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Kedarkantha Trek, nestled in the snow-covered fringes of Uttarakhand, India, is an enchanting winter trail that every trekking enthusiast should add to their bucket list. Boasting an altitude of 12,500 feet, this trek refreshes travelers with its mesmerizing views of frosted peaks, verdant meadows, and expansive forests, creating a heavenly canvas that captivates and challenges in equal measure.
The journey to Kedarkantha begins in a small village named Sankri, where the tranquil ambiance sets the tone for the adventure that lies ahead. As trekkers ascend, they traverse through lush green pine forests, their path occasionally crossed by playful streams, leading to the magical campsite amidst a carpet of white snow at Juda Ka Talab.
The trek is not merely a physical journey, but also an immersion in local culture. The warm and hospitable locals add a charming dimension to this high-altitude trek. The stories they share about the region, its folklore, and traditions, enrich the overall experience by providing a cultural context to the stunning natural beauty.
In the silent tranquility of the night, the sky morphs into a breathtaking spectacle, with countless stars strewn across the inky black canvas. The experience of stargazing here, far away from the city’s hustle and pollution, is an unforgettable one.
The final climb to the Kedarkantha peak is challenging, but the panoramic view of the majestic Himalayan range from the summit is a sight for sore eyes. The sense of achievement, coupled with the awe-inspiring vista, makes every step of this strenuous journey worth it.
The Kedarkantha Trek is a blend of adventure, beauty, and cultural exploration, making it a perfect escape for those seeking to break away from the monotony of city life. It offers a unique opportunity to embrace the raw beauty of nature, test one’s physical endurance, and delve deep into the cultural heritage of the Himalayan region.
Distance: 200 km
Time Taken: 10 hours (Drive)
Altitude: 1,950 m (6,400 ft)
The Kedarkantha Trek starts from the quaint little village Sankri. The drive from Dehradun to Sankri is a 200 km road journey through winding mountain roads. If you book transport with us, the vehicles will pick you up at Dehradun I.S.B.T at 7 am. You can expect to reach Sankri by evening.
We’ll be having breakfast at Kempty Falls, Mussoorie. We’ll drive through Mussoorie & other picturesque villages with the breathtaking view of the green hills and the vivid flora during this remarkable road journey. We’re going to drive along the banks of the River Tons, which later changes course to become the River Supin.
We’ll be having lunch at Purola, where you can enjoy the authentic cuisine of the region. We’ll reach the Sankri village by evening. Over the past few years, Sankri has become a bustling hub for trekkers because of the many treks situated in the area.
The stay will be in a hotel/guest house and you can see a sensational view of the sunset in the valley. Your trek leader will brief you properly about all the details of the trek, and dinner will be served.
Distance: 4 km
Time Taken: 4 hours
Altitude: 2,774 m (9,100 ft)
We’ll be starting our trek early morning after a healthy breakfast. As soon as we start walking on the trail, the Kedarkantha trail will get you into the serene forest of tall pines. The magic of this trail starts to unveil as you climb higher and witness the mesmerizing landscape.
You will start to find snow on this trail, depending on the season. In the peak winter season, you’ll find snow from the start of the trail. After trekking for a couple of hours, we’ll reach a Dhaba. We’ll rest and snack here.
As you climb, the magnificent oak trees welcome you to the stunning campsite at Juda-Ka-Talab. There were two smaller lakes that are conjoined to form a larger lake, i.e. Juda-ka-Talab.
This will be the campsite for the night. As we reach, we’ll have a cool-down session and relax with a hot cup of tea.
Distance: 3.5 km
Time Taken: 3 hours
Altitude: 3,429 m (11,250 ft)
Today we will be trekking to the Kedarkantha Base Camp. We’ll be trekking through dense pine forests and meadows. The climb begins steeply from the Juda Ka Taal campsite and then turns into a gradual ascent towards the Kedarkantha Base Camp. On the trail, you can get a 180-degree view of the snow-capped Kedarkantha Summit. We will be trekking for approx. 3 hours.
This short day is to provide your body with the much-needed rest before the much-anticipated summit day. This day will also help you naturally acclimatize to the high altitude so make sure to keep your body hydrated and eat nutritious food.
We will be having an early dinner and retiring for the night after a short briefing session about the summit day. We will be starting the trek to Kedarkantha Peak at 3 in the night.
Distance: 9 km
Time Taken: 7 hours
Altitude: 3,810 m (12,500 ft)
This day is going to be the hardest and most adventurous day of the trek. We’ll be getting ready with all the necessary equipment for the trek to the Kedarkantha summit and start around 3 am. This day is sure to be cold so be prepared to experience the wind chills on the way to the summit. We will be aiming to reach the summit by sunrise to get the best views of the sun rays hitting the snow-capped peaks all around us.
