Our journey begins from Dehradun, making it a good option for people looking for treks near Delhi. Driving alongside the Tons river, and passing villages in Uttarakhand like Damta, Purola, Mori, and Netwar, we will reach the base camp Sankri. There is no network in this village, letting us take in the sight of the sun gloriously setting over the surrounding Greater Himalayan peaks without any distractions. We will be accommodated in hotels or homestays here.
After a hearty breakfast, we will be transported to Taluka by car. The motor able road in Govind Pashu National Park ends here. The trek commences on a stony path alongside the gushing river Supin. We also see plantations of the red-coloured Himalayan crop amaranth, locally known as cholai. Under the shade of walnut, pine, deodar and maple trees, the walk is as pleasant as the villagers greeting us on the way. A few hours and crossing over a few streams later, we see the village of Gangad across the river on the left. We continue our hike and after about an hour, the quaint village of Osla unfolds itself. Osla is a household name among trekkers. Home to about 200 families, it gives us a peek into Garwahli culture. Seema is a tiny settlement opposite to Osla on the other side of the river. We set camp here or stay in a hut with a local family in the village.
Leaving the last of human settlements behind, we continue along the true left of the valley along the river Supin. Supin merges with Rupin near Netwar village to form Tons, which is the biggest tributary of river Yamuna. An ascend through deodar trees leads us to a beautiful meadow – Devsu Thatch. This 1km expanse of green land is set against the looming Swargarohini ranges. We can also see Kalanag (Black Peak) (6387m) straight ahead. On our left, we can see Har Ki Dun Valley. At its bottom lies the confluence of Har Ki Dun and Ruinsara rivers. After descending from the meadow, we enter the Ruinsara valley. At the end of today's trek, we camp beside the stream close to the waterfall locally known as Roiltigad or Roiltia.
Today's journey is going to take in under 2 hrs even at a slow pace. And within this hike itself we notice a stark change in vegetation. Pine and fir trees give way to birch and rhododendron trees. The thick forest we trudge through is frequented by the endangered Himalayan brown bear. If we are very lucky, we might spot this rare and elusive creature. We then reach one of the highlights of the trek — Ruinsara Tal, an alpine tarn, surrounded by lush Rhododendron trees, with their distinct pink bloom in the summers. We will be left enchanted by this sacred lake in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. It is one of the trio of lakes in the Garhwal region, the other two lakes being Marinda and Maldaru. We will be camping overnight near the lake.
Lying at an elevation of about 3500 m, Ruinsara lake is a good place to acclimatize ourselves before reaching Bali Pass base camp the next day. Ruinsara Tal’s reputation precedes itself for its beauty. The small and pristine lake lies within a vast meadow, alpine vegetation and surrounding rhododendron bushes. There is innumerable variety of alpine flowers growing around the lake. The river Supin is situated 100 meters below the lake, next to a ridge. It is the perfect place to play games with our trek mates, read a good book or just sit quietly to soak in nature’s tranquillity. We can also spend the day exploring nearby places. One can trek towards the Banderpunch glacier or Kyarkoti which is the base camp for Kalanag and Dumdar Kandi pass. We return to the camp in the evening.
We start the day early so as to reach our destination before afternoon. We descend down to the shallow river bed, cross over to the opposite bank and walk uphill to another beautiful meadow – Thanga. This meadow also offers awe-inspiring views of the seemingly omnipresent Swargarohini ranges. Kyarkoti valley lies towards the left. We soon reach Odari. The word ‘Odari’ means a naturally made cave rock. This place has a mythological story associated with it. It is believed that Bali, Hanuman’s brother, had stayed here for one night. Here too we might find evidence of the rare Himalayan brown bear. We camp below Bali Pass along a glacial moraine. This is the one of the best locations for a camp, with the valley below and the Pass behind us. The temperatures at night tend to go to sub-zero degrees. Camping at this altitude is a unique experience which very few treks offer.
