Kedarkantha Trek | Plan The Unplanned
If you have been longing for a high-altitude Himalayan trek through the snowfields and gaze at the mighty peaks kissing the sky, then this surely is the thing for you!
Find inner peace at one of the finest Himalayan winter treks perfect for those looking to attempt their first Himalayan trek as well as the more experienced trekkers looking for a quick Himalayan getaway.
Summit climbs are generally arduous and need technical mountaineering skills as well as require a lot of preparation. But Kedarkantha, definitely, is one of those rare summit treks which can be done by beginners and even during peak winters.
The whole landscape is magical with the snow falling over numerous pine trees which makes Kedarkantha one of the most sought-after treks in the Indian Himalayas.
Distance: 220 KM
Time: 8 to 10 hrs
Altitude: 6,400 feet
The journey to reach the base camp of any trek is certainly one of the highlights of trekking in the Indian Himalayas, and Kedarkantha is no exception. The journey commences from Dehradun and you will be received at 6 AM on Day 1 of the trek. You are advised to reach a day before or by 6 AM on Day 1 for the onward journey to the quaint village of Sankri, which is the base camp of this exotic trek. Sankri is about 220 KM from Dehradun on NH 123 and it is an exhilarating drive. Mountain drives are long and that is the reason to start early in the day. Expect to arrive at Sankri only in the evenings as the roads are widening and chances of any roadblocks are high. The ride will give you a sense of adventure and thrill that you are about to experience in the coming days. The drive takes you into the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park in the last leg as the village is set inside it. The National Park is famous for its diverse collection of flora and fauna which are typical of this region and not found in any other location of the country. Reach the village in the evenings and check into a homestay or guest house. Roam around in the village of Sankri and enjoy the view of your first sunset of this tour. Food en route to Sankri is not part of the standard itinerary. Feel free to stop over at any Himalayan Dhaba to savour the local cuisine.
Day 2 – Sankri to Juda-ka-Talab
Distance: 4 KM
Time: 5 Hrs
Altitude: 9,100 feet
Rise early to start the trek towards our first campsite of Juda Ka Talab which is based at an altitude of 9100 feet. It’s a 4 KM walk and we will be reaching the campsite for some hot lunch. The trail climbs steeply between the dense jungle with a thick carpet of Maple and Pine leaves under every step. The trail also passes through a lot of bridges which are picturesque, especially when it is covered in snow. The trail is wide and you’ll hear the sound of running streams all through, but out of visibility. On the trail, the trekkers will be crossing few streams while ascending sharply through a dense oak forest. In about 5 hours, the walk comes to an end at the beautiful pictorial Juda Ka Talab which is the highlight and campsite for today’s stay. Juda Ka Talab is a frozen lake with a small island in the middle, thick pine and oak forest in the background and an alpine meadow to camp on. This set up makes this Lake one of the perfect locations to spend the evening and set up our camps. After lunch, you can take a walk around the lake and explore the campsite before it gets dark. On a clear night, it will be a good idea to come out of your tents and look out for some shooting stars. Make sure you are well layered as the evenings will get quite cold.
Day 3 – Juda-ka-Talab to Kedarkantha Base
Distance: 4 KM
Time: 3 Hrs
Altitude: 11,250 feet
The walk continues today where we head towards Kedarkantha base which is at an altitude of 11,250 feet. It is a 4 KM walk from Juda Ka Talab to the Basecamp which will be covered in 3-4 hours. We hit the trail after breakfast. The trail today comprises of gradual ascends throughout and the further trail is quite visible. Most of the walk is through the dense forests of pine and oak trees and through steep climbs. Along the way, watch out for many shepherd huts in open meadows as the trail continues to the Basecamp. In the middle, you can take a long break to re-energize the body and get the enthralling view of natural extravaganza of the area. While you’re about to arrive at Kedarkantha Base, the fascinating views of an arc-shaped range of mountains comprising of Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kala Nag, and Ranglana are visible. After reaching the base, we’ll relish the hot lunch served at the camp. The evening sky is equally beautiful with glowing stars and shining planets. As the night grows it is time again to star gaze and spot a few shooting stars and some night photography. Overnight sleep at the tent.
Day 4 – Kedarkantha base to Kedarkantha peak; descend to Hargaon camp
Distance: 6 KM
Time: 7 Hrs
Altitude: 11,250 feet to 12,500 feet to 8,900 feet
Today is the most important and the toughest day of the trek as we head to conquer the Kedarnath Peak. Being the Summit Day, the day will start earlier than usual and mostly before the first rays of Sun hits the sky. Also, this will be longer than other days as we descend all the way to Hargaon campsite located at an altitude of 8,900 ft. The trail to the summit is through portions of the oak forest but the journey through this trail is much easier and faster. Climbing through the forest till its end, you can find the Kedarkanth peak much closer. As the summit gets closer it gets strenuous just before the peak and you’ll start climbing the boulders above the treeline. This section is very adventurous and thrilling with a lot of suspense before reaching the peak. However, you can soak into the amazement of having made it to the top with 360 degrees of Himalayan Ranges at your disposal. You can relax at the top for some time and enjoy the magical beauty of nature and then descend towards base camp. We take a break for lunch at the base camp and rest for a while. Post this we set out to descend further to Hargaon camp. The walk back is again through dense oak forests, pine and maple trees, shepherd huts and frozen streams. On reaching the campsite, cherish the feeling of completing the summit and relax for the evening and make merry at the end of another delightful day with dinner and overnight sleep at the tent.
Day 5 – Hargaon camp to Sankri
Distance: 6 KM
Time: 4 Hrs
Altitude: 6,400 feet
Last day of the walk where we descend further all the way back to Sankri which is at 6,400 feet. The path all the way is well marked through dense pine forest and small streams flowing by slow and steady. While we descend, the valley opens up and you can see the splendid view of Har Ki Dun in all its glory. We also walk through a lot of Apple Orchards on the way and walk with the view of the valley instead of jungle trails. On reaching the base, return back to the hotel and freshen up and get settled for the day. As it is the last day of the trek, you can again explore the village to collect souvenirs. Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 6 – Sankri to Dehradun
Distance: 220 km drive, approx 10 hours
You will be dropped at Dehradun station in a Tata Sumo or a similar vehicle. The vehicle will arrive early in the morning. It is always advisable to start early in the mountains. Bid adieu to the village of Sankri but not before making a promise to come back again. The journey is through the same route and we’re expected to arrive at Dehradun by 6 PM. We would recommend any onward bookings to be done post 8 PM. So, are you excited for this adventure? Join us as we set out to explore the trails of Kedarkantha and soak ourselves in the Himalayan mysticism.
Things To Carry
Singtur Range, Uttarakhand 249128