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The Animal Pass Trek starts from the iconic Tosh village in the Parvati Valley. Tosh village is at an intersection of four valleys which makes it a perfect trekking destination for beginners and the experienced alike. One of the valleys leads to the famous Kheerganga Trek and the Pin Parvati Pass Trek. Another valley leads to the Animal Pass Trek.
It is an offbeat trek so you won’t see the typical trekking crowds on this trek. You can enjoy the magnificent views of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and meadows in peace. From the top of the pass, you can enjoy views of mountains like Deo Tibba, Papsura, Devachan, Lalana, and a full view of the Tosh Glacier.
From Animal Pass, you can even get down on the other side of the pass, and head to Malana. But beware that the immediate descent from the top of the pass on the other side is quite steep so you may need to use rope, and other technical equipment.
If you want more of a challenge, you can also attempt the Sara Umga Pass in the same valley ahead.
Distance: 20 km (Drive) & 4.5 Km (Trek)
Time: 1.5 Hour (Drive) & 4 Hour (Trek)
Altitude: 2,820 m (9,252 ft)
The Animal Pass Trek starts with a scenic drive from Kasol to Tosh. We will be driving via Manikaran and Barshaini. Make sure that your last-minute shopping for the trek is complete before you board the vehicle. We will be starting the trek soon after reaching Tosh.
The Parvati Valley is stunning and makes you fall in love with the scenery all around you. We’ll leave the Parvati valley behind to reach Tosh and deeper into the Tosh Valley. We will be starting the trek from here.
The initial part of the trek is a gradual ascend next to the raging Tosh Nala. The trail passes through dense forests of Pine, Oak, Deodar, and other trees. In an hour, you’ll reach a waterfall viewpoint. From here, we will need to ascend up to the ridge and again descend to the river. There is a Kutla campsite, a small meadow but we will be skipping this and moving to the Budhaban campsite.
Budhaban is a pretty meadow next to the raging river. It’s a perfect campsite to soothe your soul. We’ll rest and camp here for the night.
Distance: 6 km
Time: 6 hours
Altitude: 3,470 m (11,385 ft)
We will be trekking to Sharam Thatch today. From Budhaban, the trail gradually ascends into the forest cover and out in the meadows. As move higher today, you’ll notice the forest cover lessening. There are several waterfalls on this trail as well. On your right, the Tosh Nala is accompanying you. You can see the confluence of Tichu Nala into the Tosh Nala.
The Sharam Thatch is a beautiful meadow amidst the raw mountains. Here, the forest cover has almost disappeared. You are in high altitude zone. There are several boulders at this campsite so you try bouldering. We’ll camp at Sharam Thatch for the night.
Distance: 4 km
Time: 5 hours
Altitude: 3,850 m (12,631 ft)
We will be trekking to Shamsi Thatch today. Shamsi Thatch is in the same valley ahead. We will be trekking along the Tosh Nala. The Tosh Nala is comparatively quiet and calm now as we near its origin i.e. Tosh Glacier.
Shamsi Thatch is a high-altitude meadow before the moraines and the glacier starts to show themselves. As we reach the campsite, the Animal Pass is on your left but you won’t be able to see it from here. But you can see the Sara Umga Pass (5,050 m) up ahead in the valley in the backdrop of the Tosh Glacier.
At the Shamsi campsite, there is a small lake on the right-hand side at the base of the valley. We may be able to explore the area if the water level in the Tosh Nala is low enough to cross. We’ll go for a small acclimatization walk.
Rest and camp here for the night.
Distance: 12 km
Time: 10 hours
Altitude: 4,750 m (15,584 ft)
Animal Pass is to the left of the Shamsi Thatch campsite. It is a steep trek to reach the Animal Pass but the views of the surrounding mountains make it worth your effort. The landscape of the trek will be contrasting to the green valleys. We will be trekking through moraines and raw mountains.
When you reach the base of a beautiful lake, you can see the top of the pass. We’ll be trekking along the right side of the lake. Once you reach the end, it’s a steep trek to reach the top of the top. As you’re trekking, the views on the opposite side start to reveal themselves. Once you reach the top, you can see that there are two more frozen lakes on the other side of the pass.
Don’t miss out on the views behind you. You can see the entire mountain range ranging from Lalana, Devachan, Papsura, Dharmsura, Angdu Ri, Shingrila, SnowDome, etc. We’ll spend some time at the top of the pass and start retracing our steps. You can also descend on the other side of the pass but the descend on the other side is risky and steep.
We’ll descend back to the Shamsi Thatch, and rest for the night.
Distance: 14 km
Time: 7 hours
Altitude: 1,580 m (5,184 ft)
This is the last day of your Animal Pass Trek. We’ll be trekking back to the Tosh village. We’ll start early because the complete descend is long and will be hard on your knees.
Pro Tip: Get a Knee Support to protect your knees.
We’ll be descending through the same valley and retracing our steps. Once we reach Tosh, you can either choose to stay here and explore more of the other valleys or you can board our vehicles and travel back to Kasol. You can also get off at Manikaran gurdwara to take a bath in the hot springs.
Taking a bath in the hot springs after a trek is one of the best feelings in the world! Your body and muscles will be thankful. You can say goodbye to us at Manikaran or at Kasol.