Har Ki Dun Trek – Trekking is fun when done with the like-minded trekkers and in the best place where trekking is the heart activity. The unpredictable weather, uneven lands, unknown people, unforeseen circumstances, and a lot of sudden decisions add to the fun element of trekking.
Uttarakhand is one of those states that attracts a lot of adventure lovers every year and a lot of trekkers as well. The state has a lot of trekking options. One amazing place for trekking is Har ki Dun trek in the Uttarakhand state. You got to experience this trek if you are an avid trekker.
About Har Ki Dun Trek
One of the best and the most popular trekking spots of Uttarakhand is Har ki Dun trek. Har ki Dun trek is called to be the stairways to the heaven. You would be taken to the ancient Himalayan villages to explore them by trekking through the Har Ki Dun valley.
Every adventure lover and the trekking enthusiast has the Har Ki Dun trek in his bucket list. If you are an avid trekker or a professional trekker and you do not try out this trek then you would be missing out on a lot of fun. You can view the most spectacular scenes of the Himalayas while being on this trek.
The place is situated at a height of 3566 metres in the western Ganges which is evidently quite high. Har ki Doon is also famous by the name of Hanging Valley of Gods which is a cradle shaped valley. The trek is famous for dense forest and sparkling peaks. The Har ki Dun valley can be explored by starting from the Govind National Park.
Along with these, you will come across a lot of beautiful sights which makes the trek even more happening and soothing. The trekkers are given enough time to explore the vicinity and indulge themselves in the beauty of nature.
We advise you to take your cameras for sure while being on this trek because you surely would click tonnes of pictures. The memories that you take back from this trek is totally unwatchable. Talking about some other sceneries that are visible from here are some beautiful mountain ranges like Bandarpoonch, Black Peak, and Swargarohini – I, II, and III all the three at once.
The difficulty level of the trek is from easy to moderate and because of the trek gradient. Not all beginners are advised to go on this trek as this is not basic. If you are a regular or a professional trekker who have ample knowledge of trekking situations and habits, then you can try this trek.
The trail of the trek basically is of meadows, glacier basins, pine forests, moraine ridges, and ancient villages. This trek is believed to have a lot of mythological stories as well as it is associated with the Pandavas stories from the Mahabharata.
The best season to go for the Har Ki Dun trek is during the months of Monsoons to winters. This is the best time to enjoy this trek and the sceneries along with the weather conditions are best during these months of the year.
The Har ki Dun trek is an 8-day trek starting from Sankri.
Day 1 – Reach Sankri
So the Har Ki Dun trek officially starts from the Sankri area. It is a 10-hour drive from Dehradun. The drive from Dehradun to Sankri would take you to amazing sights of Naugaon, Nainbagh, Jarmola, Purola, and Rubin Paas.
Sankri is the base camp and the night will be spent here.
Day 2 – Sankri to Puani Garaat
This starts with a 12 km to drive to Taluka and via Taluka, you will be heading to Puani Garaat through a 13 km trek. The trek gradient is quite easy and you will come across some amazing forest trails.
Day 3 – Puani Garaat to Kalkatiyadhar
The third day is the trek from Puani Garaat to Kalkatiyadhar. The trek is a 7 km trek which would take about 6 hours. This trek is also quite easy with 90 minutes of level walks initially and then followed by the gradually increasing ascents.
Day 4 – Kalkatiyadhaar to Har ki dun
On the 4th day, the trek commences to the Har Ki Dun trek which is a 4 km trek and the time taken for this trek would be around 5 hours. You would be easily viewing the meadows from here and the confluence of the two rivers.
You would have to climb the boulders and finally reach the forest stretch. The view here is simply gorgeous.
Day 5 – Sight-Seeing Har ki Dun Campsite
The fifth day is a fun day where you would be staying at the Har Ki Dun campsite and exploring the whole place. You will be resting at the place and exploring the sights of the peaks.
Day 6 – Har ki Dun to Puani Garaat
On the 6th day, the trek would be commencing back to Pualani Garaat from Har ki Dun. It is an 11 km trek and would take around 6 to 7 hours to move downwards. You will be trekking back on the same route that you took for coming. The trek gradient is easy.
Day 7 – Puani Garaat to Taluka and Drive to Sankri
This one is again a trek back to Taluka and then drive back to Sankri. This one is a 13 km trek following the same route and then 12 km drive to Sankri. The time taken would be around 8 hours. It would be the same route for the trek back which you took before.
