Located close to Govind Pashu Vihar National Park in Uttarakhand, Kedarkantha is a thrilling summit trek perfect for beginners. Resting at an altitude of 3810 M, the summit offers glorious 360 degree views of some well-known Himalayan peaks like the Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch, Black peak, Ranglana in the Yamunotri and Gangotri ranges.
The climb to the summit is one of the reasons behind the popularity of this trek. Starting in the wee hours of the morning in frigid temperatures, with headlamps lighting the way under a breaking dawn, the trails of Kedarkantha combine all the nuances and challenges of a summit experience, but on a much smaller scale.
Stretching over 20 km over a span of 5 days, this trek is suitable for first time trekkers because of the limited distances to be covered each day. The trek begins from Sankri village which is a common starting point for various treks in Uttarakhand. The trail from Sankri runs through dense Maple and Oak trees across several wooden bridges and streams before reaching the first campsite, Juda-ka-Taal.
Next day, the trek gradient is steeper as we head towards the Kedarkantha Base Camp, 4 km away. The trail runs through dense Oak forests thatopen up to several clearings on the way.
Keep an eye out for the rich flora and fauna including Rhododendron trees, Chir Pine, Black Eagle, Golden Eagle and many more. The Kedarkantha Base Camp offers some lovely 180 degree viewsof lofty snow-capped ranges like Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini and Kalanag. The snow-clad Kedarkantha Peak also appears closer from here, shining brighter than the moon on most nights.
The trek to the summit the following day is a riveting one. The steep ascent, gushing winds and freezing temperatures during the winters makes this the most challenging section of the Kedarkantha trek. To understand the nature of terrain, the skills and gear one would require to complete the Kedarkantha trek, click here.
What warrants this trek as an adventure haven is the wholesome experience it offers to the trekkers. Majestic snow covered landscapes, tall Oak & Pine trees, and camping beside a lovely high-altitude lake are only some of the attractions of this trek. Read more about the highlights of the Kedarkantha Trek here.
The best time to do Kedarkantha Trek (for snow) is December to February. On this page, you will find all the essential information like - Kedarkantha Trek Temperature, Weather, Route Map, Photos, Videos, and Reviews. Scroll to the end to read Kedarkantha trek blogs.
Arrive in Sankri (1950 m)
Distance covered: 197 km from Dehradun to Sankri
Duration: 9-10 hours to reach Sankri
The journey begins from the capital city of Dehradun. The vehicles arranged by Bikat Adventures can be boarded at ISBT, Dehradun latest by 7 AM. Sankri is a common starting point for various treks in Uttarakhand like Har Ki Dun, Borasu Pass, Bali Pass, Ruinsara Tal and others. It is located at a distance of 197 km from Dehradun and would take about 9-10 hours to cover, gaining an altitude of 1950 M.
The road trip is beautiful right from the start. It begins witha drive through the spectacular hills of Mussoorie and the majestic Kempty falls tucked in high mountain cliffs. The roads are long and winding letting you absorb every bit of the picturesque beauty around. Swift mountain streams run parallel to the roads in many sections.
After crossing Mussoorie, the road runs along a sparkling Yamuna River for a while. Eventually, the landscape shifts from deep gorges to an enchanting canopy of blue pine forests flanking either side of the road.
The last 22 km to Sankri, however, steals the show as we make our way through the Govind National Park embracing a variety of exotic flora and fauna. The roads can be rough and bumpy in some sections but the breathtaking views of the dense coniferous forests, Tons river valley and scattered apple orchids will more than make up for it.
We will be reaching Sankri at around 5pm. Sankri is a lush-green village hosting some unparalleled views of Mt. Swargarohini, especially during sunset time. During peak winter season, that is December to February, you will encounter snow right from Sankri itself.
The stay today will be in guest houses. After check-in,trekkers can freshen up and explore the surrounding areas.
Sankri to Juda-ka-Taal (2773 m)
Distance covered: 4 km from Sankri to Juda-ka-Taal
Duration: 5 hours to reach Juda-ka-Taal
The trek starts at around 9AM after a fulfilling breakfast. Packed lunches will be provided for the day.
During peak winters, your trek leader will provide you with spikes and gaiters before you start the trek. There will be a short briefing session on how to use them over the snow trail.
The path from Sankri takes you through another village, Saud, before leading you to the trail ofKedarkantha. There will be several bridge crossings along the way. The floor of these forests is thickly carpeted with maple leaves and is surrounded by dense foliage of pines everywhere. You will also be able to hear a stream burbling that you’ll come across later in the trek.
During winters, this very path looks no less than a winter wonderland with soft snow covering the branches and the floor below as a pleasantly warm sun shines above. And if you’re lucky enough, you may even witness snowfall during the trek.
