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Kedarkantha Trekking: Scaling Heights in Uttarakhand, India



For us, exploring the Kedarkantha trek in Uttarakhand, India was not just a trip but rather an amazing climb into the Himalayas. Through this blog, we can share something of our experience, giving you a glimpse of the sweet joy, danger, and beauty associated with climbing Kedarkantha. But from the moment we arrived in Sankri on foot, starting with snow-capped peaks all around to our warm exchanges with local people and then a night spent under a starlit sky atop that nebulous peak, every part of this trek was something out of an adventure story.

Come along and discover with us the beauty of Kedarkantha, experience its challenge, and share in the sheer exhilaration that comes from standing atop a Himalayan peak.

Beginning the Adventure

Our journey started excitedly because Sankri was the entrance to Kedarkantha, and we were extremely anxious about it. Right from the start, we found ourselves enveloped in a scenic wonderland with snow-capped peaks and impenetrable forests. Only snow shone above! Sankri itself had a rustic charm and panoramic views, which indicated the adventure to come. It was crisp in the air, and everywhere there were sounds of a feast for eyes that would be beyond description.

Preparing for the journey and experiencing Sankri’s tranquil setting as we started on our journey to Kedarkantha did seem like an appropriately optimistic start. Little did we realize that the farther forward we went, the more wonders were revealed, and this trek became an epic journey of exploration into Uttarakhand’s natural beauty.  You can also check out various adventure activities in Himachal Pradesh, another area in India that will leave you speechless.

Best Time to Visit For A Trek:

Seasons Suitable for the Trek:

  • Winter (December to March):
    • Ideal for snow enthusiasts.
    • Clear skies and stunning snowy landscapes.
    • Be prepared for sub-zero temperatures.
  • Spring (April to June):
    • Mild weather with melting snow.
    • Beautiful contrast of snow-capped peaks and emerging greenery.
    • Comfortable daytime temperatures.
  • Fall (September to November):
    • Clear skies and pleasant weather.
    • Vibrant autumn colors and quieter trails.

Weather Conditions During Different Months:

  • December to February:
    • Heavy snowfall, sub-zero temperatures.
    • Daytime temperatures: 0°C to 10°C.
    • Nighttime temperatures: Below freezing.
  • March to May:
    • Snow melting, emerging greenery.
    • Daytime temperatures: 5°C to 20°C.
    • Nighttime temperatures: Above freezing.
  • June to August:
    • Lush greenery, minimal snow.
    • Daytime temperatures: 20°C to 25°C.
    • Nighttime temperatures: Mild and pleasant.

Information on Permits Required

  • Forest Permit: If you’re planning to take on the Kedarkantha Trek, you’ll typically need to obtain a forest permit. This permit is a must because the trek route passes through protected forest areas, ensuring the preservation of the natural environment.
  • Online Booking: In recent years, the process of obtaining permits for treks in Uttarakhand, including the Kedarkantha Trek, has become much more straightforward through online portals. To get started, check out the official website of the Uttarakhand Forest Department or the State Government’s tourism department for information on permit applications.
  • The online booking system allows you to apply for permits in advance, where you’ll need to provide necessary details such as personal information, trekking dates, and the size of your group. This hassle-free method saves time and effort, giving you peace of mind before your adventure.
  • Payment of Fees: When it comes to obtaining the forest permit, there may be a nominal fee involved. To complete the permit application process, you’ll need to make the payment online. The payment methods usually accepted include credit/debit cards or online banking. So, choose the most convenient option for you and get ready to conquer those mountains!
  • Confirmation and Documentation: Once you’ve submitted your permit application, it will be processed and approved. You’ll then receive a confirmation along with a permit document. It is absolutely crucial to have a printed or digital copy of the permit document with you during the trek. You never know when the forest officials or authorities may ask to verify it, and it’s always better to be prepared.

