Are you familiar with these lines from Robert Frost’s poem – ‘The Road Less Taken’?
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Everyone seems to be bogged down with only a handful of trekking itineraries in the Himalayas not realising that Himalayas are the largest mountain ecosystem on the planet, so there is no dearth of options with fab and glitter!
Himalayas are a treasure trove of the most beautiful treks on Earth. Any trail you choose, you will stumble upon great adventures and enthralling views, but not all treks get equal attention of trek operators. Some of these treks require to carry special logistics which not every trekking organiser does. Or some of these trails are so challenging that it doesn’t appeal to the masses.
There are some trails people haven’t even heard of. That doesn’t mean these treks don’t exist. Not only will you get lesser crowds on these treks, but a true feeling of being in the wild.
If, like me, you are also fed up of the same old list of popular treks, then here are your alternatives that are not just better than the famous ones but also give you the real feeling of trekking in the wild. Thank me later for suggesting these offbeat alternatives for the isolation and experience they have to offer:
1. Kedar Taal Trek in place of Roopkund
Well I cannot say more about the crowds of Roopkund trek. Everyone know the queues involved in the trek but why is it such a likeable option in the first place? It's got greenery, a high altitude lake, moderate grade, and almost a 360-degree view from the top. What if I tell you that there is a gem called Kedar Taal waiting in the hinterlands of Uttarkashi region that offers you a high altitude lake, grandest views of some of the most admirable peaks in the world, involves glaciers on the way, along with one of the densest Birch forests of the world! The icing on the cake is the spider wall that makes Kedar Taal a high adrenaline option.
Maximum altitude: 4,800m
Peaks visible: Mt. Thalay Sagar (6,904m), Mt. Meru (6,672m), and Mt. Bhrigupanth (6,772m)
2. Bali Pass Trek in place of Rupin Pass
While Rupin Pass is already a popular choice, Bali Pass is still a virgin trek with more exciting challenges and undulating beauty. The ever changing scenery and trails of the trek will blow your mind. There is a lot of snow in the monsoons that requires technical equipment to climb the pass. The descent of Bali Pass will give even the most experienced of trekkers a heart-in-your-mouth feeling. And you get views of Swargarohini and Bandarpunch by close quarters. The trails are rich in flora-fauna and mythological tales.
Maximum altitude: 4,949m
Peaks visible: Swargrohini 1 & 2, Banderpunch, Dhumdar Kandi, White Peak, and Kala Naag
3. Pangarchulla Peak Trek along with Kuari Pass
Why I say ‘along with’ is because Pangarchulla Peak shares its trails with Kuari Pass. And if you are doing this in April and May, you might even need some technical equipment to climb the peak. If you have never climbed a peak before, make this one your maiden. Pangarchulla Peak offers a great opportunity for trekkers looking for a moderate peak climb experience.
Maximum altitude: 4,480m
Peaks Visible: Nanda Devi, Neelkanth, Chaukhamba Massif, Hathi Godha, Dronagiri, Trishul, Kamet, and Mana
4. Deo Tibba Base Camp in place of Hampta Pass
Located in the same region of Himachal Pradesh, Deo Tibba base camp matches the standards of Hampta with a much higher adventure quotient. What is unique on this trek are the snowclad views of Mt. Deo Tibba, Indrasan Peak,and Inderkilla. Base camp of the Deo Tibba mountain peak is a mesmerising place because of the sheer possibilities it showcases. When you have a grand peak staring at you from such a close proximity, you know you are there! It's a stunning sight to say the least. And if you are worried of missing out on Chandratal Lake, there is a Mini Chandratal on Deo Tibba too.
Maximum Altitude: 4,480m
Peaks Visible: Mt. Deo Tibba, Indrasan Peak, and Inderkilla
5. Panwali Kantha Trek in place of Kedarkantha
The neglected Panwali Kantha Trek gives you rarest views of complete range of Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath mountain peaks which even Kedarkantha fails at. And there are not one, but SEVEN sprawling meadows on this trek all laden with snow. It is also popular for its spectacular sunsets and Blue Himalayan Goat which are a rare sight. Panwali Kantha sweeps away with victory any day.
Maximum altitude: 3,500 m
Peaks Visible: Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath, Badrinath mountain peaks, Thalay Sagar, Meru, Kirti Stambh, Chaukhambha, and Nilkanth
So what are you thinking about then? Time to be Robert Frost and take the trek less taken!
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In association with Bikat Adventures.