On the way to the summit, you leave behind the forests. The trail and the scenery are sure to enchant you. As we near the summit, the views will start to open up and will motivate you to keep you going. Once you reach the summit, a complete 360 view of the Himalayas will reveal itself. There is a Lord Shiva temple at the summit.
From here, you can see the Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch mountains. You can also see the Gangotri ranges, Yamunotri ranges and also notice the Chanshal pass and the Kinner Kailash ranges.
After spending some time at the summit, we will start to descent back to the base camp. We’ll have hot lunch at the Kedarkantha Base Camp and later descend to Hargaon campsite while enjoying the beauty of the mountain and rest.
Distance: 6 km
Time Taken: 4 hours
Altitude: 1,950 m (6,400 ft)
After having an early breakfast, we will start descending back to the Sankri village. In peak winters, the trail may have verglas and may be slippery. So, you will need to be very careful to avoid any slips, falls, and injuries.
Once we reach Sankri, your transport will be ready and waiting to take you back to Dehradun. You can expect to reach Dehradun by 9 PM. The cab will drop you at ISBT Dehradun.
It is time to bid adieu to your trek mates and go our own ways with a lot of wonderful memories and memorable experiences.
The best time to visit the Kedarkantha trek depends on the kind of trekking experience you’re seeking.
Winter Season (December to February)
For those seeking a winter wonderland experience, the Kedarkantha trek is best done during winter. The trails are covered in snow, and the surrounding forests and meadows are blanketed in white. The trek is typically open from December to February, and it’s the perfect opportunity for snow lovers to experience the best of winter landscapes in the Himalayas. However, be prepared to bear extremely cold temperatures, especially during the night. A good quality cold-weather sleeping bag, warm clothing, and a good pair of trekking shoes are a must-have this season.
Spring Season (March to April)
The spring season is an excellent time to visit Kedarkantha as the days become warmer and the snow begins to melt, making it easier to trek without enduring freezing temperatures. The trekking routes are less crowded, making them ideal for those seeking a peaceful experience amidst nature. The blossom season starts in mid-March, transforming the landscape into a paradise. The month of April is also perfect for birdwatchers, as the Himalayan birds migrate to these regions during this time.
Summer Season (May to June)
The summer season is when the trek is relatively easy and can be completed in just 3-4 days. The weather is pleasant and therefore perfect for trekking enthusiasts. The melting snow creates beautiful streams and waterfalls, adding to the scenic beauty of the trail. However, do bear in mind that the trek will be crowded during this season as it coincides with the peak trekking season.
Kedarkantha Trek is a popular winter trek located in the Uttarakhand region of India, known for its captivating snow-covered landscapes. The trek offers a unique opportunity to reach a significant summit of 12,500 feet, unlike many other treks in the Himalayas that are typically passes or high points on a range.
The journey to Kedarkantha starts from Sankri village and takes about 4-5 days to complete. The trek is renowned for its breathtaking beauty, offering photographers perfect opportunities to capture magical scenes of snow falling from the pine trees.
The trek is considered one of the most alluring and comfortable treks in the Uttarakhand Himalayas, suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers. The trail takes you through dense forests of pine and oak trees, providing varying levels of challenges. As you ascend, you’ll be rewarded with stunning panoramic views of famous mountain peaks and ranges.
One of the highlights of this trek is the chance to catch the sunrise from the Kedarkantha summit. Trekkers usually start their ascent around 3 AM to ensure they reach the peak in time for this spectacular sight.
Despite its popularity as a winter trek, the Kedarkantha Trek can be undertaken all year round, with each season offering a unique experience and view of the landscape.
The starting point of the Kedarkantha Trek is the village of Sankri in Uttarakhand, India. This quaint village, situated at an altitude of approximately 6,000 to 6,500 feet, serves as the basecamp for the trek.
The Kedarkantha Trek is typically classified as easy to moderate in terms of difficulty. This makes it suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers. The trek starts at an altitude of around 6,500 feet and reaches up to 12,500 feet over the course of three days.
While the trek has gradual ascents and descents, the uphill climb from the Kedarkantha base camp can be somewhat challenging. For first-timers, it’s considered a moderately difficult trek, but with a basic level of fitness, it can be accomplished fairly easily.
However, like any mountain trek, the Kedarkantha Trek does present its own set of challenges. It’s important for trekkers to be prepared physically and mentally. Regular stair climbing for at least one hour can be a beneficial exercise to prepare the legs for the grind.
