The Kedarkantha trek is a popular winter trekking destination nestled in the Garhwal region of the Indian Himalayas. Spanning over a distance of approximately 20 kilometers, this trek offers a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
Starting from the small village of Sankri, the trek takes you through dense pine forests, quaint Himalayan villages, and pristine meadows adorned with a blanket of snow during the winter months. The highlight of the trek is reaching the summit of Kedarkantha, standing tall at an altitude of 3,850 meters/12,500ft, offering panoramic views of the surrounding snow-clad peaks.
One of the key attractions of the Kedarkantha trek is its accessibility and suitability for beginners. The moderate difficulty level makes it ideal for first-time trekkers, families, and nature lovers. The trek can typically be completed in 4-6 days, allowing ample time to soak in the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas.
Day 01: Dehradun – Sankri (Altitude: 6,400 feet)
Day 02: Sankri to Juda-ka-Talab (Altitude: 9,000 feet)
Day 03: Juda-ka-Talab to Kedarkantha Base (Altitude: 11,250 feet)
Day 04: Kedarkantha Base to Kedarkantha Peak to Juda-ka-Talab
Day 5: Juda-ka-Talab to Sankri and Drive Back to Dehradun
The Kedarkantha Trek, offers a unique adventure throughout the year except monsoon season. Let’s explore the best times to embark on this incredible journey, season by season:
Winter transforms the landscape into a mesmerizing wonderland. Daytime temperatures range from 8°C to 10°C, while nights can plummet to bone-chilling lows between 0°C and -10°C. This season introduces the trek to a pristine white landscape as snow blankets the terrain, creating a magical ambiance. A minimum of 5 warm clothing layers is essential to brave the cold.
Kedarkantha is most renowned as a winter trek, offering a blend of beauty and adventure in perfect harmony. Trekkers will traverse snow-covered forests, camp on clearings atop thick layers of snow, and undertake an exhilarating summit climb through a thick, soft blanket of snow.
Spring is a season of transition, with milder daytime temperatures ranging from 2°C to 10°C and nighttime temperatures hovering around 0°C to -5°C. As the snow melts, the landscape reveals vibrant alpine meadows and blossoming wildflowers.
Spring breathes new life into the region, with blooming wildflowers adding vibrant colors to the landscape. The trails become more accessible, offering a comfortable trekking experience during the day.
Summer is characterized by even more moderate temperatures, with daytime highs ranging from 8°C to 15°C and nighttime temperatures between 2°C to 8°C. The snow largely disappears, and the trails become clear and easily navigable.
Summer welcomes trekkers with clear trails and comfortable temperatures, making it an excellent time to explore the region without the challenges of snow and extreme cold.
Autumn is a season of serenity, with pleasant daytime temperatures between 5°C and 12°C and nighttime lows ranging from -5°C to 5°C. Deciduous trees paint the landscape with a riot of colors, creating a vibrant backdrop against the majestic mountains.
Autumn offers trekkers stable weather, clear skies, and well-defined trails. The fall foliage adds a touch of grandeur to the trek, with red and gold hues complementing the natural beauty of the region.
Each season paints Kedarkantha trek in its own unique colors, catering to trekkers of all backgrounds and preferences. Whether you seek the tranquility of snow-covered landscapes, the vivacity of spring blooms, the accessibility of summer trails, or the splendor of autumn hues, Kedarkantha is ready to unveil its charm in all its glory, creating lasting memories with every step taken.
Certainly! The Kedarkantha Trek is graded as a Easy to Moderate level trek, making it accessible to both novice and experienced trekkers. Here’s a more detailed overview of the trek’s difficulty level:
Altitude Gain: The trek starts at a moderate altitude, and trekkers gradually gain elevation as they progress. The summit of Kedarkantha stands at around 12,500 feet (3,810 meters) above sea level. This gradual ascent helps with acclimatization, reducing the risk of altitude-related issues.
Terrain Variety: The trek takes you through diverse terrains, including dense forests, open meadows, and snow-covered landscapes. This variety keeps the trek interesting but also demands different physical efforts as you traverse through these different environments.
Snow: During the winter season, the trail is covered in snow, adding an extra layer of challenge. Trekking in the snow can be physically demanding, and proper gear, such as snow boots and gaiters, is essential. However, the snowy landscapes also add to the scenic beauty and allure of the trek.
Weather Conditions: Weather conditions can be unpredictable, especially during the winter months. Trekkers may encounter cold temperatures, snowfall, and the need to dress in layers to stay warm.
Moderate Fitness Required: While the trek is manageable for beginners, it is advisable to have a reasonable level of fitness. Pre-trek preparation with cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility routines can be beneficial.
It’s important to note that the difficulty level of the Kedarkantha Trek can vary based on the time of year and individual fitness levels. It’s recommended to check the current conditions and plan your trek accordingly. Adequate preparation and appropriate gear are essential to ensure a safe and enjoyable trekking experience.
