Difficulty

Difficult

Duration

8 Days, Kotgaon to Lower Damini

Highest Altitude

16,207 ft (4,940 m)

Age

13 to 55 years

Duration

8 Days, Kotgaon to Lower Damini

Age

13 to 55 years

Difficulty

Difficult

Highest Altitude

16,207 ft (4,940 m)

optional additions

Trek fee

+ % Gst

+

Bali Pass Trek

A Grand Pass Crossing High on Adventure

A Rare Adventure Among Big Mountains

There aren’t many treks that let one experience the raw grandeur of a Himalayan pass crossing. Connecting Har Ki Dun valley with Yamunotri, the Bali Pass is an exhilarating trail. It traverses the confluence of Tons and Ruinsara rivers, the undisturbed serenity of the Ruinsara Valley and the lush meadows of Devsu Thach.

Soon, greenery paves way for an alpine zone. At 16,207 ft, the Bali Pass offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the Bandarpoonch, Kalanag and Swargarohini peaks. This reward doesn’t come easy, as this trek is a difficult one and not suitable for beginners.

5 Highlights On The Bali Pass Trek

1. The ancient villages of Osla and Gangad take you back in time.

On day one, the ancient villages of Gangad and Osla strike a chord with unique village cultures and folklore. The ancient temples at Osla have riveting Himachali architecture that can keep you absorbed for a long time.

The ancient village of Osla on the Bali Pass trek takes you back in time. Picture by Samatv Iyer

2. The alpine meadows of Devsu Thach in the middle of the Ruinsara Forest are a grand surprise of the trek.

The setting of Dev Thach is picture-perfect. A thriving meadow surrounded by tall trees with Swargarohini and Kalanag looming in the background makes for a perfect setting. It makes for a very tempting spot to camp.

Entering the meadows of Devsu Thatch. Mt Swargarohini and Mt Kalanag are in the background. Picture by Rakesh

3. The trail from Devsu Thach to Ruinsara Lake, meandering next to the Ruinsara River

This is a beautiful and tricky stretch. The valley is narrow and one can be excused for comparing it with Rishi Gorge from Nanda Devi Sanctuary, although it isn’t as difficult as the latter. The array of alpine flowers across the riverbank is astonishing.

Trekking alongside the Ruinsara river is tricky, yet beautiful! Picture by Akhlesh Tomar

4. The Ruinsara Lake is a special glacial lake

Resting amidst the beautiful mountain ranges of Swaragrohini, the lake is serene and calming. The meadows around are neat and untouched. One can experience a sense of tranquillity all around the lakeside.

The colours of Ruinsara Tal early in June. Picture by Akhlesh Tomar

5. The challenging approach to Bali Pass

Like most Himalayan pass crossings, it is best done in either pre or post-monsoon seasons. In June and July, the higher regions of the pass are covered in snow while in post-monsoon season, it is a drier, rockier approach. Trekkers who enjoy high altitude pass traverses will find themselves totally at home.

optional additions

Trek fee

+ % Gst

+

Bali Pass - Ruinsara Tal Videos

Watch these videos to plan and prepare for your trek.

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Quick Itinerary

Day 1

Drive from Dehradun to Kotgaon

Drive distance: 186 km | Driving time: 9-10 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes Trekkers:

Drive from Dehradun to Kotgaon. This costs Rs.6,500 per vehicle (for a 5-6 seater SUV) andRs. 10,000 per vehicle (for 11-12 seater Tempo Traveller) which is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Pick up time: 6.30 am.

Day 2

Kotgaon to Taluka drive then Taluka to Chilurgad trek

Drive Distance: 12 km | Drive Duration: 1 hour drive,

Trek Distance: 11 km trek | Trek Duration: 7-8 hour trek | Altitude gain: 6,398 ft to 8,159 ft

Day 3

Chilurgad to Devsu Thach

Trek distance: 6 km | Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 8,159 ft to 10,016 feet

Day 4

Devsu Thach to Ruinsara Tal

Trek Distance: 10 km | Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 10,016 ft to 11,450 ft

Day 5

Ruinsara Tal to Thanga

Trek distance: 3 km | Duration: 3 hours | Altitude: Approximately 12,000 ft 

Day 6

Thanga to Advanced base camp via Odari (Bali Pass Base Camp)

Trek distance: 5 km | Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude gain: approx 12000 ft to 15,154 ft via 13,287 ft

Day 7

Advance Base Camp to Lower Damini via Bali Pass

Trek distance: 14 km | Duration: 9-10 hours | Altitude loss: 15,147 ft to 11,076 feet via 16,207 feet (Bali pass)

Day 8

Lower Damini to Janakichatti to Dehradun

Trek distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 1 hour

Drive Distance: 169 km | Driving time: 8 hours | Altitude loss: 11,076 ft to 10,797 ft

Day 9

Buffer Day

If Buffer day is used, trekkers will have to pay Rs 2100 +5% GST. The money will be collected by the Trek Leader only if we use the buffer day. This depends completely on the weather conditions on the trek and the call will be taken by the trek leader.

