Rupin Pass Trek

A Change In Scenery At Every Turn
Trek Fee : 14,950 + 5% GST
9 Days
Maximum Altitude
15,279 ft
Pickup point
Pickup point
Required Fitness
Base Camp
Minimum Age
Best time to visit
Best time to visit
May-June, Sept-Oct

A Change In Scenery At Every Turn

If there is a classic trek in India, it has to be the Rupin Pass. This trek is like an orchestra, building up momentum with surprises in scenery every hour or so. With every step, the trek throws up a new vista to see, a new scenery to unfold. Quite suddenly too!

The surprises begin right from your first day of trekking. When, around 20 minutes into the trail,  you see the Rupin River make an appearance, fanning out into a wide bed below you. And it doesn’t stop here. From here, the trail takes you through hanging villages and then quite suddenly, it plunges into a deep pine forest!  That’s not all. The trail then meanders through glacial meadows, snow bridges, glacial valleys, snow fields and hundreds of waterfalls!

The Rupin Waterfall is a wonderful surprise. You don’t see it coming until you actually see the whole waterfall ahead of you! Picture by Antara Naik

The only constant in this trail that keeps blindsiding you with surprises is the Rupin river. The blue waters of the Rupin runs along the trail as if to complement the scenery. Sometimes rushing, at times gliding by. This culminates in the famous three stage water fall of the Rupin in the U-shaped glacial valley.  When you see the waterfall from a distance, it appears to be falling from the clouds!

And then all this ends with a thrilling flourish in the adventurous pass climb. No wonder Rupin Pass trek is one of the most top treks to do. It is a grand adventure!  That being said, this is a moderate-difficult trek. You cover almost 10kms every day and the terrain is quite tricky. The climb to Rati Pheri from Upper waterfall and the steep ascent to Rupin Pass through the gully at 15,380 ft  require very good lung power. Prepare well!

Hanging villages are another surprise on the Rupin Pass trek. And you get to stay in two of them. Picture by Vishwas Krishnamurthy

What to Watch Out For

Lower waterfall campsite

The lower waterfall campsite is probably one of the most exquisite Himalayas has to offer. Snuggled at the bottom of a perfect “U” shaped glacial valley – it lies on the bed of a lush green meadow. From your view at the bottom of the meadow, snow patched cliffs tower on all three sides. In front, the Rupin cascades down from the snowy Dhauladhar range for over two thousand feet to form the famous Rupin waterfall.  Spending two days at this campsite is a luxury!

The lower waterfall campsite is a treat to the eyes. You can spend hours counting the number of small waterfalls on the cliffs around you. Picture by Vishwas Krishnamurthy

The adventurous pass crossing

The Rupin gully is a half tube cut out of the mountain side. When you first see it from the trail, the sight of the near-vertical climb is enough to make your heart stop. ( A sentiment even our staff and Trek Leaders attest to – despite having done this trek multiple times!) .  The climb is of 200 metres, on a steep snowy flank through narrow rocky confines of the mountain. As finding foothold in this terrain is difficult, our staff will cuts steps for you in the hard ice. As you climb, placing your foot on these steps – you find that voices echo and travel sharply all over the gully. This climb is as thrilling as it gets!

The pass-crossing on the Rupin Pass trek is an adventure on its own. You climb to a narrow, near-vertical gully to reach the pass. Picture by Vishwas Krishnamurthy

The grasslands on the Kinnaur side

From the snowline after the pass, the trail descends sharply through endless meadows that stretches all the way to Sangla Kanda.  The Ronti Gad campsite is amid these grasslands. Towering, snow capped mountains lean over the campsite and a bountiful stream flows along the camp.  This is a gift after the long pass day! The meadows of Sangla Kanda are awe-inspiring, especially in it’s setting. The sharp serrated edge of the Kinnaur Kailash range, all over 20,000 ft, overlooking the meadows of Sangla Kanda is enough to make you stand still in amazement.

The Rontigad campsite after crossing the Rupin Pass, on the Kinnaur side. Picture by Anirban Banerjee

 Short Itinerary

Day 1: Reach Dhaula; 10-11 hours drive from Dehradun. Transport will be organised from Dehradun Railway Station at 6.30 am. Cab cost – Rs. 6,000 per vehicle, to be paid by trekkers directly to the driver.

Day 2: Dhaula (5,230 ft) to Sewa (6,300 ft); 6 hours

Day 3: Sewa (6,300 ft) to Jiskun (7,700 ft); 6 hours

Day 4: Jiskun (7,700 ft) to Udaknal (10,318 ft); 5 hours

Day 5: Udaknal (10,318 ft) to Dhanderas thatch (11,700 ft); 5 hours

Day 6: Acclimatization Day

Day 7: Dhanderas thatch (11,700 ft) to Upper Waterfall camp (13,385 ft); 2 – 3 hours

Day 8: Upper Waterfall camp (13,385 ft) to Rupin Pass (15,279 ft) via Rati Pheri, further on to Ronti Gad (13,139 ft); 10-11 hours

Day 9: Ronti Gad (13,139 ft) to Sangla (8,776 ft) Via Sangla Kanda (11,427 ft); 6 hours.

From Sangla, we arrange a cab to Shimla. The cab leaves at 2.00 pm from Sangla and you reach Shimla at 1.00 am. The fare for this ride is Rs.9,000 per vehicle. It can seat 5-6 people.

We also arrange transport from Sangla to Kalka and also to Chandigarh.

Please note that you will be staying in tents on all days of the trek (3 per tent).

It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek. Since Dhaula will have limited facilities to photo copy, do not leave this till the end. 

The Trek

Day 1: Reach Dhaula

Dhaula (5,100 ft) is the base for the Rupin Pass trek. It is a sleepy hamlet of a dozen homes and the last road head of Uttarakhand.

The drive to Dhaula is on beautiful mountain roads and steadily gain altitude as you reach Dhaula. Deep valleys and thick forest cover keep you company. You will have to reach Dehradun on your own, and from the Dehradun Railway Station transport will be organized to Dhaula at an additional cost. It is approximately a 10 hr drive.

  • Altitude: 5,230 ft (1,594 m)
  • Time taken: 10-11 hours drive to Dhaula. Pick up from Dehradun at 6.30 am
Dhaula campsite next to the river. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

Day 2: Dhaula to  Sewa

  • Altitude: 5,230 ft (1,594 m) to 6,300 ft (1,920 m)
  • Time taken: 6 hours, 11 km
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Initial climb for a couple of hours followed by an easy, undulating walk with short climbs and drops.
  • Water sources: You can refill you water bottles from the Rupin river.
The temple at Sea set amidst orchards. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

Take the trail that starts at the village and heads up the valley to Sewa Gaon. Past a cattle shelter and an enormous collection of dung, the trail starts to climb sharply, 200 metres outside the village – a gentle reminder of more such climbs to come. The climb eases out in 20 minutes into the first change of scenery: the Rupin fans out 500 ft below you into a wide river bed. Friendly villages hang out of the hills on either side. Village kids scamper about with their shy smile and a gentle Namaste.

A curve in the trail and the next change in scenery: the Rupin careens out of a gorge. A sheer cliff face towers over the river so high that clumps of clouds hang about its face immobile and undecided. On the other slope, the trekking trail snakes its way up through apple and apricot trees.

Half an hour into the ascending trail, stop by at a road side eatery and the only one you’ll find before getting to Sewa. If you are lucky, a friendly girl will take your order for tea and biscuits. She is the owner, manager, cook and the washer woman of the place. Sip the much welcome tea and enjoy the view of the cliff face looming over you and the sound of the Rupin pounding at the bottom of the gorge many hundred feet below.

Sewa at 6,300 ft is your camp for the day. Visit the village temple adorned with medals and an electric clock.

The two storey temple combines local and Kinnaur traditions, not surprising with the Himachal border so close.

