Your fingers would be numb and you won’t feel your legs anymore. Your body would give in, but your mind would tell you why the only way is the way forward.

Giving an eternal experience, this trek isn’t for the weak. Come what may one thing is for sure, you won’t regret taking this as it would create a permanent picture in your mind.

A picture of shrill beauty, heavenly landscapes, and your stronger self. So are you adventurous enough to conquer this?

About the Roopkund Trek…

Roopkund trek is a must-do for every trekker. Often known as a mystery lake it lies in the lap of Mt Trishul, it is located at an altitude of 15,700 ft.

It is vividly known for hundreds of skeletons found in the edge of the lake. There are skeletons of humans and animals. These are believed to be from the Palaeolithic age and are of heroes who fought during that early age.

The freezing icy weather condition is said to be the reason for the preservation of the skeletons for such a long time. The favourable weather conditions prevented the skeletons to decay off and decompose into the soil. With landslides that were rampant in the area, many bodies slipped into the lakes and stayed there for a long time.

The bodies that fell into the lake had a greater shelf-life as compared to the ones which remained in the open. These skeletons at the base of the lake can be seen evidently when the snow melts.

It is an unbelievable journey that takes you through different experiences throughout the trek. Lush forests, babbling brooks, grazing horses and sheep on grassy lands and of course the exotic lake covered in snow to mention the least.

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Duration: 8 days

Maximum altitude: 15,696 ft

Minimum age: 10 years 

Best time to visit: May, June, Mid-August to October (Snow: Mid December to Mid June)

Planning the Roopkund Trek? Here’s How to Reach:

The closest railway station to Lohajung is Kathgodam. Kathgodam is well connected with Delhi, Lucknow, and Howrah and can be conveniently reached by train.

From Kathgodam Lohajung 10 hour drive that stretches over a number of hill stations. Lohajung is the base camp. We next travel from Lohargunj to Didna Village to begin our trail.

The route of the trek will be as such :

Kathgodam – Lohajung – Didna Village – Ali Bugyal Patar Nachauni via Bedni Bugyal and Ghora Lotani – Bhagwabasa via Kalu Vinayak – Roopkund to Patar Nachaun i- Lohajung via Bedni and Wan –  Kathgodam

Required Fitness for Roopkund Trek : 

As it is a moderate to difficult trek that stretches over about 8 days it is necessary to build the required endurance for it. It is advisable to start training your body before the actual trek. Start with long walks and running. To train your body for high altitudes, it is necessary to carry out exercises that will help you cope with it.

Doing regular cardiovascular exercises will help build stamina. The climber must be able to climb with a weight of 10 kg on his back. Preparing mentally is equally necessary as preparing physically. 

Children under the age of 10 are strictly not allowed, also people with the illness such as heart problems, blood pressure conditions, breathing problems are advised not to go. 

As it is a high altitude trek, acute mountain sickness is quite usual. It is necessary to educate yourself with its symptoms and conditions. Also, the change in weather is dramatic and unpredictable, which should be taken into consideration.

The base camp of Roopkund Trek: Lohajung

It is a small village, located in the Chamoli district in Garhwal Himalayas. It is considered a base camp for several treks. It has a spectacular mountain range around it. You can find all the provisions to set up a camp here. Also, it offers a great market to shop for your trek needs further.

Brief Itinerary of the Roopkund Trek:

Day 1: Kathgodam to Lohajung


It is a 210 km drive

Time Taken: 10 hours.

Altitude: 7600 ft.

Day 2: Lohargunj to Didna Village

Start of the trek. Exotic birds can be observed on the way.

Will cross the bed of the Neel Ganga river.

Altitude: 7,662 to 8,045 ft.

6.5 km trek. 

Day 3:  Didna Village to Ali Bugyal

The first half of the trail is through oak and rhododendron forest (Steep ascent) and the latter half big alpine meadows (gradual ascent). It is a beautiful and engaging route.

Altitude: 8,045 to 11,320 ft.

10.5 km trek. 

Day 4: Ali Bugyal to Patar Nachauni via Bedni Bugyal and Ghora Lotani

This is the easiest day of the trek.

Altitude:11,320 to 12,818 ft.

 7 km trek. 

Day 5: Patar Nachauni to Bhagwabasa via Kalu Vinayak

.There will be snow on the trail in May and June and in September and October it will be a rocky trail.

Altitude: 12,818 to 14,117 ft.

 4 km trek. 

Day 6:Bhagwabasa to Roopkund to Patar Nachauniroopkung-lake

In August, September, October can see skeleton but no snow.

In May and June snow will be there but can’t see the skeleton.

