BALI PASS TREK – THE COMPLETE GUIDE
The Bali Pass trek is an ancient hiking route from the Tons Valley to the Yamuna Valley. It attracts hikers during the rainy season when the snow melts, and you can access the pass from both sides. This pass is more accessible from the valley of Har ki Dun, as the slope is slight and gives trekkers an excellent time to acclimatize to the high altitude. The trek starts from Sankri and goes through Govind National Park, famous for its wildflowers. It also offers the opportunity to visit the sacred lake at Ruinsara along the way and explore the less popular route through the Yamunotri Pass to the Yamunotri Temple.
The Bali Pass trek has a lot to offer besides isolation and the challenging climb to the pass. We are almost always surrounded by the mighty Swargarohini or Bandarpunch ridges. We will see Kalanag (Black Peak) closer. We will spend the whole day at Ruinsara glacial lake. Lake Ruinsara has unsurpassed beauty and grandeur; a mythological story is associated with it. The Dev Thach alpine meadow in the middle of the Ruinsara forest is something to look out for.
Lake Ruinsara has an unsurpassed beauty, and you will stroll through the two delightfully beautiful meadows of Devsu Thatch and Thanga. One of our camps will be at the waterfall, and the other will be above 4000 meters. We have a chance to see some of the wild animals of the Uttarakhand Himalayas – monals, the Himalayan ibex and the endangered brown bear. Regarding one of the most unexplored routes in the Indian Himalayas, the Bali Pass treks offer an extraordinary adventure if you are looking for an offbeat trek.
Towards the end of the trek through the Bali Pass, we will see the source of the Yamunotri River and visit the sacred temple of Yamunotri Devi. Bali Pass is a kaleidoscope of vibrant natural beauty.
DAY 01: DEHRADUN TO SANKRI
The first stop before starting the trek across the Bali Pass is the base village of Sankri. This is a small village of Uttarkashi, located in the Govind Wildlife Sanctuary. The drive from Dehradun to Sankri will take you through scenic spots such as Kempty waterfalls, Nainbagh, Mussoorie etc. It is surrounded by the peaks of Swargrohini and other peaks of the Greater Himalayas. By the time you reach Sankri, the evening sky will rise to form amazing landscapes. This is the perfect location to kick start the upcoming treks. At the first day, we will stay in hotels or homestays here.
DAY 02: SANKRI TO TALUKA
Enjoy the breakfast and we will drive to Taluka early in the morning. This is where our real trekking part begins. The 12 km long driveway crosses the intersection of large streams, bamboo and deodar trees. It’s like turning over numerous mountain bends. There is a camping near the Forest Rest house, in many cases; trekker’s use this location as campsite.
Start trekking from Taluka along the stone road that descends to the riverbed. Here the trail goes along the Supin River. After crossing 2-3 bridges, wooden and cement, the path gradually becomes ascending. After about an hour, you will see an open area on the left. Here you can meet many local people busy with their work. They greet with happy faces. Another 2 hours walk and you will witness the beautiful unseen wooden architectures. This is the village of Ghangad. Another 20 minutes’ walk to dhaba and water run mill.
We continue from here for another hour to reach another campsite, where you will see a wooden bridge leading to the village of Osla. If you’ve heard, Osla is a popular tourist destination these days due to its unique wooden houses. Now continue walking under the forest cover by the Supin River for another 60 minutes to reach Seema. Look into the forest with wide eyes; you can see the Himalayan monal. Seema is just a campsite where you will see other trekkers. Here we will stay in tents to relax for the night.
DAY 03: SEEMA TO RAINBASERA
Start from the beginning to reach our first big spot of Debshu Bugyal. Start by walking along the Supin River on the left. The trail ascends from this day and becomes steeper as it approaches closely to Debshu Bugyal. Once you arrive in the Ruinsara Valley, there will be boulders along the route.
Another 30 minutes of a flat walk, you will reach to Debshu Bugyal. This Bugyal is a huge pastureland with a length of 2 km, where you can relax a little. You will see the clear views of Kala Nag and Black Peak from the meadows.
The path from here ends abruptly until you reach the riverbed. The path is covered with stones and slippery. Here you will cross the bridge again. See the wonderful sights around you. To your dismay, the trail leads a steep climb from here. We will stay at Rainbasera for the night. Don’t forget to witness the evening sky beside the seething river. Many trekkers spend a serene moment by the boulders at the bottom of the river. Stay will be in tents.
DAY 04: RAINBASERA TO RUINSARA TAL
This is an exciting day as Ruinsara’s most anticipated lake will be our next camping site. The trail will be similar to the previous day. Continue walking for 3-4 hours until you reach a reflective pond. In the distance, you will see glaciers, stream crossings and all kinds of adventures to get to the lake.
The camping site at Ruinsara Tal is in many ways a dream come true. It is located between the Supin River and Ruinsara Lake, surrounded by meadows with huge snow-capped mountains on the distance. The sky is dominated by the stunning peaks of the Bandarpunch Ridge such as Bandarpunch, Kala Nag and Dhumdhar Khai, as well as White Peak. You can also find the Yamunotri Temple here. Just take a walk and explore the area.
DAY 05: RUINSARA TAL TO ODARI
Rejoice today as it will be a short day of walking just 4 km away. Descent to the Supin River. The trail runs through forests and a river crossing. Before reaching the next meadows, the trail becomes steep again. Higher peaks are visible from the meadows. This path is like a trailer for what you’ve seen in the past few days.