By following these steps, including obtaining the necessary forest permit, you’ll ensure a smooth and compliant adventure along the Kedarkantha Trek. Remember to respect and cherish the natural beauty of the protected forests as you embark on this incredible journey. Enjoy every step of the way and make memories that will last a lifetime!

raining and Preparation Tips: Because We Ain’t About to Let Those Trekking Demands Bring Us Down

Trek prep
Credit: 7th Army Training Command

Alright, my fierce and fabulous female adventurers, strap in because we’re about to get you ready to conquer those treks like the queens you are. Let’s dive into these training and preparation tips that will have you saying, “Trekking demands, bring it on!”

  • Cardiovascular Training: So, you want to improve that endurance and stamina, huh? Time to channel your inner cardio goddess and get moving! Whether you’re walking, jogging, or cycling, make sure you’re clocking in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
  • Strength Training: Bring on the muscle strength and endurance, ladies! Incorporate some badass strength training exercises into your routine, focusing on those legs, core, and upper body – the powerhouse muscle groups for those epic treks ahead. Let those muscles know who’s boss!
  • Hiking Practice: Oh, it’s time to hit those trails, my trailblazing warriors. Find paths with varying terrain and inclines to get a taste of what those trekking conditions will be like. Challenge yourself by gradually upping the duration and difficulty of your hikes – because only the strong survive, right?
  • Pack Weight Training: Time to load up that backpack like a boss! Gradually increase the weight during your training hikes to mimic the load you’ll be lugging around during the trek. And hey, don’t forget to pack those essential items like a pro while keeping that weight manageable. Because we’re all about efficiency here.
  • Flexibility and Mobility: Stretch it out, yogis! Incorporate some stretching exercises and yoga into your routine to boost that flexibility and mobility. Not only will it help prevent those pesky injuries, but it’ll also keep you feeling like a freaking ninja during the trek. Who said flexibility wasn’t badass?
  • Hydration and Nutrition: Stay hydrated, eat like a queen, and conquer those treks like a boss! Load up on carbs, proteins, and healthy fats to fuel your training and recovery like the badass you are. Snack and chow down on meals similar to what you’ll be eating during the trek to ensure your body’s on board with the plan.

Trek Route and Itinerary:

Detailed Day-wise Itinerary:

kedarkantha trek

Alright, ladies, it’s time to buckle up those hiking boots and get ready for a journey that will have you feeling like a fearless warrior in the heart of the Himalayas. Brace yourselves for the ultimate guide to conquering the Kedarkantha Trek like the badass solo female travelers you are!

Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri (Drive)
Let’s kick things off by zooming from Dehradun to Sankri, the glorious base camp for the legendary Kedarkantha Trek. Nestle in for an overnight stay at guesthouses or camps in Sankri because, hey, even fearless adventurers need a cozy spot to rest their heads.

Day 2: Sankri to Juda-ka-Talab (4-5 kilometers)
Time to stretch those legs and trek from Sankri to the enchanting Juda-ka-Talab. Picture this: dense pine forests, sprawling meadows, and a serene lake surrounded by towering trees. Clocking in at 4-5 kilometers, you’ll be hitting around 9,100 feet – because why not conquer some altitude while you’re at it? Set up camp at Juda-ka-Talab and soak in that nature beauty like the queens of the wilderness you are.

Day 3: Juda-ka-Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp (4-5 kilometers)
Up and at ’em as you trek from Juda-ka-Talab to the majestic Kedarkantha Base Camp. The trail offers up panoramic views of snow-capped peaks as you ascend gradually to 11,250 feet. Picture yourself chilling in a meadow with jaw-dropping mountain views – yep, that’s your base camp. Overnight at Kedarkantha Base Camp and let those mountain vibes sink in.

Day 4: Kedarkantha Base Camp to Summit and back to Hargaon (6-7 kilometers)
Rise and shine for an early morning trek to the summit of Kedarkantha. Get ready to feast your eyes on Himalayan peaks like Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, and Black Peak. After soaking in those epic views, descend back to Base Camp before trekking down to Hargaon for the night. Clocking in at 6-7 kilometers and hitting around 12,500 feet at the summit, you’ll be cruising like a mountain conqueror.