Day 8 – Reach Dehradun from Sankri
Finally, the trek ends when you have to drive back from Sankri to Dehradun.
Location and How to Reach
The Har ki Dun trek is located in the Uttarakhand region. The highest altitude of the third trek is 11,700 feet.
The trek starts basically from Dehradun. And Dehradun is very well connected with airways, roadways, and railways.
The Jolly Grant airport is the domestic airport of Dehradun and it is well connected with all the cities of India. The railway station of Dehradun is the Dehradun railway station and it also is connected with all the cities.
You can also choose the roadways and chose the bus journeys for reaching Dehradun. You can either opt for public transport as well your private transport.
Any of these mediums is convenient to reach the city. You can choose the one that you prefer. And then from Dehradun, you have to take a drive to Sankri to start the trek. The trek starts from Sankri and all the trekkers would be taken to Sankri via the drive.
Things to Carry
A Backpack with all your necessities to cover the entire Har ki Dun trek.
A rain cover because you cannot predict the Har Ki Dun hiking temperature. The climate is really unpredictable and the temperature even falls incredibly during the daytime which you would not have thought.
Water bottles and all your refreshments which include all sorts of hydration packs which you prefer to keep you energized.
Snacks like the energy bars and the protein bars which would give you instant energy during your trek. During the non-meal hours, you can eat these and get back on the track with full energy.
Personal Medical Kit with all the necessary first aid items and medicines which you feel you will need. It is always advisable to take medicines for dizziness, upset stomach, headache, and cold and cough while being in Himalayan camps or anywhere.
Pack your outfits with all the relatable clothing items like wind and waterproof jackets, t-shirts, track pants, thermal inners, trekking shoes and fleece jackets. All the necessary winter outfits for the winter treks.
All the toiletries products in a bag because you will need them the most.
Also do not forget to take your extra accessories like the sunglasses, caps, gloves, walking stick, torch, and similar other items. These products are really important and you would not get the chance to buy them anywhere while being on the trek.
You must avoid the sports shoes, jeans, and shorts while going to the Himalayan camp. It is always better to stick to the trek pants and the joggers. They keep you comfortable and perfectly fine while walking up and down the rocky ridges.
We also advise you to keep extra joggers with you. And as far as possible to stick to the thicker fabrics because it would be cold over there.
Do carry a pair of gloves as you will need them the most.
The difficulty level of this trek is moderate. The trek is not an easy or a basic one. The beginners or the unprofessional trekkers do not generally prefer this trek because of the strenuous trek gradients. It is an 8-day trek so it becomes quite difficult for the beginners to survive.
The trek gradient and trail of the trek make it difficult. The normal and the regular trekkers do not go on this trek. The professional trekkers consider this trek to be a fun one and most of them definitely have this on their bucket list.
The highest altitude of the trek is 11, 700 feet and it is quite high. This makes the trek quite difficult for the new trekkers. The meadows, forest trails, ridges, and the climate makes it a tough trek. The climate of the place is also challenging and this makes the trek a difficult one.
The chilly winds in the forest trail, with the lakes all around, and under the sky make the whole ambience cold enough. The best season for this trek is during the months of Monsoons to Winters and this makes the trek tough enough.
ATM Points and Connectivity
The last ATM point that you will get before you start with the Har Ki Dun trek is at Purola. has good connectivity so you can easily find ATMs here.
If the trekkers have to withdraw the money for the emergency use then this is the last accessible spot.
And even the last area to receive the phone connectivity before starting the Har Ki Dun trek will be at Purola and Sankri. As you keep progressing and cross this place, your phone connectivity gets weaker and eventually will be lost as the area after that is not friendly with the phone connectivity.
You may find weaker phone connectivity after Purola till Sankri but finding an ATM would really be difficult.
So, make all your important calls till Purola and do not hold it for Sankri which is 2 hours from Purola. Sankri has weaker signals.
Permissions and Permits
Before going to trek any Himalayan destination including the Har Ki Dun trek, you need to take permission and the permit of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) to let your Himalaya trekking expedition go smooth. It takes one day to issue this permit.
These permits and permissions are really important to take before going on any Indian trek because they are ones who give you the authority to enter a certain region.
