Are you an adrenaline junkie and wondering what are the top adventure sports in Uttarakhand for planning a trip soon? You’ve come to the right place.
Among the thrill-seekers, Uttarakhand stands right at the top of adventure destinations in India.
Owing to its unique topographical variety and natural abundance, deep gorges, and gurgling rivers, a range of adventure sports in Uttarakhand offers myriad adrenaline pumping to the seekers of extreme sports.
In Uttarakhand, you can try your hands at a number of adventure sports activities like paragliding, skiing, white-water rafting, mountaineering, trekking, etc.
In recent times, bungee jumping, zip flying, and cable car rides have become the new rage among adventure enthusiasts.
So what are the top Adventure Sports in Uttarakhand and Where to do them?
Mentioned below are some of the adrenaline-pumping activities for those looking forward to the thrills of adventure sports activities in Uttarakhand.
|Adventure Sports Activities in Uttarakhand||Where to do it||When to do it||What should you pack|
|1. Trekking||Valley of Flowers Trek, Kedartal Trek, Har Ki Dun Trek, Benog Tibba Trek, Bali Pass, Dayara Bugyal Trek||October -April But Valley of Flower July – Sep||Hiking Shoes, Walking Pole, First Aid Kit, Food, etc.|
|2. Paragliding||Mukteshwar, Nainital, Pithoragarh, Ranikhet||Throughout the year||Comfortable Shoes, Sunglasses|
|3. Skiing||Auli||January-February||Ski Gear, Sunglasses, Waterproof Boots, Warm Clothes, etc.|
|4. White Water Rafting||Rishikesh||October to April||Sturdy Footwear, Extra pair of clothes, Towel|
|5. Camping||Rishikesh, Kanatal, Dhanaulti, Chopta, Deoria Tal, Jim Corbett, Pangot, Mukteshwar||Throughout the year except for Monsoons||Tent, Sleeping Bag, First Aid Kit, Torch|
|6. Elephant Safari||Corbett National Park, Rajaji National Park||December to February||Hat/Cap, Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Camera|
|7. Bungee Jumping||Rishikesh||March-April, October-November||Casual Clothes, Comfortable Shoes|
|8. Zip-line||Rishikesh, Mussorie, Nainital||Throughout the year||Sturdy Shoes, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Comfortable Clothes|
|9. Canoeing & Kayaking||Rishikesh||Early March – April||Sunscreen, Quick Drying Clothes, Waterproof footwear|
|10. Cable Car Ride||Auli, Nainital, Mussoorie, Haridwar||Round the year||Camera|
1. Trekking: Footloose in the Himalayas
With some of the most spectacular Himalayan peaks and mountain trails varying from easy to tough grades, Uttarakhand is one of the most popular trekking destinations in India among adventure seekers. Trekking in Uttarakhand Himalayas is also popular as it is as much an adventure as it is a spiritual experience.
Undulating valleys sprinkled with lush forest, cascading water streams, and snow-capped peaks that are reached through thrilling yet enchanting trails are what make trekking in Uttarakhand one of the most popular adventure activities in India.
The World Heritage trail of Valley of Flowers combined with spiritual Hemkund Sahib is popular during monsoon. While the snow-laden Nag Tibba summit is famous during winters, there are all-season treks to Deoriatal – Chopta – Tungnath – Chandrashila. In fact, there is no dearth of trekking routes in Uttarakhand for those looking forward to adventure combined with bliss.
- Best Time to go: April-October
- Popular trek routes: Bedni Bugyal, Kauri Pass, Har ki Dun, Deoriatal-Chandrashila, Dodital, Roop Kund, Hem Kund – Valley of Flowers, and Kedarkantha.
- Duration: Treks range between 1 day and can last up to 10 days at a time
- Ideal For: People with reasonably good health and endurance
- Average Cost for Trekking: Costs may vary depending on the duration of the trek.When planning on your own, weekend treks cost as low as 3000 bucks per person. If going with tour operators cost may vary from INR 6000/- to INR 25,000 per person
- Things to carry: Camping Gear, Hiking Shoes, Water Bottles, Packaged Food, etc.