Day 5: Hargaon to Sankri and Drive back to Dehradun (6-7 kilometers)
For your grand finale, trek from Hargaon back to Sankri before hopping in your chariot back to Dehradun. Feel the thrill of conquering 6-7 kilometers at an altitude of around 6,400 feet because you, my fearless friend, owned that trek like a boss!

Scenic Trails and Charming Villages

We traveled through the beautiful scenery of Uttarakhand, passing by lovely villages like Juda Ka Talab and winding up into pine forests. As we walked, it seemed like the scenery of the area unfolded before us like a tapestry. The walk turned into an unfolding succession of breathtaking panoramas. Listening to cowbells from the distance as we walked along, it seemed like a harmony between nature and man created by walking through various trails. You can also check out the

These moments brought the rustling leaves and distant melodies of village life into play, giving our trek a special touch. The marvels of Uttarakhand had begun to show themselves to us all along. This was more than a physical trek but an exploration of the senses as well, and each step drew us nearer to Uttarakhand’s natural beauty.

Major Landmarks or Campsites Along the Route

Juda ka Talab
Kanthi Kiran, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Sankri: It’s nestled in the Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, and trust me, you’re gonna love the picturesque setting amidst pine forests and Himalayan peaks. So gather your gear, your courage, and your bad-ass attitude, and let’s do this thing!
  • Starting Point of the Trekking Route: From Sankri, it’s time to hit the trail and get moving towards the Kedarkantha summit. Picture it now: you, surrounded by forests, ascending towards higher altitudes, feeling like a total rockstar. Yeah, baby!
  • Juda-ka-Talab: Okay, but before we get too far, let’s take a breather at Juda-ka-Talab, aka “Lake of the Jews.” Yes, even the lake has a sense of humor on this trek. This serene alpine lake is surrounded by pine forests and offers stunning reflections of the trees and mountains. Oh, and did I mention it’s the first camping site on the Kedarkantha Trek? Perfect spot to rest up and get ready for the next leg of this adventure.
  • Kedarkantha Base Camp: Now we’re talking! Kedarkantha Base Camp is a meadow of dreams, surrounded by towering peaks and lush greenery. This is the spot where you really start to appreciate the beauty of the Himalayas, with panoramic views of snow-capped peaks like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, and Black Peak. Get ready to prepare for the final ascent to the Kedarkantha summit and maybe even have a little dance party to celebrate how awesome you are for getting this far!
  • Kedarkantha Summit: Okay, take a deep breath because here we go. The Kedarkantha Summit is what you’ve been working toward, standing over 12,000 feet (3,600 meters) high. But trust me, the view is totally worth it. You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of surrounding Himalayan peaks like Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, and Black Peak.
  • Hargaon: And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, we arrive at Hargaon, the final camping site before we start heading back to civilization. This peaceful spot is surrounded by verdant meadows and forests and offers a chance for reflection and rest before your descent. Spend your last night under the starlit sky, appreciating the beauty of the journey you just completed. And then get ready to crush your next adventure.

Types of Accommodation Available During the Trek

Kedarkantha camp
Trekoholics, CC BY-SA 4.0
  • Campsites: Get ready to pitch that tent because camping is the main accommodation option during the Kedarkantha Trek. You’ll be staying in cozy tents set up at designated campsites along the trekking route. And guess what? These campsites are strategically located to give you jaw-dropping views and easy access to water sources. Who needs a fancy hotel when you can sleep under the stars?
  • Homestays or Guesthouses: Feeling like a change of scenery? Well, in some villages or settlements along the trek route, you might stumble upon homestays or guesthouses. These accommodations give you the chance to experience the warm embrace of local hospitality and culture. From basic to moderate facilities, like shared rooms and common amenities, get ready for a taste of authentic local living.

