Trekking in Himachal Pradesh

The terrain of Himachal is well documented for its variety of choices; from the verdant Kullu Valley with it alpine meadows & conifer forests to the stark landscape of Spiti.

The entire region is crisscrossed by four mountain ranges. The Dhaula Dhar, Pir Panjal, Himalayas and Zanskar.

There are numerous passes on these ranges which connect the valleys, making good trekking routes for all types of trekkers. One can cross one pass and return over the other or proceed further to cross another on the next range. There are about two dozen passes on the Dhauladhar, a dozen over the Pirpanjal range and 8-10 such passes over the Great Himalayan range to cross over to the Zanskar valley. Himachal offers a virtual bonanza for trekkers

Journey through Himachal holds the promise of a deep and refreshing communion with nature in its varying beauty. The lush river valleys surrounded by snow-capped peaks, the fruit-laden orchards, gurgling streams and the dense forests that echo with birdsong evoke enchantment and delight.

Closer to the Greater Himalayan and Zanskar range, delight gives way to awe as one is faced with the stark, haunting landscape of the cold desert. Here, still lakes gleam like emeralds and sapphires amidst towering white mountains that stand aloof and forbidding in their majesty.

The four great mountain ranges and a fluctuating snow line gives Himachal very cold climate. Though there are some regions which have hot summers and cold winters, majority of the trekking routes fall in those areas which are perennially cold. Thus trekking in Himachal requires adequate preparation to brave the cold wintry climate. For moderate to strenuous treks, the best season is from June to October. It is advisable avoid the winters for trekking.

All the regions have a rich cultural heritage that reflects in the life styles of the local villagers. It would not be incorrect to say that Himachal has the most diverse trekking routes in the Indian Mountains.

While you have some of the more famous ones to choose from like the Mani Mahesh, Pin Parbati, Kinnar Kailash etc. it is the path less often traveled that offers the enthusiast an amazing range of options.

Trekking into Lahaul Spiti is a delightful experience as one gets to see a wide spectrum of the landscape. Treks origination in Kullu and Kinnaur especially add to this feeling.

It is almost as if you can almost choose the vignettes that you want to capture and then embark on your journey.

But some things are best left unsaid, for discovering them yourself adds to the pleasure infinitely.

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