Snuggled in the Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarkashi, Kedarkantha is a famous winter trek in Uttarakhand. With the easy-to-moderate trek difficulty level, the place attracts every kind of traveller, both seasoned and beginner trekkers. Famously known as the Queen of Winter Treks, the complete region puts on the ethereal blanket of fresh snow in December-March. The 6-day Kedarkantha trek will take you on the dense alpine and oak jungles. Witness the clear starry skyline from the scenic campsites at Mori Valley, Sankri Village, and Juda Ka Talab.
Stretching across the Govind National Park, Kedarkatha is at least a 6-days trek. From November to December, the region offers phenomenal sights of a frozen lake, snow-clad mountaintops, and a few popular mythological legends. So, get ready and gear up to experience the most sought-after trek in the land of gods, Uttarakhand.
- A beautiful drive from Dehradun to Sankri through the dense pine forests with the snow-peaked Himalayas.
- Place your camp near scenic sites and quaint villages like Juda Ka Talab, Hargaon, and Sankri.
- Trek to reach the Kedarkantha summit situated at an altitude of above 3800 meters.
- Admire the panoramic view of various peaks such as Kinner Kailash and Swargarohini.
- Spend the night at the Kedarkantha Peak in your camps and watch the magical Himalayan night sky by the bonfire.
- Try your hands at several snow sports activities such as skiing and snowboarding offered in Kedarkantha base camp.
Perched at an elevation of about 12,500 feet, Kedarkantha is one of the most visited winter treks in Uttarakhand among beginners and expert trekkers both. The unsurpassed beauty of this place leaves every visitor spell-binding. You will witness many natural charms and mesmerizing panoramic views of famous Himalayan Peaks including, Bandarpunch, Black Peak, and Swargarohini I, II, III, and IV peaks.
Along with the amazing panoramic scenery, camp near the remotest villages of Uttarkashi. The fresh snowfall from December to March makes the surroundings more pleasurable and gives you a lifetime experience of living like a Himalayan local.
Dotted with alpine thickets and lush meadows, the amazing campsites like Juda Ka Talab, Kedarkantha base camp, Purola Gaon, and Hargaon offer clean camping grounds. Ground your tents and cherish the beautiful moments under the starry sky by the bonfire. Once you arrive at the Kedarkantha Summit, you will be enchanted with the stunning landscapes and fresh snow all around.
Kedarkantha Trek Height
Kedarkantha is one of the highest summits in Uttarakhand situated at a height of above 12,500 ft. (3800 meters) above sea level. This is a 5-day trek that commences from a quaint mountain village Sankri. The trail heads through the pine and oak dense jungles of Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. From here, one can witness the various snow-clad mountain ranges in Uttarakhand such as Kinner Kailash, Swargarohini, Bandarpunch, Rupin Pass Range, Yamunotri, Gangotri, and Har ki Dun.
Kedarkantha Trekking Distance
This thrilling expedition commences from Dehradun to reach the Kedarkantha peak via Sankri. You will cover a total of 200 km of distance from Dehradun to Kedarkantha in a 7-8 hours drive.
After reaching the Sankri village, the Kedarkantha trekking distance is 20 km from Sankri with an easy to moderate difficulty level. The journey takes 4 to 5 days to complete filled with lots of fun and ascend-descend in the mystical wilderness.
Quick Itinerary of Kedarkantha Trek
Day 1: Drive the distance of about 200 km from Dehradun to reach Sankri.
Day 2: Embark on an easy 5 km trek from Sankri to Juda Ka Talab and camp here overnight.
Day 3: Start ascending towards Kedarkantha Base Camp from Juda Ka Talab. It will take about 2-3 hours to cover 4km to the base campsite.
Day 4: A trek of 6 km through dense alpine thickets will take you to the Kedarkantha Summit in about 6-7 hours. Soak in the panoramic view of the Himalayan peak and then back to the campsite before nightfall.
Day 5: Today you start trekking back to Sankri. The distance you will trek from the base camp is 6 km which will take about 4-5 hours.
Day 6: Say bye to the mountains and drive the distance of 200km from Sankri to Dehradun. Head back to your home with loads of memories.
Kedarkantha Trek Cost
Situated in the most scenic district of Uttarakhand, Uttarkashi, Kedarkantha is all season, especially during winters. Whether a first-timer or a seasoned trekker, Kedarkantha is perfect for every backpacker. And so the place hosts thousands of travellers from all across the globe throughout the year. With different hues in different months, views from and around Kedarkantha peak leave one stunned in awe of its sheer beauty.
The average Kedarkantha Trek cost starts with 6000 per person for 6 days and 5 nights, if booking a package. The cost depends upon the number of people in a group, duration of the trek, meals, stays, quality of service, and an experienced trek guide.
The Kedarkantha Trek package prices also depend on the starting point of your journey. If you’re looking for a quotation for the Kedarkantha trek from Delhi, it will also include the fare of AC/semi-sleeper bus as well from Delhi to Dehradun and vice-versa and all meals throughout the trip after reaching the capital city of Uttarakhand.
