Why Ruinsara Tal is not a part of our Har Ki Dun Itinerary anymore?

This article is not about any suggestions on treks or news updates, but putting light on some rumors about Har Ki Doon trek. To start with Har Ki Doon has always been a popular summer trek. Owing to its inherent beauty and ancient heritage, it organically gathers a lot of attention.

Now, people want to add Ruinsara Taal to it. We got many queries from our trekkers that why we haven’t included Ruinsara Lake in the trek yet. And while answering that I will talk about the facts that overlooked.

1. Including Ruinsara Lake makes it a difficult grade trek

Let me first tell you what is a moderate level trek. It is of 5-7 days and 30-40 km maximum and staying at higher camps is avoided for AMS prevention. Mostly, the higher altitude is just touched as the summit and then returned immediately. Again, the trail is not extremely steep, risky, filled with huge boulders, etc. So, the trek is such that an averagely fit person can do easily. When Ruinsara lake is included in the itinerary the trail changes drastically from 7 days to 9 days and 40 km to 65 km. Additionally, the hike to Ruinsara Taal and the returning to the next campsite is the longest of 14 km. It takes only 2-3 hours to climb up to the lake but the way back the next campsite is longer, even though it is a descent. It takes total around 6-7 hours for average person to complete this distance due to the rocky terrain. Any delay or slowness will increase the time and the person may reach past evening to the campsite. We should not forget that it rains sometimes in summer, so in that case it is even more tiring. The previous 2 days and next day after Ruinsara also all are walking 10 km, that means 4 days continuous 10+km hikes at high altitude, which can invite AMS.

Making the trek of 9 days that has 7 hours of walking almost daily and camping at high altitude makes it a difficult grade trek like Goechala Or Pin Parvati treks which are of 10 days with challenging terrains. This would make it tedious for beginners, kids, or family trekkers to complete the trek. It would immediately become a difficult grade trek and not all could enjoy the trek. What is the point of adding Ruinsara Taal if the fitness level does not allow it? We feel, why suddenly take the beauty of the stunning Har Ki Doon valley away from moderately fit trekkers? 

2. The amount of efforts put to be at the lake is not worth

Even if we were to include Ruinsara Taal and change the grading to difficult trek, it is not worth it. Let me tell you why. It is not possible to camp near the lake, unlike many lake treks. And the lake is so mind-blowing that merely 30-60 minutes of sightseeing for a 14km hike is not an excellent deal. Had it been possible to stay and admire the tranquility at sunrise, sunset or at night, it would have been totally worth it. So, even if Ruinsara Taal is added, it is only ‘wow! here it is’ and ‘oh no, here we go’ scenario.

And if you think you are extremely fit and you really want to go for Ruinsara Taal.

Instead, go for a trek that has Ruinsara Taal

Yes, we never let our trekkers be sad. We have a trek that follows almost the same itinerary of Har Ki Doon and has an enhanced thrill of its own. It is the Bali Pass trek. As you might have heard, Bali Pass is a tough one. The trek is best for Ruinsara Taal seekers, who wish to experience other enchanting thrills of the Bali Pass trek route.

3. Body exhaustion due to 3 days at 11,000 ft height

Ruinsara Taal comes a day after Har Ki Doon is crossed. Har Ki Doon is at 11,700 ft and Ruinsara Lake is also at 11,811 ft, which 3 days hiking at 11,000ft height will lead to increased body exhaustion. Not to forget that the trek is also 14km on Ruinsara Day. Again, for a moderate trek this is over usage of strength. “I have seen many trekkers getting really tired by the time they reach Ruinsara Taal. Many quit before that only. Also the locals say, if one is to do Ruinsara Taal then Har Ki Doon must be skipped, for a less experienced or averagely fit person,” says Nitin, our Senior Trek Leader.

Sandeep Rawat (Operation head at Trek The Himalayas) says, “Making changes in the itinerary just for the sake of it when it may affect other trekkers is never good. We always try to follow that. Only if there are major rules enforced we make such huge amendments. Also, when we have an alternative trek present for Ruinsara Taal, adding it to another trek will be repeating and not keeping every trek extraordinary.”

So, choose your trek intelligently Har Ki Doon or Bali Pass.

Har Ki Doon:- if you are a first timer, have moderate level of fitness, coming with family or kids, want to experience the Valley.

Bali Pass:- if you are an experienced trekker, extremely fit, family or kids are not accompanying you, desperately want to visit Ruinsara Taal.

Written By:-
Nutan Shinde
TTH Official Content Writer