Hiking and summers might sound quite antithetical. The thought of sweating in an already hot atmosphere does sound like a task. However, there are destinations in India that make this activity a perfect way to spend your summer break. Here are 7 such hikes that you must try out this season.
The Goechala Trek is perfect for those of you who are experienced trekkers and are looking for a challenge. This moderate to difficult trek rewards you with the most gorgeous views of 16 peaks of Himalayas in Sikkim. The trek starts from Yuksom and traverses a distance of 90 km and a maximum altitude of 15,100 feet. Over the 10 days that you spend on this trek, you experience the rhododendron lined trails through green valleys and the still reflections over Samiti Lake. It is one amazing feeling to wake up to the blushing pink peak of Kangchenjunga.
If snow is not your cup of tea, then head down to Shimoga in Karnataka. The Kodachadri trek may not be as high at the North Indian ones but is no less difficult. Rated as a moderate climb, this takes you through small farms up a slippery and rocky trail to the 10th highest peak of Karnataka. The 22 km hike takes you to a maximum of 4400 feet and can be done over a weekend. The cooling atmosphere of the rainforest and the misty Hidlumane waterfall makes this a very pleasant trek.
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3-The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
It will not be surprising if this trek through the Paradise on Earth brings out the poet in you. Spanning 70 odd kilometers, the Kashmir Great Lake Trek gets you to 5 different lakes across the green meadows on the trail. You will cross icy streams and climb to 13,500 feet to access the mountain pass. Get ready to experience a floral bonanza during this season and watch out for those wild horses that gallop around freely in these valleys.
Sandakphu trek takes you to the highest mountain of West Bengal from where if you have a good set of binoculars, you can spot the mighty Everest. Opting for this as a summer trek, will allow you to capture the best of flora and fauna that this region has to offer. Try to capture the elusive Red Pandas as you walk along the forests to a quiet lake called Kalipokhri. Enjoy the spring flowers while the chirping birds keep you company. It is a 6 day hike of 45 km to a maximum of 12,000 feet.
5-Bhabha Pass Hike
An 8-day hike in the Bhabha valley will transport you from the scented apple orchards of Kinnaur to the snow-covered Pin Pass while taking you through a river delta and dark, moody forests. The Bhabha Pass Trek is not for the faint-hearted and needs a fair bit of fitness and experience as you reach a peak of 16,000 feet. The hike introduces you to the various shades of Spiti Valley, Kinnaur and Kashmir.
A weekend trek in Karnataka, the Kudremukh trek takes you through the reserves of a national forest. A different landscape from North India, this Western Ghats trek lets you experience coffee plantations that turn into lush green hills and sparkling waterfalls. The hike is rated as a moderate one. If you are really lucky, you might stumble upon some prancing deer and dancing peacocks.
7-David Scott Trail
David Scott Trail in Meghalaya is a part of a longer heritage track that connects Assam to Bangladesh. Named after its founder, the entire stretch of 100 km is now broken up into smaller trails. The one here refers to a 16 km stretch from Mawphlang village to Ladmawphlang. The scenic hike is an easy day-hike that allows you to meander through the valleys, cliffs and pretty waterfalls – all associated with alluring folklores.
Note: Apart from the above mentioned hikes, there are a few in Uttarakhand as well, but we do not recommend them right now considering the massive forest fires.