It is hard to believe that Barsu to Dayara Bughyal, a mere 9 km trek can give you so much joy of trekking in the Himalayas in a truckload of snow. There are few spots in the Himalayas where a trekker can find a dream setting of winter snow-clad landscapes from day one of the trek.
Dayara Bughyal excels as an all round trek destination. It is high in our list of Best short Snow Treks in the Himalayas for this winter. We share all you want to know about this trek.
# Why Dayara Bughyal is a super Winter Trek Destination
1. One of the easiest treks to witness snow
Believe it or not, Dayara Bughyal has the most comfortable approach in getting to an alpine snow environment. From the last week of December, one can expect snow within a few kilometers from the base camp. An average day for trekking is not more than 9 kilometers. The whole circuit is less than 25 kilometers making it the easiest trek to do.
2. Less human presence on the trek
Dayara Bughyal has fewer backpackers than you would see on other popular treks. It is more suited for those who prefer to trek to offbeat locations with minimal human presence. Treks like Triund and Kedarkantha are swamped with tourists who trek with a nonsensical style. There loud and pretentious presence makes it a nuisance for those looking to trek in peace.
3. The best views of Himalayan mountains
There is nothing better but to savor the 180-degree panorama view of Garhwal Mountain Ranges from Dayara. From your left, the twin ranges of Bandarpoonch dominates the horizon. A Cobra face of Kalanag (Black Peak) protrudes like a menacing serpent in hindsight. The big Garhwal mountains ranges don’t end here. You will find a series of beautiful peaks like Srikanta, Gangotri, Jaonli and Draupadi ka Danda ranges spread around you. The Peaks look larger than life. We recommend not to miss the sunset view on the snow laden peaks as they bestow radiance with dashing colors of white, orange and pink.
4. Lot of scope for exploration and adventure activities
Dayara Bughyal has something for everyone. For casual hikers, trekking till Dayara campsite in itself is fulfilling. For the adventurous lots, trekking ahead to Bakaria Top, Siyari Bughyal, Surya Top and Gidara Bughyal are prudent options. Reaching these higher altitude locations will depend upon the weather conditions and accumulation of snow.
For those who would like to try Skiing, Dayara Bughyal hosts skiing events during the months of January till March. The slopes of Barnala here are perfect for first-time skiers.
# How to reach Barsu Village
Reach Haridwar via overnight train or bus service from Delhi. It is advisable to travel via train as it gives you an option to sleep.
- We recommend ‘New Delhi-Dehradun A/C special train‘ from New Delhi station or the ‘Mussoorie Express‘ from Old Delhi station.
- Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh State Roadway buses regularly ply from Anand vihar ISBT, Delhi to Haridwar.
From Haridwar, you can travel in a hired Jeep or a Local Bus.
- Walk from Haridwar Railways station to the local bus stand. It is only 100 meter away. Take a bus till Uttarkashi from here. Buses are available from 7 am onwards. It takes around 5 hours to reach Uttarkashi in a local bus. From Uttarkashi board a shared jeep for a drop till Barsu. Shared Jeeps are only available till 5 pm.
- Hire a Jeep for a drop till Barsu. For a direct drop till Barsu, you will have to make arrangements in advance via local transporters. A drop from Haridwar till Barsu in a Jeep costs around INR. 5,500 to 6,000.
If traveling to Barsu in your own vehicle, take the following route. The 12-kilometer road from Bhatwari to Barsu is accessible to the private vehicle. We advise you to confirm the snow conditions in the month of February.
# Where to stay in Barsu
Barsu is a small hamlet at an elevation of 7,400 feet. Being a primitive village, the staying options here are limited.
- Dayara Resort: The best option for staying overnight in Barsu, the resort has 6 Cottages, 2 dormitories, and 25 tents.
- GMVN Guest House: A basic setup with limited rooms. Confirm with GMVN in advance (over the phone) for the availability of rooms.
# How is the weather in Winter Months
Dayara receives a heavy spell of snow. One can expect a generous spell of snowfall in the last month of December on forth. By the end of January and February, Dayara can become difficult to trek due to excessive snow accumulation.
Best Time to visit Dayara Bughyal in Winter Season: Last week of December till the third week of January. March first week so-forth.
Temperature: Max. 15 to 20 degrees (C). Min. 0 to minus 5 degrees (C).
# Where to find Local Guide & supplies
Uttarkashi is a trekking hub of Garhwal. Being home to Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, there are qualified guides and local mountaineers you can hire on the spot. Many trekking agencies also operate from Uttarkashi. We recommend to scout for a local guide. You can approach one at Uttarkashi Bus stand area. Finding a local guide directly will cost you less than going through a Trekking Agency.
The rate varies depending on the season. A guide rate can be from Rs. 800 to Rs. 1,000 per day. A porter/cook should be around Rs. 500 to 600 per day.
Supplies can be picked up from Uttarkashi. If you find a reliable guide, he can help you procure the supplies and equipment.
# What should be the trek Itinerary
The Trek Itinerary can be customized based on the duration of trekking you want to do. In the snow season, you probably will be able to reach till Bakaria Top. Keeping that in mind, the following will be a good itinerary.
