Rupin Pass Trek

First slide

Rupin Pass Winter Trek

Trek for The Volatile Mind.

What do you enjoy the most while you’re on a trek? Mountains? Meadows? Rocks? Rivers? Snow? All of the above? Great! We have just the trek for you! From climbing mountains, to skipping rocks, to crossing streams, to sliding down slopes – this trek has it all. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s the Rupin Pass Trek! It has a surprise waiting for you at every turn and is sure to fulfill every wish your adrenaline junkie heart could possibly desire.

The essence of the trek lies in the achievement of it. There is definitely something to be said about the overwhelming sense of accomplishment one experiences standing atop the Rupin Pass and admiring the view that took you almost a week to get there.

We kid you not, this trek is not for starters, it’s more of a milestone that you reach after having conquered most treks in India. It is admired by many of the world’s trekkers as possessing the most stunning views summed up into one amazing journey.

The Rupin Pass Trek difficulty is certified moderate to difficult so it will definitely test you in terms of how much effort you can put in, utilization of your trekking accessories to the fullest, and also how well you can trek for more than a week. You will need equipment like your trekking pole, gaiters, and multiple layers of clothing, among other things. The Rupin Pass trek distance extends up to 15 kms everyday, which you should cover in 5 -6 hours.

Many say the terrain is rough and the trails are undefined – the steep climb around the three stage water wall of the Rupin will need you to have great stamina and lung power but the scenery of the Rupin Pass trek is what that pulls crowds to come conquer this summit. The ever changing scenery from snow clad mountains, to meadows, waterfalls, pine forests and lakes, is what makes the Rupin Pass trek so charming and at the same time peacefully exhaustive. That is what makes it is easy to term the Rupin Pass Winter Trek as a whole package trek.

Day 1: Reach Dhaula

  • Estimation time of completion: 10-11 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 226 km
  • Tip: get ready to make memories

The base quarters for Rupin Pass Trek is Dhaula. It is a small, relaxed village with few homes that is situated in the by lanes of Uttarakhand. Reaching Dhaula is an experience in itself as you drive up the beautiful mountain roads. The 10-hour drive surrounded by thick forests and valleys start from Dehradun Railway Station that is organized by us for a nominal price.

Day 2: Dhaula to Sewa

  • Altitude gain: 5150 ft to 63300 ft
  • Estimation time of completion: 6 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 6 km
  • Tip: : Carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources along the way.

The day after reaching Dhaula, we head to SewaGaon. We take the village trail to move out of the civilization while passing through cattle shelter and dung storage area to come up on a sharp climb. After completing this climb, which takes around 15 minutes, the first change of scenery awaits you. Your view of the village will now turn into the Rupin on a river bed below. A heartwarming view of multiple villages around the valley studded with kids hopping around awaits you.

As a reminder of the surprises that await you, the curve of the trail takes us to the next change in the landscape – the Rupin speeding across a valley while a towering cliff stands majestically over the river; its head covered by clouds and face made of steady rock. Our trail will now continue through the apple trees ahead and about 30 minutes into the trail, you will come upon on a small eatery maintained by a kind young girl. The eatery is situated on top of a cliff under which the Rupin flows happily and this will be your last source of food before we reach Sewa. SewaGaon will be the camp for the day and is 63330 ft above sea level. The village temple boasts of varied culture and is worth a visit.

Day 3: Sewa toJiskun

  • Altitude gain: 6330 ft to 7720 ft
  • Estimation time of completion: 7 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 8 km
  • Tip: Carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources on the way.

Once we move out of Sewa, you will come upon various fields of barley and potato but the fields will suddenly dip down into a forest. Something out of a Harry Potter novel, this forest is very dark as it is covered by large, thick trees that do not let much light in.

It takes a while to get adjusted to the smell, the terrain, and the lighting but once you are accustomed to it, you will realize that you have been nearing the river during this phase. Once the forest clears out, we will be trekking on the river than alongside it which means you’ll have to hop and jump across the many streams that form the Rupin.

Once we turn left on the trail, you will come across a wooden bridge over a rivulet. This is quite a special sight because on either sides of the bridge are Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

A few minutes from there will bring us to HaldiKhad – a flat surface which can double up as a campsite – but our intended site is a few hours and few climbs away. The trail here is pretty flat, along the banks, until we come upon Gosangu. Our objective is to get to Dodra which is located above Gosangu.
Brace yourself for an arduous set of climbs that are balanced by sections of flat walks after every climb on this day. We take the road towards Kwar village by crossing the wooden bridge and head towards the iron one hovering over the Rupin. We will then continue on to any of the trails on the left of the roads, to meet the trail to Jiskun.

The next part of the trail is hypnotizing with the thrill of the climb. Firstly, the trail gets quite narrow as compared to what we have been traversing on. Secondly, it gets steeper as you aren’t walking anymore but climbing with every step. You will be trekking along the precipice on the edge of it and if you peek down, you will see the Rupin shining below like a million diamonds.

But wait, the surprise is just beyond the bend in the trail! Once we climb over a narrow section, you will be amazed by the sight of the waterfall gushing from above you. We will stop here for a refreshing break and shower and then continue onto the hanging trail.
There’s a small stream called the Raj Gad where we will stop to get some air and rest because what awaits us next is a tedious journey – crossing a stream and long ascent up hill. We recommend taking off your shoes while crossing the stream as you don’t want to get your shoes wet just yet.

We will take the trail heading up from RajGad and climb for an hour till we reach Jiskun which is a two-part village resting above the convergence of the Nargani and Rupin rivulets. What a welcoming sight after a long day of trekking! Bawta is the lower part of the village where there is a tea house which can be used to rest in for a while. We will then have to climb for 30 mins to reach upper Jiskun and you you will see the first post office of Himachal Pradesh. If you are running short, you should stock up on your supplies in Jiskun.

