Uttarakhand Treks Reopen For Trekking! Here Are Answers To Questions You May Have

Over the past month, there has been quite some confusion about trekking in Uttarakhand. Trekkers have a lot of questions in mind.

Are treks running?

Will they get cancelled?

Have the routes changed?

Well, we have good news!

Most trekking trails in Uttarakhand have opened up for trekking again!

This includes Kedarkantha, Har Ki Dun, Dayara Bugyal, Phulara Ridge, Gaumukh Tapovan, Kedartal, Brahmatal and Nag Tibba.

In this post, I hope to clear the air about trekking in Uttarakhand. I’ll answer key questions that trekkers have been asking us and resolve doubts.

Watch a video of our founder, Arjun Majumdar, clarifying details about the situation in Uttarakhand.

1. Are treks running in Uttarakhand? What exactly is the issue?

To answer quickly, yes, treks are running in Uttarakhand.

But what exactly is the issue?

On August 29th, the High Court of Uttarakhand passed an order to ban camping in the alpine meadows of Uttarakhand.

After the order was passed, the forest department clamped down on trekking activities on most Uttarakhand trails, because most of these trails involve camping in alpine meadows.

But over the past week, the forest department has been giving permissions to run treks with some changes — changes in routes, or in the campsite locations.

2. Which treks are running for sure?

Here’s a list of treks that are running for sure. Click on their names to read details about them.

Har Ki Dun
Kedarkantha
Dayara Bugyal
Gaumukh-Tapovan
Kedartal
Brahmatal
Phulara Ridge
Nag Tibba
Rupin Pass

We have obtained written permission for all the above treks..

3. Have trekkers been going on these treks over the past week?

Yes, trekkers have gone to Gaumukh-Tapovan, Kedartal, Rupin Pass and Har Ki Dun. A team of trekkers is leaving to Phulara Ridge today and to Kedarkantha tomorrow.

The trekkers to Har Ki Dun could even make it to Maninda Tal because they were super fit and had good weather!

So everything is running smooth.

We have taken permission for each trekker to be on the trail.

So there’s nothing to worry about.

4. Have the routes or campsite locations changed for any of the treks?

The routes for almost all the treks are the same.

Only the campsite locations vary for a few of them.

I’m putting down the itinerary for each trek below. These may have small changes, but they are more or less the routes you’ll follow:

Kedarkantha:

Dehradun → Sankri → Juda Ka Talab → KK Base → KK Summit → Har Gaon → Sankri → Dehradun

Har Ki Dun:

Dehradun → Sankri → Drive to Taluka and trek to Gangaad → Osla → Simatra → Simatra to HKD and back → Chilurgad → Trek to Taluka and drive to Sankri → Dehradun

Dayara Bugyal: 

Dehradun → Raithal → Gui → Barnala → Dayara Top and back to Barnala → Barsu → Dehradun

Gaumukh-Tapovan:

Dehradun → Dharali →Chirbasa(via Gangotri) → Bhojbasa → Acclimatisation walk to Gaumukh and back to Bhojbasa → Dharali (via Gangotri) → Dehradun

The routes to Brahmatal, Rupin Pass, Phulara Ridge, Kedartal and Nag Tibba remain the same.

5. Are you missing out on any highlights of these treks?

I understand that many of us were looking to camp in the meadows of Uttarakhand.

Nevertheless, even without that, these treks are beautiful and you aren’t missing out on much.

Even though you don’t get to camp in the meadows, you do visit them spend enough time there. We have made sure that the new itineraries accommodate that time in the meadows.

So be sure that you aren’t missing out on the meadows!

6. Which treks are not running or doubtful?

The Roopkund trek is completely out of the picture. Without being able to camp in the meadows, there will be a huge altitude gain from the previous to the next campsite. We will not be able to do the trek safely, without risking altitude sickness.

So we will not be running the Roopkund trek.

We have opened up fresh dates to Buran Ghati, which makes for a terrific alternative to Roopkund. We have dates in October. So you could go for it.

Kuari Pass is another trek that is on hold. The forest department is trying to decide on a route that they can allow trekkers to go on. So we’ll wait a few more days to hear from them.

7. Are any of the running treks likely to get cancelled?

Not likely.

The forest department, local operators, trekking organisations are all working together to make treks run.

It’s a collective effort to keep trekking alive in Uttarakhand.

So the treks where permissions have come in are not going to get cancelled. You can go ahead and register for these treks.

If you have any questions, just drop in a comment. One of us from Indiahikes will get back to you!

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Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy

Swathi Chatrapathy is the Chief Editor at Indiahikes. She heads the content team and runs a video series called Trek With Swathi. Before joining Indiahikes, she worked as a reporter and sub-editor at Deccan Chronicle. She holds a Masters in Digital Journalism and continues to contribute to publications such as Deccan Herald. Trekking, to her, is a sport that liberates that mind like nothing else can. Through her work at Indiahikes, she hopes to let more people experience this sense of liberation, by spreading information about trekking and by instilling the right spirit of trekking in them.Read Swathi's other articles. Watch Swathi's video series here.

14 thoughts on “Uttarakhand Treks Reopen For Trekking! Here Are Answers To Questions You May Have

  1. Query is with reference to Kedarkantha trek..Jan 19.. Indian hikes used a different route earlier.After the HC Order IH again shifted to the old route. It’s their any possibility till Jan 19 that u people choose the new route?

  2. Hi, planning to go for the Kuari Pass trek, but I see it’s still doubtful. We were waiting to get an update on it’s status, but didn’t register for it as in can it gets cancelled we will lose money on flight tickets. Also, I see Har Ki Dun is now waitlisted for the dates 27oct – 3nov. How does waitlist works? What do you guys suggest we do?

    1. Hi Nandwana, how about the Kedarkantha or Dayara Bugyal treks? Or perhaps Brahmatal? We suggest signing up for one of these treks now. If Kuari Pass opens up, you can shift. The pick up point will any way be near Dehradun or Haridwar (except for Brahmatal).

      Our waitlist slots get confirmed when there are cancellations. If there are many months to the trek, then it makes sense to be on it. But I wouldn’t recommend it for a trek that is so close by. Go for a trek that is confirmed.

    1. Deoriatal has not been allowed for a long time. Camping is not allowed at Deoriatal or Chopta. So we don’t run the trek anymore.

  3. Hi, I’m planning for Har Ki Dun (24 Nov – 01 Dec batch). But I had this question. Now with a slight change in the location of the final camp site, would it still be possible to go for an excursion to Jaundhar Glacier on Day 5?

    1. Hi Harsh, most of our trekkers have been going to either Jaundhar Glacier or Maninda Tal on Day 5. So that’s not a worry! It just depends on the weather, and October and November have very clear weather from our experience!

    1. Hi Sumit, Kuari Pass is still out of question from the route we take. There’s a tougher route to Kuari Pass, but we think that route is not very rewarding for the amount of effort put in.

  4. Hi Swati!
    Has the high court ban for camping at Bugiyals of Roopkund been removed? My query comes out as a concern because a close association of trekkers of mine are Scheduled to trek between 14th Oct to 28th Oct 2018

    1. Hi Koel, the ban has not been lifted. We’re not sure how your friends might go about the trek. If they are planning to trek directly from Ghaeroli Patal to Pathar Nachuni or Bhagwabhasa, advise them against it. Do ask them about their itinerary and be sure they aren’t gaining altitude too quickly/

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