Himachal Pradesh is known for its valleys and perennial rivers. It is a perfect combination for nature lovers. It lies in the cradle of Western Himalayas at the foothills of Dhauladhar range. Himachal boasts of countless peaks for those who love to scale up the mountains.
The mesmerizing sight of orchids, pastures, and meadows can totally leave one asking for more. It offers plenty of opportunities for trekking, ranging from short treks to long ones, from easy to complex ones. Some of the treks in Himachal can be done throughout the year. Summer months last from April to June followed by the monsoon. Winter months last from November to March.
It is well connected by road, rail, and air. The road connectivity is good from Delhi to Himachal via Chandigarh. The railway stations are at Shimla, Una, and Dharamkot. Flight connectivity is available from Delhi to Shimla, Pathankot, and Kangra.
Here’s a list of 10 best treks in Himachal Pradesh – go ahead and pick the one you haven’t done yet!
1. Triund Trek
The Triund trek is good for both debutants as well as moderately experienced trekkers. It’s a single day trek and the gateway for higher trekking routes like Kareri Lake. The trek starts from Mcleodganj, the Indian home of the Dalai Lama. The trek is around 9 kilometers via Bhagsu/Dharamkot which lies 2 kilometers ahead of Mcleodganj. One could visit the Bhagsunag waterfalls and Gallu Devi Temple en route to Triund.
It is one of the most popular trekking trails in the region due to moderate complexity and rewarding views of the Kangra Valley as well as the Dhauladhar range. More than 3/4th of the trek is a gradual incline and the last 1/4th is even more inclined. March to June and September to October are the ideal months for the Triund Trek. It usually snows in December & January. Kangra airport or Pathankot Railway station is nearest to Mcleodganj.
2. Tosh Valley Trek
Tosh, a quaint village in the Parvati valley, is about 21 kilometers from Kasol. The Tosh trek starts from Kasol. The trekking trail runs alongside river Parvati. Kasol is situated in Parvati Valley. The rivulets join one of its tributaries, River Tosh. From Barshaini, the trek leads to Pulga and then to Tosh. Pulga is surrounded by apple orchards. Kalga is another village situated near Pulga which is beautiful as well.
Manikaran, a pilgrimage near Tosh, is sacred to Sikhs and Hindus. The hot springs at Manikaran are popular among tourists and pilgrims alike. April to October is a good time for the Tosh Valley Trek.
Kasol is well connected by roadways from Delhi, Pathankot, and Shimla. If starting from Delhi, one could visit Kasol via Bhuntar. The nearest railway station to Kasol is 140 odd kilometers away in Joginder Nagar. Bhuntar is the nearest airport from Kasol at a distance of 30 odd kilometers.
3. Kasol – Kheerganga Trek
The Parvati Valley is enchanting. An amazing way to experience it is through this alluring trek. Kasol is famous for a number of reasons and the Kheerganga trek is one of them.
On the way to the lush green meadows of Kheerganga, you will cross, among others, the Rudranag waterfalls where you can take a break before moving on. After the waterfall, the trail gets trickier and it takes an hour to reach Kheerganga. The first thing you ought to do after reaching Kheerganga is to take a bath in the hot springs and just relax!
If you start very early in the morning from Barshaini, the starting point of the trek, you can come back on that day itself. The most magnificent sights of this trek are the views of the glaciers of Lahaul and Spiti.
4. Solang Valley – Patalsu Peak
Solang Valley is the starting point of the trek. It is situated close to Manali. Being set amidst snow-capped mountains is the USP of Solang Valley. It is known for adventure sports such as zorbing, paragliding, etc. Solang Valley is a paradise from Skiing in winters.
The 1-day trek to Patalsu peak is via the Solang village. Beas River needs to be crossed to reach the Solang Village. The right mix of mountainous trail, grasslands, and forest add charm to the trek. The complexity of the trek is best described as moderate.
It is popular among beginners as well as seasoned trekkers. The view from the Patalsu Peak is mesmerizing. March to June and October –November are good times for the Solang Valley – Patalsu Peak Trek.
5. Kinnaur Kailash Trek
Let’s get a little tougher on ourselves now! Kinnaur Kailash is a high altitude trek. It is a 2-3 days trek. Preparation is recommended for the trek, for instance, jogging, core/strength training etc. It is rated between moderate to difficult. It is located in the Kinnaur valley at the Indo-Tibet border. It is pretty well known for its apple orchards.
