Be it nature lovers, trekkers or avid botanists, everyone has been charmed by the beauty of the Himalayas. Valley of Flowers trek can be taken to access the eponymous Himalayan valley, where the rich biodiversity and breathtaking surroundings will keep you mesmerised. Your expedition starts from Haridwar, and takes you through the villages of Govindghat and Ghangaria. The entire valley is located above the altitude of 11000 feet, in the transition zone between the Himalayas and the Zanskar Range. For ages, it has been known to provide refuge to hermits and sages, who would come here to indulge in Yoga and to meditate. Due to the altitude of the valley and the surrounding mountains, it exhibits different vegetation zones. At its lowest heights, conifers are found, which are taken over by meadows of grass, lichens, mosses and shrubs further up. Above these grasslands, the alpine zone, which does not allow grasses and trees to grow, begins.
Hundreds of species of colourful flowers bloom in the region in different growing seasons of the year. Many of them are endemic and threatened; hence the government has restricted human activity here. Among the animals found here are Himalayan black bears, brown bears, snow leopards, red foxes, Himalayan tahrs, musk deer and monals. The best thing about this Valley of Flowers trekking package is that it also gives you a chance to visit Hemkund Sahib. This is a highly revered Sikh gurdwara, and is located about 15200 feet above sea level. The Hemkund Sahib trek starts from the small village of Ghangaria, and the 7 km distance is generally covered in seven hours. From Ghangaria, there is a well-maintained path, leading to the pilgrimage site. There is a lake behind the gurdwara, where you may relax and click photos. The shrine is designed like a star, and it was constructed in the 1980s by personnels of the Indian Army.
Day 01: Rishikesh to Govindghat/Joshimath
Distance/Duration - 255 Kms Drive | 10 to 12 Hours
Govindghat is a small town located in the Chamoli District of Uttarakhand and serves as the base point of the trek. Traveling to Govindghat from Rishikesh by road takes around 10 to 12 hours so starting early is very important. The entire journey is absolutely gorgeous as you drive along the Ganges River until Devprayag and then along the Alaknanda River. Arrive in Govindghat and check-in at the pre-booked accommodation.
Day 02: Govindghat (1800m) - Ghangaria (3050m)
Distance/Duration - 13km Trek (5-6 Hours)
Grade - Easy to Moderate
We are going to start early after having breakfast at the hotel/guest house. We will begin the trek to Ghangaria which is a 13 km journey. The initial couple of hours of trekking is rather easy as you walk on the rocky terrain. The last 4km is steep which might add time to the journey of the trekker. It will take around 5-6 hours to reach depending upon the capability of the trekker. While the trail is moderate and doable for a novice trekker, it adds experience to the kitty bag of an experienced trekker. Talking about the charm of the place, you will be astonished with the abundance of nature laurels found here. Overnight stay at a hotel/guest house in Ghangaria.
Day 03: Ghangaria (3050m) - Valley of Flowers (3600m) - Ghangaria (3050m)
Distance/Duration - 7-8km/ 5-6 Hours
Grade - Easy
Begin your Valley of Flowers trek from the village at around 9 in the morning, post stepping out of the hotel. Just after a kilometer, you will reach the entry gate of the Valley of Flowers National Park, where you will get the tickets. Inside, the trail is lined with colorful flowers of numerous species, which make the excursion extremely spellbinding. After a kilometer, you reach a pretty bridge across a stream, and all around you, towering mountains will be visible. By now, the well-laid out trail will have transformed into a narrow rocky path.
After trekking on a relatively flatter land, you will enter the magnificent valley. Before you arrive here, you will walk on another picturesque river crossing. From here you will be able to see four distinct vegetation zones of the Himalayas with ease. The lowest portions of the valley are covered with spruces, deodars and firs while the sections above them have lush grass and rhododendron shrubs. Lift up your eyes further and you will notice brown rocky slopes, which will always be covered with snow at their uppermost sections.
Explore the valley to the fullest, relax by the gushing river, take photos and breathe in the pleasing scent of the flowers. In the afternoon, hike down the mountains as you make your way back to Ghangaria for overnight stay.
Day 04: Ghangaria (3050m) - Hemkund Sahib(4329m) - Ghangaria (3050m)
Distance/Duration - 12km/ 8-9 Hours
Grade - Moderate
Wake up early in the morning, and start your walking expedition to Hemkund Sahib at around 6:30am. The 7 km long excursion starts with a gradual ascent through the Himalayas. On the way, you will see a pretty waterfall on your right side, where you may click pictures. After about two hours of trekking from here, you reach the point where the tree line ends, and the views start getting better after it.
A little further from here, you reach a river gorge, across which the trail to the Valley of Flowers is visible. After walking for another hour, your elevation will be such that the oxygen levels will start reducing. While hiking further up, take long breaks, which will allow you to catch your breath. Do not sit down as it makes getting up and walking again difficult. The Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is reached after another hour of grueling ascent, and the lake is just behind it.
In the afternoon, hike down the mountains on your way back to Ghangaria. As climbing down is easier, you will cover these 7 km in relatively quick time. On arrival in Ghangaria, check-in at the hotel/guest house and relax in the evening. End your day with a good night's sleep.
Day 05: Ghangaria (3050m) - Govindghat/Joshimath
Today is going to be a relatively hectic day of traveling by road. After having breakfast at the accommodation, we will start to make our way back to Govindghat. The downhill trek of 9km to reach Poolna should not take longer than 3 hours and then the drive to Govindghat is going to take another 30 minutes. If we manage to reach early, and if the weather permits, we will proceed for a forty minute drive to Badrinath.
