Plan The Unplanned in association with IWasThere brings you one of the finest Himalayan Winter treks out there suitable for those looking to attempt their first Himalayan trek as well as the more experienced trekkers looking for a quick Himalayan getaway.
Winters being extreme in the Himalayas makes it difficult to access the higher reaches of it during the peak winter months starting from November-December to end of March. During this time, Himalayas receive a lot of snowfall which makes a lot of treks inaccessible. It is the same very reason which makes Brahmatal Trek a unique affair as this is among those rare treks nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas during that period wherein the trekkers can tread through snow and indulge in a magical experience.
This trek offers varied experiences as we walk through the dense Oak and Rhododendron forest for the most part of the trek but the trek also offers the trekkers with an opportunity to walk on snow-covered meadows along with camping next to Bekal Tal. The surroundings of the high altitude Brahmatal lake is serene and on a clear day, one can see the perfect reflection of mountains in it.
The trek also offers majestic views of Mt. Nandagunti and Mt. Trishul from the highest point on the trek and a panoramic view of other Himalayan peaks. Add to the fact that this is a fairly easy trail with most parts of the trek in the treeline in a gradual ascend which makes it accessible for beginners by reducing the chances of altitude sickness and you can select this to be your first adventure in the Himalayas. Two beautiful lakes, thick Oak and Rhododendron forest and majestic mountain views from the top is a recipe to make it a perfect winter trek in Garhwal Himalayas.
Day 1: Drive from Kathgodam and Arrival at Lohajung
Day 2: Lohajung to Bekaltal (9,700 ft, 6 kms)
Day 3: Bekaltal to Brahmatal (10,500 ft, 7 kms)
Day 4: Brahmatal to Tilbudi via Brahmatal Pass (12,200 ft) – Tilbudi (11250 ft, 7 kms)
Day 5: Tilbudi to Lohajung via Wan Village (8000 ft) – Lohajung ( 7650 ft, 3.5 kms trek & 1 hr drive)
Day 6: Lohajung to Kathgodam Village
Distance: 220 KMs
Time: 10 hrs
Lohajung is the base camp for the Brahmatal trek, for which we pick you up from Kathgodam at 6 AM. It will be a 10 hours drive through the beautiful hill station of Nainital – the city of lakes. The drive is along the course of Kosi River which later gives way to Pindar River thereafter, alongside a spectacle of snow-capped mountains. Most of the drive is in the beautiful serpentine roads of Kumaon before entering Garhwal and not before passing through some of the beautiful villages of this region. The last point to buy any provisions en route is Dewal. There is good connectivity of phones and the internet along with ATMs. Some last-minute shopping can be done here before heading towards the final journey for the day.
The gain is considerable from Dewal to Lohajung through very narrow and curvy roads. It will mostly be foggy or rainy along with cold weather and certainly marks the true beginning of the wilderness. You reach Lohajung, our base camp – a little hamlet in Chamoli district in Garhwal Himalayas. On arrival at Lohajung, check in to a guest house or lodge for overnight stay. (Food during the transit from Kathgodam to Lohajung is not a part of the trek. Please stop over at many of the Himalayan Dhabas to relish local cuisine en route).
Distance: 6 kms
Time: 5 Hrs
Trek begins from Lohajung post breakfast, it will be a gradual ascend through the nearby villages until you are in the middle of the forest. The trail is serpentine with zig-zag paths throughout making it easier to climb. There are a few villages en route where the trekkers can refill their water bottles. Also, there are many water streams flowing on the trail and these springs can be used for stocking water. Soon, we will be crossing a confluence of 2 mountain rivers Kali and Pindari in the splendid green Kali Valley.
The next water point available is at a stream which we will be crossing via a notable wooden bridge which also acts as a landmark for the trekkers, this is at around 8500 ft. It is an approximately 1-hour hike to reach our campsite from here. At Bekaltal, we will be served a hot lunch at the campsite. Bekaltal lake is a 15 minutes walk from our campsite is surrounded by Oak trees and can be seen in the semi-frozen conditions during the winters. Evenings are reserved and are utilized by exploring the vicinity.
Distance: 4 kms
Time: 3 hrs
The start of the trek will be a steep ascend through the Oak and Rhododendron forest. This section of the forests is one of the densest and it is a nice setting to be walking under the shade of these trees before the sight opens up to the meadows of Telandi. This is certainly one of the most fun and adventurous section of the trek as winters fill these meadows with an abundance of snow and the trekkers need to plough their way through it to reach the Brahmatal campsite. The gradual ascend in the meadows will take you to the highest point of the day at 11,500 ft. From here the descend takes you to the BrahmaTal Lake. The campsite is set approximately 500 meters from the lake. Expect to see breathtaking views of the mighty Mt Trisul and Mt. Nandaghunti along with other Himalayan ranges in the distance. There are no water sources available today so it is necessary to carry sufficient water to last till the arrival at the campsite.
Brahmatal lake is only 500 meters away from the campsite.
Distance : 6 KMs
Time : 8 Hrs
Being the Summit day, expect an early start. We start our walk through the magical Oak and Rhododendron forests all the way until Brahmatal lake. On a bright sunny day, you with recall your science lectures about reflection and refraction due to the change in colours when the sun changes its angles.
After walking for a while and crossing the meadow, the final climb towards the pass begins. As soon as you reach the top you will be greeted with a magnificent view of Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti, spend some time here and accept the fact that you are in real witnessing all of these and of course click some amazing photos for your collection. 180 degrees of Himalayan ranges will be visible from here. The descent will follow a different route towards Tilbudi from Brahmatal Pass, as we start our walk you will experience a panoramic view of distant peaks like Chaukhambha, Mandi, Mana, Nilgiri, Neelkanth, Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Maitoli along with Tharali and Gwaldam(Places that you crossed on the way from Kathgodam) at a distance. As we descend further you reach our campsite for the night at Tilbudi.
We start our descend after our breakfast through the thick Oak and Rhododendron forests all the way till Chota Tilbudi, which is also our water source for our refills. We continue further for some time to reach the village, Wan. Here a vehicle will be arranged which will be dropping us to Lohajung where we retire in a Guest House.
The taxi would arrive in the morning to drop the trekkers back to Kathgodam Railway station to continue with their return journey. It is always a good decision to start early in the mountains as the weather is very unpredictable. Onward journey from Kathgodam can be booked post 8 PM.
The interesting thing about traveling alone is that you get to meet new people from diverse backgrounds, and towards the end you are no longer strangers. Hence solo travelers are always welcome to join us on our trips. Read more about solo travelling here and get inspired! https://www.plantheunplanned.com/solo-yet-accompanied/
Safety and security is our priority at all times. Hence it is absolutely safe for women/girls to join us on our treks and travels. Our trek leaders accompany the team at all times, and our campsites are secured and safe for accomodation. We also have female trek leaders who accompany on most of our treks.
Usually, we take maximum of 15-18 people in one group. We believe bigger groups have less fun and less coordination so that’s why we prefer smaller groups.
We need at least 4 people to operate our fixed departure tours/treks.
Details for availing discounts are mentioned in the following link, https://www.plantheunplanned.com/membership/
Here’s the cancellation policy for Himalayan Treks/Backpacking Trips/Road Trips
For all the above points you can transfer your ticket to anyone so that you could save your hard earned money
For other trips and travels with us, and detailed terms and conditions check the following link : https://www.plantheunplanned.com/refund-cancellation-policy