Remember, the high altitude can also pose challenges such as altitude sickness, so proper acclimatization and hydration are crucial.
The altitude of the Kedarkantha peak is approximately 12,500 feet or 3,800 meters.
While the Kedarkantha Trek is considered easy and is often recommended for beginners, there are some general fitness requirements that can help ensure a smooth and enjoyable trekking experience:
Remember, everyone’s body responds differently to physical exertion and high altitudes. It’s important to listen to your body, take breaks when needed, and maintain a steady pace throughout the trek.
While on the Kedarkantha Trek, trekkers can expect a variety of nutritious and well-prepared meals to keep them energized throughout their journey. Here’s a general idea of what the food menu could look like:
Remember, the exact menu may vary based on the resources available and the day of the trek. Rest assured, our team ensures that all meals provided are nutritious and fulfilling, designed to replenish energy levels for the trekking adventure ahead.
Accommodation during the Kedarkantha Trek generally consists of tents, guest houses, or homestays, depending on the stage of the trek. Here’s what you can expect:
Please note that the exact type of accommodation can vary based on the trekking package selected and the specific itinerary.
Medical facilities are not readily available on the Kedarkantha Trek due to its remote nature. However, Advenchar prioritizes safety measures and provides first aid kits and basic medical supplies for emergencies. It’s also advised that trekkers carry their own personal first aid kit, especially if they have specific medical needs.
In case of serious emergencies, evacuation to nearby towns with medical facilities would be arranged. The nearest major town with medical facilities is Dehradun, which is approximately a 6-7 hour drive from Sankri, the starting point of the trek.
It’s important for trekkers to understand that high-altitude treks can present unique health challenges, such as Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), and it’s essential to be properly acclimatized and physically prepared.
When packing for the Kedarkantha Trek, you should consider the challenging terrain and varying weather conditions. Here’s a recommended packing list:
Remember, it’s important to pack light and only carry what’s necessary, as you’ll be carrying your own backpack during the trek.
Preparing for the Kedarkantha Trek involves physical training, acquiring necessary gear, and mental preparation. Here are some tips:
Remember, preparation is vital to having a successful and enjoyable trek.
While it is technically possible to do the Kedarkantha Trek solo, it’s not generally recommended for a few reasons:
If you’re an experienced trekker and still wish to go solo, make sure you’re well prepared: carry a detailed map, a compass, and a first-aid kit; inform someone about your plans and expected return date; and carry enough food, water, and warm clothing.
However, joining a guided trek can offer a safer and potentially more enjoyable experience, as it allows you to focus on the trek itself without having to worry too much about logistics and safety precautions.
During the Kedarkantha Trek, you may encounter a variety of wildlife species. The trek is located within the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary, which is known for its rich biodiversity.
Remember that spotting wildlife can be a matter of luck and patience. Always maintain a safe distance from animals and avoid disturbing them.
The weather during the Kedarkantha Trek can vary greatly depending on the time of year you choose to undertake the trek.
Winter (December, January, February, and March): Kedarkantha remains cold throughout the winter months. The temperature during winter ranges from 13-18 degrees Celsius during the day to as low as -7 degrees Celsius during the night. In December, temperatures can range from 0 degrees to minus 10 degrees Celsius after sunset. Snowfall and frost is a common occurrence during these months.
Spring (April to June): During this season, the weather is generally pleasant with warm sunny days. However, the nights can still be quite chilly.
Monsoon (July to September): The region experiences rainfall during these months, which can make the trek more challenging due to slippery paths. However, the landscape turns lush green and is quite beautiful.
Autumn (October to November): In October, the landscape changes hue from green to brown and snowfall is rare. The weather is generally pleasant with warm sunny days and cool breezy evenings.
Regardless of the time of year, it’s always recommended to check the current weather forecast before embarking on your trek to ensure you’re adequately prepared for the conditions.
During the Kedarkantha Trek, mobile connectivity is generally sparse. Here’s what you can expect:
It’s recommended to inform your family and friends about the lack of connectivity during the trek. You might want to make any necessary calls or send messages when you’re in areas with coverage.
Emergency facilities during the Kedarkantha Trek are essential to ensure the safety and well-being of trekkers. Here’s what you can typically expect:
Consider getting travel insurance that covers high-altitude trekking.
To reach the starting point of the Kedarkantha Trek, you will first need to get to Dehradun, which is the nearest major city. Here are the options on how to reach Dehradun:
From Dehradun, you need to travel to Sankri, which is the starting point of the Kedarkantha Trek.
Please note that it’s advisable to arrive in Dehradun a day before your trek begins due to the long drive to Sankri.
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