The temple is said to be a combination of classical and local folk art mastered by the local kingly clans who once use to rule the Tons and Kinnaur regions. To understand the true theocratic character and historical background, one can look at its details – such as the Kinnauri carvings on the wood, the old relics of local deities, the old coins engraved on the walls.

The temple was build in reverence to “Karna” from Mahabharata. Look out for old hanging medallions of sorts on the walls. Not much is known about the symbolism of the temple. If you want to read more about these temples history and architecture, we suggest reading “Temple Architecture of the Western Himalaya: Wooden Temples” by Omacanda H.

Day 3: Sewa to  Jiskun

  • Altitude: 6,300 ft (1,920 m) to 7,700 ft (2,347 m)
  • Time taken: 5 hours, 8 km
  • Trek gradient: Difficult. Easy walk for the first 3 hours followed by a steep ascent to Jiskun for 2 hours.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Sewa. Water sources are available up to about an hour before you reach Jiskun.
From the jungle, the trail suddenly brings you on to the river bed. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

The trail out of Sewa cuts across a mixture of barley and potato fields and suddenly dips into a deep dark jungle – so thick that the darkness is overpowering. The descent through the mixed forest over a slushy and often smelly trail pops out into the bright river bed of the Rupin. A change so sudden and different that you need to look back just to check your bearings. For the first time on the trek you actually trek on the river and not alongside it.

Gleefully hop over and crisscross the many rivulets of the river. Veer to your left and join the trail that goes over a small wooden bridge across a stream that flows into the Rupin. Spend some time on the bridge, which is no-man’s land. On either side are the states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

In fifteen minutes you get down to the bank of the river where you can easily pitch 7-8 tents. This place is called as Haldi Khad. The trail goes flat until you climb up from the banks to the roadhead of Gosangu.

The village of Dodra, the remotest Tehsil of Himachal, is above Gosangu and takes a half hour climb to get there. If you decide to break your trek at Gosangu, you can get buses to Rohru and then to Shimla from Dodra. The other end of the road climbs up to Kitwari, where there’s a BSNL tower coming up.

Prepare yourself for a bit of huff and puff that the trail has in store for you for the day. The good bit is that the climb sections are always followed by gentle level walks.

Take the road towards Kwar, cross the wooden bridge and head towards the iron bridge over the Rupin. Just before the road takes a dip to meet the river, take any of the trails on the left that climb and meet with the overhanging trail to Jiskun.

Once on the main trail to Jiskun, the changing sights start to confront you relentlessly. First, the trail itself: what was until now a wide bodied path suddenly turns into a narrow trail. The mountain slope no longer gentle, but a towering precipice, climbs interminably. The trail hangs out of the face, like a lip. As you peer over the edge, far below, the Rupin glistens as the sun catches its rapids.

A bend in the trail, a short clamber over a narrow section and you stop short: a sight least expected. A picturesque waterfall cascades down on the trail, it’s source so high above that you can’t see it. The water so gentle and fine, yet with so much volume, that you want to take in a shower. Spend a while taking pictures — and perhaps even a refreshing swipe under it.

Another few anxious moments of overhanging trail walk and you come to a rapidly flowing stream, the Raj Gad. This is an ideal place to take a breather – after this is a long climb to Jiskun village. Take off your shoes to cross this stream. You don’t want to get your feet and boots wet at this stage.

The trail forks immediately as the Raj Gad vanishes from view behind you. Both trails look suspiciously similar. Take the trail heading up. It is a long hour’s climb to Jiskun village.

Jiskun, high above the confluence of Nargani and Rupin, is a village in two parts — lower Jiskun  is now called Bawta. For a trekker it is a welcome break. You sight a friendly tea house for a much welcome rest. Soon after the trail winds endlessly up, until you reach upper Jiskun half an hour later. Cross the first post office of Himachal Pradesh, and take a break at the many eateries here. Jiskun is a good place to replenish your supplies if you are running short. There are local stores where you can stock up on your rice, wheat, sugar, spices and vegetables.

Day 4: Jiskun to Udaknal

  • Altitude: 7,700 ft (2,347 m) to 10,318 ft (3,145 m)
  • Time taken: 6 hours, 8.7 km
  • Trek gradient: Difficult. An hour’s descent followed by an hour’s steep ascent, easing off till the fir forest. Steep descent for an hour followed by a gentle walk.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You can refill your water bottles at Jhaka, 3.5 km from Jiskun. An hour’s descent from Jhaka will bring you to the Rupin river, which will stay with you for the rest of the day.
Stepping past the post office of the Jiskun village, peer straight ahead and high up into the horizon. A cluster of houses, marking a village, hangs out of the mountainside – so incredulous, that it takes time for you to fathom how a village can hang from the walls of a mountain. The village is Jhaka. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

It is a 3½ km walk to Jakha, the highest and the last village on the Rupin pass trek. The trail out of Jiskun descends rapidly through a forest of deodars and walnut until it reaches an enchanting dark fold in the mountain. The fold’s upper reaches are dark and beyond human touch. Sight the remains of an old wooden bridge, almost hidden in the foliage. Below, at eye level, cross the new wooden bridge and crane your neck up to an eerie trail cut out of the rock face. So out of place and strange, you need moments to fathom how this was built and who made them.

The next one hour climb to Jakha is through one of the best trekking trails. The scenery changes frequently. The trail initially zig-zags up on the ridge line of the slope. Looking up from below, the trail appears ominous, reaching out to the sky. Once you start climbing it isn’t as monumental as it looks. The trail winds through an enchanting mixed forest – with cliff faces on the other side of the valley and whistling birds keeping you company on this side. Two thirds of the way up, watch out for an equally broad trail that forks to your left. The other trail heads up to a village, Dhara, higher than Jakha. Stick to the trail that veers to the right.

The trail mostly climbs with one gentle walk in between. Jakha is a village completely enveloped in the ways of the Satsang. No meat is taken here. Avoid asking for any live animals or eating meat out of canned tins. The campsite is just above the village and doubles up as the children’s playground. An alternative campsite is the school courtyard itself.

Jakha is the last stop to replenish your supplies and also to look for porters if you are running short of either. For the next few days of your trek, there is rarely a soul you’ll encounter, except shepherds tending to their flocks. This is how it is until you reach Sangla.

The well defined trail ascends past the playground, passing through fields of the upper Jakha village before entering a magnificent fir forest. The entry to the forest is again so sudden that it is almost like someone has opened up a gate to let you in. The towering blue pines, each more than few centuries old, take you through pristine and untouched surroundings. If you have a keen eye, catch a few maple trees within the pines, their golden orange leaves strewn amidst the pine cones.

Half an hour outside Jakha village, the trail flattens out and plunges into a fir forest, so sudden that it is almost as if a gate has opened up. Pine trees over 100 feet tall tower over the trail. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

On the other side of the trail, high above, cliffs hang over the V-shaped valley. In their crags you notice the first patches of snow. An hour into the descending walk through the fir forest, and around a bend in the trail, is the biggest surprise of the day.

Stretched under is a vast snow bridge across the Rupin – the last thing that you would expect on the trail. With no trace of snow earlier and only glimpses of snow patches at higher ground, finding a snow bridge at a lower height will make you gasp.

Run down to the snow bridge, put on your sunglasses, and for the first time on the trek feel snow under your boots. The snow bridge is magnificent, with the Rupin carving out gaps and holes through it. Climb up to the higher reaches of the snow bridge, cross the Rupin and get on to the trail on the other side.

Note: During some blistering summer years the snow bridge melts with no chance of crossing. But don’t worry, the original trail, after a brief crossing of a tributary stream over wooden logs, continues further until you come to a wooden bridge that gets you to the other side of the Rupin.

The trail is no longer wide but a narrow foot trodden path made by passing cattle and the shepherds. Follow the trail until you get to a wooden bridge mentioned above. Do not cross the bridge, but carry on with the Rupin on your left.