When preparing for an adventure, it’s essential to consider how to stay comfortable amid changing weather conditions. The key to achieving optimal comfort while minimizing weight is to select your layers wisely. Versatile layers that can be mixed and matched offer the perfect balance of insulation, ventilation, and weather protection.
To assist you in making the right gear choices, we’ve compiled a comprehensive equipment list. It’s vital to pack only what is essential, not only for your comfort but also to lighten the load for the field staff, making the trek smoother for everyone.
Pack your backpack judiciously, leaving behind any non-essential items to keep it light. A well-considered packing list ensures a safe and comfortable trek, enabling you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of nature.
Mule/Porter Bag Offloading:
If you prefer not to carry your backpack, you have the option to assign it to a porter or mule. Please inform us in advance.
Clock/Baggage Room for Extra Luggage:
Trekkers can use the luggage storage facility at the Sankri base camp to store any extra belongings before commencing the Kedarkantha trek. However, it’s advisable to avoid storing valuable items to ensure the safety of your possessions.
Reaching the Sankri Base Camp for the Kedarkantha Trek involves a journey that typically begins from Dehradun, the capital of Uttarakhand. Here’s a more detailed and informative guide on how to reach Sankri, with an additional point:
Dehradun Airport (Jolly Grant Airport): Your journey commences with your arrival at the Dehradun Airport (Jolly Grant Airport), which serves as the nearest airport to Sankri. This airport is well-connected to major cities in India, making it a convenient starting point for your trek.
Dehradun Railway Station: If you prefer traveling by train, Dehradun Railway Station is the main railway hub in the region. Several trains from various parts of the country connect to Dehradun. Once you reach the railway station, your onward journey to Sankri will be by road.
Dehradun to Sankri: The road journey from Dehradun to Sankri is an integral part of your adventure. The distance between Dehradun and Sankri is approximately 210 kilometers (about 130 miles). The road route offers breathtaking views of the Himalayan terrain and can be both exhilarating and challenging, especially during certain seasons.
Private Taxi: You can opt for a private taxi or hire a vehicle to make the road trip to Sankri. It’s a long journey that takes approximately 8-9 hours, depending on road conditions and weather. Private taxis provide comfort and flexibility during the journey.
Public Bus: Public buses also operate on this route. While they are a cost-effective option, the journey may take longer due to multiple stops along the way. Be sure to check the bus schedule in advance.
Shared Cabs: Shared cabs are available, and you can join fellow trekkers for the ride. This option allows you to share expenses and meet like-minded individuals.
Trek with Transport Package: For those who have opted for transport with trek package, your pickup will be arranged from Dehradun Railway Station.
Arrive early at Dehradun railway station (6:30 am) and drive to Sankri which will take approximately 9 to 10 hours. The drive from Dehradun to Sankri is a beautiful one. The route passes through Mussoorie- the “Queen of the Hills” and many mesmerizing views and drive goes along hugging the mountainside and you see the forests and valleys of Garhwal below you. Breakfast and Lunch will be on the way at a roadside inn, exclusive of charges.
Having an early start after a healthy breakfast, we will head straight towards Juda Ka Talab which is based at an altitude of 9100 feet. It’s a 4km trekking journey and the approximate time for reaching the same is around 5 hours. The journey begins by moving out of Sankri village through an extension called Sor. Once the village is crossed the road takes a wide curve and climbs sharply. It’s an exquisite vision and a pictorial view that leaves all mesmerized. The trail is wide and one can hear the sounds of running streams all through but may not be in view till much further. The scenario however changes a lot in the summer months when the luscious meadows remain verdant green with hilly flowers of a unique kind. Crossing a few streams and continuing through the trail and rising sharp through dense oaks one can reach the beautiful pictorial spot of Jadu Ka Talab which can never be missed by any trekker due to its sharp contrasting and unique beauty.
The intoxicating journey continues the day when the trekkers are destined to trek towards Kedarkantha base which lies at an altitude of 11, 250 feet. The distance from Jadu Ka Talab to this destination is about 4kms and at a moderate speed, it takes about 2.5 hours to reach the place. After having the morning breakfast set out for the next journey where the trail is somewhat straightforward and quite visible. In this trail, one will come across many shepherd huts in open meadows which are equally delightful to see. At an altitude of about 10,400 feet, one can visualize traces of snow in and around the track only if it is the winter months trekking. Just before reaching the Kedarkantha Base, one can enjoy the fascinating views of an arc-shaped range of snow-capped mountains comprising Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Kala Nag and Ranglana standing out proudly showcasing their beauty. After reaching the base, set up the tent in a preferred selected place which is open and one can enjoy a clear view of the night sky. However, it is advisable to be based in a close group rather than in a much-scattered way in the dark. However, at such a height it is possible to have cold waves so proper woollens should be carried for protection. Overnight sleep in the tent.
