Every trekker is keen to embark on a new trek and add another successful trekking story to their list. While you can cover some treks on weekends, some require proper planning, fitness, and a little expertise to navigate the long, narrow and unwinding paths. One such trek is Rupin Pass Trek, a permanent fixture on every trekker’s “To-do“ list.
It is by far one of the most beautiful and adventurous treks featuring some stunning Himalayan Peaks, gorgeous landscapes, a unique culture, and fresh air. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get ready for once in a lifetime experience. Well, for all the information required to make your Rupin Pass trip worthwhile, we are here to help.
Brief Overview Of Rupin Pass Trek
The Rupin Pass trek is an extensive one, taking 8 days and 7 nights to navigate the 52 km of the trek starting from Dhaula in Uttarakhand and finishing in Sangla in Himachal Pradesh. You will be trekking to a destination situated at the height of 15250 feet above sea level.
The trek is known for its beauty with a lot to offer. You pass waterfalls, alpine meadows, tall oak trees, green pine forests, wildly blooming rhododendrons, remote villages, snow-laden peaks, serenely flowing rivers, and a few small temples. You even get to meet the friendly locals while admiring the creation of God that’s Rupin Pass.
The Rupin River walks by your side as you trek upwards. When you are in your final legs of the journey, you get to see the majestic Kailash peak. In some places, the trek is steep and threatening while you can easily carry on the ascent in most places. You can witness the Rupin River merging with the Yamuna, which is a sight to behold.
You camp alongside river banks, sleep under the stars, walk the rough terrain, and lay among flowers. This trek is more than just adventure trekking. Rather, it changes something within you, as you learn to appreciate nature at its vibrant best.
Who Can Trek To Rupin Pass?
Rupin Pass isn’t for everyone. The path is not well-defined, and it falls in the moderate to difficult category. Therefore, you should prepare physically and mentally before embarking on the trek. Avoid it, if you have any breathing problems. The 15250 feet high altitude may not be suitable for you. Plus, if you are a total beginner, you must practice trekking on some simple treks. The modern infrastructure and facilities have made it easy to complete treks even for beginners, but preparation is required.
Location of Rupin Pass
Rupin Pass lies in two states, 80% in Himachal and 20% in Uttarakhand. You can start from Dehradun, then trek up to 15250 feet and end at Sangla. You can easily reach Dehradun via air, train or bus. From there, you can hire a taxi to Dhaula. Almost the entire trek is covered on foot until you reach Sangla. Then you can take a flight, a bus, or book a train to your hometown.
You can reach the place either by personal vehicle or local transport. The nearest airport from Rupin Pass is Jolly Grant Airport (Dehradun Airport). It is well connected by flight from most of the major cities of India. Rupin Pass can be reached by train as the nearest railway station is in Dehradun, which is about 116km away.
Why is Rupin Pass famous in India?
The charm of the place and the surprises of the scenes make every visitor fall in love with nature. The homey place seems to invite people towards it to enjoy the picturesque view of the surrounding. Your dreams of trekking will come true once you step into the Rupin Pass. The incredible experience of a heritage village followed by a thick pine forest and hundreds of waterfalls will make you vibrant.
The Complete Itinerary of Rupin Pass Trek
Let’s share with you a comprehensive Rupin Pass trek itinerary, stretching across 8 days and 7 nights, and starting from Dehradun. This itinerary includes every stop you will make, where you camp, and what adventures and challenges you encounter on your trek.
This is “The First Step.” You can take an overnight train to Dehradun or fly to Dehradun in the early morning. Dhaula is 195 kilometers from Dehradun, involving 7-8 hours of travel time. It is advised to eat something in Dehradun before heading to Dhaula. On the way, you pass through Mori village, lying on the banks of River Tons. There is Pokhu Devta temple, where you can pay your respects. Tonight, you camp here at Dhaula.
It’s time for “The comfortable trek” as you trek from Dhaula to Sewa. It takes only 3-4 hours to complete but take your time, and enjoy the path and its attractions. The trek on Day 2 is a moderate ascent and very comfortable. You pass through several small villages today. Meet the locals, and you will be mesmerised by their hospitality and friendliness.
There are some tea shops on this trek where you can sip tea and munch on snacks. A few temples that boast Pahari architecture are also present. Moving ahead, the peaceful alpine meadows and rhododendrons will greet you and motivate you to keep going. When you reach Sewa, set up your camps and take a good night’s sleep so that you wake up fresh and stay ready for the rigorous day ahead.
