10 Most Underrated Treks in Uttarakhand

One of the most difficult choices that you may come across being an adventurer is to shortlist a trekking destination for your next Himalayan endeavor. Sometimes it becomes whether to choose a popular trek or an offbeat trekking route. There is no denying the fact that you cannot go back to your normal self if you have experienced the actual high Himalayas. 

Uttarakhand is a blessed land where trekking options seem to be never-ending. There are high altitude lakes like Nandi Kund, gigantic glaciers like Banderpunch,  goddess peaks like Nanda Devi, high altitude passes like Borasu, meadows like Gidara, and so on. 

But the question is – are we really making the most of it? Or have we become so drawn by other people’s explorations that instead of seeking something new, we are stuck in a loop of going with the flow, and in doing so we just get a glimpse of the actual meaning of the Himalayan landscape is. It’s hard to comprehend.

While Roopkund,  Rupin Pass, Gaumukh receives a lot of footfall every year, which has significantly helped in boosting the economy of the local community while subsequently providing them exposure. It is also true the real zeal for exploration has been bedridden for a while now. It’s high time that adventurers like you start off with exploring offbeat treks and give it a rest to places like Rupin Pass, Roopkund, Hampta Pass, Stok Kangri, and Nag Tibba.       

Off Beat Treks in Uttarakhand

Take a look at a list of 10 most underrated off beat treks in Uttarakhand that you should really consider for your upcoming Himalayan affair:

1. Ruinsara Tal – 3500mts

Located at the foot of Swargarohini Group of Peaks, Ruinsara Tal is a hidden gem overlooking Black Peak and Banderpoonch Massif. It is one of the beautiful trails that is located at the heart of Govind Ballabh Pant National Park and covers most of Sankri Range. This week-long trek can be topped up with Bali Pass, a  daunting 5000mtr crossing to Yamunotri valley from Sankri Range.

2. Gidara Bugyal – 3900mts

 Sandeep Bisht
Gidara Bugyal

While Dayara Bugyal is one of the most popular meadows of Uttarakhand, Gidara Bugyal has been rarely exposed and a perfect offbeat trek to explore. The high-altitude pastures of Gidara Bugyal are favorite among shepherds and locals compare it with a living dream. It’s a  different dimension altogether as far as what we’ve heard of. It’s strange that not much documentation is done for this elusive highland in the Uttarkashi region.

3. Kedar Tal – 4800mts

Kedar Tal Lake close view.

Kedar Tal is an emerald lake situated next to Kedar Bamak Glacier at the foot of the enormous Thalaysagar (6,904) and Brigupanth Peak (6,772mts). If you have completed around 2-3 treks above 4000mts then you should definitely up your game by approaching Kedar Tal. The type of terrain you walk in so diverse and challenging at times that this hiking trail can be best described as a guru. There is a very short window to do Kedar Tal trek and the best time to do it is  September and October. 

4. Nanda Devi East Advance Base Camp – 4600mts

Sandeep Bisht for eUttaranchal at Nanda Devi Base Camp Route

The joy of standing at the feet of enormous peaks like Nanda Kot, Changuch, Kuchela Dhura, Nanda Khat is a blessing and overlooking the giant goddess peak of Nanda Devi is a different experience entirely. This 130kms expedition takes around 10 Days to cover from Munsiyari to base camp and back. While most people go to Milam Glacier and Ganaghar from Martoli, we want you to explore Lawangad Valley to reach the true Advance Base Camp of Nanda Devi East peak.

5. Panchachuli Base Camp – 4250mts

Panchachuli Peaks are sacred peak of Kumaon hills ,it is a symbol of five pandavas ,and this picture was taken from Sinla pass (18025 Feet ) trekking route

The base camp of Panchachuli Peaks is an amphitheater unlike any other. The five giant peaks of Panchachuli Group looms high above the ground and their icefall colliding in the valley together is a rare sight and rarely seen too. It is located in the extreme northeast part of Uttarakhand while Nepal remains well within reach. The road journey before the start of this trek is a long and tiring one and maybe that’s the reason it has been out of the reach of most people, despite the beauty this region has to offer. This one should be on your wishlist too.