Kinnaur Kailash is of religious significance among pilgrims. Tangling village is the base camp for the trek. It is a small village on the banks of river Satluj. One can absolutely relish the spectacular views during the trek. The road connectivity is good from Shimla to Tangling via Kufri. The route includes crossing Theog, Matiana, Narkanda, Kotgarh, Rampur Bushahr, Jhakri, Saharan, Sungra, Wangtu, Tapri, Kalpa. Shimla is the nearest airport from Kalpa. Nearest rail connectivity is also via Shimla. August to October is the best time for Kinnaur Kailash Trek.
6. Prashar Lake Trek
Kantlu is the base camp for the Prashar lake trek. It is rated as easy to moderate in terms of difficulty. It is a two days trek. It is known to offer spectacular views of sunrise and sunset. It is possible to reach Prashar Lake by road throughout the year except winters due to the snowfall. It usually snows from December to February.
Trekking through the valley and forest has its own charm. The Prashar lake sports an island. It is said the island moves across the lake. If you are lucky, you could notice it moving. Prashar temple next to the lake camouflages perfectly when it snows. The trek could be extended to Tunga Mata which is another 12km from Prashar Lake.
Kantlu is well connected by road via Mandi, Kullu. Bhuntar airport at Kullu is the nearest airport to Kantlu.
7. Malana – Chandrakhani Pass
It starts off from Pulag village at Naggar, on the banks of river Beas. It is 25 odd kilometers from Kullu. Rumsu village is en route Malana from Pulag. One reaches Malana village in Parvati valley after crossing Chandrakhani Pass lying in the Pir Panjal range in Kullu Valley.
It is 3-4 day trek. It is more challenging when compared to Triund trek or Prashar Lake trek. Apart from the beautiful views of the Pir Panjal range and Parvati valley, one gets to experience the magical views of the Deo Tibba Peak. Stone roof houses greet as one reaches Malana. The villagers at Malana follow unique customs, that you can witness.
Though the trek is doable throughout the year, April to mid- July and September to November are the best times for Malana – Chandrakhani Pass. Kullu is the nearest airport from Pulag. Joginder Nagar is the nearest railway station.
8. Bhrigu Lake Trek
The Bhrigu Lake trek starts from Gulaba. It is a 20 odd kilometer drive from Manali to Gulaba. It is a hamlet en route to Rohtang Pass after crossing Kolang, Palchan, and Kothi. It offers fascinating views of mountains, meadows as well as forest. It is a high-altitude trek.
The never-ending meadows through the trek to Bhrigu Lake are enchanting. Multiple streams greet you on the way up. Trekking from Gulaba to Rola Kholi offers splendid views of Manali and Solang valley.
It is moderate in terms of complexity. Best time for Bhrigu Lake trek is May to October. Bhuntar is the nearest airport to Manali and the place is also well connected by road.
9. Chandratal Trek
Manali is the base camp for this trek. Start from Manali towards Chika via Vashita Temple. Gaze at the Himalayas while you head from Chika to Balu ka Ghera. Moving forward towards Shea Goru valley and Hampta Pass en route Chandratal through the valleys, flowering meadows, and scenic views keeps one charged through the trek.
Chandratal litreally translates to the ‘moon lake’. Magnificent view of the Pir Pranjal range is thoroughly enjoyed by trekkers as they approach Chandratal.
The trek is suitable for both amateurs and experienced trekkers. It is doable all the year round but June to September is the best time to rejuvenate your sense by the dreamy views. Bhuntar airport is nearest to Manali, in case you are planning to take a flight.
10. Pin Parvati Trek
This one is for the seasoned trekkers. It is a trans-Himalayan Pass. Pin and Parvati are two valleys. The names of the valleys have come from the rivers flowing through them. Pin valley is known for its icy terrain while Parvati valley is known for its meadows. The transition between the two is breathtaking.
It is a challenging trek. Kaza is the base camp. It is off the Manali – Leh highway. Head from Manali towards Batal via Rohtang Pass. As you reach Gramphu, hit the road towards Batal – Kaza.
The perfect views from this trek are straight out of postcards. May-June and September to November is a good time for Pin Parvati Trek.
Any listicle on treks in Himachal cannot do justice to the experience of soaking in the pristine beauty of the treks. There is a lot to explore and indulge in. Pick one of the above treks which suit the adventure seeker within you.