The fourth day of the trek is destined to conquer the Kedarnath Peak. Today the trekkers need to hike an elevation from 11,250 feet to 12,500 feet. The schedule of the day includes hiking to Kedarkantha peak and then again descending back till Hargaon camp which is based at 8900 feet. The day begins early with a filling breakfast and enjoying the sunrise from the Kedarkantha meadows which is simply amazing, pure and divine. One can bask in the first rays of the morning sun and gain as much energy possible for the day ahead. On this route, the trekkers need to again cover a few portions of the oak forest but the journey through this trail is much easier and faster. Climbing through the forest till its end, one can find the Kedarkantha peak much closer. Towards the end of the trail and close to the top the trek becomes a little difficult and can be a little strenuous, especially for the first-time trekkers. However, the view from the top and the amazing location is worth the effort. At the top of the peak, there is a beautiful yet small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. There is a small shrine of Lord Ganesh too. The arresting 360 view of the snow-clad peaks of Uttarakhand is intoxicating and beyond words to be penned down. After reaching the camp take a break for lunch and refreshments. Once relaxed, set out for descending furthermore to Hargaon camp. This time again, it’s a journey back through dense oak forests, pine and maple trees, shepherd huts and frozen streams. . On reaching the campsites set the tent and mark the end of another delightful day with dinner and overnight sleep at the tent.
Today the schedule is marked for descending further to Sankri which descends from 8900 feet to 6400 feet. The time for descending this approximately 6 km long trail takes about 4 hours or more at a moderate speed. After having breakfast, pack the backpack to descend furthermore through a more clearly marked well-paved pathway, laden with small stones. Meandering through rich dense pine forests one can view the sight of streams flowing by in a slow and steady way. One can fill in the water here for the rest of the track. Descending furthermore through the dense forests one can see the first signs of habitation and by evening one can reach Sankri. The last 2500 feet are filled with dense pine forests. On reaching the base, get back to the hotel and freshen up and get settled for the day. For dinner, one can enjoy nearby local dhabas, serving local food or one can enjoy delicious North Indian and Western cuisine at the hotel premises. Overnight stay at the homestay.
The journey concludes with the 10-hour drive from Sankri to Dehradun. Breakfast and Lunch will be on the way at a roadside inn, exclusive of charges. Reaching time at Dehradun station will be 6 pm, suitable for an overnight journey to Delhi.
Our campsites are pitched near water sources. For your day’s trek, two liters of water should be enough. You will find water sources on the trek to refill your water bottles. Your trek leader will brief you about these before starting the day’s trek.
The guest house at Sankri will have concrete toilets. During the trek, toilet tents will be set up along each campsite. A toilet tent will have a deep pit, where one can answer nature’s call. There will be a mound of soil and a shovel to cover it up. These are dry toilets, where you’ll have to use toilet paper. This is the most hygienic and convenient way to answer nature’s call in the wild. Please use plain toilet paper and refrain from using wet wipes since these are not biodegradable.
If it starts raining while you’re trekking, we will continue on the trail as planned. Your poncho should protect you from the rain. Carry a backpack cover for extra protection from rain for your belongings.
Alcohol is dangerous in extreme cold, especially at high altitudes. Contrary to what people believe, alcohol does not make you warmer. Instead, it opens your pores, making your body colder. Moreover, it dehydrates you very quickly. Hence consumption of alcohol is absolutely prohibited on all Nomad Adventures treks. Anyone found with alcohol is quickly removed from the trek. Smoking, similarly, is not allowed on Nomad Adventures treks.
No, but there are shops on the base camp from where you can rent shoes, jackets and trek poles, headlights etc.
You don’t need special snowshoes. A good waterproof trekking shoe is sufficient for the trek. When there is snow, we provide micro spikes and gaiters.
A trekking pole gives you stability and balance and helps reduce fatigue.
The minimum age limit is 6 years to 60 years. However, minors aged between 6 to 17 should be accompanied by their parents or guardians. But one needs to be mentally and physically fit.
Kedarkantha is an easy trek but requires trekkers to be physically fit. The minimum age eligibility is 6 years. As a parent or guardian, if you feel that your child can adapt to the conditions of the mountains and would be able to walk every day as required, then certainly, yes!. Please follow the fitness regime before coming on the trek.
The last electricity charging point would be in Sankri. You’ll get only the Bsnl/Airtel network over there. However, come prepared for the possibility of power cuts at Sankri. It is good to carry your power banks and extra batteries for your camera.
All high-altitude treks come with their share of risks. We pay utmost importance to the safety of trekkers. While we do our bit to ensure a trekker is safe, we also expect any trekker who is enrolling with us to know what could go wrong, and if it does, how to tackle it.
Since you will be starting and returning to the guest house at Sankri, it is possible for you to leave some luggage behind, if required. However, make sure you do not leave any valuables. Nomad Adventures is not responsible for loss or damage to any belongings.
No, but in case you are having so please consult your doctor because there are lots of myths about Diamox.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to inform us in advance so that the necessary arrangements are made. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. If you decide on the spot then the charges are higher than the usual.