This part of your journey is called “The last village” as you trek from Sewa to Jakha. Green hills, rough light brown trails, and snow-clad mountains in the distance are what you witness on Day 3. Jakha is the last village you will see on your upward journey. The day’s trek spans 5-6 hours, where you pass through several villages, Jakha being the last one. This leg of your journey offers some beautiful views of the Himalayas while the river keeps you company and green forests and valleys meet you on the way. The path is a bit tricky with rocks and uneven terrain. So, precaution is advised. Take a good amount of water with you and refill the bottles whenever you get the chance. After reaching Jakha, you will only have the energy to put up your tents and lie down under the stars.
On day four, it’s time for “The meadow walk” as you trek from Jakha to Suruwas Thach. This is perhaps the best part of the entire trek, treating you to some diverse views. At places, the snow-clad mountains are bare and greenery adorns them. On the other hand, you can expect abundant snow and beautiful alpine meadows, which make the trek wonderful.
It also takes 5-6 hours to reach Thach. The ascent is steep here, and the Rupin River once again meets you. The trek for the day starts from lush tall pine and fir trees and ends in the arms of wildflowers. Set up your camp at Suruwas Thach for the night.
Welcome to “The first challenge,” as today you will feel the steep ascent and the decreasing oxygen level. You trek from Suruwas Thach to Waterfall Camp. The place is called Waterfall Camp due to the presence of the streams that form the Rupin River in the lower regions. Be careful, the ascent is steep and full of snow and slippery surfaces.
Feel free to capture the splendid waterfall on your camera. It’s magical. As you ascend, you see several glacial streams formed by the melting of snow. These streams then merge and fall in the form of the Rupin River. You feel the lack of oxygen here, so ascend slowly and keep camphor with you. After reaching Waterfall Camp, set up the camp, and retire for the night.
We call this part of the trek “The destination.” Today, you reach your destination, Rupin Pass. The day starts early as you need to travel approximately 8-9 hours to complete the trek. It is a slightly difficult stretch with rocks and snow. The ascent is gradual and steep in different places. You can see Dhauladhar in the distance.
As you reach Rupin Pass, you understand why this trek is so popular. The views from up here are fabulous. The mighty Himalayan peaks stand majestic kissing the clouds, which is a feast for the eye. The open blue sky is just refreshing while the mountains in the distance exude all kinds of colors, from blue and dark green to brown and more.
Spend some time here basking around and clicking some pictures. You are going to remember this place forever. After some time, it’s time to descend. You camp at Ronti Gad tonight, which presents an entirely different landscape. It is full of greenery and meadows. The village is on the banks of a stream, making it ideal for camping for the night.
This part of your journey is called “Waking up from a dream.” The return journey from every trek is like waking up from a sweet dream and facing real life. Today, you descend to Sangla. The speed of descending a pass is always greater than the speed of trekking upward. So, take a light breakfast and start the journey.
On your way down, you come across the beautiful Kinner Kailash range, Baspa Valley, grazing animals, and some small villages, same as you found on your way up. After reaching Sangla, you can set up your camps for the night.
Eventually, it’s time for “Getting home.” On the last day, take a bus from Sangla to Shimla for a 6-hour journey. When in town, you can book a hotel and spend the night here before taking a flight or train back home. Or you can also spend the day exploring Shimla, a coveted tourist place that blends nature and history. After 8 days of isolation in the arms of nature, real life seems boring and monotonous and inspires you to plan another trek.
Things To Do At Rupin Pass Trek
The Rupin Pass trek is awe-inspiring, full of streams, lakes, rivers, meadows, wildflowers, forests, and happy villagers. The only way to capture these memories is to click pictures. The houses in the region built as per the Kinnauri architecture are worth capturing in your cameras. Camping, trekking, stargazing, dipping your feet in river water, making a bonfire, etc., are several things you can do here to make the most of the trip.
You can learn some new things, hear new stories from villagers about this place, and make new friends. If you plan your trip in September and October and snowfall comes early, you know what to do. This pass is full of adventures, excitement, landscapes, experiences, rocky paths, and lots of fun.
