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Roopkund Trek, Uttarakhand

If you are an adventure and nature lover and want to witness the nature in its purest and raw form, then an adrenaline pumping trek is the solution for your adventure seeking soul and Roopkund Trek in Uttarakhand must be in your priority list.

One of the most popular Himalayan treks in Uttarakhand, Roopkund is a lake located in an altitude of 16,156 feet in the Chamoli district and is also known as the ‘Mystery Lake’.

Nestled in the Himalayan ranges in the Chamoli district in Uttarakhand, Roopkund is a picturesque and breathtaking destination for trekking with a trail endowed with cavernous virgin forests, expansive stunning meadows lush with greenery, beautiful campsites enhanced with a jaw-dropping backdrop of the snow-covered mountains. From deep-dark forests to luscious green meadows and grasslands, from snow-capped mountains to frozen lake surrounded with mystery, Roopkund trek has everything to mesmerize you and soothe your senses.

Located at an altitude of 15,696 feet and surrounded by looming snowy mountains, Roopkund trek is a 53km long trail and known as the Mystery Trek because of the Roopkund Lake that encases age-old human and animal skeleton, believed to be from the Paleolithic age and are clearly visible when the snow melts in the lake. This thrilling fact gives this lake its famous name and makes the trek even more fascinating to not only Indian trekkers but trekkers from around the globe. The bewitching ridges, luxuriant Pine and Rhododendron forests, grasslands, and the mystery lake makes it a must-experience adventure, one that will fulfill each one of your adventure thirsts.

A Stunning Trail to Behold

The trail along the Roopkund trek is a mesmerizing and divine sight to behold with several natural and stunning sights along the way. Traversing along the dense Oak, Pine, and Rhododendron forests, you will be blessed with the majestic sights of Mt. Trishul and Mt. Nanda Ghunti along with the two massive alpine meadows of Ali Bugyal and BedniBugyal on your way.

Not only this, the Roopkund trail offers an exclusive and spectacular views of the Neel Kanth Peak, Kedarnath, Chaukhamba range, Kedar Dome and several other majestic mountain ranges in their glory. After half the trek, you will find snow-covered forests and some Himalayan animals on the way that is the highlight of this trek. The birds chirping, dense green forests, fresh air, snow-capped peaks with a golden glow of sunlight, and serene surroundings will calm your senses and fill your heart with adventure, joy, and tranquility like no other.

Important Information on Roopkund Trek

Difficulty Level

Roopkund trek is a moderate level trek with mild climb to Roopkund summit and a downhill trek route while coming back. For the beginners, it might be a little difficult if your fitness is not up to the mark, but your determination and the beautiful sights of the trail will not let you fail. Although the trek is safe, it is advisable that the trekkers should get information about the altitude and medical conditions before taking the trek.

Altitude to Cover

  • Loharjung base – 7663 feet
  • Didna Village – 8096 feet
  • Ali Bugyal – 11,320 feet
  • PatarNachauni – 12,818 feet
  • Bhagwabasa camp – 14, 126 feet
  • Roopkund – 15, 756 feet

Weather Conditions

The general weather is cold in Roopkund but the exact weather conditions depend on the time of the year you are trekking. Months from May to September experience moderate temperature during the day with substantially colder nights. From October the temperature starts to drop rapidly, and snow cover becomes thick. Monsoons in these areas are moderate to high in level with favorable conditions to trek but is usually avoided at this time.

Trek companies

There are some famous trekking sites which organize trekking camps to Roopkund and other beautiful sites. These sites make sure that the trekkers are guided by professional guides with mountaineering knowledge and provide full food and accommodation facilities in camps. Some of the best sites for trekking in Roopkund are:

  • Trek The Himalayas – INR10,500/person (info@trekthehimalayas.com)
  • Himalayan Climber – INR8999/person (support@himalayanclimber.com)
  • Himalayan Trekkers – INR15,500/person (info@himalayantrekker.com)
  • Treks and Trails – INR12,500/person (highfive@treksandtrails.org)
  • IndiaHikes – INR16,450/person (info@indiahikes.com)
Things to Keep
  • Original and photocopy of government photo identity card and passport and visa important for foreigners.
  • Medical certificate stating you are fit for the trek.
  • A strong built backpack with rain cover
  • Sturdy trekking shoes, waterproof trek pants, quilted jackets, warm thermals, waterproof gloves
  • Water bottle, torch head light, cap, personal toiletry item
  • Personal medical kit with tablets for headache, fever, cough, motion sickness, spray for sprains, band aid, cotton, and gauze
  • Swiss knife
  • Fully charged camera and extra battery backup.
Food Stops

