Himachal's main trekking areas are the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal ranges, routes over the passes between the Shimla region and the Kullu valley, the numerous treks out of Kullu and select tracks in the Trans Himalayan regions of Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti. Most trekking areas are between 1,500 metres and 6,000 metres.
With well over two hundred and seventy defined trails, the variation in terrain and the experience they offer is also enormous. Low scrub-land and paths through paddy fields, give way to trails strewn with pine needles. Then come woods of oak and flowering rhododendron, which merge into forests of Himalayan cedar 'deodar' and spruce. On most trails, small pastoral hamlets dot the way. Cunningly hidden between the mountains are the passes that were once known only to dare-all traders and the migrant shepherds of the area, the gaddis and gujjars. Some lead to the fabulous wastes and swiftly flowing rivers of the arid Trans-Himalaya. A host of combinations and variations take the trails through changing countryside. The degree of physical output can also be altered to suit your requirements. For example, the same trek can be developed from a compact week to last longer. Or, the two ends of a trek can be the same, but the trails can be designed to be demanding, or gentle.
Guides, equipment, porters, pack animals and maps are available at the starting points of most treks especially around Kullu and Manali. The Forest-Rest Houses that lie along many of the trails may now be booked by tourists and trekkers and many are old fashioned 'dak bungalows' that add a measure of nostalgic charm to any trip. Details, along with booking information of these and of the 'rest houses' maintained by the State Electricity Board and the Public Works Department may be had from Himachal Tourism.
Trekking Equipment checklist.
Comfortable walking shoes with a good grip on the ankles. Waterproof warm jacket. Woollen / tennis socks and stockings. Sunglasses. Headgear. Rucksack and other bags too if you plan to hire porters and ponies. Water-bottle. Swiss army knife. Sleeping bag and foam ground sheet. Gloves. Umbrella. Rope. Medical and first aid equipment. Photographic equipment. Torch and batteries. Tent. Compass. Binoculars. Cooking equipment. Food and rations.
Fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and milk are rarely in short supply along the trails apart from the higher reaches and parts of the Trans Himalaya.
Information on Himachal Trekking Treks
- Adventure & Sports in Himachal
- Day Hikes
- Heli Skiing
- Ice Skating
- Para Gliding
- Still Water Sports
- River Rafting
- Mountain Cycling
- Vehicle Safaris
- Mountaineering & Rock Climbing
- Other Activities
- Eco-Tourism and Himachal
- Health and Fitness
- A Request
- Some Facts Regarding Travelling to Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti
- Important Distances
- Useful addresses and Websites