When you go for the Roopkund trek, a lot of mystery and natural charm is in store for you. The Roopkund alpine lake is situated roughly at 16499 feet above sea level. It is also called Skeleton Lake due to the human skeletons, which have been discovered in and around it. There have been various theories on who these skeletons are of and when did they die. Some say that they belong to Japanese soldiers who died here during WWII. Studies have determined that they are of people from an Indian tribe, who died here in the 9th century because of a severe hailstorm.
Roopkund trekking begins in the town of Loharjung and takes you through mountains replete with rich biodiversity and picturesque surroundings. You travel through little hilly villages before arriving in Ali Bugyal. It is an alpine meadow at an elevation of about 10830 feet above sea level. As you ascend, you meander through forests of fir, spruce and deodars, and as you reach the top, the trees disappear and expansive and lush green flat lands greet you. You may also be able to see animals that come here to graze during summers.
Your next stop Ghora Lotani, which is around 12500 feet above the sea level, is another alpine meadow, and is named so perhaps due to the abundance of horses here. Once you reach the campsite near the meadow, retire for the night. Most hikers choose to stay here for an entire day and acclimatise before moving on further, and you may do so too. From here, your Roopkund trekking package will take you to the lake itself and from there, back to Loharjung.
On the way to Loharjung, you will arrive in Bedini Bugyal, about 11003 feet above sea level. It is yet another tranquil alpine meadow of enchanting beauty, and is covered with green grass. There are some stone huts here, where shepherds live in summers. In winters, they abandon them and move to lower altitudes.
This hike is not too difficult, but you are advised to be completely fit and observe great caution while attempting it. After the excursion, you will surely return to the mountains of India for yet another expedition.
Know more about other popular options for Trekking in Uttarakhand
Day 01: KATHGODAM - LOHAJUNG (2130M) (DRIVE / 250 KMS / 8 - 9 HRS)
After you arrive in Kathgodam, proceed towards Loharjung via bus or taxi. From Kathgodam, you will travel through the scenic hilly routes in order to reach your destination. On arriving in this little village, find your lodging and rest for the day.
Day 02: LOHAJUNG (2130M) - DIDANA (2550M) (TREK / 5 - 6 HRS)
Your Roopkund trek begins near the bus stand of the town. You start climbing from an altitude of 10500 feet and walk through a picturesque forest comprising Himalayan cedar and oak trees. After an easy walk for about 2.5 hours, you will reach the spot called Ruan Bagad, where you cross an old bridge across the Neel Ganga River.
Alternatively, you can also take the road through Wan village, and on the way along this route, you pass by the village of Kulling. From here, the steepness of the trail towards Ruan Bagad increases, which continues till you reach Didna. The hike from Ruan Bagad to Didna village, despite its tough terrain, takes only about 1.5 hours.
Day 03: DIDANA (2550M) - BEDNI BUGYAL (3350M) (TREK / 6 - 7 HRS)
Continue Roopkund trekking after waking up early in the morning and climbing to Ali Bugyal. There are two routes that you can take to reach your destination. You can either climb the mountains directly or take a detour and continue through Tolpani. The first route is difficult due to the high gradient of the climb while the other one can take two hours more than the former. Whichever way you choose, you should try to reach Ali Bugyal by noon to behold the enchanting views of Nanda Ghunti and Trishul peaks. From Ali Bugyal, it is an easy trek to Bedni Bugyal which will provide as a fine campsite for overnight stay.
Day 04: BEDNI BUGYAL (3350M) - BHAGUBASA (4100M) (TREK / 5 - 6 HRS)
The ensuing stage of this Roopkund trek is relatively tougher because of the considerable gain in altitude. As you will enter an area of high elevation, you will need to take all necessary precautions to avoid altitude sickness. Hiking up a zigzag path, you reach the temple of Kalu Vinayak, which houses an idol of Lord Ganesha. The temple is constructed by arranging irregular pebbles and bricks atop each other. You may stop here and pray to the deity for good luck before hiking further.
