Sar Pass Trek

The Sar Pass trek, a great introductory trek to high altitude Himalayan trekking, starts from Kasol and ends at Barshaini, and takes you at an altitude of 14,000 feet through a gorgeous landscape and offers breath-taking views of the Parvati Valley and the Himalayan peaks.

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Sar Pass trek Overview

The Sar Pass trek, in the Parvati Valley of Kullu, is one of the most popular treks in Shivalik Range of Himachal Pradesh. The pass is situated at an altitude of 14,000 feet. The pass overlooks the splendid valley of Parvati, including snow-clad Himalayan mountains, gushing streams and waterfalls, and cuts through dense forests of pine and rhododendrons. The temperate climate paired with quaint villages with rich culture just adds to the overall experience of the trek to Sar Pass.

The Sar Pass is also considered to be a great introduction to high altitude trekking in Himalayas, as the trek takes you to an altitude of 14,000 feet through a train that is moderately challenging, making it a great option for fit beginners.

The base camp of the Sar Pass trek is Kasol, a village also known as 'the little Israel of India,' due to its colourful cafes. Kasol is surrounded by serene meadows and dense alpine forests. The second destination for the trek is Grahan, a picturesque village full of traditional Himalayan houses. The way to Grahan cuts through lush meadows, dense forests, streams and waterfalls over a rocky terrain.

You then begin your trek through the rhododendron forests around Grahan and start ascending to Min Thatch. The trail to Min Thatch is steep and strenuous, so the pace is usually slow while covering this section of the Sar Pass trek to ensure proper acclimatization. Min Thach is a lush grazing ground used by locals. From there, you proceed to Nagaru, which is the last campsite before Sar Pass.

Finally you begin the long and arduous trek to Sar Pass, and when you reach there, you are not only battered with strong winds but also the mind-blowing views of the surrounding valleys and Himalayan mountains. You then begin your descent to Bihkeri, following a moderate trail through dense forests, and then to Barshaini - end point of the trek.

Getting there

For the Sar Pass trek, you need to get to Kasol. It is a popular tourist destination, so reaching there is relatively easy. The closest airport to Kasol is the Bhuntar Airport of Kullu and Manali at a distance of 30 km. Many frequent flights connect Bhuntar Airport to the major cities of India.

If you prefer trains, then the nearest broad gauge railway station is Pathankot and the nearest narrow gauge railway station is Joginder Nagar. From these places, you can either hire a private cab or take a local bus to reach Kasol.

Additionally, you can even get to Kasol by road. There are many bus services connecting Kasol to most major cities of North India.

Connectivity

Phone networks only work until Kasol or Manali, hence, it is a good idea to contact your family and friends before the start of the trek. There are few patches where you may get connectivity, but it will mostly be weak.

As for ATM's, the last ATM you'll find is in Kasol. No ATMs can be found after Kasol either on the trail or at villages where you spend the nights. Hence, it is recommended that you withdraw sufficient cash before starting the trek to Sar Pass.

Best time to go

The best time for the trek to Sar Pass is between the months of April to October. During these months, the temperatures range from 20 to 25 degree Celsius during the day and from 5 to 11 degree Celsius. The winter season can be a bit harsh on the trail as the entire landscape gets covered in thick snow.

Who can do this trek?

The Sar Pass trek is considered to be a great introductory trek for high altitude trekking in the Himalayas. The trail mostly has an easy grade but consists of few challenging sections with steep ascents. Hence, the trek to Sar Pass can be done by both experienced trekkers and beginners with moderate level of fitness and endurance.

Packing list

For the Sar Pass trek, the tour operator will provide all the camping and trekking equipment, so you don't have to worry about that. All you need to carry is personal essentials and gear. You should carry a sturdy backpack along with personal toiletries, personal med kit, torch, sunglasses, sun-cap, sunscreen, etc. You also need to get good quality trekking shoes with ample grip. Make sure the shoes are well-broken in before embarking on the trek to avoid shoe bites and discomfort.

As for clothes, you need to carry comfortable, quick-dry clothes including full sleeve t-shirts/shirts and full length trek pants. You also need winter clothes like thermal inners, windcheaters and jacket, synthetic/woollen gloves and cap. Avoid wearing restrictive clothes, especially denim jeans and sandals.

