Destinations: Sankri, Juda Lake, Kedarkantha
Distance /Altitude: Approx 20 km/ 3,800 m
Duration: 6 days
Experiences: Trekking, hiking (easy to moderate)
Budget: INR 15,000 per person (Approx)
DEHRADUN TO SANKRI
A spectacular 210 km drive, the route takes you through some of the most scenic forests of Dehradun to reach Sankri village, located at a height of approximately 2,000 m. The trek to Kedarkantha peak is an easy option for beginners and gives the thrill of reaching a summit. It takes trekkers through the Govind Pashu Vihar National Park and can be planned in any season. In summer, the trek passes through rolling grasslands but in winter, it offers stunning views of high Himalayan peaks and snow-covered forests. Kedarkantha has multiple trekking routes and you can exit the trek from Sankri, Kotgaon or Gaichawan Gaon.
By Road: The around 10-hour drive passes through dense forests, which, in winter, are enveloped in snow.
SANKRI TO JUDA LAKE
Juda Lake or Juda ka Talab is a pretty high altitude lake located between Sankri and Kedarkantha summit. Surrounded by dense forests, the pristine lake and the clearing around it makes for an ideal camping spot for trekkers on this route. Legend says that Lord Shiva had untwisted his locks a little and water flowed from it to form this small lake. The four-km trek begins from Sankri village and once the village is crossed, the road makes a wide curve and climbs sharply. On the way, you may meet villagers going about their everyday chores. In winter, the lake freezes over and its surroundings are blanketed in snow. In summer, stop by any of the gushing streams crisscrossing the green fields, for beautiful photographs.
JUDA LAKE TO KEDARKANTHA BASE CAMP
The next morning, you will start from Juda ka Talab for the trek to the Kedarkantha base camp, located around 4 km away. If you walk at moderate speed, it will take you about 3 hours to reach your destination. The route passes through dense oak and pine forests through steep ridges. While in summer, you will see shepherds and their huts dotting the landscape, in winter, it turns into a white magical land.
KEDARKANTHA BASE CAMP TO KEDARKANTHA PEAK AND BACK TO HARGAON CAMP
The next day start pre-dawn from the Kedarkantha base camp to reach the Kedarkantha peak, located at a height of 3,800 m. The trail, of around 6 km, can take upto 7 hours to be covered at moderate walking speed.
This section is a little challenging but once you have reached the top of this standalone peak, it will seem worth the trouble. The 360-degree view of surrounding peaks including Swargarohini, Bandarpoonch and Kala Nag is stunning. Rest for a while and click photographs before you begin your descent to to the Hargaon (Horegaon) camp at around 2,700 m, which you will reach by evening. You will stay in the camp here.
HARGAON TO SANKRI VIA JUDA LAKE
This 6-km trek will take around four hours to be covered. You will swiftly descend around 800 m through dense pine forests. In winter, you will walk through soft and deep snow. The steepness of the trail lets you easily run or slide down the snow. You can stay the night in local hotels.
SANKRI TO DEHRADUN
On the last day of your trek, roam around Sankri village, exploring the pristine forests and the rural splendors of Uttarakhand. Make memories before you hit the road for Dehradun, around 200 km away.