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Roopkund Trek

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September 21, 2024
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Why Book With Us?

  • Safety
  • Small groups - (6-12)
  • Experience nature
  • Sustainable experiences

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  • 8 Days/7 Nights
  • Hard
  • 16470 ft./5020 m
  • 12 Participants
  • May-June | September
  • Uttarakhand

Roopkund Trek Overview

If there is one trek every trekker longs to experience, the Roopkund Lake trek undoubtedly tops that list. The mysterious human skeletons and innumerable theories around the lake intrigue every trekker to explore the Roopkund trail. 

Located in Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, the Roopkund Lake trek is full of adventure, mysteries, mountains, and exotic meadows. The tales of mystery begin right at the Basecamp village. Roopkund has been shrouded in mysteries with no common conclusion. The locals tell a story of the mystery Lake and believe that different theories justify the human skeletons at 16,000 ft. above sea level. 

Curious Case of Human Skeletons 

The skeletons found in this lake are believed to be from the Palaeolithic age, and around 500 skeletons of humans and horses were rediscovered here in the 1940s. Scientists from India and Europe explored the lake to study these skeletons. Their findings state that the skeletons belonged to people bearing different physical features and morphological structures. The locals share the stories passed on to them by their ancestors. Roopkund Lake remains frozen for most of the year and is surrounded by rock-strewn glaciers. The lake is around 2 meters deep and requires you to walk on a steep descent to reach the back of the lake. 

The Roopkund Experience offers you raw outdoor wilderness and ancient historical anecdotes. Roopkund Experience is a heart-pounding journey across the ancient trails of the holy and mysterious lake in India. Roopkund Experience takes you through deep forests enwrapped in Rhododendron and Oak trees. The walk along the forests of Ghairoli Patal suddenly burst into the enormous meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyal. The meadows offer the panoramic view of the two most stunning high-altitude meadows- This transition from forests to meadows is a true joy to behold! With beautiful rolling meadows, never-ending alpine stretches, steep climbs, and fun descents, this trek offers a gamut of experiences.

While you make your way towards Junargali, the ridge walk is a spine-chilling experience you can count on for that added adrenaline rush! You’ll get to interact with local Himalayan communities situated in the high Himalayas, know their traditions and cultures, and learn about rare flora like Brahmakamal (Queen of the Night) as you walk across these trails laid out in faith and belief. And, if you’re into bird watching or photography, this trek will reward you with glimpses of exotic varieties of flora and fauna.

Spectacular Mountain Views

As you climb higher up the ridge above Roopkund, you’ll be rewarded with the panoramic spectacle of the majestic Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti awaiting you in all their glory. For a second, you’ll feel like you can almost touch them. You can almost feel the primal, nerve-wracking excitement in the air around you – It’s palpable! Allow yourself to be engulfed in this experience of mysteries, meadows, and mountains. Not every day you get to be on a trek so spectacularly ethereal and rewarding in all its glory and tradition.

Roopkund trek brochure

Inclusions 

  • Meals 
    • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinners (Day 1 Dinner to Day 8 Breakfast)
  • Accommodation 
    • Tents, Homestays/Dorms
    • Cloakroom Charges 
  • Highly Experienced Leaders and Guides 
    • Trained and Qualified Guides
    • Certified Outdoor Leaders
  • Permits
    • National Parks and Sanctuaries
    • Forest Permits and Entry fees 
  • Camping Equipment
    • Kitchen Tent
    •  Toilet Tent
    • Dome Tents 
    • Sleeping Bags
    • Mattresses
  • Technical Equipment
    • Wilderness Medical Kit
    • Climbing Rope 
    • Climbing Accessories
    • Ice Axe
    • Microspikes
    • Oxygen Cylinder
    • BP Meter
    •  Oximeter, Thermometer etc.

Exclusions 

  • Cab charges to and from OWLS Basecamp.
  • Meals during transit to and from OWLS Basecamp.
  • Personal expenses 
  • Offloading charges 
  • Cost incurred due to change in the itinerary 
  • Additional services  (including mules, assistance, health-related support etc.)
  • Anything not mentioned in the Inclusions list. 

 

Roopkund Trek Itinerary

Day 1 : Dehradun (2,150 ft.) to Lohajung (7,700 ft.)

On Day 1, you reach the base camp of Ali Bedni Bugyal Lohajung, a remote village situated in the Eastern Garhwal side of the Himalayas.

