If you are solo traveler visiting Himachal who is keen on trekking and hiking or want to kickstart your journey you might certainly have the question “Is solo trekking recommended in Himachal” on your mind.
I have personally hiked a bit in Himachal and based out of my experiences I would like to share my perspective on whether you go on a solo hike or trek in Himachal.
Is Solo Trekking Recommended In Himachal
Well there is no simple answer to this question. There are several factors that play a key role when deciding whether one should embark on a solo hike or trek in Himachal.
But one thing is for sure, if you do not have even a slightest of experience in traversing Himalayan trails be it simple or difficult, you should never solo trek or hike. It could lead to dangerous consequences.
If you are traveling solo for the first time in Himachal, here are some super useful tips for traveling alone in Himachal.
Is It Safe To Trek Solo In Himachal ?
Well it really depends on the nature of trek, altitude, difficulty, terrain, experience of the hiker.
So generally short treks or day hikes to villages, clearings above the villages are safe to trek solo if you have some experience. As trails to villages and such clearings are well-trodden paths often used by locals.
What Are The Dangers & Challenges Of Trekking Solo In Himachal?
To reiterate, day hikes to mid-altitude meadows, rustic villages, temples etc do not have any real dangers as such. Usually such paths or trails are well-defined and often frequented by the locals.
The only real danger on such day or short hikes is losing the way which really can be avoided by reconfirming with locals whether you are on the correct path.
Multi-day treks especially lesser frequented crossover treks, alpine lake treks are a different beasts altogether. And strictly should not be attempted solo unless you are a complete expert.
Your Mental and fitness game must be strong along with strong navigation skills and proper acclimatization if you were to trek solo on high altitude treks.
Carrying food, gear, navigating difficult patches like steep slopes, glacial fields, river crossings, crevices, scree slopes all alone will be difficult to manage all alone even for a seasoned trekker.
One mistake can really result in fatal situations. There have instances where solo trekkers have disappeared or found dead on high altitude treks.
My Perspective On Solo Trekking In Himachal
Never hike solo in Himachal if are a newbie to trekking and hiking. If you are wanting to solo hike, first understand the Himalayan trails and embark on short day hikes with a local guide at least for first few hikes.
Then gradually go all alone on short and easy, popular and well-marked trails and gradually taking things up a notch.
For multi-day hikes first learn how to find trails using GPS. Choose popular multi-day hikes initially and go along with a small group of like-minded people. Build from that experience and then take things further.
On a personal level its only recently that I have embarked on a few short solo hikes to rustic villages, clearings and temples in Himachal particularly in Kullu valley.
Initially I was always accompanied by my local homestay hosts. I slowly understood the Himalayan trails, build confidence and chose easy and short solo hikes. I am not particularly a big fan of multi-day treks.
Solo hike to Chikka on popular Hamta pass trail, solo hike to rustic village of Dachani, and solo hike to Mathsaur and badasaur in lug valley really helped my confidence.
Tips For Solo Hiking & Trekking In Himachal
Here are some tips that will help you, in case you have decided to hike solo in Himachal. I am no expert when it comes to hiking in Himachal.
But here are some tips based on personal experiences and observations while hiking solo and along with guides and locals in Himachal.
- Get familiar with Himalayan trails first. And go on hikes with locals and guides initially.
- After building experience choose popular, short, easy, well-marked day hikes
- Ask locals for directions on day hikes every now in order to avoid loosing the way.
- Learn from experts to navigate trails using GPS and maps for lesser frequented routes
- For multi-day treks choose simple, more popular trails initially
- Make some sound if solo hiking so that animals are aware of your presence especially in the forests
- Avoid trekking in darkness make sure you reach your destination or campsite before dark
- Be sure to check out weather forecast when for hikes and treks
- In case of multi-day high altitude treks, make sure you are acclimatized
- Buy light weight gear and pack light if you are planning multi-day hikes solo
- Carry good quality tents and sleeping bags when going for high altitude multi-day treks
- Avoid Solo hiking and hike with smaller like-minded for very difficult high altitude treks.
If you are looking to kickstart you hiking journey in Himachal, here 13 easy hikes and treks around Kullu Manali that are quite rewarding,
Easy Hikes And Treks For Solo Travelers In Himachal
Based on my experience, here are some easy hikes and treks you can do in Himachal as a solo traveler. Of course, make sure you have a bit of experience before embarking on these trails and hikes.
- Bijli Mahadev Hike in Kullu valley.
- Dhungri to Old Manali, Nature park
- Kaisdhar hike in Kullu valley
- Jogini falls hike near Manali, Kullu valley
- Grahan hike near Kasol, Parvati valley
- Kutla hike near Tosh
- Bhatkanda Hike in Raila, Sainj Valley
- Pashi village hike near Raila, Sainj valley
- Dehuri to Pundrik Rishi lake near Upper Neahi, Sainj valley
- Baloo Temple hike from Bahu, Kullu Saraj
- Chehni Kothi Hike Near Banjar, Kullu Saraj
- GHNP gate Rolla hike near Gushaini, Kullu Saraj
- Galingcha village hike near Bathad, Kullu Saraj
- Serolsar lake hike near Jalori Jot, Saraj valley
- Si Lha Gompa hike near Gondhla village, Lahaul valley
- Bokar Gompa hike near Kyelang, Lahaul valley
- Tayul Gompa hike near Stingri, Lahaul valley
- Poling village hike near Lohardi, Chota bhangal
- Swar village hike near Lohardi, Chota bhangal
- Judhar village hike near Lohardi, Chota bhangal
- Lapas waterfall hike near Barot. Chuhar valley
To sum it up, do not hike or trek all alone in Himachal if you are absolute beginner. Hire a guide or ask a local to accompany you at least for initial few hikes before you build experience and muster up the courage to go all alone.
Choose easy short hikes for your initial solo hikes in Himachal. In case you any queries regarding “Is solo trekking recommended in Himachal” reach me out in the comments below.