The bridge has its advantages though. Higher up, to the right of the bridge is the first open grassland of Udakanal. Trekkers often camp here. But 2½ hrs out of Jakha is hardly the time to camp. Carry on further for more excitement stored for the day.

The scenery is rather different from what you have left behind. Most times the trail follows the course of the Rupin. Little tributaries from the upper reaches of the mountain flow into the Rupin, their bottom characterized with perennial snow patches. Often you are walking on the boulder strewn river bed. The Rupin changes colour to a glorious icy blue – the water clear as crystal. No need to look for water to quench your thirst – just dip into the Rupin.

After an hour and half of intermittent boulder walk, and hopping over many cascading streams that feed the Rupin, the trail climbs and heads to the right, heading for a clump of forest. Just before the trail enters there forest, you are met with a small open grass land. It is easily recognizable by a big rivulet that gushes out of the hill side – the water pure and clean. This is Burans Kandi, an excellent place to camp if you don’t mind the many cows that graze in the bounties of nature here.

Day 5: Udaknal to Dhanderas thatch (lower water fall camp)

  • Altitude: 10,318 ft (3,145 m) to 11,700 ft (3,566 m)
  • Time taken: 4 hours, 4.6 km
  • Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Gradual ascent all the way; tricky terrain over the snow bridge.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You can refill water bottles from the river.
Dwarf rhododendrons appear on the trail once you emerge out of the forest. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

Below, the Rupin thunders on. On the opposite bank, huge snow patches cover the gullies that once were part of glaciers feeding the river. A clump of forest starts just outside the camp area, and before you know it, you are in deep foliage.

The ascent is steep. The Rupin next to you and on your left climbs along rapidly in a series of mini water falls. The climb isn’t for long. Ten minutes later it evens out to leave you speechless. You are surrounded by thousands of Rhododendrons in full bloom. Where did they come from? They are in myriad colours – white, pink, purple. They are everywhere. The Rhododendrons are the dwarf kind and rarely cross your chest. The trail weaves through the roots of the plants and some hang out on the Rupin – their flowers touching the clear waters of the river.

A small clearing and the Rhododendrons now adorn the slopes, the plants climbing a few thousand feet into the air. Walk a bit further to a bigger clearing and get your second surprise of the day. You are in a glade with the Rupin on your left forking to give away to a little island. The island has a carpet of green grass, lush with life. Right in the middle are a few Silver birch trees completing a picture of utmost serenity. Just as you thought that the glade was a pretty sight, for the first time on your trek you catch a glimpse of the famous Rupin waterfall in the far distance. You can’t help but gasp. The sight of the U-shaped valley and the Rupin climbing down from the clouds above will make you hold on to something just to steady yourself. Bet on excitement to set in as you relish the prospect of an amazing adventure in store.

The day’s walk is perhaps one of the best you’ll ever do. What’s amazing about Saruwas thatch is the sight of the Rupin gushing out of a gorge just ahead and to your left. While everyone’s seen a gorge from above, very few can claim to see a gorge at eye level.The heady sight behind you, walk along an even trail with snow patches on the mountain side to your right getting bigger and lower around you. Silver birches (Bhoj trees) are common, their barks peeling off to reveal the sacred Bhoj leaves. Collect a few as souvenirs. The legend goes that the epic Ramayana was written on these leaves. Climb to a bump on the trail – and let the big surprise of the day overcome you.

The climb through forest and shrubs makes way to a grand amphitheater of green. You stand on the edge and enjoy front row seats of a grand scale production. As you peer from the lip of the U-Shaped valley you notice thousands of waterfalls cascading down its brown walls to meet the Rupin. In contrast, laid out in front of you are miles of green meadows, dotted with thousands of yellow marigolds. And in between the undulating meadows the Rupin gracefully snakes its way down from its source. To top the scenery you have white snow patches lying scattered all along on the edges of the meadows.

Climb down to the valley of yellow marigolds. Enjoy the gentle undulating walk to the first hurdle of your trek: a snow bridge over the Rupin. The slope of the snow bridge is much steeper than you can anticipate. Get a good grip and try to climb upward and higher. The steep bit isn’t for long and the flat of the snow bridge is a thrill to walk on. Crossing the snow bridge is easy and soon you are on the left bank of the Rupin.

The walk climbs gently through the lushness of the meadows. Every few steps tiny brooks gurgle under your boots as you hipety hop over them. Wild flowers sprout everywhere. This time they are blue, purple, green, yellow and white. The Rupin gently makes it way down the valley, an icy blue.

Cross a big boulder sitting on the edge of the river and find the Rupin fanning out into a wide river bed. Step on the river bed and walk along its edge and reach the base of another snow bridge, the biggest of all you have come cross. Climb on to the snow bridge and cross the Rupin once more, bringing you to the base of a short climb that leads to a plateau above.

The climb is like inching along near the top of a roller coaster ride, waiting, anticipating for the next view. It doesn’t disappoint you. You have arrived at the prettiest meadow of the trek, a site so beautiful, that you want to set up camp right there. And you do, for no Himalayan camp site can better the location. You are in the middle of the valley’s bowl. Ahead, the Rupin thunders down its three stages of waterfall. Beyond the waterfall is the alpine Dhauladar Range looming large. On your two sides are the snowy valley walls with their numerous waterfalls.

Water isn’t a problem. You just have to walk in any direction to find a crystal clear icy rivulet passing by. Pitch tent but sit out on the grandest landscaped lawn that nature can serve up. This is Dhanderas Thatch.

Day 6: Acclimatization day at Dhanderas Thatch

Lower waterfall campsite, with waterfalls running off surrounding cliffs and the big waterfall thundering in the distance. PC: Regina Tang

Day 7: Dhanderas thatch to Upper Waterfall camp 

  • Altitude: 11,700 ft (3,566 m) to 13,385 ft (4080 m)
  • Time taken: 3 hours , 2.4 kms
  • Trek gradient: Moderate. Continuously climbing trail, tricky around the snow patches at the base and top of the waterfall.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You can refill your water bottles at streams.
You need to be careful while crossing the numerous snow patches on the way to Upper waterfall. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

This is perhaps the most important day of your trek. The acclimatization climb to the top of the waterfall will help you immensely for a super successful climb to the Rupin pass.

From Dhanderas Thatch the altitude gain for the Rupin pass crossing is almost 2,500 ft. It is considerable and it is almost certain that many will suffer from altitude sickness. It makes better sense to climb up about 1,500 ft to the top of the waterfall, allow your body to feel the effects of the altitude.  Acclimatized somewhat, your body is better prepared for the grueling climb to the Rupin pass the next day. Unlike most days, start your day at leisure. Let strength come back to your limbs. After breakfast, prepare for the climb to the top of the waterfall.

It is about a kilometer to the base of the waterfall from Dhanderas Thatch. On the way you’ll get plenty of streams to hop and jump over and the wild display of yellow marigolds. Sometimes, the marigolds are laid out in a carpet and you just want to lie down on them.

Things get serious when you reach the snow patch at the base of the waterfall. Avoid getting on the snow patch directly, but climb against its side on the boulder strewn hill side until you come to the trail that cuts across the snow patch. It would make sense to have a stick or trekking pole for support. An ice-axe is extremely helpful here. If the trail has already been made on the ice-patch, send a prayer of thanks upwards. If the trail is barely visible, then start cutting steps with your boots or ice-axe and slowly inch your way across the ice patch. This brings you to the top of the lower water fall.

(Note: the step cutting is invaluable and can save your life from a slip or a fall)

It is another similar series of snow patch crossing and intermittent climbs before you are on to the big snow bridge over the Rupin. The sight is spectacular when you stand on the middle of the snow bridge and look up to the waterfall and watch the Rupin disappear under your feet hidden somewhere under the snow bridge. At this spot you are over the middle water fall.