You’ll be back in Dehradun by 8 pm. Please factor in the buffer day in your travel plans – book your onward journey from Dehradun only after 9 pm on Day 9.

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 Kotgaon. Do not leave this or any other gears till the end.

- The stay at Kotgaon will be on our campus where we have a lodge.

- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent

- We won't have a Cloak Room facility at the base camp for excess luggage. This is because you will be descending to Janakichatti from the Bali pass.

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

Onward Travel

The drive to Kotgaon takes you along the narrow mountain roads along the River Yamuna. Within an hour of driving from Dehradun, you reach Mussoorie. Further ahead, the journey takes you past Mori and Purola. You see beautiful valleys and forest cover throughout the journey. Cross the villages of Nainbagh, Naugaon, Purola, Jarmola, Mori Naitwar, and finally Kotgaon. The 18 km stretch of the dense pine forest after Purola and the drive through the Mori valley alongside River Tons will stay with you for a long time. Do not miss to watch out for them.

The village offers a beautiful view of the sun setting behind the greater Himalayas. The peaks of Swargarohini shimmer in the evening sun, standing tall over the ridges beyond Kotgaon.

Return Travel

The drive back to Dehradun follows the route from Janakachatti. The road goes along River Yamuna.
You are expected to reach back at Dehradun at around 8 pm. Plan your return journey only after 9 pm on the 9th day to factor in your buffer day.

Day 1

Drive from Dehradun to Kotgaon

Drive distance: 186 km | Driving time: 9-10 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes Trekkers:

Drive from Dehradun to Kotgaon. This costs Rs.6,500 per vehicle (for a 5-6 seater SUV) andRs. 10,000 per vehicle (for 11-12 seater Tempo Traveller) which is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Pick up time: 6.30 am.

Day 2

Kotgaon to Taluka drive then Taluka to Chilurgad trek

Drive Distance: 12 km | Drive Duration: 1 hour drive,

Trek Distance: 11 km trek | Trek Duration: 7-8 hour trek | Altitude gain: 6,398 ft to 8,159 ft

Day 3

Chilurgad to Devsu Thach

Trek distance: 6 km | Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 8,159 ft to 10,016 feet

Day 4

Devsu Thach to Ruinsara Tal

Trek Distance: 10 km | Duration: 4-5 hours | Altitude gain: 10,016 ft to 11,450 ft

Day 5

Ruinsara Tal to Thanga

Trek distance: 3 km | Duration: 3 hours | Altitude: Approximately 12,000 ft 

Day 6

Thanga to Advanced base camp via Odari (Bali Pass Base Camp)

Trek distance: 5 km | Duration: 5-6 hours | Altitude gain: approx 12000 ft to 15,154 ft via 13,287 ft

Day 7

Advance Base Camp to Lower Damini via Bali Pass

Trek distance: 14 km | Duration: 9-10 hours | Altitude loss: 15,147 ft to 11,076 feet via 16,207 feet (Bali pass)

Day 8

Lower Damini to Janakichatti to Dehradun

Trek distance: 6 km | Trek Duration: 1 hour

Drive Distance: 169 km | Driving time: 8 hours | Altitude loss: 11,076 ft to 10,797 ft

Day 9

Buffer Day

If Buffer day is used, trekkers will have to pay Rs 2100 +5% GST. The money will be collected by the Trek Leader only if we use the buffer day. This depends completely on the weather conditions on the trek and the call will be taken by the trek leader.

You’ll be back in Dehradun by 8 pm. Please factor in the buffer day in your travel plans – book your onward journey from Dehradun only after 9 pm on Day 9.

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 Kotgaon. Do not leave this or any other gears till the end.

- The stay at Kotgaon will be on our campus where we have a lodge.

- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent

- We won't have a Cloak Room facility at the base camp for excess luggage. This is because you will be descending to Janakichatti from the Bali pass.

