One of the most popular winter trek destinations of India is in Uttarakhand. The location is Kedarnath. The peak of Kedarnath is at an altitude of 12500 feet. If you are an inexperienced trekker and are longing to go for a trek now, this trek is going to satisfy your craving to the fullest. Throughout the trek you will be encountering stunning views. Among all other treks that are done nearby, this trek offers the best view of the mountainscape.
The Kedarkantha trek is one of the best treks that one can go on in Himalayan range of Uttarakhand. Whether you want to view the sunrise or sunset, the peak gives an incredible view of both. If you have not done a winter trek, the Kedarkantha winter trek is a classic one which you should opt for without any hesitation. You must not miss out on the opportunity to see nature in a completely new way. You will also learn how villagers lead their life in the remote villages situated in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas.
The Kedarkantha trek is a well-known winter trek among trekking enthusiasts of India. As you will trek on trails and mountains all covered with snow, you will be amazed by the beautiful campsites. And you will certainly be surprised at how unexpectedly easy the trek was, though it looked daunting when you started. During the Kedarkantha winter trek, you will be experiencing an easy to moderate difficulty level. We will be covering three destinations, which are Sankri, Juda Lake and Kedarkantha.
The Kedarkantha trek takes place in Uttarakhand’s Uttarkashi district. The Sankri village or Sour village is a traditional village which is situated in the premises of Govind Wildlife Sanctuary National Park. This trek starts from Sankri. The pristine Tons river flowing through the Sankri village and the snow-capped mountains make it look extremely beautiful. Once you visit Sour village, you would want to keep revisiting it again and again. The charm of Sankri is undoubtedly magnetic.
The village is located amidst mountains and the chilly weather makes it a special place. The wooden houses in the area look very cute to us who are so used to living amidst concrete jungle. Fairs, conventions and rituals are regular parts of the Sankri village. During these occasions, the villagers not only cook traditional recipes but also dons traditional outfits. Naati, Tandi and Raas are the folk dances of this region and villagers indulge in them for amusement and entertainment.
The real beauty of the Himalayas can be seen during this trek. The Kedarkantha trek has an altitude of 3800 meters. One interesting fact about the trek is that the Kedarkantha mountain is shaped like a triangle and this makes the trek more unique. Also every year on 15th of June, a big fair is organized in Kedarkantha. People from nearby villagers throng to this fair. People celebrate this event with a lot of fanfare with music and playing of drums. Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva are worshipped here. Kedarkantha is a religious place too drawing holy pilgrims every year who come to offer their prayers.
Not just in Uttarakhand or India, the Kedarkantha trek is popular as a winter trek destination for trekkers around the world. It is one of the prominent winter treks of Uttarakhand. The beauty of this winter trek is unparalleled. In winter, the entire trail gets a thick coat of snow. Even in summer, the treks offer many unbelievably magnificent views like the fresh flowing water, rolling green land and dense forests. The thick forests and the snow-capped mountain peaks makes the trek worthy of all its popularity.
During winter, the area resembles Switzerland. All the dense forests turn white from green. This is what makes the trek perfect not just for avid trekkers but equally suitable for children and amateur trekkers. As you trek through the forests, you will see villagers dressed traditionally, looking very adorable, as they gather food for their cattle. The flora of this place is attractive too as you get to see different kinds of trees like the Rhododendron, pine and oak.
The view during the winter months is different from other seasons. Wherever you see, you will find snow. The birds flying over the snow-covered mountains creates a grand view, along with the rivers and rivulets. The moment you step foot on the Kedarnath base camp which is Sankri, you will be transported to another world. There is a small market at Sankri which is a great place to shop for all the visitors. There are both hotels and homestays in a good number here. After reaching Dehradun, you can stay at an accommodation in Sankri for a night before you can start the trek the next morning. Viewing the sunrise or sunset from the peak is very special experience which will make you feel that you can almost touch the sky.
The Kedarkantha winter trek is also a whole lot of fun as you can build a snowman, slide down the snow, make snow balls and throw at other family members or friendly co-travellers. The trek becomes extra enjoyable if you face snowfall. You must take a lot of photos here and this winter trek is most probably going to be the best or one of the best trekking experiences of your life, even when you have gone for many many treks. During winter, people come here as they are eager to see snowfall. Who wouldn’t like to see something so magical?
