Going on treks in Garhwal Himalayas is a good way to relax and have some adventure. One of the most picturesque destinations for a hike here is Kedar Tal, an emerald-blue glacial lake at an altitude of around 15600 feet. The walk to the site may only be 3 days long, but it is nothing short of exciting. Before you begin the trek to Kedar Tal, you get a chance to pay homage at Gangotri Temple, one of the holiest religious sites for Hindus, and attend an aarti in the evening. You can also utilise this day to acclimatise and adapt to the cold weather and less oxygen level at higher elevations. A bath in the sulphur hot springs of Gangnani will relax you from within and prepare you for the hike.
The first stage of the trek to Kedar Tal in Uttarakhand is exhilarating and a bit tough as you will have to walk on narrow paths, lined by steep gorges. Further, an easier section will take you from Bhoj Kharak through lush meadows to the resting spot of Kedar Kharak. Keep an eye out for animals like brown bears, bharals and gorals that live at high altitudes. The next part of the Kedar Tal trekking tour entails numerous sharp climbs to a ridge and then a descent to the waterbody.
After staying on its banks, you return to Gangotri via Bhoj Kharak. But, tread carefully as sometimes a descent is tougher than an ascent. From here, you reach Uttarkashi by road and then Dehradun Railway Station.
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Day 01: Arrival in Dehradun/Rishikesh - Drive to Uttarkashi (150 KMS|5-6 hours)
After reaching Dehradun or Rishikesh, travel to Uttarkashi by road. Numerous treks in Garhwal Himalayas begin from Uttarkashi, making it a hotspot for hikers from across the world. Enjoy lunch on the way, and on reaching your destination, rest at the hotel.
Day 02: Uttarkashi to Gangotri - Visit to Gangnani (100 KMS|2.5 hours)
Relish a delicious breakfast at the hotel, and then drive along the Bhagirathi River to the holy town of Gangotri, the starting point of Kedar Tal Trek. On the way, stop in Gangnani for a dip in natural sulphur hot springs. After the therapeutic bath, reach Gangotri and transfer to the hotel. In the evening, visit Gangotri Temple, one of the Chhota Char Dham, and also attend the evening aarti. Thereafter, retreat to the hotel for a scrumptious dinner, and then get some sleep.
Day 03: Gangotri to Bhoj Kharak (12400 feet|8 KMS|5-6 hours)
Following a wholesome breakfast, start the hike by crossing the Bhagirathi River via a bridge and making a steep ascent along the Kedar Ganga River. The path goes through forests of Pindrow firs and silver birches till you reach an almost-vertical granite cliff. You need to scale it via a narrow path to arrive at the campsite of Bhoj Kharak.
Day 04: Bhoj Kharak to Kedar Kharak (13900 feet|5 KMS|3-4 hours)
Enjoy breakfast at the campsite, and then resume the hike with packed lunch. This stage of the trek to Kedar Tal in Uttarakhand will be easier than the previous one. You will walk on relatively gentler terrain with fewer ascents. The walk will only be difficult in the beginning as there will be a short, but sharp uphill section. After around 1 km, you exit the birch forest and enter alpine grasslands. You will feel relaxed while strolling for the next 2 km on considerably flatter ground. Local wildlife like mountain goats may also be visible on the way that you can stop to photograph. On reaching Kedar Kharak, a lush grassland with mountains on all sides, move to your camp to rest at night.
Day 05: Kedar Kharak to Kedar Tal (15600 feet |5 KMS|3-4 hours)
After breakfast at the campsite, start ascending from the meadow to enter a region with absolutely no vegetation at all. This section of the hike will involve lots of steep climbs and rapid descents, so prepare yourself beforehand. The path will be full of small rocks and huge boulders, requiring you to tread carefully and slowly. About 0.5 km before the lake, lies a ridge, which has to be crossed to reach the destination. On reaching the campsite, admire the scenery and then get some sleep.
Day 06: Kedartal to Bhoj Kharak (10 KMS|5-6 hours)
Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in your camp, and then begin the downhill phase of this Kedar Tal trekking trip. Bypass the meadows of Kedar Kharak and directly reach Bhoj Kharak for an overnight stay.
Day 07: Bhoj Kharak to Gangotri (8 KMS) - Gangotri to Uttarkashi (100 KMS|6-7 hours)
Following breakfast, complete the final section of the on-foot excursion by tracing the path back to the temple town of Gangotri. On reaching Gangotri, drive on the winding mountain road towards Uttarkashi. Once here, retire for the night at the hotel.
Day 08: Uttarkashi to Dehradun - Departure from Dehradun
Relish a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel, and then transfer to Dehradun Railway Station for your onward journey.
Maximum Altitude: 15600 feet
Best time to go: May to October
The price mentioned is for 8 people in a group.
Price for smaller groups is as follows:-
6 people - 26000
4 people - 28750