Chopta is a quaint hill station in the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary located in Uttarakhand, India. It is located in the midst of rolling green meadows and pine forested slopes, earning it the name ‘the Switzerland of India’.
The Chopta trek is a short, easy trek that takes you up to a spectacular height of over 13,000 feet. It runs along the high Himalayas, offering you great views of Himalayan peaks like Nanda Devi, Trishul, Chaukhamba and more. It is a good trek for beginners, but you should be prepared to do about 5-6 hours of walking each day.
You’ll start from Haridwar, and enjoy a long drive to Sari, the start point of the Chopta trek. The next day, you’ll begin trekking to Deoriatal. This is a short, scenic trek, and you’ll end at a lakeside campsite. You’ll proceed from here to Chopta, and will trek to Tungnath and onwards to Chandrashila. After that, most itineraries take you back to Chopta for the night. Your trek ends after that.
In the summer, this is one of the Top 10 treks in Uttarakhand. Many families visit Chopta to escape the heat and enjoy the summer vacations with their children. Those who are looking for a bit more fun will take on the Tungnath and Deoriatal stretch too.
The trek winds through forests of pine, oak and rhododendron. You will be camping beside crystal clear mountain lakes such as the Deoriatal Lake and eating under the stars. You can expect spectacular sunsets, vast green meadows, and gorgeous mountain views.
If you’re visiting Uttarakhand in the summer, you should check out our list of Top Things to Do in Uttarakhand.
This is one of the best snow treks in Uttarakhand. You will get a chance to explore Himalayan slopes carpeted in pure white snow, as well as enjoy camping and snow fun. The views from here, while always beautiful, are especially lovely in the winter, when all the peaks around are capped with white.
The Chopta trek itinerary begins with a halt at Deoriatal. This is a beautiful emerald green lake with ample space for camping all around. One of the most unforgettable moments of your Chopta trek will be the morning you wake up here. After that, you’ll proceed to Chopta.
After a night of camping at Chopta, you'll see the trail becoming more mountainous as you approach Chandrashila Peak. Tungnath temple is where many people stop their trek. At 12,000 feet, this is the world’s highest Shiva temple, and it can be a bit of a challenge to get here. The small temple is peaceful and has wonderful views of the mountains around, and you’ll want to sit here for hours to soak it all in.
The Chandrashila mountain peak is a summit of 13,123 feet, and can be difficult for children or first-timers who are not used to physical activity. However, many fit beginners enjoy the challenge of climbing to the peak. The 360-degree panorama of the mighty Himalayas from here is a stunning reward at the end of this climb.
Chopta is open almost all year round, but the best time to visit for an easy and pleasant trekking experience is in early summer, from April to June. During these months, the days are comfortable and nights are chilly, just perfect for bonfires and cosy camping.
The Chopta trek is also one of the most popular winter treks in Uttarakhand. Beginners will enjoy their snow trek experience here, with easy trails and lots of snowy views. Find other snow treks for beginners in our blog post titled Top Easy Snow Treks in India.
Uttarakhand has many options for trekking lovers, check-out other trekking options in Uttarakhand
Yes. The Chopta trek is suitable for beginners or families with children who can walk 5-6 hours a day. The climb to Chandrashila can be steep and difficult, and is not recommended for beginners. If you are not ready for it, the itinerary can usually be adjusted to exclude it.
You can customize the Chopta trek to be short if you don’t have enough time. This usually involves trekking to Deoriatal and Chopta, and then returning. This is a beautiful stretch and has lovely views, but it Tungnath and Chandrashila are spectacular and worth taking the extra time for.
Depending on the month in which you’re visiting, you will have to carry different types of warm clothing. For winter treks, you’ll need warmer clothing and waterproof gear. For summer treks, you’ll get away with some lighter layers during the day, and can pull on a fleece in the evening and night. Your operator will provide you with a complete list of all the equipment you need to have a fun, safe trek.
The Chopta trek is open almost all year round, except in the monsoon. It is one of the best summer treks in Uttarakhand, and is very popular when schools are on summer holidays, when student groups and families with children visit. In winter, it is a top snow trek in India, with trekkers visiting to enjoy an easy and fun snow experience.