Kuari Pass trek is known to be beginner’s friendly trek but you will also find the seasoned trekkers as well just to have a taste of the treats this trek offers. Nestled in the Nanda Devi National Park of Garhwal region in Uttarakhand, Kuari pass sits atop a height of 12,516 ft.
Kuari Pass trek covers a distance of 22 km spanning over 4-days. This comparatively short trek in the Himalayas brings you close to the mighty peaks of Dronagiri and Nanda Devi. The only other trek that gives a view of Nanda Devi is Chandrashila trek, but it is not as up-close as from Kuari Pass trek. Walk through the snow draped pine trees and the meadows contrasting the magnificent mountain peaks. You can visit Kuari pass that remains accessible even during the winter months when all the other high-altitude passes are rendered inaccessible.
How to reach Kuari Pass?
Kuari Pass trek base camp is Tapoban which is approximately 272 km from Rishikesh. Since Rishikesh is well connected to all the cities, first get to Rishikesh from your place either by a bus or your own car. There are several public and private buses that leave from ISBT Kashmiri Gate in Delhi to Rishikesh. You can also take a train to Dehradun and then hire a taxi or shared cab. After reaching Rishikesh your journey would be divided in two parts:
Take a bus to Joshimath: There are frequent buses departing from Rishikesh Bus Stand to Joshimath covering a distance of 256 km in approximately 10 hours. If you are travelling solo then taking a shared cab is a good option. It is better to take an early ride so that you can reach your destination by evening.
Take a shared cab to Tapoban: After staying a night at Joshimath you can hire a shared cab from Joshimath Bazar taxi stand. From Tapoban the start point of the trek is just 3 km away.
What to see in Kuari Pass?
View of Mt. Nanda Devi
One of the biggest plus points of Kuari pass trek is its easy access to the close up view of the infamous Mt. Nanda Devi. As mentioned, there are just a couple of treks from where you can spot Nanda Devi that too from a distance. Kuari pass trek lets you accompany Nanda Devi peak from Auli right to the beautiful meadows of Gorson Bugyal. Like Nanda Devi there are several other peaks that appear on the trail of Kuari pass, to name a few of them Dronagiri, Chaukhamba and Hathi Ghoda make the cut.
The trail is lined with some of the finest oak forest draped under the weight of snow in winters. The picture almost looks magical with a colourful forest covered in white snow. Unlike other treks of Roopkund or Brahmatal, Kuari pass oak forest section is almost a flat walk among the trees so that you can appreciate the view without feeling breathless climbing the steep section of forests.
Once you are out of the woods you will be surprised by the vast stretch of Gorson Bugyal meadow laid in front of Nanda Devi Mountain. As you walk ahead you will come across the ridge of Chitrakantha at an elevation of 12000 ft giving you a spectacular view.
What to carry
Clothing: your regular wears plus light thermal wear, windproof jacket, heavy woollen jacket, woollen caps, gloves and muffler.
Trekking: Waterproof backpack, trekking gears, hiking shoes, sleeping bag, hot water bag, trekking pole, tent.
Utilities: Sunglasses, gloves, Sunscreen, lip balm and toiletries
Document: carry your passport size photos, identity card/Driver’s license, medical certificate and Disclaimer form.
Electronics: Camera with extra batteries and power bank
Medicines: your prescription if any, Diamox, Crocin, Paracetamol and first-aid.
Eatables: Glucose/ORS, energy bar, dry fruits, water bottles, chocolates and snacks.
When to visit?
Kuari Pass trek remains operational for about 10 months around the year, monsoon being the only season when trekking through Kuari Pass is closed due to weather hazards and slippery trails. The winter months bring you fresh snowfall and snow-covered forest walks. The snow trail leading through the white caped mountain pass looks delightful. Summer gives you a beautiful view of Gorson Bugyal. The forests are bright green without any snow and you get to experience hot mornings and cold evenings. Spring gives you a mix of summer and winter virtues with colourful forest and residual snow. The trail is a pleasant stroll among nature. Autumn months are famous for crisp views and golden meadows. The trail is beautiful with colourful forest but there is no snow.