Kedarkantha Offbeat Trek
Kedarkantha Offbeat Trek
Kedarkantha Offbeat Trek
Kedarkantha Offbeat Trek
Kedarkantha Offbeat Trek
Kedarkantha Offbeat Trek
You'll want to see as many new places as you can because of your wanderlust. And do you know what makes this feeling even better? A snowy trek to a mountain peak for breathtaking views you've never experienced. There are many locations calling to you. The Kedarkantha Trek is one such location, you should never dare to miss.
The name of this peak is frequently mistaken for that of the well-known Kedarnath temple. Both of them are unique yet different from each other. Kedarkantha trek is the most popular winter trek in Himalayas and is a choice of trekkers from across the globe. It is a complete package of wonderful snowy events. The amount of adventure involved during the trek will let you quench your thirst to go to the Himalayas. In this piece of information, we will enlighten you with its beauty and quest that will force you to visit it as soon as possible.
About The Best Trek in India: Kedarkantha Trek
Most of the people are snow lovers. We love to walk on and play in the snow. So any adventure that involves snow. We opt for it. Kedarkantha trek is totally for people like us. It falls in the Western Garhwal region of Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand State. It is completely a snow-covered region in winters. It is at the height of 12,500 ft and the whole trail is covered with breathtaking views and alpine trees.
Kedarkantha Trek is a five-day long one that generally starts from Sankri village. But our trek will start from Kotgaon camp. The reason for this alternate trail is to make your trek experience better. During peak winters Kedarkantha has too much crowd and it creates many difficulties for trekkers. Read more about this alternate trail here.
A Diffrent Route for Kedarkantha Trek
At the starting of the trek, you will be mesmerized by the cultural and scenic village of Kotgaon. The distance of the trek is only 22 km, so even if you are new to the trekking world you will complete it with some efforts. This trek is suitable for beginners and needs some preparation. Since most people like to trek with their friends, it will be a fun and quick journey.
You will go from a steep terrain to the thick forest of Fir & Oak and then you will reach Shirpidi/Khujaai. This meadow is a couple of hundred metres long and about a hundred wide, surrounded by forests on one side and a rocky ascent on the other. Always remember your goal is the summit. So you need to keep the energy high to reach the peak. Our next camp will be Odari Basecamp set next to Kedarkantha Basecamp and then you will visit the Kedarkantha summit the next morning.
At the end of the trek, the trail becomes a little steeper. So the route becomes more difficult and strenuous but after completing the whole trek the 360-degree view of the snow-clad mountains of the Himalayas will take away all your pain and stress because it is worth everything.
From the summit, you see Mt. Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, Kalanag, Jaonli, Gangotri, Draupadi ka Danda and Jorkanden. Also get a glimpse of Chanshal Pass, Rupin valley and Har Ki Dun valley.
The next day while descending you will cross the pictorial spot of Juda Ka Talab. This spot is one of the perks of the trek. On the right of this spot is an alluring lake and on the left is a picture-perfect alpine forest giving you the best experience of nature.
Let us discuss the difficulties you might experience on the way:
- The Kedarkantha trail is easy-moderate but you gain altitude almost every day.
- The summit push is the hardest part of the whole trail. So keep your josh high for experiencing the beauty of the Himalayas.
- People prefer to visit the Kedarkantha trek during winters. Because for most people, snow is the main attraction. Make sure to pack your bags with enough clothes as the temperature goes very low during that time.
- Some sections of the trail are covered with glaze. Be careful while walking, you might hurt yourself by slipping on it.
Best Time To Visit Kedarkantha
Almost any month of the year is best for the Kedarkantha trek, with the exception of the monsoon months of July through September. The paths are extremely wet and slippery during this time. The winters, which come in late November and last through March, are the most popular times to visit here. That being said, each month has its benefits. Snow lovers can visit Kedarkantha even during the spring season.
We recommend you to visit the trek during the summers or immediately after the monsoons. During the summers and just after monsoons (till autumn), is the time when the trail is full of colourful trees and green meadows and less crowded.