The trail gradually ascends in a zigzag manner through the woods. An hour into the trek, you will come across a wooden bridge on your right. This marks a quarter of the day’s trek. Close ahead, you’ll catch up to the water stream you had been hearing so far. The tree line changes beyond this point to denser Maple and Oak trees.
After another hour or so, you will come across a gigantic fallen trunkresting in a glade right before the forest. At almost 2400 m, you are half way to the campsite for the day.
Continue trekking through the clearing into the Oak-brown forest. You will notice the air here carries the woody scent of the forests. The forest eventually clears up to a meadow with two small huts serving snacks and beverages. We will be halting here to have our packed lunches along with a cup of hot tea.
The trail that leads out of this clearingrapidly climbs through the woods eventually opening up to an exquisite lake, teardrop silver in color and guarded by a thicket of emerald-green Oak and Pine forests on one side.
This is the Juda-ka-Taal, a small high altitude lake on the Kedarkantha trek and our campsite for the day.
Juda-ka-Taal to Kedarkantha Base Camp (3413 m)
Distance covered: 4 km from Juda-ka-Taal to Kedarkantha Base Camp
Duration: 3 hours to reach Kedarkantha Base Camp
The trek gradient today is steeper than yesterday and goes through dense primeval Oak forests. After breakfast, we begin the trek towards the Kedarkantha Base Camp at 9AM.
Follow the trail that runs out of the Judaka Taal campsite. As the trail ascends on to a ridge veering further into the forest, you will notice the lake retreating slowly below.
A brief trudge through asnow-laden path will eventually lead us to glimpses of a tall mountain peak peeping through the woods – this is the Kedarkantha summit.
During late winters and early spring, you are likely to encounter residual snow on the trails from here on. Although the flora on the trek may not be in bloom yet, you will be greeted by semi-grown buds of Rhododendrons all the way. Come April, you will find bright orange and pink coloured Rhododendrons in full bloom and fresh grasslands waking up from their hibernation.
A short trek through umber-brown Oak forests brushed with snow leads to a stunning snowfield enveloped by towering woods on one side and a grand panorama of snow-clad peaks on the other. This is the Kedarkantha Base Camp.
Try spotting the Kedarkantha Peak, Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini andKalanagfrom here.
On clear days, the Milky Way gleams through the sky at night witha sheet of white snow shining all around. Early spring still carries residual snow in some sections of the Base Camp and the summit. The snow melts away by April, however, flushing out spring colors everywhere.
Have an early dinner and prepare to sleep well in time since the trek starts at around 3AM the next day.
Kedarkantha Base Camp to Kedarkantha summit (3810 m) & back to Hargaon (2700 m)
Distance covered: 3 km from Kedarkantha Base Camp to summit; 6 km from summit to Hargaon
Duration: 4 hours to reach Kedarkantha summit; 3 hours to reach Hargaon
The trek to Kedarkantha summit starts at around 3 AM in order to catch the sunrise from the top. Be prepared for trekking through numbingly cold temperatures and icy mountain winds all along. The initial trail is easy with a mild ascent and runs through dense Oak forests for about an hour.
After this, the forests begin to recede and opens up to a clearing out of which two trails run to the summit. The trek leader decides which path to take for the ascent based on the condition of the snow.
This section is steep with an inclination of 45 to 60 degrees. The snow here can sometimes run knee-deep during the winter months. From March onwards, the snow starts to dry and disappears completely by April.
After about half hour, you trek through various switchbacks to finally reach the surreal summit of Kedarkantha at the break of dawn. The summit opens up to a fantastic360 degree view of some renowned mountain peaks and ranges in the region like Gangotri, Yamunotri, Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini and Har Ki Dun amongst others.
There is also a square arrangement of stones at the top, dedicated to Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati, marked by a Trishul pointing to the sky as a shrine.
After spending some time at the summit, we start descending through the alternative route that leads to the clearing below. Expect to reach the Kedarkantha base camp by noon. We will halt at the campsite for a quick lunch. This will be followed by a descent to Hargaon. At an altitude of 2700 m, Hargaon is an open grassland (likely to be covered in snow during winters)encircled by dense forests.
We will be setting up camps here for the night and bask in the star-lit skies past dusk as we mark the end of an exhilarating day.
Hargaon campsite to Sankri (1950 m); Depart from Sankri
Distance covered: 6 km till Sankri; 197 km from Sankri to Dehradun
Duration: 3-4 hours till Sankri; 9-10 hours to reach Dehradun
Although today’s trek is the easiest of all days, it is going to be a long one. We begin early and leave for Sankri post breakfast. The trail is rocky but well-paved and runs alongside steady streams. It gradually evens out to a ridge and opens up to gaping views of the mesmerising Har Ki Dun Valley. After a short break at Sankri, have a final look at the lovely views around as we leave for Dehradun with a lifetime of memories.
