7 Nights 8 Days
The Roopkund Trek is one of India’s most mysterious treks, shrouded in local legends and myths. This high-altitude trek takes you through the stunning Himalayan mountain range, where you’ll encounter the eerie sight of human skeletons scattered around a glacial lake. For decades, the origin of these skeletons has been a mystery, with many theories suggesting they belonged to an ancient army or a group of pilgrims. But, in recent years, modern science has shed light on the mystery, revealing that these skeletons date back to the 9th century and belong to a diverse group of people from different parts of the world.
Despite this revelation, the Roopkund Skeleton Lake Trek remains a fascinating and spine-chilling experience, attracting adventurers and thrill-seekers from across the globe. Located at a mesmerizing summit altitude of 15,750 feet (4,800 meters) in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, India, this trek unravels a tale shrouded in mystery and fascination.
As you set foot in the scenic village of Lohajung, situated at approximately 7,700 feet (2,350 meters), you enter a realm where nature’s wonders and ancient legends converge. The highlight of the trek lies in reaching the legendary Roopkund Lake, nestled amidst the towering peaks. But what makes this lake truly extraordinary is the eerie sight of skeletal remains scattered along its shores.
For centuries, the enigmatic skeletons puzzled historians and locals alike. Legends whispered of a fateful pilgrimage where a large group of people met their untimely demise due to a severe hailstorm. The skeletons, dating back to the 9th century, have intrigued researchers, anthropologists, and curious adventurers who seek to unravel the secrets hidden within these ancient bones.
As you trek through dense forests, enchanting meadows, and rugged terrains, you can’t help but feel a sense of reverence for the history that lies beneath your feet. Each step brings you closer to the mystique of Roopkund Lake and its captivating tales.
Along the way, you’ll be treated to the flavours of local cuisine, savouring traditional meals that have nourished generations of mountain dwellers. Accommodations in quaint Himalayan villages provide a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the region, immersing you in the warmth and hospitality of the locals.
Roopkund Lake Trek is not just an exhilarating physical challenge; it’s a journey that transports you back in time and connects you with the stories of those who ventured before you. It’s a chance to witness nature’s grandeur and reflect on the enduring mysteries that have captivated generations.
Day 1: Kathgodam to Lohajung
Day 2: Lohajung to Didna Village/Tolpani
Day 3: Didna Village to Khobal Tal via Ali Bugyal
Day 4: Khobal Tal to Patar Nachauni via Bedni Bugyal
Day 5: Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabasa via Kalu Vinayak
Day 6: Bhagwabasa to Roopkund Summit to Pathar-Nachuni
Day 7: Pathar-Nachuni to Lohajung via Wan
Day 8: Lohajung to Kathgodam
The Roopkund Skeleton Lake Trek is a high-altitude trek that takes you through some of the most stunning landscapes in the Himalayas. The trek starts from Lohajung, a small village in Uttarakhand, and takes you through dense forests, gurgling streams, and beautiful meadows. The trek is graded as moderate to difficult and requires a good level of fitness and stamina. The trek is about 53 km long and takes about 8 days to complete.
The trek to Roopkund is not just about reaching the destination but also about enjoying the journey. The trail is filled with breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys. You will pass through the quaint villages of Didina and Ali Bugyal, where you can interact with the locals and learn about their way of life. The final climb to Roopkund is steep and challenging, but the view from the top is worth every step.
Physical Fitness and Stamina: The trek involves long hours of walking and steep ascents, requiring a good level of physical fitness and stamina. Trekkers should be prepared for continuous uphill climbs and strenuous sections of the trail.
Altitude and Acclimatization: The trek reaches a maximum altitude of approximately 15,750 feet (4,800 meters) at Roopkund Lake. The high altitude can pose challenges related to acclimatization. It is crucial to acclimatize properly, take regular breaks, and ascend gradually to avoid altitude sickness.
Challenging Terrains: The trail to Roopkund includes a variety of terrains, ranging from dense forests to rocky and uneven paths. Trekkers should be prepared for challenging sections that require careful footing and navigation.
Weather Conditions: The weather in the Roopkund region can be unpredictable and harsh. Trekkers may encounter rain, snow, and low temperatures, especially during the winter and early spring months. Proper gear and clothing for various weather conditions are essential.