OWLS organizes the transport from Dehradun to Lohajung. The taxi leaves the OWLS pick-up point, Inter State Bus Stand, Dehradun (ISBT Dehradun) at 6 AM. The distance of around 293 Kms is covered in 9-10 hours. On the first day of the trek, our participants reach the base camp Lohajung. The drive to Lohajung itself is exhilarating as it traverses through mountain roads and thick forests of pine and deodar along the roads.

Note: Fare for a 5-7 seater cab will be Rs. 6,500 per vehicle and the cost of a 12-seater Tempo Traveller is Rs. 9,500. This amount will be shared by the participants and paid directly to the driver.

Day 2 : Lohajung (7,700 ft.) to Didna (8,200 ft.)

You start from the base camp Lohajung on Day 2 of your Roopkund Experience. To reach the first campsite of Didna, you will have to cross patches of some steep ascent on the trail. You will walk along the forest-covered trail with a variety of birds and flora to keep you company. In spring, the trail will be laden with Rhododendron of different shades turning the forest a sight to behold.

Day 3 : Didna (8,200 ft.) to Ali Bugyal (11,700 ft.)

The trail is categorized as moderate to difficult today. There are some gradual ascents along with a comfortable walk. The highlight of the day is walking on the soft velvety grass of Ali meadows. You will reach the meadow and experience the vastness of the green carpet while enjoying the towering mountains in front of you. The undulating meadows of Ali Bedni spread over acres with no sight of its end. You cannot help but immerse yourself in the vastness of the mesmerizing meadows of Ali.

Besides meadows, you will enjoy the clear mountain views on the trail. In the winter months, the view of the mountains is crisper. On the trail, you will also witness the grandeur of Mt. Chaukhamba gazing at you from a distance.

Day 4 : Ali Bugyal (11,700 ft.) to Patar Nachauni (12,700 ft.) Via Bedni Bugyal (11,700 ft.)

The day starts with a  lovely walk across the meadows followed by a steep ascent for almost an hour till you reach the trail leading to Patar Nachauni from Bedni Bugyal. This is followed by a trail walk of a gradually ascending trail that joins the route joining the trail leading to Roopkund Lake.

Day 5 : Patar Nachauni (12,700 ft.) to Bhagwabasa (14,100 ft.)

On Day 5, the distance covered is less compared to the other days, but there is a considerable height gain which makes you exhausted during this climb. You start from the Patar Nachauni campsite and climb up the steep ascent to Kalu Vinayak (a temple) on the way to Bhagwabasa.

From Kalu Vinayak, the trail descends to Bhagwabasa, which offers a grand view of the mountains and a waterfall flowing from between the rocks.

Day 6 : Bhagwabasa (14,100 ft.) to Roopkund (15,750 ft.) to Junargali (16,470 ft.). Return to Patar Nachauni via Bhagwabasa

Day 6 of the trek starts with a gradual climb followed by a steep climb that takes you from Bhagwabasa to Roopkund. Once at the lake, you witness the infamous skeletons which are shrouded in mystery.

Another 45-minute climb takes you to Junargali Pass where you are awestruck by the view of Mt. Trishul which presents itself from bottom to top from here. On the right side is the glacier and on the left side is the sea of boulders called ‘Sheela Samudra’

Day 7 : Patar Nachauni (12,700 ft.) to Wan (8,000 ft.) via Bedni Bugyal (11,300 ft.)

Day 7 is long as we descend from Patar Nachauni, crossing the Gairoli patal forest to Wan. Gairoli Patal is the last point on the trek.   Mt. Trishul appears magical from this location. The trail is a well-defined man-made trail with a gradual descent to Wan. You will walk through forests of Rhododendron and oak trees.

Day 8 : Drive back to Dehradun (2,150 ft.)

Post experiencing the Roopkund trek, you will return to Dehradun on Day 8

How to reach the basecamp of Roopkund trek?

✈️ Nearest Airport – Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun

🚉 Nearest Railway Station – Dehradun Railway Station

Roopkund is in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand, with its base camp in Lohajung. The base camp is around 293 km and is approximately 10-11 hrs drive from Dehradun. To reach the base camp in Lohajung, you have to first arrive in Dehradun.

Dehradun is well connected by air, train, and road. Book your tickets to Dehradun in advance and grab tickets at cheaper rates. You can choose to travel by air from any metro city to Dehradun. The other option is to reach Delhi by air and travel by train or bus from Delhi onwards.

Here is a guide to plan your travel step by step to reach Dehradun.

Roopkund trek takes 8 days to complete, including travel to and from the basecamp.  we suggest our participants reach Dehradun on Day 0, and not Day 1. It allows you to rest before the trek begins and ensures you do not miss the OWLS pickup from Dehradun on Day 1.