Day 4: Jiskun to Udaknal

  • Altitude gain: 7720 ft to 10150 ft
  • Estimation time of completion: 6 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 8 km
  • Tip: Carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

The 3 km walk to Jakha is enchanting to the say the least – the trail from Jiskun descends rapidly into dense forests of deodars and walnut trees until you reach a dark fold in the mountain. An eerie sight of the discarded wooden bridge while we walk across the new one to the trail will give you a sense of respect for how far we have come, on the trek, and in life.

We will then climb for an hour to Jakha and as the trail keeps changing, so will the scenic views you will encounter. First, we will climb in a zig-zag pattern and the view below will be gloomy and almost invisible in the clouds. The trail then twists into a mixed forest which is filled with whistling birds that keep you cheerful and lively. On climbing a little further, the trail will broaden into a fork and we will take the road on the right to go on a gentle walk to Jakha.

Jakha is the last village on the Rupin pass trek which is why stocking on your supplies will be very important. There will be no civilization for the next few days except for a few shepherds until we will reach Sangla. No meat is consumed here and asking for meat or eating meat is frowned upon. The trail continues through the playground and passes through the fields of upper Jakha.

We will then enter a fir forest where you can find some maple trees among the pine and the first patches of snow can be seen while we climb this trail. The surprise of the day will meet us an hour after getting into the forest and after a bend in the trail – a vast snow bridge spread across the Rupin that extends below. It’s quite a pleasant surprise considering the greenery that surrounds you. Snow patches here and there along with absolutely no traces of snow makes this vision of Snow Bridge incredulous.

Once you are set with your sunglasses, you can tread on the snow bridge and feel snow under your feet for the first time on this trek. Get familiar with this feeling as there is going to be lots of snow where we are going! We will then make our way on the trail across the snow bridge and proceed on to our trek towards Rupin Pass.
The trail from here on gets narrower but is littered by cattle and shepherds. We will walk towards the wooden bridge during summer as the snow bridge can get brittle and keep proceeding further till we reach the Udakanalgrasslands.This is the first of the many grasslands to come and although it can be used as a camp site and it sounds like we have covered a lot, we would’ve spent only 3hrs on the trail from Jakha.

We will proceed on the trail, which will often be next to the river, and cross the rivulets that all meet the larger river from across the area. You will also notice the snow patches growing larger as we climb higher towards the pass. The change in the colour of the river’s waters to an icy blue is invitation enough to replenish our water supplies and take a nice dip in.
After about an hour of walking on the boulders and skipping over the tributaries, the trail gradually leads into a forest. The forest has a clean and green clearing once the trail turns right and is marked by a larger stream which gushes on the side of the hill with fresh water. It’s called the Burans Kandi and this will be the campsite for the night.

Day 5: Udaknal to Dhanderasthatch lower waterfall camp

  • Altitude gain: 10150ft. to 11720 ft.
  • Estimation time of completion: 5 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 6 km
  • Tip: carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

You will wake up to the Rupin’s rumbling below you as the stream flows gently beside us. The other bank will have snow patches from the glaciers that have melted into the Rupin.
Once we get back on the trail back into the forest, there is change in scenery yet again as we enter a cluster of bushes. The climb here is quite challenging owing to the steepness. Flowers of different colours bloom here and you will soon be surrounded by bushes and dwarf rhododendrons. A few of the flowers will even touch the water which gives a very unique visual effect.

The trail continues through the bushes and then moves into a small clearing with the rhododendron flowers covering the slopes and the plants here grow quite tall.
When we walk further, into a bigger clearance, another visual experience will greet you – an island, which is lush with green grasslands and trees of Silver Birch, divides the river into two and in the far distance, the Rupin Waterfall flowing in slow motion will be visible. This scenery is nothing short of captivating!

The Rupin pass trek is at one of its visual bests at this moment – Rupin running through the valley while snow patches on the mountains grow bigger and larger. Silver Birch trees become more prominent while we walk towards the waterfalls in the distant zigzagging through the valley. It is said that the leaves of these trees are on which the Ramayana was written and you may want to consider keeping a few as souvenirs. The trail now grows into a hump, which we will have to cross.

This will bring us to a colosseum of green trees and shrubs. Peering down the edge of the contusion, your eyes can feast on a scene sculpted by Mother Nature – thousands of waterfalls pouring into the Rupin, heaps of yellow flowers amidst all the greenery surrounded by all the green, and numerous patches of snow that decorate the edge of the meadows. This piece of original art will surely remind you of why nature is the best provider and invoke a sense of calmness that reaches your soul.

We will then descend from the yellow flower fields and enjoy the slow walk on towards the first hurdle of the Rupin Pass Trek which is a snow bridge on the river. The snow bridge needs to be trod on carefully as it is steeper than it looks which is why firm footing is advised.The steepness doesn’t last for too long though and can be quite thrilling. Once we cross the snow bridge, you will be on the banks of the Rupin.

The trek turns into a steady climb while surrounded by plush meadows. We have to cross the rivulet by hopping over the boulders and through wildflowers of blue, green, yellow, white, and purple colors while the icy blue Rupin gushes down the valley. We will also have to cross a boulder on the edge of the river while the valleys looms over the wide river bed. We will walk over to the river bed and cross the valley through the biggest snow bridge on the Rupin Pass Trek.

We will climb across the Rupin once more to reach the base of a plateau above. The climb is inclined, slow, and arduous to say the least but the sight that awaits your arrival will more than make up for it. All the climbing will be out of your mind when you set your eyes on one of the loveliest meadows in this part of the country and we will camp here from where you can admire the view of the famous three falls of the Rupin.

