Bali Pass Trek (Uttarakhand) 2023 – Complete Travel Guide

Brief About Bali Pass Trek

Bali Pass is a core of the Garhwal Himalayas, located in Uttarakhand (India). This 5000-meter pass confers spectacular Himalayan views and reveals hard-core terrain to wander. It is a high-altitude trekking expedition that begins at Sankri Village and concludes at Janki Chatti. On the way, you will also come across numerous nostalgic locations like Rain Basera, Ruinsara, Damini, and Yamunotri (the origin of the river Yamuna!).

The beautiful Bali Pass Trek View

You can spot some exotic wildlife species like monals, Himalayan ibex, and endangered brown bears. Also, it is full of unique flora like Phen Kamal, Brahma Kamal, poisonous buttercups, etc. The whole trekking experience is going to be a brew of patience, persistence, and thrillers. 

Key details of the Bali Pass Trek:

  • Ideal Number of Days for the Visit: 8 days & 7 nights
  • Trek Distance: 61 km
  • Trek Altitude Range: 1900-5000 meters
  • Nearest Railway Station: Dehradun (241 km)
  • Starting Point– Kotgaon
  • Exploration Points– Sankri, Seema, Taluka, Poani Gharaht (Chiludgadh), Devsu Thach, Rainbasera, Ruinsara Tal, Lower Damini, Yamunotri, Jankichatti.
  • Trek type: Tough (The difficulty level is significantly high)
  • Best Times for Bali Pass Trek: May, June, July, August, September, and October. (Avoid the winter season because the place will be filled with snow, ice blocks, and snowstorms).

Bali Pass Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Dehradun to Sankri – 8 hours drive

You will have to start from Dehradun and drive alongside the Tons river, passing villages such as Damta, Purola, Mori, and Netwar, before reaching the base camp at Sankri. This quaint village offers a scenic view of the Greater Himalayan peaks, with no network distractions to let you fully immerse yourself in nature. You will be accommodated in hotels or homestays in Sankri.

Day 2: Sankri to Seema – 1 hour drive and 5-6 hours trek

On day two, you will drive to Taluka from Sankri, followed by a 5-6 hours trek. The trek starts with a stony path alongside the Supin river and offers picturesque views of plantations of Himalayan crops. You will come across streams, villages like Gangad and Osla, and witness Garwahli culture. Your trek will end at Seema, where you can stay in a hut with a local family or set up a camp.

Day 3: Seema to Roiltia – 6 to 7 hours trek

As you start Day 3, you leave the last human settlement and continue along the true left of the valley along the Supin river. You ascend through deodar trees, leading you to a beautiful meadow, Devsu Thatch, where you can see the looming Swargarohini ranges and Kalanag straight ahead. After descending from the meadow, you enter the Ruinsara valley and end today’s trek at Roiltia. You camp beside the stream close to the waterfall locally known as Roiltigad.

Day 4: Roiltia to Ruinsara Lake – 2 hours trek

On Day 4 of the trek, you will witness a change in vegetation as you pass through the thick forests of birch and rhododendron trees. If lucky, you might spot the endangered Himalayan brown bear. The highlight of the trek is the Ruinsara Tal, an alpine tarn surrounded by Rhododendron trees. It is one of the three lakes in the Garhwal region, and you will be camping overnight near the lake.

Day 5: Enjoying Ruinsara Lake

On Day 5, you can enjoy the scenic beauty of Ruinsara Lake and acclimatize yourself before reaching Bali Pass base camp the next day. With its pristine water, alpine vegetation, rhododendron bushes and a vast meadow, Ruinsara Lake offers a perfect spot to relax and soak in nature’s tranquility. You can also explore nearby places like Banderpunch glacier or Kyarkoti, the base camp for Kalanag and Dumdar Kandi pass. Spend the day playing games, reading books or just enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Day 6: Ruinsara Lake to Odari – 4 to 5 hours trek

On Day 6, you will trek from Ruinsara Lake to Odari for about 4-5 hours. Start early, cross the river bed, and reach Thanga meadow with stunning views of the Swargarohini ranges. Reach Odari, which means naturally made cave rock, where Bali had stayed for a night. You will camp below Bali Pass on a glacial moraine, with temperatures dropping to sub-zero degrees, offering a unique camping experience. Keep an eye out for the rare Himalayan brown bear.

Day 7: Odari to Upper Dhamni – 7 to 8 hours trek

On Day 7, you will wake up early and begin your trek to Upper Dhamni which takes 7 to 8 hours. You will cross Bali Pass, which is steep and takes around 45 minutes to one and a half hours to reach. The summit offers a breathtaking view of the Yamunotri valley and the Banderpunch peaks. After descending via a connecting ridge, you will reach the camping grounds of Upper Dhamni.

Day 8: Upper Dhamni to Yamunotri to Janki Cha Tti – 7 to 8 hours downward trek

On Day 8, you descend through a forested trail to reach Yamunotri, a famous shrine dedicated to Goddess Yamuna. After paying your respects, you trek down the conventional pilgrim road to Janki Chatti and stay overnight in one of the guesthouses, where you will get electricity but no phone network. The trek takes around 7 to 8 hours.

Day 9: Janki Chatti to Dehradun – 7 hours drive

On Day 9, you will travel back to Dehradun which will take around 7 hours by car. On the way, you can explore popular tourist spots such as Kempty Waterfalls, Nainbagh and Mussourie to make the most of the journey. This will mark the end of the trek and you will return home with memories to cherish.