Now, let’s talk about the facilities provided at different stops along the trek

  • Sankri: Sankri is your base camp, ladies! This is where the Kedarkantha Trek begins and where you can find a range of facilities. Whether you prefer guesthouses, lodges, or good ol’ camping grounds, Sankri has got your back. And don’t worry, basic amenities like food, water, and toilets are available. Because let’s be honest, no one wants to go trekking without a place to pee.
  • Juda-ka-Talab: Take a deep breath and prepare yourself for the beauty of Juda-ka-Talab, the first camping site on the trek. It’s nestled near a picturesque alpine lake. But hey, don’t expect luxury amenities here. Facilities are limited to basic camping stuff. Yep, that means you better bring your own water or get crafty with purification. And when nature calls, you might encounter temporary or eco-friendly pit toilets. Sounds like a glamorous adventure, right?
  • Kedarkantha Base Camp: Kedarkantha Base Camp is situated in a scenic meadow, offering you breathtaking views of those majestic snow-capped peaks. Now, facilities at the base camp include designated camping grounds with some basic amenities like water sources and toilets. Oh, and make sure you carry enough water or purify it from nearby streams. Hydration is key, my fearless friend!
  • Kedarkantha Summit: The summit of Kedarkantha is where you’ll witness the wonders of the Himalayan peaks in all their glory. But let me tell you a secret: the facilities up there are as minimal as it gets. You’re going to be relying on what you bring with you. So, pack enough water, snacks, and don’t forget to bundle up because it can get chilly up in those heights. Prepare yourself, because this summit climb is a true test of your badassery.
  • Hargaon: Hargaon, the final camping site before you head back to Sankri. The facilities here are pretty similar to the other camping sites along the trek, so you know the drill. It’s basic, ladies. That means carrying your own water or making friends with purification methods and dealing with temporary or eco-friendly pit toilets. But hey, you’ve come this far, so a little ruggedness won’t scare you, right?

Tips for Trekking Safely

Trek Safety

  • Tip 1: Stay Informed: Listen up, my adventurous friend. Before you hit the trails, make sure you familiarize yourself with the route. No, I don’t mean just vaguely knowing where you’re going. I’m talking about landmarks, distances, and altitudes. Get to know the lay of the land like the back of your hand. And hey, don’t forget to keep an eye on those weather forecasts and trail conditions. You don’t wanna get caught in a storm unprepared, do you?
  • Tip 2: Travel in Groups: Solo trekking can be exhilarating, no doubt about it. But let’s face it, there’s safety in numbers. Trekking with a kickass group not only enhances your safety but also gives you some backup in case of emergencies. And trust me, having someone to share those ‘oh sh*t’ moments with makes them way more bearable. So grab your crew and hit those trails together. That’s right, ladies, it’s time to team up!
  • Tip 3: Hydration and Nutrition: Listen, you can’t conquer mountains on an empty stomach. Stay hydrated by guzzling water like it’s your job. Drink up, my friend! And don’t even think about forgetting those snacks and meals. You need that fuel to keep you going during those long hikes.
  • Tip 4: Clothing and Gear: When it comes to hiking, you gotta be prepared for anything. Literally anything. The weather can change faster than you can say “WTF?” So dress in layers, my friend. That way, you can adjust to the ever-changing weather conditions like a total pro. And let’s not forget about those sturdy hiking boots. Trust me, you don’t want to go sliding down a slope in your flip-flops. Get yourself some boots with good traction, so you can conquer any terrain like the fearless adventurer you are. And hey, don’t forget that essential gear. Headlamp, map, compass, first aid kit, and emergency shelter? Yeah, pack ’em all, because you never know when you’ll need ’em.
  • Tip 5: Altitude Acclimatization: Now, my fearless explorer, when you’re ascending to higher altitudes, remember to take it slow and steady. Give that body of yours some time to adjust. Take those rest breaks when you bloody need them, and don’t you dare overexert yourself, especially at those higher elevations. Your body deserves some TLC, and you’ll thank yourself later for not pushing it too hard. Pace yourself, girl. You’re in this for the long haul.
  • Tip 6: Follow Trail Markers: No getting lost, my friend! Stick to the marked trails like your life depends on it. ‘Cause, well, it kinda does. Keep those peepers open for trail markers, cairns, or signs along the route. They’re like your hiking guardian angels, leading you to the promised land. So pay attention, follow the signs, and keep your sense of direction intact. This ain’t no maze, but it’s always good to know where the heck you’re going.
  • Tip 7: Leave No Trace: Alright, ladies, let’s talk about being badass stewards of the environment. When you’re out there trekking, it’s crucial to minimize your environmental impact. That means carrying out ALL your trash and waste. Yep, even those empty snack bags and banana peels. And for the love of all things wild and wonderful, don’t go disturbing the wildlife or vegetation. We’re guests in their house, so let’s behave, shall we?
  • Tip 8: Emergency Communication: Now, I don’t wanna freak you out, but emergencies can happen. It’s better to be safe than sorry. So carry that fully charged mobile phone with all those emergency contact numbers saved. But if you’re going into the wild wild remote, consider investing in a satellite phone or personal locator beacon. They’re like your bat signal, summoning help when you need it most.
  • Tip 9: Be Weather Aware: Mother Nature can be a real sh*t disturber, so keep an eye on those weather conditions throughout your trek. It’s all fun and games until a thunderstorm or blizzard crashes your party. Be prepared for sudden changes, because hey, it’s better to be over-prepared than under-prepared, am I right? Seek shelter, take cover, and wait for that storm to pass.

