Best Himalayan Treks in January

Best Himalayan Treks in January
Lovenish

Lovenish

Lovenish considers himself an amateur travel writer and believes that travel writing should be more about authentic individual experiences and less about listing landmark sites and itineraries. He has travelled extensively in India and has a dream of doing a cross country road trip covering all the states and union territories of Mainland India. Apart from travel, he enjoys listening to comedy podcasts and watching a tonne of movies. He is a folk music aficionado and is currently trying his hand at learning the guitar. He currently lives in rural Haryana and right now there’s nothing that he likes more than his daily commute to work of 100Km, on his motorcycle.

Lovenish rarely uses any social media so if you wish to chat with him about travel, riding and music etc. then you may reach out to him at lovenish.kalra@adventurenation.com
Lovenish

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Trekking during the harsh Himalayan winters is not the most comfortable adventure to pursue, but it has its takers. From walking in knee-deep snow to regular snowfall sessions, trekking in the month of January offers constant thrills. Although the weather can be biting cold with temperature hitting as low as negative thirty degree Celsius in some places, the milky-white landscape makes it all worthwhile.

Explore Popular Treks in the Himalayas

Due to the inaccessibility of a few high altitude passes, many treks in the state of Himachal Pradesh are not operational in the winters but Uttarakhand, on the other hand, offers plenty of options for snow treks. Over the last few years, Ladakh has also gotten quite popular as a winter trekking destination.

Explore Exciting Winter Treks in India

As hard as it may have been to compile, I’ve tried to put together a list below, of the best treks in the Himalayas in the month of January.

12 Best Himalayan Treks in January

1. Chadar Frozen River Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 3500m/11480ft
  • Region – Zanskar (Ladakh)
  • Grade – Moderate to Difficult
  • Duration – 8N/9D (Ex. Leh)

chadar-frozen-river-trek

One of a kind, Chadar Trek offers an experience matched by no other trek in the country. It derives its name from the word Chadar (Sheet), which is referred to the sheet of ice i.e. the Zanskar River which gets frozen in winters due to sub zero temperatures. Located in one of the coldest and uninhabitable places on earth, this trek gives an opportunity for one to walk on a frozen river and even locate frozen waterfalls. Although the hike itself is not so much treacherous, walking on thin ice makes is a challenging and exhilarating experience.

Explore Chadar Trek

2. Kedarkantha Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 3810m/12500ft
  • Region – Garhwal (Uttarakhand)
  • Grade – Moderate
  • Duration – 5N/6D (Ex. Dehradun)

shutterstock_1610282374_kedarkantha

Located in Western Garhwal, Kedarkantha is one of the most popular treks during the winter season. Although the trek is operational pretty much throughout the year, it’s during the winters is when this area is the most crowded. This is also one of the few treks where a less experienced trekker can get an experience of doing a proper snow trek. During the winters, certain stretches of the trail gets covered in knee-deep snow which makes it a winter wonderland. One unique part about this trek is that in a short span of time, one gets to summit a peak.

Explore Kedarkantha Trek

3. Brahmatal Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 3840m/12600ft
  • Region – Chamoli (Uttarakhand)
  • Grade – Moderate
  • Duration – 5N/6D (Ex. Dehradun)

brahma-tal-trek

One of the most stunning places to go for a trek in the entire Himalayas, Brahmatal Trek is a favourite of many seasoned trekkers. The sheer beauty of this area mesmerises one as soon as one starts hiking towards the first campsite i.e. Bekaltal. After the shutting down of Roopkund Trek a couple of years ago, this has become one of the most crowded places to go for a trek. From the summit, one gets to witness amazing views of Mt Trishul (7120m) and Mt Nanda Ghunti (6309). Although not a difficult trek, beginners should prepare for a few weeks.

Explore Brahmatal Trek

4. Har Ki Doon Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 3550m/11650ft
  • Region – Garhwal (Uttarakhand)
  • Grade – Moderate
  • Duration – 6N/7D (Ex. Dehradun)

har-ki-doon-8

One of the oldest treks in the country, Har Ki Doon trek offers probably the most beautiful riverside campsite in the entire Himalayas. Although it is not as popular as some of the other treks in the region, anyone who’s been there will tell you that it’s one of the most gorgeous places that they have ever seen. During the winter season, the entire valley is covered in a thick blanket of snow which makes the trek a little challenging and quite adventurous. During the expedition, one also gets to see some of the prettiest mountain villages.

Explore Har Ki Doon Trek

5. Kuari Pass Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 3814m/12516ft
  • Region – Joshimath (Uttarakhand)
  • Grade – Easy to Moderate
  • Duration – 4N/5D (Ex. Haridwar)

kuari_pass__1_

Located at an altitude of 3814m, Kuari Pass is also known as the Curzon Trail. The trek is ideal for someone looking to catch a glimpse of few of the highest mountain peaks in the country. From the top of the pass, one has a view of Nanda Devi (7816m) along with other high peaks such as Dronagiri (7066m), Kamet (7757m) and Trishul (7120m) to name a few. This is also an ideal trek for a beginner looking for a winter trek experience. The trail is filled with rich flora and fauna including Rhododendron, Oak and Deodar trees.