Check out other adventure activities you can do in Himachal Pradesh.

Sar Pass Trek Summary

  • State: Himachal Pradesh
  • Nearest city: Kullu
  • Total days: 2-4 days
  • Grade: Moderate
  • Max altitude: 14,000 feet
  • Total trekking distance: 49 km
  • Season: Summer and monsoon
  • Avg temperature: 5 to 25 degree Celsius

Sar Pass Trek

Sketch itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Kasol

  • Meet your team and trek leader
  • Learn the basics of trekking
  • Acclimatize to the altitude
  • Overnight stay: Tents

Day 2: Kasol to Grahan

  • Trekking distance: 10 km
  • Trekking time: 5 hours
  • Terrain: Progressively rocky and steep through pine forests
  • Overnight stay: Tents

Day 3: Grahan to Min Thatch

  • Trekking distance: 7 km
  • Trekking time: 5 hours
  • Terrain: Increasingly steep through dense forests
  • Overnight stay: Tents

Day 4: Min Thatch to Nagaru

  • Trekking distance: 8 km
  • Trekking time: 6 hours
  • Terrain: Steep, through pastoral forests with few snow patches en route
  • Overnight stay: Tents

Day 5: Nagaru to Biskeri via Sar Pass

  • Trekking distance: 14 km
  • Trekking time: 8 hours
  • Terrain: Long, mix of steep ascents and descents
  • Overnight stay: Tents

Day 6: Biskeri to Barshaini

  • Trekking distance: 10 km
  • Trekking time: 5 hours
  • Terrain: Descent through dense forests, passing Pulga and Tulga
  • Drive to Kasol at the end of the trek

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Kasol and acclimatize

Today, you have to arrive at the base camp located in Kasol in the morning. You will meet your trek leader and the rest of your group. You will then attend a short orientation session about the trek. This session will introduce you to the process of packing a rucksack, marching and walking techniques, and general awareness about the trekking route.

Once the orientation is complete, you will embark on a short acclimatization walk around the base camp. For dinner, you will return to the campsite. Post dinner, you will retire into your tents for a good night's sleep.

Day 2: Trek from Kasol to Grahan

Your actual trek begins today! You will wake up and board the vehicle that will drive you to the start point, located at a short distance from the campsite. The trail that you will take today is often frequented by local shepherds.

You will trek through dense forests of pine trees to reach the destination for today - Grahan village. As you get closer to the village, the trail will get increasingly rocky and steep. You'll reach the village by evening, have dinner and then retire into your tents for the night.

Day 3: Trek from Grahan Village to Min Thatch

Today, you'll continue along the same trail to get to Min Thatch. The trail is narrow and will give you spectacular views of Min Thatch, Nagaru and Sar top in the Himalayan mountains.

The trail gets increasingly steep and thick alpine forests start dominating the landscape. Upon crossing the final stretch, you will arrive at Min Thatch. There, you'll catch amazing views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, including the mighty Chanderkhani mountains. At night, you'll retire into your tents.

Day 4: Trek from Min Thatch to Nagaru

Today's trek takes you to Nagaru. The initial part of the trek will take you through a pastoral forest with a few patches of snow on the way. And you keep gaining altitude, the snow will get thicker and the trail steeper. You'll reach Nagaru by afternoon.

In the evening you will enjoy a gorgeous sunset and then you'll see the city lights of Manikaran glimmering in the distance. You'll then have dinner before retiring to your tents for the night.

Day 5: Trek from Nagaru to Biskeri via Sar Pass

Today is finally the day you will trek to the Sar Pass. It will also be the longest trek of your trip and you will begin climbing a trail that overlooks the gorgeous Tosh Valley. You'll reach Sar Pass and spend some time admiring the exhilarating mountain views.

You'll then begin your descend trek to Biskeri Thatch and en route, you'll cross a few river streams. You'll reach the campsite by evening and then retire into your tents for the night.

Day 6: Trek from Biskeri to Barshaini, and drive from Barshaini to Kasol

Today is the last day of your trek as you continue along the trail from Biskeri Thatch and make your way to Barshaini. The trail will take you through dense forests and you will pass through the twin villages of Pulga and Tulga. You'll arrive at Barshaini in the afternoon. You'll then board the vehicle that will drive you back to Kasol. The trip ends here.

