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Kedarkantha Winter Trek

Most instagramable trek of India, one of the best trek to start your trekking adventures for life

Kedarkantha Winter Trek

Duration

6 Days/ 5 Nights

Pickup Point

Sankri/ Rishikesh/ Dehradun

Minimum Age

14+

Maximum Altitude

13,500

Best time to visit

Winter, Spring

Thrill level

Easy, Moderate

Accomodation

Tent, Home Stay

Overview

The whole experience of this trek is an extremely gratifying one. It keeps getting better as you climb up towards the summit. Since the entire stretch is steep, the climb could get a little tricky at times. But the snow-clad mountains of Himalayas keep you occupied with their grace throughout the journey. There is an amazing sense of triumph as soon as you reach the target. It is a feeling second to none. Not many treks offer the kind of thrill that this one will.

Apart from the summit, the trek is also unique for its beautiful clearings. Rarely will you find such stunning clearings on a trek that make way for some rest spots and beautiful campsites. This trek is filled with clearings on all the different routes. The clearings are just at the right locations, giving you beautiful vantage points to appreciate the surrounding views.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival at Sankri

Day 2

Sankri to Juda Ka Talab

Day 3

Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base

Day 4

Kedarkantha Base to Kedarkantha Peak; descend to Hargaon Camp

Day 5

Hargaon Camp to Sankri

Day 6

Departure day (Sankri to Dehradun)

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival at Sankri

The journey for the Kedarkantha Trek begins in Dehradun. The trekkers are expected to reach Dehradun a day before the trip starts or before 6 am on the day the trip starts. The trekkers will be received by the authorized crew in Dehradun for an onward journey to Sankri. Sankri is located at a distance of 220 kms on the National Highway 123. It’s a long yet comfortable drive for the trekkers to enjoy the surrounding views. It’s these surroundings that increase the pleasure of the journey and exhilarate the joy of the thrilling tour. It takes around 10 hours to reach Sankri. During the journey, you can enjoy the lunch break at popular eateries offering local food. The last 22 kms to Sankri are all the more exciting since you go through Govind National Park which is famous for its flora (not found in any other part of the country). The expected time to reach Sankri is 5 pm but it could take a little longer since the roads in some areas are uneven. On reaching the destination, our representative will help you with the formalities and you can check in to the booked hotel. After freshening up, you can either relax indoors or can step out to explore the beautiful Sankri village with local shops and dhabas. The sight of the setting sun behind the Himalayas is truly fabulous. You can have dinner at the hotel or can try the dhabas to get a taste of the local flavors. Getting the phone lines can be a little difficult here as the BSNL network is quite unpredictable. There will be an overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 2
Sankri to Juda Ka Talab

Although the trip starts in Dehradun, the trek begins in Sankri. After an early breakfast at the hotel, it's a trek straight towards Juda Ka Talab which is located at an altitude of 9,100 feet. The approximate time to cover this distance of 4 kms is 5 hours. The journey begins by leaving Sankri village through an extension called Sor. As soon as the village is crossed, the road takes a curve and climbs sharply. Moving along the stream, this is the road that leads you to Kedarkantha.
The initial climb includes several bridges through dense forests and a thick carpet of maple and pine leaves. It’s a picturesque view that leaves you mesmerized. You can hear the sounds of running streams throughout the trail but they may not be visible till a specific point. On the way, you see remote villages where women and kids are found carrying bundles of wooden logs and dry leaves for household cooking and night fires.

While crunching the dried maple and oak leaves on the way up, you also get to see Himalayan Langurs jumping from one branch to another. Apart from them, boars, martens and hares can also be spotted in the region. The entire scene changes dramatically in the summer months when the meadows are verdant green with hilly flowers of a particular kind. After crossing a few streams and rising sharply through dense oaks, you reach the beautiful spot of Juda Ka Talab which has its own charm.

Juda Ka Talab is a perfect campsite because of the sharp contrast of a giant lake on the left side and thick pine and oak forests on the right. You can engage in activities like photography and nature-walk to explore the area. At night, a campfire is a great idea to share a light supper and some warm drinks underneath the clear sky which is a treat to the eyes as the shining stars create a magnificent aura. There will be an overnight stay in tents.

Day 3
Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base

After breakfast, the trek begins through the dense forests. You start trekking towards the Kedarkantha Base which lies at an altitude of 11, 250 feet. It is 4 kms away from Juda Ka Talab and at a moderate speed, it takes around 2.5 hours to cover the distance. In this straightforward trail, you come across many shepherd huts in the meadows which are pleasing to see. Around the altitude of 10,400 feet, you start noticing traces of snow on and around the track.