If you are going on a trekking expedition through a trekking company then they take these permissions on your behalf and sort your issues. They take the permission for the whole troop. These things make it easier and better to go for any trek in a group that too through trek service providers.
All costs of permissions/permits are included in the package. Even our professionals would do this on your behalf and take all the required permissions.
But the trekkers need to carry their id proofs, and the non-Indian trekkers also need to carry their passports. You must also take your medical certificate along with you to prove that you are fit enough to go on this trek.
My Experience about the Har Ki Dun trek
I had the opportunity to be on the Har Ki Dun trek once and that too solo. Being an avid trekker, I was totally excited to go on this trek and make the most of it. I have been on treks before but I was quite excited and at the same time sceptical about this trek. One thing was sure in my head that I wanted to go on this trek alone. And I did not ask any of friends to accompany me.
I started with researching about the trek and the trek groups online. And I gained quite a decent knowledge about the trek. And post that I researched about the best service providers that would be the best for me for going solo. I got to know that the trek is going to be a tough one and the trek gradient is not easy. And not a lot of people prefer going on this trek.
This piece of information forced me to give a second shot but then I read various stories of real trekkers who have been on this trek earlier. And I was totally motivated. I was excited about walking on the snow and exploring the ancient villages.
Dehradun is one of my favorite towns and I reached there myself which was quite easy. Post that, we had to drive to Sankri with all our trekking buddies. The trekking group had arranged for this drive and that 8-hour drive was so amazing and fun filled. We enjoyed a lot, we came across a lot of mesmerizing sights and we became totally excited to finally trek the Har Ki Dun Valley.
Every day was a fun day because we were looking forward to reach Har ki Dun which was supposed to happen on the 4th day. The trek gradient and the trail was not super easy but we enjoyed it because of the whole atmosphere.
The best two days of the trek were the 4th and the 5th day when had to trek to the Har Ki Dun valley and spend a day there. The 5th day was everyone’s favorite because it was a totally relaxing day where we were exploring the Har Ki Dun valley, the peaks nearby, the sight of the animals, ancient villages, forest trails, ridges, lakes, and a lot of beautiful things. It was an entertaining and a lazying kind of day.
Returning back was also easy because we had to take the same route to return back so we were familiar with the vicinity and the trail. The 8-day trek did not seem hectic at all because we got a break on the 5th day and also because the returning route was same.
This was hands down one of the best experiences and adventures I had in my life. The spectacular views that we got to experience at this trek were simply out of the world.
Which is the best Season to go on a Har ki Dun trek?
The best time to go on a Har ki Dun trek is during the months of Monsoons to Winters. The average temperature of the place during the best seasons is 8 degree to 15-degree centigrade during the daytime. And the average temperature during the night time of the place is -5 degrees centigrade to – 3-degree centigrade.
During these months, the view of the trek is amazing. You would get some amazing and spectacular views of the mountains, peaks, birds, animals, old huts, and ancient villagers. The climate during these months is pleasant. The camping and the trekking activities during this season is always the best.
If you are interested in the trek in the snow then the major winter season is the best time for it. You would be seeing the snow all around. And there is no beauty compared to the beauty of the ice-clad mountains all over, wherever you roll your eyes.
If you are looking for some amazing winter or Monsoon treks then you must choose this trek because the exact beauty of the winters is experienced during these months. Also, during the months of January and February, the trek becomes even more challenging and entertaining. And I am quite sure that you would also agree that there is no fun on the treks which are not challenging. Challenge brings on a lot of fun.
What will be the total expense
The total expense of the Har Ki Dun trek is approx from 10000 to 12000. All the inclusions and the exclusions of the trek is given below.
How to Prepare for this trek
Before you go for trekking the Har Ki Dun, you need to prepare for this trek keeping some points in mind. Do check some of these tips to prepare this trek.
You will need to have a bit of trek planning. Firstly, you must plan the best time that suits you for this trek. We would recommend you to plan the trek during the monsoons and the winter seasons. Second should be the trek planning regarding your service provider. Do a nice research and hire the best service provider.
A serious trek planning is genuinely needed. It is one of the most important things. You could take the help of a guide or the service provider whom you are choosing for the trek and they would plan the best trekking experience for you.
Keep Yourself Ready for the Downpours
Since you cannot predict the temperature and the climate of the Har Ki Dun campsite, so you do not know when would the downpours happen. And we would tell you that a lot of rain sequences would happen.