Inclusions:

Travel arrangements in Sumo/Alto or similar vehicle to and from Kasol are included. Accommodation will be in dome tents on triple sharing basis. All equipment required for camping including dome tents, sleeping bags and mattresses. Common kitchen/dining tents and toilet tents etc. will be provided. First aid kit (including oxygen cylinder) will be available with the crew in case of emergencies.

All meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 6 are included. Services of an experienced trekking guide and camping crew will ensure a safe and enjoyable trek. All permit charges, entry fees and camping charges and all applicable taxes are included

Exclusions:

Transport between home city and Kasol are not included and you will have to arrange this on your own. Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc. will be additional and informed to you depending on the situation

Personal expenses such as tips to staff, alcohol or beverages etc. will be completely up to the individuals. Travel or medical insurance and any item not mentioned in the inclusions are not covered/included in the costs/package.

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Best time to go/Weather

The best time to go for the Sar Pass trek is between the months of April and October as the atmosphere is quite pleasant with temperatures ranging from 20 to 25 degree Celsius during day time and from 5 to 11 degree Celsius during night time. The trek is a popular monsoon trek in Himachal Pradesh too. However, during winters, the conditions can be harsh with thick snow covering the landscape, making the pass difficult to cross.

Sar Pass Trek Trip Video


Getting there

Kasol is well connected to the rest of India via road. There are regular state and privately run bus services connecting it to most major cities and towns of the Northern India.

There are no direct flights or train to Kasol. However, if you prefer flying, then the closest airport is in Bhuntar, serving Kullu and Manali, with many regular flights from major cities of the country. From here you can take a bus to Kasol.

The nearest broad gauge railway station is Pathankot and the nearest narrow gauge railway station is in Joginder Nagar. From these places, you can easily use a bus or taxi to reach Kasol.

What to wear

For the Sar Pass trek, you need to wear comfortable, quick-dry apparel including full sleeved t-shirt and full length trekking pants. Pair these with additional layers of windcheater and jacket, along with thermal inners. You also need to wear sturdy trekking shoes with good grip. Avoid wearing sandals, denim jeans or any kind of restrictive clothing.

What to carry

The tour operator will provide all the technical and camping equipment required for the trek. However, you need to carry a backpack, personal med kit, toiletries and essentials, extra clothes, torch, sunglasses and raincoat/poncho.

Preparation/Fitness

The Sar Pass trek is suitable for fit beginners but you do need to have a moderate level of fitness to embark on this trek. You need to start training for the trek a few weeks prior to the departure date by doing some form of exercise like running, cycling, swimming, etc. Focus on cardio as they will improve your lung capacity which will help you at higher altitudes.

FAQs about the Sar Pass trek

How do I reach Kasol?

If you prefer flying, then you should book your flight tickets to Bhuntar Airport, serving Kullu and Manali. It is located around 30 km from Kasol. However, if you're coming by train, then the nearest railway station is Pathankot for broad gauge rail, and Joginder Nagar for narrow gauge. From these places, you can take a bus or taxi to reach Kasol.

Additionally, you can even catch a bus from most major cities of North India to Kasol. There are state as well as privately run bus services plying to Kasol and the bus ride is adventurous and highly recommended.

Can a beginner do the Sar Pass trek?

The Sar Pass trek has an easy to moderate grade with the trail consisting of few steep sections. Hence, a beginner with moderate level of fitness and endurance can do this trek. This is also a great trek to start with high altitude trekking, especially in the Himalayas.

How do I prepare for the Sar Pass trek?

Being a moderately easy trek, little preparation is required if you're already fit. However, to properly prepare for the trek, you should start a work-out routine a few weeks prior. You can do any form of exercise as long as it is improving your endurance, like cycling, running, swimming etc.

What should I carry for the Sar Pass trek?

Your tour operator will provide all the equipment required for the trek and camping. So all you need to carry is a sturdy backpack that will carry all your personal essentials including a personal medical kit. You also need to carry quick-dry apparel, thermal inners, down and fleece jackets, raincoat/poncho and a pair of study trekking boots.

