Bali Pass is a trekking route that connects the Yamunotri Valley to Har Ki Dun valley through Ruinsara lake. Highlights of the Bali Pass trek are its changing landscapes from pine and fir forests, riverside camps, the surreal villages of Har Ki Dun valley, beautiful waterfalls, alpine lake of Ruinsara, meadows overlooking Swargarohini peak, snow cappped mountain tops and base camp & a thrilling high altitude summit like crossing, and the list goes on. The pass is more approachable from the Har Ki Dun valley as the gradient is less steep and gives good time for the trekkers to acclimatize to the altitude. The trek starts from Sankri and passes through the Govind National Park, which is famous for its wild flowers. It also gives one an opportunity to visit the sacred lake at Ruinsara on the way and to explore the less travelled path over Yamunotri pass to Yamunotri temple.
Bali Pass trek has a lot to offer apart from its isolation and a challenging pass climb. We are surrounded either by the mighty Swargarohini or Bandarpunch ranges at almost all times. We get to see Kalanag (Black Peak) up close. This peak was first summited by Jack Gibson in 1955 and the students of Doon school. We spend a full day beside the glacial Ruinsara Lake, and walk across the two delightfully pretty meadows of Devsu Thatch and Thanga. One of our camps will be beside a waterfall and another one lies above 4,000m. We stand a chance of spotting some of the wildlife of the Uttarakhand Himalayas — monals, the Himalayan ibex and the endangered brown bear.
- Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri | 8 hrs drive
- Day 2: Sankri (1,920 m) to Seema (2,560 m) | Drive: 1 hr; Trek: 5-6 hrs
- Day 3: Seema (2,560 m) to Roiltia or Waterfall camp (3,350 m) | Trek: 6-7 hrs
- Day 4: Roiltia to Ruinsara lake (3,600 m) | Trek: 2 hrs
- Day 5: Rest day at Ruinsara lake
- Day 6: Ruinsara lake to Odari (4,100 m) | Trek: 4-5 hrs
- Day 7: Odari (4,100 m) to upper Dhamni (4,000 m) via Bali pass (4,900 m) | Trek: 7-8 hrs
- Day 8: Upper Dhamni (4,000 m) to Yamunotri to Janki Chatti (2,400 m) | 7-8 hrs
- Day 9: Janki Chatti to Dehradun | Drive: 7 hrs
Dehradun to Sankri drive
- 7 hours' drive/ 187 km
Our journey begins from Dehradun, making it a good option for people looking for treks near Delhi. Driving alongside the Tons river, and passing villages in Uttarakhand like Damta, Purola, Mori, and Netwar, we will reach the base camp Sankri. There is no network in this village, letting us take in the sight of the sun gloriously setting over the surrounding Greater Himalayan peaks without any distractions. We will be accommodated in hotels or homestays here.
Sankri (1,920 m) to Seema (2,560 m)via Taluka (2,050 m)
- 1 hour drive
- 5-6 hours' hike/14 km
After a hearty breakfast, we will be transported to Taluka by car. The motor able road in Govind Pashu National Park ends here. The trek commences on a stony path alongside the gushing river Supin. We also see plantations of the red-coloured Himalayan crop amaranth, locally known as cholai. Under the shade of walnut, pine, deodar and maple trees, the walk is as pleasant as the villagers greeting us on the way.
A few hours and crossing over a few streams later, we see the village of Gangad across the river on the left. We continue our hike and after about an hour, the quaint village of Osla unfolds itself. Osla is a household name among trekkers. Home to about 200 families, it gives us a peek into Garwahli culture. Seema is a tiny settlement opposite to Osla on the other side of the river. We set camp here or stay in a hut with a local family in the village.
Seema (2,560 m) to Roiltia or Waterfall camp (3,350 m)
- 6-7 hours hike/13 km
Leaving the last of human settlements behind, we continue along the true left of the valley along the river Supin. Supin merges with Rupin near Netwar village to form Tons, which is the biggest tributary of river Yamuna.
An ascend through deodar trees leads us to a beautiful meadow – Devsu Thatch. This 1km expanse of green land is set against the looming Swargarohini ranges. We can also see Kalanag (Black Peak) (6387m) straight ahead. On our left, we can see Har Ki Dun Valley. At its bottom lies the confluence of Har Ki Dun and Ruinsara rivers.
