Top 5 Easy Treks in Himachal for Beginners

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Beginners looking for easy treks in Himachal is pretty common as everyone needs a start. There cannot be a better start to connect with nature than trekking. Are you a beginner in trekking and want to explore some amazing yet easy treks in Himachal Pradesh region?

Trekking in Himachal Pradesh is an experience of its own! A life-changing, life-altering, soul-satisfying, prospective builder of an experience. There is something about trekking that’s cumulatively more than any other form of travel.

Being in the majestic mountain teaches you so much and if you’re truly out in the wild, as you would be trekking, the fresh air & the starry nights will make you ponder and wonder!

Himachal Pradesh has always been a favorite destination for the trekkers in India. There are so many different levels of treks that one can absolutely not miss this state when planning an adventure. So why not start from the most popular trekking state in India?

Why choose Himachal Pradesh for your Beginner Trek?

Himalayan treks are the most cherished memories for the traveled and seasoned folk. The mysticism attached to the hills, the aura of the unknown and the joy in watching places unfold into often contrary views make the Himalayan folds very appealing to those that want to connect with nature! The trails are insanely beautiful, the views you earn make themselves worth the sweat and you’ll be glad to have seen what many few get to experience!

Building on from how to trek in the Himalayas and also having discussed the sister state of Uttarakhand. We will be deep diving into the Himachal Pradesh landscape below. The Himachali treks are a sight to behold and of course, there’s a reason folks tend to flock towards Himachal Pradesh. Words are never sufficient to describe the places where few have set foot and must be experienced for yourself. Here, we attempt to ease you in and prepare you for what’s to be expected!

Do not forget to check out our article on easy treks in Uttarakhand.

We have chosen beginner level treks in Himachal Pradesh that are doable by most and provide the biggest bang-for-your-buck. From views to accomplishments, from campsites to the trek itself – we have covered it all!

Dig in.

That frozen trek to Prashar Lake
That frozen trek to Prashar Lake

Connectivity in Himachal Pradesh

For all beginner level treks – I am assuming you’ve reached Manali (unless otherwise explicitly stated). Manali is very connected by road, air and train alike.

By Air

There is no airport at Manali. The nearest airport is at Bhuntar which is 50 km away from Manali. There are cabs (shared/private) that are available near the Airport. Flights are limited as this is a small, hill-station airport. Thus, if looking to be on a budget, this option might not be viable/ you’ll need to plan in advance.

Winding roads of Himachal Pradesh
Winding roads of Himachal Pradesh

By Train

No direct trains run to Manali. However, you can take Shatabdi till Chandigarh and hire a cab/ take a bus for the remainder of the journey.

By road

You can either rent a self-drive car or drive on your own from Delhi to reach Manali. The route is as below:

Delhi – Sonepat – Panipat – Karnal – Ambala – Rajpura – Sirhind – Fatehgarh saheb – Roopar/Roopnagar – Kiratpur – Swarghat – Bilaspur – Sundarnagar – Mandi – Kullu – Manali

Overall the above journey will take you around 9 hours of driving time. However, there is a lot to explore in terms of Dhaba food along the way. So, enjoy your gluttonous pitstops

The beautiful Himachal Pradesh
The beautiful Himachal Pradesh

By Bus

There are regular HRTC and HPTDC buses which run from Kashmiri Gate, Delhi to Manali. You can catch any of these buses to reach Manali/other locations in Himachal Pradesh for your beginner level trek. Again, cabs/buses for your journey ahead will be available at the Bus Stand. HRTC and HP Govt buses are the most comfortable, with Volvos available as well. Prices range from 530 to 1400/- for reaching Manali.

So, this, in my opinion, is a better way to get to Manali. You’ll not really be using your own vehicle for a better part of your journey, what’s the point of being stressed about its well-being?

1. Hampta Pass Trek – The Popular Adventurous Trek

Probably the best Himachal Pradesh trek for beginners is the Hampta Pass Trek. As it has some of the prettiest landscapes imaginable, the Hampta Pass Trek provides for a memorable experience. On this trek, you will begin your journey in the wild from thick forests to ultimately enter the lush green valleys.