Explore Kuari Pass Trek

6. Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila Trek via Deoria Tal

  • Maximum Altitude – 4000m/13123ft
  • Region – Rudraprayag (Uttarakhand)
  • Grade – Easy to Moderate
  • Duration – 3N/4D (Ex. Haridwar)
On the way to Tungnath
On the way to Tungnath

Chopta is a village located in the meadows and is a part of the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary. Over the last few years, this area has started to receive a lot of travellers from all over the country. Although a short trip, one gets to experience different aspects of the mountain life during the course of the 4 day trip. From spending time at the gorgeous Deoria Tal to taking blessings at the Tungnath Temple, from climbing the slopes of Chopta to summiting the Chandrashila Peak, this trek offers an amalgamation of unique experiences.

Explore Chopta Tungnath Chandrashila Trek via Deoria Tal

7. Dayara Bugyal Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 3657m/12000ft
  • Region – Uttarkashi (Uttarakhand)
  • Grade – Easy to Moderate
  • Duration – 2N/3D (Ex. Dehradun)

dayara bugyal

Dayara Bugyal trek is located in the stunning alpine meadows of a remote region in Uttarkashi. This trail takes one through some of the most scenic and vast landscapes in the area. Ideal for less experienced/beginners, the expedition starts from the village of Barsu and offers views of peaks such as Gangotri (I, II, III), Black Peak and Srikanth etc. The trail is filled with forests of Deodar, Silver Oaks and Rhododendron trees. The hike to the Bakaria top is rather relaxing and the views from the top are absolutely splendid.

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8. Nag Tibba Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 3050m/10000ft
  • Region – Tehri Garhwal (Uttarakhand)
  • Grade – Easy
  • Duration – 1N/2D (Ex. Dehradun)

nag tibba

If someone is short on time and looking to hike in the snow then they should look no further than Nag Tibba. The trek starts from Pantwari village and offers a relatively easier hike considering the well laid out trail throughout. After reaching the base, one has to camp overnight and then hike to the top and back on the next day. There is a beautiful little temple at the top which is usually covered in knee-deep snow during the winters. One can also catch a mesmerizing sunrise on the second day if the hike to the top is started early.

Explore Nag Tibba Trek

9. Prashar Lake Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 2750m/8956ft
  • Region – Mandi (Himachal Pradesh)
  • Grade – Easy
  • Duration – 1N/2D (Ex. Mandi/Kullu)

prashar-lake-trek

A weekend getaway for people living in North India, Prashar Lake trek is one of the most popular short treks in the winters. During the summers, one can even drive to the lake but it becomes impossible to do it in winters due to the heavy amount of snow. The hike starts from a village called Jwalapur, which is easily accessible by road. Even during the peak winters, it should not take more than four to five hours to reach the lake from the starting point. One of the signature experiences of this short trek is the lake side camping.

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10. Hampta Valley Snow Trek

  • Maximum Altitude – 3080m/10100ft
  • Region – Manali (Himachal Pradesh)
  • Grade – Easy
  • Duration – 3N/4D (Ex. Manali)

pic17_u3g9gp-1

Located in one of the most popular trekking destinations in the Himalayas, Hampta Valley is also one of the prettiest places to go for a winter hike. After spending a day in Manali to acclimate, the trek starts from a village called Prini on the second day. During the expedition, one gets to explore quaint Himalayan villages such as Sethan and Chika. The trail is breathtakingly beautiful and presents some of the most picturesque views of the entire Kullu Valley. In January, the Hampta Pass top is closed due to heaps of snow but a hike till Chika is also good enough for mountain lovers.

Explore Hampta Valley Snow Trek

11. Sham Valley Trek

• Maximum Altitude – 3750m/12300ft
• Region – Ladakh
• Grade – Moderate
• Duration – 5N/6D to 7N/8D (Ex. Leh)

Sham-Valley-Trekking_1455607704

Also known as the Apricot Valley, Sham Valley is one of the least explored valleys in the entire Ladakh region. One of the major reasons for that is the fact that most of the villages in the valley are not accessible by road and can only be trekked to. While travelling from Leh, one can drive up to the village of Likir and from there the hiking starts. The major points of attraction on this trek are quaint Himalayan villages such as Hemis and Nurla etc. During the winters, the weather in the valley is biting cold but the snow covered trails and the magnificent landscape makes it a treat for the eyes.

Explore Sham Valley Trek

12. Snow Leopard Trek in Spiti Valley

  • Maximum Altitude – 4480m/14700ft
  • Region – Spiti
  • Grade – Moderate
  • Duration – 6N/7D (Ex. Shimla)

snow-leopard-trek

Less of a trek and more of an exploration expedition, Snow Leopard Trek in Spiti Valley is one of the most unique hiking trips in the Himalayas. During the winters, one can enter the Spiti Valley only from Shimla as the road from Manali to Spiti is not accessible due to snow. The valley is located at a really high altitude and that’s why one needs to take extra precautions when it comes to hydration. From Kibber, one gets to explore different parts of the area to catch that one rare glimpse of the stunning beast that is the snow leopard. Apart from snow leopard, one can also sight other majestic animals such as the Tibetan Wolf and the Blue Sheep.

Explore Snow Leopard Trek in Spiti Valley

About Author

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Lovenish
Lovenish considers himself an amateur travel writer and believes that travel writing should be more about authentic individual experiences and less about listing landmark sites and itineraries. He has travelled extensively in India and has a dream of doing a cross country road trip covering all the states and union territories of Mainland India. Apart from travel, he enjoys listening to comedy podcasts and watching a tonne of movies. He is a folk music aficionado and is currently trying his hand at learning the guitar. He currently lives in rural Haryana and right now there’s nothing that he likes more than his daily commute to work of 100Km, on his motorcycle. Lovenish rarely uses any social media so if you wish to chat with him about travel, riding and music etc. then you may reach out to him at lovenish.kalra@adventurenation.com