From breathtaking views and gravelly trails to electrifying water sports and adventure treks, Himachal Pradesh will leave you with everlasting memories. Miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Himalayan peaks will fill your your lungs with fresh mountain air and the system rushing with adrenaline.
The best way to experience the mountains is to take-up treks. Himachal as treks to suit every level of expertise. So get your pair of lungs and legs ready and head on to the breathtaking treks that Himachal has to offer!
Malana Village TrekSituated amidst the Parvati valley lies the quaint village of Malana—home to the descendents of the legendary Greek king Alexander. The trek to Malana has become one of the best known secret destinations in Himachal, thanks to the raw and rustic appeal. The 5-hour trek begins at the base camp Kasol and traverses the Chanderkhani pass.
Upon entering Malana village, a rather frank sign board comes in view, giving tourists an unrestricted liberty to explore the village, but without touching it’s residents or property. This is probably why the hamlet remains pristine and unaffected by pollution. The air bears a scent of cannabis which is largely cultivated here and is a primary source of income of its residents. The village is accessible all year round. If you enjoy snow, mid-December-February is the best time to visit. If you are eager to see the hashish farms in their full glory, summer (May-August) is the time that you should plan your trip.
Every trekking aficionado will have the Triund trek on his/her bucket list. It is one of the major winter activities at Dharamshala. Situated 2850 metres above sea level and set between the Dhauladhar range and Kangra Valley, it's a perfect choice if you are still a beginner at trekking. While ascending the summit, the tall deodar, oak and rhododendron trees, make way for the rippling streams of Lake Mankini and Kareri.
Unfortunately, the natural magnificence of the region is under threat due to over-tourism along with a large number of illegal settlements mushrooming along the way. In an attempt to restore the ecological balance, the government issued a special circular in October 2018, which led to the demolishment of these shops and overnight camping is now restricted at Triund.
Hampta Pass Trek
The Hampta Pass serves as a crossover between Kullu and Lahaul. Located at a soaring height of 4,270 meters, it offers the most surreal scenes and panoramic views. To maintain the purity of the place, people are encouraged to carry eco bags to gather their litter and make use of dry toilets, which are much more sustainable. It takes five days to cover the distance of 40 kilometers and is a great choice for first time trekkers. The sprawling lush greens and beautiful meadows etch a beautiful memory in the minds of visitors.
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Bhrigu Lake TrekIf you are an amateur trekker looking for a little thrill, the Bhrigu Lake Trek is for you. Easily accessible from Manali, it is located at a feasible height of 4,300 metres. The clearly marked trail paves way for trekkers to reach the pristine meadows and the lake, considered sacred as the Sage Bhrigu sat in meditation here. May-June is the most favoured season for trekking.
Trekkers are recommended to carry safety gear with them while covering the 28 kilometer journey over 2-3 days. The starting point of the trek is Gulaba, from where you proceed towards Rola Kholi campsite, where an overnight stay is recommended. A few major attractions along the way are Solang Valley, Shiva Temple, Naggar Castle, Vashisth temple and the hot water springs.
Pin Parvati Pass Trek
The perilous trek through Pin Parvati is not for the faint-hearted. It is one of the oldest and most challenging Himalayan treks. The best season to undertake the trek is between June to October and takes up to 16 days to cover the distance. The trek begins at Kullu and is full of striking views and attractive landscape. A meagre fee of Rs. 100 permits you access to The Great Himalayan National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The best time to visit the park is from April to June, offering respite from the blazing heat of summer and October to November, for a pleasant experience.
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The captivating summit of Kheerganga lies amidst the Parvati valley and is a medium difficulty level trek. The 10-kilometre trek begins at Barshaini, which is close to Kasol, or from the Tosh village. What initially seems like an easy hike, goes on to become quite arduous towards the end. Along the trek one witnesses the rustic life and tiny hamlets of the locals here.
A dip in the hot springs emerging from the Parvati Kund is a one of a kind experience. Perched at a height of 3050 meters, the expansive Parvati valley is visible when you reach the summit. To keep the peak clean and garbage-free, the government of Himachal imposes a fine of Rs. 50 from every trekker caught littering. The months May-June and September-October are considered the best time to go trekking on the Kheerganga.
Bhabha Pass TrekThe uniqueness of this pass lies in the natural contrast that surrounds the trekker. With arid and rocky environs to apple orchards and lush green expanses, the landscape keeps changing every few kilometres, as does the food and culture. The steep and snow-covered path makes the trek difficult one. The starting point of the trek is at the tiny village of Kafnu in the Bhabha valley. It takes about one week to cover the hike but the spectacular view of blooming wildflowers and orchards along the way makes the journey worthwhile!
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The Kalihani pass stands tall at 4750 m and is located on the pristine Dhauladhar range. The sturdy barks of Rhododendrons and Birch trees are home to several species of birds, which makes Kalihani a bird watcher's paradise. It opens the way to Bara Bhangal and was once a route that was only used by locals. Some amount of prior trekking experience is essential for this hike. If you are lucky, you'll get to spot bears, snow cocks and musk deer along the way.
Chandra Taal TrekThe Chandra Taal trek culminates at the crescent moon-shaped turquoise lake. The trek begins at Manali and Chika is the first stop on the way. As you proceed, you need to cross two more mountain ranges—Mulkila and Chandrabhaga. On the way, make sure to check out the hot springs and flowering meadows. Chandra Taal is one of the sacred lakes and attracts a lot of tourists every year. It takes about 8-10 hours to complete the trek, which ends at the Hampta Pass.
Tosh Valley TrekThe Tosh village is a tourist hot spot and is situated at 7874 feet above sea level. The tiny village of Tosh has gained popularity due to excellent cafes and scenic views. The trek is a gateway to the Pin Parvati Pass. En route you will witness gurgling streams along with dense alpine forests. You don’t have to worry about accommodation and lodging as there are many home-stay options and meadows where you can set up your tents. The Tosh Valley trek is an easy one and perfect for beginners.
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