The Most Scenic Road Trips to Take in Uttarakhand: Exploring the Lesser-known Destinations in Uttarakhand
Uttarakhand, known as “Devbhoomi,” is a treasure trove of natural beauty and spiritual significance. While popular destinations like Nainital, Mussoorie, and Rishikesh draw crowds, the lesser-known destinations in Uttarakhand offer hidden gems waiting to be explored. Embarking on a scenic road trip through the state allows you to discover breathtaking landscapes, charming villages, and offbeat attractions. In this blog, we’ll unveil Uttarakhand’s most scenic road trips, immersing you in the lesser-known destinations that epitomize the state’s enchanting beauty.
Route: Dehradun to Chakrata
Kickstart your Uttarakhand road trip adventure by driving from Dehradun to Chakrata. This picturesque journey takes you through winding roads, dense forests, and panoramic mountain views. Chakrata, nestled amidst the Garhwal Himalayas, is a serene hill station known for its tranquility and untouched beauty. The drive to Chakrata offers glimpses of cascading waterfalls and the majestic Yamuna River, making it an ideal route for nature enthusiasts.
The drive is enchanting during spring and autumn when the landscape is adorned with colorful blossoms or vibrant autumn foliage. As you approach Chakrata, the air becomes more relaxed, and the scent of pine fills the atmosphere. Surrounded by thick forests, Chakrata is a paradise for nature enthusiasts. The Tiger Falls, cascading from a great height, is a popular attraction for its majestic beauty.
Chakrata’s serene ambience and untouched natural beauty make it a perfect destination for hiking, camping, and birdwatching. The stillness of the region allows you to unwind and reconnect with nature, far away from the tourist crowds.
Route: Binsar to Munsiyari
Embarking on a road trip from Binsar to Munsiyari is an exhilarating journey through the stunning landscapes of Uttarakhand. As you leave the peaceful town of Binsar behind, the road meanders through lush green valleys, dense forests, and charming villages, offering panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan peaks. Leaving Binsar, the drive takes you through the enchanting Kumaon region, where every bend reveals a beautiful vista. The route is adorned with terraced fields, fragrant pine forests, and meandering rivers, creating a picturesque backdrop for your journey.
As you ascend further, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of snow-capped peaks, including the mighty Panchachuli range. The road winds through hairpin bends and steep slopes, providing an adrenaline-filled adventure for thrill-seekers. Arriving in Munsiyari, settled in the Pithoragarh district, the tranquil beauty of the region welcomes you. Munsiyari is known for its panoramic vistas, offering uninterrupted views of Nanda Devi, Rajrambha, and other Himalayan peaks. Explore the Milam Glacier trek, which takes you through stunning alpine meadows and gushing rivers, or visit the Birthi Falls, a magnificent waterfall cascading down the mountainside. Also, discover the Maheshwari Kund to experience the unspoiled beauty of this region.
Route: Chopta to Auli
Prepare for a stunning drive from Chopta to Auli, showcasing the stunning landscapes of the Garhwal region. Chopta, popularly known as the “Mini Switzerland of Uttarakhand,” is the base for the exhilarating Tungnath and Chandrashila treks. As you navigate the winding roads, you’ll witness lush meadows dense forests of rhododendrons and oak trees, creating a serene and magical ambience. The road winds up, offering glimpses of verdant valleys and cascading streams.
Reach Auli, a haven for ski enthusiasts, where you can experience the thrill of skiing or enjoy the panoramic ropeway ride, offering majestic views of Nanda Devi and other peaks. Whether you visit during the snowy winters or the pleasant summers, Auli is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. You can indulge in thrilling skiing adventures, embark on scenic treks, or soak in the tranquil beauty of the mountains.
Route: Kausani to Pithoragarh
A drive from Kausani to Pithoragarh makes you delve into the captivating vistas of the Kumaon region. Kausani, famous for its breathtaking sunrise and sunset views over the Himalayas, sets the stage for this road trip. As you traverse the picturesque countryside, you’ll pass by terraced fields, quaint villages, and ancient temples. The drive provides panoramic views of the majestic Himalayan peaks, including Nanda Devi and Trishul.
