On Foot in India’s
Kumaon Himalayas

Hikes in Kumaon, staying in village houses, are the ideal way to experience rural life and superb views in the foothills of the Indian Himalaya.


About walking in the Kumaon Himalayas

The little known region of Kumaon in India’s northern hill state of Uttarakhand remains firmly off the beaten track. Village walks offer an authentic experience of local life rich in cultural heritage among stunning mountain scenery all without compromising on comfort.

With a charming private guide to take the lead and porters to carry your bags you dictate the pace. Days are relaxed and the walking isn’t too demanding – it’s more about getting away from it all in this forgotten part of India. With so much to see and enjoy along the way, a steady pace allows you to soak up the scenery and immerse yourself in rural life.

Between ancient temples and cultivated terraces, along trails lined with pines and beside fast flowing streams there’s time to meet the region’s gentle people, enjoy a cup of chai with friendly villagers and gourmet picnics prepared by your dedicated trek team. Over three to five days the activities can be adapted to suit you as you explore between the three different village houses, but for the ultimate experience of the region we recommend continuing north for a few days at a remote mountain lodge with sublime Himalayan views and mighty snow-capped peaks that seem in touching distance.

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Why we love walkingin the mountains

The remote hills of Kumaon in north west India are not the easiest to get to, but herein lies their attraction.

Far removed from the hustle and bustle of the modern world, the clear air, wide open spaces and absolute peace will put a spring in your step and an eagerness to explore.

Best time to walkin Kumaon

Late autumn and early spring are the best times to visit the Kumaon foothills of the Indian Himalaya and for hiking between villages.

November to March offers the best views and while December and January have wonderfully clear days the nights are very cold. In October and November, the wild cherry trees are delicately covered in pink-white blossom and from March to May the slopes are splashed with a variety of colour as the rhododendrons come into flower.

Regrettably from April the mountain views become hazy although the days are generally warm and dry.

Best time to walkin Kumaon

“Natural High shines rays of adventurous light into some of the least explored, most exciting corners of the wider world.

Our Favourite Camps & Lodges

Authentic village houses that combine excellent service with their ideal location in the Kumaon Himalayas.
Shakti Kumaon Village Houses

In three villages of the Kumaon Himalaya Shakti village houses combine the best of a rural homestay with added privacy and excellent service.

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360′ Leti

This Himalayan mountain lodge is perched high on a ridge and surrounded on all sides by stunning scenery of the Kumaon Himalaya.

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Charming accommodation

Accommodation is in traditional, simple but beautifully renovated houses in three villages, where you’ll be treated as an honoured guest by hosts with genuine warmth and hospitality. There are no TVs’ or hairdryers and your bathroom may be in an outdoor wash house, but you’ll be served delicious Kumaoni cuisine and gourmet picnics, snuggle up with a hot water bottle in a spotlessly clean and stylishly refurbished room and wake in the morning to glorious views. 

It’s the epitome of sophisticated yet understated, rustic, homely mountain comfort that’s unparalleled in terms of service, exploration and luxury trekking in this part of India.

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How fit do I need to be to walk in the Himalayas?

You don’t have to be super fit. Each day you will walk for four to five hours between each village, across terraced fields, through oak, pine and rhododendron forests.

There’s time to stop for a picnic, visit local temples and play an impromptu game of cricket with children, or cool your feet in streams and rock pools.

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Find out more about the mountains

Indian Himalayas Discover More
  • Traditional villages far off the tourist trail
  • Remote Buddhist monasteries and temples
  • Hiking away from the crowds
  • Hill station, tea plantations and mountain railways
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Into The Wild Brochure

Need some more inspiration? Request a copy of Into The Wild, our comprehensive anthology of safaris and wilderness travel.

Receive a copy of our into the wild brochure

A print anthology of safari and wilderness travel with over 220 pages of travel inspiration.

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