What attracts you to hiking? What compels you to take on one arduous journey on foot after another? Is it for the adventure, or is it a way to reconnect with yourself? Is it to breathe in the fresh air of freedom from daily life, or is it for a sense of accomplishment? No matter what your reasons are, these nature trails in India will inspire you to get lost in the wilderness.
Stok Kangri Summit, Ladakh
Let's start our hiking journey from the highest trekking point in India, Stok Kangri. Standing at an elevation of 20,100 feet, mastering this trail is no easy task. Having said that, a hike to Stok Kangri can be undertaken by beginners as well, but the most difficult part is the summit.
It's an eight to nine-day trek with dramatic views of the Himalayas and Karakorum. After two to three days of acclimatization in Leh, your hike will begin via the beautiful Stoke village. After four to five hours of daily walking and clear views of the Ladakh Range, Zanskar Range, the Indus-Markha Valley and the city of Leh as you leave it behind, the summit day will come. On this day, be prepared to face sub-zero temperatures and to walk for six to seven hours overnight on a glacier, followed by a two-hour walk on the ridge line to reach the summit. Once you reach the peak, give yourself a moment to reflect on what you have accomplished.
You're standing on a peak that's higher than Europe's highest mountain, Mt. Elbrus at 18,510 ft., and just a bit higher than the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro! Let this sink in, smile and enjoy your moment.