Kuari Pass: Ultimate Trek Guide 2024

The Kuari Pass Trek also known as “the Lord Curzon trail”, is an exhilarating adventure that takes you through the breathtaking landscapes of the Himalayas. Nestled in the Garhwal region of Uttarakhand, India, this trek offers a mesmerizing experience for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.

In this article, we will delve into the details of the trek, including its scenic beauty, difficulty level, the best time to visit, trek itinerary, safety measures, and much more.

Overview of Kuari Pass Trek

Kuari Pass Forest Trail
Photo by Akhil

The Kuari Pass Trek is a popular trail that spans approximately 33 kilometers. Situated at 3,800 meters, it offers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks, including Nanda Devi, Dronagiri, Kamet, and Trishul.

The trek usually starts from the picturesque village of Joshimath and takes you through dense forests, charming meadows, and snow-clad landscapes.

The Scenic Beauty

As you go on this trek, you’ll be mesmerized by the stunning natural beauty that unfolds before your eyes. The trail takes you through enchanting rhododendron and oak forests, where you can witness various flora and fauna.

The vibrant colors of the wildflowers, such as primroses and blue poppies, paint a picturesque canvas against the backdrop of snow-capped peaks.

The serene meadows of Gorson Bugyal and Tali Top offer breathtaking views of the Himalayas, making it a photographer’s paradise.

Kuari Pass Trek Difficulty Level

The Kuari Pass Trek is moderately difficult and suitable for both beginners and experienced trekkers. The trail involves a gradual ascent, allowing trekkers to acclimatize to the high altitude.

However, it is essential to maintain a good level of fitness and stamina as the trek involves walking for several hours each day.

Prior trekking experience is not mandatory, but regular exercise and cardiovascular training will enhance your trekking experience.

Best Time to Visit Kuari Pass Trek

The best time to go on this trek is from April to June and September to November. During these periods, the weather is pleasant, and the clear skies offer magnificent views of the surrounding peaks. The months of April and May bring the blossoming of rhododendrons, adding a vibrant touch to the landscapes. Avoid trekking during the monsoon season (July and August) due to heavy rainfall and the risk of landslides.

One can else do the trek in the months of December – February to enjoy the snowfall and see the winter wonderland.

Cost and Budgeting for Kuari Pass Trek

The cost of the trek can vary depending on various factors, such as the duration of the trek, accommodation choices, and transportation. The trek costs range from INR 8,000 to INR 12,000 +GST per person, including meals, accommodation, permits, guide charges, and equipment rental. 

It is advisable to book through a reputable trekking agency that provides experienced guides and ensures safety standards.

How to Reach Kuari Pass

To reach the starting point of the Kuari Pass Trek, you need to reach Joshimath, a town in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand. Joshimath is well-connected by road from major cities like Delhi, Dehradun, and Haridwar.

The nearest airport is Jolly Grant Airport in Dehradun, and the railway station is Rishikesh. You can hire a local taxi or take a shared cab from Joshimath to reach the trek starting point0

Kuari Pass Trek Itinerary

Kuari Pass Summit
Photo by Laksh Puri

Day 1: Arrival in Joshimath, Acclimatization, and Orientation

Upon your arrival in Joshimath, a picturesque town in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, you will be greeted by the stunning vistas of the Garhwal Himalayas. Joshimath is the base camp for the Kuari Pass Trek, and you will spend the first day acclimatizing to the high altitude and getting oriented for the upcoming adventure.

After checking into your accommodation, you can stroll through the town, exploring the local markets and soaking in the serene atmosphere. You should visit the famous Narasimha Temple, which holds great religious significance for the locals. Take this day to relax, adjust to the altitude, and prepare yourself physically and mentally for the trekking experience ahead.

Day 2: Joshimath to Auli (Drive) and Auli to Tali Top (Trek)

On the second day, you will go on your trekking journey. After an early morning breakfast, you will drive from Joshimath to Auli, a beautiful ski resort renowned for its panoramic views of the Nanda Devi and Kamet peaks. The drive to Auli is approximately 15 kilometers and takes about an hour.

Upon reaching Auli, you will start your trek toward Tali Top, which is situated at around 11,070 feet (3,375 meters) above the tree line. The trail winds through lush meadows and enchanting oak and rhododendron forests and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-capped peaks. It takes around 4-5 hours to reach Tali Top, where you will set up your camp for the night.

Day 3: Tali Top to Khulara (Trek)

After a rejuvenating night’s sleep amidst the tranquil surroundings of Tali Top, you will continue your trek toward Khulara. The trail gradually ascends, offering awe-inspiring views of the Himalayan ranges, including Mt. Nanda Devi, Mt. Dronagiri, and Mt. Chaukhamba.

As you go through the enchanting landscape, you will come across pristine alpine meadows dotted with vibrant wildflowers during the summer months. After approximately 5-6 hours of trekking, you will reach Khulara, a scenic camping spot at about 12,516 feet (3,815 meters). Settle into your camp, enjoy a delicious meal, and spend the night under the starry sky.

Day 4: Khulara to Kuari Pass (Trek) and Back to Khulara

The fourth day of the trek will be the most exhilarating as you make your way to the highlight of the journey, the Kuari Pass. After an early morning start, you will ascend through a steep trail, sometimes covered with snow, adding adventure to the experience.

Upon reaching the Kuari Pass, located at an altitude of approximately 12,516 feet (3,820 meters), you will be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of majestic peaks like Nanda Devi, Kamet, Chaukhamba, Trishul, and Dronagiri. Take time to soak in the awe-inspiring scenery, capture memorable photographs, and relish the sense of accomplishment.