You will have arrived at the centre of a large valley bowl that is flanked by snowy valleys and a little while away, you will be able to spot the Dhauladar Range peeking through. Water is just a stone’s throw away in any direction and is as fresh as it comes. Change into your night warmers after you pitch your tent on the most outstanding natural lawn known to man and say Namaste to the Dhanderas Thatch.

Day 6: Acclimatization day at Dhanderas Thatch

  • Tip: explore the beauty of Dhanderas thatch or simply read Novels or write some interesting stories. Nature’s role as Inspiration cannot get much better than this

Day 7: DhanderasThatch to Upper Waterfall campsite

  • Altitude gain: 11720 ft. t0 1310 ft.
  • Estimation time of completion: 3 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 4 km
  • Tip: carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

If you are already impressed by the Rupin pass trek, trust us when we say you haven’t even seen the half of it! Day 7 is very vital in terms of adapting to the surroundings and the terrain, and it will test your stamina. We will be climbing to a higher altitude and we will be climbing fast, as is the situation in the Himalayas. As a result, there will be rapid depletion of oxygen too and many will be parlay to AMS which is why we will be splitting the climb over two days. The first day we’ll focus on getting to the top of the waterfall and allow your body to adjust to the climate. On the second day we will be climbing on to Rupin Pass from the top of the falls.

We will start slowly, post breakfast, and the first leg is a relaxing kilometer long walk to the base of the waterfall. The walk is very pleasant as you will be crossing and leaping through stones, streams and boulders. A sea of marigolds will surround and dazzle you with their gentle beauty.
Once we reach the snow patch, which marks the start of the climb, we will take the hillside path that will move through the snow patch instead of moving through it directly. The waterfalls will be just beside us all the while. Like we mentioned before, the trekking pole is your best friend on the Rupin Pass trek (excluding our trek leader, of course). An ice axe can be helpful beyond imagination here but a trekking stick will be supportive enough too.

In order to reach the top of the lower waterfall, we will have to start tracking steps on the snow patch while we slowly climb up through the barely visible trail. We will then have to walk to the center of another snow bridge which will bring you to your next scenic view – the three waterfalls up close. Once we get to this bridge, we would’ve made it to the second waterfall of the three. We will cross over on the Rupin’s side which is a steep climb, lined with slopes. This climb will feel similar to that of climbing on a few brackets before we move to the meadow at the top of the falls.

The end of that climb will take us to the summit of the waterfalls where a wide eyed landscape surrounds you. This is also a surprise due to the fact that the Rupin Pass trail has a wide meadow reaching out all the way to the flat bowl. Streams from these meadows flow towards the valley and form a water body resulting in the Rupin. Once we descend from the snout, you can sit on the edge and let your feet float freely. Finally, the top of the waterfalls, which could only be seen by staring into the distance, has arrived!

Day 8: Upper Waterfall camp toRupin Pass via RatiPheri, further on to Ronti Gad

  • Altitude gain: 13110 ft. to 15390 ft.
  • Estimation time of completion: 10-11 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 14 km
  • Tip: carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

Day 8 marks the beginning of the most challenging and yet, the most liberating trek that you will have to do on the Rupin Pass trek. Just like the snow that surrounded you while climbing the pass, keep your mind as blank as possible to paint the new memories you will make today that are sure to last you a while, if not a lifetime.

We leave before dawn, after preparing breakfast and packing it for the journey, to ensure that there is a break as well as a reload once we get to the pass. We will start the trek with an hour long stretch towards RatiPheri. The inclination is steep but the view will be pleasant considering the beautiful meadows that will be around us among the patches of white snow. The climb, after a while, turns left gradually and will bring us to a crest which will reveal camping grounds. We will briefly stop here to catch our breath and fill up on our water supplies.

But what good is a stop on the Rupin Pass trek without a view to take your breath away? The valley spreads out from where we climbed in all its glory. You can spot the Dhauladar range away in the distance and past that, the path we would’ve travelled on for the last six days and ahead of you, will lie thick sheets of white snow. Sunglasses and gaiters will be imperative from this point on.

Within the snow, even though visible, you will not realize the crevice through which we will be climbing towards the Rupin Pass. We will start with a walk through the snow, ensure to keep your feet firm with every step as the snow can take some getting used to. Rest assured, you will slip and you will slide, so just laugh it off and continue. You may even lose your footing and go knee deep in the snow but there’s is no need to panic, this floor of snow lasts only till we reach the Rupin Pass gully. If you know where the pass lies in the front and stick towards your right, you will have no difficulties in reaching the gully after 90 mins of slow and steady hiking. Getting your bearings right may not be easy in the beginning, especially because it just white all around you. We will rest for a while on reaching the start point of the gully before we take on one of the most thrilling adventures in the snow.

The thing about reaching the gully is that it is, in fact, just a short climb of 200 meters which may sound simple but the steepness of the hike and the loose stones and boulders on the way up makes the climb one that needs more than a few tricks up your sleep. It is difficult to grip on to the ground because the sheets of snow face a downward angle. We will need to, sometimes, hold on to it with all fours and a trekking pole. If you have an ice axe, the entire activity becomes a little easier. The Discovery Hike trek leaders will, of course, lead the way to mark the route and also add rope and poles on the path so you can pull yourself up in some tricky situations. We will stick to a single file because of this in order to keep an eye on any loose stones or rocks that come our way.

Once we reach the base of the gully, we will wait for the entire group to finish the climb before we proceed. The gully has a cliff like structure and due to its concave nature, voices seem to echo abruptly and sound gets carried in all directions. Even normal conversations between two trekkers in a distance may sound augmented. It’s always fun listening to what other trekkers have to say while they make the climb.