Crossing over to the other side of the Rupin, it is a steep climb flanking the slopes that leads to the top of the waterfall. It is like climbing a series of ledges (and a minor snow patch) before getting down to the meadow at the top of the waterfall.

For the first time you catch a view of what it is actually like at the top of the waterfall. It is quite unlike what you expected, keeping to the tradition of surprises of the Rupin trail. It is a wide meadow, reaching out to a flat bowl. Streams fed from the alpine snowy flank that converge on the bowl merge together to form the Rupin.

rupin pass trek
The upper waterfall campsite in June when the snow gives way to the green shoots. Pic: Rohil Waghmare

Get down to the snout of the waterfall and sit on the edge. Dangle your legs over as you watch the Rupin crash down to the valley below. This is the top of the waterfall, a spot that has been in your sight the last two days.

Day 8: Upper Waterfall camp to Rupin Pass via Rati Pheri, further on to Ronti Gad

  • Altitude: 13,385 ft (4080 m) to 15,279 ft (4,657 m) to 13,139 ft (4,005 m)
  • Time taken: 10-11 hours , 7.4 kms
  • Trek gradient: Difficult. Steep climb to the pass followed by a steep decent.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water from the camp before starting. Refill your water bottles completely at Rati Pheri – 1 hour after you begin. Water sources will be limited hereafter.
Towards Rupin Pass
Marching towards Rupin Pass. PC: Vinod Krishna

Steep climb to the pass followed by a sharp descent. This is the longest day of your trek and the most gruelling – and perhaps the most exciting too. It has enough adventure in store to haunt your memories for a long time.

Start your day even before sun up. Make sure you are out of the camp by 5:00 am. Carry breakfast with you. You’ll need the energy boost for your brief halt at the top of the pass.

The trail to Rati Pheri starts out to the left of the meadow, climbing steeply along a snow patch that looks a mile long. The climb gains altitude in bountiful. An hour into the climb, the ascent veers left, rounding the shoulder of a ridge and opens out to the camping grounds of Rati Pheri. Stop here for a breather and much needed drink of water (and also fill your bottles for water source is limited until you cross the pass). Also, marvel at the change in scenery.

The Rupin valley that has been your companion for the last six days is lost to view, and the alpine Dhauladar range takes its place to your right and across the valley. It is now snow fields and alpine country till you get to the Rupin pass. This is a good time to put on your gaiters if you are carrying them.

From Rati Pheri, for the first time, across vast acres of snow fields, you get a glimpse of the Rupin pass, a tiny gap on the ridge line of the Dhauladar. It looks so far away, that the thought of actually climbing through the gap does not register.

The slow walk over the undulating snow fields is endless. The snow makes the going difficult. At times you are going to slip and slide a few meters. At times your foot is going to sink in up to the thighs. But never is it going to get so difficult that it scares the life out of you. The scenery is singularly white.

There are no tracks on the snow and you need to keep a general sense of direction towards the Rupin pass gully. The good news is, there are hardly any chances of losing your way, and if you keep your sight on the pass and stick to your right, you will eventually, after an arduous trek of an hour and half, come to the foot of the Rupin pass gully.

Rest for a while, collect your breath and prepare yourself for a thrilling adventurous climb through the Rupin pass gully.

A word of caution here: The trek through the gully is a short climb of about 200 meters. What makes the climb tricky is the loose stones and boulders (scree) that line its entire length. Add to it the initial climb leading to the gully over a steep snowy flank of the slope. Footholds on the icy slope are difficult to find and scrambling on all fours is sometimes the only option. An ice-axe to cut steps is extremely handy here.

It is a good idea to let your guides and porters go in advance as they can mark out the route for you. In addition they can give you precious hand-holds in some of the tricky stretches.

Climb in a single file and place your step in the hollow of the footstep in front. Watch for falling stones and rocks and gingerly make your way to the base of the gully.

The gully is a half tube cut out of the mountain side. Voices echo and travel sharply all over the gully. Conversations at regular tone get amplified and it is fun listening to the travails of the trekkers as they make their way up the gully.

Crane your neck up to the mouth of the gully. A multitude of prayer flags flutters in the high winds that blow across. You are looking at the Rupin pass.

The climb through the gully is as thrilling as it gets. The rocky world is surreal. The anticipation of reaching the pass exhilarating. It won’t take you more than fifteen to twenty minutes to get to the top of the pass.

The pass is a saddle on a ridge line cutting its way through and across the Dhauladar range. For the first time you catch views of the Sangla side of the mountain – and you are again spun into the world of eternal surprises of the trek. The green open mountainscape is so much in stark contrast to the snow and alpine country behind you that it takes a while for the scenery to sink in.

The Rupin Pass

Hundreds of little stone cairns line up the ridge line of the Rupin pass. Multicolour prayer flags flutter in the high winds of the pass. All around are the many branches of the Dhauladar range, like a spider’s legs branching off from the Rupin pass.

View from Rupin Pass with the Razor sharp Kinnaur Kailash range in the background
View from Rupin Pass with the Razor sharp Kinnaur Kailash range in the background

On the Sangla side, the descent is steep and the only place to camp is in the vast meadows below the snowline. Unlike the Rupin side, getting down to the snowline is quicker and steeper.

Step out of the pass and slide down the chutes of the snow. And if you think you can walk down the slope (like I did), that’s a big mistake. There’s only one way to get down and that’s on your bottom.

The slide down the slope is in three stages and each them is so much fun that you want to do it again. Grown ups squeal and whoop in delight as the rush of sliding the slope brings to surface the little ones in everyone. Within minutes you lose about 400 ft in altitude.

After the slides the slope evens out to a more manageable trudge over snow. Numerous melting streams trickle out of the snow below your feet joining the now roaring feeder of the Rukti gad.

It takes slightly more than an hour to get to the edge of the snowline. Looking back, Rupin pass is high above, a speck in the ridge line.

From the snowline, there is a sharp descent to the endless meadows that stretches all the way to Sangla Kanda (3 hours away). At the base of the descent there is a clear bountiful stream. Pitch camp at the even grounds that is around it. Remnant of old camping fire are another way to recognize the camping ground – otherwise indistinguishable from the surrounding. This is the camping grounds of Ronti Gad – another green paradise on earth.

The campsite at Ronti Gad. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

You are again in meadows land – but the scenery is different. Towering, snow capped mountains lean over the campsite. The visual is a blend of whites of the snows and the greens of the meadows. A just reward for a hard day’s trekking, starting at 13,100 ft, climbing to 15,380 ft and then dropping down to 13,100 ft. At Ronti Gad you are going to spend your coldest night of the trek, so dive into your sleeping bags early for a well deserved rest.

Day 9: Ronti Gad to Sangla Via Sangla Kanda

  • Altitude: 13,139 ft (4,005 m) to 8,776 ft (2,675 m) via 11,427 ft (3,483 m)
  • Time taken: 6 hours , 11.9 kms.
  • Trek gradient: Moderate – difficult. You will be constantly descending today.
  • Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You will find several water  taps along the trail as you begin to approach villages.
Sangla Kanda
The lake at Sangla Kanda. PC: Anirban Banerjee

The descent to Sangla is hell on your knees and toes but makes up for everything with its ever changing scenery. For the first time you get to view the Kinner Kailash range and the blue pines of the Baspa valley.

Start the day leisurely but not too late. The descent will make you lose height rapidly and it can get rather warm near Sangla (that’s all comparative with the chilling height of the Rupin Pass)

The trail out of the campsite is a shepherd’s trail that heads to the valley below. After days you will come across shepherds tending to their flocks. Multiple trails join your path and some go away from it. If you come to two trails that look alike and you want to make a choice, it doesn’t matter. All of them lead to Sangla Kanda. Only, avoid the trails that head down to the river.

After an hour and half and a drop of over a 1,500 ft, the trail leaves the narrow valley of the Ronti Gad, veers left and opens out to the valley overlooking the Rukti Gad. To the right, is the snow bound Nalgan pass, a gentle reminder of a trek for another day.

