About the Kuari Pass
Located in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, Kuari, which means 'doorway' in the local language, lies south of the Tibet border and on the western edge of the Nanda Devi Biosphere Reserve
It is surrounded on all sides by imposing mountain ranges that include the Kamet, which extends up to a dizzying height of 25,446 feet.
About the Kuari Pass trek
The Kuari Pass trail is one of the few trekking destinations that are open in the winter and is a popular end-of-the-year trek. Also known as the Lord Curzon Trail, this trek is a moderately challenging one. Barring one day when you’ll put your climbing muscles to the test as you climb to Pangarchulla Peak, which stands tall at 15,419 feet.
Your guides will take you through a brief course on climbing techniques, and may even rope up certain sections if needed. The trek is perfect for beginners and those who want to experience the grandeur and majesty of the Himalayas.
What you’ll do on the Kuari Pass trek
The Kuari Pass trail takes you through endless green meadows, alpine forests, and past towering Himalayan peaks.
As trekkers walk through lush fields, drink from alpine streams and visit remote villages, they are rewarded with enchanting 360-degree views of the Chaukhamba Range to one side while the summits of Mana, Kamet and Abl Gamin extend on the other side all the way to the Tibet border.
At night, you and your group will stop at magnificent campsites, enjoying delicious hot meals and sleep like babies in fresh, warm sleeping bags under the stars. As you approach the snow-covered slopes near Pangarchulla, you’ll receive the full mountain experience of roping up and clambering over boulders.
There's no half-ways on this trek. Every sight, every peak, every meadow - the scenery is larger than life and makes for a dramatic trek that you'll never forget.
Best season for the Kuari Pass trek
During the summer, the trek is gorgeous, and will give you unlimited views of greenery and mountain peaks in the distance. The camping experience is wonderful, and you’ll have cool nights and pleasant days.
However, if you’re looking for a fun challenge, try the Kuari Pass winter trek. The trails are covered in snow, and you’ll have stunning views of the landscape blanketed in white.
In the winter, the Kuari Pass trek is even more magnificent, thanks to the blankets of snow covering everything. During this trek, you’ll get to see how winter completely transforms the green pine forests and the stark rock faces into sparkling white perfection.
The trail gives you some of the finest views of Himalayan giants like Nanda Devi, Dronagiri, and Trishul. It is said that the views on the Kuari Pass winter trek are the best in the Indian Himalayas
Dehradun to Sankri drive
- 7-8 hours' drive/ 187 km
We start the journey early from Dehradun and drive initially to the famous hill station of Mussoorie. After just over 100 km, we pass close to the temple of Lakhamandal. According to locals, Duryodhana of the epic Mahabharata conspired to burn the Lakshagriha house of the Pandavas in this area. Damta, Purola, Mori and Netwar are some of the other villages on the route. We follow the river Yamuna upstream. The river Kamal Ganga merges with Yamuna near Naugaon and accompanies us till Purola. Purola is the last big settlement on the route with a large market. So, it is recommended that the trekkers can buy anything they might have missed out by Purola itself. It also is the last village where most of the mobile networks work.
The drive after Purola is through a beautiful forest of pine trees. In some distance, on top of a hill we can see the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya overlooking the valley. From near the village of Mori, the river Tons flows beside us till about Netwar. The fall in temperature can be felt from here. We officially enter Govind Pashu Vihar Wildlife Sanctuary after we cross a check post at Netwar. It can be considered the southern gateway to the sanctuary as most of the treks across the region are accessed from here onwards. The northern border of the sanctuary merges into Himachal Pradesh. Close to here, the rivers of Rupin and Supin merge to form Tons, which is the largest tributary of Yamuna and in fact larger than Yamuna itself, in terms of volume of flow. The peak of Kedarkantha can be seen from various points along the way from here.
We reach Sankri by early evening. It is a small village with a central market lined with a few shops. The village has numerous apple orchards which are harvested starting from late summer. The market area is new compared to the old village area, a part of which is known as 'Saud'. We rest at night in a guest house or in camps.
Sankri to Puani Garat (2,500 m)
- 1 hour drive
- 5-6 hours' trek/ 12 km
Since, the journey is long, we start as early as we can in the morning. After breakfast we board an SUV and drive through a forest road. The drive is quite bumpy. The vehicle crosses one or two streams on the way. We reach Taluka in about an hour. It is a small village with a few shops and two Government guest houses. The trek commences from here on a stony path. The fragrance of cedar trees can be felt around Taluka. Sometimes during winters, or especially during periods with rather heavy spells of rain, the road to Taluka may be too dangerous for vehicles, as streams run across the road and thus one may be required to walk a stretch of around 8 km up to Taluka, albeit it is only occasional.
We walk close to the river Supin gushing through rapids. Under the shade of walnut, pine and cedar trees, the walk is quite pleasant. In autumn we can often find walnuts lying around. One must avoid "bichchu ghas" which literally translates to 'scorpion grass'. A slight touch can give us stinging sensation which lasts for about twenty to thirty minutes. This herb is also cooked as a vegetable and eaten. Often the passing villagers greet us on the way. High up above on the true left, we get to see the village of Datmer. It is lined by series of step farms. The farms have the bright red colored Cholai growing from late monsoon to early autumn.
