Ranthan Kharak Trek

Discover the hidden clearings of Kumaon

TREK DIFFCULTY

Moderate

TREK DURATION

7 days

HIGHEST ALTITUDE

12,887 ft

Discover the hidden clearings of Kumaon

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. 

Our trek leader, Alveera Ansari, who has led more than 40 treks, came back from her first group of Ranthan Kharak recently. Here's her take on the trek:

"I'm back from Ranthan Kharak trek and I'm so glad that I was able to witness this trek ! What a beautiful trek Suhas and Nitesh have explored. 🤍

We definitely need to spread word about this beauty. This trek can really beat many treks in garhwal region.

Be it a forest section, small stream cross, kharak, meadow walk, push towards Thal tok, Balchan kund ( ladies can go towards the kund, only during yatra and Pooja, ladies are not going , so no restriction to women trekkers we had ) , view of Mt. Nanda Devi !, summit push, luckily we got hail as well 😅

And you know what, we spotted 3 yellow Martin while returning frm Parava thor. We saw it near Bhopal ji ( guides ) home before entering Naamik village. They were really cute ! They remained me of Red panda of Sandakphu.

Really, Ranthan Kharak is way more beautiful than I expected it to be."

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. 

Watch these videos to get a glimpse of the trek

About the Ranthan Kharak Trek
low-preview-hqdefaulthqdefault
Hear from our trekkers themselves!
low-preview-hqdefaulthqdefault
low-preview-hqdefaulthqdefault
low-preview-hqdefaulthqdefault

Ranthan Kharak - Complete Trek Information

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.

Expert Speak

Suhas Saya

Head, DIY Team

low-preview-6333861c f4d8 4240 8cbb 239b1890a167 suhas saya  diy6333861c f4d8 4240 8cbb 239b1890a167 suhas saya  diy

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

low-preview-6333861c f4d8 4240 8cbb 239b1890a167 suhas saya  diy6333861c f4d8 4240 8cbb 239b1890a167 suhas saya  diy

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.

low-preview-b8cf95d9 c35a 41c1 aad4 ff62d76208dd ranthan kharak vikas negi indiahikes bajimanian kharakb8cf95d9 c35a 41c1 aad4 ff62d76208dd ranthan kharak vikas negi indiahikes bajimanian kharak

The stunning setting of the Kharaks on the trek. Photo by Indiahikes trekker

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 Kharak.

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.

low-preview-50a0952c def7 4348 9191 f06c57c40431 ranthan kharak trek indiahikes nitesh kumar april 2022 website resolution  15050a0952c def7 4348 9191 f06c57c40431 ranthan kharak trek indiahikes nitesh kumar april 2022 website resolution  150

Trekking on the ridge and ledge are a jaw dropping experience. Photo by Nitesh Kumar

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.

low-preview-1969b1b6 41cc 4fb3 aa41 a11ca3526b87 ranthan kharak trek indiahikes nitesh kumar april 2022 website resolution  271969b1b6 41cc 4fb3 aa41 a11ca3526b87 ranthan kharak trek indiahikes nitesh kumar april 2022 website resolution  27

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

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.

low-preview-e5c651f4 6a99 498d 9be3 55de384e9ad6 ranthan kharak trek indiahikes nitesh kumar april 2022e5c651f4 6a99 498d 9be3 55de384e9ad6 ranthan kharak trek indiahikes nitesh kumar april 2022

A compilation of a few birds captured on camera during our exploration. Captured by Indiahikes trekkers.