Tucked away in the beautiful valley of Kedarnath, Uttarakhand, Chopta Valley is surrounded by snow-capped mountains, picturesque lakes, lush green meadows and serene valleys. The soft hum of the waterfalls and chirping birds all around makes it the perfect summer retreat if you are going out with your family.
If you are planning to spend your weekend at this gorgeous place while travelling around Uttarakhand, there are ample things to do in Chopta Valley.
1. Tungnath trek
Tungnath is embraced by deodar trees, oaks and rhododendrons. The trekking trail is about 3.5 km long and makes for the perfect adventure activity to enjoy in Chopta Valley. It is very well paved with only a few steep and sharp turns, and is one the top places to visit in Uttarakhand for adventure travel. This place also houses an ancient temple that is said to be present for over 1000 years. Tungnath is considered to be an abode of Lord Shiva, where his hands are worshipped. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the Mandakini and Alaknanda river valleys from here.
The best time to do this trek is in the summer season (May-June) because the weather is very pleasant.
2. Baniyakund camping
How can you not go camping when you’re this close to the Himalayas. Baniyakund is a long stretch of meadows; this place is located 4 km away from Chopta Valley and is surrounded by the Garhwal Himalayas. It is also an ideal spot for bird watching, especially parakeets.
The best time to opt for camping at Baniyakund is during the summers and monsoons.
3. Kanchula Korak Musk Deer Sanctuary
The Kanchula sanctuary is located 7 km from Chopta and is along the Chopta-Gopeshwar road. It is famous for breeding musk deer. The sanctuary also houses a variety of rare flowers that make for a beautiful treat. It has lush green surroundings that remain gorgeous all year long. Enjoy the Himalayan wildlife at this famous sanctuary at Chopta Valley.
4. Chandrashila trek
The Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashila trek trail is 5 km long. You can aim to trek to Chandrashila, the highest peak in the Chopta region, which is located at an altitude of 4130 meters above the sea level. If you're seeking adventure travel in Uttarakhand, this trek is a must. The Chandrashila trek is one of the popular adventure places in Uttarakhand. This region also houses various bird species like the mountain goats and Fire-Tailed Sunbird and Brown Dipper. One should opt to go on a trek at Chandrashila during the summers. Sunrise from the Chandrashila region is a sight to behold.
Popularly known as the winter seat of Kedarnath, Ukhimath is a small village situated about 28 km from the Chopta Valley. The Madhameshwar Mela at Ukhimath houses innumerable ancient temples that give a sneak peek into the vibrant culture of the place. Some festivities celebrated here include Pandava dance.
While Ukhimath is a place that can be visited throughout the year, during winters, one can watch the migration of various deities that travel from the Kedarnath temple to Omkareshwar temple.
6. Deori Tal
Deori Tal is located at a distance of 3 km from the Sari village of Ukhimath. It is still regarded as the most popular tourist attraction because of the breathtaking view that it offers. The Deori Tal lake is located at the base of the Chaukhamba silvery peaks that also includes the view of the Neelkantha, Kedar Peaks and Yellow Tooth. One cannot miss bird watching when enjoying Deori Tal.
Trekkers also visit this place to trek around the beautiful trail where you may be lucky enough to spot deer. Summers are the best time to visit this place.
7. Bisuri Tal
The Bisuri Tal lake is located at an altitude of 4100 metres, the highest point for any lake in the Chopta region. In order to reach the Bisuri Tal lake, one has to trek from the Chopta Valley for approximately 30 km. The entire trek would take around 5 days to complete. The Bisuri Tal trail is challenging and is recommended only for experienced trekkers. A walk at the Bisuri Tal lake should definitely be in your bucket list for things to do in Uttarakhand.
Best time to visit Chopta Valley
One may visit Chopta Valley throughout the year. Summers are extremely pleasant. The average temperature ranges between 15 degrees to 24 degrees Celsius. However, for adventure freaks, winter is a good time to try winter treks. The average temperature range during winter is -15 degrees Celsius to 5 degrees Celsius. During winters, Chopta Valley gets covered in snow.
Where to stay in Chopta Valley
If you are visiting Chopta Valley, you cannot miss camping in the meadows that are surrounded by Himalayan peaks. There are a few budget hotels that you can find around Ukhimath and Rudraprayag. They’re both located a short distance from Chopta Valley. If you are someone who loves revelling in the pahaadi culture, try and explore the option of staying with locals there.
How to reach Chopta Valley
Chopta Valley is well-connected to places like Rishikesh, Gopeshwar, and Haridwar by road. There are good state bus services and private taxi services available for the same.
If you prefer air over the road, you have to take a flight to Dehradun, land at Jolly International Airport and then head to Chopta Valley from there via a bus or a cab.
If you are looking for a rail route, you will have to catch a train to Rishikesh or Haridwar. Haridwar is situated at a distance of 186 km from the Chopta Valley. You may then take a bus or a cab from Haridwar to Chopta Valley.