Best Time To Visit
In winters, the place is covered in snow. During the monsoons, it becomes muddy and slippery. So, the best time to visit it is in summer or the post-monsoons just before winters set in. Visit the Rupin Pass from April to June and September to October. During the summers, the snow starts melting, and you can see several glacial lakes and streams on your way. The temperature remains moderate and the sun doesn’t bother you much.
During September-October, the trek gets covered in rhododendrons and wildflowers. The whole landscape covers itself in the blanket of greenery, and the blue sky becomes clearer. A trip to Rupin Pass should be strictly avoided in the monsoon. At this time of the year, the risk of landslides in the region is high. The rivers overflow and pose great a threat.
Is Rupin Pass Difficult?
It is a moderate to difficult pass, meaning it is not a cakewalk. It has all types of terrains – snowy, muddy, rocky, and slippery. If you are new to trekking, you need a lot of practice before planning your Rupin Pass trek. It is advisable to skip the trip if you are not physically fit, i.e., you don’t work out, or have some breathing issues that can aggravate on heights.
If you are not a seasoned trekker, it’s difficult to recognize trails. This trek has several places where the trail is not very well-defined. Therefore, it is easy to get lost. Plus, you also need to get mentally prepared for the trek. Lack of oxygen is another difficulty that you may face. All these challenges have put it under the difficult trek category. However, the thrill and adventures on this trek are worth the effort and risk. Plus, it helps you learn new skills, adapt to different environments, and face every situation, head-on.
Do You Need Any Pass To Visit Rupin Pass?
Yes. You need approval from the forest check post. Give your original ID and Xerox for verification to obtain permission. You can give your driver’s license, Voter ID, Aadhar card, with a passport photograph, and you will easily get permission.
ATMs and Mobile Networks
It is advised that you keep hard cash with you. There are several ATMs and banks in Dehradun. There is an ATM in Purola, near Dhaula, but Dehradun is a better option for withdrawal.
You are going on a 15000 feet high trek. Connectivity there is out of the question. You may get some faint signals for selected operators, but it is better that you make important phone calls in Dehradun and Dhaula before starting the trek.
Checklist of Items You Need On This Trek
Go through this list while packing your bags to include every important item you need to carry.
- Basic trekking equipment, including a sturdy, spacious backpack and a walking stick.
- Two Water Bottles
- Umbrella and raincoat
- Superior trekking shoes
- Right trekking socks
- Basic First Aid Kit
- Your medications for any specific problem
- Warm and regular clothes
- Sleeping bags
- Power Banks
- Your documents, including passport photo, driver’s license, Aadhar card, etc.
- A voluntary declaration regarding your participation and a medical fitness certificate
- Your ration, if you are going to cook in your camp. Also, pack a good amount of dry fruits as they provide energy instantly.
- Any other item which you may need
If you are not a regular trekker and don’t have trekking gear, you can buy an entire trekking kit, including a trekking bag, a walking stick, and other stuff. If you are not sure about it, you can also rent it from online stores like Wildcraft, 10kya.com, indiahikes.com, Himalayan high.in, and more. If you are booking a trip via an agency, they can also rent out the equipment to you.
Total Expense On The Trek
The total expense of the trek varies from person to person. The expense from base camp to the trek is quite the same for everyone, but the major difference is caused by the route you choose to arrive at Dehradun. Flying to Dehradun is obviously more expensive than a train ticket. From Dehradun to Dhaula, you can opt for either a bus and a private taxi. A private taxi costs around INR 6000 to 6500. Go for a taxi only if it will be shared with family or friends; otherwise, it is a costlier option.
There are no hotels, shops, or restaurants on the trek; you need to carry your food and water. Expenses regarding the same are subject to your needs. The nights are spent in tents. If you have your tent, then it is a one-time expense. If you have rented it, then the cost will differ. After adding up your basic amenities, travel fare, and everything, it costs you around 14000-15000 per person.
Do I Need A Guide Here?
Having a guide is always better. The guide knows about the trails, the stories related to the place, the best location to set up the camp, the shortcuts, and what to explore at what point. You need to hire one from Dehradun or Dhaula itself. But if someone in your group has already been to the Pass, you can skip the guide.
Tips To Prepare For This Trek
When it comes to trekking in India, Rupin Pass is a challenging trek that gets tough in many places. Thus, you must keep some tips in mind for an incidence-free experience.
- Start doing some exercises, yoga and sports to make yourself physically fit.
