Top 10 Adventure Sports in Uttarakhand

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

Trek to Chandrashila Summit from Chopta or Deoriya Tal is one of the popular winter treks in Uttarakhand

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

 

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2. Paragliding: Flight of Fantasy

Adventure enthusiasts could go for tandem paragliding in Mukteshwar from September till March

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

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Also Read: Places Visit in Uttarakhand in December for a Joyful Getaway

3. Skiing: Glide over Snow

Auli is an important ski destination in the Himalayan mountains of Uttarakhand

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.

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Also read: 5 Days Journey to the Skiing Capital of India – Auli

4. White Water Rafting: The Rush of Adrenaline

Rishikesh has now become the main center of white water rafting in North India

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

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Also Read: Top 10 places to go for River Rafting in India

5. Camping: Back to Nature

Deoria Tal is a very beautiful lake situated amid dense forests of Rhododendron and Oak making it an ideal place for camping in Uttarakhand

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.

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Also Read: 15 Best Places for Camping in Uttarakhand

6. Elephant Safaris: Beauty & the Beast

Undisturbed by the mechanical roar of a car or jeep, open to surroundings, Elephant Safari is the best way to explore the Corbett National Park. Photo source

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: Uttarakhand Adventure Tour

  • Best time to visit: December to February
  • Ideal for: Nature enthusiasts, photographers

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Also read: Top 10 Jungle Resorts near Jim Corbett

7. Bungee Jumping: The Gravitational Pull

Probably the most famous thrill-seeking activity in Rishikesh is the bungee jumping

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.

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8. Zip-line Activities: The Flying Fox

Fly High across the Ganges with breath-taking views as you fly down a series of an ultra-strong steel zip lines in Rishikesh

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

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Check out the Top 10 Best Adventure Activities in Rishikesh

9. Canoeing & Kayaking: Paddling the Rapids

The adventure of kayaking in Rishikesh have gained much popularity among tourists from all corners of the world

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

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10. Cable Car Ride: Up & Above

If one is lucky, the sight of Om Parvat as in pic can make the ropeway ride a thrilling experience however most of the Himalayan peaks are occasionally visible because of cloud covers. Source

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.

[Explore Packages to Plan your Trip to Uttarakhand]

Nikhil Chandra

Digital marketer by profession and a keen traveler, amateur photographer and avid book reader by passion, Nikhil Chandra’s writing and photographs have been published in various travel magazines and blogs including Travel & Leisure, Seat 61, Mode&Tendances, Oryx Magazine (Qatar air inflight magazine) among others. Holding a masters in Literature and Marketing Management, Nikhil Chandra applies his educational qualifications, professional experience, and wander wisdom to write on a range of topics that includes search engine, PPC, content marketing, photography tips and travel. He summarizes himself succinctly as a writer here and there and on this and that.

Comments ( 27 )
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  • Antima Singh

    Nice Blog!
    Thanks

    • Tusharika

      Hi Antima,

      Thank you for your kind words! Keep on following our blogs for more such posts in the future.

  • Ruchika Pandey

    Thanks a lot for posting this informative blog and giving people amazing choices.

    • Tusharika

      Hi Ruchika,

      Thank you for your kind words! Keep on following our blogs for more such posts in the future.

  • Neha Soni

    Great Blog!
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    • Diksha Khiatani

      Hey Neha

      Thank you for your kind words! Keep on following our blogs for more such posts in the future.

  • Amrindra Pal

    You people shared awesome places of Uttarakhand to enjoy adventure sport. Really enjoyable.

    • Debashree Chakraborty

      Hey Amrindra,

      Thank you for your kind words. Do follow our blog for more posts.

  • sc negi

    I’m a little late reading this blog, especially some of the posts, but got to say… everything here is so great and so true. As someone who’s originally from the area, I get a chuckle out of many things here.

  • Neha

    Blog is really nice one and informative and most of Activity like Canoeing & Kayaking: Paddling the Rapids is really once we havce to do!
    Thanks for Sharing Article like this keep sharing

  • Tonya Kampani

    Hey Nikhil,
    Your blog was very interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing it. I am planning a trip to Uttarakhand in about 2 weeks. March 17- 26 or so. I am travelling with my 9 year old. What are the sports you think will be safe for him to try and where are the places? Can I combine Hrishikesh, Corbett and valley of flowers all in one trip? We would also like to see and play with snow. Any place where I could? looking forward to a reply. Thank you

    • Debashree Chakraborty

      Hey Tonya,

      Glad to know that you follow our blog. About your upcoming trip to India, you can cover Rishikesh, Corbett and the Valley of Flowers only with a well-crafted-itinerary. As all of these places are in different corners of the mountain state, one needs a proper plan to cover these. For snow where you have a thrilling time Gulmarg in Kashmir is where you should head to. The valleys of Kashmir have abundance of pristine snow in the last week of March.