Here is a guide on how to plan your travel step by step to reach Dehradun

  • Reach Dehradun directly by air or train on Day 0
  • Fly to Delhi and board a bus or train to reach Dehradun on Day 0
  • OWLS pickup from Dehradun on Day 1 at ISBT, Dehradun 

Travel Plan A – By Air till Dehradun

 If you are reaching Dehradun by air, here are a few options for planning your travel. Dehradun Airport is well connected with all the metro cities.  Book a direct or connecting flight to Dehradun. If you plan to reach Dehradun by air, ensure to land in Dehradun on Day 0. 

Dehradun city is 32 km away from the Jolly Grant Airport. It takes 1 hour to reach the city. You can opt to hire a cab/auto directly from the Airport. The other option is to exit the Airport complex and book an auto. The charges for prepaid cabs at the airport are exorbitant.  Another low-cost alternative to get to Dehradun city is to travel on a city bus. Walk towards the Dehradun – Rishikesh highway and hop on a shared auto or city bus. You will have to wait for the bus. Regular city buses run between Dehradun and Rishikesh almost every half an hour. 

If you land in Dehradun on day 0, book a hotel or dorm near ISBT, Dehradun.  Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam’s hotel is 10 minutes away from ISBT and offers rooms at reasonable rates. They have economical as well as deluxe rooms. 

OWLS pick-up will be available on Day 1 at ISBT Dehradun at 6. a.m. 

Travel Plan B by train/ bus from Delhi

This option will be economical for you. Flight to Dehradun will be slightly priced higher than flight to Delhi. To cut down your travel budget, fly to Delhi, then get on a bus or train from Delhi to Dehradun. 

You can book and find bus options at UTC Online or Redbus. Another option is to go to Kashmere Gate and book a bus offline. Board a bus or train arriving in Dehradun on Day 0 evening. Reaching Dehradun on Day 0 helps you to rest before your trek starts on Day 1. 

If you want to travel overnight, Nanda Devi Express runs daily and departs from H. Nizamuddin at 11.35 p.m. and arrives at Dehradun early at 5.40 a.m. Overnight Volvo AC buses also run frequently between Delhi and Dehradun. It takes 6-7 hours to get to Dehradun from Delhi. 

How to plan your return flight/train to Delhi 

Your trek is 8  days, including travel to and from the base camp. The team will be back in Dehradun on Day 3. You reach Dehradun in the evening, between 7 to 8 pm. 

While returning, you can fly directly out of Dehradun to your city. The second option is to travel by bus or train to Delhi. 

If you go with the first option, you can book a direct flight from Dehradun to your city on Day 4. 

The second option requires you to travel to Delhi by train or bus.  Once you reach Dehradun in the evening, you can head to ISBT Dehradun and book an AC Volvo bus to Delhi and travel comfortably. The other option to reach Delhi from Dehradun is to book a train. 

If you prefer the second option, book a flight that departs late morning or early afternoon of Day 5. The overnight buses from Dehradun arrive in Delhi in the wee hours. Book a flight departing in the afternoon to avoid rushing. 

Some trekkers prefer to stay back for a day and use the buffer day to explore Rishikesh or Mussoorie. You can either stay for a night and explore Dehradun city or proceed home the same evening if flying out of Delhi. 

 

Roopkund Trek Map

Roopkund Map by gooutwithowls
Roopkund Map by gooutwithowls

Roopkund Trek FAQ

What is the distance of the Roopkund Trek?

The Roopkund trek distance is around 40km. The average distance you will cover is 6-8  km per day. You will walk for 4-6 hours every day. The longest day is day 7 of the trek, when you will hike for 9-10 hours. 

Is Roopkund trek suitable for beginners?

We do not recommend it to beginners. The average altitude gain is high and walking hours are long. You will be walking an average of 5- 6 hours every day.  On long days, you will be walking for 8-9 km per day at an altitude above 1ft. For a trek that spreads over 8 days and climbs 16,000ft., this trek is not suitable for beginners. 

 

How difficult is Roopkund Trek?

Yes, Roopkund is a difficult trek. The trek is 8 days long and traverses through arduous terrain and tricky patches. It is suitable for trekkers with prior experience in high-altitude treks. The trek starts at an altitude of 7545ft. from Lohajung village and climbs to the highest elevation of 16,000ft. when you reach Roopkund. It requires trekkers to be in good physical condition to trek comfortably.  

What will be the temperature in Roopkund trek?