Altitude: 14,117 to 15755 ft.

10 km trek.

Day 7: Patar Nachauni to Lohajung 

 The route for this day would be like:- Patar Nachauni – Ghora Lotani – Bedni Bugyal – Doliya Dhar – Ghaeroli Patal – Neel Ganga – Ranka Dhar – Wan Village – drive to Lohajung.

Altitude: 12,818 to 7,662 ft.

15 km trek.

Day 8: Lohajung to Kathgodam

Driving back to Kathgodam with a memorable experience and fulfilled minds.

Things To Carry For Roopkund Trek:

  1. Shirts/T-shirts – 2-3, Warm shirt/light small scale wool pullover/full sleeve T-shirt.
  2. Trekking Pants that are water-resistant/anti-agents and having inside coating for additional warmth. 
  3. Windproof/water-resistant external shell (coat) of good quality with a hood.
  4. Down coat with min 600 fill power rating, Thick Fleece/Full-sleeve Woolen sweater
  5. Warm inner wear (upper and lower) 
  6. Woollen top, Inner downy gloves, Outer water evidence gloves 
  7. Thick woollen socks and normal socks (4-5 sets), Scarf/suppressor (discretionary) 
  8. Waterproof Trekking/Hiking shoes that accompany a thick sole and high lower legs 
  9. Camp shoes, for example, tennis shoes/sport shoes 
  10. Park/Poncho 
  11. Little lightweight towel 
  12. Protected water container and hydration pack (discretionary) 
  13. Top/floppy cap to get the solid sun far from your face, Sunglasses with UV insurance and capacity to cut the glare (significant while crossing through a day off) 
  14. Solid strolling stick/Trekking shaft 
  15. Sunscreen Lotion, Lip Balm 
  16. Light/Flashlight (with additional batteries) 
  17. Meds, if requiring a particular drug 
  18. Individual toiletries 
  19. Day pack/little sack which you will carry on your back each day and keep your fundamentals in it 
  20. Convey for your sacks 
  21. Keep a couple of poly sacks or waterproof packs in your pack in which whenever required you can place your effects if there should be an occurrence of overwhelming precipitation

Advisory For Roopkund Trek:


Climatic conditions in the high elevations change from the fields; set aside sufficient effort to get acclimatized to high heights. Pay regard to the trek chief or teacher to appreciate a free from any potential harm trekking experience. 

Try not to devour liquor or some other intoxicants during the trek. Abstain from trekking during the evenings. 

Before undertaking the trek, counsel a doctor. Convey essential drugs and an emergency treatment unit during the trek. The trek happens through the eco-accommodating zone; don’t empower littering the neighbourhood destinations or campgrounds

FAQs about Roopkund Trek:

Q) What is the height of the trek?

A) It is around 15700 ft.

Q) Is it a trek for beginners?

A) It is not advisable as it is a difficult trek. It requires higher strength and endurance.

Q) What is the distance of the Roopkund trek?

A) It is about 53 km?

Q) What is the best time to take Roopkund trek?

A) The trek is majorly either a winter trek or summer trek. If you love snow and slightly difficult trek then May and June is the best time and if you want to see a skeleton and slightly easy trek then Sep, Oct, is the best time.

Q) Which shoes do I need for Roopkund trek?

A) It is necessary to have good trekking shoes. You should research and wisely choose shoes according to the month in which you are doing the trek.

Q) What is the temperature throughout the  Roopkund Trek?

A) At lower heights situation is at ease but we go higher it is advised to wear layers. The temperature in the day time is usually above 0°C but at night may vary from 0°C to -6°C.

Q) What is Roopkund’s lake mystery about?

A) British forest guard in 1942 first discovered skeletons near the frozen lake, later Scientists discovered that skeletons were of pilgrims and locals dated back to 850 AD. These people died due to a hail storm.

Q) Which is the best route for Roopkund Trek?

A) You check our itinerary above. It is one of the routes to Roopkund.

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By Abhishek Saraswat

Abhishek, popularly known to the world as Himalayan Gypsy is an award-winning travel & street photographer based in India. He is an adventure freak and a digital nomad who likes to document India, its culture, heritage & architecture through his pictures and writes about his experiences on his blog. A banker by profession and a traveler by heart, he has been exploring India since his childhood during family vacations and school picnics which gradually turned into solo trips and guided tours. Today his work is known to the world through his numerous pictures published, featured, and exhibited in various popular magazines like DiscoverIndia, Natgeo Traveller India, Asian Photography Magazine, Chiiz Magazine, Nikon India, Wildlife India, etc.