6. Changabang Base Camp – 4540mts

The ancient village of Dronagiri and the rugged terrain of Bagini Glacier and the enormous peaks of Nanda Devi Sanctuary make this an elusive trail. The highlands of  Garhwal Himalayas in this region are stretched out to prominent peaks like  Kalinka, Hardeol, Saf Minal and Changabang. Bagini Glacier is frequented by a handful of trekkers every year but it is still less crowded unlike many other popular treks in Uttarakhand. 

7. Ghiya Vinayak Pass – 5250mts

If folklore and mythology fascinates you then this trekking route will leave you in awe. This is a holy trail that starts from the pilgrimage to Madhmaheshwar Temple  (one of the sacred Panch Kedar of Lord Shiva) and proceeds to Kanchi Khal and thereon to Pandosera – a land where Pandavas spend some time during their exile period as per the Mahabharata. Other days hike and you reach Nandi Kund and cross Ghiya Vinayak Pass. The trail further descends to Bansi Narayan Temple and ends at Kalpeshwar in Urgam Valley. This is a diverse trail and offers different views every day, each unforgettable.

8. Saptrishi Kund - 4421mts

Embarking on the Saptarishi Kund trek, situated at an impressive altitude of 4421 meters amidst the majestic Himalayan landscape, promises an enthralling 10-kilometer journey starting from the revered Yamunotri temple. The trek typically spans around 5 to 6 hours, navigating through dense forests and challenging mountainous terrain. More than just a trek, this expedition offers a deep dive into spiritual heritage and natural wonders, providing a unique experience for adventurers. The demanding trail not only showcases scenic grandeur but also acts as a testing ground for aspiring Himalayan trekkers, honing their endurance and trekking skills. As the sacred source of the Yamuna River, Saptarishi Kund adds a profound sense of sanctity, weaving together a rich tapestry of culture, spirituality, and unmatched mountainous beauty.

9. Saptkund Trek - 5000mts

Saptkund, perched at a lofty elevation of 5000 meters in Chamoli District, is a captivating destination accessible through a challenging trek starting from Ghuni Village. The journey unfolds its scenic splendor at Simbe Bugyal, a pristine meadow adorned with a vibrant array of flowers. Ghat, the nearest town, is located 16 km from Ghuni and 26 km from Chamoli, serving as the gateway to this Himalayan gem. Saptkund comprises seven lakes, collectively known as Saptakunda, nestled in the foothills of the majestic Nanda and Ghunti peaks, creating a mesmerizing trekking experience. To navigate the high-altitude terrain safely, it's advisable to engage the services of a certified trekking guide for potential emergencies. Undertaking this adventure requires careful planning, and the optimal time for the Saptkund Trek is from May to September, when weather conditions are favorable for a truly unforgettable Himalayan exploration.

10. Kush Kalyan - 3789mts

At an impressive elevation of 3789 meters, Kush Kalyan beckons adventure seekers with its Himalayan allure. Commencing from the serene Malla Village, located 28 km from Uttarkashi, this enticing trek leads to the enchanting camping sites of Silla Chhani, Kush Kalyan Bugyal, Bawani, and Kyarki, each providing a picturesque retreat amidst nature's serene beauty. Camping in Kush Kalyan is an experience to cherish, surrounded by tranquility and breathtaking landscapes. The optimal times to explore the captivating destination of Kush Kalyan are from May to June and September to November. From this vantage point, the Garhwal Himalayan peaks, including Kalanag, Bandarpunch, and Swargarohini, paint a majestic panorama, making Kush Kalyan Bugyal an extraordinary vantage point for a rendezvous with nature's grandeur.

 We do hope that you choose any of the above off beat trails for your future Himalayan Expeditions where you’ll get to explore more and get a glimpse of the Himalayas rarely seen and experienced. 

Help us to Improve offbeat trekking routes List!

If you know any other Underrated Off Beat Trek in Uttarakhand, which is not listed above then, Kindly share the details at helpdesk@eutn.in

We will update it to provide the best information to our visitors. Thank You!

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