After some time, you can stop for a break to refresh yourself and enjoy the captivating views around. Just before reaching the Kedarkantha Base, you will see an arc-shaped range of snow-clad peaks consisting of Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kala Nag and Ranglana. After reaching the base, pick a spot, set up your tent and enjoy a clear view of the starlit sky. However, it is advisable to be based close to each other rather than in a scattered way in the dark. At this height, you are likely to experience chilly winds at night. Therefore, proper woolens should be carried for protection. There will be an overnight stay in tents.

Day 4
Kedarkantha Base to Kedarkantha Peak; descend to Hargaon Camp

The fourth day of the trek is when you conquer the Kedarkantha Peak. The trekkers need to hike from an elevation of 11,250 feet to 12,500 feet and then descend back to Hargaon camp which sits at 8,900 feet. It takes about 7 hours to cover this distance of 6 kms. Although it is a long day, the thrill and the feel of conquering the peak would be far greater than the challenges along the way. The day begins early with a filling breakfast and enjoying the stunning sunrise from Kedarkantha meadows.

You can reach the top through several trails but it is better to take the main trail as it keeps rising at an even level. On this route, the trekkers need to cover a few portions of the oak forest but the entire journey is much easier and faster. Towards the end of the trail and close to the top, the trek becomes a little difficult and can be tiring for the first-time trekkers. But the view from the top and the spellbinding location will be worth the effort. The 360° view of the Himalayas from the top is exhilarating. You can relax at the spot for some time and absorb the natural beauty before starting your journey back towards the base camp by noon. After reaching the camp, take a break for lunch and refreshments. Once rejuvenated, set out to descend further towards Hargaon Camp. Once again, it’s a hike through dense oak forests, pine and maple trees, shepherd huts, and streams. On reaching the campsite, set up your tent and mark the end of yet another eventful day with dinner. Also, there's the option of setting up a campfire and spending the evening chatting and having a good time with your new friends.

Day 5
Hargaon Camp to Sankri

The plan for the day is to descend further to Sankri which requires you to go from 8,900 feet to 6,400 feet. The time it takes to cover this 6-km long trail is about 4 hours. The view of the morning sun from Hargaon Campsite is extraordinary. After breakfast, pack your bags and start hiking on a clearly-marked pathway, full of small stones. Walking through the rich and dense pine forests, you can see the streams flowing steadily. You can even fill your water bottles here for the rest of the track. As you move further down, the trail comes to a ridge that gives a magnificent view of the Har Ki Dun Valley or the Valley of Gods. You can explore this spot and enjoy capturing the gorgeous valley along with the flora and fauna.The last 2,500 feet are filled with dense pine forests. It’s evening by the time you reach Sankri. Get back to the hotel and freshen up. If you still have energy left, you can again set out to explore the village and collect local items like hand-made goods, wooden toys and home decor items as souvenirs. If it interests you, get to know the locals and know more about their lifestyle. Life moves at a steady pace for the 120 families in Sankri. Potatoes, rice and apples are the main food items here and people live in wooden houses to protect themselves from the cold weather. The belief in religion is quite strong among people and regular fairs are organized with folk songs and native dance for entertainment. For dinner, you have options of dhabas or the North Indian and Western cuisine at the hotel. There will be an overnight stay at the hotel.

Day 6
Departure day (Sankri to Dehradun)

The sixth day is when the trekkers travel back to Dehradun. Start the day with a filling breakfast at the hotel, pack your bags and check out of the hotel by 8 am to start the 220-km journey. It takes around 10 hours to cover the distance excluding the breaks. The return will again be through NH 123 since it is the shortest route and has much less traffic. Scenic surroundings accompany you once again as you head to Dehradun. Embrace the striking beauty of nature, stretched landscapes, meadows and splendid ambience that pleases your soul in every way.You reach Dehradun around 7 pm where the trip ends and it is advised to schedule your journey for your next destination only after 8 pm. Those who wish to extend their stay in Dehradun can book a hotel in the city in advance.The best part of the trip is that it is well balanced and smartly packaged so that travelers get ample time to rest and can enjoy the beauty at every stop without having to hurry. The trip has been designed to take care of the comfort of the travelers.

How to reach?

By Air: Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun serves as the nearest airport to Rishikesh. Visitors can take a direct flight to Dehradun from Mumbai or Delhi or connecting flights from anywhere in India. Local vehicles can be availed from outside the airport to reach Rishikesh by road from Dehradun.

By Train: Rishikesh Junction Railway Station is well-connected to all the surrounding major cities. Visitors can easily and frequent trains to Rishikesh from Delhi and Dehradun.

By Road: Rishikesh is well connected by roads to all major cities and towns, so visitors as per their choice and comfort can take the bus to reach Rishikesh smoothly. Rishikesh is connected to Chandigarh, Delhi, Dehradun, and Nainital through a good network of roads.

