Duration: 6 to 7 days
Destinations: Bageshwar, Loharkhet, Dhakuri, Khati, Dwali, Khatia, Kafni glacier, Wachum
Max altitude: 3859.9 m
Experiences: Trekking, hiking (moderate to difficult)
Bageshwar to Loharkhet
Loharkhet, an approximate hour-long drive from Bageshwar, is the base camp of this trek. A small hamlet, Loharkhet is situated on the banks of the Saryu river and can also be reached from Kathgodam (about 6 hours) and Almora (about 3.5 hours). At Loharkhet, a Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam (KMVN) guest house or a forest rest house located in the vicinity are the best accommodation options available.
Bageshwar is well connected by motorable road from other parts of the state.
The closest railhead is at Kathgodam (about 108 km away).
The nearest airport is Pantnagar, about 206 km away from Bageshwar.
Loharkhet to Khati via Dhakuri
The road leading to Dhakuri pass is a steady uphill walk starting with a rock-strewn path and moving on to expansive meadows with small boulders. Start early (around 6 am) to reach Dhakuri pass by noon. Break for lunch and catch up on some rest while feasting your eyes on the surrounding snow-capped mountain ranges. Continue towards Khati.For a few kilometres, the path goes downhill and although it lacks maintenance, it is clear and is used frequently by the locals. On the way is Khatariya, the last motorable point, after which you go around a valley, cross a few bridges and trek uphill for a couple of kilometres before reaching Wachum, a small settlement about 2 km before Khati. You can opt to rest a while before arriving at Khati for the night.
Khati to Khatia via Dwali
The first lap of the journey from Khati to Dwali is about 10 km, so start early. The path runs downhill on the side of the mountain, with some forest cover. The Pindar river will keep you company on the way, its pale blue foaming water running over grey boulders. The trail will take you through a forest and paths with beautiful views of the surrounding landscape. If you keep a steady pace, you will be able to reach Dwali by noon. Dwali is a collection of a few humble huts and a KMVN guest house with three or four rooms. Break for lunch here.You can opt to stop over at the guest house for the night or push on another 5-6 km to Khatia. Most of the stretch from Dwali to Khatia is an uphill climb but the views from Khatia is worth all the effort. Retire for the night at the Gram Panchayat rest house.
Khatia to Kafni glacier to Dwali
Set off early after a quick breakfast. It would be a steady uphill walk on the exposed mountainside. Paths strewn with bushy grasses will lead to trails flanked by expansive meadows on both sides. On the way, you will be able to see the Nanda Khat mountain.Soon the glacier and the surrounding mountains will come to view. Be cautious when you cross the snow field to reach the Zero Point of the Kafni glacier. Take in the beauty of the surrounding and the silence of the mountains before heading back to Khatia and further descending to Dwali.
Get a good night's rest
Enjoy the luxury of a late start to the day. Set off towards Khati after a hearty breakfast. Enjoy the cool breeze and the natural beauty around you on the way. You will reach Khati in a couple of hours and another few to reach Wachum, a small settlement about two km outside Khati. If you have the energy, you can continue the trek – an uphill one with a few descents – till Dhakuri. But make the most of this trip and make a halt at Wachum.
Wachum to Dhakuri
One of the easiest days and hikes of this trek, it takes about three hours to cover. Check into a KMVN guest house here or, if you are feeling adventurous, rent a tent.
Dhakuri to Bageshwar via Loharkhet
Start early to reach Loharkhet before noon. The distance takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to cover. Grab a bite to eat before hailing a cab or a jeep to Bageshwar.