Summit Night Excitement

Then on the night of the summit, we set out into a sea of stars. The thrill reached its peak then and there! Steering by the low-beam illumination of our headlights, we navigated snowy routes with practiced ease. Silent nights and freshly fallen snow under our feet provided an atmosphere of pure adventure. Every step was taken beneath a starry sky, and the sense of excitement grew with each added toil. There’s something incredibly special about trekking on summit night under beautiful weather in pristine mountain river environs-a fitting final chapter for our Kedarkantha.

Sunrise Atop Kedarkantha

Standing at the summit to greet dawn brought a prize beyond price. A vast expanse of snow-capped peaks met our eyes. Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, and other valleys opened the way for us. The brilliant sun, the master artist, played his game of painting the sky image after picture. It was a beautiful accompaniment to our memories for which words are insufficient. This moment of quiet grandeur, framed against the morning canvas by dawn’s first light, transported him to another realm atop snow-bound peaks. This was a display for all the senses. It left an unforgettable imprint on our memories of ascending to sunrise and coming down from Kedarkantha Peak that day.

Thrills of Descending

The descent also had its wild side, adding a sense of frolic to the thrills. Gliding down slopes covered in the snow turned into a fun and lighthearted part of the adventure, reminding me that, as with life itself, there is more to explore than just harsh climbing ups you can scream your head off laughing down. These slopes covered with snow became a theater of common delight, in which the descent was not only a personal journey downward but also an enthusiastic and collective celebration of what had been achieved on this climb.

That captured the spirit of adventure as a balance between hardship and bonding.  For something a little darker in nature, drop on over to these dark tourist destinations in India.

Local Connections and Warmth

We enlivened our trek by interacting with local people along the way and giving it a cultural dimension. The hospitality and friendliness of the residents in both mountain villages and during a short stopover at Hargaon enabled us to experience the local spirit truly. Such interactions turned into more than simple interviews; they became portraits of the folks’ real, honest-to-goodness lives.

And no one would forget such an encounter without ever thinking about it again! Whether through the mountain villages or in relaxing at Hargaon, or visiting the Taj Mahal, the hospitality shown by people everywhere made our trek not merely a physical challenge but also an opportunity to experience another culture. For other amazing vacations in India, check this out!

You see, these remote villages are inhabited by indigenous communities who have been shaped by their mountainous surroundings. And let me tell you, they’ve got some stories to tell. So, get ready to interact with the locals and soak up some serious insight into their daily lives, occupations, and traditions. It’s like peeking into a different world.

