Valley of Flowers Trek | Uttarakhand’s Most Famous Trek

Valley of Flowers National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the Best National Parks in India and also one of the most famous treks in the Himalayas and ultimate destination for botanists. A trek nestled amongst the peaks of Himalayas, surrounded by peaks like Gauri Parbat (6,590 m) and Rataban (6,126 m), and passes like Kunth Khal (4,430 m), the trek is also a suitable trek for mountaineers and experienced trekkers.

 

How to Reach

Nearest airport to Valley of flowers- Jolly Grant Airport

Nearest railway station to Valley of flowers- Haridwar

To reach Rishikesh take an overnight bus from Delhi or a flight if you’re coming from a distant city.

You can reach Joshimath through two ways:

    1. By private/reserved vehicle  Cabs can be hired right from the airport or railway station to reach Joshimath. The costs would be between INR 7000-8000. The journey will be 9-10hour of drive.
    2. By bus – A bus leaves every morning from Rishikesh bus stand at 5 am. Prices range between INR 400-500.

 

Where to Stay

There are many hotels, available at reasonable cost, in Ghangharia and Joshimath.

 

Valley of Flowers – Trek Itinerary

Day 1 – Rishikesh to Joshimath

Day 2 – Joshimath to Pulna to Ghangharia

Day 3 – Ghangharia to Valley of flowers and back

Day 4 – Ghangharia to Hemkund Sahib and back

Day 5 – Ghangharia to Joshimath

 

Valley of Flowers Trek – Route in Detail

 

Day 1 – Rishikesh to Joshimath

The first day is relatively easier as you’ll be on road the entire day. A hectic and long journey, the road from Rishikesh to Joshimath runs along Alaknanda River the entire time. You will reach Joshimath by late evening so it is advisable to book a hotel beforehand.

Time – 9-10 hours

Distance – 255km

 

Day 2 – Joshimath to Pulna to Ghangharia

To reach the starting point of the trek, you’ll have to reach Pulna via a cab from Joshimath. On the way, you’ll cross Govindghat where you will have to register your ID at the checkpoint. From Pulna, a paved trail leads to Ghangharia. 5 km in the trail (mid point of the trail), you’ll spot various joints to eat at and this is the time to grab some lunch. The next 5 km is steep and is dotted with various small river outlets which makes the trail quite slippery. On reaching Ghangharia, you’ll find various hotels at reasonable prices.

Time – 5 hours

Distance – 10km

 

Day 3 – Ghangharia to Valley of Flowers

A trail starts as soon as you walk ahead of Ghangharia. To reach the valley, you’ll have to make a small payment at the forest check point. From the forest check point keep trekking until the trail opens up to a vast valley blanketed with endemic alpine flowers. Some of the flower species that you’ll be able to spot are- blue poppy, orchids, primulas, Himalayan bell flowers, Stephania, Meifolia and Geraniaceae. The clear sky, the sun kissing the valley, the flowerbed, the peaks in the background, the glacier and the river flowing through the valley are elements that defines the astonishing beauty of this place. By noon you can start trekking back to Ghangharia as camping in the valley is banned by the government.

Time – 2 hours

Distance – 4 km

 

Day 4 – Ghangharia to Hemkund Sahib

Besides trekking to Valley of Flowers, you can also visit the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara situated at a height of 4,633 m. It is known to be the highest gurudwara in the world where Guru Nanak attained enlightenment. The trail to Hemkund is paved and is steep and slippery. Yet you’ll find many pilgrims walking till the top barefoot! Besides the caretakers of the gurudwara, no one else can stay at the top. Hence, you’ll have to head back to Ghangharia for the night.

Time – 3-4 hours

Distance – 6km

 

Day 5 – Ghangharia to Joshimath

To head back to Joshimath, you will have to take the same trail back to Pulna and a cab from there.

Time – 3 hours of trekking, 1 Hour to reach Joshimath from Pulna

 

Best Time to go for Valley of Flowers Trek

The best time to visit valley of flowers is during the monsoon season i.e between June-September. This is the period in which the flowers bloom to the peak.

 

Things to remember

Here is a list of extra essentials that may come handy while trekking in monsoons:

      • Since the best time to go to Valley of Flowers is during monsoons, a good raincoat is a must. The rain renders a poncho useless after a while.
      • Carry at least 3-4 pairs of socks if you’re trekking during monsoons. Trekking in wet socks can be a nightmare and cause damage to the skin.
      • A full sized towel is a must in this trek.
      • Newspaper helps in drying the shoes overnight. They are quite essential during monsoons. Make sure you pack accordingly to leave some space for newspaper.
      • Paper bags: Your waste is your responsibility. The valley is an Eco sensitive zone and any form of litter will disturb its balance. It is highly recommended to carry your own little dustbin to avoid any form of pollution.

 

Also check out these Himalayan Trek Guides that we have shared on this website, and don’t forget to Pin this detailed guide about Valley of Flowers Trek for future reference.

Valley of Flowers Trek Guide | Uttarakhand, India | High on Himalayas
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