The path crosses over a few streams which merge with Supin. After a few hours of walk the village of Gangad can be seen towards the left, across the river. It is possible to come across a yellow throated marten in the forests of this area. We can also find edible fruits of seabuckthorn. They are orange in color and grow in bunches. Also, known as 'leh berries', the juicy and sour fruits are a rich source of Vitamin C. We continue our trek and soon we reach the secluded campsite at Puani Garat.
Puani Garat to Kalkatidhar (3,300 m)
- 3 hours' trek/ 5-6 km
Today we start the day by heading up towards Osla village, which is located on a sloping spur about a hundred meters above the river Supin. The landscape surrounding Osla is full of terraced farms. The colors of these lands differ in every season. The red farms of Cholai (Amaranth) look amazing and can be seen from late monsoon. Osla is the last village on the route to Har ki Dun. From Osla the trail gradually rises higher and the river can be seen far below. We come across a temple some distance below the trail towards the right. We pass through bushes of flowers like orchids, fleece flowers and sunflowers. The ascending path climbs high above the confluence of Supin river and the river from Ruinsara valley. From near this confluence, we get a view of the snow-clad peaks of Ruinsara valley including Black Peak, the highest peak in the region.
The journey today is rather short, which gives the opportunity to acclimatize to the high altitude and prepare for the next days journey. We can take a breather basking in the sun at the beautiful campsite of Kalkatidhar. The ban to camp at Har Ki Dun has had a rather positive outlook to the trekking itinerary, as it allows for more comfort & at the same time preserves the natural beauty of Har Ki Dun.
Kalkatidhar to Har ki Dun & Marinda Tal, return to Kalkatidhar
- 6-7 hours' trek/ 14 km
The days trek can be considered to be rather long as we today visit Har Ki Dun and Marinda Tal, a small lake formation due to the obstructing boulder across the river stream, which lies 2 KM further ahead of Har Ki Dun. As we start the trek, at a short distance a hidden and roaring waterfall is encountered with a small tea shop beside the waterfall.
After traversing higher up along the true right of the river, we enter the final stretch which is inside a forest. The forest opens up into the main camping area of Har ki Dun, right beside the gurgling stream. This is a very panoramic spot in Har ki Dun located at the junction of two valleys, one originating from Jaundhar glacier and the other from beyond Hata glacier. Higher up towards the North we can spot the Forest Rest House, while the wood crafted GMVN guest house lies further up in the distance. The Har ki Dun peak stands tall right in front of us behind the Forest Rest House. Towards its left, Hata peak which is usually snow covered can be seen. The minor ridge to our right, lined with a few scattered Himalayan birch trees Bhojpatra separates us from the massive Har Ki Dun valley that goes up all the way to the base of Swargarohini Peak. The paper like bark of these trees was used in ancient times to write religious scriptures.
The vast open meadows following the course of the Supin river can be explored. Further ahead of the meadows one can walk among the forests of Bhojpatra trees (Himalayan birch) or get a closer glimpse of the Jaundhar glacier and Swargarohini peak, for which we will have to head updwards the Har Ki Dun valley, towards the Swargaroini peak in the eastern direction.
We can choose to relax and soak in the environment for some time or we can continue our trek to Marinda Tal, in the north, just 2-3 km away from Har ki Dun. The trail is gradually ascending here. It is a small lake formed by a huge boulder obstructing the river which flows down from the base of the Borasu pass.
After our short visit to Marinda Tal we make our return journey back to Kalkatidhar. We take the same route and it becomes much easier as its all downhill from here. We reach back by early evening and rest at the campsite.
Kalkatidhar to Puani Garat(2,500 m)
- 3 to 4 hours' trek/ 10 km
The journey back to Osla is an easy walk. On the route we come across a good view of the trail all the way to Osla and see the valley descend towards Taluka, around the curve of the ridge where the two streams comng from Har Ki Dun and Ruinsara respectively, converge. A little short of this intersection we can get a glimpse of a trail to our left marked by a sight of a bridge down over the stream. This trail goes to join the trail to Ruinsara lake and is rarely taken. After reaching Osla, one can roam about in the village, talk to locals and soak in the Garhwali culture. We continue our journey from here to our earlier campsite of Puani Garat where we can spend time basking in the sun.
Puani Garat to Sankri
- 4 to 5 hours' trek: 12 km
- 1 hour drive
Early in the morning, post breakfast we set out from this beautiful abode as we start trekking through the same trail we trekked along on Day 1, towards Taluka. Although the views seem different as the perspective changes signficantly trekking downhill. The walk takes lesser time than before and is enjoyable. We walk to the true left of the River Supin until we finally arrive at Taluka, from where a vehicle takes us back to Sankri. We retire for the day in camp alongside the river or in a guest house in Sankri.
Sankri to Dehradun
- 8 hours drive
The trek to Har ki Dun concludes today as we leave Sankri and reach Dehradun by late afternoon or early evening.
Things 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
- Trekking Pole
- 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 rolls
- 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.
Mountain Ranges/ Peaks
- Black Peak/Kalanag (6,387 m) (Visible on the way to Har ki Dun from Osla)
- Swargarohini I (6,252 m), II, III (The entire North Face is prominently visible from Har ki Dun camp)
- Lower peaks - Har ki Dun peak, Hata peak
- Yamuna during first and last day's drive.
- Tons during first and last day's drive.
- Supin during rest of the days, which originates from the confluence of several streams from Har ki Dun and Ruinsara valley.
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
- Adventure Insurance
- 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
- Can be arranged at an additional cost of INR 300 per day (1 soft bag per person < 12 kg)