After spending some time at the pass, you will retrace your steps and descend back to Khulara, where you will spend the night in your camp, surrounded by the serene beauty of the Himalayan wilderness.

Day 5: Khulara to Auli (Trek) and Auli to Joshimath (Drive)

On the final day of the trek, you will bid farewell to Khulara and commence your descent towards Auli. The trail offers mesmerizing views of the snow-clad peaks and verdant valleys, making for a memorable journey. The trek from Khulara to Auli takes around 3-4 hours.

Upon reaching Auli, you will board the waiting vehicle for a scenic drive back to Joshimath. The drive offers a final opportunity to immerse yourself in the majestic landscapes and reflect on the incredible experiences of the past few days. Upon reaching Joshimath, you can rest, celebrate your successful trek, and reminisce about the mesmerizing sights you encountered.

Please Note: This is a general itinerary, which is followed by most of the trekking groups in India. However, there might be slight differences on the itinerary depending on the trekking group you opt to go with. Some groups also start from Dhak village about 12 kms from Joshimath

Highlights of the Kuari Pass Trek

Camping on The Trek
Photo by Susmit Datta

The Kuari Pass Trek is a spectacular journey through the Garhwal Himalayas, offering a multitude of highlights that leave trekkers in awe of their surroundings.

  1. Panoramic Himalayan Views: The trek provides breathtaking panoramic views of towering Himalayan peaks such as Nanda Devi, Kamet, Chaukhamba, Trishul, and Dronagiri. The snow-capped summits create a mesmerizing backdrop throughout the journey.
  2. Kuari Pass Summit: The high point of the trek is reaching the Kuari Pass, situated at an elevation of around 12,516 feet (3,820 meters). Standing at the pass, trekkers are rewarded with a jaw-dropping 360-degree view of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
  3. Enchanting Campsites: The trek offers opportunities to camp in serene and picturesque locations. Camping amidst alpine meadows, surrounded by colorful wildflowers during the summer months, adds to the enchanting experience of the trek.
  4. Rich Biodiversity: The trail takes trekkers through lush forests of oak and rhododendron, showcasing the region’s rich biodiversity. Spotting exotic flora and fauna along the way, including vibrant Himalayan bird species, adds to the trek’s allure.
  5. Local Culture and Villages: Interactions with local villagers during the trek offer insights into the traditional mountain lifestyle and warm hospitality. Trekkers can witness the unique culture, architecture, and way of life of the Garhwal region.
  6. Scenic Beauty of Auli: The trek begins from Auli, a famous ski resort known for its stunning beauty and panoramic vistas. The meadows of Auli, adorned with vibrant flowers, create a picturesque setting at the start of the journey.

Exploring Nearby Attractions​

After completing the Kuari Pass Trek, you can explore nearby attractions like Auli, a popular skiing destination, and Badrinath, one of the Char Dham pilgrimage sites. The Valley of Flowers National Park, known for its vibrant alpine flowers, is also a must-visit attraction in the region.

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Essential Gear and Equipment for the trek

Proper gear and equipment are crucial for a successful and comfortable trek. Here’s a checklist of essential items:

  1. Sturdy trekking shoes
  2. Backpack
  3. Trekking poles
  4. Warm clothing, including thermals, fleece jackets, and down jackets
  5. Raincoat or poncho
  6. Sleeping bag
  7. Water bottles and hydration system
  8. Headlamp with extra batteries
  9. Sunscreen lotion and sunglasses
  10. First aid kit
  11. Snacks and energy bars

Safety Measures and Precautions

While undertaking the Kuari Pass Trek, it’s important to prioritize safety. Here are a few safety measures and precautions to keep in mind:

  1. Acclimatize properly to the high altitude.
  2. Stay hydrated and carry water purification tablets.
  3. Follow the instructions of your trek leader or guide.
  4. Carry necessary medications and a first aid kit.
  5. Dress in layers to adapt to changing weather conditions.
  6. Be cautious while walking on steep or slippery terrain.
  7. Respect the local culture and environment.

Tips for a Successful Kuari Pass Trek

Snowfall on the trek
Photo by Susmit Datta

To make your Kuari Pass Trek memorable and enjoyable, here are some valuable tips:

  1. Start preparing and training your body at least a month before the trek.
  2. Carry sufficient cash, as ATM facilities might be limited in remote areas.
  3. Pack light and carry only essential items.
  4. Stay hydrated and consume a balanced diet during the trek.
  5. Engage with the local community and learn about their culture.
  6. Respect the environment and leave no trace of your presence.
  7. Enjoy the journey and embrace the challenges that come your way.


Commencing on the Kuari Pass Trek is an experience that will leave you awe-struck by the majestic beauty of the Himalayas. With its scenic landscapes, moderate difficulty level, and a chance to immerse yourself in nature, this trek is an ideal choice for adventure seekers. So, pack your bags, lace up your trekking shoes, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime.


Kuari Pass is famous for its panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan peaks, including Nanda Devi, Kamet, Chaukhamba, Trishul, and Dronagiri. It is also known for its alpine meadows, pristine forests, and enchanting campsites.

Yes, the Kuari Pass trek is considered moderately difficult. It involves trekking through varied terrains, including steep ascents, rocky trails, and sometimes snowy paths. Prior trekking experience and a good level of fitness are recommended to fully enjoy the trek.

Kuari Pass is located in the state of Uttarakhand, India.

Kuari Pass is situated in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand, India.

Glimpses of the Kuari Pass Trek (Winter Trek Edition)

Video Credits: Ajay Panwar


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