Roopkund trek is one of the best hikes in Uttarakhand, and has been a special hike for a long time.
Hiking up snowy exposed ridges to Junargali is sure to give you an adrenaline rush, and this is paired with the mystery around the Roopkund Lake, meaning that your hike is bound to be spectacular, memorable and exciting for a variety of reasons.
From its beautiful dense forests, to awe-inspiring meadows and snow-capped peaks, the route winds its way through a diversity of landscapes.
The topography of the hike is diverse, and you will hike through forests, alpine meadows and across mountainous ridges.
Initially you will hike through dense forest before they give way to the beautiful meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyal, which stretch onwards for miles.
Roopkund itself, is a high altitude, glacial lake and is famous for the hundreds of ancient skeletons found in and around it.
Interestingly, research concluded that the ancient local people died from a sudden and severe hailstorm here, with hailstones the size of cricket balls.
Wildlife and Plants
On the first day of this spectacular hike you will walk through the Oak and Rhododendron forests of Ghairoli Patal.
You will also pass through the Bugyals, which are spectacular alpine pastures. In winter the area is covered with snow, and in summer it becomes a beautiful carpet of colourful flowers and emerald grass.
The area is used by traditional herdsmen to graze their cattle.
It is easy to see why the Roopkund trek is one of the best in Uttarakhand.
One of the reasons the trail is so popular is its amazing alpine meadows located above 4,000 feet, which are so big it takes days to cross them.
Another is the Oak and Rhododendron forests which are very dense. You will hike through the forest for almost a day, and will pass through it on both the ascent and the descent.
Lastly, the mountainous section of the hike is truly an adventure. All in all, the this Indian trail is definitely one for your trekking bucket list.
The recent High Court order (dated 28 August) has banned overnight camping in the meadows Uttarakhand which effects this hike. If you are looking for advice on the Roopkund trek, you are in the right place. We have curated information on Roopkund that you can use when planning your next hike along the spectacular trail. The Roopkund trek is based in Uttarakhand, northern India.
Here is a digital map of the area which gives you an idea of what to expect, more extensive maps can be found the guide books.
There are two recommended guide books. First, is the Uttarakhand & Haryana - Blue Guide Chapter from Blue Guide India.
The guide comes with a map as well as detailed information on Indian history and culture, and eating and accommodation tips.
The second is the Lonely Planet Guide (Lonely Planet Trekking in the Indian Himalaya) which covers the region’s top treks.
While more a documentary, than a brief overview, Praveen Mullimath Basavaraj’s video covers the entire Roopkund trek. It will give you a good idea of what to expect from start to end.
The best time to do the Roopkund trek is in the summer, between May and June, as it means that you will get to see many of the flowers in the area in bloom.
September is also a good time to go, as this is just before the region freezes over, with late September having a lot of snow on the trek.
It is a good idea to note that almost throughout the year Roopkund is covered in snow.
The difficulty of the trek will ultimately depend on your level of fitness, in combination with factors such as the weather, your experience in hiking and a little bit of luck, however, the route is not overly technical.
You can do the Roopkund without a guide, but you will have to do a fair bit of planning beforehand.
Currently, there is High Court order (28 August 2018) that has banned camping in the Uttarakhand meadows which has had a direct impact on the hike.
Many of the nights you are supposed to camp in the meadows, which means that presently the trek cannot be completed unless the ban is lifted.
This ban will have a major impact on tourism in the area.