The biggest selling point on this Himachali beginner level trek has to be the dramatic landscapes and the plethora of views you’ll get to experience Also, the experience of crossing a river is a bonus. If I haven’t sold it enough till now, I must also bring to your notice the striking campsites that will provide you panoramic views and crystal clear night-time skies!

Do this trek in Himachal as a beginner for an addictive experience.

Early June views of the Hampta Pass Trek
Early June views of the Hampta Pass Trek

Trek Starting Point

Jobra Nala (30 km from Manali)

Maximum Elevation 14100 Ft
Best Weather June to October
Difficulty Easy to Moderate
Duration (5 to 6 days)
Distance Covered 26 KMs
Budget 8000-10,000 INR

Itinerary

The Hampta Pass Trek is a thrilling experience connecting the “Valley of Gods” Manali to “The Middle Land” Spiti valley. Of course, reaching the top & the crossing of the pass itself is an indescribable feeling.

However, the sheer expanse of diversity in views will be worth every effort- from glacial valleys to lush green pastures – the journey has it all covered! This Himachali beginner trek is best suited for beginners as it has enough of the adventurous feels attached to it.

Day 0

Choose your preferred way of reaching Manali. Get in as early as possible and get a chance to explore the hippie town of Manali, which is ever bustling with activity!

Day 1

Book a cab from Manali to Jobri which takes around an hour to reach. And start as early as possible from Manali to Jobra. Here, your trek begins! So, you will start trekking from Jobra along the river to reach the first campsite Chika.

Of course, the first day of the trek is easing into the trailing lifestyle and will only require 2-3 hours with a gradual ascent in between the forests. Chika campsite allows you to pitch your tent anywhere you like – so choose your location as per your fancy and tuck in for a beautiful night!

HOWEVER, please carry a water bottle and keep the area as clean as possible, filling up your bottle when needed

Day 2

Obviously, the second day of the trek is more strenuous than the first. Start as early in the AM as possible and begin trekking towards the next campsite Balu ka Gera. The trek initially starts with walking through stones and boulders which is then followed by crossing a freezing Nalla. Cross the nallah carefully and chill at the Jwara meadow for some time.

Here, you will experience the amalgamation of two valleys – what a sight to see! And after you’re done staring at the magical natural wonder, move on with your journey. So, it takes an hour walk to reach Balu ka Gera campsite. After reaching Balu ka Gera, you will be able to relish the remainder of the sunlight thanks to the captivating sights. Enjoy exploring your new home for the day.

The water sources are also available through-out the day’s trek, so you don’t need to fret.

Manali and beauty
Manali and beauty

Day 3

Start early in the morning to cross Hampta pass. As this is the most adventurous day of the trek, I suggest you get ready to experience all the thrill. The trek from Balu ka Gera to the top is a little challenging but equally mesmerizing to climb. Of course, please spend some time at the top and you may even plan a picnic lunch at the top!

Also, if you’re undertaking this expedition when there is enough snow, then sliding down the mountains for some time is also a good option. Now, once you’re ready to descend it will take you an hour to reach your home for the night – Shea Goru.

Day 4

Today’s trek is most descending but it’s a little tricky. As there is a chance that you might slip so, I would suggest you descend properly with the support of your trekking pole. And, after two or three hours of trekking, you reach Chattru which is the ending point of this trek. Now, as per your plans, you may choose to visit Chandratal lake or move back to Manali.

The most contrasting of views to guide you through the high passes and providing you an opportunity to visit lush greenery and the inviting vistas along with the starkly barren Spiti Valley’s landscape.

Himachal Pradesh, you beauty!
Himachal Pradesh, you beauty!

2. Prashar Lake Trek – The Common Beginner Trek

This lake is a blessing for the people who don’t have enough time for a long trek in the Himachali terrain. This trek can be completed over a long weekend from Delhi and offers a 180-degree view of Pir Panjal, Dhaulandhar and Kinnaur mountain ranges.

