Difficulty

Moderate-Difficul | Level 2

Duration

7 Days

Highest Altitude

15,279 ft

Age

13 to 55 years

Duration

7 Days

Age

13 to 55 years

Difficulty

Moderate-Difficul | Level 2

Highest Altitude

15,279 ft

optional additions

Trek fee

+ % Gst

+

Rupin Pass Trek

A Change in Scenery at Every Turn

If there is a classic trek in India, it has to be the Rupin Pass. This trek is like an orchestra, building up momentum with surprises in scenery every hour or so. With every step, the trek throws up a new vista to see, and new scenery to unfold. Quite suddenly too!

The surprises begin right from your first day of trekking. When, around 20 minutes into the trail,  you see the Rupin River make an appearance, fanning out into a wide bed below you. And it doesn’t stop here.

From here, the trail takes you through hanging villages, and then quite suddenly, it plunges into a deep pine forest!  That’s not all. The trail then meanders through glacial meadows, snow bridges, glacial valleys, snowfields, and hundreds of waterfalls!

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Rupin Pass Videos

Watch these videos to prepare well for your trek.

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Quick Itinerary

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

Day 1

Drive from Shimla to Jiskun (7,630 ft)

Drive distance: 192 km | Drive Duration: 9-10 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Old Shimla Bus Stand

Transport will be organised from Old Shimla Bus Stand at 5.30 AM. It is a 10-minute walk from the Old Shimla Bus Stand. The cost of the cab is Rs 12,500 (Bolero) per vehicle. The fare is split among trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Jiskun to Jhaka 

Trek Distance: 8.7 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude gain: 7,630 ft to 8,755 ft

A lovely trek through remote, traditional villages of Himachal. The trek is a challenging one. Expect an hour’s descent followed by an hour’s steep ascent.

Day 3

Trek from Jhaka to Saruwas Thatch

Trek Distance: 7.10 km | Trek duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude gain: 8790 ft to 10,770 ft

The day's trek starts off in a magnificent fir forest, one of the best forest sections on any trek. Further, the trail descends down into the valley, snaking on the banks of the Rupin River. Look out for beautiful dwarf rhododendrons after Udaknal, just as you approach the meadows of Saruwas Thatch.

Day 4

Trek from Saruwas Thatch to Dhanderas Thatch

Trek Distance: 3 km | Trek Duration: approx. 2 hours | Altitude gain: 10,770 ft to 11,700 ft

The shortest and perhaps the prettiest day of the trek, as you walk through small meadows, which are flower beds in summer, and beautifully colourful in autumn. The day's trek culminates at the iconic Dhanderas Thatch or Lower Waterfall campsite, where you camp at the base of the roaring 1,500 ft Rupin Waterfall.

Day 5

Trek from Dhanderas Thatch to Upper Waterfall

Trek Distance: 2.4 km | Trek Duration: 2-3 hours | Altitude gain: 11,700 ft to 13,275 ft

A quick and continuous ascent of the 1,500 ft Rupin Waterfall. In summer, expect to cross the waterfall on a snow bridge. In autumn, the trail is on rocky, and sometimes slippery terrain.

Day 6

Pass-crossing day: Upper Waterfall camp to Rupin Pass, further on to Ronti Gad

Trek Distance: 7.4 km | Trek Duration: 9-10 hours | Altitude gain and loss: 13,275 ft to 15,279 ft to 13,005 ft

The most adventurous day of your trek. You start from the Upper Waterfall Camp at around 3 am to make it to Rupin Pass by 7 or 8 am. The day's climb is hard, with steep ascents, through snowfields of rocky beds to the pass. The climb to the pass through the Rupin Gully is an iconic one. The descent and long walk to Rontigad is a true test of your endurance.

Day 7

Trek from Ronti Gad to Sangla

Trek Distance: 11.9 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude loss: 13,005 ft to 8,660 ft

The day's trek involves a steep descent all the way to Sangla, where your trek ends. Despite being the last day, this is one of the most picturesque days as you trek through the lush grasslands of Sangla. The trek ends at the River Baspa, which marks the beginning of civilization after your 7-day trek.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- The stay at Jiskun will be in a lodge and the rest of the days during the trek are in tents (3 per tent).

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek. Since Jiskun will have limited facilities to photocopy, do not leave this till the end.

- Since the Rupin Pass trek starts and ends at different locations, we do not have a cloakroom facility on this trek. There's no option to leave excess luggage behind. Please leave behind any excess luggage at Shimla at your hotel.

- We have introduced gears on rent for the Rupin Pass trek. (Please note that backpacks are not available for rent on this trek.)