As you're filled with all of the crucial information to summit Kedarkantha, it’s the time you make your decision to live the mountains!
At Tripotude we assure a complete and adventure-fulfilling experience for trekking in Himalayas.
- Trekking Permits
- Trekking equipment
- Safety equipment
- Trek Leader & Guide
- Food during transit
- Porter or mule for carrying personal luggage
- Stay on the last day
- Personal expenses & goods of any kind
- Anything apart from inclusions
- Unscheduled stay due to unfavourable conditions
- Cost Escalation due to ‘Force Majeure’ and evacuation charges
Drive from Dehradun to Kotgaon
Drive: 185 km | Base Camp Altitude: 6330 ft. The trek begins at Kotgaon, a 7-8 hours drive from Dehradun. The journey takes you through Kempty Falls, Nainbagh, Purola and Mori. You see beautiful valleys and forest cover throughout the journey. After crossing Mori, you see the most beautiful views of river Tons and riverside drive.
Trek from Kotgaon to Shirpidi/Khujaai Camp
Altitude: 6330 ft to 9510 ft | Trek: 5 km | Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradual followed by a steep ascent. In the morning you leave for Shirpidi/Khujaai Campsite. A defined trail goes through the dense forest of fir, oak and himalayan maple. On the way, you cross shepherd’s huts and about 5 km of the trek you reach Khujaai/Shirpidi Camp. Carry at least two litres of water.
Trek from Shirpidi/Khujaai to Odari Basecamp
Altitude: 9510 ft to 10100 ft | Trek: 2 km | Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradual ascent. After sunrise, you leave for Odari Basecamp. The trek starts from a descent followed by a gradual ascent. By afternoon you reach Odari Basecamp. This is acclimatization and rest day because you have to leave for the summit by 2 AM.
Trek from Odari to Kedarkantha Peak and back
Altitude: 10100 ft to 12500 ft | Trek: 4 km each way | Trek gradient: Moderate. Steep ascent to the summit and steep descent. Today you make the last push towards the summit. Start from Odari at 2.00 am. You reach the peak by sunrise and see the Chanshal Pass, Rupin valley, Har ki Dun valley, Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch and Kalanag. After the summit, you descend to Odari Campsite. Carry at least two litres of water.
Trek from Odari to Kotgaon via Juda Ka Talab and back to Dehradun
Altitude: 10100 ft to 12500 ft | Trek: 7 km | Trek gradient: Easy, Gradual descent all the way. After breakfast, start moving towards Juda Ka Talab. This is 3 km from Odari. The most scenic and attraction point of the whole trek is this place. There are few clearings on the left which are fully covered with tents. With a half an hour break you move down to Sankri which is 4 Km further. After reaching Sankri you will be back to Dehradun. The journey takes at least 6-7 hours
Kotgaon is a small, picturesque and traditional village at an altitude of 6330 feet in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand near Sankri. The village is surrounded by beautiful views of mountain peaks, waterfalls and greenery. You can even see Kedarkantha Peak from here. The village is quite famous for its iconic homestays and Someshwar Mahadev Temple. The town is well connected to the Sankri main road.
How to Reach Kotgaon?
Kotgaon does not have direct rail or air connectivity and can only be reached via roadway. Below you can find the important details of the nearest airport and railhead for the convenience of your journey.
Reach Kotgaon by Air
The nearest airport to Kotgaon is Jolly Grant Airport at 212 km away between Rishikesh & Dehradun. The airport is well connected with direct flights from Delhi, Mumbai and some other major cities of the country. From outside of Jolly Grant, you will get cabs and taxi services to hire for a trip to the village of Kotgaon. The journey takes about 8-9 hours from the airport to Kotgaon.
Reach Kotgaon by Train
The nearest railhead to Kotgaon is Dehradun at 185 km away. Being an extremely popular site and tourist destination, this station is well-connected with the rest of India. Cabs are available to cover the distance to Kotgaon.
Reach Kotgaon by Road
If you travel by road, you have to first reach Dehradun. There are two direct buses to Sankri. The first leaves at 7.30 AM and the second at 9.30 AM. Otherwise, you have to break your journey to Nainbagh, Purola, Mori and Sankri. Taxis and buses are available from these stations. From Sankri there is no regular transportation to Kotgaon, you have to book a taxi to reach Kotgaon which is 5 Km.
Things To Pack
You need a sturdy trekking shoe with ankle support & having a good grip is required for this trek. This is a winter trek and wearing trekking shoes are very important to handle slippery sections and cold weather.
You will need a 50-60 litre backpack for this trek. Make sure your pack has good hip and shoulder support. Must have quick access pockets.
Carry at least 3 T-shirts. Full sleeve dry-fit T-shirts are good. You can take a hooded T-shirt which covers your neck.
You will need 1 pair of inner thermal, 1 light sweater and 2 light fleece layers. Try not to get any woollen sweaters, which can be very heavy. You have to keep sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.
A padded jacket is necessary for this trek. You don’t need a water-resistant material but you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure the padded jacket has a hood as well.
Three pairs of trek/track pants should be enough for this trek. Wear one pair and carry the others. Zippered cut-offs trek pants at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Always choose quick-dry pants over cotton.
- Keep a Water bottle, Sunglasses, Suncap, Woolen cap, 3-4 pairs of socks, Trekking Pole, Rainwear, Rain cover for the backpack, A 10 ltr. daypack, 2 plastic covers, Toilet kit, Sunscreen (SPF 50+).
Personal Medical Kit: Diamox-mountain sickness, Crocin-fever, Avomine-motion sickness, Avil 25mg-allergies, Combiflam, Disprin-headache, Norflox TZ and Lomofen-diarrhoea, Digene-acidity, omez/rantadine antacid, crepe bandages, bandaids, ORS, betadine or antiseptic cream, Moov spray/volini, cotton, gauze.
These documents are required for legal purposes by Tripotude and the Forest department. Without any of these documents, you will not be allowed to trek.
- Original and a photocopy of government-issued photo identity card. Anything such as aadhaar card, driver’s license, passport will work. This is mandatory for your identification.
- A COVID vaccination certificate (double doses) is required or a COVID negative certificate is required. Make sure your RT-PCR/RAT test should not be older than 72 hrs.
Fitness and Safety
This trek needs a pretty good amount of endurance. So you must be focused on your cardiovascular activity. Start the cardiovascular exercises 30 to 40 days before your trek date. You can begin with jogging every day. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day or you can start with running. Make sure each day you are increasing the distance of running. In order to be prepared for a high altitude trek, you must have a combination of distance and speed targets. Also do some breathing exercises such as Pranayama, Nadi Suddhi etc.
- Target completing the running 5 km in 45 minutes when you begin.
- Gradually increase your pace bring down the time of running.
- If you are 45 years or above, try to cover 5 km in less than 50 minutes.
- If running is not possible, daily 2 times Jogging or stair-climbing is required. Keep your pace increasing day by day.
- Do the muscle exercise for Quadriceps, Hamstrings & Calf Muscles.
- Do 3 sets (10 repetitions) of Squats, Lunges & Calf raises.
- Do breathing exercises - Nadi Shuddhi or Pranayama.
Tripotude promotes safety protocols during a trek and also follows the basic minimum standards for adventure tourism. Microspikes for walking on snow, emergency bottled oxygen, pulse oximeters to test pulse and oxygen saturation levels are available at all our campsites. At Tripotude, our trek leaders are trained and equipped to take care of any emergencies related to AMS.
The Kedarkantha trek is considered a very safe trek. The trails are well marked with multiple exit points. Due to its large clearings, the campsites are well placed. You may be exposed to the risk of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) during the stiff climb from Odari Basecamp to Kedarkantha summit. Stay alert for any signs of AMS. Watch the symptoms and take curative measures. Our Trek leader will check your oxygen levels. At Tripotude, our trek leaders are trained and equipped to take care of any emergencies related to AMS. Our team has the required medical equipment including Oxygen Cylinder, Pulse Oximeter, Diamox and other medication to cure AMS. Except for the monsoon months, the trail is pretty safe. During winters put your microspikes and gaiters on. Some sections of the trail are covered with glaze, be careful while walking.
Kedarkantha is an easy-moderate trek but you gain altitude almost every day. The ascent is gradual & steep and the altitude is almost 12,500 ft. This trek is well suited for first-time trekkers with some pre-trek preparation.
For genuine trekkers, the trail from Kotgaon side is definitely worth it. Most of the trekkers opt for a peaceful trail. Our campsites are almost parallel to the campsite from the Sankri side. Most people ask why maximum campsites are on the Sankri route. The only reason for this is the route has large clearings to accommodate that many camps but at the same time witnesses an enormous rush. The distance and difficulty level is also similar on both the trails.
The total distance of the Kedarkantha trek is 22 km from both sides, Sankri and Kotgaon. From Kotgaon to Khujey is a 5 km intense hike. From Khujey to Odari is just a 2 km gentle walk and Odari to Kedarkantha summit is a 4 km steep climb.
At Sankri or Kotgaon you will get a signal of Jio & BSNL. During climbing the Kedarkantha, you might not get any network but as you reach the peak you get the networks of Jio, Airtel, BSNL and other available mobile connectivity.
The last ATM is at Mori which is 175 km away from Dehradun but if you have to withdraw the cash make sure you do it at Dehradun. Because at the Mori there is only one ATM which could be out of cash or crowded.
Yes, the electricity is available at Sankri as well as Kotgaon but it could be affected due to heavy snowfall or some other reasons.
Yes, the cloakroom facility is available at Kotgaon. You can hand over your belongings to the Slope Manager at basecamp and receive them on day 5.
The trek cost varies depending on which travel company you choose to go with or the services they provide to you. It also depends on the itinerary that you opt for. In our case, we provide 5 days 4 nights package and it can cost you from 5000 to 7000 rupees. The trek cost includes Transportation, Accommodation, Meals, Camping Charges, Forest Permits and Trekking & Safety equipment.
Proper common washrooms are available at Kotgaon basecamp. Gender wise separate toilet tents are available at all campsites.
You have to first reach Dehradun which is well connected with other cities. There are two routes from Dehradun, one go through Mussoorie and the other one go through Vikasnagar. During winters, make sure you are geared up properly. Keep an eye for frost cover on the road, you could slip off. During snowfall ride your bike very carefully.
Yes, this trek is very suitable for families. Children above 13 years of age can do this trek. Elderly people up to 55 are also can do this trek. This could be a beautiful winter experience for families.
As a solo trekker try to leave Dehradun early in the morning before 7 AM. You can find the taxis and buses to Sankri near Railway Station, Dehradun. You must pre-book your stays at Sankri and try to find an experienced guide. Taking a guide is mandatory otherwise the Forest department won’t permit you to visit Kedarkantha. Forest permits will be issued from Netwar or Sankri. If you have your own camping setup that’s very good otherwise you can rent it from Dehradun or Sankri. Try to set up your tents near the other campsites, it will help you during any emergencies.
During winter you can expect day temperatures to average around 8-12° C, while night temperatures to drop below zero. Some days it even goes below -5° to -10° C. During summer, day temperatures will be around 16-22° C while night temperatures tend to be around 4-8° C.
The weather in the winter season starts with fresh snowfall, during peak winters there could be excessive snow with cold days and extremely cold nights. But sunny days during winters are very pleasant. You can usually witness the snowfall from the end of November to mid-February. During spring, the sun will be warm, the days start to get longer and the nights, much less cold. During summer, you can experience bright sunny days with clear sky and mild cold nights. The Monsoon season is tough to trek as this is the time of excessive rain. Autumn is an ideal time to trek if you are looking for crisp views of the Himalayas and greenery everywhere.