The day temperature on the Roopkund trek is usually recorded between 5°C and -1°C and at night, the temperature dips down to  -4°C. During the autumn months, the temperature ranges between 6°C and 1°C.  

The day will be dry and sunny. The temperature decreases as you climb to a higher altitude. At night, the temperature drops to sub-zero at higher campsites. 

Find out more about the Roopkund Lake trek temperature here. 

What is the best time to visit Roopkund Trek?

The Roopkund trek is at its best between May to June and during the autumn months. The autumn season starts post-monsoon in September and can be approached till mid-October. 

Read more about the best time for the Roopkund Lake trek here. 

Will there be snow on the trek?

You will find the remains of the snow at higher altitudes. However, there will be no fresh snow on the trek. 

What is the cost of Roopkund Trek?

The Roopkund trek cost is Rs. 16779/- 

The trek cost covers your experience from basecamp to basecamp. It also covers your accommodation at the base camp and during the trek.

 

Can we do the Roopkund Trek on our own?

Roopkund is a challenging trek. The trek requires experienced guides to help you navigate the undulated terrain. If you plan to go solo on this trek, hiring a guide is recommended to avoid any unforeseen situation.

Where is Roopkund located?

Roopkund Lake trek is in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand Gharwal region. The trek starts from Lohajung village in Chamoli district. Lohajung is a famous basecamp village and other famous Himalayan trek also start from here, including Ali Bedni Bugyal and Brahmatal. 

FAQ

How should I prepare to avoid AMS?

The most important thing to do on a trek to avoid AMS is to drink water, more than your daily intake. Water is an excellent way to avoid AMS. Along with this, you should also have all the nutritious meals we provide on the trek. If you still are sceptical about getting AMS, we would advise you to carry Diamox tablets with you. However, according to the situation your Outdoor leader will advise whether or not you should take it.

I have a medical condition. Can I join the trek?

We encourage everyone to trek, even if or not they have a medical condition. We have an in-house doctor at OWLS with whom you can discuss your medical condition and accordingly, we can help you better prepare you for the trek.

What document do I need to carry?

Please keep the following documents ready before filling out this form

  1. ID proof
  2. Health form (for all participants of Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh treks) and (for all participants <15 and > 60 years of age)
  3. RTPCR for children <15 years/Vaccination certificate for adults (for Nepal treks)

Should I bring snacks to eat on the trek?

Although we provide filling breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with morning tea and evening snacks, you can carry some light snacks for munching on the trail. You can carry protein bars, dry fruits, and homemade snacks like Shakkarpara to help you give that extra energy on the trek. 

Who will be leading my trek?

All our Outdoor Leaders are trained and experienced leaders. They have completed basic Mountaineering Course, and are equipped with basic first-aid knowledge. Our leaders are certified Wilderness First Responder course

Do I need to get my medical kit for the trek?

You don’t need to carry your medical kit. If you have your prescribed medications, you need to carry them on the trek

What kind of arrangement is available for accommodation on the trek?

The accommodation will be on twin sharing basis. One tent will be shared by two trekkers. 

Is there any arrangement for offloading on the trek?

Yes. Communicate your requirement to the trek leaders beforehand, as it will be difficult to arrange to offload at the last minute. The offloading charges will be Rs 350 per bag, and your bag should not weigh more than 9 kg. 

Note: At OWLs, we suggest our participants carry their backpacks and avoid offloading. However, in case of pressing circumstances, you can opt for offloading.

Is there any option to keep our luggage at the base camp?

Yes, you can leave the extra luggage at the base camp. However, do not leave valuables like laptops, jewellery, or any other expensive items in the base camp. 

What will be the toilet facilities on the trek?

The OWLS team will set up a toilet tent near the campsites. The toilets will be dry toilets and you will have to use toilet paper. There will be a pit dug by the team and you will have to cover your nature’s call with dry soil. Avoid using wet wipes, as they are not biodegradable. At OWLS, we thrive to leave no trace in the mountains. 

At the base camp, you will have regular concrete toilets.

What will be the food arrangement on the trek?

The food offered will be as per the nutritional requirements. As you will be walking every day for 4-6 hours, you will be burning a good amount of calories. The team makes sure that the food you will be offered is healthy and helps you sustain through the day. The regular meal comprises eggs, locally grown vegetables, rice, roti, and pulses. The menu changes from day to day. 

What will be the status of the mobile network on the trek?

You will have access to most of the mobile networks at the base camp in Lohajung. We suggest our participants make important calls while at the base camp. There will be no signals throughout the trek.