Located in the Garhwal Himalayas in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand, Har ki Dun or Valley of Gods is a gateway to paradise. Running along the Supin river, the route is known to be the most striking river valley treks in the Himalayas. With the scenery starkly changing from spring to winter, if you were to do it in both seasons, you would barely recognise the trail! Har ki Dun is an all-in-one package. From quaint villages surrounded by massive mountain ranges to flora and fauna, it pretty much covers everything. Oh did I mention the landscapes almost consume you in their grandiosity? They do!
There is a good time for every trek and somehow Har ki Dun can be accessed in spring and winter! In this article, we look at the best time to do Har ki Dun, temperatures in the region and what you can expect during these months.
Har ki Dun is accessible for close to seven months in a year. The spring season for Har ki Dun starts in March when the heavy layers of snow melt and make way for trekkers. This season of trekking continues well into summer and the route remains open till the end of June. During this time, particularly between April and May, the flowers are in full bloom and sprawling green meadows make the scenery vibrant as the sun shimmers upon the landscape.
Govind Pashu Vihar Sanctuary shuts for a period of three months during the monsoon, which usually starts in late June. The route is inaccessible and the forest department does not permit entry during this time.
As the monsoon recedes, the trekking season for Har ki Dun resumes. The route usually opens up in September and remains accessible till late November. Snowfall makes the route difficult to trek from December onwards. Knee deep snow and chances of heavy snowfall and calamities keep the trekking route closed. From September to November, the trail sees a fair amount of snow, changing the region into a winter wonderland. It is almost unrecognisable what it was in spring. Snow covers the trees, freezes the flowers and forms a blanket over the meadows and the scenery is mostly in colours of black and white. The mountains seem closer than ever and their gradiosity does not fail to humble us.
So the best time to do Har ki Dun really depends on what you want to experience, the vibrant colours and warmth from the sun as you race across the meadows or the sheer beauty of snow covered landscapes with a hint of adventure. However, if you were to go by the “popular” season for the trek, that would be March-June and is widely considered as the best time to do the trek. But if you wish for some peace and quiet in the mountains, September-November sees fewer trekkers and the only thing you can hear is the rhythm of the mountains, the birds and alpine forests. Both the trekking seasons for the route are captivating nonetheless and who knows maybe you will end up doing it twice!
Temperatures on Har ki Dun Trek
The day temperatures during the spring (March-June) season range between 18℃ and 24℃. At night, the temperature drops to a minimum of 3℃. It is not particularly cold and the temperatures are pleasant to have an enjoyable experience. Some snow patches remain from the harsh winter that passed but as the season progresses, they too disappear.
In winters, day temperatures range between 8℃ and 10℃, a significant drop from the summer months. Night temperatures drop to -5℃, making it extremely cold and difficult to cope with if we are not adequately prepared. Snowfall is common in October or November, which means we might just be there in time for the very first snowfall of the season!
Now that you know when is the best time for the trek and what you can expect in terms of the landscape and temperatures, maybe go ahead and decide when you wish to explore this stunning route? Find out more here.
This article was originally written by Dhaarna Kukreja on 25/01/2018. It was edited and updated by Geethanjali on 3/10/2023.