Kedarkantha Trek is Uttarakhand’s most famous trek, especially during the winters. Situated at a height of 3850m above sea level deep inside the Tons river valley, it offers spectacular 360 degree views of the mighty peaks around. Not only does one get to see the peaks of Uttarakhand, but also of Himachal Pradesh. The trail goes through snow covered landscape dotted with blanketed pine trees. It is a different world in itself during these winter months. We also recommend this trek to those who are planning to trek during the winters for the first time.
How to reach Sankri ?
Nearest Airport to Kedarkantha trek – Jolly Grant
Nearest Railway Station to Kedarkantha trek – Dehradun Railway Station
By private Vehicle – You can book a cab from Dehradun/Mussoorie. Prices range between INR 8000-10,000
By public transport – A bus leaves every morning from Dehradun Railway Station for Sankri, the starting point of the trek.
Where to Stay in Sankri ?
There are few hotel and home-stays in Sankri from which you can choose from. We recommended:
When is the best time to do the Kedarkantha Trek?
Kedarkantha trek is open all year round but is essentially categorised as a winter trek.
Best months to visit – November to February
What is the Itinerary for Kedarkantha Trek?
Day 1 – Dehradun to Sankri
Day 2 – Sankri to Juda ka Talab
Day 3 – Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp
Day 4 – Basecamp to Peak and back to Sankri
Day 5 – Sankri to Dehradun
Kedarkantha Trek Route
Day 1 – Dehradun to Sankri
The journey from Dehradun to Sankri is a beautiful one. On reaching Mussoorie we gain altitude and from there onwards we are surrounded with forests all over. We cross towns like Purola and Mori before reaching Sankri. The atmosphere of the valley is blessed with sweet pine scent.
Distance – 190 km
Time – 9-10 hours
Day 2 – Sankri to Juda Ka Talab
We recommend you to start Day 2 early as it involves steep climbing the entire time. After crossing the forest check point at Sankri, you will see a trail, on your right, that leads inside the forest. The trail takes you into the pine forest and starts to climb sharply until you reach a ridge after a while. There is only one trail that leads to Juda Ka Talab so continue on the path till you reach there. It is advisable to not walk on the frozen lake as the ice may crack anytime.
Distance – 4 – 5 kms
Time – 3 hours
Day 3 – Juda ka Talab to Basecamp
Day 3 is relatively easier as you only need you reach the Kedarkantha basecamp. Moving past Juda Ka Talab, a trail takes you deeper into the dense pine forests. On reaching the basecamp, enjoy the rest of the day soaking the sun before the chill sets in.
Distance – 4-5 kms
Time – 2 -3 hours
Day 4 – Basecamp to Summit to Sankri
The journey to the Kedarkantha summit begins as early as 3 am. You will reach the summit by sunrise. From the summit you’ll will get a 360 degree view of Uttarakhand, Chaainsheel Pass and Kailash ranges of Himachal. Peaks like Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, Black peak, Ranglana among the Yamunotri and Gangotri ranges are clearly visible. From the top, you can also see the Har Ki Dun valley below. After enjoying your time at the summit, start descending towards the Basecamp and from there to Sankri.
Distance – 12-15 kms
Time – 3 hours to summit/ 5 – 6 hours to Sankri
Day 5 – Sankri to Dehradun
You will have to take the same picturesque drive back to Dehradun. The landscape slowly changes from pine forests to wider roads as we head back towards Dehradun, finally opening up into the bustling city life.
Things to remember for Kedarkantha Trek
As a winter trek, Kedarkantha can be challenging if not prepared for. Here are some of the essentials that are absolutely necessary for this trek:
- All networks besides BSNL stop working after Purola.
- Water proof shoes – As you will trek on the snow, waterproof and warm shoes are necessary to keep your feet warm.
- Windproof jacket – The Kedarkantha Basecamp is know to be quite chilly because it isn’t surrounded by trees. A windproof jacket is essential to protect yourself from the harsh winter wind.
- Head torch – The summit to the peak begins at 3 am. Head-torch is a must.
- Sunglasses – If you decide to trek in the winter months, sunglasses are essential to protect the eyes from the harsh sun reflection of the snow.
- Warm thermals – Temperatures plummet down to -8 degree Celsius at night. Warm thermals are a must during the entire trek.
- Thick waterproof gloves – Exposure at night and early morning can be quite painful. It is thus necessary to protect your hands at all times.
You might also like to check out this video by our community member Abhimanyu Singh Dalal who popularly goes by the name – Outside My Rucksack
Also check out these Himalayan Trek Guides that we have shared on this website, and don’t forget to Pin this detailed guide about Kedarkantha Trek for future reference.
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Ambika is an avid traveller and trekker who loves to hop from one mountain to another. She is extremely passionate about backpacking, mountaineering and adventure sports including skiing and surfing. Currently studying in Delhi University as a political science student, she jumps on a bus whenever possible and tries to find a story in every corner while travelling, penning down her thoughts.