Kedarkantha Trek at a Glance
* Difficulty: Moderate (Suitable for Beginners)
* Kedarkantha Trail: Dense Pine & Oak forests, open meadows & snow during winters.* Region: Uttarakhand
* Base Camp: Sankri (200 kms from Dehradun)
* Kedarkantha Altitude: 6,000 ft at Sankri to 12,500 ft. at Kedarkantha Peak
* Kedarkantha Trek Distance: 25 km (Approx)
* Kedarkantha Trek Duration: 4 days (Sankri – Sankri)
* Best Season for Kedarkantha Trek: December to April
Day1: Drive from Dehradun to Sankri Base Camp
Day2: Trek from Sankri to Juda Ka Talab
Day3: Trek from Juda ka Talab to Kedarkantha Base Camp
Day4: Trek from Kedarkantha Base Camp to Kedarkantha peak and back to Hargaon Campsite
Day5: Trek back from Hargaon to Sankri and return to Dehradun
Story of Kedarkantha
Kedarkantha is often mistaken for Kedarnath. After talking to locals, I learnt about the popular story of Kedarkantha. All those who aspire to trek Kedarkantha must know about it. As the name says Kedarkantha, which means a place where throat of Kedar (Lord Shiva) resides. The locals believe Lord Shiva before heading towards Kedarnath meditated here for a week.
There are a lot of blogs and vlogs on Kedarkantha Trek giving every detail. My serious concern was the difficulty level of the trek. Now the difficulty level is very subjective. Most of the blogs said it is an ideal trek for beginners, but trust me ‘it can be the first snow trek for beginners Himalayan Trekker’. A prior trekking experience is a must. Located at 12500 feet above the sea level, Kedarkantha is one of the most fascinating and doable Himalayan Trek for beginners.
Best time for Kedarkantha Trek
Whether it’s summer or winter, one can trek Kedarkantha Peak at any time of the year. In summers, the trek which is filled with vibrant fauna, green meadows, and lush emerald landscape always refreshes the trekkers’ soul. However, in winters, one can experience the breathtaking vistas of the grand Himalayan peaks and remotest villages, which are blanketed with snow.
Due to harsh climatic conditions in the high altitudes, it is vital for the trekkers to plan the trekking expedition carefully. So, one is required to choose the right time considering acclimatization as the priority before heading for the trek. The best time to hike Kedarkantha Peak is either from April to June or September to December.
From April to June, the temperature varies from 3°C to 8°C in daytime and -5°C to -1°C at night.
From September to December, the temperature varies from -4°C to 6°C in daytime and -8°C to -3°C at night.
1st day -Dehradun to Sankri
The base camp of the Kedarkantha trek is in Sankri that is located at a distance of 186 km from Dehradun. So the journey of the Kedarkantha trek begins from Sankri and you can reach the place by taking both the railways and roadways to Dehradun. You can also come using air transportation and then take a local transport journey by bus or can hire a car or taxi to reach the base camp location.
2nd day - Sankri to Juda Ka Taal
You will be provided with spikes and gaiters by your instructor to wear for your safety in the trek. You will have to cover a distance of 5 km in total on the second day of the trek starting from the Sankri to Juda Ka Taal. You will start with some warm-up by walking for 10 minutes. You will get to see Swargarohini in the way and will reach Juda ka Taal by the afternoon and will stay there overnight.
3rd day -Juda Ka Taal to Kedarkantha base camp
On the 3rd day, you will begin to form the Juda ka Taal and by the late evening, you will reach the Kedarkantha base camp where you will experience the serenity of nature’s beauty and will rest there overnight after having dinner. The altitude of this place is around 11,200 ft. and the total trekking distance that you will cover on the 3rd day would be 3 to 4 km.
4th day - Kedarkantha base camp to Kedarkantha
This is a long day as you have to cover 6 km of distance. You will enjoy the nearby locations for sometimes and then have your lunch. After lunch, you will leave you will get back from the summit. You will get to see Black Peak, Gangotri, Bandarpoonch and many more places in between and then you will take a route to Hargaon.the same day.
5th day -Hargaon to Sankri to Dehradun
On the last day of trekking, you will return to Sankari and then to Dehradun. The total distance to cover on the last day is also approximately 6 km so the day is long and lazy as well. While returning you will get to see some of the nearby villages and pause in between meals. When you return to Sankri, you task some rest and then again start for Dehradun the same day.Dehradun to Sankri is approximately 170 kms but it takes 6 to 7 hours due to the ghat road , the facilities on the way to Sankri are moderate , as there are dhabas which serve amazing paratas, you can even find homestays on thr way to Sankri that is purola .
Bus to Sankri
* From Dehradun railway station, you can find three buses that leave at 5.30 am, 6.30 am and 8 am early in the morning. The 5.30 am and 6.30 am buses are private vehicles. These buses to Sankri are usually parked near Hotel Grand. It is at a 5 minute walk from the railway station.
* The 8 am bus which is a government bus can be found right outside the railway station.
* The ticket prices for both the private and government buses cost around INR 400.
Shared Taxi to Sankri
* The second-best option is to take a shared taxi from the Dehradun Railway Station. These are usually parked near Hotel Grand which is at a 5 minute walk from the railway station.
* Please note that these taxis don't go to Sankri directly. They stop at Purola which is 54 kms from Sankri. The travel takes around 4.5 hours and costs INR 300.
* From Purola, there are shared cabs that go all the way to Sankri. However, all shared cabs leave before noon. So, please ensure you reach Purola before noon if you plan on traveling by this route. The cab ride from Purola to Sankri costs around 150-200 rupees.
Mussoorie to Sankri
* Alternatively, you can also travel from Mussoorie to Sankri. There is an early bus available from the Mussoorie bus stop at 8 am. The ticket price for this ride costs around 400 Rupees1