Skiers make merry when snow covers the slopes of the Solang valley. But in summer, when the valley turns into a carpet of flowers, Solang is a trekker’s delight. The trek to the source of the Beas along the Solang Nallah is one of the more gorgeous as well as among the easier treks in Himachal. You start your walk near the confluence of the Rohtang and the Solang streams. Hotels crowd the road here but soon the track leads off into pine, fir and deodar forests. Send up a prayer and walk across the shaky temporary bridge that spans a foaming Beas and climb up and up till you reach the flower-covered meadow of Dhundi, the first night halt. On the second day you climb still higher with the Dhauladhar and Pir Panjal marching alongside and finally you reach the small lake that’s the origin of the mighty Beas.
Route Palchan-Dhundi-Beas Kund (3,540 m)-Palchan; duration 3 days. Grade – Easy.
Shimla and Manali may be unpleasant but the hiking trail connecting these tourist hubs of Himachal remains pristine. Pine trees cover the slopes and villages lie hidden among the trees. The trek is leisurely — the only portion that is likely to tax trekkers is the stretch from Sarahan to Bashleo Pass. At Bashleo do pause to take in the views of the Mahadev range above and the Beas valley below.
Route Shimla-Narkanda-Arsu-Sarahan-Bashleo Pass (3,277m)-Bathad-Banjar-Manali; duration 5 days. Grade – Easy
Naggar to Malana
Venture into the heart of Himachal’s Kullu valley. Starting at the pretty village of Naggar, the trek winds its way through pastures and forests and involves crossing the Chanderkhani Pass. You can end the trek at Malana or continue for another two days to the village of Kasol via the Rashol Pass. This route too is through thick conifer forests and fields; rhododendrons start appearing near Roshol.
Route Naggar-Rumsu Camp-Chanderkhani Pass (3,660m)-Malana; duration 3-5 days. Grade – Easy.
Getting to Triund is a matter of an easy three-day stroll in the woods from Pathankot. For a tougher trek, do McLeodganj to Machetar via Triund and the Indrahar Pass. The walk from McLeodganj to Triund is a 4-5hr walk. After Triund you’ll have the trail to yourself. The views are spectacular throughout; at the Indrahar Pass the plains stretch out on one side and the Pir Panjal rises majestically on the other.
Route Pathankot-Triund-Laka-Triund-Pathankot; duration 5-8 days. Grade – Moderate.
Likir to Temisgam
This is Ladakh’s ‘baby trek’ — all the passes are under 4,000m, distances are short. This trek offers you two comfort options — trekking from village to village in tandem with the Himalayan Homestays programme; or asking a trekking operator to put it together for you.
Route Likir-Yangthang-Hemis Shukpachen-Ang-Temisgam; duration 4 days. Grade – Easy.