From the Sankri base camp, the moon seems to be reachable. Viewing the gorgeous sunrise is a must at Sankri as the sun welcomes everyone to a new day with golden rays. You can spend a whole day at Sankri and the day will end without you even realizing how a whole day went by so fast. The villagers of Sankri are so lucky to be living there! You would wish you never had to leave too. But as all facilities are still not available in places like this, alas, you will not be able to remote work from here or do a workcation! But the beauty of the mountains are untouched and mesmerizing because all the facilities are not available here. The hills are still peaceful as it is not always crowded and not commercialised which is what sets them apart from cities. The pahadi people are indeed lucky that they get to live in such peaceful places.
The Kedarkantha Trek can be done at any time of the year. Though it is more popular as a winter trek. If you love going back to the mountains and feel like home ther, this trek is perfect for you. This trek will give you a chance to spend some time in the mountains and that too in the Himalayas!
The Kedarkantha trek can be a knowledgeable one too as we learn more about the lives of villagers who live in backward villages and areas. It will be our pleasure to learn how satisfied they are with their simple lives.
There are trekkers who have gone on this trek multiple times when they were at a beginner level. They know details about the trek as well as any local person. The trek which starts from Sankri village is not very easy but it is also not at all hard.
A normally fir human between the age of five and sixty years should be able to do this trek. The most important thing is to be fit and healthy enough to go for any trek. If you have any doubt, you should consult a doctor for the best advice and a general check-up. The best thing is as it can be done throughout the year, there are many summer plans and winter plans that you will find online.
But if you are thinking about doing this trek in winter with your family, we would advise you to not bring any child who is below ten and any senior who is above the age of fifty-five years. For any first time trekker, this trek is going to bring them a lot of joy throughout the trek and a lot of relief when they climb to the summit or return back to base camp after conquering the peak. You will need to be in Dehradun for six days and the Kedarkantha trek will take five nights only.
Definitely the beautiful Kedarnath winter trek is an uphill trek which is done in the Himalayas of Uttarakhand. For people who are passionate about mountaineering, this trek is great for them. It is also a trek which will clear your head and make your purpose clear once again, if you are feeling disturbed or down with life.
The peak is relatively at a low altitude but having a strong endurance level and having a good fitness level is a must. The medium difficulty level is ideal for beginner trekkers and if you are one, we would encourage you to try it.
We try our best to make the trek a great experience for those who sign up with us. Anyway, this trek is completely safe. The local villagers go on this trek again and again throughout their lives. The first winter trek done here was in the year 2003 and since then it has been seeing a massive growth in its popularity.
This spectacular drive takes about 8 to 9 hours and covers 210 kms. Sankri village lies at an approximate height of 2000 m. The drive to Sankri is going to be a very scenic one as we will drive through Dehradun’s forests. If you are a beginner trekker, the trek to Kedarkantha Peak is a good option for you. You will be successful in reaching a summit and that will give a great feeling! Sankri serves as the Kedarkantha base camp.
This trek can actually be done in any season and trekkers need to hike through Govind Pashu Vihar National Park, which makes it more interesting. If you attempt the trek during the summer season, you will hike on rolling green grasslands. The scene totally changes during winter as you get to see snow covered forests and tall Himalayan peaks. During the ten hour drive, you will see the dense forests totally covered with snow. There are multiple trekking routes which lead to Kedarkantha. One can also leave the trek at Sankri, Gaichawan Gaon or Kotgaon.
Situated in the middle of Sankri and Kedarnath peak is a high-altitude lake, known as the Juda ka Talab or Juda Lake. The pristine lake is located at quite a high altitude and trekkers love to camp here when they are on this route. Thick forests surround this lake but it also has a clearing around it which makes it perfect as a camping ground. There is a legend explaining how this small lake was formed. According to it, Lord Shiva had opened his locks a tiny bit and that untwisting led to the formation of this little lake.
The trek from Sankri village covers a distance of 4 kms. The road becomes steep after a wide curve once the village is crossed. It is common to see villages going about with their daily lives as you trek ahead. The lake and its surroundings get a thick blanket of snow during the winter season. The lake becomes completely frozen. You will get some lovely opportunities to look at photos during summer too as there will be streams gushing and running across the green fields.