Also Read: 17 Best Places for Trekking in Uttarakhand
2. Paragliding: Flight of Fantasy
Flying has always been an obsession since time immemorial be it the Icarus whose wing failed in flight to the Wright brothers who finally managed the first modern flight by humans. Experience the thrill of flying along with an eagle-eye view of the lush surrounding and mountainscape as the adrenaline rush takes over when you go paragliding in Uttarakhand.
No wonder soaring high like an eagle is an obsession among adventure enthusiasts. Although not one of the most popular places for paragliding in India, Uttarakhand offers ample ops for paragliding for those seeking the thrill of flying.
The best thing about paragliding in Uttarakhand is that you don’t require prior knowledge of paragliding as tandem paragliding flights are offered by trained experts at Mukteswar and Ranikhet, two of the most popular places for paragliding in Uttarakhand. In recent times, paragliding has become one of the popular adventure sports in Uttarakhand.
- Best Time to go: April-October
- Where to go: Bir-Billing, Manali, Mukteshwar, and Ranikhet
- Duration: 1-2 hours
- Average Cost: Approx. INR 1500/- PP, may vary depending on the location
3. Skiing: Glide over Snow
Skiing requires a flood of passion and energy to slide over vast expanses of snow. The almost perfect snow line and mountainscape in Auli in Uttrakhand make it one of the finest skiing destinations in India. Take off the wonderful challenge of gliding down the mountain or take classes to master the art of skiing. The classes are offered by GMVN Uttarakhand and span 7-14 days.
- Best Time to go: January-February
- Where to go: Auli
- Duration: As long as last
- Ideal For: Anyone, prior skiing experience is not required but is preferred
- Average Cost: Free unless you hire gear or book ski lessons
- Things to carry: Ski gear, although you can hire shoes, equipment, clothing, etc.
4. White Water Rafting: The Rush of Adrenaline
Perhaps the most popular adventure sport in Rishikesh– be it the youth or even families nowadays – is white water rafting in the gushing rapids of the Ganges and Tons river in Uttarakhand. Whereas the white water rafting and camping near rapids from Shivpuri to Rishikesh have become the most popular weekend getaways activities of denizens of Delhi, visitors and thrill-seekers from around the globe head to Uttarakhand for river rafting in India. Recently white water rafting is also gaining popularity on the rapids of the Tons river near Mori.
- Best Time to go: April-October
- Where to go: Rishikesh
- Duration: 3-4 Hours
- Ideal For: Anyone
- Average Cost PP: INR 1000/- PP onwards
- Things to carry: Extra pair of clothes
5. Camping: Back to Nature
Camping – especially for a city person – is an experience that is not just enlightening but a mentally and spiritually uplifting experience and a way to reclaim your ‘self’. It’s like going back to nature and setting oneself adrift surrounded by wilderness and tranquility of nature only to rediscover oneself.
Away from the din of the city and from the technologies like mobile & cell phones, camping lets you escape the crutches of hectic city life and observe things and attain perspectives in a new improved way. It also lets you appreciate Mother Nature and see and appreciate the beauty of the outdoors.
With its dense jungles, lush bugyals, and alpine lake, Uttarakhand tucks some of the finest natural camping sites in its bosom. Be it the magical Deoria Tal with its densely forested surrounding and panoramic view of more than 5 Himalayan peaks or the lush meadows of Chopta dotted with pine, deodar, and rhododendron forest flanked by towering Himalayas, there are some the world and magical places in Uttarakhand that makes it one of the top destinations for camping in India.
Yet another top place for camping in India is Rishikesh. It is especially popular for family holidays in India. Rafting, hiking, temple visits, and nature walks along with camping by the sandy beaches of the Ganges.
- Best Time to go: April-October
- Popular camping destinations in Uttarakhand: Kanatal, Dhanaulti, Deoria Tal, Padamapuri, Chopta, Corbett National park, Sattal, Pangot, Binsar Sanctuary, Bhimtal, Rani Chori, Chokuri.