The best time to visit Roopkund Skeleton Lake is from September to October. During these months, the weather is pleasant, human skeletons are visible in the lake, and the skies are clear, making it easier to enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
Roopkund Trek in Summer (May to June): When the sun graces the mountains with its warm embrace, the Roopkund trek reveals its enchanting splendor. Picture yourself strolling through blooming meadows, where colorful flowers dance in harmony with the gentle breeze. With temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C, the pleasant weather makes each step an absolute joy.
Roopkund Trek in Monsoon (July to August): As the monsoon clouds shower their blessings upon the land, the Roopkund trail transforms into a mystical wonderland. While this season brings its own allure, caution is advised due to slippery paths and unpredictable weather. The adventurous souls who dare to venture during this time may witness nature’s raw power in action, but be prepared for the unexpected.
Roopkund Trek in Autumn (September to October): As autumn adorns the landscapes with a palette of gold, the Roopkund trek offers a truly magical experience. Imagine walking amidst the breathtaking beauty of golden-hued forests and serene alpine lakes. The temperatures start to drop gradually, adding a touch of crispness to the air. It’s a perfect time to immerse yourself in nature’s artistry.
The Roopkund Skeleton Lake Trek is a camping trek, and there are several campsites along the trail where you can pitch your tent. The campsites are equipped with basic amenities like toilets, Dining and kitchen tents. The campsites are located in some of the most scenic locations, and waking up to the view of the mountains is an experience in itself.
Lohajung base camp, a remote village in Uttarakhand, is the starting point of this beautiful trek. However, accommodation options here are limited, and trekkers must be prepared to share rooms on a triple or quad basis, with dormitories also available.
During the trek, you will be provided with spacious and comfortable tents on a twin, triple and quad sharing basis. The tents are perfect for resting and enjoying the serenity of nature after a long day of trekking. For female trekkers, separate tents and rooms are available, ensuring privacy and safety during the trip.
The Roopkund Skeleton Lake Trek is not just about the lake; it is also about exploring the surrounding areas. Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal are two of the most beautiful meadows in the region and are a must-visit for trekkers. The meadows are filled with colorful flowers, and the views of the surrounding mountains are breathtaking.
Ali Bugyal is located at an altitude of 11,700 feet and is a 5 km trek from Didina. Bedni Bugyal is located at an altitude of 11,500 feet and is a 10 km trek from Ali Bugyal. Both the meadows offer stunning views of the Trishul and Nanda Ghunti peaks.
When planning an active trip, it’s important to consider how to stay comfortable in changing weather conditions. The key to achieving maximum comfort with minimum weight is by layering appropriately. Versatile layers that can be mixed and matched provide the right amount of insulation, ventilation, and weather protection.
To help you choose the proper equipment, we’ve created a comprehensive gear list. It’s important to only bring what is necessary, as this will not only help you stay comfortable but also make the trek easier for the field staff.
Make sure to pack wisely and leave behind any unnecessary items to keep your backpack light. A well-planned packing list ensures a safe and comfortable trek, allowing you to fully enjoy the beauty of nature.
Mule/Porter Bag Offloading:
If you don’t want to carry your backpack you can give it to porter/Mules, but you have to inform us in advance.
Clock/ Baggage Room for Extra Luggage:
Trekkers can utilize the luggage storage facility at the Lohajung base camp to store their extra belongings before embarking on the Brahmatal trek. However, it is recommended to avoid keeping any valuable items in the storage, to ensure the safety of their possessions.
Nomad Adventures will arrange a vehicle for you from the pickup point in Dehradun/Rishikesh for Joshimath, however, there are additional charges for that, if it is not included in the package.
Route 1 Via Kathgodam
The reach Kathgodam the nearest best Railway/Bus station is Kathgodam/Haldwani. From there 9-12 hrs. road journey takes us to Lohajung (Basecamp of Brahmatal Trek) via Bhimtal, Almora, Kausani, Gwaldam and Dewal. Kathgodam to Lohajung distance is around 230 km and the distance from Delhi to Lohajung via Kathgodam is approx. 516 km.