Up here, you can enjoy the stupendous views of Chaukhamba, Neelkanth and Hathi peaks. Depending on the season, you will find snow here as the terrain becomes a little harder. At a short distance from here is located the campsite of Bhagubasa. Reach the campsite and acclimitize yourself to the altitude. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 05: BHAGUBASA (4100M) - ROOPKUND & JUNARGALLI(4750M) - PATAL NAUCHANIYA (3850M) (TREK / 7 - 8 HRS)
Today, the first goal is to make it to the lake in about 2.5-3 hrs. Climbing through rock gardens and ocassional snow patches to reach the mystery lake is sure to give you an andrenaline rush. The trail is covered in snow for 9-10 months round the year and is steep in general. You will have the guide carefully watch over you as you negotiate with the tricky terrain. You will bear witness to human skeletons and bones if there's not too much snow to hide them. Only very recently, the mystery of the skeletal lake has been credited to a hailstorm which killed a significant number of pilgrims on their way. Apart from the deathly angle, the views are spectacularly revitalizing.
Climbing up a short distance to reach the Jurangali ridge is optional. It will take you about 20 mins.
Spend some time here taking pictures of the gorgeous view and later head back to Patal Nauchaniya. It will be a long walk down, loads of pit stops for taking rest along the way. Overnight stay in tents.
Day 06: PATAL NAUCHANIYA - BEDNI BUGYAL (3350M) - WAN (2550M) - LOHAJUNG (TREK / 5 - 6 HRS) (DRIVE / 30 MINS)
Rise up today to trek down the gorgeous meadows, forest sections of pine, rhododendron and oak to reach a village called Wan. Interact with locals and visit the temple here. The trek ends here. You will be driven back to Lohagunj from here. Once arrived, spend the night in tents at the beautiful campsite.
Day 07: LOHAJUNG - KATHGODAM (DRIVE / 7 - 8 HRS)
After breakfast, you will be driven back to Kathgodam. The trip ends here.
1. When is the best time for the excursion?
Any season can be chosen to attempt it, depending on your desire. If you like snow and want a challenging hike, then the months of May and June are perfect for you. On the other hand if you want to see the mysterious skeletons, then you should plan the excursion in September or October.
2. How difficult is the expedition?
The difficulty of the hike depends on the amount of snow along the trail. Generally speaking, its difficulty level is moderate, but the weather at higher reaches is not stable, amounting for some level of toughness.
3. How cold can it get along the way?
The lower sites do not experience extreme cold, but at higher spots, it is essential that you wear multiple layers of clothes. At moderately high camps, the days are not that cold, but the night temperature can drop to -6 degree Celsius.
4. How long do we have to walk each day?
Every day, travellers will have to travel 10-12 km and the time taken will be 6-7 hours. Do not be disheartened seeing these numbers as the scenery will be so amazing that you will not be able to keep a track of anything else.
5. Is Diamox (anti-altitude sickness drug) advisable?
No, the use of Diamox is not advisable, but in case you have it, consult your doctor in advance. There are many myths about the drug, and for more information, you are advised to read articles about acute mountain sickness.
6. How big are the groups?
Our aim is to bring small groups of like-minded people on the trip, and usually we carry 15-18 hikers in one batch. There has to be a minimum of six travellers for a fixed departure, but if it is a customised trip, the size does not matter.
7. I am the only girl in the trek. Is it safe?
Yes, your safety is the most important thing to us. All our guides are carefully chosen and are well-behaved with females. You are however advised to take care of your own belongings.
8. What do we need to carry?
Once the booking is done, you will be sent a list of essential things to carry on the tour.
9. Can anyone carry my bag in case I am not able to?
Yes, but you will have to state it 15 days in advance so that porters can be arranged.
10. What type of shoes should I bring?
Good trekking shoes are required and you should be careful while buying them.
11. How many trekkers will stay in one tent?
Three persons will be accommodated in one tent.
12. What is the level of fitness expected from the participants?
Every trek calls for the utmost level of physical fitness.
13. What type of food is served during the expedition?
Vegetarian Indian food and eggs will be served on the trip.
14. From where can safe drinking water be obtained during the hike?
Water of mountainous streams is considered safe, but as an added caution, we use boiled water and chlorine pills. While hiking, you can ask your group leader or guide to know the source of clean drinking water.
15. What kind of ground transportation is used on the excursion?
We arrange for Bolero, Max or any other vehicle equivalent to these.
16. Will a doctor accompany us?
No, but our guides have medical certificates in Wilderness First Aid, and are aware of the health problems that you may face at high altitudes. Additionally, we carry a first aid kit and all necessary medicines with us. You should make sure that you are physically fit to undertake the hike, and in case you are not sure, take professional help.
17. Should I bring medicines?
Yes, you should always carry your own medication even if your guides are carrying some with them.