Surprisingly, the vegetation ahead becomes scarce. After a kilometer, you will reach Odari. There is a stone cave next to the campsite. Hence the name Odari, which means a cave. It is believed that Bali (Lord Krishna’s brother) stayed in this cave for the night. Swargrohini 1 and 2 are also clearly visible from here.
DAY 06: ODARI TO BALI COL CAMP
Although this day seems shorter, but it is not as easy. There will be a steep climb along the trail with an incline of 60 degrees. It is like walking along a ridge with loose rocks and talus. The trail is also complicated by stones. Make sure you get enough rest and drink water. The increase in altitude is significant, so take appropriate measures to avoid AMS.
Temperatures usually drop below zero degrees at night. It is recommended to prepare for the cold. Rest will be in tents.
DAY 07: BALI PASS TO LOWER DHAMNI
Consider this the day of the summit. You will cross the Bali Pass to reach the Lower Dhamni at that day. Eat full to get enough energy for a long day. The trail to Bali Pass is steep and covered with a lot of snow. Follow the path broken only by your guides. No rope required, but wears micro-spikes if needed.
After a 2-3 hour steep climb, you will reach the top of the pass. The pass is the highest point where you will feel yourself standing on top of a mountain. Enjoy 360-degree views of the Swargarohini, Banderpunch and Garhwal peaks. Enjoy views of the Yamunotri Valley on the right. Hold your breath before descending, because the real thrill begins now.
Descent down almost 90 degrees along a narrow path. Use the proper techniques and follow the guide instructions carefully. Even after the leg section, to the top of the Dhamni, the path is extremely difficult, so be careful. It can also be difficult due to the snow. After this difficult part, we will take rest in the Upper Dhamni. The path from leg to Dhamni is tangled like a maze, so be sure to be in the team and follow your guide.
After resting, we will continue our trek to Lower Dhamni. The path is confusing, so it is recommended to stay with your trek leader and team. The trek from here will be flat and visible. The trail goes through the forest and is 2-3 km long. We will stay in tents and this will be the last stay in tents.
DAY 08: LOWER DHAMNI TO JAAN KI CHATTI AND DRIVE TO DEHRADUN
Finally, the last day of the hike has come. It will be the easiest day, filled with many descents and easy ascents. The trail is a well-paved cement track. There is a small climb to Yamunotri, which can take another 1-2 hours. Leave the campsite early to reach Dehradun.
- Food as per menu on the trek, Accommodation. (Guest house, Home stay, Camping)
- Forest Camping charges
- Safety Equipment, Trek equipment: Sleeping bag, mattress, tent (twin or triple sharing), kitchen & dinning tent, toilet tent, utensils and crampon (if required)
- All necessary permits and entry fees
- Trek guide, cook, helpers, and mules for carrying common luggage
- Transportation if Specified in Itinerary
- Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader, guide, cook and Support staff
- Meals during road Journeys
- Any kind of Insurance
- Any expense of personal Nature
- Any expense not specified in the inclusion list
- Carriage of personal luggage during the trek
THINGS TO CARRY
- Back pack & rain cover – 50-60 liter with comfortable shoulder straps
- Day pack + rain cover – 20-30 liter (If hire a mule or porter)
- Walking stick – Advisable (At least one)
- Head torch – 1 Nos.
- Water bottle/Hydration pack – 2 bottles of one liter each People who use hydration pack- 1 hydration pack and 1 bottle of one liter Carry at least one thermos flask
- Snacks – Energy bars, dry fruits, electoral/ors
- Personal Medical Kit
- T-shirts – 2 Full sleeves (Non-cotton)
- Fleece T-shirts – 1 Nos.
- Fleece jacket – 1 Nos. (Alternative: a woolen sweater)
- Down feather / Hollofil jacket – 1 Nos.
- Wind & waterproof (jacket & pant) – 1 Pair
- Thermal inners (upper and lower) – 1 Pair
- Trek pants – 2 Synthetic (avoid shorts, fitting denims, capris)
- Poncho – 1 Nos.
- Sunscreen cream
- Hand sanitizer
- Antibacterial powder
- Toilet Paper & wipes
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Lip balm
- Quick dry towel
- Sun cap – 1 Nos. (One that covers the neck as well)
- Woolen cap – 1 Nos.
- Balaclava – 1 Nos.
- Neck-gaiters – 1 Nos.
- Sunglasses – Dark with side cover, it should be U/V protected. People who wear spectacles- (A) Use contact lenses or (B) Photo chromatic glasses
- Trekking shoes – 1 Pair (Waterproof, high ankle with good grip)
- Floaters/flip-flops – 1 Pair (Optional)
- Cotton socks – 5 pairs
- Woolen socks – 3 pairs
- Gaiters – 1 Pair (Our team will notify you if required)
- Waterproof Gloves – 1 Pair
- Fleece/Woolen Gloves – 1 Pair
- Region – Uttarakhand
- Duration – 8 Days
- Start Point – Dehradun
- End Point – Dehradun
- Highest Altitude – 4,950m/16,200ft
- Approx Trekking Km – 60 Kms
- Grade – Difficult
ALTITUDE WE’LL COVER
- Sankri – 1920 Meters
- Cheludgad Camp – 2600 Meters
- Devsu Bugyal Camp – 3000 Meters
- Ruinsara Tal – 3500 Meters
- Odari Camp – 4100 Meters
- Bali Pass – 4950 Meters
DON’T AVOID THESE POINTS
- Keep yourself ready for the downpours
- Proper gear & clothing for sub-zero temperatures
- Keep all the essentials carefully
- Maintain your wellness
- Phones don’t work (Network)
- Travel light
- Take your cough and cold medicines with you