Valley of flowers is an ultimate 5 nights and 6 days trek that opens for trekkers from mid-June to mid-September. June, July and August are the best months to visit the valley as it is in full bloom and large fields of exotic flowers are an absolute sight. On a good day, one can see over 300+ species of flowers. It is situated at an altitude of 3515 Meters. It also serves as the base to mighty Mt Kamet (7756 Meters).
Valley of Flowers is a "Unesco World Heritage Site". It is part of the Nanda Devi Biosphere in Chamoli district of Uttarakhand.
This trek is so beautiful that it is not easy to come back and face the chaos of the city life. This hidden jewel is a truly unique habitat, home to many endemic varieties of alpine flowers and plants. Hence it attracts a lot of travellers and trekkers from around the world. It is home to a numerous exotic flora and fauna - like Brahmakamal, Blue Poppy, Cobra Lily Anemone, Geranium, Marsh Marigold & Asiatic black bear, brown bear, snow leopard, blue sheep and more.
A lot of trekkers also combine this trek with a visit to “Hemkund Saheb”. With some more changes / customization (depending on the time in hand) one can combine this trek with exploring Badrinath Dham, Mana Village (The last Indian Village and source of Saraswati River) and Auli (Ski destination).
Valley of Flowers is a great option for beginners. Like Kareri Lake Trek, Kedarkantha Trek, Brhamatal Trek and Nag Tibba Trek, this can be attempted by someone with average fitness level as well.
Day 1: Arrival at Govindghat (Drive 10 hours)
Drive from Haridwar to Govindghat is almost 11-12 hours drive. We will first cross Devprayag (Prayag: Confluence) which is the confluence of Alaknanda and Bhagirathi rivers followed by Rudrprayag, Karnprayag and Nandprayag to reach Govindghat. You will be assigned rooms as soon as you reach. After unwinding, assemble for dinner and retire for the day.
Day 2: Trek to Ghangharia from Govindghat (4kms drive + 9kms trek)
It used to be a 13 km trek with gradual ascends but with the road connectivity till the bridge in Poolna, it is now only about 9 Kms. The last 4 Kms are a little steep comparatively. The trek might take 4-6 hours depending on one's capability.
We drive till Poolna in shared jeeps and the trek leader will accompany you from Govindghat.
Reach Ghangharia and check into Hotel.
Day 3. Ghangharia to Valley of flowers and back (5+5Kms Trek)
After having Breakfast, we start our trek to the Valley of flowers. It is going to be a moderate trek trek and will take a little over 2 hours to cover this distance. The views from the starting point at checkpost is simply magical. You will spot flowers all along the trail. After reaching valley, you have all the time to explore. There is a grave of Joan Margaret Legge, Who was a botanist from Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. During the course of her research, she fell off and lost her life. She was buried here in the valley of Flowers. After exploring the valley, we start descending and it should take about 1.5-2 hours to get to the hotel. Spend the night in Ghangharia.
Day 4. Ghangharia to Hemkund Saheb (7+7Kms trek)
We start our day early once again. After having breakfast, we start for Hemkund Saheb. We pack some stuff to eat while on the trek to Hemkund Saheb. Though we also have some small eateries along our way up, but it is good to carry packed food. The trek is a moderate ascend. The last part of the trek can also be covered by taking the stairs. We suggest sticking to the paved trek.
We take about 3-3.5 hours to reach our destination. The beauty of Hemkund Saheb is beyond words. The sarover (lake) is absolutely clear and the peaks around the Temple are all snow clad.
We get a portion of Khichdi and hot cup of tea in prashad (devotional offering) and it sure helps a lot. We spend an hour or two here before starting our trek back to Ghangharia.
Day 5. Ghangharia to Govind Ghat (9kms trek + 5kms drive)
We start from Ghangharia base to Govind Ghat. The trek will take about 4 hours for us to reach Poolna and a short drive to Govind Ghat. After reaching Govind Ghat, we check into the hotel and relax.
Optional: One can add a quick visit to Badrinath Temple in the afternoon by hiring a cab from Govind Ghat. It is about 25 kms from Govind Ghat and takes an hour to reach Badrinath. (not part of Wanderers package)
Day 6. From Govind Ghat to Haridwar (Drive: 10 hours)
The drive back to Haridwar will be a scenic one as we cover a distance of about 300 Kms to reach Haridwar. The trip will end here.
1) Meals - All the meals from Govindghat to Govindghat.
2) Accommodation -
- Hotels/forest guest houses while on trek on twin sharing basis.
- While camping, wanderers will provide: dry cleaned sleeping bags and mattresses with fresh individual fleece liner for hygiene.
- Toilets – clean and hygienic.
3) Trek Leader - An experienced mountaineer who is also a certified wilderness first aid responder.
4) Guide - There will be a well experienced local guide who is well versed with the local topography.
5) Camping & trekking permits and permissions from the local administrations/ authorities.
6) Other Equipment (if required) can be rented from Wanderers.
1) Transport - To the base (Govindghat) and back.
2) Any meals/services not mentioned above
3) Any costs in accommodation & food arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
5) Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
6) Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
7) Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.