Best Winter Treks to do in 2020

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

Frozen rivers, snow-clad peaks, snowball fights, enchanting view of sunrise on white snowfields and mountains, if these do not make you pack your bags for a thrilling winter trek then one may wonder what would. Winter trails in the Himalayas are immensely captivating and scenic. You get to witness rare flora and fauna in the region. Knee-deep snow, frozen waterfalls, frosty forests make the Himalayas a winter wonderland. If you like winters and are willing to explore the unexplored paths in the Himalayas, now is the time. Here is a list of 7 winter treks that you must do this winter.

Chadar Trek

It’s a no brainer that this one trek is on the list of must do treks in Himalayas for all hikers and mountain lovers. Considered as one of the toughest treks in India, Chadar Trek demands a good walking capacity and strong will, since walking on ice can get tiresome and tricky. This famous trek in Leh is known for captivating view of Nerak Falls and beautiful frozen Zanskar river. The best time to attempt this trek is the month of February as the ice is most stable and is less dangerous to cross.

Total Distance – 62 km

Altitude – 11,200 ft

Trek Grade – Difficult

Starting Point – Leh, Ladakh

Duration – 9-10 days

Har Ki Dun Trek

What do you expect from a trek? Walking amidst pine forest? Listening to the chirping of birds? Getting magnificent view of snow lad mountains? Well, you get it all on this trek. The entire trail, as well as the campsites, are breathtakingly beautiful. Har ki Dun is an easy trek that can be attempted by both beginners as well as seasoned trekkers. The trek offers one of the best views of the untouched valleys in the Garhwal Region of the Himalayas. In winters the beauty of this trek is exemplified as the snow-clad landscapes like a painting on a canvas.

Total Distance – 70 km

Altitude – 11,482 ft

Trek Grade – Easy

Starting Point – Sankri, Uttarakhand

Duration – 5-6 days

Peaks visible – Bandar Punch, Jaundar Glacier and Swargarohini Peak

Kedarkantha Trek

A highly popular trek in winter, Kedarkantha Trek is the perfect trek for winter trail in the Himalayas. Known as the “Queen of Winter Treks”, this trek offers the best experience of summit climb for both beginners as well as seasoned trekkers. The final climb of the trek gives a clear sight of some of the popular peaks in the Himachal and Uttarakhand regions. It is one of the few treks that offers the best clearings on both sides of the trails. So if you are a first-time trekker thinking about taking a hike in mountains in winter, this trek can be the one to kick start the things.

Total Distance – 23 km

Altitude – 12,500 ft

Trek Grade – Easy

Starting Point – Sankri, Uttarakhand

Duration – 4-5 days

Peaks Visible – Swargarohini, Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kinner kailash and Bandarpoonch peaks

Brahmatal Trek

Considered as one of the most enchanting treks in the Himalayas, Brahmatal Trek offers awe-inspiring views of Nilkanth and Chaowkhamba Peaks. The frozen Brahmatal Lake is a sight to behold. The entire trek is scenic taking you through numerous hamlets, streams, Rhododendron and oak forests, and beautiful meadows. The trek gets a little tricky in winters due to heavy snowfall that reduces the visibility. Overall this trek is considered to be equally rewarding for both beginners as well as seasoned trekkers.

Total distance – 24 km

Altitude – 12,600 ft

Trek Grade – Easy

Starting Point – Lohajung, Uttarakhand

Duration – 4-5 days

Peaks Visible – Trishul, Nilkanth, Hathi and Ghoda Peaks, Kamet, Chowkhamba Peak, Nandaghunti peak

Kuari Pass Trek

Imagine seeing the magnificent mountain peaks of Nanda Devi and Dronagiri on the very first day of your trek. Kuari Pass is one of the few treks under 13,000 ft that starts from snow forests and ends into one. The entire trail is so beautiful that you will feel you are in a fairyland. Heaps of snow make the trek quite difficult but what is life without a few adventures, right? The ascent of the trek spread across 5 days is gradual and evened out and is a perfect trek for the beginners.

Total distance – 21.5 km

Altitude – 12,716 ft

Trek Grade – Easy-Moderate

Starting Point – Joshimath, Uttarakhand

Duration – 5-6 days

Peaks Visible – Kaimat, Chaukhamba, Neelkanth and Bhagirathi 1, 2 and 3 peaks

Markha Valley Trek

The second most popular trek in Ladakh after Chadar Trek, Markha Valley trek is known for its ruggedness and multiple landscapes. The trek attracts adventure seekers from across the globe. The valley houses some of the rare species in the Himalayan belt – Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Red Fox, Lynx, Ladakhi Urial, Marmot, Dhole etc. The trek covers some of the remotest human settlements in the Himalayas and oldest Tibetan monasteries and forts.

Total distance – 85 km

Altitude – 13,287 ft

Trek Grade – Moderate-Difficult

Starting Point – Hemis National Park, Ladakh

Duration – 9-10 days

Peaks Visible – Dzo Jongo, Stok Kangri and Kang Yatse 1 and 2 peaks

Snow Leopard Trek

Does your interest revolve around exploring ancient kingdoms, monasteries, mud palaces and searching for unique wildlife? If Yes, Snow Leopard Trek is the perfect trek for you. Attracting adventure enthusiasts from different corners of the world, this trek will help you relish the traditional Ladakhi culture and hospitality. Given the altitude, the winter in Ladakh is of frigid nature and proper preparation is needed before commencing the trek. The temperature can dip to as low as -28 degrees. Frost bites and AMS are very common amongst the trekkers. The trek is not suitable for beginners as it requires high altitude gains and long walking hours.

Altitude – 14,107 ft

Trek Grade – Moderate to difficult

Starting Point – Ladakh or Spiti

Duration – 10-12 days

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