Winter Kuari Pass trek is among the most scenic excursions that you will ever take through the Himalayan Mountains. The mountain pass is located in the Garhwal region of the state of Uttarakhand. It lies to the south of the Tibetan Plateau and is within the enchanting Nanda Devi National Park. Well-known as the Lord Curzon trail, the Kuari pass trek’s spectacular views make it one of the finest treks in the Indian Himalayas. Winter season is the ideal time to undertake the excursion as the snow makes the region look amazing. The trail offers a chance to discover the inner Himalayan region in a very short duration.
For adventure & mountain lovers, this trek is undoubtedly filled with a rare experience altogether. You will get to meander through the never-ending meadows with mountains surrounding you as you bask in the glory that is the Himalayas. Encircled with gorgeous forests, and a chance to view mesmerizing sunsets and sunrises, Kuari Pass trek will surely pull your heartstrings. Get bowled over by the way of life of the locals, and mingle with the shepherds to know more about their mountainous life. The high point of the trip would be the views of Nanda Devi (7816 m) along with other gigantic elevations like Dronagiri (7066 m), Kamet (7757 m), Chaukhamba (7128 m) and Trishul (7120 m) peaks.
Day 1: Haridwar - Joshimath (Drive: 268 km | 8-9 hrs)
Start your journey from Haridwar, from where you will depart for Dehradun Airport at 2:15 pm, which will take about an hour to reach. On reaching, you will have a casual meet up with the other trekkers. Afterwards, you will drive for Joshimath on a lovely route along the river Ganga, and later the Alaknanda River. The route will keep you hooked as you will navigate through the sacred and scenic towns of Rishikesh and Devprayag. On reaching the campsite, unwind as you listen to the sounds of the river. Later, you will be served with sumptuous dinner. Stay overnight in deluxe tents.
Day 2: Joshimath- Tugasi Village - Base Camp Gulling (Drive: 190kms, 6.5 hrs | Trek: 2hrs)
The next morning, relish a sumptuous breakfast and prepare for the drive towards Tugasi Village, which will take around 6 to 6.5 hours to reach. You will cross the holy towns of Rudraprayag, Karanaprayag, Nandprayag and Joshimath to reach Tugasi. Once you reach, your trek towards base camp Gulling will commence. It will take you around 2 hours to reach the base camp. The trail will meander through lush greenery accompanied by an enthralling view of the mountains. Sip a hot piping cup of tea once you reach the campsite. Take in the beautiful landscapes of the mountains or spend your time strolling nearby the camp. Overnight stay in alpine tents.
Day 3: Base Camp Gullin - Kuari Pass Meadows / Kuari Pass - Base Camp Gulling (Trek: 7 - 8 hrs )
Today, after breakfast proceed towards Khulara, which will be a slightly steep climb. From Khulara, you will encounter continuous ascents on meadows that will become gradual as you move up. The crisp mountain air and the superb views make up for the steep climb. You must keep your cameras ready, as the picturesque view will lend you a great shot.
After a while, you will reach Kuari pass in about 4.5 to 5 hours. However, the guide might suggest that you climb to another point where the views would be grander than Kuari pass-it will be completely up to you. After viewing the awe-inspiring landscape from whichever point you chose, you will descend back to base camp Gulling. On your arrival, indulge in various activities or relax. Later in the evening, you can rest in your tents while a flavoursome dinner awaits you.
Day 4: Gulling - Talli - Gurson - Auli - Joshimath(Trek: 7 -8 hrs | Drive 12 km)
Post breakfast, a beautiful view awaits you as you trek gradually from Gulling to Talli. The beautiful jungle along with the vast meadows all around offer a remarkable tranquil walk. After a while, the wonderful views of the great Himalayan towering giants like Nanda Devi, Hathi Ghodi peak and Dronagiri will surround you. Along the route, you will encounter the majestic valleys and charismatic Himalayan villages and make your way through the beautiful meadows of Gorson, which is about 5 km from Auli. The area is surrounded by tall oak and coniferous trees. Caution is advised as you trek across the snow.
Once you are past the Gorson meadows, you will continue your trek through a fascinating forest with enticing species of birds, after which you will arrive in the meadows of Auli, which are extremely popular for skiing in India. From here, you will descend to the road, from where you will be taken back to Joshimath. Relax in the lap of nature.
Day 5: Joshimath- Haridwar/Rishikesh(Drive: 268 km | 8-9 hrs )
Next morning, after breakfast, leave Joshimath and drive back to Haridwar.
1) What is the best time to go for this tour?
Winter Kuari Pass is best experienced in the winter season between December - March. If you adore snow, you must trek to Kuari Pass as the entire region is covered in a thick blanket of snow. If you want to see the rhododendrons in bloom, then Spring is perfect for you. You will get clear skies and a stunning view of the Garhwal mountains after the monsoon season in September and October. No matter what the season is, every scenery looks like a postcard picture when you trek to Kuari Pass.
