Nestled in the Godly abode of Uttarakhand with an elevation of 12,500 ft, Kedarkantha is one of the best trek experiences in the Himalayas.
The tall pine trees weighted down by snow, beautiful campsites around lakes and meadows which gives a nice vantage point and the lush green forests filled with rich flora and fauna.
Being One of the popular treks around the world, Kedarkantha is surprisingly of moderate difficulty. You don’t need to worry about having little to no experience in trekking under the right guidance. Kedarkantha trek welcomes starters and seasoned trekkers alike.
Trek Distance: 20 km
Trek Altitude: 12,500 ft
Difficulty level: Easy to Moderate
Best Season: December to April
The Kedarkantha peak sits at an altitude of 12,500 ft above the sea level in the Himalayan region of Uttarakhand. There are different starting points and the base altitude depends on which route you start from.
- Sankri village: Sankri is a small village in Uttarkashi at an altitude of 6,455 ft. From the base you steadily gain an altitude of approximately 6000 ft. The trek spans over four days more or less. The first milestone is reaching Juda-ka-Talab, from there you can see the mighty ranges like the peak of Har ki Dun. Sankri is the most popular route to Kedarkantha among trekkers.
- Kotgaon: Kotgaon is another route and has its own charm. This lesser-known trail let you trek in peace away from the crowded route. First thing you will see is an old fashioned Someshwar temple. The village is located at an elevation of 6,800 ft and hike at a gradual pace.
- Gaichawan Gaon: Gaichawan gaon is a remote village with the Rupin river at its side. The average altitude of this trek is about 5,600 ft and your first stop is around 5 hours away at Jalota. You will pass by some beautiful apple orchards and humble villages on your way.
Safety aspects with Altitude:
In Kedarkantha trek, no matter which route you take, the first three days are for continuous ascent to the top with average altitude gain of 6,300 ft. It is evident that acclimatization is really important as the chances of getting AMS (Altitude Motion Sickness) are high. Some of the things that can be done to avoid AMS are:
- Each day should be divided with normal altitude gain with steady pace
- Try to keep second day shorter to cope up with the first day altitude gain
- Rest plenty and try to acclimatize your body to the weather and altitude
- Third day marks the descent and help you overcome AMS
If an individual shows a symptom of AMS like tiredness, headache and loss of appetite then it is advisable to take Diamox at every 12-hour interval to help relieve the symptoms. If the symptoms still persist then return to the base.
The Kedarkantha trek is considered to be an easy to moderate level trek in Uttarakhand. The characteristics of its terrain makes it beginner friendly with the right amount of hustle. The altitude gain of 6,500 is evenly spanned over 3 days. Making it easier for the trekkers to overcome the challenges gradually. In winter the trail is marked with snow and increases the difficulty level to moderate. The trail has many exit points as it has multiple routes. The most challenging part of this trek is the steep summit climb towards the end. Also, the trek day is longer comparatively to the other days and you need a good endurance level.
The entire trail is well marked for the trekkers making it safe. The ascents are not that steep except on the last summit day. The campsites are well situated and give you ample amount of time to acclimatize. There are hardly any tough sections that require you to have any technical assistance. However, one small section requires you to walk on the ridge. It is one of the adventurous experiences in itself.
Here are some of the budget Himalayan treks
The altitude and terrain is of moderate difficulty on Kedarkantha Trek and the nature of the trail provides you with the thrilling experience of trekking in the Himalayas.