If climbing the summit of a mountain, enjoying the beauty of a high-altitude lake, and witnessing most of the highest Himalayan peaks are on your bucket list, then you should definitely start preparing and packing for the Chopta Chandrashila Deoria Tal Lake. This trek will enable you to behold the captivating beauty of the spectacular Deoria Tal, situated at the height of 2438 meters and nestled within lush, green pastures, rhododendron forests and snow-clad mountain systems. The Chaukhamba Massif starts from the edges of the Deoria Tal, and Mount Chaukhamba, at 7138 meters, is a sight to behold! From the Chandrashila summit, you will get a bewildering view of all the highest peaks of the Greater Himalayas- Jaunli, Mt. Thalay Sagar, Mt. Jogin, Mt. Nanda Devi, Mt. Trishul, Mt. Nanda Ghunti, Chaukhamba I, II, III, IV, Kedarnath and Kedar Dome, Sumeru Parbat, Mandani Parbat, etc. Apart from all these obvious offerings, you have the chance to encounter several bird species and record their enchanting beauty with your cameras.
Though the Chopta Chandrashila Deoria Tal Trek is a high-altitude one, it remains open for hikers for almost six months and more. The pre-monsoon/spring season-spanning mid-March to April is preferred by hikers since the snow starts receding and the pastures, thickets, and rhododendron woods start bearing bright colors of spring! The next exciting season to trek the Chandrashila Deoria Tal region is post-monsoon/autumn that spans from late September to early December. The skies are cleared of the monsoon haze and the rain-bearing clouds, and you can get the most amazing views of nature. It is the best time for photographers and photography enthusiasts because the clear blue skies and the pleasant weather conditions make it favorable for you to capture the best photographs of the Himalayan peaks and the wildlife.
But one of the best parts about the Deoriatal Chandrashila Trek is that you can embark on this adventure during the winter season as well! You can plan your experience during the onset of December when it just starts snowing, and the snow cover is not too thick to block the trail. On the other hand, you should not try to embark on this journey during the peak winter months of January because the area receives massive snowfall and is often cut out from the rest of the state. Driving becomes challenging as the roads are highly susceptible to verglas.
The trek is ideal for small groups. Follow your guide's instructions, be respectful towards the local culture, and embrace the beauty of nature and wildlife. This crossover trail through the forest is relatively easy and suited for beginners and amateur hikers without prior high-altitude adventure experience. If you plan your travel with a tour operator or an agency, you need not worry about campsites and accommodations. But if you are traveling in a small group, you can rent the camping and trekking equipment with some additional expenses. Besides, if you consider offloading, you can hire a porter at just USD 8 (INR 600) or less per day to carry personal belongings on the trek, not weighing more than 10 kgs. People with heart diseases and breathing issues are not advised to take part in this trek.
Since this trek is graded easy to moderate, you can just maintain adequate physical and mental fitness and embark on the journey. The terrain is not so challenging, but the elevation is quite high, starting from the Deoria Tal lake at 2438 meters to the Chandrashila Peak at 3690 meters. The trek distance is 30 kilometers and can be covered in approximately five days.
Your gear guide and checklist should contain warm clothes like thermal inners, extra pairs of socks and underwear, quick-dry hiking pants, fleece jacket, woollen sweaters, a heavy down jacket, poncho, balaclava, suncap, sunglasses, synthetic and woollen gloves, etc. Apart from these, your trekking essentials should contain a backpack and daypack with rain cover, sturdy hiking boots, well-made walking sticks, toiletries like biodegradable soaps, excess toilet paper, and wet wipes sunscreen, lip balm, moisturizer, quick-dry towels, etc. Carry your own water bottles to avoid littering the Himalayas with disposable plastic.