The Kedarkantha Base camp is at s distance of 4kms from Juda Lake and we will start the trek on the morning of Day 3. We should be able to reach our destination in about 3 hours if all of us manage to walk at a moderate speed. The trail passes through steep ridges and we will trek through thick pine and oak forests. The landscape looks totally magical in winter as everywhere you see. It’s white because of the snow. During the summer too, the picture is straight out of a childhood book where you will see huts dotted along the landscape and shepherds moving around.
On the next day, we will start the trek even before dawn. Today is the day when we will reach the peak of Kedarkantha – it’s the much anticipated summit day. Isn’t just the thought of it giving you goosebumps? The Kedarkantha peak is at a height of 3800 m above sea level. The trail today is going to be a longer one which stretches across 6 kms. Even if we walk at moderate speed, this trek will take around seven hours.
The Kedarkantha peak is a standalone peak and reaching any peak is going to be at least a bit challenging. Tha same is the case here. But once you reach the summit, all the troubles you had taken to climb will vanish in a jiffy. It is worth all the troubles and aches you will be feeling. You get a 360 degree view of the surroundings from the peak. You will be able to see other notable peaks like Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch and Kala Naag and the view is going to leave you stunned.
Before we begin our descent towards our stay at Sankri base camp, we are certainly going to rest here for a while and also click a lot of photographs. It’s going to be a long, long trek! We will drive towards Dehradun on the 5th day. But if you wish to go alone and have an extra day in hand, you can camp at Hargaon for a night. Horegaon or Hargaon will be at 2700 m and you will be reaching the campsite by evening for your overnight stay.
Can’t get over the unforgettable views from the Peak
Yes, since it is very hard to stop talking about the unbelievable views one gets from the summit, we want to say more on it! As we have mentioned previously, this trek will let you have a glimpse of some of the most beautiful peaks of the Himalayan ranges like the Bandarpunch Peak and Swargarohini Peak, both at a height of 6300 meters and the Black Peak, which is at an altitude of 6387 meters. The other beautiful mountain ranges and peaks which are visible from here are Khimloga Peak, Ranglana peak at 5800 meters, Rupin Pass range, Vishkhopri range, Supin Range, Baraadsar Lake range and so on.
While you are on this trek, you will be able to see the trekkers and trails on other famous treks that are done here like Har Ki Dun valley. Fachu Kandi Pass Trek, Ruinsara Valley Bali Pass, Sarutal and Borasu Pass.
It is a 4-hour long trek and you will trek down 6kms. The climb down through thick pine forests is only 800 m long and can be done quickly. In winter though, the deep and soft snow can slow you down a bit as you walk on it. You can also run or slide down the snow comfortably as the trail is steep enough for doing those easily. Once you reach Sankri, you can stay at a hotel for the night.
Since you have an extra day and are not completing the trip on day 5 like us, you can walk around the Sankri village on the 6th and last day of your trek. You will experience more on how splendid Uttarakhand is by roaming around the forests and making memories. Then you can leave for Dehradun by road, which is 200 kms away.
The drive to Sankri will take about 8 to 9 hours. You will find Yamuna and Tons river accompanying us as we drive through Mussoorie, Purola, Mori and Netwar. We will also pass through dense pine, oak and birch forests and reach our dormstay.
After having breakfast at Sanhri, we will start ascending towards Juda ka Talab. This is a small pond which remains frozen during the winter. It is surrounded by pine forest. We will set up our camps near this lake. We will be trekking four kms which will need about three to four hours.
After enjoying breakfast, we will leave for Kedarkantha base. We will again be trekking for 3-4 hours and cover a distance of approx. 4 kms. The trail will be a lot steeper and we will trek through oak and pine forests. We will be able to see Kalanag, Bandarpoonch and Swargarohini peaks. The shining peaks form a great background for our campsite here
Today we will start trekking very early in the morning as we will be reaching the summit, Kedarnath peak. From a height of 11200 feet, we will trek to an altitude of 12500 feet and then towards Sankri.
We will drive towards Dehradun and reach the airport by 4pm. You can book any flight post 5 pm for returning back.