Uttarakhand is full of valleys that are situated in the lower Himalayan region, especially the area close to Nepal & China border.
For campers, and trekkers these valleys are heaven as many of them are still unexplored, and are the best trekking & camping destinations in the whole of India.
Then the below list of the 17 best valleys in Uttarakhand will let you aware of some amazing places to explore & meet the humblest people in the whole world.
Note: Below in the list, we have stated that in some valleys, only experienced trekkers should visit.
- 1. Darma Valley – One of the most scenic Valleys in Uttarakhand
- 2. Niti Valley
- 4. Harsil Valley
- 5. Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand
- 6. Johar Valley
- 7. Tons Valley
- 8. The Doon Valley
- 9. Pindar Valley
- 10. Mana Valley
- 11. Bhilangana Valley
- 12. Har ki Doon Valley
- 13. Kuthi Valley
- 14. Saur Valley
- 15. Happy Valley Uttarakhand
- 16. Mandakini Valley
- 17. Merag Valley
1. Darma Valley – One of the most scenic Valleys in Uttarakhand
Located in Pithoragarh district, Darma Valley is a remote area of around 12 tribal villages, close to the Indo-Nepal border.
This valley is at an altitude of 3470 meters, & famous for its rivers, waterfalls, and trekking sites, which I would say is of moderate level.
Plus, when you will trek here you will see many waterfalls & glaciers, and also the hospitality of local Villages, which offer some nice homestay accommodations.
You can stay in Sobla Village, Dar Village, and to reach here you need to reach Pithoragarh, the nearest city from here & a 95 km drive.
The nearest Airport is in Pithoragarh, with direct flights from Delhi, and the nearest railway station is Kathgodam in Haldwani, that’s a 175 km or a 9-hour drive.
I visited Darma Valley as part of my 10-day Adi Kailash road trip and it is truly breathtaking.
2. Niti Valley
Niti Valley is in the Chamoli district, & very close to the border with Tibet.
The valley is at a height of 3600 meters & in fact, the Niti Village is the last village in India before one can enter the Tibetan border.
There is very heavy snowfall in Niti Valley in the winter season, due to which many locals have to leave their homes, and even for tourists, it’s best to visit the valley from April to November.
Note: You also need to get permission from SDM at Joshimath before visiting Niti Valley.
While visiting the valley, you will see Niti Pass, local villages, Niti Temple, Panchnag Temple, and Nanda Devi Temple and you can also plan to visit Nanda Devi National Park & Tapovan too.
Hotel options are limited here, as there is only one Government Guest House in Gamshali Village, which is 5 km from Niti. So, do check out Tapovan or Auli for accommodation, which is a 2-3-hour drive away.
Plus, also check out Dronagiri Parvat View Point en route to Auli.3. Nelong Valley
Nelong Valley was opened only in 2015 and is still very unknown to tourists, and if you want to see Ladakh-like landscapes in Uttarakhand, then I would highly recommend that you visit Nelong Valley.
This valley has a cold-desert landscape that is very similar to Lahaul-Spiti and Ladakh and was once a part of the Indo-Tibet route therefore you will find some places like wooden bridges and a temple, Lal Devta Temple.
The valley is still a restricted area and you will find patrol jeeps of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and camps here.
There is also a limit to how many people can visit this valley. Only 6 forest department jeeps with total of 24 passengers can enter the valley in a day,
And remember that Nelong Valley is not available for camping and thus you will not be able to stay here for the night.
I recommend that you reach Bhairon Ghati (25 km before the valley on National Highway), and take the forest jeep to visit this valley.
Plus, you can stay at GMVN Bhaironghati Guest House too.
Note: You need permission from the SDM office and a fitness certificate so that you can visit Nelong Valley, and also check out Gartang Gali.
4. Harsil Valley
Harshil Valley at Bhagirathi River has become a popular place for travelers, all thanks to Char Dham Yatra which starts in April every year, only for 7-8 months.
Harshil Valley is so unique that many Bollywood movies have presented its beauty in their films like the famous movie scenes from Ram Teri Ganga Meili was shot here, and a movie name “Kedarnath” where late actor Sushant Singh Rajput played the role of a pithoo.
Nevertheless, Harsil Valley is still one of the untouched valleys in Uttarakhand & is on the route to Gangotri temple.
Harsil Valley has small villages, which are habituated by Bhotia tribes, and there are some adventurous treks that start from here.
You can visit the valley from April to May to avoid the winter season (October to January) as there is heavy snowfall here.
And if you are here then do try the local rajma and apples, which are very famous here.
Hotels: You will find some hotels and guest houses in Harsil, and do visit Mukhba village where the idol of Goddess Ganga is brought from Gangotri Dham during winter.
Plus, if you want to know more about Char Dham Yatra then check out Rajputana Cabs Char Dham Yatra package from Delhi for more details.
5. Valley of Flowers Uttarakhand
Valley of Flowers is a beautiful valley in Uttarakhand, and very close to Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara.
The trek (easy level) to Valley of Flowers is its main attraction, and it’s full of colorful wildflowers which bloom from May till October.
Valley of Flowers is in Nanda Devi National Park and you will have to cross glaciers, river streams, waterfalls, and bridges on its route. Simple heaven.
Ghangaria is the last village where you will get some food and snacks, and from here you will have to trek for 2 hours to reach Valley of Flowers.
The trail is not very tough but you will need very strong trekking shoes, peak physical fitness, and food.