Do carry those shoes that are best to trek even on the snow and during the rain.
Keep all the Essentials Carefully
We have a list ready for all the things you need to pack for the Har Ki Dun trek so do take all those things for sure. And pack all the essentials that you will need even more than that is mentioned in the list.
Since we told you about the sudden downpours, you have to keep some raincoats and the windcheaters ready. You can also rent some raincoats or purchase them at Sankri.
Maintain Your Wellness
You need to keep up with your wellness while going on any trek. And for the Har Ki Dun trek, you need to keep up with some wellness. You will need to have perseverance. The trek would involve a lot of walking and climb up on the ascent gradient, so the focus would be on the knees and you may go weak there.
So, having amazing lower body strength is really important. It is good to exercise a week prior to going on this trek. Do some squats and jumps so that your lower body strength is decent enough. Also, climbing the stairs for some time before starting the trek would be decent enough.
Take your Cough and Cold Medicines with you
This trek is a winter trek and it is the most preferred time to go on this trek. And the temperature during this time is chilly enough and you would also face sudden downpours so taking medicines beforehand is good enough. Take all the medicines for a cough and cold, sudden migraines, headaches, sincere, upset stomach, and a lot of other things.
Precautions for the Har Ki Dun trek
You strictly have to follow the rules laid down by the professionals when you are in the mountains. Ignoring these can land you in some serious troubles.
Go for trekking at Har ki Dun only during those seasons when the temperature is bearable and trekking is fun rather than strenuous.
Pack very light because the trek is for 9 days. But make sure to carry all your necessary items especially your medicines.
Have a research about the geography, wildlife, picturesque sights and a lot more alike things so that you don’t miss out on any fun. Having a prior research of the place is always a better idea.
Do not skip the briefing session which is conducted prior to the start of the trek. This is a really important session where you are taught about the entire trek. If you miss the important details here then it may be difficult for you later.
Refill your water bottles whenever possible because staying hydrated while trekking is one of the fundamental things to be strict about.
Do have a record of all the important numbers with you. You never know when the situation of emergency happens and you may require these contacts.
Have enough waterproof bags to secure your gadgets like the phones and the cameras. You must have a back up for protecting your things.
Keep your walking pace same with the other trekkers. Do not be so overenthusiastic to walk faster and be the first one to reach. Also, do not be extremely slow. In both the cases, you may face premature fatigue.
You are bound to get some frostbites on your feet for sure so you must wear good quality footwear and fitted boots. Fitted boots or the trekking boots would ensure that you would not trip.
Also, other than the shoes, you must wear the socks which ensures correct blood circulation on your feet. Trust the fabric keeping the weather of the place in mind.
Do not start your trek without taking your id proof. You will need this for sure. You cannot make your trek without your id proofs. If you don't carry your id proof then you may not be allowed to start the trek.
Best Things to do on a Har Ki Dun trek
Obviously, the best thing that can be done on any trek is camping. And the Har Ki Dun trekking is famous for the camping activities. After having a strenuous hiking day, you will be delighted to end your day with camping.
All the refreshments including tea, coffee, soup, and food would be served at the camps. You can enjoy some amazing camping experience while being at the Har Ki Dun trek. Camping under the stars in the ice-clad mountains is something perfect.
This is the soothing time that you need after a strenuous hard working day.
Camping is nearly incomplete without enjoying born fire activities. The trekkers look forward to the born fire activities because this is the time when all the trekkers get to know each other, spend some time, and have fun.
If there is no rain or snowfall and if the weather permits then surely the born fire activities would be conducted at the trek.
We told you in the introduction itself that you must take your cameras with you. It is nearly impossible to return without taking pictures. There would be so many spectacular scenes over there and if you do not capture them then you would be missing out on a lot of great scenes and memories.
You would be given extra and enough time to explore the place and click loads of pictures.
Walking on the Snow
The next best thing that can be done at the Har Ki Dun trek is walking on the snow. During the winters time, the area would be fully covered with snow all over. You would be seeing the ice-clad mountains all around as well.
So, walking on the snow is the next best thing that can be done at the Har Ki Dun trek. This is an experience to remember for a lifetime. Make sure that you make the most of this moment.
Viewing Various Peak
Har ki Dun is the only trek from where you can see the various mountain ranges together. The Bandarpoonch, Black Peak, and Swargarohini – I, II, and III can be seen all at once. The panoramic view of these mountain ranges from the highest point is beyond explaining in words.