  • kanhaiya

    Thanks Nikhil,
    These are such a great information you share with us. Rishikesh riverside camping , white water rafting, bungee jumping, flyingfox Etc are the best adventurous activities in Rishikesh. In weekend I try to reach Rishikesh because it is my all time favourite destination. Whenever I got chance, I reach there.

  • Anjulika

    You are an exceptionally well writer , the photographs are mesmerizing too, and your profile description is something I dream to be my profile, you may say from this day,m I Idolize you. #InspirationalSoul!
    #respect

  • Shajar

    Please tell me places in uttarakhand where i can find a lake near forests and we can do campig and fishing but not like a picnic spot like deoria tal and other famous known places.. but it needs to be thrilling and unfamous.

    • Nikhil Chandra

      Why don’t you try Dodital near Uttarkashi. A great place to trek, camp and fish. When I went there I tried my hand at angling using makeshift fishing rod but alas I coudn’t catch one. May be you’ll have better luck 🙂

      By the way the lake Dodital is composed of two words … dodi which is local for trout and tal which means lake. You see it is a lake full of trouts. You do need permission though for angling here.

      Hope this help. I know of more but then you don’t want to go to some place which is easily accessible.

      Let me know if you require any more information.

  • Shantanu

    Jumping Heights, located in Mohan Chatti village, has been rated as one of the most preferred bungee jumping destinations in India. It is the only place in India where bungee jumping can be done from a fixed platform. A Cantilever platform is built over a rocky cliff which is 83 meters above ground level, making it the highest and the most thrilling bungee jumping location in India. Jumping heights is well known for its safety measures and experienced staff. It costs around Rs 2500 per jump, a bit expensive, but totally worth the experience.

  • Khushbu

    Hey guys, i am planning a trip to uttarakhand this july. Nikhil, thank you soo much foe sharing all the thrilling adventures. I guess i will try everything except kayaking and trekking. Do you think its possible in one trip? How many days should i ideally plan if i wish to cover them all? Don really have an idea of the distance between places. So your guidance will be very helpful.

    • Nikhil Chandra

      It is possible but not in July. Skiing is definitely out of question and national parks are also closed during monsoon meaning elephant safari too is out of question. In the monsoon even paragliding is difficult.

      What you could definitely do is rafting, camping, zip lining and bungee jumping all of which could be done near Rishikesh itself. Rishikesh is around 250 kms from Delhi. Beware though that July is the time of monsoon and you could face heavy rain.

      Camping could be done at many places in Uttarakhand and ideally I would suggest Kanatal near Mussorrie for camping. If you do Delhi – Rishikesh – Kanatal – Mussorrie – Delhi, it is possible to cover these in 3-4 days. Total distance traveled would be approx 850 kms. I just returned from a motorcycle trip on this very same route. IF you do this, I’d recommend that you stay in Landour instead of Mussorie. Landor is quieter and more scenic than Mussorrie.

      In Rishikesh, you should camp at Shivpuri which is the base for white water rafting. There are many camps there where you could stay.

      I hope this helps!

  • Jennifer Martin

    I am a frequent visitor to Uttarakhand. That’s why I really like this blog which is concentrating on the various adventure sports in Uttarakhand. Whenever I gave a visit to Uttarakhand, I make sure that I visit Rishikesh to do Zip lining which I think is conducted by some company Flying Fox. The instructors were very supportive and the most memorable thing was flying over the Ganges.

  • Vivek

    Hello Nikhil,
    Thanks for sharing each information with us. Basically we are from uttarakhand but unaware of these activities. Please add a share link in your post so we can share same information with other facebook or social sites users.

    Regards
    Vivek

    • Nikhil Chandra

      Thanks Vivek,
      I am glad you liked it. I hope you will try these activities soon to get that adrenaline rush.
      But we do have floating share button on the left bar which you could use to share the post on Facebook, Twitter and other social channels.

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  • Geetika Handa

    I have always visited the Uttarakhand state for its scenic beauty but never thought of trying my hands at such thrilling adventure activities. Your blog gives every single detail about all the activities offered here and has inspired me to partake in some of these during my next trip to Uttarakhand.

    • Nikhil Chandra

      Hey Geetika!
      Thanks for stopping by 🙂
      It is always encouraging to know that what I have written has made the readers aware of something new. That you are going to partake in some of these adventure sport activities in Uttarakhand is all the more heartening. I am glad that I could familiarize you with some thrilling activities that you haven’t tried before. So what is gonna be your call…rafting, bungee jumping or trekking? Camping and river rafting in Rishikesh that I’d strongly recommend if you haven’t tried it before 🙂

      All the best!

  • Rekha

    Thanks Nikhil Chandra for this post, its awesome. You explained each activity very well.

    I have heard about Rafting and Paragliding in Uttarakhand, but I can see some other adventurous activities in your post that are completely new for me.

    • Nikhil Chandra

      Thanks Rekha,
      I am glad that you found my post useful. I am glad that you found some unheard of adventure sports activities. And I also hope that my post have motivated you enough to undertake a few of them.
      Cheers and happy travelling!