Moving further, you’ll pass through charming hillside villages with unique cultural heritage and architectural beauty. The road weaves through narrow mountain paths, offering breathtaking scenes of the surrounding valleys and snow-capped peaks. Reach Pithoragarh, a town that offers stunning views of the Panchachuli peaks. Explore the Chandak Hills, Thal Kedar Temple, and the serene Soar Valley to glimpse the region’s natural and cultural heritage. Stroll through the bustling markets, and go to see the Pithoragarh Fort, which offers panoramic views of the town and the surrounding landscapes.
Route: Tehri to Chamba
The road trip from Tehri to Chamba offers a captivating expedition through the picturesque backdrops of Uttarakhand. As you bid farewell to Tehri, renowned for its glistening lake and magnificent dam, the journey unfolds along meandering roads that wind through spectacular valleys, fertile forests, and delightful hamlets, presenting glimpses of nature’s majestic splendor at every turn.
Venturing further from Tehri, you are greeted with sweeping panoramas of the shimmering Tehri Lake, cradled amidst rolling hills and the glorious Himalayan peaks. The road meanders through terraced fields and green countryside, enveloping you in the serenity and tranquility that defines the region. As the ascent continues, a refreshing coolness fills the air, accompanied by the invigorating aroma of pine. Along the way, nature unveils its hidden treasures in cascading waterfalls, their gentle cascades harmonizing with the rhythmic flow of the Bhagirathi River, instilling a sense of adventure and peace in equal measure.
Upon reaching Chamba, a town on the banks of the Bhagirathi River, an enchanting aura embraces you, revealing the intact beauty that characterizes the locale. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage of the ancient temples, meander through the charming marketplaces teeming with local handicrafts, and savor the tantalizing flavors of the regional cuisine. Chamba’s allure extends to its famed apple orchards, resplendent with vibrant blooms during the spring season and yielding luscious fruits in the autumn. Immerse yourself in the serene ambience and visit the ancient Surkanda Devi Temple, which offers panoramic views of the Garhwal Himalayas.
Route: Champawat to Abbott Mount
Indulge in the beauty of the Kumaon hills by going on a road trip from Champawat to Abbott Mount. Champawat to Abbott Mount is a voyage that takes you through the hidden wonders of Uttarakhand. This offbeat route offers a picturesque drive, weaving through captivating valleys, dense forests, and charming villages. The Kumaon region’s mesmerising beauty unfolds before you as you traverse the road. Each turn in the road reveals panoramic views of mist-covered mountains and cascading waterfalls, creating a symphony of natural beauty.
Arriving in Abbott Mount feels like stepping into a world frozen in time. This secluded hill station is situated amidst thick forests and offers a retreat from the chaos of city life. The charm of the century-old stone cottages, reminiscent of colonial architecture, adds an air of nostalgia to the surroundings. You can take leisurely walks through the enchanting forests, immersing yourself in the ambience and marvelling at the rich biodiversity.
Abbott Mount has much to offer to the intrepid traveler. You can also visit the quaint church, a testament to the area’s colonial heritage. Stroll along the scenic trails, where each step reveals beautiful views of the Himalayas. Discover hidden viewpoints, where you can soak in the splendor of the surrounding landscapes and capture memories that will last a lifetime.
Route: Gangotri to Yamunotri
The route from Gangotri to Yamunotri is a sacred pilgrimage journey through the divine landscapes of Uttarakhand. The road winds through the majestic Himalayas, immersing you in a spiritual and awe-inspiring experience as you leave the holy town of Gangotri. Leaving Gangotri, situated at the origin of the sacred River Ganges, the road wanders through attractive valleys, flowing rivers, and snow-clad peaks. The route offers views of the towering mountains and the pristine natural beauty surrounding you.
The air becomes cooler, and the surroundings become more serene as you travel further. The road takes you through charming villages and serene countryside, providing glimpses into the local way of life and their deep-rooted connection with the spiritual significance of the region. Arriving in Yamunotri, the birthplace of the revered Yamuna River, you’ll feel a sense of divine tranquility. Explore the Yamunotri Temple, a significant pilgrimage site where devotees seek blessings from the river goddess Yamuna. You can also take a dip in the holy hot springs of Surya Kund, believed to possess healing properties. You can witness the mesmerizing Yamunotri Glacier as well.