The meadows abound the entire slope of the mountains, the snows behind and out of sight. What takes your breath away is the sudden appearance of the Kinner Kailash range right in front. The sharp serrated edge of the range all over 20,000 ft overlooking the meadows of Sangla Kanda is enough to make you stand still, awed by the moment — that has now become an expected twist and turn of the Rupin pass trek plot.

Far below are the first signs of civilization – the lake of Sangla Kanda and the tiny settlement of the village. It takes another hour and half to get to the village. The sharp descent would have taken a toll on your toes and knees – and the village is a good place to take a break. The villagers are warm and friendly and you can always get yourself a warm cup of tea exchanging stories of your climb to the Rupin pass.

There are many trails that lead out of Sangla Kanda to Sangla. Ask a villager for directions or take any trail that turns right. Most trails would join the main trail that skirts its way around and below the lake. After days, you get below the tree line – and almost welcome it.

Intricately carved wooden house at Sangla. PC: Vishwas Krishnamurthy

The mixed vegetation abruptly gives way to a forest of blue pines – the last of the surprises of the trek. The trail to Sangla is now entirely along the Rukti Gad (about 500-700 ft below). The descent through the pines is refreshing and occasionally you come across hectic activity of a road being built. The road is a feeder that in future would connect Sangla and Kanda – a much needed infrastructure for the locals but a blob in the landscape for a trekker from the Rupin pass.

The trail is broad and descends rapidly to Sangla passing quaint wooden houses and step farms. The woods of the blue pine give way to apple orchards and more of civilization. Telephone lines, a resting place in the middle of the track, cell phone connectivity and you know Sangla is not too much further off.

Half an hour later and a sharp descent to the Baspa along a school with children in uniform, you get to the bridge below the forest rest house. Cross the muddy waters of the Baspa, look back one last time at the blue pines behind and above you – a symbol of a trek that is part of the best that the country can give you.

Footnote: From the bridge over the Baspa, it is a steep 20 minute climb to the motorable road at Sangla. There are many concrete lanes that you can take to get to the main road and some wind their way without seeming to go anywhere. Ask for directions to the bus stand, though the route is clearly marked in paint.

At the bus stand, there are restaurants where you can eat and places to stay. Most of them are good and offer basic bed and bedding. Charges are reasonable and quite negotiable. The last bus to Shimla leaves at 5:00 pm and gets to Shimla at 3:00 am the following day.

How to get to the basecamp – Dhaula

Delhi → Dehradun → Dhaula

The Rupin Pass trek starts from Dhaula, 197 km from Dehradun. 

Indiahikes organises transport from Dehradun to Dhaula. The pick up is at 6.30 am from Dehradun Railway Station on Day 1. It costs Rs.6,000 per cab one way. This is not included in the fee. It is to be shared amongst trekkers and paid directly to the driver. 


To reach Dehradun

The best way to reach Dehradun is to take an overnight train from Delhi. There are two trains available from Delhi to Dehradun.

  • 12205 Nandadevi Express – 23.50 – 5.40
  • 12055 DDN Jan Shatabdi – 15.20 – 21.10 (reach the previous night)

If you cannot find a train, then take a bus. To stay on the safe side, book buses online in advance. Book such that you have some buffer time to make it to Dehradun on time for the pick-up; buses usually get delayed.

Getting back

Option 1: Sangla to Shimla by cab

The Rupin Pass trek ends at Sangla, which is a small touristy village in Himachal. From Sangla, we arrange a cab to Shimla. The cab will cost around Rs. 9,000 for an SUV that 5-6 trekkers can share. You have the option of starting for Shimla by 2.00 pm on Day 9 and reaching by 1.00 am the following morning. Buses to Chandigarh depart from Shimla bus stand at 5.00 am. Many of our trekkers wait in the bus stand itself to board one of these. It is safe to wait at the Shimla bus stand.

If you wish to avoid traveling at night, stay overnight at Sangla and leave at 6.00 am the following morning. You will reach Shimla by 4.00 pm. Buses leave from Shimla to Delhi every 15 minutes.

In case you require help with finding accommodation in Sangla, please speak with your trek leader during the trek. The cost of stay in Sangla will have to be borne by trekkers.

Option 2: Sangla to Shimla by bus

There are 2 local buses from Sangla to Shimla –

  • 5.30 pm – you can take this the same evening you finish the trek and reach Shimla by 6.00 am the following day
  • 6.30 am – you can take this bus the following day and reach Shimla in the evening

There are buses leaving from Shimla to Delhi every 15 minutes. The cost of stay in Sangla is not included in the trek fee.

Taking a bus from Sangla to Shimla will be the most economical option.

Stay at Shimla, if required, will have to be booked by trekkers on their own.

In case you wish to go directly to Kalka or Chandigarh, you will need to arrange for transportation on your own. Your Ground Coordinator can help you with the contact details of the transport provider. Here are the options – 

Sangla → Kalka → Delhi
You will reach Sangla at around 1 pm after you trek. You can take a cab that evening and head to Kalka. The cab will cost you around Rs. 11,000 for an SUV. Around 5-6 people can share this cab. From Kalka, there is a Shatabdi that goes to Delhi. It leaves at 6.15 am. You will be in Delhi by 10 am. If you leave Sangla at 4 pm, you will reach Kalka by 4 am and have some buffer time at the railway station.

Sangla → Chandigarh
Another option if you have to get to an airport is to go to Chandigarh. From Sangla, you can take a cab to Chandigarh. This will cost you around Rs. 13,500 for an SUV that 5-6 trekkers can share. If you leave Sangla by 4pm, you will reach Chandigarh by 6 am.

Please note, transport providers who drive to Chandigarh require a special permit since that is in a different state. Most have valid permits to operate vehicles only within Himachal Pradesh. If you opt to hire a cab directly to Chandigarh or Kalka, ensure that you confirm in advance with your transport provider about the validity their permit in Chandigarh.

Network Connectivity
There is no network connectivity on this trek. If you are lucky you will get patchy BSNL signal at Sewa and Jiskum.


How to prepare for the Rupin Pass trek

Rupin Pass is a moderate – difficult trek. No two ways about it. Every day, you cover around 10 km on an average and gain a good amount of altitude. Over 4 days, you climb from 5,100 ft to a highest point of 15,380 ft. So you gain 10,000 ft over just the first five days of trekking! If you want to do this trek comfortably and enjoy all the surprises it offers, you will need to prepare well.

Cardiovascular endurance – Target 10 km in 60 minutes before the start of the trek
The Rupin Pass trek requires a good amount of endurance and stamina. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start slow and increase your pace everyday. Swimming, cycling and stair climbing without too many breaks in between can help too.

In order to be prepared for a high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.

Here’s a fitness routine that works:

In case you’re just starting with a regular fitness routine, phase out your distance targets in the following manner –

–>Target completing 5 km in 40 minutes when you begin.
–> Gradually increase your pace by running 4 times a week and bring it down to 5 km in less than 35 mins.
–>If you are above 45 years and is comfortable with brisk walking, then target covering 10km in 90 minutes.

If you are somebody you prefers cycling over running, then try to cover 25 km in 60 minutes.

How to send us a proof of your fitness routine?

Record your run on an app like Nike Run. Start recording your run when you start running. At the end of your run, hit the stop button.

Take a screenshot of the summary of your run. We will need a detailed split of each kilometre of your run. This is usually integrated in all running apps.

Note: Make sure your GPS is on when you record your run. If the GPS is off, we will not accept the screenshot.

Upload two screenshots 10 days prior to the start of the trek — one of you covering 5km in less than 35 mins along with your picture and the other with splits of your run.