Things to Carry

  • Rucksack (Min 55 Ltrs with rain cover)
  • Trekking Shoes, Floaters or Sandals
  • Quick Dry Tees
  • Track Pants
  • Cotton socks
  • Pair of woolen socks
  • Rain jacket or Poncho 
  • 1 Full Sleeves Sweater or Fleece Jacket,1 Heavy Jacket, 1 Pair of Thermal
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Windproof Jacket
  • Woolen Cap
  • Gloves
  • Sun Cap
  • Scarf
  • Lip Balm
  • Cold Cream & SunScreen (SPF 40+)
  • Packed food
  • Water Bottle 1 
  • Powerbank
  • Headlamp or torch with fresh pair of batteries
  • Personal Toiletries 
  • Personal Basic Medical Kit
  • Sunglasses
  • People who use spectacles (Use Photochromic glasses instead of contact lenses)
  • Trekking Pole
  • Extra Polythene

Inclusion

The Kedarkantha trek package include:

  • Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping)

  • Meals while on trek (Veg.+ Egg)

  • Trek equipments: Sleeping bag, mattress, tent (twin sharing), kitchen & dining tent, toilet tent, utensils and crampon (if required)

  • All necessary permits and entry fees.

  • First aid medical kits, stretcher and oxygen cylinder.

  • Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader, guide and Support staff.

  • Mules to carry the central luggage. Extra charges for personal luggage.

Exclusion

The Kedarkantha trek package exclude:

- Personal essentials -

  • (i) Equipment - Gumboots, trekking poles, etc.

  • (ii) Insurance - Personal and travel insurances. 

  • (iii) Beverage - Mineral water bottles/bottled or canned beverages 

  • (iv) Snacks - Chocolate, dry fruits, protein or nutrition bar. 

  • (v) Entertainment - Camera or drone fees. 

- Transportation - The charges of transportation on day 1 and 6 are to be borne and shared between the trekkers. 

- In case if your trek remains incomplete or uninitiated because of "force majeure" or by personal choice after you arrive at the starting point, you will not be able to get a refund, reschedule or replace any services that remain unutilized by you. 

- Any additional cost incurred due to changes in Government Guidelines related to travel/trek/COVID-19 will be borne by the trekkers. 

- Loading and unloading of personnel luggage. 

- Anything which is not included in Inclusion.

- Any king of emergency evacuation charges

Advisory

  1. Pickup and Drop from base to base: We can arrange pickup for you at additional cost from Gostops Rishikesh at 5 AM. Minimum number of people to avail this service is 2. (Pricing will be updated soon) 

  2. Rent gear: You can reduce your hassle of buying gear like trek pants, jackets, shoes and rent them for the trek at additional cost. (Pricing will be updated soon)

  3. RT PCR negative certification: Mandatory for Gostops treks. Without it you will not be allowed to trek. You are exempted only if you’ve had two doses of vaccine or were infected with COVID-19 in the last three months. We can arrange the test two days prior to the trek at Gostops Rishikesh at additional cost on request

Cancellation Policy

  • If cancellation are made 30 days before the date of travel then 25.0% of total tour cost will be charged as cancellation fees.
  • If cancellation are made 15 days to 30 days before the date of travel then 50.0% of total tour cost will be charged as cancellation fees.
  • If cancellation are made 0 days to 15 days before the date of travel then 100.0% of total tour cost will be charged as cancellation fees.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apart from July and August (monsoon), you can visit Kedarkantha and undertake the trek at any time of the year. Expect a lot of snow during the winters - December to April.
The Kedarkantha Trek is usually an easy one. The difficulty level can go from easy to moderate depending on the level of snow.
The temperature does not trouble you for the first two days since you won’t find any snow. Once the snow begins, the sunlight will still balance the weather during the daytime, but you will have to cover yourself in multiple layers as the temperature can drop to -8 degrees at night.
The average walking distance is 5 kms per day and it takes approximately 5 hours to cover the stretch. Since the trek is easy, there won’t be a problem in walking for anyone.
No, but our trek leaders are certified in Wilderness first-aid and are aware of the concerns related to high altitudes. We carry a first-aid kit and necessary medicines with us. Make sure you are medically clear and physically fit for a trek, or take professional advice if you feel you are unable to judge yourself.
The trek is led by professional trek leaders who have completed Basic and Advanced mountaineering courses. Apart from them, there will be a local guide, a cook, a helper and a porter along with you.
Usually, we take 22-24 people in one batch including males and females. We need a minimum of 6 people for a fixed departure, but for the customized trip, the group size doesn’t matter.
Absolutely. The safety of girls is of foremost importance to us. We always create a friendly environment on the trek. All our guides and other support crew are carefully chosen for your trips. They are very honest and reliable, but we would also advise you to take care of your personal belongings.
No, Female trekkers share tents with female co-trekkers. If you are the only girl on the trek, you get a separate tent for yourself.
The minimum age requirement is 8 years and the maximum age depends on the trekker's fitness.
We always serve Indian vegetarian food and eggs during our trek.

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