Also, the Prashar Rishi temple near the lake is an added advantage for someone who is interested in old-timey architecture. The gorgeous sunset from the top of the lake can be the sole reason for visiting Prashar lake. To imagine the level of fun you can fit into an extended weekend is a pure delight!

Getting Close to Prashar Lake
Getting Close to Prashar Lake

Trek Starting Point

Bagi Village (30 Km from Mandi). Although, one of the best parts of this trek is that you get to choose your own starting point. Though the standard starting point is Baggi, you can push further ahead and trek lesser – the choice is yours!

Max Elevation 8960 M
Best Weather Jan-Feb for Snow, open throughout the year
Difficulty Easy, Beginner
Duration 2 Days
Distance 14 KMs
Budget 1500-2000 INR

Itinerary

The Prashar Lake trek has it all – history, beauty, flora and fauna, exquisite sunsets and sunrises and to top it all off – the tranquillity. There is something uniquely special about this year-round accessible trek that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of your normal life and perches you on top of a beautiful mystical place!

The Prashar lake – encapsulated by the Dhauladhar range in Kullu Valley, makes for a striking sight with its cobalt blue water. Also, Prashar Lake has a small floating circular island on its surface.

Day 0

Instead of reaching Manali, as described above – I would suggest you end your trip earlier at Mandi, for the ease of reaching Baggi Village.

Day 1

Take an early morning bus from Mandi Bus Stand towards Baggi village which is the starting point of this trek. As I said previously, I must repeat here as well – to ensure you fill up your water bottles as there are very few sources of water available on the way.

On the first day, It’ll take you around five hours to reach Prashar Lake and will take you along a distance of 7 KMs. The first sight of the lake will be etched in your memory forever! Explore the area and settle in for the night

Prashar Lake – A Jewel Midst White Gold We Call Snow
Prashar Lake – A Jewel Midst White Gold We Call Snow

Day 2

Wake up as early as you can to catch the most spectacular sunrise of your life. You can even try and fit in the nearby lake of Sukhasar, which is about 2 KMs from Prashar Lake. Once you’ve explored to your heart’s content, start trekking back to Baggi. Trekking down will require fewer efforts and comparatively less time. Reach Baggi by 1 PM and catch the bus for Mandi.

Prashar Lake can now be reached by road, but I would strongly urge you to trek your way to glory – it will be a welcome view, having earned it the hard way!

3. Triund Trek – The Favorite Beginner Trek

One of the most sought after beginner level treks in Himachal Pradesh has to be Triund. If you’re a new trekker, for sure you would have been recommended this trek! Famous for its 22 steep curves along the way, this weekend trek from Delhi located in the Dhaulandhar ranges has its own charm.

This slightly easier and leveled trek rewards you with some of the beautiful views of Indrahar Pass. The best thing about this Himachali Beginner Trek is that it’s accessible throughout the year and becomes captivatingly beautiful in the winters. If you are looking for your first trek over a weekend, then this is the best choice for you.

Magic View Cafe - Triund Trek
Magic View Cafe – Triund Trek

Trek Starting Point

Mcleodganj is the starting point or base for Triund Trek. You need to travel to Bhagsu from where the trek begins.

Maximum Elevation 9350 Ft
Best Weather March to May, Winter Months.
Difficulty Easy, Beginner
Duration 2 Days
Distance Covered 15 KMs
Budget 1500-2000 INR

Itinerary

Triund is located approximately 18 KMs from Dharamshala. Dharamshala is at a distance of 475 KMs from Delhi and has its own Airport. While there is no train connectivity, buses ply the route regularly.

This trek has well-defined trails and is accompanied by stunning views of the Kangra Valley. Although the ascent is steep, the views and the vistas make up for it. If you’re traveling in the blooming months, your path will be lit up by the rhododendrons and oak trees will be aplenty!

Camping at Triund
Camping at Triund

Day 1

Start from Macleodganj as early in the morning as possible. To do this, book a taxi to Galu temple, which is the starting point of your adventure! Here, I must mention that the trek is simple and level, with the exception of the last one km which is a little steep.