Note: We are likely to reach Dehradun by 8-9 PM. If you are planning on traveling to Delhi overnight, please ensure you book Volvos that leave between 11 PM and 12 AM to account for any unexpected delays on the road.
Kedarkantha trek is ideal for both beginners and experienced trekkers. For the novice, it is a great start to enter into the world of trekking. It can get a bit rigorous for the first-timers. Therefore, it is recommended to maintain a good physical stamina and read extensively. Any experienced trekker would love to go on Kedarkantha trek for the love of its views and trekking.
This trek is apt for the first-timers. Those coming for the first time should prepare and read extensively about the trek. A basic knowledge of how to use a sleeping bag, toilet tents, sleeping tents, and mountain mannerisms will help.
1. How to choose a right rucksack: It is essential that you choose a right rucksack for the trek since you are going to carry it all the time while trekking. Make sure you don’t make these common mistakes while buying a rucksack.
2. How to pack a rucksack: Trekking in mountains become more fun when your rucksack is well-organized. It also makes it easier for you to carry without being much load on your shoulders. Follow the guidelines on how to pack a rucksack.
1. Jog/Run for 3 Kms in 30 mins and
2. Hold your breath for 20 seconds
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.
Click here for packing list.
The starting point of Kedarkantha Trek is a 10-minute walk from Sankri. Sankri is a small village in Uttarakhand which is a base camp for Uttrakhand treks. It is 180 km from Dehradun. There are public buses and shared jeeps running between Dehradun and Sankri. You can also take a shared taxi that will cost you around INR 600. Dehradun is easily accessible through road, rail, and air transport.
By Road: There are no direct buses to Sankri from Delhi. There You can take overnight UKRTC buses and Volvos available from ISBT Kashmere Gate, Delhi to Dehradun. The distance from Delhi to Dehradun is about 247 km. You can also hire a taxi or outstation cab from Delhi to Dehradun.
By Rail: The nearest railway station to Sankri is 187 km away in Dehradun. There are a number of trains running between Delhi and Dehradun like Dehradun Express, Mussoorie Express, Nanda Devi Express. It is advisable to make your train bookings a month in advance.
By Air: The nearest airport from Sankri is Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun which is 213 km away from Sankri. You can reach Dehradun from New Delhi by flight.
There are a number of places to visit in Dehradun and Mussoorie. Sahastradhara, a ‘thousand fold water spring’ is a famous tourist spot in Dehradun. The waters of the spring are believed to have medicinal properties. Robber’s Cave or Guchhi Pani is a famous picnic spot for fun-loving enthusiasts. Visit the holy Tapkeshwar temple on the bank of Asan River which is believed have one of the oldest Shivling. Enjoy the splash at much-touted Kempty Falls in Mussoorie. The highest place in Mussoorie, Lal Tibba is where you can enjoy the panoramic views of the snow-capped mountains. Admire the Kumaon and Garhwal Art & Culture at SOHAM Heritage and Art Centre.
There is no mobile reception after Sankri.
Since it Kedarkantha is a beginner’s trek, you need no special prior experience. Although one is required to have mental preparedness and stamina before he begins the trek. Running is recommended.
The minimum age limit for Kedarkantha trek is 9 years. However, minors aged between 9 to 17 should be accompanied with their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking.
Kedarkantha Trek best time is in the months of December to March.
When you arrive in Dehradun you will be transferred to Sankri, your stay will be made at local guest house or homestay in Sankri. The rooms will be provided on twin or triple sharing basis. You will receive the details of your accommodation through email few days prior the trek. On trekking days, all the trekkers will be accommodated in twin or triple sharing tents. Along with this, there will be also be a toilet tent and a dining tent installed at every campsite as we roll.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accomodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.
Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek.These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.
You will be provided with good quality gaiters and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack
In winters, during the day, the temperature will range from 10-15 degrees Celsius. The nights will get cold dropping the temperature to 0 to -8 degrees Celsius. The higher the altitude you gain, the colder it gets.
On Kedarkantha trek you can expect snows from December to March. It is difficult to expect snow during summers or monsoons.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.
A team of participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have a certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.
It is not mandatory but it is more convenient with the pole. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.
Dehradun has a sufficiently large market. However, do not leave anything for last minute buying as there will be no time for shopping because of immediate transportation to Sankri. Sankri is a very small village and it would be difficult to find anything major there. Minor toiletries are available.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.
Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.
The pickup will be from Outside ISBT, Dehradun at 7:00 AM to Sankri (the base village of the trek) and the drop on the last day will be at the same place in Dehradun by/before 10:00 PM.
Expect to reach Dehradun late in the evening. Make sure your bookings from this point to your respective destinations are late in the night, post 22:00 Hrs or early in the morning on the next day.
It is mandatory to carry ID Proof for the trek. (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried along)
Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure