Top 10 easy Himalayan treks for beginners
The Himalayan Mountains have trails that are welcoming even to beginners.
The Himalayas bring up images of white, snowy mountains that touch the sky, with clouds cutting through them. You are reminded of the world’s tallest peaks, like Mount Everest, Kanchenjunga and Nanda Devi; peaks that can only be conquered by the skilled adventurers. But the Himalayas are vast, and not all of its mountains are restricted to experts. Travel to the Himalayas, and you will find several treks ranging from easy to moderate grades that are open to novices. Here is a look at ten of the best easy Himalayan treks for beginners. ALSO READ: Tips for going on a trek in the Himalayas
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Chatakpur Tiger Hill Trek
The Chatakpur Tiger Hill trek near Darjeeling is an easy to moderate trek of 7 km that takes you through dense forests and orchards of the Senchal Wildlife Sanctuary. You can camp overnight at Chatakpur and catch the sunrise and sunset at the watchtower in the town, where you can see Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga. The view is unforgettable, and with it you get a peaceful, silent atmosphere. As you go downhill, you get to see some Buddhist monasteries and Senchal Lake. March-April and October-November are the best times for this trek, since Senchal remains closed during the monsoon months.
Triund Hill Trek
The Triund Hill trek is actually one of the most popular choices for a weekend trek from McLeodganj in Himachal Pradesh. It takes you through dense rhododendron forests and wide open meadows and pastures. Along the way, you get to soak in the nature of beauty and the sound of birds chirping away. The trek runs for 9 km from Dharamkot, and you can cover the stretch in 5 or 6 hours. At the top, you get a view of the Dhauladhar mountains and Kangra valley. If you want to explore more, you can go further up to the Indrahara Pass and Illaqua Glacier, while going through the Lahesh Caves. May-June and September- November are the best times for this trek.
Chopta Chandrashila Trek
The Chopta Chandrashila trek is considered one of the best beginner-level treks up the Garhwal Himalayan Mountains. You start from the village of Chopta in Uttarakhand, and the trek takes around 5 days to complete. Along the way, you get beautiful views of the Himalayas, culminating in a spectacular vista from Chandrashila Point. If you visit during the winter months, you can see snowfall draped over the entire valley. While all this can seem intimidating to beginners, the entire trek is actually pretty doable, even for a newbie. The best time to take the Chopta Chandrashila trek is from May to November.
Valley of Flowers
The Valley of Flowers National Park in Uttarakhand is famous for its breathtakingly beautiful meadows, and one of the best ways to experience this is through a trek. A trek to the Valley of Flowers starts from Govind Ghat and lasts for around 6 days. The distance is 14 km, and the highest point you reach is 3,858 meters above sea level. The park is also home to animals like blue sheep, musk deer and snow leopards. The best time to take the trek is during the bloom, which happens in July and August.
The Hampta Pass trek in Himachal Pradesh connects the scenic valleys of Lahaul and Kullu and takes around 4-5 days to complete. For company, you have alpine forests and incredible views of glaciers and mountains. The trek starts from Manali, and with every few kilometers, the landscape and terrain changes. By the end of it, you would have trekked 26 km to an elevation of 4,400 meters. You end the trek at Chhatru, from where you get a view of the Spiti Valley, Rohtang Pass and Hampta Pass converging. May – September are the best times to visit this place. ALSO READ: 7 Himalayan Treks For The Adventure Junkie In You
Har ki Dun Trek
Another trek for the wildlife lover, Har ki Dun Valley in Uttarakhand offers great views of the Bandarpunch, Har ki Dun, Swargarohini and Black Peaks. The trek takes you through the Garhwal Himalayas and Govind National Park. As you trek further, you go through dense pine forests, glacial basins and moraine ridges. Bird lovers will be able to spot species like the Monal, Himalayan griffins and golden eagles. One of the more difficult options in this list, Har ki Dun is definitely worth the effort. The trek distance is around 24 km and lasts 7 days, and the best time to do it is in July-September.
Nag Tibba Trek
With a name that translates to ‘Serpent’s Peak’, you know you are signing up for adventure on the Nag Tibba trek. Located near Mussoorie in Uttarakhand, the Nag Tibba trail runs through areas teeming with wildlife and charming little villages and camps of the Gujjar tribe. The Nag Tibba peak itself is around 3,050 meters above sea level, and along the way you see a variety of birds and flowers, including white anemones and hill mynas, red vented bulbuls and jungle babblers. The whole trek lasts 2 days and around 9 km from Pantwari village, and it can be done throughout the year, although snowfall in the months of January-February can make the trek tougher.
Parashar Lake Trek
Lying in the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, the Parashar Lake trek takes you to the famed blue water lake in the Mandi district of the state. The trail overlooks the Dhauladhar mountains and covers rivers and rivulets, villages, forests and more. The trek is suited for the entire family, with incredible views of the Kinnaur, Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges. Along the way, you get to see the local Prashar Rishi temple beside the lake with its unique architecture. The trek takes you to an altitude of around 9,000 feet, and you can take it through the year. Lasting 2 days, the trail gets a little snowy during the months of April and May.
The Dzongri trek lies in Sikkim and is one of the more difficult ones in this list. It takes 8 days to complete the trek that takes you to a height of 4,020 meters, but this is still and easy grade trek suited for beginners. Along the way, you get beautiful sights of the Kanchenjunga and Padum peaks, and you walk through rhododendron, bamboo, oak and maple trees. March to April and September to October are the best times to take this trek.
Sham Valley Trek
Finally, we reach the Sham Valley trek, also called the ‘Baby trek’. The trail covers the pristine and barren landscape of Ladakh, and is called a baby trek because of its low elevation. But make no mistake, this trek can be just as challenging as others in the list, in different ways. Along the way, you get to see several Buddhist monasteries and views of Alchi, Thiksey, Hemis and Lamayuru. The entire trek takes six days, during which you can visit the Likr Monastery as well. June to September is the best time for the trek, although the trail is open throughout the year. NOW SEE Ladakh treks: Five trips for adventure
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