Exploring the Old Huts and Ancient Villages
One thing or sight that would be evident while trekking the Har Ki Dun valley is coming across beautiful old huts and the ancient villages. You would get the chance to explore all these up close and personal while trekking. The sight of these huts and the villages is gorgeous from all areas.
Necessary Trekking Equipment
When you are all ready for the Har Ki Dun trek, make sure to carry at least a pair of 12 to 14 crampons.
Ice axe is really important for the treks. So, one non-technical ice axe would do.
To try out some adventurous activities, these are needed. So, make sure to carry a climbing harness and a carabineer.
Map of the Trekking Are
You would be given the map of the trekking area on the day of the briefing session. At no cost, ignore this. This is the most important thing you need to carry while trekking.
Another one of the most important things while trekking that you will need without a doubt is a sleeping bag and a sleeping liner. You will not be able to sleep without this. So, this should be the first thing on your packing list.
You could have either a head torch or any small torch with a good voltage of light. Also, take spare batteries with you so that you can refill the torch.
Polarizing Sun Glasses
To avoid the potential snow blindness, which a lot of people face, you must carry a pair of polarizing sunglasses with you.
This is again a thing you need to carry for any trek. You will be told at the briefing session to carry a swiss knife for sure before going on the trek.
Last but not the least, a trekking pole is something which you need to carry for your Har ki Dun trek or basically any other trek.
Where Can I rent trekking equipment for the Har Ki Dun trek?
No matter how frequently you go trekking, we would advise you to rent the trekking equipment for every trek. This not only this reduces the trekking cost but also your burden of taking care of these types of equipment forever. You just have to take care of these types of equipment while they are with you and no maintenance cost is required.
Trekking types of equipment are really expensive and you can cut down on these extra costs. If you are wondering where to rent the trekking pieces of equipment of good quality, here are some of the websites.
- Trekking Tents on Rent
- Shoes on Loose
- Trekking Himalayas
- Rent on Go
- Zebra Cross
- Unwind Life
These were some of the best websites for renting the trekking equipment. If you are comfortable renting the trekking equipment offline, you may even do that.
How Good is Har ki Dun trek for a Solo Trek Plan?
No doubt that any kind of travelling or trekking is always fun with your friends and buddies around. But there are chances that your friends and mates would not always accompany you for all the travels that you wish to do.
In that case, most people tend to drop down their plan because no one is accompanying them. Because of this, a lot of travel plans never gets successful. So, it is always advised to go on these travels alone. Solo trips are the best kind of trips in which you can explore a lot and all by yourself.
Same goes for the treks and the adventure trips as well. There are a lot of adventure troops and trekking groups that organize such kinds of adventurous trips for the like-minded adventure enthusiasts. Going on the treks with such groups is always the best idea because you get to meet a lot of like-minded people who are as willing as you to go on a particular trek.
The Har ki Dun trek is also a great trek to go solo because this is an intense trek and you will face a lot of intense situations. So, experiencing them all alone without anyone is really challenging giving you the lifetime experience.
The already adventurous trek would be ten times more adventurous for you if you go solo with a lot of new people all around. You will make some of the most exciting memories alone on this trek which you would not have made along with your friends.
- Travelling expense during the trek.
- Accommodation expense
- Permit fees
- First Aid
- Trekking Equipment
- Guide and Support Team
- Personal expense
- Alcohol and drugs.
Is Guide Required?
Before starting the trek, there will be a briefing session given to you where the professionals would be giving you the most important tips and tricks. Attending this session is very important. They brief you about the entire trek in advance and also list the precautions and various other things.
Apart from this, a guide is important to lead you in any trek. A good service provider who provides you with the trekking trip arranges for a guide for you. The guide would help you with the places, sights, tips, and tricks. So, a guide is important for sure for any trekking trip.
Also, a guide is someone who is regular with such treks and trips so he can easily tell about the weather changes, dangerous circumstances and about a lot of unwanted things that you may not know otherwise.
If you have been wanting to go on the Har Ki Dun Trek, here we have sorted most of your queries and we hope that now you can enjoy the trek to the fullest. All the precautions, safety measures and the tricks that we have shared here are surely going to help you. Do share your opinion and your experiences about the trek with us in the details as well.