Also, you will be crossing Dharamkot and Naddi along the way. There are a few shops in between where you can have breakfast and fill up your water bottle. Camp in the night at Triund and enjoy views of Dhaulandhar ranges.

Planning a trip to Triund?
Planning a trip to Triund?

Day 2

Start trekking back to Galu temple which will take you around 3 hours to reach. From there on, you can book a taxi to Macleodganj.

Often the first trek of most people’s lives in Himachal Pradesh, this is surely a staple that won’t disappoint. Be prepared for a tonne of walking, only to be pleased with the end with mammoth views!

4. Bhrigu Lake Trek – A Not So Kown Beginner Trek

Wanting something more adventurous with a great story to tell? Well, the Bhrigu Lake trek will be the epitome of storytelling for a beginner trekker. This is a three-day trek to reach the high alpine glacial lake at the ambitious height of 14,000 ft. And for most of this trek, you’ll be gliding along the meadows – the definite highlight of this trek.

Normally, most of the Himalayan treks take at least four days to reach this height. But, with this Himachali Beginner Trek, you can accomplish this height in approximately 2 days, making it a great adventure, especially for beginners!

Marvelous peaks like Deo Tibba and Seven Sisters can be seen from the trail of this trek, a great accompanying view to be mesmerized with! Also, you have the choice of completing this trek at the Vashisth hot water springs where you can get relief from all your pain.

 Hill Trek
Hill Trek

Trek Starting Point

Gulaba, Manali

Maximum Elevation 14000 Ft
Best Weather May to October
Difficulty Easy, beginner
Duration 3 Days(Manali to Manali)
Distance Covered 25 KMs
Budget 5000 INR

Itinerary

The stunning views of snow-capped mountains, the beautiful lushness of the forest, the cobalt blue skies and the chirping of birds as your new co-travelers – ah, what a perfect definition of a traveler’s life! This trek is the embodiment of that definition.

A popular trekking expedition, Brughu Lake trek is gaining admiration due to the easy of accomplishment while simultaneously providing drool-worthy views.

Day 0

Reach Manali by your preferred mode of travel. Spend the day!

Day 1

Here is the day to mark your adventure! Drive to Gulaba, located around 22 km from Manali, taking an hour to reach. Then start trekking towards your first campsite of Rola Kholi. Obviously, carry sufficient water in your bottle as there are very few sources of water.

Also, the duration of trekking today would be around 4-5 hours, depending on your level of fitness. You’ll be camping at Rola Kholi tonight, having reached a height of 10,300 Ft. The Gulaba Meadows en route are a sight to see.

Day 2

Today is the day you get to conquer mountain peaks (metaphorically, of course! No mountain traveler can ever claim to have conquered any mammoth!)! Of course, start early in the morning as it’s a long day and you have to cover a large distance.

The Bhrigu lake is frozen most of the months and an amazing view to watch. However, peculiarly, the lake is never truly fully frozen, even in the harshest of winter months. Hindu mythology attributes it to the Rishi Bhrigu. Spend some time at the lake and then walk towards Pandu Ropa.

Day 3

Today’s trek is mostly downhill and very steep, so it’s difficult to maintain balance. This is why people mostly head back to Gulaba. Trek will take almost 4 hours to reach Vashisht water springs from where you can head back to Manali. Till June the route is mostly covered in snow.

Bhrigu Lake Trek is a Himachali Beginner Trek which will test your physical strength at a few points, but make the journey worth it with the views of the meadows en route and the glacial lake as the epitomic climax!

5. Kareri Lake Trek – An offbeat Beginner Trek

Another two-day trek which takes you to a blissful lake away from the chaos. The most special thing about this trek is that most people don’t know this place exists! And you’ll find very few trekkers out there on the trail. The level of isolation is addictive, and the connection with nature is unmatchable. Also, the lake is equally beautiful at all the times of the year.

However, the summer and monsoon months make for an enthralling experience. Being Dev Bhoomi Himachal, another attraction near the lake is a Lord Shiva temple. The trek follows along and crosses several villages and settlements through thick pine forests, eventually crossing Kareri Nalla several times over a wooden bridge.