Legend of Kedarkantha Peak
The name of this trek is a constitution of two words, ‘Kedar’ and ‘Kantha’, which translates to the ‘Throat of Lord Shiva.’ Famously known as Bal-Kedar, Kedarkantha has a great mythological legend that goes back to the time of the epic Mahabharata.
According to ancient legends, after the Kurukshetra war, Pandavas travelled to the Himalayas to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. However, the Lord didn’t want to meet them and disguised himself as a bull. But Bheem, the third Pandava brother, recognized him and followed him. Lord Shiva hid underground. While rushing to come out, Mahadev let his body be divided into five parts, among which his throat fell on Kedarkantha and hence now is the abode of the throat of Lord Shiva.
Best Time to Visit Kedarkantha Summit
In Winter: Kedarkantha is a famous winter trek expedition and hence the best time to plan your trek is between October and March. The Kedarkantha temperature remains between -2 to 15 C during the winter season. The place remains covered in a thick snow blanket all around owing to the high snowfall. You can witness the first fresh snowfall in Kedarkantha in November-December, offering amazing slopes for several adventure activities such as snowboarding, skiing, and so on.
In Monsoon: The place receives moderate to heavy rainfall with the temperature remaining between 0 and 12 C from July to September. July marks the arrival of the monsoon season in Kedarkantha with dark clouds hovering over the mountaintop. Heavy rains cause landslides and road blockage anytime and terrains become slippery, making it quite difficult to walk. By September, the weather remains cold and pleasant with light rain showers, offering verdant vistas and picturesque landscapes.
In Summer: If you don’t like the freezing winters much, then April to June is an ideal time to go on the Kedarkantha Trek. During the summer season, Kedarkantha takes on very different and spellbinding sights. The temperature remains pleasant between 6 and 20 C with a cool mountain breeze. April marks the arrival of sunny summer while May pops out the colourful charms of Kedarkantha with lush greenery, a rushing river, and colourful meadows.
Kedarkantha Trek Itinerary Details
Day 1: Drive From Dehradun to Sankri (200 km / 7-8 hours)
1. Your journey starts from Dehradun early morning to cover the distance of 200 km to reach Sankri.
2. Enjoy the scenic drive through the picturesque landscapes adorned with snow-peaked mountains and river Tons by the side.
3. You will be at your pre-booked hotel in Sankri from Dehradun after a 6-7 hour drive.
4. Put your bags in your hotel room and freshen up. Have delicious food with hot beverages and explore the mystical village of Sankri. Visit the local cafes for Garhwali food and spellbinding views of the Himalayas.
Important Note: Sankri is the last place where you may get electricity and ATMs, so charge your gadget and power banks, and withdraw the cash, if you need, to last the 6 days of the Kedarkantha trek.
Day 2: Trek From Sankri to Juda ka Talab (5km / 4-5 hours)
1. Juda Ka Talab is the first spot for commencing on the Kedarkantha trekking route. So, have a scrumptious breakfast at the hotel, and leave to trek to Juda ka Talab.
2. A hike of 20-30 minutes will take you to Juda Ka Talab- your next camping site. Admire the stunning views of dense oak and deodar forest on a walk through Saur village.
3. Ground your camps here by the lakeside and start placing your kitchen and sitting before it gets dark.
4. Watch the beautiful sunset, make a big bonfire and cook your dinner like the locals. Have a fun overnight camping experience by the lake.
Day 3: Trek From Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp (4 km / 2-3 hours)
1. After a tummy-full breakfast at the Juda ka Talab campsite, start trekking en route to the Kedarkantha base camp.
2. You will cover a rough terrain from Juda Ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp of about 4km in a minimum of 4-5 hours.
3. Admire the splendid surroundings on your way to the base camp. Adorned with glistening streams, lush green forests, and misty meadows.
4. After reaching the base camp, set your camps and get a rest. Enjoy the enchanting views of Swargarohini, Bandarpunch, and the Kalanga peaks.
5. Enjoy your dinner by the bonfire amid the peaceful night and starlit sky. Indulge in the fun group activities and have a sound sleep in your camps.
Day 4: Trek From Base Camp to Kedarkantha Summit (6 km / 6-7 hours)
1. Get up early, have a refreshing hot beverage, and start trekking to the Kedarkantha summit from the base camp.
2. The snow-covered trails make trekking a bit challenging. But it’s all worth your energy for you to climb the elevation of about 3800m.
3. Capture the snow-paved path covered with pine and oak tree leaves. Catch a breath at the regular intervals in the meadows you cross when ascending the mountain.
4. After 6-7 hours of trekking through forests and clearings, you will reach the Kedarkantha Summit.
5. Spend some time at the summit amid natural splendours surrounded by snow-covered Himalayan ranges. Return to the campsite before night.
6. Have an energetic dinner at the base camp and a fun time with your friends by the bonfire. Have a comfortable sleep in your tent.
Day 5: Trek Back to Sankri From Kedarkantha Base Camp (6 km / 4-5 hours)
1. Wake up to the beautiful sunrise and a delicious breakfast at the base camp and get ready to head back towards Sankri village.
2. The descending trek route will take about 4-5 hours to cover the distance of approximately 6kms and reach the village.