This day of crossing Bali Pass too begins very early. We strive to reach the summit by 8am. The trail heads down south, over a ridge. It is a fairly short but steep climb up to the Pass. A lot of glacial scree will be encountered here. Time taken to reach the top ranges from 45 minutes to one and a half hours. Once we reach the top, we behold the Yamunotri valley for the first time. The view is breath- taking. We see hints of the Saptrishi Kund, which is the origin of river Yamuna. We also get to witness the Banderpunch peaks from the top of the Pass. The summits of Dayara Bugyal, Barua Top and Dokrani Bamak are visible too. We then descend carefully via a connecting ridge and reach the camping grounds of upper Dhamni.
We descend further to a forested trail. This path leads us to the famous shrine of Yamunotri with the glorious Bandarpunch in its background. One of the temples in the Char Dham circuit, it is dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. After paying obeisance to her black marble idol, we make our way down the conventional pilgrim road to Janki Chatti. We stay overnight in one of the guesthouses here. We will get electricity but no phone network.
This is the final day of the trip and we drive back to Dehradun. We can make the most of this jourey by visiting other well-known places that fall on this route such as Kempty waterfalls, Nainbagh and Mussourie. With equally beautiful memories of an offbeat trek and touristy sight-seeing, we have a cherishable experience.
Transport Support from and to Dehradun: Starting from Pickup on Day 1 to Drop on Day 9
Guide and Cook Fees
Rent for Camping Equipment
Forest Entry Charges
Porter and Mule Support to Carry Camping Equipment. Please Note That Personal Luggage Can Be Carried by Mules And/or Porters on Chargeable Basis
All Veg Meals Starting from Day 1 Dinner to Day 9 Breakfast
Tented Accommodation Throughout the Trek. Possible Guest House Accommodation on Day 1 and Day 8
Transport to reach Dehradun from hometown
Personal expenses like tips, personal medicines, phone calls etc
Any transport support during the trek apart from what is included above
Accommodation in Dehradun
Personal luggage with mass not exceeding 10 kg per bag per person can be carried by porters/mules @ Rs 400 per day per bag. 3,200/- for the Trek Duration
When humans set their feet and eyes on the Himalaya, it is a romantic meeting between the Earth´s youngest species and the earth´s youngest mountain. As the Himalayan mountains have developed on Earth, the evolution of humans has also been accompanied by the making of an inner Himalaya. Every human has a Himalaya within himself or herself. It is the peak of human potential and challenge as well as a place of silence and peace. Our Journey started in the humble roots & persistent efforts of an authentic mountain trek leader, Bachan Rana, who founded Himalaya Shelter, after he had to forego his long journey as a Trek Leader at one of the finest Outdoor Activities organizer in India, in 2013, following Kedarnath Disaster which led to dwindling tourist influx, crippling the tourism sector in Uttarakhand.
Trip Terms & Conditions
A. Booking Terms
1. If booked more than 15 days before the trip start date, advance of 10% of the total booking value is payable at the time of booking. Balance amount shall be paid no later than 15 days before the trip start date.
2. If booked less than 15 days prior to the trip start date, the full booking value is due at the time of booking.
3. If the due amounts are not paid as per the payment schedule, bookings shall stand cancelled.
B. Cancellation Policy
1. If cancelled more than 15 days before the trip start date, the advance shall be refunded net of a 5% transaction fee.
2. If cancelled after full payment between 15 to 10 days before the trip start date, 25% cancellation fee of the total booking value.
3. If cancelled less than 10 days prior to the trip start date, the booking amount shall not be refundable.
In the event you opt for Refundable Booking, click here to read the terms and conditions for claiming a refund.
C. Changes to and / or cancellation of trips
Itineraries shown are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change. The operators reserve the right to change expedition / trek / package dates, people or itineraries as conditions warrant. If a trip must be delayed or the itinerary changed due to bad weather, road conditions, transportation delays, government intervention, airline schedules, sickness, or other contingency for which the operator or its agents cannot make provision, the cost of delays and/or other changes are the responsibility of the participant. The operator reserves the right to decline, or accept, any individual as a trip member for any reason whatsoever.