2) How difficult is the trek?
The difficulty level of the trek is moderate to tough owing to the thick covering of snow along the way. All said and done, it is certainly better to go on this trip in winters than summers.
3) How cold can it get on the trip?
On the first two days of the trip, the weather is pleasant, but it does get considerably cold at higher elevations. Here, the temperature can drop to around -5 degree Celsius, and the winds are pretty strong too. Hence, it is advised that you carry sufficiently wind-proof and warm clothing.
4) How much do we walk per day?
Every day, we walk for almost 5 to 7 hours and complete a distance of 7 to 9 km.
5) Is taking anti-altitude sickness medicines like Diamox advisable?
As the maximum altitude that you will touch on the excursion is roughly 13500 feet, Diamox will not be needed. However, if you have had problems adapting to such elevations, you are advised to consult a doctor beforehand.
6) Will our group have a trek leader or guide?
Yes, you will be guided and led by an experienced mountaineer, who has certificates in first aid.
7) How big are the groups?
Usually, we take 18-20 people in one group, and sometimes there can be as less as 6-7 people trekking together. In addition to hikers, the groups also consist of porters, cooks and helpers.
8) Is the trip safe for women?
The safety of women is highly important to us, and our staff and trek operators are polite and helpful towards them. Mountain dwellers are quite honest and respectful of women, so females have nothing to worry about.
9) What do we carry on the tour?
Before the start of the trip, you will be given a proper list of all necessary things, which you will be required to carry with you.
10) Will someone carries my luggage if I am not able to?
Absolutely. Just tell us 15 days before the commencement of the excursion, and we will arrange a porter for you.
11) What kind of shoes should I carry?
It is essential to have shoes that make hiking easier. Make sure that your trekking shoes are warm, and made of waterproof material. Also, check that their soles are strong, and at the same time, your footwear should be comfortable. Before coming on the trip, walk for 3-4 kilometres every day for a week so that you settle into them, and they become more comfortable.
12) How many travellers will stay in one tent?
Usually, each tent will have no more than three persons.
13) How fit should the participants be?
As with all treks, this one too requires that you are fully fit to undertake it. To get into shape, you can exercise for 30 minutes, and jog or walk 3-4 km each day for about a month, before beginning the expedition.
14) What kind of food do we get during the tour?
Only Indian vegetarian food and eggs are served on the trip.
15) Where can clean drinking water be procured along the way?
You should ask your trek leader about sources of safe drinking water. For a bonus, you are advised to use Chlorine tablets to purify the water further.
16) What type of vehicles are used for ground transportation?
For ground transportation, we use MUVs like Tempo Traveller Bolero, Max or any car, equivalent of them.
17) Will a doctor travel with us?
No, but our trekking leaders and guides are well-versed in Wilderness First Aid and have certificates for the same. They are aware of the problems that group members may face at high altitudes, and as a precaution, they carry all necessary medicines with them. It is however advised that you get checked by a physician to see if you are fit for the excursion.
18) Should I bring my medicines?
Absolutely. You should carry whatever medicines you are using for added safety.
19) Can the itinerary be changed?
Not usually because the itineraries are well-planned. However, you can consult your guide and other members of the group to see if they agree on small changes.
20) Can a trip be customised?
Customising the trip is possible, depending on the number of participants. The cost, however, may vary as per requirement.
Duration: 05 Days
Max Altitude: 13990 ft.
Minimum 4-5 pax required to operate the trek
So, I'd gone in the 28th December, 2015 to 2nd Jan, 2016 batch of Kuari Pass trek, Uttarakhand. Ammaaazzzziiinnnggg Experience. We reached the base camp (Joshimath) on 28th December ..The trek started on 29th, the scenic beauty was awesome. Reaching the peak on 31st December. It was full of snow and we were surrounded by snow on the 3rd and 4th day, also got to see snowfall.... Also, got to mention, superb kitchen staff. Where we thought we had to live on Maggi, we were served with biryanis, paratha, gulab jamun, bournvita and stuff. Then, the trek leaders, such superb people and supported us every time we needed them. The new friends, the snow, the tough climb, the view....UNFORGETTABLE. So to conclude, a little tiresome, No doubt.. But TOTALLY WORTH IT!
The trek was good. Guide was awesome and managed the team perfectly!
The overall experience was nice and I absolutely loved it. Everything from food, accommodation and guides were superb. But one thing that stood apart from everything was agent's excellent service. He has helped me plan everything even when the slots looked full. He has been extremely reliable and helpful!! 10 on 10 for Adventure Nation agent.
Winter Kuari Pass was an awesome experience and will be planning another trek soon in June!