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Gushaini, Teh. Banjar, Dist. Kullu, HP

Ookhal Trek

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Connecting the Tirthan and Sainj valleys via the scenic Marahni.


This is most probably our best itinerary in 5 days in the GHNP area for those who have an average fitness. You will enjoy the scenic Marahni top, crossing a high altitude pass, dense pristine forests and an amazing hidden lake. What a pleasure to pass from one valley to another. The sceneries suddenly change radically.

Right from day 2 you enter the realm of wilderness. Many birds and mammals can be observed especially in the Sainj valley. The ecosystems diversity is equally great. From Oak to Himalayan Cedar forests, from meadows to rocky slopes, from dry ridge to mountain lake.

This trek is available for anyone who has an average fitness but preferably you must have either a previous experience of trekking or be sure that your body and mind will support each other in case of tougher time on the trek. Oh ! One more star should be added to this trek : A great view of the usually masked GHNP top peak at 6246 m !

Ookhal Trek features

Duration of your trek  

Day-min : The minimum number of days required for the trek
Day-max : The maximum number of days you can spend on this trek. Prolonged itinerary can be discussed with our team.
AWTD : Average walking time per day (<3 : easy, 3 to 5 : moderate, >5 : strenuous)

Altitudes of your trek  

Min : Minimum altitude of your trek.
Max : Maximum altitude of your trek.
Ascent : The difference of altitude between the trek starting point and the highest point of the trek.
Descent : The difference of altitude between the highest point of the trek and the trek ending point.

Difficulty of your trek  

Stamina : The physical effort involved during your trek. Rated from 1 (easiest) to 5 (most strenuous). If you have an average fitness you can consider all treks below 4.
Technical : Difficulty of your trek in terms of exposure to danger and required experience. 1 : no difficulties, 2 : walk on good mountain trails, 3 : some walk on difficult mountain trails (steep slope, rocks, etc.), 4 : you are exposed to some dangers (void, snow, falling rocks, etc.), 5 : Experience required (please inquire).
Overall : Average between Stamina and Technical rating.

Altitudes

Min
2100 m
Max
3740 m
Ascent
1640 m
Descent
1620 m


Ookhal trek map

Ookhal trek map in the Great Himalayan National Park GHNP

Ookhal Trek itinerary summary

Ookhal trek takes you from the Tirthan valley to the Sainj valley via Marahni. From Rangthar to Kund lake the trek is very scenic since you walk on the ridge of a mountain range.



Ookhal Trek elevation profile

Elevation profile of trek in the Great Himalayan National Park GHNP

Ookhal Trek ascent and descent

Altough there are some very pleasant pathways, there are a few steep slopes on the trek and the crossing of the pass is somehow exposed to the void.



Best time to trek to Ookhal


Best time to trek to Ookhal is May, June, and then October and November.

In case the snow conditions permit you may also consider April and December.
  • Jan

  • Feb

  • Mar

  • Apr

  • May

  • Jun

  • Jul

  • Aug

  • Sep

  • Oct

  • Nov

  • Dec


Ookhal trek itinerary

Timing Details
Morning

This trek starts from a village of the ecozone called Pekhri accessible by a jeepable road from Gushaini. From Pekhri you walk towards Lakcha (two hours), a very charming traditional Himalayan village. Have your packed lunch before Lakcha at a very scenic spot.
Some parts of the trail to Lakcha are quite steep but don’t worry, anyone with an average fitness can do it.

Afternoon

After Lakcha you still have at least one hour walk. You reach a flat-topped ridge where you will set up your first camp, Ranghthar.
From Ranghthar you have an ideal view on the Himalayas and the Tirthan valley. A spectacular spot for camping ! It is really great to enjoy your meal at the bonfire during sunset.

LAkcha village, Great Himalayan National Park GHNP
Lakcha village in autumn
Timing Details
Morning

The sun rises over the peaks of the GHNP. Don’t miss out on this !
After a copious breakfast everything is packed and you start your second walking day. The first step is Kauni, a very nice small summit 350 m above Rangthar.
The way to Kauni is the steeper ascending trail of the entire trek. Don’t feel discouraged, it is steep but you will be reaching Kauni very fast and you will be rewarded by the view and the beauty of the forest around.

Afternoon

After Kauni it is a very pleasant hike up to Kundri. You go through a golden oak forest that sporadically let you observe the giant Himalayan mountains that appear closer and closer.
You have a choice of camp site : Kundri or Marahni. According to the weather, snow conditions, water availability and your physical fitness you decide with your guide where to camp. Both meadows are great for camping.
If you reach the Marahni meadow it is worth climbing up to the Marahni top (3670 m) before the sunset to admire the whole valley illuminated with golden sun rays.

Ookhal trek, Great Himalayan National Park GHNP
On the steep trail to Kauni
Timing Details
Morning

From your camp have a walk up to Marahni top to Enjoy the spectacular 360° view.
The entire Tirthan valley with its surrounding snow-capped mountains above 5000 m height, one side. The lower green Himalayas and even the plains of Punjab on the other side. If you never reached a high peak in your life you will never forget the pleasure of reaching Marahni !
After enjoying the scenery your guide will take you on the way to the pass for the Tirthan valley. You move towards the pass on an impressive ridge. Then you suddenly discover the sceneries of the Tirthan valley.

Afternoon

Be cautious after the pass some parts of the trails are exposed to heights. You continue on the crest that separates the Tirthan valley from the Sainj valley. Today is definitively a scenic day !
Leave the crest and go down to a small meadow : Ookhal Thach. Just relax, your trekking staff take care of everything. Dinner and night at the camp with a bonfire.

Ookhal trek, Great Himalayan National Park GHNP
Some parts of the way to Ookhal are quite thrilling.
Timing Details
Morning

Today is a short but very nice day. After your breakfast you packed up camp and have an easy and pleasant hike on the ridge of the mountain.
The path weaves in between meadows and forest. It is an ideal day to observe birds and other wildlife. Get your camera ready. You never know what may appear and at what precise time.
The Western Tragopan might be on the list of the special guests. Footprints of Bear and droppings of Leopard are commonly found on this trail.

Afternoon

The sceneries remain stunning. You are still far from any civilization. You stop nearby a very beautiful small lake where you will have your last camp. The lake is called Kund lake.

Ookhal trek in the GHNP.
The trek team happily going down toward Kund lake
Timing Details
Morning

Today you need to reach the village Shangarh. From the Kund lake you have a very steep descent through a dense forest. After 800 m of descent you finally reach a small village.

Afternoon

From there you are again with the local villagers on the paths. You comfortably reach Shangarh after re-climbing 200 m.
Shangarh is an awesome village which has a holy ground naturally clear from any trees or bushes despite of the proximity of an invasive forest.
Pay a visit to the temple that lies at the extreme north of the ground. Be blessed by the local deities after having travelled a unique part of the Himalayas.

Shangarh  in the Great Himalayan National Park.
The Shangarh holy meadow and temple


Alternate itineraries


In 4 days
   You need to be very fit to do this itinerary in 4 days.
Day 1 From Pekhri to Rangthar.
Day 2 From Rangthar to Marahni.
Day 3 From Marahni to Kund lake.
Day 4 From Kund lake to Shangarh.







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