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

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

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 Shimla to Jiskun (7,630 ft)

Drive distance: 192 km | Drive Duration: 9-10 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Old Shimla Bus Stand

Transport will be organised from Old Shimla Bus Stand at 5.30 AM. It is a 10-minute walk from the Old Shimla Bus Stand. The cost of the cab is Rs 12,500 (Bolero) per vehicle. The fare is split among trekkers and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Jiskun to Jhaka 

Trek Distance: 8.7 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude gain: 7,630 ft to 8,755 ft

A lovely trek through remote, traditional villages of Himachal. The trek is a challenging one. Expect an hour’s descent followed by an hour’s steep ascent.

Day 3

Trek from Jhaka to Saruwas Thatch

Trek Distance: 7.10 km | Trek duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude gain: 8790 ft to 10,770 ft

The day's trek starts off in a magnificent fir forest, one of the best forest sections on any trek. Further, the trail descends down into the valley, snaking on the banks of the Rupin River. Look out for beautiful dwarf rhododendrons after Udaknal, just as you approach the meadows of Saruwas Thatch.

Day 4

Trek from Saruwas Thatch to Dhanderas Thatch

Trek Distance: 3 km | Trek Duration: approx. 2 hours | Altitude gain: 10,770 ft to 11,700 ft

The shortest and perhaps the prettiest day of the trek, as you walk through small meadows, which are flower beds in summer, and beautifully colourful in autumn. The day's trek culminates at the iconic Dhanderas Thatch or Lower Waterfall campsite, where you camp at the base of the roaring 1,500 ft Rupin Waterfall.

Day 5

Trek from Dhanderas Thatch to Upper Waterfall

Trek Distance: 2.4 km | Trek Duration: 2-3 hours | Altitude gain: 11,700 ft to 13,275 ft

A quick and continuous ascent of the 1,500 ft Rupin Waterfall. In summer, expect to cross the waterfall on a snow bridge. In autumn, the trail is on rocky, and sometimes slippery terrain.

Day 6

Pass-crossing day: Upper Waterfall camp to Rupin Pass, further on to Ronti Gad

Trek Distance: 7.4 km | Trek Duration: 9-10 hours | Altitude gain and loss: 13,275 ft to 15,279 ft to 13,005 ft

The most adventurous day of your trek. You start from the Upper Waterfall Camp at around 3 am to make it to Rupin Pass by 7 or 8 am. The day's climb is hard, with steep ascents, through snowfields of rocky beds to the pass. The climb to the pass through the Rupin Gully is an iconic one. The descent and long walk to Rontigad is a true test of your endurance.

Day 7

Trek from Ronti Gad to Sangla

Trek Distance: 11.9 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude loss: 13,005 ft to 8,660 ft

The day's trek involves a steep descent all the way to Sangla, where your trek ends. Despite being the last day, this is one of the most picturesque days as you trek through the lush grasslands of Sangla. The trek ends at the River Baspa, which marks the beginning of civilization after your 7-day trek.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- The stay at Jiskun will be in a lodge and the rest of the days during the trek are in tents (3 per tent).

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek. Since Jiskun will have limited facilities to photocopy, do not leave this till the end.

- Since the Rupin Pass trek starts and ends at different locations, we do not have a cloakroom facility on this trek. There's no option to leave excess luggage behind. Please leave behind any excess luggage at Shimla at your hotel.

- We have introduced gears on rent for the Rupin Pass trek. (Please note that backpacks are not available for rent on this trek.)

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

PRO-TIPS

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.

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Rupin Pass trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which have now become a few of the most recognised campsites in the trekking circles of India.

Jiskun, the basecamp of the Rupin Pass trek is a lovely village set amidst coniferous forests. The village is Jhaka. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy.

Jhaka, the second camp on the trek is set in the heart of a hanging village, which overlooks the Rupin River.

Beautiful Lower Waterfall campsite receiving first rays of warmth. Picture by Viraj Mahalunkar

Why Trekking With Indiahikes Is Different

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People have always told us that trekking with us is different. That it is not just about the trek.

Our trekkers go as far as to tell us that it is a life-changing experience. They feel a renewed sense of confidence, they feel more inclined towards sustainable living, and they even feel independent enough to trek on their own. As our founder, Arjun Majumdar, says, "It's almost like seeing two different people before and after the trek."

This is what makes trekking with Indiahikes different. The experience is designed in such a way that it has a deep impact on trekkers. Our Trek Leaders are trained in experience facilitation, to ensure that trekkers take the best out of being in the outdoors. This is why trekkers love trekking with Indiahikes.

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Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, went on the Rupin Pass trek much before he started Indiahikes. He is a veteran of the trekking community in India and one of the earliest to trek Rupin Pass and put it on the maps of our country. Here’s Arjun talking about the trek full of surprises.