Will I get network/signal on my phone during the Sar Pass trek?

Phone networks will only work until Kasol. There are a few patches where you will get signal, but it will be weak and you shouldn't rely on it.

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Trip Description
Take on the challenge of a moderately difficult, snow trek in Himachal Pradesh with this 6-day trek to Sar Pass. You'll spend the week surrounded by dense woods of pine and oak with beautiful views of snow-capped mountain peaks in the Parvati Valley. As you begin climbing from the town of Kasol, you'll encounter challenging and steep inclines on the trail, leading you up to an elevation of over 13,500 feet. En route, you'll stay in alpine tents pitched at some of the most scenic mountain ridges and meadows in the Himalayas. As you gain altitude and get closer to Sar Pass, you'll find yourself trekking in inches of thick snow, covering almost everything around you.

This trek to Sar Pass is recommended only for fit beginners and experienced trekkers since it involves a moderately difficult trail with sections of steep inclines and deep snow.
    Inclusions
  • Travel arrangements in private, non-AC jeep or similar vehicle between Barshaini and Kasol
  • Accommodation in alpine tents while trekking for 5 nights on triple-sharing basis
  • All equipment required for camping: alpine tents, sleeping bags, mattress
  • Common kitchen/dining tents and washroom tents
  • All vegetarian meals from breakfast on day 1 to lunch on day 6
  • Services of an experienced trek leader and camping crew
  • All government permits and charges
  • Technical and safety gear required for the trek, if any
  • First aid kit (including oxygen cylinder and HAPO chamber bag)
  • Travel insurance (details on request)
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Travel arrangements between your home city and Kasol
  • Non-vegetarian options in meals (arranged at an additional cost of INR 800 per person; if informed in advance)
  • Costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks, natural calamities etc.
  • Personal expenses such as tips to staff, extra meals or beverages, apparel or gear etc.
  • Any item not mentioned in inclusions
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Trip Description
This 6-day trek to Sar Pass takes you to the rough and mountainous interiors of Himachal Pradesh. Trekking through forest wilderness, you will camp at some of the most picturesque campsites in the Indian Himalayas. En route, you will trek on narrow nature trails that will lead you along towering mountains layered with dense forests of conifer and pine. As you gain altitude and get closer to the Sar Pass, the gorgeous landscape views begin to include patches of thick snow. Stop at vantage points along the way and catch breathtaking views of snow-capped mountain peaks.

With a few steep slopes and uphill climbs, this is a moderately difficult trek that is ideal only for fit beginners and experienced trekkers.

Please note that a minimum of 2 travellers are required to book this trek.
    Inclusions
  • Travel arrangements in Sumo/Alto or similar vehicle from Kasol-Kasol
  • Accommodation in dome tents on triple sharing basis
  • All equipment required for camping
  • Dome tents, sleeping bags and mattresses
  • Common kitchen/dining tents and toilet tents
  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 6
  • Services of experienced trekking guide and camping crew
  • Permit charges, entry fees and camping charges
  • First aid kit (including oxygen cylinder)
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Transport between base city and Kasol
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc.
  • Personal expenses such as tips to staff, alcohol or beverages etc.
  • Travel or medical insurance
  • Any item not mentioned in inclusions
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Trip Description
This 6 day Sar Pass trek will take you across the Parvati valley on a moderately challenging route. This trail is a great introduction to those who want to start high altitude treks. It takes you to a height of almost 14,000 feet, through beautiful landscapes, and up to the Pass. You will be trekking from Zirmi to Tila lotni, and descend down till Manikaran, crossing Biskeri and Bhandak thach.
    Inclusions
  • Accomodation in twin-sharing tents
  • Sleeping bags and mats
  • All veg meals from breakfast on Day 1 to lunch on Day 6
  • Hot soup in the evenings
  • Transport required on Day 1 and on Day 6
  • Certified guide and staff
  • Porters for camping and mess equipment
  • First-aid kit
  • Forest permits and camping charges
  • Portable oxygen
  • Service tax
    Exclusions
  • Personal porters for carrying your bags
  • Personal trekking equipment
  • Any personal insurance or cost of emergency evacuation
  • Personal purchases, transport and food
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