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HomeTravelKedarkantha Trek – No. 1 Guide : Itinerary, Cost, Tips and More

Kedarkantha Trek – No. 1 Guide : Itinerary, Cost, Tips and More

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Introduction

The Kedarkantha Trek is a dream destination for trekking enthusiasts, offering stunning 360-degree views of the Himalayan peaks. Located in Uttarakhand, the trek is nestled within the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park. At an altitude of 3810 meters, the Kedarkantha summit provides a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty, making it an ideal trek for beginners. This comprehensive guide will walk you through everything you need to know about the Kedarkantha Trek, from the itinerary and cost to essential tips and more.

Location and Geography

Nestled in the lap of Uttarakhand, the Kedarkantha Trek is a part of the Garhwal Himalayas, situated close to the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park. At an impressive altitude of 3810 meters, the trek offers a panoramic view of majestic peaks such as Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, Black Peak, and Ranglana.

Why Choose Kedarkantha Trek?

The Kedarkantha Trek stands out for its accessibility and scenic beauty, making it a perfect choice for beginners. The trek offers a blend of dense forests, serene lakes, and vast meadows, culminating in a rewarding summit experience. The trail is adorned with rich flora and fauna, including Rhododendron trees, Chir Pine, and various species of eagles.

Best Time to Visit

The ideal time to embark on the Kedarkantha Trek is from December to February for those seeking snow-laden landscapes. During these months, the region transforms into a winter wonderland, providing a magical trekking experience.

Difficulty Level

The Kedarkantha Trek is graded as easy, making it suitable for first-time trekkers. While prior trekking experience is not required, basic fitness and stamina are essential to tackle the daily trekking distances and altitude gain.

How to Reach Sankri

The trek begins from Sankri, a quaint village located 197 kilometers from Dehradun. To reach Sankri, travelers can board vehicles arranged by trek operators from ISBT, Dehradun. The journey takes approximately 9-10 hours, passing through scenic landscapes and notable spots like Mussoorie and Kempty Falls.

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Sankri

Distance: 197 kms (Dehradun to Sankri)
Duration: 9-10 hours

Starting from Dehradun, the journey to Sankri is filled with picturesque views of hills, forests, and rivers. After a long drive, trekkers reach the serene village of Sankri, surrounded by lush greenery and stunning views of Mt. Swargarohini.

Day 2: Sankri to Juda-ka-Talab

Distance: 4 kms
Duration: 5 hours

The trek begins with a gradual ascent through dense forests of maple and oak. The trail passes through the village of Saud and involves several bridge crossings. The highlight of the day is reaching the Juda-ka-Talab, a serene high-altitude lake surrounded by dense forests.

Day 3: Juda-ka-Talab to Base Camp

Distance: 4 kms
Duration: 3 hours

The trail to the Kedarkantha Base Camp is steeper and passes through ancient oak forests. The campsite offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, including the Kedarkantha summit, Bandarpoonch, and Swargarohini.

Day 4: Base Camp to Summit

Distance: 3 kms + 7 kms

Duration: 4 hours + 3 hours

The summit climb starts early at 3 AM to catch the sunrise. The ascent is steep and challenging, with icy winds and deep snow adding to the adventure. The summit offers a 360-degree view of the Himalayas, making the strenuous climb worthwhile. After spending time at the summit, trekkers descend back to Juda-ka-Talab.

Day 5: Return to Sankri

Distance: 4 kms + 197 kms
Duration: 3 hours trek + 9-10 hours drive

The final day involves a trek back to Sankri, followed by a drive to Dehradun. Trekkers can reflect on their journey and the stunning views as they make their way back.

Cost Breakdown

The cost of the Kedarkantha Trek can vary based on the trekking package, inclusions, and personal expenses. Typically, the cost ranges between $150 to $250 per person, covering meals, accommodation, permits, and guide services. Additional costs include transportation to and from Dehradun, personal gear, and any optional expenses.

