The Roopkund Trek in Uttarakhand is an all-in-one trek that gives all kinds of adventure rushes a trekker is looking for: glaciers, snow-clad peaks and trails, sprawling alpine meadows, zigzag paths, camping under stars, dense and deep forests rich in flora and fauna, and mind-blowing views of the Himalayas.
Many years ago, at Roopkund Lake, excellently preserved skeletal remains of hundreds of people were found, who had apparently died of a hailstorm in the 8th century. So it is famously called Mystery Lake or Skeleton Lake. It is good to have some trekking experience before you explore the Roopkund Trek. First timers can try the trek too, but with a group.
- Location: Chamoli District, Uttarakhand
- Altitude: Approximately 5030 metres
- Trek time: 8 days (including the journey to and from base camp) 54 kilometres of trail
- Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult
Best Time For Roopkund Trek
Almost throughout the year, Roopkund is covered in snow. Summers (April to May) is a good time to undertake the trek to enjoy the blooming and blossoming of a variety of flora here, making it extremely picturesque and lush. Avoid trekking here in monsoon. September to October is also a good month for the trek before the region freezes over.
How To Get There
From Delhi, travel to Kathgodam (the distance of 290 kilometres) and from there reach Lohajung where the trek starts.
- Road: You can reach Kathgodam by bus as there are many governments and private buses available. Kathgodam to Lohajung is another 200 kilometres which take around 10 hours to reach.
- Rail: From Delhi, you can take a 4-hour train to Kathgodam, but you’ll need to book the tickets way in advance. You can book tickets on Delhi-Kathgodam Shatabdi or Ranikhet Express.
- Flight: To save time, you can even fly from Delhi to Pantnagar and then proceed to Lohajung in a taxi. Ideally, you should fly to Delhi, reach Kathgodam in a bus (from ISBT Delhi Anand Vihar) hire a cab to Lohajung, for the most scenic trip.
Day 1: Lohajung to Ghairoli Patal or Didna
You can begin the trek from Lohajung Base camp from where you will drive to Wan. From Wan, you will climb to Ran Ka Dhar, descend to Neelganga and trek to Ghairoli Patal. You will walk through cypress trees, Neelganga river and the rhododendron and oak forest. A path will be covered in dry brown leaves while the vistas will be dense and colourful. Make camp at Didna.
Day 2: Didna to Bedni Bugyal
The trail will take you to the huge and sprawling meadows of Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal, the path is literally like a garden full of flowers you can walk barefoot on.
Day 3: Bedni Top & Patar Nachauni
To adjust in the high altitude, trek to the Bedni top, a slow and steep climb. From Bedni campsite, you will trek to Patar Nachauni and Bhagwabasa. Camp at Ghora Lotani.
Day 4: Bhagwabasa
Trek to Kalu Vinayak and then to Bhagwabasa, enroute you will spot the Mr Trishul, a breathtaking sight amidst towering mountains. Camping at Bhagwabasa will let you experience the true Himalayan cold.
Day 5: Roopkund
From Bhagwabasa, it is a gradually ascending walk to Roopkund over a snow-covered trail. A long and difficult but thrilling trek will lead you to the gorgeous Roopkund – a crater lake, your final destination.
Through the same Bhagwabasa, Patar Nachauni and Bedni and Wan route, return to Lohajung.
Take a cab back to Kathgodam the next day, from there you can fly back, drive back to Delhi.
- Roopkund Trek Packages: We recommend that you go on this trek by booking an excursion with a trekking operator. Many are available online, they include camping, pick up, drop and meal facilities. The package price starts from Rs. 8000 to Rs. 12,000. Book online for discounts.
- Travel: Travelling from Delhi to Kathgodam will cost you around Rs. 700 by bus and Rs. 3000 by cab.
Places to stay
You will camp at Lohajung base camp, which has lodge-like rooms, however throughout the trek, you will be camping in tents (each shared by 3 to 4 people) There are no hotels or lodges available on the trek trail. You will be camping in floral, barren landscapes under the stars in a really cold climate. It will be an endurance test, you’ll be roughing it out.
Food will be included in the trek package. The way it works is, while you are trekking, the support team of the trek operator is already setting up camp ahead of you and hot food awaits you when you arrive after your daily trek. Breakfast is provided too. If you want to do a solo trek, without any fellow trekkers or guides, carry energy bars and food and water to last for 5 days.
Places of Interest
On the trek, you will find several peaks of interest like Trishul, Nanda Ghunti, Chaukhambha, etc. There are several other mountain peaks further ahead of Roopkund like Nanda Kot, Hathi Parvat, but you won’t be able to see them all on one single trek.
After Roopkund Lake, you can explore this sharp high ridge line of a mountain. You can reach there in 30 minutes on a good day weatherwise.
Nanda Devi National Park
A lush biodiversity forest reserve, Nanda Devi National Park is about 6 hours away from Govindghat. You can immerse in the natural beauty of the forest and spot Himalayan musk deers, snow leopards and black and brown bears.
A holy town 4 hours away from base camp. You can visit the small town nearby where Saint Agastya meditated and Koteshwar Mahadev Temple where Lord Shiva meditated before going to Kedarnath.
Safety & Travel Tips
- Carry essential toiletries, including wet tissue rolls, as you won’t be able to shower throughout the trek. There are not showering facilities and it gets too cold. Pack extra deodorant.
- Pack sunscreen, cap, and gloves. Wear sturdy hiking or running shoes and carry extra pairs of socks.
- Carry plenty of woollens as the temperature drops to minus degrees at night.
- Make sure you are fit and healthy physically before the trek. It is a strenuous trek that requires stamina.
- People with heart conditions and blood pressure should avoid this trek.
- Carry a Swiss knife and a rechargeable torch. Carry an extra strong power bank.
This a trek for adventure seekers and Bravehearts, if you feel like you belong to the tribe, you must plan your trip now. Even if you don’t think you fit the bill, visit for the raw experience of a real trek.