After descending from the meadow, we enter the Ruinsara valley. At the end of today's trek, we camp beside the stream close to the waterfall locally known as Roiltigad or Roiltia.
Waterfall to Ruinsara lake (3,600 m)
- 2 hours hike/4 km
Today's journey is going to take in under 2 hours even at a slow pace. And within this hike itself we notice a stark change in vegetation. Pine and fir trees give way to birch and rhododendron trees. The thick forest we trudge through is frequented by the endangered Himalayan brown bear. If we are very lucky, we might spot this rare and elusive creature.
We then reach one of the highlights of the trek — Ruinsara Tal, an alpine tarn, surrounded by lush Rhododendron trees, with their distinct pink bloom in the summers. We will be left enchanted by this sacred lake in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. It is one of the trio of lakes in the Garhwal region, the other two lakes being Marinda and Maldaru. We will be camping overnight near the lake.
Ruinsara lake - rest and explore
Lying at an elevation of about 3500 m, Ruinsara lake is a good place to acclimatize ourselves before reaching Bali Pass base camp the next day.
Ruinsara Tal’s reputation precedes itself for its beauty. The small and pristine lake lies within a vast meadow, alpine vegetation and surrounding rhododendron bushes. There is innumerable variety of alpine flowers growing around the lake. The river Supin is situated 100 meters below the lake, next to a ridge.
It is the perfect place to play games with our trek mates, read a good book or just sit quietly to soak in nature’s tranquillity.
We can also spend the day exploring nearby places. One can trek towards the Banderpunch glacier or Kyarkoti which is the base camp for Kalanag and Dumdar Kandi pass.
We return to the camp in the evening.
Ruinsara lake to Odari (4,100 m)
- 4h hike/4 km
We start the day early so as to reach our destination before afternoon. We descend down to the shallow river bed, cross over to the opposite bank and walk uphill to another beautiful meadow – Thanga. This meadow also offers awe-inspiring views of the seemingly omnipresent Swargarohini ranges. Kyarkoti valley lies towards the left.
We soon reach Odari. The word ‘Odari’ means a naturally made cave rock. This place has a mythological story associated with it. It is believed that Bali, Hanuman’s brother, had stayed here for one night. Here too we might find evidence of the rare Himalayan brown bear. We camp below Bali Pass along a glacial moraine. This is the one of the best locations for a camp, with the valley below and the Pass behind us. The temperatures at night tend to go to sub-zero degrees. Camping at this altitude is a unique experience which very few treks offer.
Odari (4,100 m) to upper Dhamni (4,000 m) via Bali pass (4,900 m)
- 7 hours hike/15 km
This day of crossing Bali Pass too begins very early. We strive to reach the summit by 8am. The trail heads down south, over a ridge. It is a fairly short but steep climb up to the Pass. A lot of glacial scree will be encountered here. Time taken to reach the top ranges from 45 minutes to one and a half hours.
Once we reach the top, we behold the Yamunotri valley for the first time. The view is breath- taking. We see hints of the Saptrishi Kund, which is the origin of river Yamuna. We also get to witness the Banderpunch peaks from the top of the Pass. The summits of Dayara Bugyal, Barua Top and Dokrani Bamak are visible too. We then descend carefully via a connecting ridge and reach the camping grounds of upper Dhamni.
Upper Dhamni to Yamunotri to Janki Chatti (2,400 m)
- 7-8 hours hike/16 km
We descend further to a forested trail. This path leads us to the famous shrine of Yamunotri with the glorious Bandarpunch in its background. One of the temples in the Char Dham circuit, it is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. After paying obeisance to her black marble idol, we make our way down the conventional pilgrim road to Janki Chatti. We stay overnight in one of the guesthouses here. We will get electricity but no phone network.
Janki Chatti to Dehradun
- 7 h drive/180 km
This is the final day of the trip and we drive back to Dehradun. We can make the most of this jourey by visiting other well-known places that fall on this route such as Kempty waterfalls, Nainbagh and Mussourie.
With equally beautiful memories of an offbeat trek and touristy sight-seeing, we have a cherishable experience.
Thing to carry:
- Trekking Boots: Waterproof, high ankle with good grip.