As the trek is at a very high altitude, the higher you go the lesser the chances of you getting any shops or eateries. If you are trekking without any professional help on your own in a group, then Kathgodam and Loharjung are the two places where you will find food items to pack. It is advisable to pack ready made or instantly ready food stuff such as Maggie noodles, oats, eggs, and vegetables that can be easily prepared. If you are lucky you can come across some huts in Ali Bugyal and BedniBugyal where locals sell tea, but that can’t be a surety.

If you are going through some commercial help, which is advisable, then the food and camp accommodation is provided by the management and is freshly prepared in the campsites by the cooks and local guides. During the day, breakfast and lunch is also provided by the trekking management which is usually ready-made food or that can be easily assembled such as a sandwich. Water in the Himalayan region is generally pure enough to boil and drink directly but emergency water bottles must be kept by the trekkers as well.

Roopkund Trek Itinerary    

  • Day 1 – Drive from Kathgodam Railway Station to Loharjung (210km and 9/10 hours’ drive), the first campsite.
  • Day 2 – Trek from Loharjung to Ghairoli Patal via Wan (5.5km and 4/5 hours), second campsite.
  • Day 3 – Trek from Ghairoli Patal to Bedni Bugyal via Ali Bugyal (10km and 5/6 hours), the third campsite.
  • Day 4 – Trek from Bedni Bugyal to Patar Nachauni (7km and 4/5 hours), fourth campsite.
  • Day 5 – Trek from Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabhasa (4.5km and 4/5 hours), fifth campsite.
  • Day 6 – Trek from Bhagwabhasa to Roopkund, further Junargali Top and return to Patar Nachauni via Bhagwabhasa, return campsite.
  • Day 7 – Trek from Patar Nachauni to Loharjung (15km and 7/8 hours) via BedniBugyal and Wan.
  • Day 8 – Drive from Loharjung to Kathgodam Railway Station.    

Best Time to do Roopkund Trek

The best time to do Roopkund trek is during pre-monsoon (summer) and post-monsoon (autumn) months, i.e., May-June and September-October. The beauty of Roopkund trek is at its peak during this time and the weather conditions are also favorable.

If you want to witness the skeletons in the lake, then autumn season is best for you as the lake is not frozen during this time and it is less windy. During the pre-monsoon months, the lake is still frozen which makes it difficult for the skeletons to be seen.

How to Reach Kathgodam for Roopkund Trek
  • By Train: Kathgodam can be reached from Delhi and Dehradun easily and trains ply everyday from there. From Delhi, you can take Ranikhet Express or Uttar Sampark Kranti and from Dehradun, the Doon Express departs to Kathgodam.
  • By Bus: There are regular buses from Delhi and Dehradun to Kathgodamthat you can take from the ISBT.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q1. Is there connectivity in Roopkund trek?

No, there is no mobile connectivity or electricity in the entire Rookpund trek, and it is advised to carry fully charged phones and cameras for clicking photos.

Q2. Is Roopkund trek banned?

Roopkund trek was banned in between because of the harm people caused in the trail and leaving junk behind. It is not banned currently, but overnight camping permission in bugyals is difficult which makes Roopkund trek difficult to do.

Q3. Is Roopkund trek tough?

It is not a very tough trek but not very easy either. A good physical fitness is required and your level of acclimatization in the cold weather is also important.

Q4. What is the base of the Roopkund trek and the trek distance?

Loharjung is the starting point of Roopkund trek, and it is 53km long trail.

Q5. What is the best time for Roopkund Trek?

The months of May and June and then the months of September and October are the best months to do Roopkud trek as the weather is moderate and the bugyals are in their full glory and lush green.

Q6. In which lake are human skeletons found?

Roopkund Lake in Uttarakhand is the lake where human and animal skeletons from 500-600 years ago are found.

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