Auli is Uttarakhand’s favorite ski destination. In the few months of extreme winter, the meadows of Auli turn white as chalk and make for the best ski slopes for adventurers and enthusiasts alike. Even when the snow is not there, the meadows or ‘bugyals’ of Auli are one of a kind. Add Chopta to the mix and we have a winner! The scenery in Chopta is what dreams are made of, lush meadows, clear lakes and dense forests, complete with panoramic views of Himalayan peaks. This week-long itinerary is the best for the adventurer in you!
Drive from Rishikesh to Auli.
This 200 kms drive is a arduous one and will take time and a toll on you, but the views and the gorgeous valleys on the way are worth it. Reach Auli and relax in the evening, with views to die for.
Depending on the season and weather, spend some time at Auli ski resort, with views of Nanda Devi and the surrounding peaks, or engage in some snow sports.
Trek to Gorson Bugyal
Before the slopes of Auli turn all white and ready for skiing, they are a bright shade of green. The meadows of Auli are as beautiful as its white slopes. Strap on your hiking shoes, get your fill of breakfast and head out with our local guide for a trek to the Gorson meadows. Around 3 kilometres from the nearest drivable road, this trek is a moderate one. Enjoy the beautiful green and watch the overhead cable cars and chair lifts at the Gorson meadows. Stroll around for a while and rest a bit before making your way down. This half-day trek is sure to add a little adventure to your trip.
Drive and Hike in Nanda Devi Biosphere
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Nanda Devi Biosphere is an absolute delight for trekkers. It was declared a World Heritage Site way back in the year 1988For someone short on time or stamina, this is a perfect day hike in the Biosphere. Post breakfast, drive to the Biosphere on winding roads. The population seems to dwindle as you go further into the Biosphere. A protected area that houses the Nanda Devi mountain and other towering mountains, there’s no dearth of hiking opportunities here. Our local guide will take you around beautiful trails and you will learn more about the diversity of this protected area. Immerse in its beauty before driving back to your hotel.
Drive to Chopta
A short 100 kms drive will take you to Chopta. Check-in to your camp and gorge on some gorgeous view of the snow peaks sitting in the beautiful meadows of Chopta.
Scenery in Chopta is what dreams are made of, lush meadows, clear lakes and dense forests, complete with panoramic views of Himalayan peaks. A bird watcher’s paradise, the oft-spotted Himalayan Monal seems like a rainbow in flight with its metallic coloured wings. Look out for the light-footed Himalayan Tahr and Himalayan Goral as they balance on precariously perched rocks and still stay steady. Largely un[explored], Chopta is the usual starting point for numerous treks up the Chandrashila trail past the world’s highest Shiva temple, the Tungnath Temple, in the Garhwal Himalayas. Over 1000 years old, legends behind the Tungnath date back to the Mahabharata epic. Set in the midst of the Kedarnath National Park, Chopta is commonly associated with being Uttarakhand’s own Switzerland, we like to call it a slice of heaven.
Spend the rest of the day at the meadows.
Day Trek to Chandrashila
No trip to Chopta is complete without a mandatory trip up to the Tungnath Temple. Higher up is the summit of Chandrashila Peak. Begin after breakfast, in the able company of our local expert, up the track to one of the world’s highest Shiva Temples. The well-paved track makes an easy enough trek through beautiful meadows without a challenging ascent. Spend some time here in this over 1000-year-old temple, listening to legends dating back to the Mahabharata and Shiva’s significance in the epic. A further trek for an hour on would take you to Chandrashila peak. At 4000 metres above msl, expect 360-degree panoramic stunning views. The wind literally sweeps you off your feet here, but keep your cameras steady for pictures of the Nandadevi, Trishul, Kedar, Bandarpunch and Chaukhamba peaks. Stop for a much-needed break here at the summit, after a nearly 5-hour trek, before you hike back to your hotel.
Day Trek to Deoria Tal
A trekker’s paradise, Chopta has numerous trails all around. The revered Deoria Tal, a lake surrounded by thick woods and meadows, is worth a visit as well. We drive you down to Sari Village, where our local guide will meet you for a scenic 3-kilometre hike to the lake. Through rhododendron, pine and deodar forests, the trail leads on to green meadows surrounding the lake. Still waters here reflect mighty peaks in the distance. Stop for a bit for panoramic views of the Chaukhamba, Nilkantha, Bandarpunch and Kedar Peaks from the lake site.
Drive back to Rishikesh
After breakfast, start your drive back to Rishikesh.