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

Onward Travel

The drive to Kotgaon takes you along the narrow mountain roads along the River Yamuna. Within an hour of driving from Dehradun, you reach Mussoorie. Further ahead, the journey takes you past Mori and Purola. You see beautiful valleys and forest cover throughout the journey. Cross the villages of Nainbagh, Naugaon, Purola, Jarmola, Mori Naitwar, and finally Kotgaon. The 18 km stretch of the dense pine forest after Purola and the drive through the Mori valley alongside River Tons will stay with you for a long time. Do not miss to watch out for them.

The village offers a beautiful view of the sun setting behind the greater Himalayas. The peaks of Swargarohini shimmer in the evening sun, standing tall over the ridges beyond Kotgaon.

Return Travel

The drive back to Dehradun follows the route from Janakachatti. The road goes along River Yamuna.
You are expected to reach back at Dehradun at around 8 pm. Plan your return journey only after 9 pm on the 9th day to factor in your buffer day.

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Bali Pass - Ruinsara Tal trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

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

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Trekking transforms lives. It has completely changed my life. 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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Dushyant Sharma, Slope Manager

Dushyant is a Slope Manager and Trainer at Indiahikes. He has been with Indiahikes for over 6 years now. Dushyant is one of the most on-demand Trek Leaders at Indiahikes for his expertise in safety and high altitude trek leading. He is also the face of the popular Hindi video series Chalein Trekking with Dushyant Sharma. He has led more than 100 treks including a few of the toughest treks organised by Indiahikes, including Warwan Valley, Kedartal and Pin Parvati Pass. He is known for his leadership and storytelling.

What I Like Like About Bali Pass Trek

What I Like Like About Bali Pass Trek

Dushyant Sharma, Slope Manager

Dushyant is a Slope Manager and Trainer at Indiahikes. He has been with Indiahikes for over 6 years now. Dushyant is one of the most on-demand Trek Leaders at Indiahikes for his expertise in safety and high altitude trek leading. He is also the face of the popular Hindi video series Chalein Trekking with Dushyant Sharma. He has led more than 100 treks including a few of the toughest treks organised by Indiahikes, including Warwan Valley, Kedartal and Pin Parvati Pass. He is known for his leadership and storytelling.

1. The ancient villages of Osla and Gangad take you back in time.

On day one, the ancient villages of Gangad and Osla strike a chord with unique village cultures and folklore. The ancient temples at Osla have riveting Himachali architecture that can keep you absorbed for a long time.

2. The alpine meadows of Devsu Thach in middle of the Ruinsara Forest are a grand surprise of the trek.

The setting of Dev Thach is picture-perfect. A thriving meadow surrounded by tall trees with Swargarohini and Kalanag looming in the background makes for a perfect setting. It makes for a very tempting spot to camp.

3. The trail from Devsu Thach to Ruinsara Lake, meandering next to the Ruinsara River

This is a beautiful and tricky stretch. The valley is narrow and one can be excused for comparing it with Rishi Gorge from Nanda DeviSanctuary, although it isn’t as difficult as the latter. The array of alpine flowers across the riverbank is astonishing.

4. The Ruinsara Lake is a special glacial lake

Resting amidst the beautiful mountain ranges of Swaragrohini, the lake is serene and calming. The meadows around are neat and untouched. One can experience a sense of tranquillity all around the lakeside.

5. The challenging approach to Bali Pass

Like most Himalayan pass crossings, it is best done in either pre or post-monsoon seasons. In June and July, the higher regions of the past are covered in snow while in post-monsoon season, it is a drier, rockier approach. Trekkers who enjoy high altitude pass traverses will find themselves totally at home.

Picture by:

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 Bali Pass - Ruinsara Tal 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 that extremely useful.

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

PRO TIPS

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Trek Trivia

Spotlights and Orange Glows in the Forests of Bali Pass Trek

Most of the trail for Bali Pass is similar to that of Har ki Dun. However, for Har ki Dun, the majority of the time you are walking on the left side of the Ruinsara-Tons river and the right side of Bali Pass. These two trails meet at a point. 

After this, beyond Boslo village towards Rain Basera, you face a steep descent through dense forest. As Bali Pass is filled with adventure in its truest sense, proper technique and guidance are needed to climb down the narrow path here. 

However, on this path, you see something magical. Sunlight takes on different colours and forms. The reason for this is the different kinds of canopies formed by the various trees here. The spruce trees, for instance, with their needle-like branches and leaves, break the sunlight into what seems like countless small spotlights falling on the ground. If you look up from under the golden oak trees, sunlight appears like an orange bulb above you. And it is through this ‘enchanted forest’ that you get to walk in the Bali Pass trek.

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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