Valley of flowers national park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated at an altitude of 3352 to 3658 meters above sea level, located in Uttarakhand State known for its most captivating meadows and endemic species of Alpine flowers.
The park, open from June to September, offers a fantastic panoramic view with a vibrant green background, landscapes, skylines and cascading waterfalls. This valley was discovered by Frank S Smythe in the year 1931. Nature lovers, botanist, photographers, mountaineers all come to the valley of flowers from across the globe. The clouds, the high-altitude mountains and abundant waterfalls make this place a perfect go. As the clouds start coming down, you can barely see the enormous glacier to the right of and below. While you could spot a lot of familiar flowers, you will also witness some never before seen varieties of alpine flowers. For most of the year, the valley lies coated under layers of snow. It only opens up for nature enthusiasts in summer & monsoon. It's a paradise with beautiful and rare flowers everywhere. A base camp is a place named Ghangharia, where you can stay in hotels or tents. These are just functional accommodations without any luxurious frills. Once you enter the valley, the fragrance of flowers will quickly give you relief from tiredness. The valley in itself is 4-5 km inside and there are many points to enjoy the views. This is a good trek for those interested in bird watching, botany and nature in general. The beauty of the "Valley of Flowers National Park" and "Shri Hemkund Sahib" cannot be expressed in words and hence we recommend this at least once in a lifetime experience.
- Region: Uttarakhand
- Duration: 6 Days
- Grade: Easy To Moderate
- Max Altitude: 4329m
- Best Season: June to September
- Approx Trekking Distance: 37 Km
Day 1: Rishikesh to Govindghat [ 6200 ft] 272 km 9/10 hrs journey
Report at Rishikesh early morning around 6.30am (we suggest you to reach Rishikesh previous night). Drive from Rishikesh to Govindghat is a very scenic and adventurous journey which takes 9/10 hrs time. You need a whole day for this as it is a longboard journey. During your travel journey, the views are breathtaking. Our trek leader will meet you at Govindghat, evening you will receive a briefing about the entire trek. Overnight stay in hotel at Govindghat.
- No network for the regular networks in/after Govindghat. Tell your loved ones you're on a trek and will be back in 3-4 days and take a break from the phone. Sometimes BSNL landline works but that too also depending on the weather situation. Save the battery to click awesome photos.
Day 2: Govindghat to Ghangaria [10050 ft] 12km Trek 7/8 hrs
After morning breakfast we start our trek towards Ghangaria which is 15km from Govindghat and first 4 km we go by jeep till Pulna village and 11km distance by walk. Up to Ghangaria, the path is well defined with cemented rocks which is about 11 km from Pulna village. On the way, you can watch and hear lots of different birds, beautiful cascades and flowers as well. You can experience the calmness of nature and feel more connected to it. You will be walking all the way along the river amidst a lush green forest. The last 4km after crossing the iron bridge, the path gets steeper and harder but the view of the valley and green covered hills add to the atmosphere. After reaching Ghangaria there will be a room allocation to all participants on a sharing basis. (there will be separate rooms for ladies and separate for gents). Ghangaria has a human presence for only 5 months of the year. During winters the place is abandoned and people move downhill. Ghangaria - this is the base from which one can trek to VOF and Hemkund Sahib. The path is well laid out but the climb is steep at places.
Ghangaria is not very accessible through road, you either need to trek or need to hire mules to reach the place. Helicopter service also available from Govindghat but operation of which is highly dependent on weather conditions. Here you have an option of putting your personal luggage on the mules or you can carry it on your own and walk up. It's a good way to acclimatize oneself to that altitude.
Meals: All meals
Day 3: Ghangaria to Valley of Flowers back to Ghangaria [ 11700 ft] 4 km 5/6 hrs Trek
Early morning after having breakfast we start our trek from Ghangaria. The ticket counter is at about 15 - 20 mins walk from Ghangaria. After taking forest permission we start again towards the valley. You arrive at the Pushpawati river, which has an iron bridge. After crossing the bridge, the real trek starts. The park itself is spread across 4 to 5km, The Valley is around 2.5 km of a steep climb to enter and then a gradual slope walks along the Valley. The valley is full of flowers during this season and looks lovely, it is filled with various flowers of different colours, sizes. Enjoy the flowers, glory in the view of the mountains, the mist and clouds. Sit on a rock and take in the beauty!
We start early morning for the valley of flowers. The basic idea is to start back by 1.30 pm because clouds begin to engulf the valley by afternoon and the park closes by 5 pm. Inside the park, you will not find food or water, so carry at least 2 bottles per person and some snacks too along with your packed lunch. The water bottle you can refill from a stream on the way up. There is a considerate drop in temperature when you reach the valley. While trekking generally you don’t feel the chill but once you reach the valley you would realize the temperature drop. It is advised to carry a raincoat as well as a jacket.
Meals: All meals
Day 4: Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib and back to Ghangaria [14300ft] 12 km 8/9 hrs Trek
The next day is scheduled for Hemkund Sahib, the holiest of Sikh shrines. This is considered to be one of the holiest places for Sikhs and is quite a pilgrimage route. The trek is around 12km up n down. Hemkund Sahib is at 14,300 feet above sea level. The path is quite steep and demands good physical fitness. Although the route is fixed and the path is stone cobbled, the ascent is very steep.
