Bagji Bugyal trek – A short hike to captivating mountain views

About the trek:

Bagji Bugyal trek is a short hike on the far eastern flank of Chamoli district in Uttarakhand. It is adjacent to Pindar valley in Kumaon. This less trodden trail can be ideal for those who are looking for a short easy hike with friends or families. Also it is perfectly suitable for beginners and kids as well. And for the experienced people, it is still a good option for those who seek for new trails and new regions to walk to.

A new trek in Uttarakhand
Bagji Bugyal trek: A fresh trek ideal for beginners and kids (PC – Anomit)

This fresh and pristine trail has splendid peak views including the campsites. Yes, it is rare for a short and easy walk to get mountain views all along the way. Mighty Trishul massif along with Mrigthuni and a series of peaks in Kumaon dominates the skyline.  Nandaghunti, Trishul, Bethartoli, Mrigthuni, Devtoli and Maiktoli to mention a few. At the same time you could see the far side peaks of central Garhwal including Chowkhamba and Neelkanth.

Ghes village: Our starting point – the base camp
Peak panorama from Bagji Bugyal trail

The easy walk starts from Ghes, which is an interior village even as per Himalayan standards. We gradually climb and cross the forest section primarily of Oak and Rhododendron trees. In approximately 5 hours of walking we reach the base of the Bagji Bugyal. This area is a transition of forest to alpine meadows, locally called Bugyal.

Rhododendron forest on the way to Bagji base
An ideal place to camp
Transition of Tree line and meadows

From here we climb to the meadows and eventually to the Bagji Bugyal Top. As we climb, the views of the other mountains open up both the north eastern and western sides. On a clear day we can see peaks like Maiktoli in the north east and as far as Chaukhamba in the north west. Trishul and Mrigthuni range dominate the northward direction straight ahead. In the opposite direction towards the south, you can see the cascading valley going down forming a beautiful vista.

View on the way to Bagji top
Valleys toward south

After visiting the top we take a different trail to get down through the forest to an opening of Dhulomb. On the last day of the trek our destination is Himni village which has a beautiful camping ground beside the school.

From meadows we get down to forests again (PC – Niladri)
Sunset from Himni (PC – Anomit)

If you are a group of people and like to spend more days on quiet and serene trail, then combine Ali Bedni Bugyal trek with Bagji Bugyal. From Himni we can continue to Balan village then climb to Ali Bugyal. However this is better suited for teams who have one or two prior trekking experience(s). This will give you a solid 6 trekking days with a 8 days round trip, Rishikesh to Rishikesh.

Brief Itinerary:

Day 1: Drive from Rishikesh (start by 6 am) to Ghes village (2520 m/8500 ft) – 250 Km by car – 10/11 hours . Camp.
Day 2: Trek to Bagji Bugyal base (~ 3200 m/ 10500 ft) – 6 Km – ~ 5 hours. Camp.
Day 3: Trek to Bagji Bugyal and climb the top – explore the area and then descend to Dhulomb.  6-7 Km – 5 to 6 hours. Camp.
Day 4: Trek down to Himni village – 7 Km – Camp.  ~ 4 hours. Camp.
Day 5: Drive from Himni to Rishikesh – By car – 265 Km – 10/11 hours

Important notes: 

  • Often it is convenient to reach Rishikesh anytime on Day 0. Either you can fly to Dehradun (DED, Jolly Grant airport) which is only 1 hour drive from Rishikesh. Otherwise you can get Volvo bus services (morning and overnight) from ISBT Kashmiri Gate Delhi to Rishikesh (5/6 hours). Arrange your stay in Rishikesh accordingly.
  • Although we suggest you start from Rishikesh but our trek base camp Ghes can be approached from Kathgodam as well. The journey is approx 220 Km but due to road conditions it takes more time. Additionally the connectivity of Kathgodam is not good as compared to Rishikesh. You can reach Kathgodam by train (Station code: KGM) or by Volvo bus service from ISBT Anand Vihar, Delhi.
  • You will return to Rishikesh by 7 pm on Day 5. Arrange your inward and outward journeys from Rishikesh accordingly.
  • We can arrange pickup and drop to Rishikesh by car, as required. This is shared by the trekkers and payable directly to the driver.  Transportation to and fro base camp is NOT INCLUDED in the TREK FEE.
  • ATM: Last ATM at Deval, 25 Km before, but very often without cash. Withdraw well in advance from Rishikesh.
  • Mobile connectivity: Airtel and Jio work at trek base Ghes. After this you will not get a signal.

