Kuari Pass Trek
Kuari Pass Trek
Kuari Pass Trek
Kuari Pass Trek
Kuari Pass Trek
Kuari Pass Trek
With a stiff climb, you experience the best views, and since you thought it was impossible to set foot on, the joy of reaching your destination just doubles. One such astounding feeling is experienced from another heart of the Himalayas and that is Kuari Pass Trek.
History depicts that Lord Curzon is the one who explored and documented this marquee trek from Joshimath to Kuari Pass and further to Brahmatal valley. The trek holds the most eccentric skyline of mountains from closed quarters.
Kuari pass is a six-day long trek that generally starts from Karchhi, a small village near Joshimath. A place like Gorson Bugyal that you visit along Kuari Pass is worth leaving everything for this trek.
A Hike through Dense & Beautiful Forest Section
On the trails, you are acquainted with the interchangeable beauty of nature that goes from the yellow-orange colour of autumn to blue-brown mountains with the snow caps. The jungles are completely captured on layers of fir and oak trees. The fiery red & pink flowers of the Rhododendron imprints an unbelievable beauty into your eyes that will never fade away. In winters the forest is totally covered in snow. You might come across some footprints of the rare Himalayan bear and leopard.
The Only Trekkable Pass During Winters
As a beginner, the Kuari Pass is a must to do trek. Well, this trek is not a complete mountain pass trek but you reach the point from where you can experience most of the beauty of this trek. The thing to note is that while most of the mountain passes are inaccessible during winters this Lord Curzon’s trail is the only pass that remains operational even during the snowy winters.
The Main Attraction of Kuari Pass Trek
Well, everything about this trek is its major attraction but the highlight of this gift by nature is the rare view of Mt. Nanda Devi from Gorson Bugyal. Nanda Devi is visible on very few treks in the Garhwal region of the Himalayas but in this trek, it is evident as if it is standing just in front of you. Walking through the Gorson forest and walking down to Gorson Bugyal on snow will make your day.
Best Time to visit Kuari Pass Trek
- Spring (Mid-March to April): The brimming beauty of the colourful forests with pink rhododendron flowers and the residual snow is waiting for you all in this season.
- Summer (May and June): If you don't want to miss the extreme green and golden beauty of Gorson Bugyal. Then plan your trip in this season.
- Autumn (Mid-September to November): The mild rainfall and golden hours of the trail attract you to visit this place in this season.
- Winter (December and January): Walking on snow in those snow-covered forests showers all the adventure that your heart craves.
- Trekking permits
- Trekking equipment
- Safety equipment
- Services of an expert Trek Leader
- Food during transit
- Porter or mule for carrying personal luggage
- Stay on the last day
- Personal expenses & goods of any kind
- Anything apart from inclusions
- Unscheduled stay due to unfavourable conditions
- Cost Escalation due to ‘Force Majeure’ and evacuation charges
Drive from Rishikesh to Joshimath
Base Camp Altitude: 6150 ft. On the first day, you have to reach the Joshimath base camp which is about a 9 hours drive from Rishikesh. Midway you will cross local towns like Srinagar, Pipalkoti, Chamoli and Panch Prayag. Joshimath is a town and Cantt area located at a height of 6150 feet in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. This beautiful place is a gateway to several Himalayan mountain climbing expeditions, trekking trails and pilgrimage centres.
Drive from Joshimath to Karchhi & trek to Guling Top
Altitude: 6,150 ft to 9,400 ft | Trek: 3 km | Trek gradient: Moderate. Gradual and steep ascent. Your trek will start from Karchhi, a small village near Joshimath. The trail further climbs to Tugasi village. There are some small shops and tea stalls. You will walk through the village and witness the agricultural fields of the villagers. After about 3 km of the trek, you will reach Guling Top and rest here overnight. You can see Mt. Dronagiri and Hathi-Ghoda parvat from your campsite. Carry at least two litres of water.
Trek from Guling Top to Khullara Campsite
Altitude: 9,400 ft to 11,130 ft | Trek: 3 km | Trek gradient: Moderate. Gradual ascent. As you climb up you experience the vibe of a dense forest full of oak, fir and maple. The layers of trees will make you believe that you haven’t seen a forest like this. The trail is gradual and steep and you get some water streams along the way. After 3 km of the trek, you reach a large clearing. This is Khullara, the basecamp for Pangarchulla trek and Kuari Pass. From here the views of mountain peaks are much clear.
Trek from Khullara to Kuari Top
Altitude: 11,130 ft to 12,500 ft | Trek: 8 km | Trek gradient: Moderate. Gradual and steep ascent. After a 2.5 km hike from Khullara camp, you reach a point location of Lord Curzon’s trail. Here you can see some stone temples are made. From here the trail split into Pangarchulla and Kuari Top. You take the down right-side trail to reach Kuari Top and see Mt. Chaukhamba, Nilgiri, Neelkanth, Dronagiri and Hathi Ghoda. Then you trek down to Khullara Campsite. You also may visit Chitrakantha forest and Tali lake except in the winter season.
