Kedarkantha Trek – A fresh snow summit in winters

If you have searched for a winter or snow trekking trail in India and landed on our Kedarkantha trek details page, you reached the right place 🙂 Kedarkantha peak (Latitude 31.02257° N & Longitude 78.17185° E) at ~3810 m/12500 ft is situated in the fringe of Govind National Park, Uttarakhand. This is de facto “Most popular winter trek in India“.

The region marks the boundary with its neighbouring state Himachal Pradesh and situated in western flank of Uttarkashi district. Naturally the area is surrounded by Shivalik hills and approaching to high Himalayan snow peaks. From summit you can see a 360° panorama, very special during sunrise. Peaks like Swargarohini, Bandarpunch, Black Peak create the backdrop.

DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION Union Square, San Francisco
DEPARTURE TIME Please arrive by 8:15 AM for a prompt departure at 8:30 AM.
RETURN TIME Approximately 6:30 PM.
WEAR Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen.
INCLUDED
Professional instructor Meals
1 hour of free time Transportation in mini-coach
NOT INCLUDED
Surfing equipment
Instructor gratuity

Winter and Spring add snow and blooming of flowers, a nearly ideal experience for your Himalayan hiking destination. Surrounding Tons river valley, dotted with remote villages, snow capped mountain ranges in the horizon, and rich flora and fauna of the national park makes the short and easy hike to the Kedarkantha peak an enjoyable hiking experience. In winter or spring, the trail remains covered with fresh snow. Snow patches amidst giant pine forest and snow covered meadow in this altitude, even late till spring, makes this trek a special one. Campsites in winter are mostly on or around snow. In spring during March and April another added bonus is the blooming of Rhododendrons. Temperatures are warmer than the harsh winter days but residual snow remains intact on higher altitude, specially on top and even till base camp.

Day1

Dehradun to Sankri drive – 200 Km – 9/10 hrs

Today morning we start our trip from Dehradun. 200 Km long drive takes at least 10 hours to reach Sankri, our trek base. It’s advisable to start latest by 7 am in the morning.

Initially after crossing Mussoorie town the road enters the Yamuna valley and we continue along the river for a while. It gets better after crossing the town of Purola. The car goes up the winding road surrounded by blue pine forest. From Mori we follow the course of Tons river. You’ll enter Govind National Park after you cross Netwar and after Netwar you will be following the course of the river Supin. The road gets bumpy at times but you won’t feel much because of the astounding beauty of the surroundings. On your way you will experience dense conifer forest, scattered apple orchids, farming fields and open valleys in between.

Sankri may appear comparatively busy in a trekking season than the villages you may have visited interior in the Himalayas. But if you look carefully, you’ll find that most of the people around you are either trekkers or the local support staff.

We will arrange your accommodation in a home stay at Saur village or in a lodge at Sankri. This will be on sharing basis and on the basecamp always expect a dormitory style room. Saur is actually bigger than Sankri and in the ‘Pahari’ essence too. It is just two minutes’ drive from Sankri. If the sky is clear and you reach Sankri/ Saur before sunset, you can’t miss the vibrant orange and purple hue on beautiful snowcapped ranges of Mt. Swargarohini from here. Over a hot cup of tea, you’ll be discussing the trail with our coordinator/trek guide keeping that beautiful painting into the backdrop.

Day2

Trek to Juda Tal - 5 Km - 4/5 hours

Today morning after breakfast we start our trek to Juda Tal also referred Juda Ka Talao. Initially we follow the road which connects Sankri to Taluka for about five minutes. Then we leave the motor able road and turn right to take the trail which leads to Kedarkantha.
Day3

Trek from Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha base – 4 km – 3 hours

The trail towards Kedarkantha base is clearly defined across Juda Ka Talab campsite. After about 5-10 minutes of climb we reach a vantage point on the slope from where you get a full view of the pristine lake and the grassy meadow. Take out your camera for sure! Climb further and you’ll see the trail going straight forward keeping the ridge to your left. Don’t take that trail but wait for your guide here. That route will take you straight to another campsite called Hargaon. You are supposed to climb the ridge to your left. The trail goes inside the Oak, Conifers and Maple. In winter the snowline would have begun by this point.
Day4

Trek to Kedarkantha top and back to base: 8 Km - 7/8 hours

Today we start as it has been planned. In December/January it will be pretty cold at the onset of the dawn. Wear warm jacket and certainly a windproof on top. A pair of gloves is a must, if not a waterproof one. Take out your torch, a headlamp is always better as it keeps your hands free.
Day5

Trek to Sankri via Hargaon: 8 Km - 4/5 hours

Today is the last day of our trekking and it’s all the way down to Sankri. There’s no hurry and we’ll enjoy the morning and then start going down to Sankri.

For the first half an hour we retrace our steps to the Shepherd hut where we took a good rest while reaching the base camp. From here we take a different route through dense Maple-Oak forest to the opening of Hargaon campsite. From the clearing the entire Har Ki Dun river valley is distinctly visible dotted with villages on both the sides of the carving Har Ki Dun nallah.

Day6

Drive to Dehradun: 200 Km - 10 hours

If you start by 6:30-7 am in the morning, expect to reach Dehradun by 6 pm latest. The trip ends here, but not the memories!.

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February 8, 2020

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