While most of the people choose Triund for their first time trekking, even this Himachal Beginner Trek makes for an amazing experience!

Trekking Jewels
Trekking Jewels

Trek Starting Point

Ghera village(Dharamshala)

Maximum Elevation 9613 ft
Best Weather March to July, September to December
Difficulty Easy- Moderate
Duration 2 days
Distance Covered 26 KMs
Budget 3000-4000 INR

Itinerary

This offbeat trek is a perfect way to spend an adventurous extended weekend. With several campsites along the trail, there are many options available for food, making it a great beginner or do-it-yourself trek.

Overall you’ll be walking for about 5 hours on your first day and another 6 hours on the second. You’ll get to experience a pretty well-defined trail, with the exception of the last stretch towards the lake itself.

For this trek, you’ll need to reach Dharamshala

Day 1

Book a cab from to Ghera village which is around 20 km from Dharamshala. The trek starts through mixed pine forests which is then followed by a small shop which sells soft drinks and Maggi. After trekking for 4 to 5 hours, you’ll reach Reoti where you can camp.

Along the way, you’ll cross bridges, thick pine forests and be treated by symphonies of local birds. Consider yourself lucky if you get to spot some Himalayan Griffon Vultures overhead. Also, at Reoti, you’ll be able to find ample food (though basic) along with the option of renting sleeping bags, tents, etc. Price of a sleeping bag is approximately INR 100 (as of 2019) and tent pricing will depend on the size.

Day 2

Start trekking towards the Kareri Lake which is an hour trek from Reoti. Again, I would suggest waking up as early as possible to start your day off! ON way, you’ll cross the Nyund Nallah, which will gain speed as you approach the lake.

You can take a slight detour to explore the Shiv Temple atop a hilltop, the path is paved with stone steps – you’ll easily recognize the way. On the other side of the hill is the beautiful, glacial Kareri Lake. Spend some time at the peaceful lake and then back to Reoti and then back to Ghera village from where you can go to Dharamshala by cab.

Kareri Trek is a gorgeous trek, engulfing you in the pines and taking you right up to a glacial lake to relax and unwind, and enjoy the spectacular nature!

Some other tips or suggestions for trekking in Himachal

  • Do not go without a guide on any trek unless you have tonnes of experience in climbing mountains. Mountains can be harsh sometimes and that’s why you need a guide.
  • Use proper trekking gears while doing any trek. In the case of bad weather, even the gear will prove to be not only helpful but often times your savior
  • Always carry some extra water and food while trekking, because weather is always uncertain in the mountains.
  • Do not litter waste in the mountains. There is no cleaning crew which will come after you to tidy up the place. Be a responsible trekker and keep these mountains clean and beautiful.

Conclusion

These are some of the beginner treks in Himachal Pradesh which will surely be enjoyable. And to top it all off, you will definitely come out the other side, addicted to the feeling of euphoria. Trekking is an amazing experience to test your limits, push your boundaries and become stronger – mentally, physically, emotionally.

Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.

Himachal Pradesh provides sufficient opportunities for trekking, with over 200+ known and defined trails. The above trails make for easy treks in Himachal for beginners, which will ease you into the life of the wild. Hoping you will have an exhilarating experience!

Are there any other treks we must mention that would make for great beginner treks in Himachal Pradesh? Also, what’s been your favorite experience out in the wild? Do comment below, I would love to swap some stories!

If you know your friends or family are planning a trek in Himachal Pradesh, do share this article with them to help them make a memorable trek.

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About Author

Shefali spends most of her time day dreaming about her next big vacation. A happy-go-lucky personality, she is an amalgamation of all the places she’s lived in and experienced! She is always confused as to where to call home, having lived in Chandigarh, Shimla, Dehradun, Mumbai, Hyderabad in India and Vancouver, Abbotsford in Canada. Her love for travel is only challenged by her love for reading and eating delicious food! In order to sustain her dreams, she brought out her inner geek, got an MBA and has a job in the corporate world crunching numbers. Do follow @nomadstoryteller on Instagram for updates on her next great adventure.

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