3. Cherish the mesmerizing moments of chirping of birds, gushing sound of Tons, and incredible mountains.
4. Upon reaching the village, give your body a rest and refresh your mind with a steaming hot cup of tea/coffee.
5. Have a lip-smacking dinner at the hotel in Sankri and get some sleep in your clean, comfortable beds.
Day 6: Drive From Sankri to Dehradun
1. Get up early in the morning and try not to miss the stunning sunrise from the hotel balcony.
2. Pack your belongings and get ready to say bye to the majestic mountain peaks.
3. Check out from the hotel and enjoy a delicious breakfast in the village.
4. Board the vehicle and drive back from Sankri to Dehradun with lots of beautiful and wintry memories.
5. You will reach Dehradun by late noon or evening. It is the end point of our Kedarkantha trek package.
Things to Know Before Going On Kedarkantha Trek
1. During the monsoon season, Kedarkantha receives heavy rainfall that leads to cloudbursts and landslides. So, avoid trekking in this season.
2. Minors up to the age of 10 years will not be allowed on the Kedarkantha winter trek without a legal guardian company.
3. Kedarkantha is surrounded by dense forests and snow-covered trails. Hence, it’s advised to get a guide and take no chance of going missing in the wild.
4. Pack only the important things in your backpack as a minimum of weight as possible to go on the trek without carrying heavy luggage.
5. Bring original valid ID proof like an Adhar Card, Driving license, and passport with you when checking in on the Kedarkantha trek.
6. Network and internet connectivity are not so good in Kedarkantha. Make sure to call or text your family or anyone in particular before entering the low/no network area.
7. Purola Gaon near Sankri is the last village to have an ATM. Due to the low network, no online payments would be available also. Make sure you withdraw enough cash to last 6-days of trekking.
8. Situated at the higher altitudes, Kedarkantha doesn’t get much electricity flow all the time. So, charge your digital gadgets and pack extra batteries and power banks of up to 20,000 mAh to last the entire trek.
9. Camping is a way to get close to nature. So, do not expect any luxury during the trek. Pack energy food like energy bars, dry fruits, and nuts for the hike.
10. Be a responsible traveller and avoid littering in nature. Avoid the use of any kind of plastic bags and use reusable water bottles and boxes to pack your stuff.
Things to carry
Before you swing your backpack on your shoulder and head to trek the Kedarkantha peak, make sure you have packed all the essential belongings in your bag, including;
● Warm waterproof jacket, pullover, tees, and track pants.
● Good hiking shoes (that also work on snow treks).
● Rain cover (for precaution).
● Medium-size shoulder bag to keep personal things.
● Head torch and extra batteries.
● Extra pair of socks and necessary thermals.
● Woolen caps, scarves, gloves, and sunglasses.
● Lighter or matches for fire.
● Energy bars and nuts to keep you energized on the trekking route.
● Reusable Thermos/Water bottle and lunch box.
● Extra warm blanket (if needed).
Frequently Asked Questions
Is the Kedarkantha trek difficult?
The difficulty level of the Kedarkantha trek is from easy to moderate. For those who are planning to embark on their first winter trek, Kedarkantha is the best destination to choose in Uttarakhand. Kedarkantha is a slice of heaven during all seasons.
Is Kedarkantha trek safe?
Since Kedarkantha earns the title of the best trekking destination in Uttarakhand for beginners and season trekkers alike. So, yes, the Kedarkantha trek is safe for anyone above the age of 10 years. For those who are under any medication or have breathing issues, consult your doctors as you will climb a 12,500ft high peak.
Is the Kedarkantha trek open?
The Kedarkantha Trek is open for all travellers for about 10 months throughout the year in winter, spring, summer, and autumn. The monsoon season brings moderate to heavy rainfall, making it quite difficult to walk the slippery forest trails. But for the seasons the trek remains open, it is safe and easy to walk with the unique charms in different months of different seasons.
Is the Kedarkantha trek safe in December?
Since Kedarkantha is the winter trek in India, December is completely safe and the best time to go on this trek. December marks the first snowfall in Kedarkantha and covers the entire path with knee-deep snow and frozen lakes. The temperature drops below 5C to -5C during the days and the nights respectively. So, pack the warmest woollen and extra pair of essential clothing like thermals, trousers, socks, scarves, and hats to keep from the harsh mountainous breeze.
Can the Kedarkantha trek be done alone?
Yes, Kedarkantha Trek can be done alone if you’ve been to the place couple of times before. Then, all you need is a camping tent, a sleeping bag (for -10C temperature), and food that could last 3-4 days. The temperature is moderate cold to chilly, so don’t forget to pack proper clothes and good hiking boots. As the place is surrounded by dense jungles, it is advised to hire a local trek mentor to guide you to stay on the trail.
Can the Kedarkantha trek be done without a guide?
No, the Kedarkantha trek cannot be done without a guide. Even if you are familiar with the place or are a seasoned solo trekker, you will need a local trek guide to assist you on the Kedarkantha trek route. They know tips and tops of the place and the locals; that will not get you lost in the wilderness.