Difficulty

Moderate | Level 2

Duration

7 Days

Highest Altitude

12,887

Age

12 to 55 years

Duration

7 Days

Age

12 to 55 years

Difficulty

Moderate | Level 2

Highest Altitude

12,887

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Trek fee

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Ranthan Kharak Trek

Trek to the Heart of Kumaon Himalayas

For a long time at Indiahikes, we wanted to explore and bring out the hidden treks in our Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. We knew about trails of Kumaon with hidden gems and treks that can be equally rewarding as the Garwhal region.

After many months of research, we discovered Ranthan Kharak Trek which starts from the Bageshwar district and enters into the Pithoragarh district. The trek meanders on the borders of the districts. With the help of the forest department, we explored and stitched together this unique journey that all trekkers must take. 

This trek takes you to the heart of the Kumaon region.

When you talk about Kumaon, only two famous hotspots of the Pithoragarh district come to everybody’s mind. One is at the eastern end of Munsiyari, other is towards the Pindari side, closer to Garhwal. You notice this even on the dainty streets of Bageshwar. 

In this region, the only trek people have heard about is the Pindari Glacier Trek. Everyone knows about it. But that’s an identity of the bygone era. 

That’s not the case with the Ranthan Kharak trek. When you mention Ranthan Kharak, not even the locals of this region are aware of this treasure trove. 

The exploration team set out on this trek, not only once but two times in different seasons. Both times, the team came back with a jaw-dropping experience. In most of our treks, the highlight is of reaching a summit or crossing over a pass. However, on the Ranthan Kharak trek, the highlight is the entire journey that trekkers get to experience. 

The journey starts right from the drive through the mammoth pine forest sections to reach Gogina, to the glaciers hanging around the base. The trek takes you through the lush distinctive forests and the multiple beautiful clearings which the trek name has been derived from. It later goes to the meadow region followed by the climb to the moraine section where the snow-capped mountains are standing tall like cathedrals.

Since the trek is not known to the rest of Kumaon or the trekking world, until this gets enough attention, you will be trekking through the secluded trails that are well marked out. What strikes the most is the Panch Footiya trail (5-feet trail) laid out by the forest department throughout the entire trek.

This experience on the Ranthan Kharak trek is so enthralling that the trek will leave you with visions of the trek even after you are back to your daily life.

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Quick Itinerary

Day 1

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 6.30 AM. The cost of the cab for a 5-6 seater will be Rs 8,000 per vehicle and Tempo Traveller will cost Rs 11,000

Day 2

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.

Day 3

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

Day 4

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.

Day 5

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.

Day 6

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

Day 7

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 xxx per cab (5-6 Seater).

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 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. 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.

PRO-TIPS

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.

Day 1

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 6.30 AM. The cost of the cab for a 5-6 seater will be Rs 8,000 per vehicle and Tempo Traveller will cost Rs 11,000

Day 2

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.

Day 3

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

Day 4

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.

Day 5

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.

Day 6

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

Day 7

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 xxx per cab (5-6 Seater).

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 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. 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.

PRO-TIPS

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.

Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder

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Trekking transforms lives. It has changed my life completely. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible. 

I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences. 

I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.

In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.  

Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine. 

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Suhas Saya

Head, 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 12 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. Suhas was also involved in the exploration of this trek of Ranthan Kharak.

Highlights on the Ranthan Kharak Trek

What I Like About Ranthan Kharak Trek

Suhas Saya

Head, 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 12 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. Suhas was also involved in the exploration of this trek of Ranthan Kharak.

1. Clearings on the Ranthan Kharak Trek

There are many treks where you get clearings in the forest areas. And then you have you Kharaks as the locals call these clearings on this trek. These clearings are huge compared to other treks in Uttarakhand! 

It is like two or three undulating football fields together and surrounded by forest sections. These clearings or Kharaks are massive.

The clearings in the forest section are so pretty that the camping experience itself is something that you can go for.

The stunning setting of the Kharaks on the trek

2. Combination of Ridges and Ledges

The Ranthan Kharak trek has a unique amalgamation of trekking on the ridges and ledges. Once you cross the clearings, you enter into a series of climbs involving these two geographical features. This goes on for multiple hours. 

These ledges take the climb into gateways of multiple tops ranging from Thal Tok, Chophu Top and then finally to Ranthan Top.

If you follow the trail from the ridge and take the trail, you will end up at Nanda Kund which makes this extended trek a moderate-difficult one.

Trekking on the ridge and ledge are a jaw dropping experience

3. Forests on the Ranthan Kharak

The forests of Ranthan Kharak are another highlight that makes your knees go weak. The forest is a mix of oak trees, maple, and pine. A majority of sections are also covered with different types of rhododendron trees.

Trekking during the months of Spring, Summer or Autumn is a delight for any trekker who has a special corner for forest sections.

Trekking through the forest sections of the Ranthan Kharak trek is a delight for any kind of trekkers.

4. Birdlife on the secluded trails

The final highlight which adds a cherry on the cake is the birdlife you witness on the delightful trails throughout the trek. Along with the sounds of these beautiful chirping birds, you also get to see colourful birds swooping across the forests or at the clearings.

When the exploration team came back from the trek, they had the excitement to share about this trek giving a very close competition to our Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek, which is another trek known for birdlife.

A compilation of the few of the birds captured on camera during our exploration

Trekking down on the vast meadow of Thala Kharak and entering into the forest section.

Picture 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.

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PRO TIPS

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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