Strength – Target 4 sets of squats with 20 in each

This is another area you should work on. There is a lot of trekking distance that you will cover in high altitude carrying your backpacks.  You have to walk on uneven terrain during the trek. It could be taxing for your legs. For this, strengthening your legs will help. You can do some squats to strengthen them. Start with 3 sets of squats, with 8 squats in each set and work towards reaching your target in 3 weeks.


Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.

Here is a chart that you can follow to get fit for your trek.

Working out indoors
If you can’t go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here’s a video you can use to work out indoors.

Things to take on the Rupin Pass trek


Bare Necessities

  1. Trekking shoes: The Rupin Pass trek has different kinds of terrain. A majority of the trail is rugged, with rocks, loose soil and boulders. After the first few days on rugged terrain, you walk on lovely meadows and then on snow. So its imperative that you have a good pair of trekking shoes. So ensure you wear a good pair of shoes. You can learn how to select the right pair from this video.
  2. Backpack (40-60 litres): A backpack with sturdy straps and a supporting frame.


On a trek, carry fewer clothes than you would normally need. Do not pack for ‘what if situations’. That will only add to the weight of your backpack and not be used on the trek. Once your clothes get warmed up on a trek, you will not feel like changing. Just maintain personal hygiene.

  1. Three warm layers: Here’s a video on how you can layer yourself.
  2. Three trek pants: Wear one pair and carry one pair. This should be enough. But your pants could get wet while sliding, so carry an extra pair. Denim/jeans and shorts are not suitable for trekking.
  3. Three collared t-shirts: Carry light, full sleeved t-shirts that prevent sun burns on the neck and arms. Let one of these be a dri-fit t-shirt. It will dry quickly in case you are trekking on a rainy day. A common mistake that trekkers make is not changing their tshirts often enough. Regardless of how cold it is, the body tends to sweat a lot. Trekkers who don’t change to fresh clothes after reaching the campsite fall ill due to wet clothes and are often unable to complete their trek. 
  4. Thermals: Carry thermals to keep warm at night. Keep them fresh. Don’t wear them while trekking.


  1. Sunglasses: Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. They are mandatory.
  2. SuncapThe sun is harsher on your skin at high altitude and will zap your energy quickly. Wearing a suncap will help.
  3. Synthetic hand gloves: One pair of waterproof/resistant gloves.
  4. Balaclava: You may use woollen scarves instead as well.
  5. Socks (2 pairs): Apart from two sports socks, you can take a pair of woollen socks for the night.
  6. Headlamp/LED torch: Mandatory
  7. Trekking pole: Watch this video to understand why you need a trekking pole.


  1. Daypack (20 litres): This is required ONLY if you are offloading your backpack.
  2. Toiletries: Sunscreen, moisturizer, light towel, lip balm, toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitiser. Do not carry wet wipes since these are not biodegradable. We do not like biodegradable wet wipes because they take a long time to decompose in the mountains. Use toilet paper instead.
  3. Sanitary waste: Make sure you bring your used sanitary napkins back to the city with you. Carry a zip lock bag to put used napkins. Bring this ziplock bag back with you to the city and do not dispose sanitary napkins in the mountains.
  4. Cutlery:Carry a spoon, coffee mug and a lunch box. We insist on trekkers getting their own cutlery for hygiene reasons. We do not allow biodegradable or disposable cutlery on our treks.
  5. Two water bottles: 1 litre each
  6. Plastic covers: While packing, use plastic bags to compartmentalise things and carry few extra plastic bags for wet clothes.

Mandatory Personal Medical Kit

  1. Diamox – 1 Strip
  2. Crocin – 10 tablets
  3. Avomine (optional, in case of motion sickness)- 1 Strip
  4. Combiflam- Half Strip
  5. Muscle relaxant – Half Strip
  6. Digene – Half Strip
  7. Avil – 1 strip
  8. ORS – 6 packs
  9. Knee Cap (If you are prone to knee injury)

Mandatory Documents

Please carry the below documents. Document two and three need to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp.
  • Original and photocopy of government photo identity card- (driving license, voters ID, etc.)
  • Medical Certificate – Download PDF
  • Disclaimer- Download PDF

If you’re shopping or packing for the trek, you can download this quick and simple checklist for offline use.

Here’s a guide to help you pack for the trek – 


Here’s a quick info-graphic to give you an overview of everything you need in your backpack.


How safe is the Rupin Pass trek?

The Rupin Pass trek is a difficult one. The most difficult part of the trek is the crossing of the pass itself. The Rupin gully is steep, at around 45 degrees, with lots of fresh snow. It is short yet taxing but technical guides will lead your way and make sure that nothing untoward happens. Altitude is gained gradually but the Rupin Pass trek takes you to 15,350 feet. This is considered very high altitude. There are chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness though the trail is designed such that your body has enough time to acclimatise to the surroundings.

If you have registered for this trek, then here is some information that you must know in order to have a safe trek. At Indiahikes, we believe that as long as you are well-informed and well-prepared, you can survive easily at high altitudes.

What Indiahikes does to ensure your safety

Our philosophy is simple. We ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow, and in the equipment we carry. All our trek leaders are trained repeatedly on safety issues and protocols. Most issues are resolved with their intervention.

Right from the time you decide to register for the trek till the last day of the trek, these safety procedures will be running in the background. We have listed a few of them below:

1. Fitness criteria before registration

Over years of organising high altitude treks, we have found that safety issues thrive amongst those who are unfit and unprepared for the trek. So we have introduced an eligibility criteria for the Rupin Pass trek. Anyone who wants to register for the Rupin Pass trek has to meet the fitness requirements, with the ideal BMI. The BMI and fitness regime will require proof. A high altitude trek is not to be taken casually.

2. Monitoring health on a trek

Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.

On the Rupin Pass trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects thrice a day.

  •      Oxygen Level
  •      Pulse Rate

Your Blood Pressure levels will be checked once a day.

This will help us ensure that your body is acclimatising as required.

Every trekker will be given a Health Card at the beginning of the trek. The Health Card is issued to monitor the trekker’s daily health, wherein they will be entering details about their health everyday. It also contains details of what symptoms one should look out for and what action should be taken during emergencies. These Health Cards will be collected back at the end of the trek.

3. High Altitude Medical Kit

Your trek leader will be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone (tablets and injections) and Nifedipine. Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high altitude campsites for any emergency situations.

4. High Altitude Trek Equipment

To ensure safe trekking on snowy terrain, Indiahikes will provide you with micro-spikes to attach to your shoes. This will give you good traction on hard snow. To avoid snow from entering your shoes, Indiahikes will provide you with gaiters that you can put on over your shoes. You will have qualified technical guides with you, who will lead the way on difficult terrain.

All our sleeping bags and tents are custom-made for high altitude. If it is cold outside, it will be around 10 degrees warmer inside the tent. The sleeping bags can withstand temperatures up to -10 degree Celsius.

5. Being hydrated and well nourished on the trek

You need to drink a minimum of 4 litres of water every day during the trek to ensure that you’re well hydrated. De-hydration on a trek can make you lose energy very quickly and intensify the effects of AMS. Your trek leader will brief you about the amount of water that you need to carry with you at the start of each day as well as water sources on the trail.

We provide trekkers with nutritious meals to ensure that they are energized to complete the trail each day. Apart from this, snacks or packed lunch is provided wherever the trail before a meal break is likely to be long. Make sure that you do not skip any meal as this can lead to serious health emergencies on high altitudes.

With all these processes and equipment in place, you can be rest assured that you will have a safe trek with Indiahikes.

Nevertheless, you will need to be cautious and report the slightest of symptoms to your trek leader as soon as you feel them.

What you compulsorily need to know if you’re going on the Rupin Pass trek


Acute Mountain Sickness:

On the Rupin Pass trek, the trail is designed such that your body has enough time to acclimatise to the surroundings. So probabilities of Acute Mountain Sickness are low, even though you hit a maximum altitude of 15,380 ft.

However, at campsites such as Udaknal, Dhanderas Thatch, Upper waterfall and Ronti Gad, AMS can hit anyone since these are all at very high altitudes. Hence, it is imperative that you take necessary precautions.