Trek from Khullara to Joshimath
Altitude: 11,500 ft to 6150 ft | Trek: 6 km | Trek gradient: Easy. Gradual descent. From Khullara campsite we have to descend to Gulling and further descent to Karchhi village and then drive back to Joshimath.
Drive from Joshimath to Rishikesh
On the last day of your trek, you will drive down to Rishikesh. Leave early in the morning from Joshimath and join Ganga Aarti at Rishikesh or you can head back to your station.
Joshimath is a town and Cantt area located at a height of 6150 feet in Chamoli District of Uttarakhand. This beautiful place is a gateway to several Himalayan mountain climbing expeditions, trekking trails and pilgrimage centres. Famous treks like Kuari Pass or Lord Curzon’s trail, Pangarchulla peak trek, Valley of Flowers and Hemkund Sahib, Biagini Glacier Trek, Dharansi Pass Trek, Satopanth Tal trek, Kankul Pass Trek and Gupt Khal trek are well-known trails in the area.
How to Reach Joshimath?
Joshimath is not directly connected with rail or air and can only be reached via roadway. Below you can find the details of the nearest railhead and airport for a convenient journey.
Reach Joshimath by Air
The only airport to Joshimath is Jolly Grant Airport at 270 km away between Rishikesh & Dehradun. The airport is well connected with direct flights from Mumbai, Delhi and some other major cities of the country. From outside of Jolly Grant airport, you will get cabs and taxi services to hire for a trip to the town of Joshimath. This journey will take about 9-10 hours from the airport to Joshimath.
Reach Joshimath by Train
The closest railway station to Joshimath is at Rishikesh at 254 km away and the other is Haridwar at 274 km away. Being extremely famous pilgrimage sites and tourist destinations, both the stations are well-connected with the rest of India. Cabs are available here to cover the distance to Joshimath.
Reach Joshimath by Road
If you travel by road, you don’t need to break the journey in the middle. There are regular buses as well as private Volvos from Delhi’s ISBT bus station. The distance from Delhi ISBT to Joshimath is 493 km which can be covered in about a 13-14 hour drive. There are buses to other major destinations nearby, such as Haridwar, Rishikesh, Srinagar, Rudraprayag, and Chamoli etc.
Things To Pack
Gears: A sturdy trekking shoe with good grip and ankle support is required for this hike. For winter treks, you must wear trekking shoes because of their excellent grip and because slippery sections are challenging to handle without them. You will also need a 50-60 litre backpack for this hike. A good-quality backpack must have good shoulder and hip support.
Clothes: You should carry at least three T-shirts. A hooded T-shirt that covers your neck would be a good option. The inner thermal layer should be one of the layers you wear. You will need three pairs of zip-off trek/track pants for this trek. Wear one pair and carry the others. Trekking pants with zippers down the thighs are ideal for treks. Choose quick-drying over cotton pants.
Mandatory Things to Carry: Keep a water bottle, sunglasses, a sun hat, a woollen cap, 3-4 pairs of socks, trekking poles, rainwear, a 10-litre daypack, a toilet kit and sunscreen (SPF 50+).
It's mandatory to present a photocopy of a government-issued photo identity card along with your original ID. Anything such as an aadhaar card, driver’s license, or passport will suffice.
Fitness and Safety
Kuari Pass is an easy-moderate trek and needs a good amount of endurance during winter. Each trekker has to be focused on cardiovascular activity. Start the exercises 30 to 40 days before the commencement of your trek. You can begin with jogging or cycling every day. Start by running at a slow pace and then increase your pace day by day. Make sure each day you are increasing the distance of running. In order to be prepared for a high-altitude trek, you should have a combination of speed and distance. Also do some breathing exercises such as Pranayama, Nadi Suddhi etc.
Kuari Pass trek is a strenuous but rewarding trek that takes you through some of the most breathtaking scenery. There are a few different routes to complete the trek, but the most well-liked one is to start from Joshimath. You can also start your trek from Auli or Tapovan. For beginners who are seeking a challenge, the Kuari pass trip is a fantastic choice, and the benefits are unquestionably worthwhile.
While most of the mountain passes are closed during the winter. The Kuari Pass Trek is the only pass that remains open even during the snowy winters. This makes it a unique trek. The months of March to June are also time to visit Kuari Pass. The weather is warm and dry at this time of year, which is perfect for hiking. As far as the eyes can see, there are snow-capped mountains and virgin valleys visible from the pass.
Kuari Pass trek takes about 5 to 6 days to complete and is about 22 kilometres long. The best route from Delhi is to travel via flight, train or roadways to Rishikesh. The main junction to start for the base camp (Joshimath) is Rishikesh. To reach Rishikesh, one can either travel by train, bus, or flight. It has connectivity from major places and cities.
Kuari Pass is an easy-moderate trek and needs a good amount of endurance. Though it takes 5-6 days, the views from the Pass are definitely worth it.
Yes. This beautiful trail was explored and first documented by Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India in 1905. He completed this trek crossing Auli, Gorson Bugyal, Tali, Khullara, Dakhwani, Pana, Ramani and Ghat villages. It needs at least 10 days to complete Lord Curzon's trail.