Best Places to Visit & Explore at Bali Pass Trek

  • Sankri– This is the starting point of the trek. The Sankri village in Uttarakhand is an enchanting land for a trekker. It is the entrance to the paradise of the Himalayas. It is no less than a mesmerizing hamlet located in the Uttarkashi district. It also leads to Govind Ballabh Pant Wildlife Sanctuary. In Sankri, you can gaze at the ecstatic views of majestic Himalayan Mountain peaks with a starry skyline, Yamuna River, Kedarganga, and lofty pine forests. 
  • Taluka– It is a small hamlet located at a distance of 12 km from Sankri. It heads to the “Har Ki Dun” trek. You will see a cluster of houses made up of beautiful stone and wood materials. Also, you can explore a wide range of mountainous flora and fauna that will calm your soul. The exciting activities in Taluka include hiking, camping, bird watching, and trekking.
  • Ruinsara Tal– It is popularly known as “God’s Lake.” The exquisite beauty of Ruinsara Tal will leave you mesmerized. This glacial blue lake is situated at 3,500 meters above sea level. It is surrounded by alpine vegetation and crimson rhododendrons. Also, it is considered a sacred place by the inhabitants. Therefore, make sure not to litter any trash in the area. 
  • Yamunotri– Almost no Indian is unaware of the term “Yamunotri.” It is the source of the Yamuna River as well as one of the four sites of the Char Dham pilgrimage. The elevation of Yamunotri is more than 3,200 meters above sea level. It is located at a distance of 236 km from Rishikesh, and 278 km from Dehradun. Yamunotri is famous for its religious tourism, photography, village tourism, and camping. This scenic beauty holds a spiritual significance to Hindu devotees. Therefore, always maintain the sanctity of Yamunotri by avoiding alcohol and non-vegetarian food.
  • Jankichatti– Jankichatti is famous for its hot water springs. As mentioned in the introductory para, hot springs are one of the classic geological features. It is present at an elevation of 2,650 meters above sea level. Also, it is near the Indo-China border. This wonderful trek point is full of nature’s beauty including waterfalls, forests, rivers, hot springs, and mountains.
Sankri - Bali Pass
Sankri – Bali Pass

What is the best time to visit Bali Pass Trek?

As you have seen in the briefing section, the best time to visit this place is from May to October. However, out of these, you will get the best trekking experience in the months of May and June. In these months you will find snow after Ruinsara Tal. Thus, it will give a unique combination of both greenery and snow. The temperature during the day is 5-10®C and at night the temperature falls from -1 to -5®C. 

How to reach the starting point of the trek?

By now you might have realized that the starting point of the trek is Sankri. In case you are going for the trek from New Delhi or any other place, then you, first of all, need to reach Dehradun by flight or train. Thereafter, you can take direct buses to Sankri from Bus Station present near Dehradun railway station. Buses leave from their destinations in the morning from 5:30 am to 7:30 am. Also, you can opt for car bookings with pre-booking charges.

Availability of accommodations and food near the trek

  • Food: Since the entire trek is situated in Himalayan areas, you will not find many hotels and restaurants out there. But there are local dhabas available that offer local food. In case you don’t find one, ask your travel agency to offer packed lunch boxes.
  • Accommodation: You can stay in tents or guest houses as per your preference. If you find them too expensive, then you can also opt for guest houses. Many hamlets offer their houses as guest houses for accommodation at affordable prices. On this website, you will find numerous hotels providing accommodation at pocket-friendly prices. Just have a glance through them, and you will find the right one.

The Difficulty level of the Bali Pass Trek

Bali Pass Trek is one of the most difficult treks in India. Since the average altitude of Bali Pass is around 5000 meters, therefore, it is not at all recommended for beginners. You need to have a good trekking experience and an optimum level of fitness to complete the whole trek. In case you have any health problems mentioned in the next section, then you need to think again about your trekking decision. 

Preparation required for the Bali Pass trek

Preparation and planning go hand in hand if you are a trekking enthusiast. However, there are certain kinds of preparations you need to do before going on a trek. These are-

Financial Preparation for Bali Pass Trek

Apart from enjoying mesmerizing views of nature, trekking is all about finance and documents. Always book your tickets in advance. Carrying a copy of photo ID, documents of medical certificates and disclaimer forms are mandatory. Since there will be no electricity or basic facilities, make sure to bring batteries, chargers, cash, trekking shoes, and waterproof backpacks with you.

Physical Preparation for Bali Pass Trek

Certain health conditions can make your trek a difficult one. Therefore, you need to ensure to qualify for the following points related to health before deciding on the trek.

  • Pulse Rate (beats per minute): between 60 to 90 beats per minute
  • Blood Pressure (diastolic/systolic): 75/80 to 100/130
  • Respiratory rate: 12-20 breaths per minute
  • No liver & kidney issues
  • Should not have: Very High Blood Pressure, Bronchial Asthma, Diabetes Mellitus, Heart Problems, or Epilepsy.
  • No implants in the body.

Mental Preparation

Be excited and visualize yourself there. Ensure to minimize stress and homesickness. Have a healthy diet at least for one week before trekking. Also, be aware of the weather conditions of the trek locations. To enhance your familiarity with a new trek location like Bali Pass, you can read our blogs and watch videos. 

Throughout the trek, you will come across numerous villages and hamlets. Like Andharban Jungle Trek, you will find lush greenery in Bali Pass Trek too. Along with nature’s beauty, you will get a golden opportunity to learn the culture, food, religious beliefs, and house architecture of the Himalayan region. We will conclude this by wishing you a fantastic trek! 

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