10 Winter Treks In India That Promise Stunning Views!

Photo of India by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

There's something undeniably satisfying about feeling the crunch of snow under your boots during winter treks. It is magical to fall asleep under some of the clearest skies of the year and to wake up to vast expanses of all-white landscapes that stretch as far as you can see! But the absolute best thing about winter treks is that for the most part, you’ll be able to do it without the crowds.

So gear up and get moving on these gorgeous mountain trails, as we list down 10 winter treks in India that promise the most stunning views!

1. Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek, Uttarakhand

Ali Bedni Bugyal Trek; (c): indiahikes

Photo of Dayara Bugyal trek, Uttarkashi by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 6 days

Level: Moderate

Highest point: 3,562m

Starting point: Lohajung (10-hour drive from Rishikesh)

With camping banned in Uttarakhand’s high-altitude meadows, the famous Roopkund trek is out of bounds. The Bedni Bugyal is a great alternative route. Come to see Mt Trishul and Mt Nanda Ghunti and stay for the beautiful sunsets on this trek!

To reach the highest point at 3,562m, you will pass through dense oak and rhododendron forests. Yet the trail is perfect for beginners, with just a few tricky and challenging sections. The trek is open all year round (besides the monsoon months from June to September), but the winters bring a different kind of beauty to the region!

2. Dayara Bugyal Trek, Uttarakhand

Dayara Bugyal Trek; (c): flickr

Photo of Dayara Bugyal trek, Uttarkashi by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 4-8 days

Level: Easy

Highest point: 3,606m

Starting point: Raithal

On this trek, look upon snow-covered meadows as far as your eyes reach! While the trek is accessible for 8 months of the year (except during the monsoon months), the Dayara Bugyal is a sight to behold in the winter months due to the sheer vastness of its meadows.

Getting to the open stretch is no easy task as it involves an arduous trek through forests and thick snow. While the climb may leave you breathless, so will the views!! Standing at 12,000ft, you can see Mt Bandarpoonch and Black Peak towering at 21,000ft, as well as, Mt Srikanth, Draupadi ka Danda, and Mt Jaunli. It’s a sight to behold!

3. Brahmatal Trek, Uttarakhand

Brahmatal Trek; (c): flickr

Photo of BrahmaTal Trek, Mundoli by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 4-6 days

Level: Moderate

Highest point: 3,733m

Starting point: Lohajung (10-hour drive from Rishikesh)

During winters (December to March), the Brahmatal trek leads you to a frozen alpine lake, and you won’t just spend a few hours there. If the weather holds up and there isn’t heavy snow, you can also camp by the lake. A cup of tea in hand, admire the beauty of the frozen ice mirroring the majestic Mt Trishul and Mt Nandaghunti!

As you descend, there’s also lake Bekaltal which is worth a visit and usually freezes over in winter too. Each campsite on this trek offers unique views of forests and lakes. The best part is you don’t have to work too hard to soak in these views!! The trek offers a ridge that you can walk along to reach the summit.

4. Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek, Uttarakhand

Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek; (c): indiahikes

Photo of Chandrashila, Tungnath by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 3-6 days

Level: easy-moderate

Highest point: 3,675m

Starting point: Sari (7-8 hours from Rishikesh)

The Chandrashila Summit affords some of the most beautiful views of the Himalayas! On the left are the Gangotri range of peaks, Mt Thalaysagar, the Kedarnath and the Kedar dome, Mandani Parbat and Janhukut. On the right are the Gauri Parbat, Hathi Parbat and Dunagiri, and right in front is Nanda Devi. Every season brings a different flavour to this landscape. But the winters here are spell-binding!

Even in December, you’ll get to see rhododendron trees blushing with blooms. The trek is also a delight for birdwatchers. If you get lucky, you may spot the beautiful Himalayan monal. At Baniya Kund, you may also get the chance to camp on snow-covered expanses.