- If possible, go on some smaller and easier treks to get an idea of what trekking involves.
- Book your tickets well in advance to get the better end of the deal
- Do carry your umbrella and raincoats, as the weather in these areas is always unpredictable.
- Before going on the trip, see your doctor and assess whether you are physically fit to climb such a height. If required, take some medications along with you.
- If you have altitude sickness, the trek is not for you.
- Carry a first aid kit with you.
- Pack lots of dry fruits.
- If you don’t have trek-appropriate warm clothes, buy them.
- Buy the right footwear and socks that boost blood circulation. Frostbites and shoe bites are common among trekkers, and the right footwear can avoid them.
Can I Go Solo There?
Yes, you can go solo there, but it won’t be as much fun as in a group. There are no villages after Jakha, so it will be only you and your guide if you have hired one. The terrain isn’t very comfortable, and trails are not well-defined in many places. It is easier to get lost. In groups and with a guide, you can avoid it. Plus, being with a group helps if you fall sick or any other problem arises.
If you go solo, you can complete the trek at your own speed. But in the group, the expense gets divided, helping you save money. You have many people to talk to, and you can even make some new friends. Rupin Pass trek is a journey worth remembering. Come here solo, or come in a group, you will love it and the valley welcomes you with open arms.
Top places to visit in Rupin Pass
The beauty of the area will make you feel like you are traveling a dream.
1. Sewa Temple
You can start your journey by making your heart pure at the great temple of Lord Shiva, which is being opened once every 12 years. The architect having Kinnaur touch makes this temple more special. Temple is in the midst of apple orchards and farms. Start your journey with the blessings of the almighty.
2. River Rupin
Running through a bed of rocks, River Rupin is an ornament for the greatness of the Rupin Pass. You may find the panoramic view of the river in the green valley of the landmark.
3. Hanging Village
This village is situated at the height of 8700ft, but visiting it is worth it as the whole village seems to like hanging at the edge of the cliffs. Apart from this, some local sites will never let you disconnect from nature.
Top hotels in Rupin Pass
Safety, satisfaction, and good service, hospitality, and happiness are the prime focus of most hotels. You will be able to find hotels easily, and according to your budget, hotels in Rupin start from the normal range to the highest range as per your classification.
Activities you can do in Rupin Pass
Rupin is mainly known for trekking. You can say Rupin is created in the image of Heaven because it will give you a heavenly feeling when you enjoy trekking here. Rupin Pass trek can give you an amazing and unforgettable experience. The scenery and beautiful blue waterfalls directly with the utmost level of beauty and will make your mind fall in love with this place.
Best side scene nearby Rupin Pass
Apart from sacred places, there are several places at Rupin Pass that will fill your heart with joy and make the memories unforgettable. The 100ft tall trees and bushes of Pine, Deodar, Fir, and walnut, will make the moment magical.
The Buras Kandi and Saruwas Thatch Meadows, located 11,150ft high from sea level, are one of the meadows situated at such a high level. The multiple colored sheets of flowers will add vibrancy to the beauty of the great mountains. Along with all these, the stunning beauty of the waterfalls, neighboring villages, and heritage buildings will give you the breathtaking experience of a lifetime.
Best Resort in Rupin Pass
If you want to spend some good time with your family or friends, then resorts at Rupin will fulfill all your wishes and will make your trip more memorable. There are several resorts which will give a legendary welcome every time. You can start your best memories from here. Resorts like SattvPine Resort, Escape Adventure Camps, Sangla Apple Farm Resort, Lake View Resort, etc., are the places where you can live like a king, with a heavenly bed of comfort and luxury.
The freshness and fluffiness of the served food and richness of spices will make you speechless. You will find almost all kinds of food of your choice here. People here believe in pouring their hearts into the dishes they cook.
A good journey is well-planned. And if you are going to a remote place among forests, rocky mountains, snow, and rivers, you need to plan it carefully. Taking expert advice always helps. Thus, this comprehensive guide has been prepared for you, so you can learn about every piece of information you need about Rupin Pass Trek. It has a complete itinerary, checklist of items you need, how you can reach there, what to explore, where to stay, etc.
Go through it once again while you book your tickets. And once you complete your trip, do share your experience and if you have anything else to contribute to this guide. Let’s make it better together.
Good Luck For The Trip!
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