"Conquer the Heights: Your Ultimate Guide to Must-Do Hikes in McLeod Ganj - Thatharna, Kareri Lake, and Triund"

By Tarun Gianchandani

McLeod Ganj, nestled in the embrace of the Himalayas, is a haven for hiking enthusiasts. Unveiling a tapestry of landscapes, this destination boasts three must-do hikes: Thatharna, Kareri Lake, and Triund. From hidden gems to classic favorites, each trail promises an adventure of a lifetime. Let’s delve into the details of these treks, including how to get there, altitude, difficulty level, trek distance, and the best time to visit.

1. Thatharna Trek: The Hidden Sanctuary

                                                              Photo by Samrat Khadka on Unsplash

Overview: Thatharna, a hidden gem in the Dhauladhar range, offers a relatively unexplored trekking experience. The trail takes you through dense forests, quaint villages, and meandering streams, providing a perfect blend of nature and solitude. Thatharna, a lesser-known gem, unveils a sanctuary of tranquility. The trail winds through dense forests, charming villages, and panoramic vistas, promising an offbeat adventure away from the crowds.


  • Immersive local culture in picturesque villages.
  • Tranquil pine and oak forests.
  • Breathtaking panoramic views.

Pro Tips:

  • Start early for a mesmerizing sunrise.
  • Carry sufficient water and snacks. 

How to Get There: Commence your journey from McLeod Ganj and head towards Dharamkot. Navigate through Naddi and Dal Lake to reach the trailhead at Thatharna.

Altitude: Around 7,000 feet

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Trek Distance: Approximately 10 kilometers

Best Time to Visit: March to June and September to November


2. Kareri Lake Trek: Glacial Grandeur

                                                                     Photo by Aakash Bisht on Unsplash


Overview: Kareri Lake, surrounded by meadows and oak forests, is a high-altitude glacial lake that promises stunning vistas. The trek is challenging but rewards you with the pristine beauty of the lake and the towering peaks that surround it.


  • Camp by the pristine Kareri Lake, surrounded by meadows and snow-capped peaks.
  • Traverse through lush green landscapes, crossing gushing streams and meandering paths.
  • Engage with the nomadic Gaddi shepherds, gaining insights into their traditional way of life.

Pro Tips:

  • Acclimatize properly to the high altitude before undertaking this trek.
  • Ensure you carry sturdy trekking gear, including waterproof clothing and comfortable boots.

How to Get There: Drive from McLeod Ganj to Ghera village, the starting point for the Kareri Lake trek. The trail takes you through lush forests and captivating landscapes.

Altitude: Approximately 9,600 feet

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Difficult

Trek Distance: Around 26 kilometers

Best Time to Visit: May to July and September to November

3. Triund Trek: Himalayan Classic

                                                                     Photo by Shashank Verma on Unsplash

Overview: Triund is the quintessential trek for anyone visiting McLeod Ganj. The well-trodden trail offers a perfect introduction to the Himalayan wilderness and rewards trekkers with breathtaking views of the Kangra Valley. Highlights:

  • Witness the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset from the Triund Ridge.
  • Camp under the starry skies with the Dhauladhar range as your backdrop.

Capture panoramic views of the Kangra Valley and the snow-capped peaks of the Dhauladhars. 

Pro Tips:

  • Check the weather conditions before embarking on the trek, as the trail can be slippery during monsoons.
  • Pack layers to prepare for temperature variations, especially during the night.

How to Get There: Start from McLeod Ganj, head to Dharamkot, pass Galu Devi Temple, and embark on the well-marked trail leading to Triund.

Altitude: 9,432 feet

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Trek Distance: Approximately 9 kilometers

Best Time to Visit: March to June and September to November

Conclusion: McLeod Ganj’s hiking trails offer a gateway to the heart of the Himalayas. Whether you opt for the hidden Thatharna, the high-altitude Kareri Lake, or the classic Triund, each trek promises a unique adventure. So, pack your sense of adventure, venture into the mountains, and let the Himalayas unfold their majestic beauty before you. Happy hiking!