Hemkund Sahib is wonderful. There is a Shrine near the lake. The water in the lake is freezing. You get to see lots of "Brahma Kamal" flowers around the lake. On a clear day, the view is amazing. Hemkund is surrounded by seven high mountains, in the centre of which is a tranquil greeny-blue lake. Pilgrims bathe in the icy waters before going to worship. There is also a Lakshman temple as it is believed that Lakshman also came here. People are asked to start back by 2 pm as the weather can be very unpredictable at those heights.
On reaching Hemkund we will have tea and khichdi at the langar. After taking darshan of the Lakshman Mandir and Gurdwara we start back our trek to Ghangaria. Overnight stay at Ghangaria.
Meals: All meals
Day 5: Ghangaria to Govindghat 11km Trek 4/5 hrs.
Early morning, we start our journey back towards Govindghat, on the way we will have breakfast in the hotel. We reach Govindghat from around 11 am to 12 pm. We retrace the same path till Govindghat. Check in to the hotel (sharing basis). On this day you have an option that if you want to visit Badrinath Temple you can leave in the afternoon and evening you can come back. On request, we can arrange the vehicle. Please note that Badrinath temple visit is completely depending on road conditions as it is a landslide-prone area. Overnight stay in the hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 6: Govindghat to Rishikesh/Haridwar. [ 9/10 hrs Drive]
You can start early in the morning after having tea so that you can reach Rishikesh/Haridwar at 6 pm. We advise you to keep one extra day in your plan so that you can avoid missing flights or trains.
What is included in the tour
- Activity: Trekking, Camping, sightseeing etc
- Hotel Accommodation
- All meals while on trek (Veg)
- Permits (Foreign national need to pay extra on spot)
- Basic First aid medical kits
- Entry gates fees
- Qualified and Experienced Trek Leader, support staff, Helpers
- Local route guide
- Activity: Trekking, Camping, sightseeing etc
- Transportation From Rishikesh to Govindghat to Rishikesh
What is NOT included in the tour
- Meals during transit
- Mineral Water or Soft Drinks
- Mules or porter to carry personal luggage while trekking.
- Cost Escalation due to natural reason.
- Unscheduled stay due to a landslide.
- Transportation of any kind (but can be shared between trekkers)
- Any kind of hotel accommodation before and after departure dates.
- Ruck Sack : Compulsory to carry strong and steady rucksack, Between 55 to 60 Litre
- Ruck sack cover : Protect your things from quick rain or snowfall
- Day Pack : Optional, carry only if you are planning to offload your bigger bag. If you are offloading your bigger backpack then you have to carry your personal valuable things, water bottles, pack lunch, raincoat/poncho etc.
- Trekking Shoes: Good quality rubber soul shoes with ankle support is advisable. Please make sure that shoes are well use before trek. Note: Sports shoes are not recommended but you can carry as additional back up shoes.
- T-shirts: As per your need, carry at least one quick dry type, avoid too bright/dark colours T-shirts. Cotton T-shirts avoid especially while walking. Full sleeves T-shirts are recommended.
- Track Pants: As per your need, one synthetic quick dry type track pant is highly recommended.
- Warm Jacket: Highly recommended, one thick fleece jacket/ Down feather jacket is must to carry. You can use this when you cool down at camp.
- Windproof Jacket/ Windcheater: We advised to carry, it is resisting wind chill/snowfall and quick burst of light rain.
- Thermal Wear: You can use this once you reach at campsite. Thermal keep your body warm especially during harsh winter temperatures.
- Towel: One medium size light weight towel quick dry type
- Raincoat/ Poncho: Raincoat/ ponchos is a water-resistance to protect the body from rain.
- Woollen Cap / Balaclava: Mandatory to carry woollen cap or balaclava to protect from cold.
- Sun cap / Hat: To protect you from direct sunlight
- Undergarments: As per your need.
- Socks: Hiking socks has ability wick moisture and keep feet dry. Full length socks are advisable.
- Hand Gloves: Compulsory to carry, few gloves are constructed of water resistant or waterproof material that keep your fingers dry.
- Walking stick / Trekking pole: Trekking pole provide useful literal stability on rough terrain and give balance while descending also reduce pressure on knee.
- Water Bottle/ Hydration pack: Compulsory to carry, please do not carry packaged drinking water bottles.
- Sunglasses: Compulsory to carry. It is protecting from snow blindness. Person who use spectacle need to carry custom make powered sunglasses.
- Head Torch / Torch: It is mandatory to carry with extra batteries. Head torch is advisable to keep your hands free while walking.
- Sunscreen Lotion: Optional, advisable to carry sunscreen lotion (SPF 50+ and more)
- Chapstick/ Cold cream: Optional, As per your need
- Toilet Kit Must to carry, Personal toilet kit (toilet paper)
- Sandals / Slippers: Optional, to walk around camp
- Small Lunch Box & Tea mug: Compulsory, sometimes we give pack lunch so you can carry pack lunch items in it (one small leak proof lunch box is the best one), also carry one tea mug/glass
- Dry Fruits / Energy Bars: We provide healthy adequate food on trip. Some do feel very less energetic compare to others, so you carry energy bars, dry fruits etc.
- Repairs Kit: Must, one small repair kit which includes safety pins, needle, thread and string
- Personal Medical Kit: Must to carry small basic first aid. If you are taking any specific medicine from your doctor please inform us in advance. There will be a basic first kit will be available throughout the trek. Our Instructor has done a first aid course.
- Camera: Optional, to capture your lifetime memories.