Once we reach the base and spot the scores of prayer flags, just turn your neck to see the Rupin pass. It will be another twenty minutes before we can make it to the top of it. You will be able spot the Dhauladhar range we left behind and further on, see the Sangla ranges from the top of the Rupin Pass. Right on schedule is another surprise view of the entire valley with its mesmerizing combination of green and white all around you. The alpine forests make for an incredible view and it takes a while to fully comprehend the awesomeness of the view before you.

The Rupin Pass

There are two sides that you can view from the pass. The edge of the mountains lining up the valley and the other side is a full view of the Dhauladar range you left behind. The rocks forming the lining of the Rupin pass branch out from the edge.

If you move towards the Sangla side you will notice the descent is a steep way down and trying to walk below will be improbably. Hence sliding down is the only option to utilize. Follow our experts’ instructions on how to slide down swiftly on the Rupin side. The slide is on a white sheet of snow that makes it very memorable. There are three stages to it and after you cover the first one, it will never be enough sliding.

Even veteran trekkers gleefully slide down the slope thrown back into the memories of their childhood. Interesting thing about the slides though is that you would have dropped down 400ft within minutes.

Once we complete the slides section, we are back on the trail with an easier walk. While the Rupin pass towers over you for an hour while you reach the edge of the snowline, you will notice the snow melting and forming little streams around you flowing down the mountain.

Once you are at the edge of the snowline, you will reach a sudden descent into the grasslands that will take you three hours to cross and reach Sangla Kanda. But we will be stopping at a base camp around an abundant stream that flows through the meadow. The grasslands are so uniform that we might miss out on the camping grounds save for the burnt firewood that campers might have left. Almost a feeling of tracking people in the wild.

This camping ground is called Ronti Gad and it is absolutely breathtaking. It won’t take you long before you note the difference between this grassy knoll and the others. Here the view is that of the snowcapped mountains high above you. The view is green and white and graduating greener as your scene moves south. It is very important to keep yourself very warm on this night as this will be our coldest night that we would be camping. Keeping in mind the fact that we hiked to 15,300 ft and back again in a few hours, the rest is much needed.

Day 9: RontiGad toSangla via Sangla Kanda

  • Altitude loss: 13150 ft. to 8640 ft.
  • Estimation time of completion: 7 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 7 km
  • Tip: carry sufficient water at least 2 liters from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

The descent to Sangla is hell on your knees and toes but makes up for everything with its ever changing scenery. We leave Ronti Gad and descend towards Sangla, painfully mind you considering the steep walk down towards the valley can be quite challenging on the knees and the toes. The trail however compensates you for your hurting with scenery of the KinnerKailash range and the pine forests of the Baspa valley. We start the day relaxingly but not very late.

It gets easier to breathe while we lose altitude and shouldn’t be long before its relatively warm once you near Sangla. We latch ourselves to the shepherds trail that will take us to the valley below. You will now see shepherds after days tending to their cattle.

There are other trails that converge and diverge on your way down. No need of any concern though because they would all except the ones towards the river, take you to Sangla Kanda. We hike down for 90 mins and lose 1600 ft in altitude to leave the valley of Ronti Gad behind and the take the left to come upon Rukti Gad.

The trail out of the campsite is a shepherd’s trail that heads to the valley below. After days you will come across shepherds tending to their flocks. Multiple trails join your path and some go away from it. If you come to two trails that look alike and you want to make a choice, it doesn’t matter.

All of them lead to Sangla Kanda. Only, avoid the trails that head down to the river. Note the snow bound Nalgani pass on your right which can be taken over some other day.
The meadows cover the entire stretch of the mountains and hide the snow covering them on the other face of the mountains. But the view of the KinnerKailash ranges are what take the prize from the Rukti Gad.

Overlooking the meadows, the Sangla Kanda from for 19500 ft the ranges stand tall and you have no choice but to awe at its presence. Even though you are used to the surprise views on the Rupin Pass trek you still cannot help but appreciate the view in front of you.
Upon descending further, you will now notice first signs of civilization marked by the lake of Sangla Kanda and a small hamlet. It will still take you about an hour of careful and knee bending descent to reach the village. We stop at the village to rest and converse with the warm and friendly people who may share a cup of tea with you over stories of your common conquest of the Rupin Pass.

We leave the village to take one of the many trails that take you from the meadows and Lake of Sangla Kanda to Sangla. You can ask the villagers for suggestions on which of the trails to take; they will mostly point you to the trail on the right and below the lake which will take you below the tree line and shadows are almost a blessing after hiking for days under direct sunlight. The path is now raided with pines which will be the last surprise the trek has to offer. It is nice and gentle walk down the Rukti Gad towards Sangla which remains at below you.

The trail is quite wide and allows you to walk in groups as compared to the trek the previous day. You will notice few wooden houses with their custom and intricate woodwork. More civilization covers the picture with the forests being replaced by telephone lines and apple orchards. Sangla is not very far now.
Once you cross the murky waters of the Baspa, stop for a while and look behind on the blue pines to capture a memory of the best trek. This is going to be one hell of a story with ever changing views that will make it sound unbelievable.

At Baspa, once you climb down for few mins, you will reach a motor able road to Sangla. You can use of the many lanes that will take you to the bus stand which also forms the downtown not unlike most towns in India. You can use the restaurants to eat at the bus stand or even use one of the lodges for some much needed bath and sleep. Do note that you will have to take a bus to Shimla, the last one departing at 5pm and will reach Shimla early morning at 3.