At any campsite, inform your trek leader about your condition immediately if you identify any symptom of AMS. If the symptoms don’t alleviate it is best to head down to a lower campsite.

This risk can be avoided by going on a course of Diamox. Even while on Diamox, the risk of AMS still prevails. While AMS can be treated with rest and medicines for the most part, the symptoms must be recognised before it can go to advanced stages – High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE) and High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE).

HAPE and HACE are critical conditions that can be fatal within hours.And they can occur without AMS preceding them. So it’s doubly important to recognise any symptoms and nip them in the bud.

Take this specific precaution – Go on a preventive course of Diamox

We strongly advise you to go on a preventive course of Diamox. Diamox is a blood thinner and helps you acclimatise much faster and reduces the chance of AMS by around 80%. Take half a tablet twice a day from one day before your trek.

What to do if you have symptoms of AMS?

If you feel any symptoms of AMS on the trek, you must report to the Trek Leader immediately. Do not wait till the end of the day’s trek. Do not try to handle it yourself either. Our Trek Leaders are well-trained and experienced to handle any cases and they will be the decision makers in any such cases.

Watch the below video to understand the symptoms of Acute Mountain Sickness. In this video, Arjun Majumdar, the founder of Indiahikes will also tell you the protocol to follow when you see someone showing symptoms of AMS.

Exit points on the Rupin Pass trek

The closest exit on this trek is at Bawta, on the way to Jiskun (before crossing the pass), where there is a road head. After crossing the pass, the closest exit is at Sangla. Evacuation can take time, even 1-2 days, especially from high camps. Medical expenses, if required, at the medical centre are to be borne by the participant.

Closest hospital

Depending on where in the trek a medical emergency occurs, there are different hospitals that you can access. On the Dhaula side, Purola has the closest hospital. If you’re a few days into the trek, then Rohru will have the most accessible hospital. Towards the end of the trek, your best option would be to reach Sangla, where you will find a hospital.

Why you should personally know about the risks and precautions of high altitude treks

If ever you find yourself alone at high altitude, either while trekking independently or with another organisation, there are some life -saving steps you can take. Firstly, you should be able to recognise symptoms of altitude sickness. So acquaint yourself with the symptoms.

Secondly, there might be instances when you have to administer medicines to yourself or to a fellow trekker. There are three life-saving medicines that we suggest you always carry on you – Diamox, Dexamethasone and Nifedipine.

If you are trekking with Indiahikes, do not administer these to anyone without consulting your Trek Leader. If you are trekking independently then you need to know when exactly to administer these medicines and in what dosage.

Also ensure that you are well hydrated throughout the trek and do not skip any meal.

You can watch the video below to learn about HAPE and HACE and how to tackle them. In the video, Sandhya UC, partner at Indiahikes, explains in detail about High Altitude Pulmonary and Cerebral Edema, what the symptoms are and how to tackle them.

We cannot stress enough on how important it is for you to communicate any symptom to your Trek Leader. Only then your trek leader will be able to take steps at the right time.

Acute Mountain Sickness

If you’re of the opinion that fit people don’t get AMS, please get rid of that notion right away. AMS can affect anyone without paying heed to their fitness and prior experience at high altitude! Altitude sickness does not distinguish between a first timer and an experienced trekker.

For more detailed information about Acute Mountain Sickness, you can download and study the manual below.

Click on the AMS Manual to open and download


Trek cancellation policy

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please login to your account and cancel. Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.

The cancellation charges are as under:
Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.

Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (cancellation charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.

In the unlikely case of a trek being called off by us at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.

Your trek fee includes:

  1. Accommodation – Stay  from days 1 to 8 (Dhaula to Ronti Gad). Sewa and Jiskun are homestays and the rest are in tents (tripple occupancy)
  2. Meals – All meals on the trek. We provide nutritious vegetarian food.
  3. Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges.
  4. Trekking equipment – High quality tents, sleeping bags, micro spikes, ropes, gaiter etc as required.
  5. Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc.

Your trek fee does not include:

  1. Transport to and from the base camp – We arrange shared taxis for trekkers from Dehradun to Dhaula (Rs 6,000) and drop you back to Shimla from Sangla (Rs 7,500).  You  have to share this cost with the other trekkers
  2. Food during transit to and from the base camp 
  3. Backpack offloading charges –  Rs. 2,400 + 5% GST for the full trek. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Dhaula (Rs.400 per day inclusive of taxes).
  4. Stay at Sangla/Shimla on the last day 
  5. Anything apart from inclusions
Cancellation Policy

Cancellation Policy

In case, you wish to cancel your trek, please login to your account and cancel.
Cancellation requests will not be taken over phone or email.

The cancellation charges are as under.
Cancellations prior to 30 days from the start of the trek — full refund.
Cancellation between 30 days and 20 days to the start of the trek — 50% refund.
Cancellation less than 20 days to the start of the trek — no refund.
Please note: In case of refund, there will be a deduction of 4% (cancellation charges) from the total fee you have paid. Also, if you have opted for a trek insurance, the amount will not be refunded.

If a trek is called off at the last moment due to a natural calamity/unforeseen circumstances (like rains, earthquake, landslides, strike, bandh etc), Indiahikes will issue a trek voucher for the full amount. The voucher can be redeemed for the same trek or another trek in the next one year.



A high altitude trek in the Himalayas requires considerable fitness. Your body needs to train itself to process more work with lower levels of oxygen. Therefore, on treks, cardiovascular training is critically important. The trek has long climbs and steep descents on a daily basis. As a measure of your fitness, we require you to be able to run at least 5 km in 35 minutes by the time your trek starts. If you are 45 years or above, cover 10 km in 90 minutes.This is a minimum, mandatory requirement.

If you prefer cycling over running, then try to cover 25 km in 60 minutes.

Unable to do so can make your trek difficult.

In addition, preparation of trek needs to include strength and flexibility training. Registering for the trek is an understanding that you will undertake the mandated fitness training and upload the fitness screenshots on your dashboard. Trekkers who have not adequately prepared may be asked to discontinue the trek at any point.

Indiahikes has the right to reject trekkers who do not meet our eligibility requirement at the base camp.

Backpack Offloading

Backpack Offloading

Indiahikes expects all trekkers to carry their own backpacks. All common gear will be carried by the support team. If for some reason are trekker is unable to carry his or her backpack, he/she can offload the same by paying an additional charge.

Backpack offloading charges – Rs 2,400 plus GST of 5%. Charges for last minute offloading during the trek will be Rs. 400 per day inclusive of tax. You can opt for offloading directly your dashboard after your payment is done for the trek.

Partial offloading is not allowed. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.
Online offloading in advance is possible up to three days prior to the trek start date.



The Rupin Pass trek starts from Dhaula, 197 km from Dehradun.

Indiahikes organises transport from Dehradun to Dhaula. The pick up is at 6.30 am from Dehradun Railway Station on Day 1. It costs Rs.6,000 per cab one way. This is not included in the fee. It is to be shared amongst trekkers and paid directly to the driver.



 Stay from days 1 to 8 (Dhaula to Ronti Gad). Sewa and Jiskun are homestays and the rest are in tents (triple occupancy) At the homestay toilets are fixed concrete structures with water available in taps or buckets.
Males and females in separate tents.

Discount policy

Discount policy

If there is a group size of 10 trekkers and above, then we will waive off the trek fee charges for one person.

Note - There is no discount available if the group size is 9 or less than that.

You can register the entire group and send us an email. If the group is registering individually, then the primary participant needs to send an email to the Trek Coordinator with the list of trekkers from the same group.

If you want to make the payment individually, then individual registrations have to be done.

This will be the case for a group of 10 trekkers. So if you have a group of 20 trekkers, then we will waive off the charges for 2 trekkers.