5. Kedarkantha Trek, Uttarakhand

Kedarkantha Trek; (c): flickr

Photo of Kedarkantha Trek, Dehradun by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 6 days

Level: easy-moderate

Highest point: 3,810m

Starting point: Gaichawan Gaon (10 hours from Dehradun)

The Kedarkantha is a 6 day trek in Uttarakhand’s Govind Pashu Vihar National Park. Since Kedarkantha is a standalone mountain, there are several routes to reach the summit, each unique in its own way. You can choose the popular route or the quieter trail. The trek is accessible year-round, but if you’re up for a challenge go in the winter months of December and January. The climb is arduous and steep in the cold, but equally rewarding!

The summit is visible right from the base camp and as you climb higher through snow-covered grasslands and forests, the Himalayas come into sight. Along with some of the most dramatic sunsets, the trek also gives you a taste of the local culture and food, as you will spend your first and last night at homestays in Gaichwangaon.

6. Sandakphu Phalut, West Bengal

Sandakphu Phalut; (c): flickr

Photo of Sandakphu/Phalut trek, Mane Bhanjang by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 6-9 days

Level: Moderate

Highest point: 3,642

Starting point: Shrikhola

This trek takes you to Singali Ridge, the border that separates India from Nepal. It offers views of some of the most famous peaks that tower above 8,000 metres, including Mt Everest, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse and Makalu. Besides the Kanchenjunga, you can also get a view of peaks famously called The Sleeping Buddha, due to its shape.

While the Everest cluster is only visible on day four of the trek, The Sleeping Buddha peaks are visible right from day one. So, you’re promised gorgeous views from start to finish. The trek is open for eight months of the year, barring May to August, but trust us—you’ll want to see the mighty peaks blanketed in snow!

7. Kuari Pass Trek, Uttarakhand

Kuari Pass Trek; (c): indiahikes

Photo of Kuari Pass Trek, Salud Dugra by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 6-9 days

Level: Moderate

Highest point: 3,395m

Starting point: Rishikesh

The Kuari Pass affords some of the most breathtaking views of the Himalayas. They range from Trishul in the east to the peaks of Kedarnath, Chaukhambha, Nilkantha, Kamet, Nanda Devi and Dronagiri as you move southwards

While the pass is accessible for 10 months in the year (except July and August), it’s a great option for a winter trek. It is one of the few passes that’s trekkable this time of the year, with the rest of the Himalayas buried deep in snow! On day seven, after you’ve soaked in panoramic views of snow-clad peaks, the trek takes you to a campsite in India’s little Switzerland—Auli.

9. Triund Trek, Himachal Pradesh

Triund Trek; (c): flickr

Photo of Triund Trek, Dharamshala by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 2 days

Level: Easy

Highest point: 2,827m

Starting point: Dharamkot

The Triund Trek is perfect for a short weekend getaway in the Himalayas. Summers usually are the busiest months here, so if you’re trying to escape the crowds and enjoy stargazing, October to December is a good time to visit!

It can be done in 4-6 hours but camp the night to really enjoy the views of Kangra Valley and the Dhauladhar range. While the trail is short, it’s steep. But every now and then, you will be able to catch your breath during easy, flat trails through rhododendron, pine and coniferous forests. The highlight of the trek is the beautiful sunsets that paint Himachal’s skies and the starry nights!

10. Markha Valley Trek, Ladakh

Markha Valley Trek; (c): flickr

Photo of Markha by Tanvi Shah (travelstoriesbytan)

Duration: 6-9 days

Level: Difficult

Highest point: 4,150m

Starting point: Leh

The Markha Valley expedition is one of Ladakh’s most famous summer treks due to its close proximity to Leh. But if a quiet getaway and the chance of spotting the elusive snow leopard is what you’re here for, then opt for a winter trek between January and February. It takes you past the Indus river, Buddhist monasteries, mountain villages, the willow-lined Zingchen gorge and the Hemis National Park. During the walk to the highest point of the trek in Markha, you’ll see fascinating geological creations and large boulders before you head down to camp in Thachungtse, where you can watch herds of blue sheep scale steep cliffs with great agility!

Knee-deep snow, the brilliance of white sparkling in the sun, the frozen lakes, and the icy mist on the trees; everything about winters is so breathtaking! If you like everything about winters, the time has come to plan your winter trek for the coming season. Any time from mid-December to the end of March will give you a good snow experience!

Have you experienced any of these treks? Let us know in the comments below!

For more travel stories and information follow @travelstoriesbytan.

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