Rupin Pass Winter Trek

Trek for The Volatile Mind.

What do you enjoy the most while you’re on a trek? Mountains? Meadows? Rocks? Rivers? Snow? All of the above? Great! We have just the trek for you! From climbing mountains, to skipping rocks, to crossing streams, to sliding down slopes – this trek has it all. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s the Rupin Pass Trek! It has a surprise waiting for you at every turn and is sure to fulfill every wish your adrenaline junkie heart could possibly desire.

The essence of the trek lies in the achievement of it. There is definitely something to be said about the overwhelming sense of accomplishment one experiences standing atop the Rupin Pass and admiring the view that took you almost a week to get there.

We kid you not, this trek is not for starters, it’s more of a milestone that you reach after having conquered most treks in India. It is admired by many of the world’s trekkers as possessing the most stunning views summed up into one amazing journey.

The Rupin Pass Trek difficulty is certified moderate to difficult so it will definitely test you in terms of how much effort you can put in, utilization of your trekking accessories to the fullest, and also how well you can trek for more than a week. You will need equipment like your trekking pole, gaiters, and multiple layers of clothing, among other things. The Rupin Pass trek distance extends up to 15 kms everyday, which you should cover in 5 -6 hours.

Many say the terrain is rough and the trails are undefined – the steep climb around the three stage water wall of the Rupin will need you to have great stamina and lung power but the scenery of the Rupin Pass trek is what that pulls crowds to come conquer this summit. The ever changing scenery from snow clad mountains, to meadows, waterfalls, pine forests and lakes, is what makes the Rupin Pass trek so charming and at the same time peacefully exhaustive. That is what makes it is easy to term the Rupin Pass Winter Trek as a whole package trek.

Day 1: Reach Dhaula

  • Estimation time of completion: 10-11 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 226 km
  • Tip: get ready to make memories

The base quarters for Rupin Pass Trek is Dhaula. It is a small, relaxed village with few homes that is situated in the by lanes of Uttarakhand. Reaching Dhaula is an experience in itself as you drive up the beautiful mountain roads. The 10-hour drive surrounded by thick forests and valleys start from Dehradun Railway Station that is organized by us for a nominal price.

Day 2: Dhaula to Sewa

  • Altitude gain: 5150 ft to 63300 ft
  • Estimation time of completion: 6 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 6 km
  • Tip: : Carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources along the way.

The day after reaching Dhaula, we head to SewaGaon. We take the village trail to move out of the civilization while passing through cattle shelter and dung storage area to come up on a sharp climb. After completing this climb, which takes around 15 minutes, the first change of scenery awaits you. Your view of the village will now turn into the Rupin on a river bed below. A heartwarming view of multiple villages around the valley studded with kids hopping around awaits you.

As a reminder of the surprises that await you, the curve of the trail takes us to the next change in the landscape – the Rupin speeding across a valley while a towering cliff stands majestically over the river; its head covered by clouds and face made of steady rock. Our trail will now continue through the apple trees ahead and about 30 minutes into the trail, you will come upon on a small eatery maintained by a kind young girl. The eatery is situated on top of a cliff under which the Rupin flows happily and this will be your last source of food before we reach Sewa. SewaGaon will be the camp for the day and is 63330 ft above sea level. The village temple boasts of varied culture and is worth a visit.

Day 3: Sewa toJiskun

  • Altitude gain: 6330 ft to 7720 ft
  • Estimation time of completion: 7 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 8 km
  • Tip: Carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources on the way.

Once we move out of Sewa, you will come upon various fields of barley and potato but the fields will suddenly dip down into a forest. Something out of a Harry Potter novel, this forest is very dark as it is covered by large, thick trees that do not let much light in.

It takes a while to get adjusted to the smell, the terrain, and the lighting but once you are accustomed to it, you will realize that you have been nearing the river during this phase. Once the forest clears out, we will be trekking on the river than alongside it which means you’ll have to hop and jump across the many streams that form the Rupin.

Once we turn left on the trail, you will come across a wooden bridge over a rivulet. This is quite a special sight because on either sides of the bridge are Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

A few minutes from there will bring us to HaldiKhad – a flat surface which can double up as a campsite – but our intended site is a few hours and few climbs away. The trail here is pretty flat, along the banks, until we come upon Gosangu. Our objective is to get to Dodra which is located above Gosangu.
Brace yourself for an arduous set of climbs that are balanced by sections of flat walks after every climb on this day. We take the road towards Kwar village by crossing the wooden bridge and head towards the iron one hovering over the Rupin. We will then continue on to any of the trails on the left of the roads, to meet the trail to Jiskun.

The next part of the trail is hypnotizing with the thrill of the climb. Firstly, the trail gets quite narrow as compared to what we have been traversing on. Secondly, it gets steeper as you aren’t walking anymore but climbing with every step. You will be trekking along the precipice on the edge of it and if you peek down, you will see the Rupin shining below like a million diamonds.

But wait, the surprise is just beyond the bend in the trail! Once we climb over a narrow section, you will be amazed by the sight of the waterfall gushing from above you. We will stop here for a refreshing break and shower and then continue onto the hanging trail.
There’s a small stream called the Raj Gad where we will stop to get some air and rest because what awaits us next is a tedious journey – crossing a stream and long ascent up hill. We recommend taking off your shoes while crossing the stream as you don’t want to get your shoes wet just yet.

We will take the trail heading up from RajGad and climb for an hour till we reach Jiskun which is a two-part village resting above the convergence of the Nargani and Rupin rivulets. What a welcoming sight after a long day of trekking! Bawta is the lower part of the village where there is a tea house which can be used to rest in for a while. We will then have to climb for 30 mins to reach upper Jiskun and you you will see the first post office of Himachal Pradesh. If you are running short, you should stock up on your supplies in Jiskun.

