There are few places which offer snow treks as short as a day. The first that comes to mind is Triund near McLeodganj. Here, you can also camp at the top for the night. The 6km trek from Galu (400 in a cab from McLeodganj) passes through beautiful oak, deodar and rhododendron forests and is suitable for beginners. But the route is a tad difficult in mid-January (depending on the winter snowfall, the trail can be very beautiful or very risky, or both.) You can rent a tent and sleeping bag for 500 a night at a trek operator in McLeodganj or avail of a 2-day/1-night trek package for 1,500. Try HimTrek (, or Billing Valley, which offers a snow trek and paragliding combo to Triund (

McLeodganj isn’t exactly a remote little village, but in mid January is likely to be empty of tourists. The town will offer a tranquil stay and ample sightseeing opportunities. Paragliding can be undertaken at nearby Dharamsala. But if you want to make another excursion, head to the paragliding capital of India, Bir, near Billing (about

If you can brave freezing temperatures, the Spiti valley in Himachal provides almost complete isolation from the madding crowds. Note though that in winter, the only way to get there is a 20hr ride in a shared jeep from Shimla. Once in Spiti, base yourself in Kaza and take day treks to nearby villages. Stay at Osel Rooms in Kaza (800-1,000; or Sakya Abode and Hotel Kunphen (from 1,100; Other villages in the valley have homestays that start from 700.