1 litre bottles or a 2-litre hydration pack: Ranthan Kharak trek has many hours of trekking every day (approximately 6 hours). You need to carry two one-litre water bottles to keep yourself hydrated over the distance. If you are used to a hydration pack, then that is ok too. If one among the two bottles is a lightweight thermos, then that helps you to store warm water on a really cold day or for late evenings and early mornings.
| Rental: You could rent lightweight thermos flasks from the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
3. Plastic covers
Carry 3-4 old plastic covers to keep your used clothes. You could use them even for wet clothes. Re-use old plastic bags for this and do not buy new ones.
Carry these medicines with you, easily accessible at all times. Do not take any medicine unless you have consulted your trek leader.
- Diamox (1 Strip): Be on a course of a half tablet of Diamox starting from Delhi every 12 hours (125 mg). if you want to go on a preventive course. Carry on the medication until you descend to Gogina. Being on a preventive course of Diamox greatly reduces the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Ranthan Kharak trek.
- Dolo 650 (5 tablets): This is a paracetamol. It helps to tackle fever, mild pain
- Avomine (4 tablets): Carry this especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Pop one-half hour before the start of your road journey.
- Combiflam (5 tablets): Take a combiflam if you get a sudden twist of the leg or a muscle strain. It is a pain reliever. It also contains paracetamol.
- Digene (4 tablets): Take it if you feel the food that you’ve taken is undigested. Alert your trek leader immediately. It could be a sign of AMS.
- ORS (6 packs): Consume a pack of ORS water at least once a day, usually mid-day when you are in the middle of your trek. It replenishes essential salts lost while trekking. Tip: It also makes cold water easier to drink.
- Knee Brace (optional): Carry this if you are prone to knee injury or have known issues of knee pain.
Our trek leaders carry a high-altitude medical kit with them which also consist of Life Saving Drugs. If there is an emergency our trek leaders know how to tackle it. Meanwhile, contact your trek leader before consuming any of these medicines listed here.
| Pro tip: We find that these medicines by trekkers are rarely used. But you cannot do away with them. At the end of the trek please donate unused medicines to your trek leader. Some of these medicines get distributed to villages on the trek and some are added to the Indiahikes medical kit.
The Ranthan Kharak Trek is close to 40 km long.
The trek has gained an altitude of 6,472 ft in total on the Ranthan Khara trek over 4-5 days to have an enjoyable experience.
The trail mostly follows the section of forests, clearings and then into the alpine meadows.
The Ranthan Kharak trek is in the heart of the Kumaon region. Approximately about 80 km from the temple town of Bageshwar, the base village of Gogina is where your trek starts.
The trek passes through the village of Namik and then takes you on the trail which can be taken till Munsiyari as well.
At Gogina, you don't have many options. There are only 2-3 homestays run by the local villagers in their own homes.
You can get in touch with Routela Ji who owns a shop in the market area. He has 3 rooms for stay with 2 beds each. Here is the contact number - 7983649090, 9458945993
There are another couple of options in the village of homestay/lodge for trekkers. You also have an alternative of going to Namik and staying at the lodge built for travellers/trekkers. The condition however is not that great and can be used just for stay purposes.
Yes, the Ranthan Kharak trek is a safe trek to do on your own provided that you have enough trek experience trekking in the Himalayas and follow a good fitness regime. You don't need a guide as well until you have the GPX file of the trek with you.
The trek does not need any special permissions to be obtained. The trek however lies in the Bageshwar forest division and there might be a time when one has to get permission before starting on the trek.
Unfortunately, not many treks have been explored around the Kumaon region. One option is to take the trail which continues to Munsiyari.
There is another trail which you can take to Supi from Gogina. We have also heard about trails going up from Kemu and reaching the higher altitudes if you continue ahead of Gogina which hasn't been explored or documented.
Apart from this, you have the Pindari Glacier Trek
Having too many mules on a trail isn’t good for the ecosystem. This is why, at Indiahikes, we do not encourage offloading. A trekker carries his/her own backpack in the true spirit of trekking.
But if — due to a medical condition — you are unable to carry your own backpack, you may offload your backpack. It'll cost you Rs 1,575 for the trek. You can reach out to the Experience Coordinator once you have the registration done.
We recommend jogging as the best routine to get fit for a trek. It works on the same muscles that you use while trekking — your calves, glutes and hamstrings. It helps increase your stamina day by day. It is also an easy routine that does not require any equipment or tools.
To do this trek comfortably, you must be able to cover 5 km in under 35 minutes. This is the minimum fitness required for this trek.
How to achieve this fitness?
- Start jogging at least 4 days a week
- If you cannot run 5 km immediately, start with 2 km and increase to 5 km over 2-3 weeks.
- Once you’re able to run 5 km, increase your pace day by day.
- Gradually increase your pace and bring it down to 5 km in less than 35 mins.
- You must be able to run 5 km in 35 mins consistently for at least 2 weeks before the trek.
This trek requires at least 6-8 weeks of preparation. The longer, the better. So plan your trek soon and start preparing.
Strength training tips:
How to get Fitness Approval from the Indiahikes team:
Every trekker needs fitness approval from the Indiahikes team 20 days before the trek date. Without this, you will not be allowed on the trek.
What to upload?
- A minimum of 3 screenshots of your runs/jogs/walks/cycling
- Monthly summary of your routine
Why fitness matters:
Every high-altitude trek comes with a set of challenges. Steep ascents and descents, uneven terrain, snow walks, stream crossings, pass crossings, and summit climb. Even the easiest of treks have some of these challenges if not all of them. Without fitness, trekkers struggle, get injured easily, lag behind, or simply fail to complete the trek.
At Indiahikes, we take pride in the fact that our trekkers are among the fittest in the country. Those who do not meet the fitness requirements are often sent back. Our philosophy is that trekking and fitness go hand in hand. Without fitness, there’s no trekking.
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