As you reach those higher altitudes, you might come across shepherd communities with some rather intriguing names like “Gujjars” or “Bakkarwals.” These guys are the true rockstars of the mountains, living that semi-nomadic lifestyle, herding their fuzzy little buddies like sheep and goats through the Himalayan meadows. I mean, seriously, they’re like the OG shepherds, guiding their fluffy cohorts to greener pastures. You get a front-row seat to witness their traditional practices in action. From the art of animal husbandry to the fine craft of wool weaving, you’ll get a glimpse into their way of life. It’s like stepping back in time, my friend. Can you imagine the tales these communities could tell?

Local Customs and Traditions

Magh Mela Festival Sangam
credit: Adam Jones from Kelowna, BC, Canada

Religious Sites: This region is practically oozing with spiritual significance, boasting more temples and sacred sites than you can shake a stick at. Pilgrims and devotees flock to these spots like they’re trying to catch the latest pop-up sale. Why? To pay homage, of course, and seek some sweet, sweet blessings. So, when you get your booty over to these religious sites, be sure to show some respect and follow the local customs and traditions. Oh, and that means removing your footwear before entering temples. Yeah, I know, it’s like softcore parkour for your feet, but hey, we gotta give those traditions their due, right?

Festivals and Celebrations: Picture this: colorful rituals, infectious music, and dance moves that could make even the most stone-faced observer bust a move. Festivals like “Magh Mela” and “Phool Dei” in Uttarakhand are bouncy with enthusiasm. Like, seriously, the locals go all out, and it’s infectious. Participating in or just taking in the festivities will immerse you in the local culture and traditions. Trust me, it’s like a backstage pass to the soul of the community.

Cuisine and Culinary Traditions: Time to chow down on some local deliciousness! Along this trek route, you’ll have the chance to satisfy your taste buds with the flavors of the region’s cultural heritage. We’re talking about traditional dishes like “dal bhat,” “roti,” “sabzi,” and “local sweets.” These dishes are the superheroes of the Himalayan region, showcasing unique flavors and ingredients that will knock your socks off. And because we’re all about getting involved, make sure to engage with the locals and do some serious culinary sampling. Girl, dig into their food traditions and culinary practices like you’re on a mission to infiltrate the “Secret Society of Foodies.”

Art and Handicrafts: Time to unleash your inner art connoisseur, my fellow fearless travelers! As you explore the local markets and villages, prepare to have your mind blown by the craftsmanship of the artisans in the region. These talented individuals create exquisite handicrafts like handwoven textiles, wooden carvings, and intricate jewelry. Seriously, they’re like wizards with their craft, conjuring up masterpieces that could make the Mona Lisa blush. Oh, and here’s a little bonus: when you purchase these locally-made handicrafts, you’re not only supporting these badass artisans but also preserving traditional craftsmanship.

Essentials for Kedarkantha

Those crucial essentials made the trek more enjoyable. Indispensable gear included sturdy trekking boots and a, and, not to be overlooked, a good camera for recording the scenery. But equipment is more than just gear, and the right stuff became a symbol of our ability to thrive in this wild terrain. Everything from finding trails to various weather conditions was solved through these most basic things so that all steps of the journey were not only taken but also enjoyed. Having arrived prepared, our trip to Kedarkantha turned out to be a seamless mix of comforts and breathtaking adventure.


Climbing Kedarkantha was not just an exercise in the body, it became a process of exploration, friendship, and pure happiness. There at every turn, Uttarakhand’s beauty makes itself known. The summit sunrise was a memorable one to remember. If you are looking for a hiking experience that combines nature, culture, and adventure into one spectacular package of highs and lows, then Kedarkantha is going to be on your list. Put on your boots, bring some wonder in your heart, and prepare yourself for the trekking experience of a lifetime in Uttarakhand, every rise gives way to phenomenal scenery and epic adventure.

And no matter where you choose for your next trip, always remember to Travel Till You Drop!

About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

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