Day 4: Jiskun to Udaknal

  • Altitude gain: 7720 ft to 10150 ft
  • Estimation time of completion: 6 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 8 km
  • Tip: Carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

The 3 km walk to Jakha is enchanting to the say the least – the trail from Jiskun descends rapidly into dense forests of deodars and walnut trees until you reach a dark fold in the mountain. An eerie sight of the discarded wooden bridge while we walk across the new one to the trail will give you a sense of respect for how far we have come, on the trek, and in life.

We will then climb for an hour to Jakha and as the trail keeps changing, so will the scenic views you will encounter. First, we will climb in a zig-zag pattern and the view below will be gloomy and almost invisible in the clouds. The trail then twists into a mixed forest which is filled with whistling birds that keep you cheerful and lively. On climbing a little further, the trail will broaden into a fork and we will take the road on the right to go on a gentle walk to Jakha.

Jakha is the last village on the Rupin pass trek which is why stocking on your supplies will be very important. There will be no civilization for the next few days except for a few shepherds until we will reach Sangla. No meat is consumed here and asking for meat or eating meat is frowned upon. The trail continues through the playground and passes through the fields of upper Jakha.

We will then enter a fir forest where you can find some maple trees among the pine and the first patches of snow can be seen while we climb this trail. The surprise of the day will meet us an hour after getting into the forest and after a bend in the trail – a vast snow bridge spread across the Rupin that extends below. It’s quite a pleasant surprise considering the greenery that surrounds you. Snow patches here and there along with absolutely no traces of snow makes this vision of Snow Bridge incredulous.

Once you are set with your sunglasses, you can tread on the snow bridge and feel snow under your feet for the first time on this trek. Get familiar with this feeling as there is going to be lots of snow where we are going! We will then make our way on the trail across the snow bridge and proceed on to our trek towards Rupin Pass.
The trail from here on gets narrower but is littered by cattle and shepherds. We will walk towards the wooden bridge during summer as the snow bridge can get brittle and keep proceeding further till we reach the Udakanalgrasslands.This is the first of the many grasslands to come and although it can be used as a camp site and it sounds like we have covered a lot, we would’ve spent only 3hrs on the trail from Jakha.

We will proceed on the trail, which will often be next to the river, and cross the rivulets that all meet the larger river from across the area. You will also notice the snow patches growing larger as we climb higher towards the pass. The change in the colour of the river’s waters to an icy blue is invitation enough to replenish our water supplies and take a nice dip in.
After about an hour of walking on the boulders and skipping over the tributaries, the trail gradually leads into a forest. The forest has a clean and green clearing once the trail turns right and is marked by a larger stream which gushes on the side of the hill with fresh water. It’s called the Burans Kandi and this will be the campsite for the night.

Day 5: Udaknal to Dhanderasthatch lower waterfall camp

  • Altitude gain: 10150ft. to 11720 ft.
  • Estimation time of completion: 5 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 6 km
  • Tip: carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

You will wake up to the Rupin’s rumbling below you as the stream flows gently beside us. The other bank will have snow patches from the glaciers that have melted into the Rupin.
Once we get back on the trail back into the forest, there is change in scenery yet again as we enter a cluster of bushes. The climb here is quite challenging owing to the steepness. Flowers of different colours bloom here and you will soon be surrounded by bushes and dwarf rhododendrons. A few of the flowers will even touch the water which gives a very unique visual effect.

The trail continues through the bushes and then moves into a small clearing with the rhododendron flowers covering the slopes and the plants here grow quite tall.
When we walk further, into a bigger clearance, another visual experience will greet you – an island, which is lush with green grasslands and trees of Silver Birch, divides the river into two and in the far distance, the Rupin Waterfall flowing in slow motion will be visible. This scenery is nothing short of captivating!

The Rupin pass trek is at one of its visual bests at this moment – Rupin running through the valley while snow patches on the mountains grow bigger and larger. Silver Birch trees become more prominent while we walk towards the waterfalls in the distant zigzagging through the valley. It is said that the leaves of these trees are on which the Ramayana was written and you may want to consider keeping a few as souvenirs. The trail now grows into a hump, which we will have to cross.

This will bring us to a colosseum of green trees and shrubs. Peering down the edge of the contusion, your eyes can feast on a scene sculpted by Mother Nature – thousands of waterfalls pouring into the Rupin, heaps of yellow flowers amidst all the greenery surrounded by all the green, and numerous patches of snow that decorate the edge of the meadows. This piece of original art will surely remind you of why nature is the best provider and invoke a sense of calmness that reaches your soul.

We will then descend from the yellow flower fields and enjoy the slow walk on towards the first hurdle of the Rupin Pass Trek which is a snow bridge on the river. The snow bridge needs to be trod on carefully as it is steeper than it looks which is why firm footing is advised.The steepness doesn’t last for too long though and can be quite thrilling. Once we cross the snow bridge, you will be on the banks of the Rupin.

The trek turns into a steady climb while surrounded by plush meadows. We have to cross the rivulet by hopping over the boulders and through wildflowers of blue, green, yellow, white, and purple colors while the icy blue Rupin gushes down the valley. We will also have to cross a boulder on the edge of the river while the valleys looms over the wide river bed. We will walk over to the river bed and cross the valley through the biggest snow bridge on the Rupin Pass Trek.

We will climb across the Rupin once more to reach the base of a plateau above. The climb is inclined, slow, and arduous to say the least but the sight that awaits your arrival will more than make up for it. All the climbing will be out of your mind when you set your eyes on one of the loveliest meadows in this part of the country and we will camp here from where you can admire the view of the famous three falls of the Rupin.

