ADVENTURE-PULSE
(The Adventure Management Consultants)

India
Sunderdhunga Valley Trek

Overview

The Sunderdhunga Valley Trek is a moderate to difficult 09-day trek in the Kumaon Region of Uttarakhand. Located on the border of the Nandi Devi Sanctum and a part of the Nanda Devi National Park, the trek is as beautiful as it is remote. The trek itself begins from the same point as the Pindari Glacier Trek; Kahrkia and over the course of 07 days you cross remote Himalayan villages, rich biospheres and majestic views of some of the most spectacular Himalayan Peaks. The highest point of the trek is Devikund Lake, a high-altitude lake at 4415 metres.

What to expect on the Sunderdhunga Valley Trek?

While on the trek, you’ll be staying in a combination of forest guest houses and tents. At Jatoli and Kathaliya, accommodation will be in the forest guest houses which are basic but clean rooms. After Kathaliya, accommodation will be in tents on a double sharing basis.

The trail starting from Kahrkia begins with a descent to the bottom of the valley and then a climb to the picturesque village of Jatoli. The 03-hour climb to Jatoli is tough and will test your fitness. From Jatoli, we follow the forest trail as it makes its way through the forest, some streams and eventually a gradual descent to the moraine field at the bottom of the valley. We follow this field for a couple of hours before another steep climb to Katheliyan. The next day we head back to a different valley floor to make our way to Sukhram Caves. The climb up to Devikund Lakes begins from Sukhram Caves and is one of the hardest days of trekking.  From Devikund Lake, you get up close to Maiktoli, Panwalidwar, Tharkot and Nanda Kot, all 6000-metre peaks in a radius of 10 kilometres from you.

Who do we recommend this trek to?

This trek is recommended for individuals with some trekking experience and a good level of fitness. This trek is not for beginners. The significant altitude gain, steep terrain and long days of trekking make it a moderate-difficult trek. This is also what makes it less popular than Pindari Glacier Trek and Kafni Glacier. Thus, if you are looking for a trek away from the crowds with access to stunning views of Maiktoli, Panwalidwar, Nanda Kot and Nada Devi, this is the trek for you.

Read more about the trek here: The Sunderdhunga Valley Trek: The undiscovered valley of Uttarakhand

Quick Facts

Best Time : August, September and October

Duration : 09 Days

Max. Altitude : 4415 Metres

Commences At : Kathgodam/Pantnagar

Ends At : Kathgodam/Pantnagar

  • Kathgodam/Pantnagar to Binsar
  • Binsar-Kahrkia-Jatoli (04 hour drive and 05 hour trek)
  • Jatoli-Kathaliya (07 hours of trekking)
  • Kathaliya-Sukhram Caves (05 hour trek)
  • Devikund Lakes (05 hour tek)
  • Sukhram Caves- Balooni Top-Kathaliya (07 hour trek)
  • Kathaliya-Jatoli (05 hours of trekking)
  • Jatoli-Kahrkia-Kathgodam (04 hours of trekking)
  • Departure

Contact

The first day of the Sunderdhunga Valley Trek. The nearest airport to the trek is Pantnagar and the nearest train station is Kathgodam. There are regular flights and trains from Delhi. As you arrive, an Adventure-Pulse representative will be there to receive you and they’ll drive you to Binsar. The first night of the trek will be spent in swiss tents at the Binsar Adventure Camp, where you’ll get a chance to learn about Kumaon culture. The camp is on the periphery of the Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary.
The trekking starts from the moment you reach Kahrkia. After a scrumptious meal at a restaurant at the road end, you start our journey following the route to the village of Jatoli. The trail follows lush forest, streams as it makes its way up to Jatoli. On the way, we cross numerous smaller villages and a couple of suspension bridges. The locals here grow a variety of crops such as lentils, hemp and much more. It’s a good idea to stop en route and interact with the locals to learn about life in the mountains. The trek to Jatoli should take close to 5 hours and is on the easier end. The trail starts going uphill after we cross the second suspension bridge over the confluence of the Sunderdhunga and Pindar river and continues till Jatoli. The village of Jatoli is spectacular. Nestled between the mountains, Jatoli is picturesque.
Day two takes you to Kathaliya. This is one of the harder days of the trek and it is best to start early to avoid reaching late in the evening as the route passes through a lush forest known for leopards and black bears. The trail for day 2 begins by moving deeper into the forest for about 3 hours. There are many streams on the way make sure you take a moment to refill your bottles with fresh glacial water. The trail then disappears as we hit the riverbed. The moraine filled area follows the river as it bobs and weaves through the valley. The Last section involves a steep hike to the Kathaliya. Kathaliya has a small hut by the forest department that you will stay in.
The third day of the Sunderdhunga Valley trek is where you cross the forest and tree line and make your way to Sukhram Caves. The trek to the cave has two routes, one following the riverbed and the other involving a steep ascent followed by a gradual walk traversing a ridge. Today’s trek is on the harder side as the altitude gain is quite significant. While going up, you will take the riverbed route. The trail involves a short descent to the riverbed which is marked by the scattered moraine brought down by a glacier many hundreds of years ago. As you make your way crisscrossing through the moraine, you get a chance to see the majestic mountains of Maiktoli, Panwalidwar, Baljouri and Nanda Kot. These 6000m peaks stand tall towering above the valley and is a true testament to the architecture of mother nature. The faces of Maiktoli and Panwalidwar are the most treacherous faces that we have seen. Once you reach the bottleneck, where the valley narrows, you cross the stream and begin a steep ascent up to Sukhram Caves. The ascent takes around 2 hours and from Sukhram caves, you’ll get a chance to see the Sunderdhunga Glacier. The camp will be set just above the caves under the protection of Tharkot, Tent Peak and many ice-laden peaks.
Today, you will journey to Devikund, a high-altitude lake. The trek involves a steep ascent to the lake and combined with the altitude, the day’s trek is difficult. But we’ll break the climb up and go slowly which will make it doable. There are two main routes to the lake, and both get you up close and personal with the mammoth mountains that stand guard watching you closely. The climb takes close to 4 hours and once you reach Devikund Lake, you can have a bite next to the lake. Once you make your way back, we will shift the campsite below the caves as it makes the next day’s trek easier.
The last day in the high-altitude lands of Uttarakhand. You start our journey back, using the second route to Kathaliya. The route involves a steep ascent of about 20 minutes and then is a flat traverse to Balooni Top. Keep your eyes open as you may spot some Thar and foxes. If we are lucky, we might find some snow leopard pugmarks. From Balooni top, we’ll get a panoramic view of the outer sanctum of Nanda Devi. After saying goodbye to the majestic mountains, you start your steep descent to Kathaliya back to the rhododendron forests and the comfort of the hut.
From Kathaliya, you follow the same trail through the lush forests back to Jatoli. The trek is much easier as our body is accustomed to the high altitude and walking long distances. With tall oaks, beautiful rhododendrons, the forest transports you to a different world.
The last day in the Sunderdhunga valley. We trek to the start point of Kahrkia. The trek takes close to 5 hours and is the perfect parting shot to one of the most beautiful treks. Drive to Kathgodam and stay in a comfortable hotel.
Adventure-Pulse representatives will usher you to the airport/railway station.

Apparels

Accessories

We recommend the following schedule to the participants

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