- One Raincoat/Poncho
- Windproof Jacket
- Wind & waterproof pant
- 2-3 t-shirts/shirts, preferably quick dry
- 2 trousers (avoid shorts, fitting denims, capris)
- Warm Fleece, Alternative: a woolen sweater
- Extra pair of socks
- Thermal inner wears
- One pair of woolen socks
- Waterproof thick gloves
- Waterproof Rucksack or Rucksack with rain-cover
- Water Bottle
- Slippers/Sandals/Floaters: Non-slippery
- Hat or sun protection cap
- Woolen cap/scarf
- Head Torch (hand torch would be an alternative)
- Sunglasses (it should be UV protected.) or use Photo chromatic glasses.
- Identitiy cards
- Personal Toiletries (toothbrush,toothpaste etc)
- Hand Sanitizer
- Wet and dry tissues
- Toilet paper roll
- Personal medical kit
- Sunscreen cream, moisturizer, lip balm
- If cancellation is done 10 days or more before the start of the trek: 75% will be refunded of the total trip cost.
- If cancellation is done 7-9 days prior to the start of the trek: 50% will be refunded of the total trip cost.
- If the cancellation is done 0-6 days before the start of the trek: No refund .
- No show: No refund.
Avoid wearing precious Jewellery while trekking, as Team TT won’t be responsible for any losses for the same.
Consuming liquor or any kind of Alcoholic substance is prohibited. Carrying any kind of substance that’s illegal is not allowed. Smoking is strictly not allowed. Anybody found smoking or consuming alcoholic drinks will be expelled from the event without refund.
Fitness & Health – Though trekking is a fun-filled activity, it demands good amount of physical fitness. If you are under medication, please carry your medicines. During the trek, leaders will have over the counter medication for temporary treatment, so do give a heads up to them if you need any medical assistance.
Peaks & Mountain Ranges
- Black Peak/Kalanag (6,387 m) (Visible on the way to waterfall camp from Seema)
- Swargarohini I (6,252 m), II, III (The entire Southern Face is prominently visible from near Ruinsara lake till the top of the pass)
- Banderpoonch (6,316 m) (Visible from top of the pass)
- Lower peaks - Har ki Dun peak, Hata peak, Ruinsara peak
- Dayara Bugyal is visible from top of the pass
- Yamuna during first and last day's drive.
- Tons during first day's drive.
- Supin during first trek day, which originates from the confluence of several streams from Har ki Dun valley.
- Indian Crested Porcupine
- Yellow throated marten
- Wild boar
- Black bear - The Himalayan black bear lives in the lower upper altitude of tree line and can be spotted with luck along the trail to Ruinsara Lake ahead of Seema, the last settlement along the trekking route.
- Blue Sheep/ Bharal - These avid climbers can be spotted across the sharp ridge lines in the upper reaches of the sanctuary.
- Brown Bear - The brown bear adores the upper Himalayan reaches and its traces can be spotted around the campsite of Thanga, especially towards the trails that head further east towards the Dhumdhar Kandi Pass.
- Endangered bird species such as golden eagle, the steppe eagle and the black eagle, the bearded vulture reside in the sanctuary, which make it a popular place for bird watchers.
What is included in the tour
- Transport support from Dehradun to Dehradun
- Starting from a pickup on Day 1 to drop last day
- All vegetarian meals starting from dinner on day 1 breakfast on the last day
- Professional guide, cook and support staff
- Rent for camping equipment
- Clean sleeping bags and mats
- Good quality ‘A’ shaped or dome tents
- Kitchen tents, common tents, toilet tents with portable toilet seats
- Crampons if required
- Forest entry charges for Indian nationals
- For non-Indian passport holders; there will be an additional charge
- Porter and mule support to carry camping equipment and NOT personal luggage
- Tented accommodation throughout the trek on a twin sharing basis
- Guesthouse accommodation on the first and last day on twin sharing basis
- INR 2100 extra for single sharing throughout the trek
- All applicable taxes
What is NOT included in the tour
- Personal expenses like tips, personal medicines, phone calls etc.
- Any transport support during the trek apart from what is included above
- Any cost or services not mentioned in the Inclusions
- Accommodation in Dehradun
- Cost arising due to unforeseen incidents like bad weather, medical evacuation, road blocks etc
- Porter/mule charges to carry personal luggage