The Kedarkantha trek is one of the most popular Himalayan winter treks in Uttarakhand. Located in the Govind National Park region of the Garhwal Himalayas, it takes trekkers through snow-covered mountains and pine forests to culminate at the Kedarkantha peak (12,500 ft). This 6-day moderate trek offers stunning views and a chance to summit a high-altitude Himalayan peak. In this article, we provide a comprehensive guide to the Kedarkantha trek including the distance, duration, attractions, tips, and essential information for planning this hike.
About Kedarkantha Trek
The starting point for the Kedarkantha trek is Sankri village which can be reached by road from major cities like Dehradun and Haridwar. The 20km long trek passes through forest camps like Juda Ka Talab and Hargaon before culminating at the Kedarkantha base camp situated at 11,250ft. The highlight is climbing the steep 3km trail from base camp to the summit which offers 360-degree Himalayan views. After descending from the top, you retrace your steps back to Sankri which is the finishing point. The recommended duration for this trek is 6 days including rest and acclimatization days.
Attractions on the Trek
The key highlights of the Kedarkantha trek include pristine forests of pine, deodar and oak trees, snow-covered mountain passes, rare wildlife sightings, and panoramic Himalayan peaks. Some of the attractions are Juda Ka Talab campsite amidst pine trees, views of the Swargarohini and Bandarpoonch mountains, crossing snow-covered paths as you ascend, chance to spot Himalayan animals like snow leopards and brown bears, and finally conquering the Kedarkantha summit for sunrise views. Trekking here in winters provides the most stunning views of snow-laden landscapes.
Tips for the Trek
To fully enjoy and complete the Kedarkantha trek, keep these tips in mind:
– Best time is December to April, ideally January/February for snow treks
– Get proper winter and snow trekking gear including warm layers, gaiters, trekking poles etc.
– Stay hydrated and refuel with snacks at regular intervals
– Walk slowly, take small steps on steep gradients
– Start early each day to cover distance before sunset
– Hire experienced local guides for the trek
– Carry essential medicines, first aid kit, sunscreen etc.
The estimated cost of accommodation for 3 to 4 days during the Kedarkantha trek can range from 4,000 to 5,000 Indian rupees. This includes stays in tents or guesthouses provided by the trek organizers. Accommodation costs can vary based on the package you choose and the level of comfort offered.
The round-trip travel expenses to reach the trek’s starting point, typically from a nearby city or town, are estimated at 3,000 Indian rupees. This includes travel by bus or shared transport to and from the base camp or trailhead.
Additional adventure activities that you might engage in during the trek, such as hiring guides, porters, or participating in optional side excursions, can amount to around 2,000 to 3,000 Indian rupees.
The estimated budget for the Kedarkantha trek, considering accommodation, travel, adventure activities, and a buffer for other expenses, could range from approximately 9,000 to 13,000 Indian rupees or more. It’s important to note that actual expenses can vary based on personal choices, trek package details, and any additional services you might opt for. To create an accurate budget, carefully review the package inclusions, plan for potential extras, and ensure you have enough funds to fully enjoy your Kedarkantha trekking experience.
Essentials to Carry
The essentials items to carry for the Kedarkantha trek include:
– Layered winter clothes, fleece jackets, thermals, windproof/waterproof jackets
– Warm accessories – woolen caps, gloves, socks
– Comfortable trekking shoes with ankle support
– LED flashlight, batteries
– Sun protection – glasses, hat, lip balm, sunscreen
– Personal medication and first aid kit
– Trekking pole/s or hiking stick
– Valid ID cards, permits required for the trek
– Water bottles, energy drinks, and dry snacks
– Backpack (40-60 liters) to hold all items securely
– Toiletries – tissues, toilet paper, sanitizer, soap
– Camera to capture the stunning views
In the heart of the Garhwal region, the Kedarkantha trek beckons with its allure of wintery magic and natural splendor. Embarking on this journey is like stepping into a realm where dreams are woven from snowflakes and memories etched in the crisp mountain air. Each step echoes with the symphony of the Himalayas, a harmony of snow-covered peaks and towering oak trees. Amidst this natural canvas, the ascent begins, leading adventurers to snowy trails that wind their way through the undulating terrain.
The journey to the top is not just a physical feat; it’s a dance with nature’s elements. A carefully choreographed sequence of footsteps on snow, a rhythm set by the heartbeat of the mountains. But the Kedarkantha trek is not just about conquering heights—it’s about relishing every step, savoring the warmth of camaraderie around campfires, and finding solace in the solitude of snow-covered meadows. It’s about the thrill of chasing footprints in the snow. The joy of catching snowflakes on your tongue, and the enchantment of watching your breath mist in the frosty air.