The Roopkund Trek

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Roopkund trek is undoubtedly one of the most well known treks in the Indian Himalayas.  If you plan to do some trekking in India and looking for something which is difficult and explord previously. Then this is the trek in India you should do.

The roopkund trek is an high altitude trek, on this trek you get to experience beautiful meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugayal. To reach the roopkund lake a trekker has to cross snow and ice. This is a trek which has adventure and beauty packed into it.

Roopkund Lake, is the end point of this trek, though there is a further climb to Junargali if a trekker has hired a local guide, if you are trekking with a company you would usually return back from here.

Roopkund Lake Trek
Campsite on roopkund trek

The climb from Roopkund Lake to Junargali is over a ridge and this isn't easy by any means and a trekker needs support of local guides to install ropes so they can navigate this stretch. Junargali brings the trekker very close to Mt Trishul and Mt Nanadagunti. The adventure this involves is something many look forward to, but should be done with caution and alway with the help of local guides. It is the local guides who know these terrains the best, there are many freelancer local guides available online. A trekker would just need to google them. A simple google search of "Local guides roopkund" should give enough results for a trekker to hire a local guide.

The Roopkund lake is also called the mysterious lake because of the presence of skeletons in and around the lake. There are fables about how these skeletons came about here. In fact many of the camp sites on the roopkund trak trails comes from these fables. Maybe they are not fables and true stories. But who is to say! Let your local trekking guide for roopkund, narrate his story about these skeletons while you enjoy the trek.

Roopkund trek passes through some of the best meadows in the Indian Himalayas. The trek starts from Wan and after passing through forests it open up to the vast meadows of Ali and Bedni Bugyal. The Ali and Bedni Bugyal meadows on the roopkund trek are some of the most beautiful meadows in the Indian Himalayas.

Roopkund Lake Trek
Sheeps grazing on the bugyals

After crossing the meadows as a trekker continues to trek towards the roopkund skeleton lake a trekker can view the majestic mount Trishul. The mt Trishul view keeps getting bigger and bigger as the trekker proceeds on his trek and this is an exhilarating experience!

On the roopkund trek you get to see many famous himalayan peaks, other than Mt Trishul, we can also see the Chaukhamba range, Mt Nandagunti,  Kedar Dome, Kedarnath, the Neelkanth peak and many others. 

Roopkund Lake Trek
Mount Trishul on roopkund trek

Like in life, it is the journey which matters. It is the same on the Roopkund lake trek, the roopkund trek should be done for the wonderful journey from the start of the trek till the skeleton lake. The return trek from roopkund will be as enjoyable as it will present a totally different view, while walking back from a higher altitude.

On the roopkund trek we get the following:

  1. Visit an High Altitude Glacial Lake - The Roopkund Lake
  2. Trek through some of the most beautiful meadows - Ali Bugyal and Bedni Bugyal
  3. View some of the famous peaks of the Indian Himalayas - Mt Trishul being the most prominent of them.
  4. Walk through Himalayan forests, snow & ice!
Roopkund Lake Trek
Amazing vistas on the roopkund lake trek

The roopkund trek is the right trek for a trekker who has done himalayan treks before. As it isn't an easy trek for the first timer. The roopkund trek has steep climbs which can get pretty difficult for some one who isn't physically fit. The roopkund trek has slippery downhil descents, which could be a lot of fun, but could also be dangerous if proper caution is not taken.

Roopkund Weather & Roopkund Temperature

The roopkund weather could be unpredictable, like in any other parts of the himalayas. That said, the best time to do this trek is in the months of May, June and July and then from September, October to November. 

Roopkund in May till July

 Roopkund in May could be difficult as there would be quiet a bit of snow, roopkund in June is trekkable and the snow can be navigated with the help of the local guides. roopkund in july is also trekkable but has july progresses the rains start getting more frequent making the trails more and more slippery, by mid July the rain becomes so frequent that it is best avoided. 

Roopkund in September till November

Roopkund in October can be trekked, roopkund in November is difficult and roopkund in December is best avoided! As November approaches the weather gets cold and it gets more and more difficult to do the trek. 

Roopkund Lake Trek
Roopkund lake 

Roopkund Skeleton Lake

The roopkund lake skeletons which are inside the lake would be visible in the months of September, October and November. As long as the roopkund lake isn't frozen and isn't covered with snow. The roopkund lake skeletons which are outside the lake could be seen even in the months prior to September. 

Roopkund Trek Cost

I did this trek with a local guide from Wan, whoose name is Mansingh Bisht. He was very helpful and took good care of us, provided us with tents and good food. I would recommend him to anyone who wants to trek roopkund.  There are more than one Mansingh you will find online! I did it with Mansingh Bisht, he charged us Rs 10,000 for the trek, which included everything from pick up at Kathgodam to drop back at Kathgodam. If we hadn't opted for the pickup he would have further reduced the price by a couple of thousands.

Other than him, there are other local guides who could help doing this trek in a small groups and at nearly the same or lesser price rather than with a trekking company which usually has pretty large groups, which I don't prefer.

Here is a wonderful video of the roopkund trek, enjoy!

This article was updated on October 29, 2017

Ghumakkad