The way back is much easier, it took us around 6 hours of walking time to get back to Gallu Devi Temple following exactly the same path.
If you don’t have basic trekking clothes (like hiking shoes or a wind jacket) you can buy those in McLeodGanj. I trekked in my running shoes, but I don’t advice that because there’s a greater risk of getting an injury. You will also need a tent to sleep and there are two different options to get one.
Option 1. Renting gear in Mcleodganj
You can rent a tent, sleeping bag and a mattress in one of the numerous trekking organizers in Mcleodganj. Even if you don’t want to book a tour they will happily rent you equipment. After visiting literally every tour organizer in the town, we can claim that the best price you can get without outstanding bargaining skills is 1000Rp for a tent+2 sleeping bags+2 mattresses of mediocre quality. The price is per night.
Option 2. Renting a tent in Triund
Another option would be to rent a tent directly at Triund, there are many tents that are already set up and waiting for the guests. A clear advantage is that you don’t have to carry the tent all the way up and the price is the same as renting a tent in McLeodGanj. But on the other hand you still need a sleeping bag and a matrace for Lahesh Cave. Theoretically, you can rent those at Triund Hill as well, but it’s a subject to availability, so there’s a small risk that there will be none.
We went for the first option, I don’t mind trekking with a tent in my backpack and it’s nicer when you don’t have to worry about the logistics during the trip.
For me, food is an important part of trekking experience. A cup of chai with rice and dal after a day of trekking refuels your energy and tastes better than in any fancy restaurant. Therefore here’s an extensive guide about eating options during the McLeodGanj - Lahesh Cave trek.
Eating at Triund
During the first day you can get every meal in one of the numerous cafes located along all the way to Triund Hill as well as on the hill itself. On the way you can get instant noodles as well as many snacks. On the hill there’re more options like rice with dal or omelette with toast. On the second day the last place to get the food cooked for you is Snowline Cafe.
Eating at Lahesh Cave
You will have to get at least two meals at Lahesh Cave (a dinner on the 2nd day and a breakfast on the third day). The best thing to do for dinner thing is to make a bonfire. For that you will have to prepare in advance. There’s no wood available around the cave, the last place you can collect some is at Snowline Cafe. Also, quite probably wood will be wet, so you need kerosine to light it up. You can buy some in McLeodGanj, we found a very helpful guy at a Indian supermarket on the Dharamkot Rd., who arranged 500ml of kerosine for 50Rp for us.
There’re many bonfire dishes. If you manage to get a pot, you can cook basically anything. However, to boil the water you will need a lot of wood. We just grilled mushrooms on the open fire on a stick. With a bit of salt they tasted amazingly good! After that we made tons of s’mores. Breakfast however was less successful. We were supposed to bake potatoes in the ashes (we left them for too long and potatoes themselves turned into ashes) and eggs that we asked to boil for us in one of the cafes (they were boiled hard enough and completely crashed in the back pack).
On the way back you have all the same options you had on the day one: numerous cafes on the hill and on the way down.
The weather will obviously depend entirely on the season. There are two things however that I keep getting wrong. Firstly, at the 3000m altitudes it gets cold even if it’s summer downhills. The temperature at Lahesh Cave can fall to 1-2°C in June, so make sure to take warm clothes and good sleeping bags. Also, it rains a lot in Himalayas and quite often you want to keep going. Buying a very cheap plastic raincoat in McLeodGanj can save you from a light rain.
If you have one more day or you feel super energized and willing to trekk more, there are several options available
Indrahar Pass (4300m)