One step at a time: 5 Himalayan Treks for Beginners

Intimidated by the thought of taking on the mighty Himalayas with just your backpack and boots, trekking rod in hand and no feathers of accomplishment in the cap? To the beginner, trekking in the world's highest mountains always digs up pictures of incredibly precipitous slopes and snow fields and slippery glaciers, moraines and cliffs jutting out over valleys cut by the most ruthless of rivers. But not all treks are completely challenging. Some take you over gentle slopes, across miles and miles of alpine meadows studded with the prettiest of blossoms, along rivers and tear-drop lakes, and are perfect for first-timers.

Beginner's treks are generally those treks that even a first-timer with moderate levels of fitness can accomplish. However, it is not necessary for such a trek to be termed "easy." In fact, no trek can possibly be called "easy" along its entirety as there always will be some sections that are relatively challenging. For a trek to qualify as a beginner's Trek, it must have the following four features:

1. The uphill sections are not too steep. You can go up at a steady pace while stopping to admire the view while catching your breath.
2. No special technical or mountaineering skills are required to navigate the trek.
3. The altitude does not go beyond about 3500-4000 m where chances of altitude sickness increase. You might still feel a little light headed or breathless but most people can function fully well at these altitudes.

4. There is a more or less defined path.

Gypsy Shack lists 5 of the best Himalayan treks for beginners. Are you ready to take on the mountains, one step at a time?

#1. Valley of Flowers Trek

Picture endless stretches of valleys carpeted in blooms of every hue you can imagine. Imagine the bouquet of fragrance that greets you. Imagine a pristine blue sky against which looms the lofty purple peaks coated in thick snow. If there is an enchanted land, then it must be this! Located in the Pushpawati Valley of Uttarakhand, this trek takes you into the Valley of Flowers National Park. The park is also home to a number of rare and endangered animals like the Asiatic black bear, snow leopard, musk deer, brown bear, red fox, and blue sheep. With Ghangria as your base, explore the exquisite beauty of this remote valley. Enroute, offer your prayers at Hemkund Sahib on the banks of the still blue Hemkund Lake.

Fact File:

Trekking Route: Gobindghat - Ghangria (14 km) - Valley of Flowers National Park (3 km)
Duration: 5N/6D
Altitude: 3352 to 3658 m
Best season: August & September


Valley of Flowers

Sensory Overdose: Valley of Flowers

#2. Chopta & Chandrashila Trek

One of the most popular treks for beginners, more so in winter when the entire region is shawled in layers of thick snow, the Chopta-Chandrashila Trek takes you across the lush meadows of Chopta, through beautiful forests of oak and deodar and along trails laced with pink and red rhododendrons to the summit of the Chandrashila Peak. The views of the Himalayas, especially the especially Nandadevi, Trisul, Kedar Peak, Bandarpunch and Chaukhamba peaks, and the surrounding wooded valleys below are stunning. Enroute, visit the 1000 year old Tungnath Temple, the highest shrine of Lord Shiva.

Fact File:

State: Uttarakhand
Trekking Route: Ukhimath-Deoria Tal (8 km)-Chopta-Chandrashila Peak via Tungnath (6 km)-Chopta
Duration: 3N/4D
Altitude: 3925 m
Best Season: All season (except monsoon)

Negotiating snow laden trails: Chopta-Chandrashila Trek

Negotiating snow laden trails: Chopta-Chandrashila Trek

#3. Har ki Dun Trek

Known for its abundance of flowers and bird life, the Har ki Dun Valley is one the loveliest in the Himalayas and offers spectacular glimpses of the Swargarohini I, II, III, Har ki Dun, Bandarpunch and Black Peaks. It is located in the Garhwal Himalayas and is accessible through the lush Govind National Park. For the first time trekker, the Har ki Dun trek offers a number of experiences ranging from hiking through dense forests of pines to climbing moraine ridges and glacial basins. Bird-watchers can spot golden eagles, Himalayan griffins and the colourful monal.

Fact file:

State: Uttarakhand
Trekking Route: Taluka-Purani Garaat (13 km) -Kalkatiyadhar via Osla (7 km)- Har ki Dun Valley Campsite* (4 km) -Purani Garaat (11 km) - Taluka
*Explore Maninda Taal (3 km) & Jaundar Glacier (9 km) from Har ki Dun Valley Campsite
Duration: 6N/7D
Altitude: 3600 m
Best Season: July-September

Walking past fields of Ramdana: Har ki Dun Trek

Walking past fields of Ramdana: Har ki Dun Trek

#4. Nag Tibba Trek

Locally known as the abode of the snake god, Nag Devta, Nag Tibba or Serpent's Peak offers magnificent vistas of the snowy Bandarpoonch, Swargarohini, Srikanth and Black peaks. This classic trek in the vicinity of bustling Mussoorie takes you through beautiful forests of oak and deodar and slopes brushed with snow. The area is rich in wildlife. Enroute pass through charming hillside villages and camps of the nomadic Gujjar tribe.

Fact file:

State: Uttarakhand
Trekking Route: Pantwari-Camp I- Nag Tibba Summit (3 km) - Pantwari (8 km)
Duration: 2N/3D
Altitude: 3022 m
Best Season: Mid Feb-Jun, Sept-Dec


Hiking to the Nag Tibba Ridge

Hiking to the Nag Tibba ridge

#5. Triund Hill Trek

One of the most popular weekend treks near McLeodganj, the Triund Hill Trek offers spectacular views of the Dhauladhar ranges. The trail threads through scarlet forests of rhododendrons, lush pastures and blooming meadows. The entire stretch has a rich avifaunal population and all along the trail, birdsong will soothe your fatigue away. For the more adventurous, you can further ascend to the Illaqua Glacier and Indrahara Pass via the Lahesh Caves.

Fact file:

State: Himachal Pradesh
Trekking Route: Bhagsu/Dharamkot - Triund via Galu Devta (7 km) - Bhagsu/Dharamkot
Duration: 1N/2D
Altitude: 2975 m
Best Season: August-October

Trekking to Triund Hill

Pick one from these 5 treks, put on those trekking boots and take your first baby steps on your exploration of the mighty Himalayas!

Article by: Mohana Das



Rakesh Gupta
Rakesh Gupta

October 03, 2017

“Thank you for sharing this blogs
all good & nice place”

Shaheen Ali
Shaheen Ali

February 27, 2017

Request information on Treks for beginners in May 2017.


January 21, 2016

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Anil Mittal
Anil Mittal

April 14, 2015

I like all 5 treks….doing them in this month and in May n June.

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