You will have arrived at the centre of a large valley bowl that is flanked by snowy valleys and a little while away, you will be able to spot the Dhauladar Range peeking through. Water is just a stone’s throw away in any direction and is as fresh as it comes. Change into your night warmers after you pitch your tent on the most outstanding natural lawn known to man and say Namaste to the Dhanderas Thatch.

Day 6: Acclimatization day at Dhanderas Thatch

  • Tip: explore the beauty of Dhanderas thatch or simply read Novels or write some interesting stories. Nature’s role as Inspiration cannot get much better than this

Day 7: DhanderasThatch to Upper Waterfall campsite

  • Altitude gain: 11720 ft. t0 1310 ft.
  • Estimation time of completion: 3 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 4 km
  • Tip: carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

If you are already impressed by the Rupin pass trek, trust us when we say you haven’t even seen the half of it! Day 7 is very vital in terms of adapting to the surroundings and the terrain, and it will test your stamina. We will be climbing to a higher altitude and we will be climbing fast, as is the situation in the Himalayas. As a result, there will be rapid depletion of oxygen too and many will be parlay to AMS which is why we will be splitting the climb over two days. The first day we’ll focus on getting to the top of the waterfall and allow your body to adjust to the climate. On the second day we will be climbing on to Rupin Pass from the top of the falls.

We will start slowly, post breakfast, and the first leg is a relaxing kilometer long walk to the base of the waterfall. The walk is very pleasant as you will be crossing and leaping through stones, streams and boulders. A sea of marigolds will surround and dazzle you with their gentle beauty.
Once we reach the snow patch, which marks the start of the climb, we will take the hillside path that will move through the snow patch instead of moving through it directly. The waterfalls will be just beside us all the while. Like we mentioned before, the trekking pole is your best friend on the Rupin Pass trek (excluding our trek leader, of course). An ice axe can be helpful beyond imagination here but a trekking stick will be supportive enough too.

In order to reach the top of the lower waterfall, we will have to start tracking steps on the snow patch while we slowly climb up through the barely visible trail. We will then have to walk to the center of another snow bridge which will bring you to your next scenic view – the three waterfalls up close. Once we get to this bridge, we would’ve made it to the second waterfall of the three. We will cross over on the Rupin’s side which is a steep climb, lined with slopes. This climb will feel similar to that of climbing on a few brackets before we move to the meadow at the top of the falls.

The end of that climb will take us to the summit of the waterfalls where a wide eyed landscape surrounds you. This is also a surprise due to the fact that the Rupin Pass trail has a wide meadow reaching out all the way to the flat bowl. Streams from these meadows flow towards the valley and form a water body resulting in the Rupin. Once we descend from the snout, you can sit on the edge and let your feet float freely. Finally, the top of the waterfalls, which could only be seen by staring into the distance, has arrived!

Day 8: Upper Waterfall camp toRupin Pass via RatiPheri, further on to Ronti Gad

  • Altitude gain: 13110 ft. to 15390 ft.
  • Estimation time of completion: 10-11 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 14 km
  • Tip: carry sufficient water, at least 2 liters, from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

Day 8 marks the beginning of the most challenging and yet, the most liberating trek that you will have to do on the Rupin Pass trek. Just like the snow that surrounded you while climbing the pass, keep your mind as blank as possible to paint the new memories you will make today that are sure to last you a while, if not a lifetime.

We leave before dawn, after preparing breakfast and packing it for the journey, to ensure that there is a break as well as a reload once we get to the pass. We will start the trek with an hour long stretch towards RatiPheri. The inclination is steep but the view will be pleasant considering the beautiful meadows that will be around us among the patches of white snow. The climb, after a while, turns left gradually and will bring us to a crest which will reveal camping grounds. We will briefly stop here to catch our breath and fill up on our water supplies.

But what good is a stop on the Rupin Pass trek without a view to take your breath away? The valley spreads out from where we climbed in all its glory. You can spot the Dhauladar range away in the distance and past that, the path we would’ve travelled on for the last six days and ahead of you, will lie thick sheets of white snow. Sunglasses and gaiters will be imperative from this point on.

Within the snow, even though visible, you will not realize the crevice through which we will be climbing towards the Rupin Pass. We will start with a walk through the snow, ensure to keep your feet firm with every step as the snow can take some getting used to. Rest assured, you will slip and you will slide, so just laugh it off and continue. You may even lose your footing and go knee deep in the snow but there’s is no need to panic, this floor of snow lasts only till we reach the Rupin Pass gully. If you know where the pass lies in the front and stick towards your right, you will have no difficulties in reaching the gully after 90 mins of slow and steady hiking. Getting your bearings right may not be easy in the beginning, especially because it just white all around you. We will rest for a while on reaching the start point of the gully before we take on one of the most thrilling adventures in the snow.

The thing about reaching the gully is that it is, in fact, just a short climb of 200 meters which may sound simple but the steepness of the hike and the loose stones and boulders on the way up makes the climb one that needs more than a few tricks up your sleep. It is difficult to grip on to the ground because the sheets of snow face a downward angle. We will need to, sometimes, hold on to it with all fours and a trekking pole. If you have an ice axe, the entire activity becomes a little easier. The Discovery Hike trek leaders will, of course, lead the way to mark the route and also add rope and poles on the path so you can pull yourself up in some tricky situations. We will stick to a single file because of this in order to keep an eye on any loose stones or rocks that come our way.

Once we reach the base of the gully, we will wait for the entire group to finish the climb before we proceed. The gully has a cliff like structure and due to its concave nature, voices seem to echo abruptly and sound gets carried in all directions. Even normal conversations between two trekkers in a distance may sound augmented. It’s always fun listening to what other trekkers have to say while they make the climb.