Day 06: Joshimath to Rishikesh
Drive - 255km (9-10 Hours)
This morning brings an end to this 6 day adventure in the Himalayas. After breakfast, check out from the accommodation and make your journey back to Rishikesh. Trip Ends.
1) When is the best time for Valley of Flowers trek?
The valley is open for tourists from late June to September, but July and August are the best months to visit as the valley is in full bloom at that time. You can see some of the most celebrated flowers like Brahma Kamal, the blue poppy, and the cobra lily in full bloom. June will be mostly green with lots of melting glaciers everywhere. In the first week of July, you can witness a few glaciers and colorful flowers in the valley. Hundreds of flowers take on various colors and shades as time progresses.
2) What is the weather like during the open season?
During the monsoons, which is the most appropriate time to visit the Valley of Flowers, the maximum temperature is 22 degree Celsius. Average day temperatures are 18 to 22 Celsius & night temperatures 6 to 8 Celsius. Bringing a jacket is advisable along with a raincoat as it rains a lot in that region. In the winters, however, the valley remains covered in a thick blanket of snow, making it difficult, and in fact almost impossible, to plan a trek.
3) What is the required level of fitness for the trek?
The hike is not treacherous during any stretch but having a decent level of fitness will help. The average no of hours spent trekking is around 5 and the trail is not at all technical so anyone with little experience or even no experience can do this trek. Although, beginners are advised to prepare for a few weeks to gain the basic level of fitness.
4) Why are the main attractions of the Valley of Flowers Trek?
During the monsoon season, hundreds of brightly colored alpine flowers bloom in the valley. The panoramic beauty can leave you speechless. It is a valley with rich endemic flora and fauna and during the season the entire valley becomes a colorful spectacle with different varieties of flowers all blooming all across. It is a national park, part of the Nanda Devi Biosphere reserve and a World Heritage Site. Apart from the National Park, we also get a chance to visit one of the highest located Gurudwaras in the world; The Hemkund Sahib.
5) Can we rent/buy equipment for the trek at the base camp?
Govindghat/Poolna act as the base camps for the trek. Being small towns, there are no shops which sell/rent trekking equipment like shoes and down jackets. However, you will find a few shops where you can buy a wooden trekking stick and a raincoat.
Grade: Easy to Moderate
Max Altitude: 4,600 m
Approx Trekking Km: 42 km.
Best Time to go: Late June to September
Price - Rs. 6,499 + (5% GST) (Ex Joshimath)
Price - Rs. 8,899 + (5% GST) (Ex Haridwar/Rishikesh)
Extra charges for double sharing - INR 1500 per person
1. Anything not mentioned under 'Inclusions'
2. GST 5%
3. Porter/mule charges to carry personal bags (can be arranged on extra cost of Rs. 2000 per person per bag of not more than 10 kgs)
4. Any meals/services not mentioned above
5. Hot water bucket (extra charge as per the actuals to be paid at the homestay/hotel)
6. Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, roadblocks, bad weather, etc.
7. Trek/ travel Insurance
8. Soft drinks, beverages, etc.
9. Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
10. Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
11. Forest entry charges will be paid by the guest directly
I went to Valley of Flowers in Uttarakhand with my friends in late August and everything was so serene and beautiful. The visit to the National Park is obviously the biggest highlight, and rightly so. The variety of plants and alpine flowers available there are mind-blowing. You should definitely try to take as many photos as possible, but don't forget to just sit back and enjoy by the side of Alaknanda river. Absolutely my favorite memory! All in all, it was a delightful experience. If I could, I would go back again as soon as possible.
I chose Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek because of what I had heard about it from other friends. I am grateful to Adventure Nation and the trek operators in the valley for their generosity and for giving me an opportunity to trek in the beautiful Uttarakhand. Trekking to Hemkund Sahib is optional, you can stay back, but my advice is don't! Hemkund Sahib, aside from having spiritual significance, also has a beautiful lake beside it, and we sat there for quite some time to enjoy the scenery. I made some great friends on the trek for which I'll be forever thankful. Definitely going to come back!
This was my first trek and I pretty much decided to go on it because it?s one of the best beginner treks that is full of natural beauty and simple to do. The sheer beauty of the vast flora and fauna on this trek were what initially sold this trek to me. I enjoyed this little break I got from my otherwise busy schedules. If you're on a tight budget and are looking for a trek that is beautiful and a relatively simple getaway, then this is for you! Specially recommended to beginners!
My Valley of Flowers trek in Uttarakhand was made memorable by the beautiful scenes and the welcoming trek mates I had with me. Definitely going to come back only because of how cool it all looked and witnessing it only once doesn't do it much justice. In addition to the beauty of the trek, I really liked how nicely it was arranged! The distance was pretty evenly divided and you just never will find yourself too tired at any point in time of this trek and even if you do, the beautiful scenes will provide solid inspiration immediately!!!
This trek is an easy trek and very doable for beginners. I did some research before booking and looked at a few pictures, it has some incredibly beautiful scenic locations including the valley of flowers and the Hemkund Sahib which are the two highlights of this trek. You can read everywhere about the hundreds of exotic flowers in the valley but let me tell you, the Hemkund lake is very beautiful looking. For me, reaching that place and witnessing the beauty and the spirituality of it was very heartening. Thanks!
Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib trek is the trip me and my friends took a month back. I really loved the arrangement and it was a cherry on the top for me because the trek itself is very scenic. The wide range of flowers that are so beautiful looking is crazy. The whole vibe of the trek was amazing. Thanks very much for this.