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Trekking Routes in Kumaon Part 1

The gentle Himalayas of the Kumaon region must be among the most picturesque in the country. The modest beauty of regions such as Almora, Ranikhet and Kausani is reassuring, rejuvenating. Here, giant terraces are flung down high mountains in green steps of cultivation, destroying neither the mountain nor its greenery.

Kumaon has three distinct trekking regions: the foothills of the Himalayas of the Nainital district and the lake area; the hill areas of Almora, Ranikhet, Kausani, Chowkori and Pithoragarh: the Himalayan glacier area of the Kumaon hills.

Trekking Areas
Nainital and the lake area is the most suitable for school children with pleasant trekking trails. Basic facilities for amateur trekkers are available in and around Nainital.

The hill areas of Almora, Ranikhet, Kausani, Chowkori and Pithoragarh are ideal for the older trekker, and for students. The Himalayan glacier area of the Kumaon hills has more difficult routes, picturesque river beds and rhododendron forests.

Base : Nainital
Encircling the lake venerated after the goddess of the same name, Nainital is the best known hill resort of Kumaon. It has equable weather with the maximum and minimum temperature being 27 C and 19 C in summer and 15 C and 20 C in winter.

April to June, before the monsoon sets in, is the season for flowers while the second season from September to mid-November is ideal for post-monsoon freshness.

More on Uttarakhand
Corbett Park

Kumaon Part 2
Pindari Glacier
Dodi Tal
Garhwal Part 1
Garhwal Part 2

Kumaon Remembered


Adventure activities
Rock climbing
Scuba Diving

Route one
Nainital (1938 m)-Snow View (2270 m)-Bhowali (1707 m)-Bhimtal-Naukuchiya Tal (approximately 1800 m). The trail provides a grand-stand view of the mountain peak of the Nanda Devi Sanctuary, its eastern view, and further right on to the pillars of the Central Kumaon region. From the health resort at Bhowali, 11.2 km from Nainital, the trail continues to the cluster of seven lakes at Sat Tal and the nine-cornered Naukuchiya Tal. Forest Rest House and PWD Bungalow available at Bhowali. At Bhimtal, Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam runs a guest house.

Route two
Nainital (1938 m)-Kilbury (2528m)-Paogot-Binayak-Badhanthali-Kunjkharak. 10 km from Nainital, with a Forest Rest House, Kilbury is ideal for solitude. The trail continues along the Cheena Peak range to Binayak and Kunjkharak through oak and deodar forests, facing the high range and abounding in bird life.

Route three
Nainital (1938 m)- Khurpatal (1750 m)- Kaladhungi (1700 m). Khurpatal, 5 km away is an anglers staging point carrying on to Corbett country in Kaladhungi.

Base : Almora
Almora, the oldest settlement, with its numerous temples, is spread along a ridge from where the high mountains are seen.

Route one
Almora (1638 m)- Sitalakhet (1828 m) - Ranikhet (1829 m). This is an arterial trek providing close-ups of the high ranges. Forest Rest House at Shitalakhet and good accommodation at Almora and Ranikhet, which is also the headquarters of the famous Kumaon Regiment.

Route two and Route three
Almora - Pandhar-Jalna-Lamgarha-Saharpathak-Mornaula (4 days). Almora-Qarab-Mukteshat (2 days). These are hill walks sure to be found attractive by those looking for the mystical allure of altitude which the Almora region provides.

Route Four
Almora-Barechhina-Pannwanaula-Artola-Jageshwar (2 days). This is a temple trail highlighted by the main Jageshwar temples dating 13 AD, its smaller edifices having been added by the Chand dynasty. Forest Rest House at Jageshwar.

Route five
Almora (1638 m )- Kapharkhan-Binsar (2412 m). Once again, the closeness of the snow mountains is irresistible on this trail 30 km from Almora at Binsar which has a Forest Rest House and KMVN accommodation.

Base : Ranikhet
Long known for its tremendous panoramic delights of the high Himalayas, Ranikhet is located in the very heart of Kumaon at 1829 m.

Route one
Ranikhet - Majkhali - Cochhina- Kausani(2 days). Probably the best known route in this section, the long views from Kausani (1890 m) are a lifetime's experience. Forest Rest House/ PWD Bungalow, KMVN accommodation at Kausani.

Route two
Ranikhet - Gagas- Dwarhat-Dunagiri (3 days). Dwarhat, 38 km from Ranikhet, has eight clusters of temples and is historically important.

Route three
Ranikhet-Kalika-Majkhali- Kathpuriya-Sitalakhet(2 days). Sitalakhet (1829 m), 35 km from Ranikhet, has a forest Rest House. The trail once again offers sublime views.

More Trekking Itineraries:
Kumaon - II
Garhwal - I
Garhwal - II
More Trekking Articles

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Editor: Romola Butalia       (c) India Travelogue. All rights reserved.