If there was a prize for the best trek in India, Roopkund would have taken it home. This is the trek to the glacial lake Roopkund which is present in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. With the Garhwal ranges surrounding the lake, this trek is an absolute delight right from beginning to end. The lake is not only known for its beauty but also for so many mysteries around it. Hundreds of human skeletal remains have been found in it making it all the more intriguing. With this, trekking to the lake feels like going on a treasure hunt.
Too bad, it is now not possible to do this immensely popular trek as the Uttarakhand government has put a ban on camping in the meadows. As acclimatization is necessary for the Roopkund trek, having no camping grounds in the meadows makes trekking here next to impossible. Whenever the state lifts the ban, you can surely get to know all about it here.
- Maximum Altitude: 4800m or 15,750ft
- Trek Distance: 53km or 33miles
- No. of days: 9
- Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult
- Seasons: Summer and Autumn
The Roopkund trek is a round trek that means, you will start from Lohajung, trek to the Roopkund lake, and then get back to Lohajung at the end.
How To Get There?
The base camp for this trek is at Lohajung. The nearest railway station to Lohajung is Kathgodam which is 230km away. By road, you can travel in a private cab or take the public bus.
Day 1: Arriving at Lohajung
The first day will be reaching Lohajung from Kathgodam in a 10-hour journey. In whatever hours are left, you can spend time lazing around this small town which was named after Goddess Parvati’s victory over a demon named ‘Lohasur’ in a war(called ‘Jung’ in Hindi).
Day 2: Lohajung-Wan-Ghairoli Patal
On the second, you will be driving to the village Wan in a 1-hour journey. From Wan, you will start trekking towards Ghairoli Patal. On the way, you will first pay respects to Latu Devta temple and then begin your ascend towards Ranaka Dhar ridge. Then the path descends to the Neel Ganga river finally leading you to a patch of land- Ghairoli Patal which will be your camping site for the night. The entire trek will take you about 3-4hours.
On your way, you will find a wide variety of flora and fauna. From walnut trees, rhododendrons, pear to magpies, and flycatcher birds this trek will surely make for a beautiful start.
Day 3: Ghairoli Patal to Bedni Bugyal
On day 3, pack your water supplies for a trek to Bedni Bugyal. Once you start, after about 2 hours of a steep climb you will see an amazing meadow which is pure green bliss that is known as Ali Bugyal. It will feel heavenly. A 5km walk will lead you to Bedni Bugyal.
Day 4: Trek to Bedni Top
The 4th day of the trip will be devoted to acclimatization which is crucial for the elevated trek ahead. You will be casually trekking to the Bedni Top. Soak in the panoramic view of mountains Maiktoli, Chaukhambha, Neelkanth, and Mrigathuni along with the Bedni campsite below.
Day 5: Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nachauni
On the 5th day of the trek, you will start by climbing from the Bedni campsite till you see snow ahead. You will reach the Ghora Lotani meadow. From here there are two ways to reach Patar Nachauni. Overall, it will take you around 4 hours to reach Patar Nachauni from Bedni Bugyal.
Day 6: Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabasa via Kalu Vinayak
On the 6th day, you will first climb the mountain Kalu Vinayak, a 3-hour zig-zag and steep ascent. This will leave you exhausted. Trekking further to Bhagwabasa village is fairly easy and you will find snow too.
Day 7: Bhagwabasa to Roopkund and Junargli and back to Pathar Nachauni
It is on the 7th day that you will be setting out for the start of the trek, i. e. the Roopkund lake. This is also the highest point on the trek as you reach atop a snowy flank. When you reach there, the sight is simply marvelous. You see the perfect frozen lake as a trench in the lap of mountains. Standing on the flank you also face Mt. Trishul. Then you will be coming down to the lake to see it in its magnificence. If conditions permit, you can attempt climbing Junargali. If not, you will be returning to Bhagwabasa and then to Pathar Nachauni. The whole trek will take you 9 enduring hours.
Day 8: Patar Nachauni to Lohajung
The 8th day marks the return to Lohajung. For this, you will start from Nachauni towards Bedni Bugyal and then cross Neel Ganga and finally Wan village. The entire return trek will take you about 6.5hours. Once you reach Wan, you will drive the 1-hour journey back to Lohajung the same way you came.
Day 9: To Kathgodam
On the 9th day, you will be driving towards Kathgodam as you leave Lohajung.
The entire trek will leave you with a lot of feats and mesmerizing views to reminisce over.