What I Like and Don’t Like About the Rupin Pass Trek

What I Like About Rupin Pass

Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, went on the Rupin Pass trek much before he started Indiahikes. He is a veteran of the trekking community in India and one of the earliest to trek Rupin Pass and put it on the maps of our country. Here’s Arjun talking about the trek full of surprises.

1. The adventurous pass crossing

The Rupin gully is a half tube cut out of the mountainside. When you first see it from the trail, the sight of the near-vertical climb is enough to make your heart stop. (A sentiment even our staff and Trek Leaders attest to – despite having done this trek multiple times!).

The climb is 200 meters, on a steep snowy flank through narrow rocky confines of the mountain. As finding a foothold in this terrain is difficult, our staff will cut steps for you on the hard ice. As you climb, placing your foot on these steps – you find that voices echo and travel sharply all over the gully. This climb is as thrilling as it gets!

The Rupin Pass crossing is one of the most adventurous pass crossings in the Himalayas. Picture by Lomesh Gururaj

2. The Lower waterfall campsite

The lower waterfall campsite is probably one of the most exquisite Himalayas have to offer. Snuggled at the bottom of a perfect “U” shaped glacial valley – it lies on the bed of a lush green meadow. From your view at the bottom of the meadow, snow-patched cliffs tower on all three sides.

In front, the Rupin cascades down from the snowy Dhauladhar range for over two thousand feet to form the famous Rupin waterfall.  Spending two days at this campsite is a luxury!

The Lower Waterfall Campsite. Picture by Arthy

3. The grasslands on the Kinnaur side

From the snowline after the pass, the trail descends sharply through endless meadows that stretch to Sangla Kanda.  The Ronti Gad campsite is amid these grasslands. Towering, snow-capped mountains lean over the campsite and a bountiful stream flows along with the camp.

This is a gift after a long pass day! The meadows of Sangla Kanda are awe-inspiring, especially in its setting. The sharp serrated edge of the Kinnaur Kailash range, all over 20,000 ft, overlooking the meadows of Sangla Kanda is enough to make you stand still in amazement.

The meadows of Sangla. Picture by Vivek Bagade

4. Fir forests after Jhaka

A half an hour outside Jhaka village, the trail flattens out and plunges into a fir forest, so sudden that it is almost like a gate has opened up. Pine trees over 100 feet tall tower over the trail. And within the enchanting forest Maple trees play hide and seek. The forest ends as suddenly as it starts over a confluence of the Rupin with a tributary. It is one of the most memorable sections of the trek.

Picture by Sandhya UC

5. Buras Kandi and Saruwas Thatch

After Udaknal and just past Buras Kandi, around a bend in the trail, a sight leaves you gaping. Rhododendrons bloom everywhere and climb a thousand feet into the slope. It is a riot of colours: pink, violet and white Rhododendrons – all of the dwarf kind. Some of the Rhododendrons even swoop over the clear waters of the Rupin, their flowers falling into the river to be carried downstream forever. After Buras Kandi, you enter Saruwas Thatch, which is another sight in itself. With bursts of yellow flowers and bees buzzing around them, it is a sight to behold!

Picture by Aparna

6.  Snow bridges in the valley

Look out for the snow bridge that you have to cross on your way to the lower waterfall campsite (Dhanderas Thatch). Snow bridges are common on slopes but to see them on a wide-open valley is a surprise.

Picture by Sandhya UC

What I Don't Like About Rupin Pass

1. The Route From Dhaula to Jiskun

Earlier, we used to start the trek from Dhaula, in Uttarakhand. Dhaula was a lovely riverside camp to start the trek. From Dhaula, one would cross borders from Uttarakhand to Himachal during the second day of the trek. While there is a thrill in this border-crossing, the route from Dhaula until Jiskun is in tatters. With road construction work, the trail has become dusty and unpleasant. So despite liking Dhaula as a base camp, I don't like the trail until Jiskun. It isn't worth the 15-20 km trek.

It's a common sight to see large herds of sheep crossing the Rupin Pass. Many shepherds herd their sheep across the pass to graze on the grasslands of Rontigad.

Picture by: Daxen

The shepherd's trail

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 Rupin Pass 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.

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

PRO TIPS

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Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About the Rupin Pass trek

Did you know that the area around Rupin Pass has the best apples?

Around September-October, the apple season begins in Himachal Pradesh. Apart from the stunning Rupin Pass views, you'll be greeted by people with apples. There are plenty of apple trees in the area. The locals call you to visit their homes and give you apples. 

Jhaka village is the most popular village on Rupin Pass. After a tiring day of trekking, you'll be relieved to walk through this village. You'll see plenty of apples on the Jhaka village tour as well.

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.

By signing up to trek with Indiahikes, you also sign up to do your part to ensure that the mountains are left in better condition.

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