Once we reach the base and spot the scores of prayer flags, just turn your neck to see the Rupin pass. It will be another twenty minutes before we can make it to the top of it. You will be able spot the Dhauladhar range we left behind and further on, see the Sangla ranges from the top of the Rupin Pass. Right on schedule is another surprise view of the entire valley with its mesmerizing combination of green and white all around you. The alpine forests make for an incredible view and it takes a while to fully comprehend the awesomeness of the view before you.

The Rupin Pass

There are two sides that you can view from the pass. The edge of the mountains lining up the valley and the other side is a full view of the Dhauladar range you left behind. The rocks forming the lining of the Rupin pass branch out from the edge.

If you move towards the Sangla side you will notice the descent is a steep way down and trying to walk below will be improbably. Hence sliding down is the only option to utilize. Follow our experts’ instructions on how to slide down swiftly on the Rupin side. The slide is on a white sheet of snow that makes it very memorable. There are three stages to it and after you cover the first one, it will never be enough sliding.

Even veteran trekkers gleefully slide down the slope thrown back into the memories of their childhood. Interesting thing about the slides though is that you would have dropped down 400ft within minutes.

Once we complete the slides section, we are back on the trail with an easier walk. While the Rupin pass towers over you for an hour while you reach the edge of the snowline, you will notice the snow melting and forming little streams around you flowing down the mountain.

Once you are at the edge of the snowline, you will reach a sudden descent into the grasslands that will take you three hours to cross and reach Sangla Kanda. But we will be stopping at a base camp around an abundant stream that flows through the meadow. The grasslands are so uniform that we might miss out on the camping grounds save for the burnt firewood that campers might have left. Almost a feeling of tracking people in the wild.

This camping ground is called Ronti Gad and it is absolutely breathtaking. It won’t take you long before you note the difference between this grassy knoll and the others. Here the view is that of the snowcapped mountains high above you. The view is green and white and graduating greener as your scene moves south. It is very important to keep yourself very warm on this night as this will be our coldest night that we would be camping. Keeping in mind the fact that we hiked to 15,300 ft and back again in a few hours, the rest is much needed.

Day 9: RontiGad toSangla via Sangla Kanda

  • Altitude loss: 13150 ft. to 8640 ft.
  • Estimation time of completion: 7 hrs
  • Estimation distance of Drive: 7 km
  • Tip: carry sufficient water at least 2 liters from the campsite or refill from natural sources.

The descent to Sangla is hell on your knees and toes but makes up for everything with its ever changing scenery. We leave Ronti Gad and descend towards Sangla, painfully mind you considering the steep walk down towards the valley can be quite challenging on the knees and the toes. The trail however compensates you for your hurting with scenery of the KinnerKailash range and the pine forests of the Baspa valley. We start the day relaxingly but not very late.

It gets easier to breathe while we lose altitude and shouldn’t be long before its relatively warm once you near Sangla. We latch ourselves to the shepherds trail that will take us to the valley below. You will now see shepherds after days tending to their cattle.

There are other trails that converge and diverge on your way down. No need of any concern though because they would all except the ones towards the river, take you to Sangla Kanda. We hike down for 90 mins and lose 1600 ft in altitude to leave the valley of Ronti Gad behind and the take the left to come upon Rukti Gad.

The trail out of the campsite is a shepherd’s trail that heads to the valley below. After days you will come across shepherds tending to their flocks. Multiple trails join your path and some go away from it. If you come to two trails that look alike and you want to make a choice, it doesn’t matter.

All of them lead to Sangla Kanda. Only, avoid the trails that head down to the river. Note the snow bound Nalgani pass on your right which can be taken over some other day.
The meadows cover the entire stretch of the mountains and hide the snow covering them on the other face of the mountains. But the view of the KinnerKailash ranges are what take the prize from the Rukti Gad.

Overlooking the meadows, the Sangla Kanda from for 19500 ft the ranges stand tall and you have no choice but to awe at its presence. Even though you are used to the surprise views on the Rupin Pass trek you still cannot help but appreciate the view in front of you.
Upon descending further, you will now notice first signs of civilization marked by the lake of Sangla Kanda and a small hamlet. It will still take you about an hour of careful and knee bending descent to reach the village. We stop at the village to rest and converse with the warm and friendly people who may share a cup of tea with you over stories of your common conquest of the Rupin Pass.

We leave the village to take one of the many trails that take you from the meadows and Lake of Sangla Kanda to Sangla. You can ask the villagers for suggestions on which of the trails to take; they will mostly point you to the trail on the right and below the lake which will take you below the tree line and shadows are almost a blessing after hiking for days under direct sunlight. The path is now raided with pines which will be the last surprise the trek has to offer. It is nice and gentle walk down the Rukti Gad towards Sangla which remains at below you.

The trail is quite wide and allows you to walk in groups as compared to the trek the previous day. You will notice few wooden houses with their custom and intricate woodwork. More civilization covers the picture with the forests being replaced by telephone lines and apple orchards. Sangla is not very far now.
Once you cross the murky waters of the Baspa, stop for a while and look behind on the blue pines to capture a memory of the best trek. This is going to be one hell of a story with ever changing views that will make it sound unbelievable.

At Baspa, once you climb down for few mins, you will reach a motor able road to Sangla. You can use of the many lanes that will take you to the bus stand which also forms the downtown not unlike most towns in India. You can use the restaurants to eat at the bus stand or even use one of the lodges for some much needed bath and sleep. Do note that you will have to take a bus to Shimla, the last one departing at 5pm and will reach Shimla early morning at 3.