18. Can we change the itinerary?
That depends on the situation; however the date of completion of the changed itinerary has to coincide with that of the original. You should remember that this hike takes you to some of the remotest regions, and some unforeseen events may force a change of itinerary. If this happens, you will be informed of the best possible alternative by your leader or guide.
19. Can you customize a trip?
Absolutely. If you want to travel independently, then you may pick any of our trips at a convenient time for yourself and the group accompanying you. The cost of a private trip is set considering the group size, type of trek, area of excursion and duration.
Departure Dates of 2018:
May : 19, 26
June : 2,9,16, 23
If Minimum group strength is not met , we have the right to cancel the departure.
Should you wish to customise the trip as per your preferred date, separate charges will apply.
Temperature in May & Jun :
Daytime 15° to 20°C, Nighttime : 4° to 7°C.
Temp at highest camp, Bhagwabasa: Day 5°C to 10°C. Night: 3° to -2°C.
Temperature in Sept and Oct :
Day: 13° to 20°C. Night: 2° to 7°C. Temp at highest camp,
Bhagwabasa: Day 3°C to 10°C. Night: 3° to -4°C.
Rains : Rainy season is from the second week of July to mid September. May/June is not the rainy season but afternoon showers are very common in the mountains. These are not the monsoon rains.
Snow : High snow in May from Kalu Vinayak onwards. Decreases in June. Comfortable snow during the last half of June. September has little snow. In the first week of October, the first winter snow is likely to fall in the upper reaches. Usually melts in a few days.
Max Altitude:15696 ft.
Approx Trekking Km: 59 Kms
Best Time to go: May to June, September to October
1. Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping)
2. Meals while on trek (Veg.+ Egg)
3. Trek equipments (Sleeping bag, mattress, Kitchen & dinning tent, crampon, utensils, tent)
4. All necessary permits and entry fees.
5. First aid medical kits, stretcher and oxygen cylinder.
6. Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader, guide and Support staff.
1). GST @5%
2). Transport from Kathgodam to Loharjung and return Rs. 2800/- per person
2). Air/Train fare
3). Anything not mentioned under the head inclusions.
4). Cost incidental to any change in the itinerary / stay on account of flight cancellation due to bad weather, ill health, road blocks and / or any factors beyond control.
5). The tariff does not include barbeque, personal expenses like telephone, laundry etc.
Firstly thanks for the wonderfully planned trip. The Guides were excellent always ensuring that no one is lagging behind. The overall preparations were quite satisfactory, the food very tasty. I would definitely recommend this to my friends, even for a second trip for myself in the near future.
Hey guys! The roopkund trek was one of my best experiences till date. I enjoyed a lot .. the crew and guide were all very helpful and would love to plan other trips through your company .. everything was perfect and please inform me through mail about the upcoming treks and trips.. and yes I would recommend Adventure Nation to my friends.. Thank you!
We have done the Roopkund trek. Thanks for providing us this great trek. Thanks everyone in Adventure Nation team. The entire trek team was very helpful. Very good food provided by the team. We have no doubt to again connect with you for our next trek.
Thanks for providing me the opportunity to be part of such a adventurous trekking expedition . It was an amazing experience to be on Roopkund Trek.
The trek was a superb success. Everything was perfectly organized and we had a wonderful time up in the mountains. - Travelled on 20th May, 2016
Firstly I would prefer to say we are back at home safely. I would like to thank the whole Adventure Nation team for giving us a immense and memorable trip and trek of life. It was heaven there. Your service in all the department pick up, drop, food, accommodation, each and every tiny thing we thoroughly loved it. So far it was our best trek and experience. Though it was our first trek 9 out of 10 from our group and 13 out of 16 climb to Junargali and all of us made to Roopkund and summit-ed successfully. Only one of our friend couldn't make it to Junargali he was a bit weak. But keeping it a part we loved the whole experience you made us fell in love with the mountains with your great on ground team . No words are enough to thank you for this journey. But on behalf of 10 of us I would like to thank all the team members. Thank you so much. We would love to plan another trip with you in near future.
It was my first trek and you made it memorable for life! You guys did a marvelous job. Thank you!
Hands down to the amazing crew that came along for the Roopkund Trek. THEY WERE ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT. Honestly they've set a bar for hospitality which cannot be compared to. The experience was brilliant and overwhelmed by the beauty this trek holds. Each one of us bonded so well with each other that I would suggest more promotion for this trek as it's a trek everyone should attempt at least once. Great trekkers in the group, different age groups and it only added that flavor to this trek. Had an amazing time.Thank you so much