Route 2 Via Rishikesh
If you plan to come via rishikesh then the nearest best Railway or Bus station will be Haridwar/Rishikesh. From there 9-10 hr journey takes us to Lohajung via Rishikesh, Devaprayag, Rudraprayag and Karnaprayag, Tharali and Dewal. Rishikesh to Lohajung distance is around 252 km and the distance from Delhi to Lohajung via Rishikesh is approx. 490 km.
Note: Always book your return flight/train tickets after including the buffer day in your itinerary. Buffer days are kept for unforeseen conditions in the mountains, if not used; you can use them for sightseeing in Rishikesh.
Arrive early at Kathgodam railway station and drive to Lohajung which will take approximately 9 to 10 hours. Breakfast and Lunch will be on the way at a roadside inn, exclusive of charges. The route passes through many beautiful hill stations like Bhimtal, Almora and Kausani. You drive alongside local rivers and get views of many peaks like Kamet, Nanda Ghunti, Trishul, and Nanda Devi amongst others. Arrive at your base camp, Lohajung by the evening. It is a small town with very basic facilities available. Dinner and overnight stay at Lohajung.
Our trek begins as we make our way from Lohajung to Didna Village/Tolpani. The trail covers approximately 10 kilometers and takes about 6-7 hours to complete. We trek through beautiful forests, crossing streams and enjoying the scenic beauty of the surroundings. At an altitude of 8,530 feet, we set up our campsite in Didna Village/Tolpani and savor delicious meals.
Continuing our adventure, we trek from Didna Village to Khobal Tal, a picturesque lake situated at an altitude of 10,500 feet. The trail spans approximately 15 kilometers and takes about 7-8 hours. Along the way, we pass through the mesmerizing meadows of Ali Bugyal, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. We spend the night camping near Khobal Tal and enjoy meals amidst nature's serenity.
Today's trek takes us from Khobal Tal to Patar Nachauni, passing through the enchanting Bedni Bugyal. Covering a distance of around 8 kilometers in approximately 5-6 hours, we ascend to an altitude of 12,818 feet. Bedni Bugyal, with its lush green meadows and vibrant flowers, is a sight to behold. We set up camp in Patar Nachauni and relish delicious meals amidst the scenic beauty.
The next leg of our journey leads us from Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabasa, a high-altitude campsite situated at an elevation of 14,117 feet. The trek covers around 6 kilometers and takes about 4-5 hours. We pass through the sacred site of Kalu Vinayak and witness stunning views of the surrounding peaks. At Bhagwabasa, we set up our camp and enjoy a well-deserved rest.
One of the most exciting days of the trek, we make our way from Bhagwabasa to the summit of Roopkund, reaching an altitude of 15,696 feet. The round trip covers a distance of approximately 10 kilometers and takes about 8-9 hours. We witness the captivating Roopkund Lake and its mysterious skeletons, surrounded by breathtaking mountain vistas. We descend back to Pathar-Nachuni and spend the night camping.
We bid farewell to Pathar-Nachuni and trek back to Lohajung via Wan. The trail spans approximately 14 kilometers and takes about 6-7 hours to complete. We pass through quaint villages, verdant forests, and enjoy the scenic beauty of the region. Upon reaching Lohajung, we rest in a comfortable guesthouse and relish delicious meals.
The final day of our trek takes us from Lohajung back to Kathgodam. We embark on a long drive of approximately 10-11 hours, covering about 220 kilometers. Along the way, we enjoy the picturesque views and stop for breakfast (not included in the package). Our memorable Roopkund Lake trek concludes as we reach Kathgodam, filled with unforgettable memories of this incredible adventure
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.
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 8 years. However, minors aged between 8 to 17 should be accompanied by their parents or guardians. The maximum age is 65 but please follow the fitness regime before coming on the trek.
Roopkund Trek is a moderate to difficult trek and requires trekkers to be physically fit. The minimum age eligibility is 8 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!. It is recommended to maintain good physical stamina before coming on the trek.
The last electricity charging point would be in Lohajung. You’ll get a full network in Lohajung and intermittent signals around the campsites. However, come prepared for the possibility of power cuts. 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 same base camp in Lohajung, it is possible for you to leave excess luggage behind. 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 usual.