The journey from Gangotri to Yamunotri is not just a physical passage; it’s a spiritual odyssey. The road connects you to the ancient traditions and mythology associated with these sacred rivers, allowing you to snuggle into the rich cultural heritage of Uttarakhand.
Route: Rudraprayag to Gauchar
An exhilarating road trip from Rudraprayag to Gauchar is a gateway to explore the untouched natural wonders of Uttarakhand. Bid farewell to the serene town of Rudraprayag, located at the confluence of the Alaknanda and Mandakini rivers, as you embark on a thrilling journey through lush valleys, captivating villages, and grand mountain panoramas. As you leave Rudraprayag behind, a tapestry of lush green forests and adjoining fields unfolds, painting a vivid backdrop for your adventure. The road winds through winding paths that reveal sceneries of valleys stretching below and majestic snow-capped peaks adorning the horizon.
You’ll encounter picturesque hillside villages with distinctive charm and cultural heritage along the route. Traverse the twisting mountain roads that offer sweeping views, providing a sense of awe at every turn. Gauchar awaits your arrival, a tranquil town snuggled within the Garhwal Himalayas, captivating with its serene ambience and unspoiled beauty.
Discover the joy of exploring Gauchar’s famed apple orchards, indulging in the seasonal bounty, and relishing the flavors of nature’s harvest. Don’t miss the chance to witness the vibrancy of the annual Minjar Fair, a celebration that showcases the region’s cultural heritage in all its grandeur.
Route: Lansdowne to Dhanaulti
The road trip from Lansdowne to Dhanaulti unravels the hidden treasures of Uttarakhand’s lesser-known hill stations. As you bid farewell to the serene town of Lansdowne, celebrated for its serenity, a world of natural beauty unfolds before you, offering an escape into the lap of composure. With each curve, the air becomes infused with the refreshing scent of pine, invigorating your senses and creating a delightful ambience as you leave Lansdowne behind.
The stunning landscapes of Uttarakhand unfold their charms as you venture further. Clothed in a mantle of dense deodar and oak forests, Towering mountains stand as majestic sentinels against the cerulean sky. Arriving in Dhanaulti, you’ll be captivated by its serene ambience and panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayas. Explore the pristine beauty of the eco-parks, where nature’s symphony intertwines with the gentle whispers of the wind. Take leisurely walks through the serene forests and rejuvenate your soul. Dhanaulti offers exhilarating adventure activities like zip-lining and rappelling, allowing you to embrace the spirit of exploration.
This journey offers a respite from the chaos of everyday life, allowing you to embrace the simplicity and serenity that nature graciously provides.
Route: Pauri to Khirsu
A scenic trip from Pauri to Khirsu in Uttarakhand is a journey that promises breathtaking landscapes and a chance to plunge in the natural wonders of the region. The route treats you to awe-inspiring vistas of snow-capped peaks, lush green meadows, and cascading waterfalls, creating a mesmerizing backdrop for your adventure. You’ll be captivated by the serene ambience and panoramic views of the Himalayas once you arrive in Khirsu. The village offers a peaceful retreat, far from the hustle and bustle of city life. The beauty of Khirsu lies in its simplicity, allowing you to unwind, relax, and connect with nature.
As you wander the paths, Uttarakhand’s enchanting flora and fauna reveal themselves, painting a vivid picture of nature’s abundance. Visiting the ancient Ghandiyal Devta Temple is a must when in Khirsu. Perched on a hilltop, the temple not only holds spiritual significance but also provides a vantage point to admire the magnificent landscapes that surround it. The tranquility of the temple’s surroundings invites moments of introspection and reflection, allowing you to connect with a higher sense of being. The serenity of Khirsu acts as a balm for the soul, providing a respite from the chaos of everyday life.
Boarding on a road trip through the lesser-known destinations in Uttarakhand is a delightful journey filled with stunning landscapes, cultural discoveries, and a deeper connection with nature. From the serene hills of Chakrata to the hidden charm of Abbott Mount, each destination offers a unique experience and showcases the state’s diverse beauty. Whether you seek spiritual enlightenment, scenic vistas, or an escape from the crowds, Uttarakhand’s lesser-known destinations provide a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be explored. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on an unforgettable adventure through the lesser-known destinations of Uttarakhand, immersing yourself in the captivating beauty and serene ambience that defines the heart of this remarkable state.