6 Toughest Treks In The Indian Himalayas: Trails That Every Avid Trekker Must Try

Want to explore something which is beyond the ordinary and can give you an adrenaline rush like nothing else? Here are some of the toughest treks in the Indian Himalayas and why you should not miss them. 

The Indian Himalayas are a majestic range of mountains that are spread across five states of the country – Jammu & Kashmir, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Arunachal Pradesh, along with the hill areas of two states – West Bengal and Assam. These mountains are responsible for regulating the weather conditions of the subcontinent and are source of a number of important rivers and tributaries.

The giant mountains of the Indian Himalayas are home to exotic flora and fauna. Lofty snow-clad peaks, arresting panorama, unique indigenous cultures and serenity of environs make the Himalayas a great destination for nature admirers, pilgrims, adventure enthusiasts, and almost all kind of tourists.

For adventure junkies, the Indian Himalayas has a number of options that provide all the fun and excitement associated with trekking, skiing, paragliding, mountaineering, etc. Trekking especially is one of the most sought after adventure activities in the Indian Himalayas. The perfect settings of these mountains create ideal trails for trekkers. There are treks available in the Indian Himalayas comprising of all three difficulty levels i.e. easy, medium and tough. Concentrating on the tough treks, these giants have a noticeable number of strenuous treks that excite every avid adventurer and count as a must-do adventure activity for every trekking buff.

Why choose tough treks in the Indian Himalaya?

Trekking in the Indian Himalaya is one of the most amazing and startling experiences for adventure freaks. In addition to the spectacular backdrop, the fun of trekking can be experienced only in the Himalayas; that is why they draw swarms of trekkers from all the corners of the world. Carrying out treks offers the tourists an opportunity to explore the lofty Himalayan peaks, amazing wildlife, exquisite whitewater falls, and much more. In addition to this, while trekking, adventure buffs can also get an insight into the lives of the local habitants and savor their unique culture along with outstanding and impressive surroundings.

Tough treks in the Indian Himalaya offer the real test of endurance for a trekking lover. Moreover, these tough treks are carried out on strenuous routes and hence are remarkably unadulterated. The tranquil trails offer some of the most unexplored exquisiteness of nature. These treks provide the trekkers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that remains etched in their minds forever.

What are the top tough treks in the Indian Himalaya?

The assorted topography of the Indian Himalayas encompasses a potpourri of tough treks that accelerate the adrenaline in the adventure enthusiasts. For this reason, the Indian Himalayas is frequented by zealous adrenaline junkies from all around the planet. Some of the top tough treks in Indian Himalayas are as follows:

1. Chadar Trek

The temperature of the region encompassed by Zanskar River dips down to -30 degree resulting into the stream getting frozen. This frozen river creates a trail that offers an exhilarating trekking opportunity for adventure junkies. Chadar Trek (Frozen River Trek) usually covers the route from Chilling to scenic Zanskar Valley. It is one of the toughest treks in the Indian Himalaya and thus there are certain things to keep in mind while on the Frozen River Trek. The landscape offered by the trail of this trek acquires a spotless opulence in winter as the trail enters into the Zanskar gorge.


2. Kalindi Khal Trek

This trek is also known as the Big Daddy of treks in Garhwal Himalaya, Uttarakhand. Kalindi Khal Trek incorporates an uneven route that involves traversing over glaciers and snowfields. The trail covers the stretch from Bhagirathi Valley to Alaknanda Valley. Trekking on this strenuous trail commences from Gangotri and terminates at Badrinath. The intriguing places that can be explored en route are Gomukh, Vasuki Tal, Nandanvan and Kalindi Khal. In addition to this, several imposing peaks like Vasuki, Bhagirathi, Satopanth, etc., can also be witnessed on the way.


3. Auden’s Col Trek

Standing at an arresting elevation of 5450 meters, Auden’s Col Peak joins the Gangotri III and Jogin I peaks on one side. This strenuous trekking trail in Garhwal takes the adventurer to the considerably shallow crevasses. High level of expertise in trekking is a must for carrying out this trek. The route begins from Gangotri and leads through the lush birch and pine forests. The astonishing vistas of snow-covered Himalayas fuel the adventure freaks to advance on the challenging trail.


4. Trans-Zanskar Trek

Situated in the magnificent region of Ladakh, Trans-Zanskar Trekking is one of the most exhilarating activities that can be carried out here. This tough trek is strictly forbidden for novices. However, it is one of the best treks for those experts who want to test their stamina on a strenuous track. The heavy snowfall that wraps the complete area resulting into an abysmally low temperature offers the challenges that make the adventurer’s heart skip a heartbeat. Darcha is the starting point of this trail passing through lofty summits and rough topography. This stretch involves ascending mountains and crossing water-streams. Trekkers witness rustic villages, gripping monasteries and hospitable natives of Zanskar on the route of the Trans Zanskar Trek.

5. Markha Valley Trek

The Markha Valley, positioned in between Zanskar and Ladakh, takes trekkers close to the wonderful Buddhist culture here. While trekking in Markha Valley, one gets to explore secluded villages, ancient monasteries, high altitude passes, peaks like Kangyatse and Nun – Kun, and meadows like Nimaling. The trail offers trekkers a stunning view of the Himalayas and trekkers need to transverse breathtaking high-altitude passes in the Central Ladakh Valley i.e. Stok La, Gandla and Kongmaru La


6. Goecha La Trek

The trekking experience in Goecha La is distinct from any other trek of the Indian Himalaya. The backdrop, the natives and the ambiance are fairly different from any other part of the country. These facts make the Goecha La trek an inimitable experience. Trekkers get to walk through rhododendron forests, striking pastures and come across charming streams of water all through this trek.


The expedition begins at Yuksom, situated at an altitude of 5,600 feet and takes through places such as Sachen, Thansing, Tshoka and Dzongri before reaching the chilly trail of Goecha la. Without a doubt, the pristine trip makes for a magnificent experience.

The Indian Himalaya is undoubtedly a range of mountains that reflects one of the best examples of nature’s grandeur. Without a doubt, the tough treks along the length and breadth of these giants are the best ways for adventurers to begin to understand their majesty and unfold their mysteries!

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About the author: Pawan Kotiyal is an avid traveller, who likes to trudge to far-flung and lesser-explored destinations in India. Trekking and photography keeps him busy while he is out exploring the unknown destinations. He also likes to pen his travelling experience in order to help those with similar interest in travelling, trekking and photography.

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