The Bali Pass Trek has several convincing reasons for you to set foot on this adventure. Camp in the picture-perfect setting of the Devsu Thach- a sprawling meadow surrounded by tall trees and the looming figures of Mount Swargarohini and Kalnag in the background. The wide array of alpine flowers blooming across the narrow trail from Devsu Thach to the Ruinsara Tal (Ruinsara Lake), following the meandering course of the Ruinsara river, is definitely going to amaze you. You can even take a detour and visit the Yamunotri glacier and temple- the source of the Yamuna river.
Though the Bali Pass Trek itinerary includes visits to adventurous and mystical hamlets of yore, nestled within the Himalayas, you should be utterly careful before embarking on this voyage. The Trek itself is graded as challenging to strenuous. Spanning over eight days and covering an approximate distance of 60 kilometers, the Bali Pass Trek takes you to an elevation of 16240 feet or 4950 meters roughly. Hence, it is meant for experienced trekkers and seasoned hikers who have quite a number of high-altitude Himalayan expeditions in their portfolio. The difficulty level of the Bali Pass makes it strictly advisable for adventurers and travelers who have considerable experience of trekking above 4000 meters.
Even if you are a seasoned trekker and have successfully completed several high-altitude expeditions, you should take special preparation before participating in the Bali Pass Trek. You can devise a custom training regime that includes strength conditioning, regular cardiovascular training (swimming, running, jogging, cycling, etc.). Staircase jumping and endurance training. The latter you can do within the confines of your gym. Alternatively, you can set out for short-day hikes across challenging and undulating terrain with a daypack. Try to introduce this fitness program within your regular regime for a couple of days per week, slowly increasing the pace of your hikes and the weight of your daypacks. You might not be needing the fitness of an athlete or an international soccer player, but continuing this fitness regime for four to six months should get you in proper shape to conquer the Bali Pass.
The best time for the Bali Pass Trek is similar to other high-altitude Himalayan expeditions. You can either trek the Bali Pass during the summers, spanning from mid-May to the end of June. But since the pass is located in the upper kernels of the Garhwal, this season is characterized by hazy skies that might result in a downpour. After all, you can never predict the weather conditions of the upper altitudes of the Himalayas. On the other hand, the post-monsoon/autumn season that spans from early September to early November is marked by clear, blue skies that offer unobstructed views of specific sublime Himalayan peaks. Hence, it is one of the best times to travel.
The adventure quotient of the Bali Pass Trek increases with the higher regions covered in snow during the monsoons while it flaunts a dry, rocky approach post-monsoons. Thus, thrill-seekers and experienced adventure junkies can venture on this trek during these seasons.
The list of essentials that you need for the Bali Pass trek is quite exhausting. Apart from well-made, sturdy shoes with excellent ankle support and good grip, you need durable and long-lasting hiking poles. Try to pack light but cover for all eventualities. Carry a backpack of 50 to 60 liters with waterproof lining and comfortable backstraps. If you consider offloading, carry waterproof daypacks with a capacity of 20 to 30 liters. Always have your own water bottles and hydration packs to avoid creating a negative impact on the Himalayan ecology with disposable plastic.
Your clothing list should contain thermal inners, full-sleeved, quick-dry t-shirts, fleece jackets, and woolen sweaters as insulation layers, heavy down jackets, waterproof windcheaters, ponchos, quick-dry track pants for hiking, extra pairs of underwear, sports bra, woolen and synthetic gloves, different pairs of socks, suncap, woolen cap or balaclava, neck gaiters, and sunglasses. Among the range of electronic essentials, spare batteries for your headlamp and camera are essential. Carry extra memory cards to capture breathtaking views. Power banks could also come in handy when your devices run out of juice.
A first-aid kit and essential medicines will keep you covered against adverse situations in the mountains and AMS. You should also be carrying basic toiletries like excess toilet paper and wet wipes, biodegradable soaps, sunscreen, moisturizers, lip balm, quick-dry towels, etc. You can carry plastic bags for wet clothes and scraps or rejects and carry them back to the plains without dumping them in the hills.