The Most Spectacular Mountain Treks in Himachal Pradesh, India

Triund Hill overlooking the majestic Dhauladhar Peaks
Triund Hill overlooking the majestic Dhauladhar Peaks | © Rignam Wangkhang / WikiCommons

With its breathtaking landscape encompassing towering mountain peaks and verdant valleys, Himachal Pradesh offers a myriad of scenic trails for novice and seasoned trekkers alike. Here’s our guide to the most spectacular mountain treks in this ‘Abode of Snow’.

1. Triund Trek

Forest, Hiking Trail

© Poonam Binayak
This is arguably one of the most spectacular treks in Himachal Pradesh with panoramic vistas of the Kangra Valley on one side and the stunning Dhauladhar range on the other. The trek can begin from either Dharmkot or McLeod Ganj, and venture into the scenic Bhagsu Nag and further to the Khabrotu, where you can enjoy the beautiful shot of the Lake Glacier and snow-laden Dhauladhar peak. The trek culminates at the Bhagsu Village.

Whichever base camp you choose, you will be greeted with stunning scenery of snow-capped mountain peaks and pristine beauty of rhododendron, deodar and oak forests along the way. The ascent begins with an easy stroll and after three miles you will come across steep ascents in some places, which makes it a moderate trek. The entire stretch is often referred as the 22 curves because there are 22 sharp curves on the way. It takes approximately four hours on one side to complete this trek. Travellers can stay in one of the hotels at McLeod Ganj, or check in at the rest house of the Forest Department in Triund, which can be booked at Dharamshala. Another option is pitching camp at McLeod Ganj.

Best time: March to June and September-November (Some areas of the trek route are closed in January and February due to snowfall).

Shepherd Trail Gaddi Trek

This trail beckons nature lovers, wildlife enthusiasts and seasoned trekkers. The trek begins from Kullu Valley (Manali) and culminates at Kangra Valley (Dharamshala). Along the way, you will cross the three high-altitude snow-laden peaks of Kalihani (4,785.3 meters), Thamsar (3,500 meters) and Khanpari (3,600 meters), shepherd hamlets, cattle farms, dense forests and glacial lake. There are also plenty of fruit orchards and wild animals along the way. Scaling this trek takes around 18 days and is extremely challenging, requiring a high level of fitness. There will be constant change in altitude that will leave you exhausted, but the spectacular sights of Western Himalayas, lush valleys and picturesque villages along the way are more than worth the effort.

Best time: September & October

Sar Pass Trek

At an elevation of 4,220 meters, the Sar Pass is located in the picturesque Parvati Valley. It is a popular trek known for its spectacular scenery that changes at every few miles. The trek begins from Kasol, a backpacker’s heaven, and traverses through the trails of Grahan, Padri, Min Thatch, Nagaru and Barshani village. This trek is mildly difficult and requires a good level of fitness. It takes about five days to complete.

Best time: May – October

Sar Pass Trek

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