Can we leave an extra bag of clothes at basecamp and collect it later

Can we leave an extra bag of clothes at basecamp and collect it later

You cannot leave any clothes behind and collect it later, as it is a crossover trek, you start at Dhaula and end at Sangla. Please carry all the items with you.

How do I reach Shimla from Sangla?

How do I reach Shimla from Sangla?

Option 1: Sangla to Shimla by cab
The Rupin Pass trek ends at Sangla, which is a small touristy village in Himachal. From Sangla, we arrange a cab to Shimla. The cab will cost around Rs. 9,000 for an SUV that 5-6 trekkers can share. You have the option of starting for Shimla by 2.00 pm on Day 9 and reaching by 1.00 am the following morning. Buses to Chandigarh depart from Shimla bus stand at 5.00 am. Many of our trekkers wait in the bus stand itself to board one of these. It is safe to wait at the Shimla bus stand.
If you wish to avoid traveling at night, stay overnight at Sangla and leave at 6.00 am the following morning. You will reach Shimla by 4.00 pm. Buses leave from Shimla to Delhi every 15 minutes.
Option 2: Sangla to Shimla by bus
There are 2 local buses from Sangla to Shimla –
5.30 pm – you can take this the same evening you finish the trek and reach Shimla by 6.00 am the following day
6.30 am – you can take this bus the following day and reach Shimla in the evening
There are buses leaving from Shimla to Delhi every 15 minutes. The cost of stay in Sangla is not included in the trek fee.
Taking a bus from Sangla to Shimla will be the most economical option.Stay at Shimla, if required, will have to be booked by trekkers on their own.

How do I reach Delhi from Sangla?

How do I reach Delhi from Sangla?

Sangla -> Kalka -> Delhi
You will reach Sangla at around 1 pm after you trek. You can take a cab that evening and head to Kalka. The cab will cost you around Rs.11,000 for an SUV. Around 5-6 people can share this cab. From Kalka, there is a Shatabdi that goes to Delhi. It leaves at 6.15 am. You will be in Delhi by 10 am. If you leave Sangla at 4 pm, you will reach Kalka by 4 am and have some buffer time at the railway station.

Sangla → Chandigarh->Delhi
Another option if you have to get to an airport is to go to Chandigarh. From Sangla, you can take a cab to Chandigarh. This will cost you around Rs.13,000 for an SUV that 5-6 trekkers can share. If you leave Sangla by 4pm, you will reach Chandigarh by 6 am.

Do you have items on rent?

Do you have items on rent?

The trek begins at Dhaula and ends at Sangls,as it is a crossover trek we do not have many items on rent, we only have poles.

Is there electricity on the trek? Can we charge anywhere?

Is there electricity on the trek? Can we charge anywhere?

There will be no electricity charging points on the trek, you stay in tents in campsites. However the homestays have electricity but not very reliable as they are in remote locations.

 Is there snow on the trek?

Is there snow on the trek?

May and early June will have snow while September and October will have less or no snow.

Here is what trekkers have to say about their experience at Rupin Pass Trek

Gouri Shankar Guddanti

Batch of
October 2018

Overall Trek went very well. It is very well planned and executed. All India Hikes team is really very good team with friend and caring all the time!

One biggest feedback is, For some reason most of the day team tries to rush us to reach the destination of that day. It would be great if we reduce that rush and have the trek team enjoy the trekking all day with stops to enjoy the nature and surroundings.

Somedays we reach destination at 2 or 3 and then nothing to do except sit int he tent and play some games. I am sure trekkers have not come that far to play games in the tent, rather enjoy the nature with little rush during the trekking would have been great.


Kevin Patel

Batch of
October 2018

First of all, I would like to thank IndiaHikes team for making this trek wonderful for me. 
This was my first ever Himalayan trek. I was a bit afraid about this 9 days long trek. I was not sure about how IndiaHikes will manage our health, food and safety. But, IndiaHikes team managed everything smoothly and easy. IndiaHikes team was way beyond my expectation. Excellent+Superb+Amazing IndiaHikes. Now about the trek, in one word it was like HEAVEN to me. I was in heaven for 9 days with IndiaHikes and my trek mates. From day 1 itself, They managed out travel and food easily. Those 11 hours of journey in tempo traveller help us to interact with other trek-mates. On the arrival, the beautiful riverside base camp site stole my heart. Then we met our trek leader and trek guides. Trek leader gave us very nice information about the trek and all safety guidelines. From day 2, We were going through crystal clear water river, gigantic mountain and beautiful meadows. There were 2 homestays during out trek. It was luxurious stay and nice facilities. Cooking staff was always ready with hot tea and delicious snacks on our arrival. Throughout the 9 days trek, they were giving us nutritious food everytime tea, breakfast, lunch, hot soup, snacks in the evening, dinner with dessert. They were giving us different dishes all the time, I don't how they were managing this. Everyday new scenery was there for us. During our trek, we faced fresh snowfall at our campsite. It was really an awesome experience for us. On the summit day, It was fully covered with fresh snow everywhere. We have spent a good time with the team. Summit day was the most memorable day for me. I learnt so many things from this trek that helps me a lot in my life.
Overall, full trek nicely handled by the trek leader and two trek guides. Trek guide was the awesome person that I have ever met in my life. Throughout the 9 days, trek leader and trek guides treat us as our second parent. One thing, that I missed here is, before trek preparation guidelines given by our trek co-ordinator. I have been through all the emails and youtube videos provided by the IndiaHikes. Those emails and youtube videos help me a lot throughout the trek.
I am proud to be part of this group.
Thanks a lot, IndiaHikes team for having me in this wonderful journey.
I hope to see you soon :)


Anand Manian

Batch of
October 2018

1. Campsites: Some of the most beautiful campsites I have come across. The lower waterfall was especially breathtaking with changing landscapes. When we arrived it was green grass and many waterfalls and flowing river. On Acclimatization Day, it was completely covered in snow and a completely different and wonderful to look at and enjoy.
2. Kitchen Staff: The kitchen staff was amazing. The variety of food we got to eat and the deliciousness of it was as pleasing as the landscaped we were crossing. A complete delight. It will take me a long time to forget the taste of the hot Samosa that we ate once we arrived in Udaknal. Truly amazing.
3. Guide and Co-Guide: Uttam and Pravin were exceptional and had a great attitude. They were always ready to help. Shared their stories and had fun all along. Pravin had the hard task of being the sweeper and did it patiently. Uttam helped me on more than one occasion when I had issues with equipment.
4. Green Trail Initiative: A responsible initiative. We picked a lot of garbage along the trail as a group. 
5. Awards: Awards like the Green Trekker and Spirit of Trekking Award are also good initiatives.
6. Equipment: The equipments used were also top notch and ensured that we had a comfortable time overall.


karthik reddy gali

Batch of
September 2018

Overall, it was a wonderful experience. This was my first trek ever, my basic reason  on going for a trek was to get away from the daily hustle and bustle in the city. Rains put a dent on the begining  of the trek when we were diverted to sankri but that gave all of us in the group to get to know each other a little better.
Our Trek Leader Akhil was very well versed with the mountains and he ensured that each one of us was briefed on high altitude related health issues, and the precautions which need to be taken.

He was vigilant about the any issues that were reported and he also made sure to took the oxymeter/BP readings everyday all throughout .

Both our guides Jairam and Praveen should be given due credit as the trek would not have been possible without either of them. Jairam would lead the trek and Praveen would be patient with people in the back walking slowly.


Sangeeth Kumar Shanmugam

Batch of
September 2018

Mihir was a born leader. With Prahlad and Uttam as guides, there wasn't a moment of depression in the trek though the whole trek was inclement and dampening. Samosas on high altitude! I think only IndiaHikes cooks can accomplish that.


Video by Nitish Sharma


Video by Pritam Bhattacharya

Video by Manu Mathew by Sagar Pradhan



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Trek Fee

14,950 + 5% GST
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