Who can plan this trek?

This is a fairly easy trek which is not physically demanding at all. However you should be comfortably to walk 5 to 6 hours a day with a leisurely pace.

Considering the ups and downs on the trail,  it is similar to jog/run 3 Km in 25 mins on a flat surface.

Min & Max age: 8 to 65 years.

Trail map for Bagji Bugyal:

Below is a pictorial representation of the trail through Google maps. We start from Ghes village and after visiting the Bagji Bugyal and accompanied top we descend to Himni village via Dhulomb.

Bagji Bugyal trail using Google Map

Seasons and best time to visit Bagji Bugyal

You can visit Bagji Bugyal throughout the year apart from the monsoon months. Every season has its uniqueness and charm. Here is the summary:

Summer (May – June): Bugyal starts changing to green. During morning weather remains clear for good mountain views. Afternoons are cloudy or may have occasional pm showers.

Autumn (OCt to Nov): Residual rain in first half of September. Bugyals are green and some flowers remain till end of September. From October grass will turn into yellow and golden. After monsoon this season offers clear views of the mountain without haze.

Winter (Dec to Feb) – Snow trek: Clear views of the mountains. Snowing starts from late December and continues till end of February. Bugyals are yellow-golden to brownish during this time.

Spring (Mar-Apr): Residual snow normally in March, although snowfall may occur even in April. Clear mountain views. You will get some Rhododendrons on your way.

Clothing and expected temperature:

It is important to carry proper clothing in winter as the campsite temperatures are sub zero in winter.

Winter temperature (Dec to Feb):

From December to February during winter the daytime temp remains cool and nights are cold. Late night/early morning  temperatures are minimum for any place and expect following temperature range:

Ghes: 2° to -5°C;
Bagji Bugyal base camp: -5°C to -10°C

Note that inside the tent temperature will be around 8° to 10°C warmer at a given place, but still the temperature inside tent can plummet to freezing during winters.

Three layers of clothing is mandatory in the campsite while you are outside tent.

a) A thermal base layer (warm woolly-cot material).
b) A heavy jacket (Double layer or Fleece jacket ) as middle layer/insulation layer.
c) A windproof cum waterproof with hood as the outer layer.

Summer & Autumn (May to Oct):

Day time weather remains warm and pleasant. Night/early morning temperatures at camp sites  can be from 10°C (lower camps) to 2°C (higher camps)

You will not require the thermal base layer from May to September. Your mid layer jacket and a waterproof cum windproof outer layer should be good.

Access to Bagji Bugyal trek base – Ghes village:

We will arrange a pickup  from Rishikesh to Ghes and drop from Himni to Rishikesh. This will be shared by the team members on actual basis and paid directly to the driver. Here is a route map which shows the your journey to base camp Ghes.

Journey from Rishikesh to Ghes village

This will be shared equally by the team members on actual basis. You pay directly to the driver. The fare is ₹ 7500 for a Tata Sumo/Mahindra Maxx one way. This can accommodate 5 to 6 people. A Tempo Traveller charges ₹ 10500 (12 seat) one way. This is NOT included in TREK FEE.

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Why treks with HT?

Highest Point3350 m/11000 ft
Trail Length20 Km
Expertise:12 years of on ground experience
Support staff:Qualified local & office staff
Group size:Small groups up to 15
Insurance:Travel insured trek and tour itinerary
Easy Bookings:25% Booking Deposit

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