8 Magical Winter Treks in the Himalayas for the Best Views & New Experiences

Best winter treks in Himalayas

Looking for something different in your travel plans this winter? Check out our list of eight winter treks you must take across the Himalayas for views and adventures like never before.

We love our summer and monsoon treks just as much as you do, but there’s no denying that only trekking in the winter offers those magical, Narnia-esque views that many of us admired as children.  

Towering views of snow-clad peaks, valleys painted white with ice, glacial lakes and velvety meadows — these paint the perfect picture of winter in the Himalayas.

So keep these views — and your sense of adventure! — in your heart as you look through our list of eight winter treks you cannot miss out on in the Himalayas: 

1. Chadar Trek – Frozen River Zanskar Trek

Traversing through the snow during the Chadar trek
A trekker traversing through the snow during the Chadar trek. | Photo credit: Saahil Jain (@saahil__jain on Instagram)

One of the most interesting and adventurous treks to the Himalayas, the Chadar trek is a must-do if you are a trekking enthusiast. Ending at a height of around 11,150 ft above sea level, it is unique for many reasons.

In line with its title, the Frozen River Trek lets one walk through a frozen glass-like Zanskar River, with the breathtaking scenery of the Himalayan ranges around

The trail takes one through the valleys, frozen waterfalls, and other terrains at sub-zero temperatures, thus making it one of the toughest treks in the Himalayas. 

The journey starts from Ladakh and goes to the villages of the Zanskar Valley, allowing trekkers to learn about Zanskari culture and the hospitality of the locals. Another highlight is the Nerak Waterfall, which is completely frozen.

Duration: 8-9 days

Base camp: Shingra Koma

Difficulty level: Hard

2. Kuari Pass Trek

A beautiful view from the Kuari Pass trek.
A beautiful view from the Kuari Pass trek. | Photo credit: Parth Lakhotia (@parth_lakhotia on Instagram)

The Kuari Pass trek was first explored by Lord Curzon when the British ruled India. Hence, it is also known as the Curzon Trail. 

Nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas, it rests at an altitude of 4,264 metres above sea level. It is a scenic trek that takes one through the snow-covered rhododendron, oak and deodar forests. The trail passes through beautiful forests and velvety meadows, as well as remote Himalayan villages with a chance to spot wildlife and rare birds. 

After reaching the top of the pass, you can take in the views of several Himalayan peaks such as Trishul, Chaukhamba, Kamet, Dronagiri, Nanda Devi, Nanda Ghunti, Neelkanth and so on.

Duration: 6 days

Base camp: Joshimath

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate

3. Dayara Bugyal Trek

The lush green meadows at Dayara Bugyal
A view of the lush green meadows at Dayara Bugyal. | Photo credit: Gareeb Ghumakkad (@gareeebghumakkad on Instagram)

A beautiful winter trek in Uttarakhand, Dayara Bugyal is a thrilling trek replete with forests, alpine meadows, ancient villages and high viewpoints. 

One of the easiest treks in the state, the Bugyal (meadow) is situated at an altitude of about 11,181 ft. above sea level. The snow-covered meadows located between majestic peaks provide a mesmerising view of the Himalayas. It is also a popular skiing destination.

Duration: 4 days

Base camp: Natin village

Difficulty level: Easy

4. Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek

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A post shared by Uttarakhand Tourism (@uttarakhand.tourism)

Another stunning trek in the Garhwal region, Deoriatal-Chopta-Chandrashila is noted for offering panoramic views of the mountain ranges. 

This easy-to-moderate trekking trail has something for everyone, and takes one on a dream-like experience of wading through the snow under the oak and rhododendron trees.

The climb from Chopta to Chandrashila is the most enthralling. From the top of Chandrashila summit, one can witness the views of Mt Thalaysagar, Kedarnath, Mandani Parbat, Gauri Parbat, Hathi Parbat, Dunagiri, and Nanda Devi.

Duration: 5 days

Base camp: Sari village

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate

5. Brahmatal Winter Trek

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A post shared by Tripsa Hike / Trekking & Camping (@tripsahike)

The Brahmatal trek, a popular winter hike in the Indian Himalayas, is a perfect combination of adventure and natural beauty. 

Amid the Garhwal region, it lets one traverse through lovely forests, snow-covered meadows, serene lakes and campsites. The Brahmatal Lake is located at an altitude of about 12,000 ft with stunning views of the Trishul and Nanda Ghunti mountain ranges.

It is also one of the few lake treks accessible during the peak winter season and is equally suitable for beginners as well as experienced trekkers.

Duration: 6 days

Base camp: Lohajung

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate

6. Kedarkantha Winter Trek

A view from Kedarkantha winter trek
A view from the Kedarkantha winter trek. | Photo credit: Shamil Mohamed (@shamil.mohmed on Instagram)

A majestic peak located in the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary in Uttarakhand, Kedarkantha has a height of around 3,800 metres. Also dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is a favourite among trekkers due to its easy access.

This trek provides a chance to travel through charming and remote mountain villages, meadows blanketed with snow, and a beautiful landscape dotted with lakes, rivers and splendid views of the Himalayan peaks.

Duration: 6 days

Base camp: Sankri

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate

7. Roopkund Lake Winter Trek

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A post shared by Shivam Mishra (@shivam09mishra)

Located in Uttarakhand, Roopkund is a popular glacial lake located at an altitude of around 4,800 metres above sea level among the Himalayan ranges. 

Also among the best trekking sites in the state, it is situated close to hill stations like Nainital and Kathgodam. The lake is also named ‘mystery lake’ as more than 500 skeletons from the Palaeolithic age were discovered on the bank of the river.

The moderate-level trek takes one through several quaint villages and lets one spot the Bedni Bugyal. It also offers the best views of the Roopkund Lake and Neelganga River, as well as a tranquil meditation experience at the Kalu Vinayak temple. 

You can also spot the twin peaks of Nanda Devi, as well as Kamet, Dronagiri and Hathi-Ghodi Parvat.

Duration: 8 days

Base camp: Lohajung

Difficulty level: Moderate

8. Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek

Trekkers camping during the Ali Bedni trek
Trekkers camping during the Ali Bedni trek. | Photo source: Kaushal Arya (@kaushal.photography on Instagram)

Ali Bedni Bugyal (meadows) lies along the Northern edge of Almora, Nainital and Kasauni hill stations. It is located at an altitude of 11,686 ft above sea level. 

Surrounded by valleys and mountain ranges, the trek to Ali Bedni Bugyal takes one through enchanting hamlets and conifer forests, and provides a view of the snow-clad Trishul peak.

The reflection of the peak on the pristine waters of Bedni Kund is truly a sight to behold. 

Duration: 6 days

Base camp: Lohajung

Difficulty level: Easy to moderate

Edited by Divya Sethu

Sources:
Frozen river trek by Tour my India.
Kuari Pass Trek by Himalayan Hikers.
Dayara Bugyal Trek by Trek the Himalayas.

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