Few know that tucked in the Garhwal Himalayas, less than 14 hrs from Delhi, is one of the finest trekking trails in the country. Accessible in both summer and winter - the landscape appealing in both - Nag Tibba is one of Garhwal's carefully concealed secrets. You will come to Mussoorie and be mesmerised but you will never know what treasure lies less than 100 km away unless like a true lover of the mountains, you explore. Bill Aitken, a notable travel writer, has mentioned the Nag Tibba Trek as ‘A classic trek in the vicinity of Mussoorie.’
Located in the Garhwal Himalayas of Uttarakhand, at 3022 m, Nag Tibba is the highest peak of the ridge of the same name. Along with the Pir Panjal and Dhauladhar ranges, the Nag Tibba range is one of the three principle ranges of the Lower Himalayas. It is considered to be the abode of Nag Devta - the god of snakes. For the locals here, He is the protector of their sheep and cattle.
The trek begins from Pantwari, 90 km from Dehradun. Terraced farms and hills slopes are flush with purple blossoms of the Bauhinia trees. Goats and woolly sheep dot the hillside. As we climb higher, fields of green peas, wheat and garlic give way to emerald pastures and grazing grounds. White anemones are a prominent sight. Birds like jungle wabbler, red vented bulbul, blue cheeked bulbul, hill myna, warblers and tits. The trail winds up to the Nag Devta temple. Dense forests of oak and scarlet rhododendron take over the landscape. The damp forest floor is home to bright orchids. In the afternoon, the mist rises and engulfs the forests. Niltavas and Flameback woodpeckers live in these forests.
Garhwal Himalayas, Uttarakhand
Nag Tibba is a circular trek, meaning that the finish point is same as the start point but at no time there is an overlap of trail. Alternately, you might choose to retrace your steps and include a 16 km rafting run in the Yamuna. The routes are:
Route 1: Dehradun - Nainbagh (drive, 73 km) - Pantwari (drive, 16 km) - Camp 1 (trek, 6 km) - Nag Tibba Top via Nag Tibba Base Camp (trek, 3 km) - Teva (trek, 8 km) - Dehradun
Route 1A: Dehradun - Nainbagh (drive, 73 km) - Pantwari (drive, 16 km) - Camp 1 (trek, 6 km) - Nag Tibba Top via Nag Tibba Base Camp (trek, 3 km) - Pantwari (trek, 9 km) - Nainbagh (drive, 16 km) - Yamuna Bridge (drive, 28 km) - Dakpatthar (Rafting, 16 km) - Dehradun (drive, 39 km)
Alternate routes to Nag Tibba starts from the ridge opposite to Pantwari. They are:
Route 2: Dehradun - Mussoorie (36 km) - Thatyur (38 km) - Devalsari (7 km) - Nag Tibba (10 km) - Devalsari - Dehradun
Route 3: Dehradun - Mussoorie (36 km) - Thatyur (38 km) - Aunter - Nag Tibba - Gujjar Campsite - Pantwari - Nainbagh - Dehradun
Route 4: Dehradun - Mussoorie - Thatyur - Mangalori - Gujjar Campsite - Nag Tibba - Aunter - Thatyur - Dehradun
All year round.
Best seasons are Feb-Jun, Sep-Dec.
At the start of the pre-monsoon season (Feb -Jun), there will be snow along the trail. It generally melts by the end of April. Days are mostly sunny and warm with temperatures ranging between 14 - 22 deg. C. The night-time temperatures in the upper parts of the trail varies between 0-8 deg. C. In summer, the valley is prone to strong catabatic winds at night. Post October, temperatures might dip to below zero and there maybe snowfall. Between January-March, the trail is under snow.
3N/4D (Trekking from Pantwari to Teva + Rafting)
2N/3D (Trekking from Pantwari to Teva OR Trekking from Pantwari to Pantwari + Rafting)
1N/2D (Trekking from Pantwari to Pantwari)
The Nag Tibba Ridge at 3100 m.
Though marked "Easy-Moderate," there are certain sections of the Nag Tibba Trek that are steep. It requires some prep / fitness training and leg training, mental preparedness and stamina.
The groups are small and the needs of the clients are individually attended to. Our guides have over 15 years of experience navigating the mountains of the region. They are qualified from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering. Should you have any dietary preference, let us know.
Views on the Nag Tibba Trek
Hiking through dense forests
Chaitali, our COO, just got back from the trek. With her help, we have made a list of FAQs.
There will be 2 days of trekking:
Pantwari - Nag Tibba Base Camp (6 km)
Nagtibba Base Camp - Nag Tibba Top - Teva (11 km)
I will grade it 5 - Moderate for trekking enthusiasts, and 7 for absolute beginners
Camp 1 is on a lush green meadow. The campsite is peppered with mint and kandali shrub. Our cooks used the later to make a tasty saag and yummy mint chutney.
The Nag Tibba Base Camp is far more expansive. It is closer to the Nag Devta Temple. There are trees far along the horizon and tents are erected on a grassy meadow.
The Teva campsite is on a ridge. It is located in an opening in the forests. There is a source of water nearby which makes it perfect for a night halt.
The Yamuna River campsite, should you choose rafting as well, is right on the sandy banks of the river.
Refer to our The Basic Packing Checklist for a Trekker page.
Our tents are made out of polyethylene. They are dome shaped and waterproof. We use tents manufactured by companies like Quechua, Simond, Asolo, Mountain Hardwear and Vaango. The tents provided will be 3 man tents. 3 people can comfortably sleep next to each other with a separate area to keep shoes and ruck sacks. There will be a window to allow circulation of air. Carrymats will be provided. These are 6' by 3' foam mats which are used to sleep on. They help insulate the body from the cold underground. Quechua, Mountain Hardwear and Cliff Climber sleeping bags will be used. They can tolerate temperatures of upto -5 deg C.
Kitchen tents and Toilets tents, with dry pit toilets, will also be provided.
Food is freshly cooked.
Breakfast: Upma, poha, porridge, aloo parantha, boiled eggs, omelettes, scrambled eggs, bread butter jam, honey, pickle, fruits and banana pancakes.
Lunch (Packed): Fruits, fruit juices, butter & jam sandwich, boiled egg, vegetable sandwich, plain parantha-sabzi, biscuits and chocolates.
Dinner: Soup, starters, salad, papad, vegetable, chapattis, rice, daal, sweet dish like fruit custard/caramel custard/sevaiyyan/sweet bread, 1 local vegetable like mushroom or green vegetables Pahadi Palak, nimboodi, potato leaves, kandali and the like.
Dehradun is 90 km from Pantwari. The driving route is Dehradun - Mussoorie - Nainbag - Pantwari. Buses are available from Mussoorie.
Map: Nag Tibba Trek via Pantwari
Map: Nag Tibba Trek with Rafting
Should you have any other query, please post it as a comment below and we will be happy to help. Happy Trekking!