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. The path to the pass is also known as Curzon's Trail in honour of Lord Curzon who first travelled on it. Kuari Pass is world-renowned for offering clear views of some highly prominent mountains, such as Nanda Devi, Kamet, Trishul and Dunagiri. The winter season is the ideal time to undertake the excursion as the snow makes the region look amazing.
Your expedition begins in the revered town of Haridwar, from where you drive through the mountains to Joshimath, which is another holy place. The important Hindu saint named Adi Shankaracharya established a monastery here in the 8th century to strengthen the religion. After spending one night in Joshimath, you drive to the snow covered small town of Auli, from where this winter Kuari Pass trek commences.
From here, you will trek through the Auli meadows, which are extremely popular for skiing in India. You will get very close to the Nanda Devi Peak and other Himalayan Ranges. After a refreshing and exciting walk through the forest teeming with bird life, you will reach the beautiful Gorson Meadows, where you will spend the night.
Beyond the Gorson Meadows, the trail will descend till you reach the picturesque meadow of Chitrakhana. Here you will camp beside a hissing stream, which will double up as a drinking water source. The phase of Kuari Pass trekking that will get you from Chitrakhana to Tali Top will be long and challenging. The sight of lush grass and bright red rhododendron flowers will greatly compensate for the tough hike. The next section of the excursion brings more gruelling hiking, involving a lot of climbing.
An easily-conquered phase will get you to Khulara, you will spend the night here. Beyond Khulara the track will again ascend. Complete a long trek from Khulara Top and arrive at Kuari Pass, your highest destination of the Kuari Pass trek. During the entire tour, you will meander through picturesque valleys of the Kali Ganga, Pindar, Dhauliganga, Nandakini and Birahi Ganga Rivers. You will then trek back to Khulara, where you will spend the night.
The next you begin your journey back to Joshimath, with a trek up to Tapovan and then a drive to Joshimath.
Day 01: Haridwar to Auli
On arrival in Haridwar, board a vehicle and drive to Auli. The distance between the two towns is roughly 275 km, and it can be covered in about 10 - 11 hours. Rudraprayag, Srinagar, Karnaprayag and Devprayag are some of the places that you will pass by on the way to Auli. After you arrive here, transfer to your lodging for overnight stay.
Day 02: Auli to Gorson Meadows (7 Km trek) to Auli
Relish a scrumptious breakfast at your lodgings and then drive to the skiing destination town of Auli. Begin your Kuari Pass trek from Auli, which is approximately 15km from Joshimath. You first encounter a steep climb through forests of oak, rhododendron and hemlock. After a while, the trail enters a picturesque valley.
Enjoy lunch on the way, and later make for beautiful meadows of Gorson which is about 5 km from Auli. The view from the top of Gurson Bugyal is one of a kind. The area is surrounded by tall oak and coniferous trees. Caution is advised as you trek across snow. You will be amazed at the splendid view of Nanda Devi peak from the top.
Day 03: Auli to Khulara (via Tali)
This is a rather gruelling section of the Winter Kuari Pass trek as it involves a lot of ascending. Throughout the approximately 6 km journey, your eyes will treat themselves to the sight of lush green grass and red rhododendron bushes. It will take around 2 hours 30 minutes to meander through the forests of rhododendrons, silver birches, and morinda spruces. Once the forest is crossed, walk for another hour to reach the top of the ridge, which is about 3500 metres above sea level.
Another short walk of about half an hour takes you to the gently sloping meadow of Tali Top, from where you will trek to the easily conquered Khulara. You will spend the night in tents at Khulara.
Day 04: Khulara to Kuari Pass | Kuari Pass to Khulara
From Khullar Top, it is a long journey to the crest of Kuari Pass. The pass is encircled by towering mountains, with Nanda Devi being the highest and most prominent among them. Due to its altitude, it is extremely windy and cold up here. Post looking at the scenery and taking pictures, follow the path back to Khulara and stay overnight.
Day 05: Khulara to Dhak to Joshimath
Relish hiking down the mountains on this last day of your wonderful Himalayan excursion.
This phase of the journey is almost 10 km long and takes approximately four hours to complete. On arrival in Dhak- a small marketplace, drive Auli for your overnight stay in a hostel.
Day 06: Auli to Haridwar
Early in the morning, leave Auli and drive back to Haridwar.
1. What is the best time to go for this tour?
The winter months of December and January are perfect for this trip as the snow makes the trail and the entire region look heavenly.
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 consists 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 carry 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 a waterproof material. In addition, 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, prior to 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?
It is best that you ask your trek leader about sources of safe drinking water. For added 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 4-wheel drive SUVs like 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 own medicines?
Absolutely. You should definitely carry whatever medicines you are using for the purpose of 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: 06 Days
Max Altitude: 13990 ft.
Approx Trekking Km:41 kms
Best Time to go: December to March
1. Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping)
2. Meals while on trek (Veg.)
3. Trek equipment.
5. First aid medical kits.
6. Qualified & experienced trek Leader, Guide and Support staff
7. Transport from haridwar to Haridwar
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!