Day 1: Reach Haridwar early morning and drive to Barsu village
Day 2: Barsu to Dayara campsite
Day 3: Dayara to Bakaria top and back to Dayara camp
Day 4: Dayara to Barsu camp and drive to Haridwar
# How to do the Trek
Day 1: Trek from Barsu to Dayara
- Altitude: 7,400 feet to 11,050 feet
- Time taken: 4 – 5 hours
Brief Trail Description: The winter adventure starts from Barsu village. The first-day trek is easy to moderate level climb. There are few stiff climb sections in between. The forested trail takes you past a series of Oak and Rhododendron trees. The shepherd trail is well laid with stones all the way to Dayara.
Barnala is a tree-lined meadow which you reach as you pass by a series of Shepherd huts. The hilltop of Barnala makes for an ideal spot to practice skiing for beginners. There is a small brackish lake here close to the campsite. The view of Srikanta, Jaonli, Gangotri ranges is special from here. Barnala can be a very charming place to camp.
The climb from Barnala to Dayara is by trekking through the second forested ridge. Walk towards your right side as you cross the meadows to enter the tree line again. An hour and half of stiff climb bring you out of the treeline. You have entered the vast 26 square kilometers of Dayara pastoral grounds.
There are 2 locations where you can set up camp. The first one (Camp-1*) is towards your left along the Shepherd huts. Look for a small temple alongside. This location is completely exposed to cold winds. The views of the mountain peaks from here are the best.
Dayara Camping option-2 (Camp 2*) is a kilometer ahead towards the right side of camp-1. Walk past a series of snow-covered fringes as you pass by a rivulet in semi-frozen condition. In front of you is the ascending expanse of Dayara.
To reach the camping ground, remain true towards your right side. Walk towards a nice forested cover of Oak and pine trees that makes for a cozy, unexposed camping spot.
Day 2: Dayara to Moosa Dhangi/Bakaria Top, back to Dayara
- Altitude: 11,000 feet to 12,500 feet
- Time taken: 5 – 6 hours
Brief Trail Description: Exploring the higher grounds of Dayara makes this the most exhilarating day for trekking. There is a great opportunity for a height gain of over 1,500 feet.
Walk straight up to a series of the connected ridge like hilltop at your backdrop. The first one towards your left is Moosa Dhangi. The terrain looks absolutely breathtaking in the snow.
The first proper view of Bandarpoonch range is a special one. Looking back, enjoy an 180-degree view of the mountain ranges. They appear larger than life owing to close proximity from Dayara.
The snow accumulation can be a problem here. In the later month of January, expect soft snow that may make trekking very tedious. We recommend wearing high ankle waterproof material (Goretex/Novadry) boots and Gaiters for keeping the feet and ankle dry.
From Moosa Dhangi, Bakaria Top is three snow tops away. Bakaria Top is the crossroad from where you can enter different paths. Towards the other side, Aghoda village can be seen. Behind which is Uttarkashi town.
The path moving towards the right goes towards Siyari and Gidara Bughyal. Both these meadows are placed at over 12,000 to 13,500 feet. Camping in these places will require Mountaineering like preparedness during the months of January till February.
Day 3: Dayara to Barsu Village and drive to Haridwar
Start early in the morning so that you reach Barsu before noon. From Barsu drive down to Uttarkashi (via shared jeep service) and board a bus for Haridwar or Dehradun. Aim to reach Haridwar by the evening to board the overnight train for Delhi.
# What are the personal things to bring for this trek
- Backpack (50-60 liter) for multi days treks.
- Trekking Boots – High ankle support boots.
- Trek Gaiter – To prevent snow/moisture seeping inside the boot.
- Trekking Pole
- Down Jacket – Thick, windproof material, fleece and feather based recommended.
- Trek Pants – (at least 2 Trek Pants), no Jeans. Synthetic, Quick Dry fabric based Trek Pants are ideal.
- Full sleeve woolen/fleece – (at least 2)
- Full sleeve T-Shirts – (at least 3)
- Thermal Inner – (for Lower body recommended/ upper is optional)
- Sunglasses – Is a must for snow trek. UV rated ones.
- Socks – (1 pair of woolen and 2 pairs of cotton socks)
- Waterbottle – (2 water bottle, each 1 liter). Avoid plastic drinking bottles.
- Toiletries (Sunscreen – SPF 60+, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm/chap stick, small soap, toilet paper, wet tissue)
- Headlamp/LED Torch
- Cutlery – Carry a plate, spoon, coffee mug & a lunch box.
- Gunny Bag – (To stash nonbiodegradable waste for disposal in the nearest town/city)
- A multi-utility knife/Swiss Knife.
- Energy bars/dry fruits.
- Repair kit – (needle & thread)
- Medicine Kit
# Things to keep in mind
- Carry cooking fuel or LPG/Butane Gas/Kerosine with you. There is no dry wood you will find in Dayara.
- Ensure your camping site is close to a rivulet. The streams are either frozen or semi-frozen. You may have to melt snow to get water.
- Carry a proper medical Kit.
- The nearest pharmacy is in Bhatwari, 12 kilometers before Barsu on Uttarkashi-Gangotri highway.
- For any road related medical emergency, dial 102.
- Nearest District Hospital is in Uttarkashi Town. Phone: 01374-222103
- Mobile signal is available in Barsu, Barnala and few spots in Dayara.
- There is electricity shortage in Barsu. Generator backup is available in Dayara Resort only. It is advisable to carry power bank chargers along.
- Last Petrol pump is available at Uttarkashi Town.
- Bring you own waste in a gunny bag for disposal at Uttarkashi or Haridwar.
For any other question regarding the trek, write to us by filling this simple form here.