Packing List

Essential Trekking Gear:

  • Rucksack with rain cover
  • Daypack
  • Head torch with spare batteries
  • UV protection sunglasses
  • Water bottles

Footwear:

  • High-ankle trekking shoes
  • Lightweight slippers/sandals

Clothing:

  • Thermal innerwear
  • Fleece jacket
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket
  • Trekking pants
  • Woolen cap and gloves
  • Multiple pairs of woolen socks

Personal Items:

  • Toiletries
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • First-aid kit
  • Trekking poles (optional)

Accommodation and Meals

During the Kedarkantha Trek, accommodation is provided in guest houses and tents. Meals are typically included in the trekking package, with a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. Trekkers are advised to carry some snacks and hydration packs.

Trekking Gear and Equipment

While basic trekking gear is essential, some items can be rented from trek operators. Ensure you have high-quality trekking shoes, a warm sleeping bag, and appropriate clothing to handle the cold temperatures.

Safety and First Aid

Safety is paramount during the Kedarkantha Trek. Trekkers should be prepared for cold weather and high altitudes. Carry a well-stocked first-aid kit and familiarize yourself with basic first-aid procedures. It is also essential to stay hydrated and monitor for signs of altitude sickness.

Flora and Fauna

The Kedarkantha region is rich in biodiversity. Trekkers can spot various species of birds, including the Black Eagle and Golden Eagle, and enjoy the sight of Rhododendron and Pine trees. The region’s diverse flora and fauna add to the trek’s charm.

Photography Tips

The Kedarkantha Trek offers numerous opportunities for photography. Capture the serene landscapes, snow-capped peaks, and vibrant forests. Early morning and late afternoon light provide the best conditions for stunning photographs.

Cultural Insights

Uttarakhand’s cultural heritage is reflected in the villages and local communities along the trek. Interact with the locals to learn about their traditions and lifestyle. Respect local customs and participate in cultural exchanges when possible.

Environmental Considerations

Adopt eco-friendly trekking practices to minimize your impact on the environment. Follow Leave No Trace principles, avoid littering, and respect the natural habitat. Support local conservation efforts and be mindful of your ecological footprint.

Permits and Regulations

Permits are required for the Kedarkantha Trek. These can be obtained through your trek operator. Ensure you carry all necessary documents and adhere to local regulations to avoid any legal issues.

Health and Fitness Tips

Prepare for the trek by following a fitness regime that includes cardiovascular exercises, strength training, and flexibility workouts. Acclimatize properly and stay hydrated to maintain your health during the trek. Listen to your body and seek medical help if needed.

FAQs

What is the best time to do the Kedarkantha Trek?
The best time for the Kedarkantha Trek is from December to February for snow-laden landscapes and from March to April for a milder climate and blooming flora.

How difficult is the Kedarkantha Trek?
The Kedarkantha Trek is graded as easy, making it suitable for beginners. Basic fitness and stamina are essential to handle the daily trekking distances and altitude gain.

What should I pack for the Kedarkantha Trek?
Essential items include a rucksack, high-ankle trekking shoes, thermal clothing, a waterproof jacket, a sleeping bag, and personal toiletries. A detailed packing list is provided above.

Are permits required for the Kedarkantha Trek?
Yes, permits are required and can be obtained through your trek operator. Ensure you carry all necessary documents.

How can I reach Sankri?
Sankri can be reached by road from Dehradun, which is the nearest major city. Trek operators usually arrange transportation from Dehradun to Sankri.

Is the Kedarkantha Trek safe?
Yes, the Kedarkantha Trek is considered safe, especially for beginners. However, it is essential to follow safety guidelines, carry a first-aid kit, and acclimatize properly.

Conclusion

The Kedarkantha Trek offers an unparalleled experience for trekking enthusiasts, especially beginners. With its stunning landscapes, rich biodiversity, and cultural insights, it promises an adventure filled with memories. Prepare adequately, follow safety guidelines, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Himalayas on the Kedarkantha Trek.

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