Also Read: 15 Best Places for Camping in Uttarakhand
6. Elephant Safaris: Beauty & the Beast
Uttarakhand happens to be one of the best places for Elephant safaris in India. One could indulge in the adventure of these rides at either Corbett National Park near Ramgarh or Rajaji National Park near Haridwar. Riding atop the mighty beasts offers a great vantage point to observe the beauty as well as spot wildlife up close.
The elephant safaris at both of these national parks are available on a first-come first-serve basis. Costs start from INR 500 for Indians and INR 1500 for foreign visitors.
Travel Planning Tips: Delhi to Jim Corbett Road Trip
- Best time to visit: December to February
- Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, photographers
Also read: Top 10 Jungle Resorts near Jim Corbett
7. Bungee Jumping: The Gravitational Pull
Nothing pumps the adrenaline to the level as does the bungee jumping. Feel the blood rushing to your face and the pounding of your heart. Bungee jumping is – so to say – the mother of all adventure sports.
One of the best places to go bungee jumping in India is Rishikesh in Uttarakhand. At 83 feet, Jumpin Heights – with jumpmasters from New Zealand – is India’s highest Bungy. With its abundant natural beauty, the bungee jumping in Rishikesh beats the experience of jumping from tall cranes or malls any day.
- Popular Spots: Mohan Chatti near Rishikesh
- Best Time to Go -October to mid-November and early March – April.
8. Zip-line Activities: The Flying Fox
Zip-line is yet another adventure sports activity that is gaining popularity among visitors from overseas. Uttarakhand with its suitable topography and remarkable natural beauty offers some of the best options.
The thrill of jumping will make you fly at speed of 140-160 kilometers per hour. It is a thrilling experience not to mention the sight of rolling hills, cascading water streams, and dense forests.
One of the best places for flying fox activities in Uttarakhand is once again Rishikesh where you could undertake tandem flying across the zip line spanning over the length of 1 kilometer with 2 companions to share the thrill.
- Popular locations– Rishikesh, Mussorie, Nainital
9. Canoeing & Kayaking: Paddling the Rapids
Also referred to as the F1 of water paddling, kayaking and canoeing are the 2 most sought-after adventure activities in Uttarakhand, especially across the challenging rapids near Shivpuri and Rishikesh.
Kayaking and Canoeing are often used synonymously but what differentiates Kayaking from Canoeing is that whereas Kayaking is an individual activity in a closed boat with single peddler rowing with a double-bladed paddle, canoeing could be done by one or more persons.
Originated as a paddle boat used by Eskimos for the purpose of fishing & hunting through narrow and turbulent water channels, Kayaking in rapids these days has become a thrill-seeking activity to negotiate the tumultuous rapids of the Ganges in Uttarakhand.
The only catch however is that Kayaking and canoeing could not be undertaken by beginners to negotiate rapids. Prior experience or lessons are mandatory to undertake this adrenaline-rushing activity in Rishikesh. Read more about Kayaking in Rishikesh.
- Popular sites: Rishikesh
- Best Time to Go – Early March – April
10. Cable Car Ride: Up & Above
Cable ride from one mountain vantage point to another; with a sweeping view of the densely forested valleys and snowcapped mountain peaks of the Himalayas, makes cable car ride exciting.
It is one of the thrilling adventure activities to undertake if you are planning to embark on adventure tourism in Uttarakhand.
The best place for cable car rides in Uttarakhand unarguably is from Joshimath to Auli. Moreover, on a clear day, the view of Himalayan peaks; especially Bandarpunch, Trishul, and Om Parvat is a sight to behold.
- Best Places: Mussoorie and Nainital are the other 2 popular places for cable car rides in Uttarakhand.
Is this list adventurous enough?
So which one will you choose? Did we miss out on any or are these one too many? Do let us know in our comment section what you think about our compilation of adventure sports in Uttarakhand.