To reach Valley of flower from Delhi, you need to first reach Haridwar, and then either book a cab or take the local bus to reach Govind Ghat.
From here the trek starts which is 16 km long, and do visit the Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara too.
6. Johar Valley
Johar Valley is one of the virgin treks in Uttarakhand, not too far from Munsiyari, which is a small hill station located in the Pithoragarh district.
The trek route to Johar Valley is a bit tough (expert level) and is of 12-13 days starting from Munsyari.
It is advised that only experienced trekkers visit this trek, as here you will pass through forests, alpine meadows, & local villages (names shared below).
On this trek, you will visit Pamdeo, Bagudiyar, Rilkot, Ghanghar, and Nanda Devi Base Camp. And you will get the best views of Nanda Devi, Trishul, Nanda Kot & other mountains on this trek.
Milam is the glacier in Johar Valley from where the Gori Ganga River originates, and you can plan camping at Suraj Kund, Nitwal Dhar, and other sites.
The best time to plan trekking & camping here is from May to October, and to reach here, you need to reach Munsyari, which is 130 km from Pithoragarh city.
The city also has an airport, Naini Saini Airport Pithoragarh and you can take a cab or local bus to reach Munsyari.
7. Tons Valley
Tons Valley is very close to Dehradun and in fact, it is the most accessible valley in the whole of Uttarakhand.
Tons River flows through this Valley and flows into the Yamuna River.
Tons Valley is famous for its pagoda-like temples, small villages, and off-beat adventure activities. and can be even visited by families, & senior citizens, due to good road connectivity, all thanks to Char Dham Yatra route.
While planning a trek here, you will find two famous temples here, many villages such as Kalap, and Doni & many camping places on the banks of the Rupin River.
You can do river rafting, trekking, rock climbing, and mountaineering here on this Tons Valley Trek.
The best time to visit Tons Valley is in the months of March to November, and you can plan a stay at Barkot, which has good accommodation options, as it’s close to Yamunotri Dham temple.
To reach here from Delhi, catch a train, cab, or bus to Dehradun, and then a local bus or cab to Barkot, which is less than a 200 km drive.
8. The Doon Valley
Doon Valley is in the middle of the Sivalik & Mussoorie Range and the capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun, lies entirely in the Doon Valley.
Travelers come here to camp at the riverside, as there are quite a few rivers here like the Yamuna, Tons, Song River, and Bhagirathi rivers.
And the most famous trek here is the Har ki Dun Trek (Easy level). This trek will show you the Swargarohini Peak and which is the peak from where the Pandavas ascended to the heavens.
You will be surprised to find the one and only temple, dedicated to Duryodhana here.
Doon Valley is full of wildlife & deodar forests, and you can also visit a few national parks here like Rajaji National Park near Rishikesh, and Kalesar National Park near North Haryana.
As per our experience, trekking & camping here is of easy level and you can even plan a family trip here.
9. Pindar Valley
Pindar Valley, Pindar Glacier, and the Pindar River, all these are associated with a region in Bageshwar district of Kumaon Uttarakhand and are still very untouched by tourists.
Many experienced trekkers visit Pindar Valley to see the snowy mountain peaks of the Himalayas.
Plus, the Pinder River which later merges with the Alaknanda River at Karanprayag, one of Panch Prayag (Five places where tribute rivers of Ganga merge), is also a main tourist destination in the valley.
The source of the Pindar River is the Pindari glacier, and this huge glacier & the Pindari Glacier Trek (moderate level) is one of the famous trekking sites of Uttarakhand.
The trekking here is near the Nanda Devi mountain & goes through rocky terrain, deodar forests, and alpine meadows, and offers endless views of the Himalayan mountain peaks.
Pindar Valley is still a very much unexplored destination of Uttarakhand & is most beautiful in the summer season, but is full of snow in wintertime.
To reach here, you need to first come to Tharali via road, and Kathgodam via rail. Pindar River s 50 km away from Tharali, and 200 km from Kathgodam.
There are not many hotels or guest houses nearby. The closest guest house is at the national highway at Tharali.
10. Mana Valley
Mana Valley and Mana Village are to the north of the holy Badrinath Temple in the Chamoli district of Uttarakhand and it is the last village before the Indo-Tibetan border.
There are no villages after Mana Village in India.
You can reach Mana Village from Badrinath, as the road is well maintained due to Char Dham Yatra, and there is a huge gate that tells that Mana Village is The Last Indian Village.
There are several places here that are linked to Hindu mythology like Vyas Gufa, Ganesh Cave, Bhim Pul, Badrinath Temple, and Vasudhara Falls and all these are very scenic sites that you can visit near Mana Village.
Mana Pass is a high-altitude mountain pass that is best for trekking (Moderate level).
And like in many valleys near Badrinath, you need permission from Joshmimath SDM, nothing of this sort is required to visit Mana Village.
The Saraswati River also originates from here (Mana Valley), and you can plan a trip to Mana Village when going for Char Dham Yatra, in the summer season.
11. Bhilangana Valley
Another valley in Uttarakhand famous for its trekking, and has a beautiful river named after it is the Bhilangana Valley.
The main trekking site here is the Khatling trek (moderate level), which lets you pass through Garwhal villages, Kharsao forest, and quite a few Himalayan snow peaks like the Jogin I mountain range.
A trek of Khatling in Bhilangana Valley in of minimum 11-12 days, for experienced trekkers only, which starts from Uttarkashi, and finishes at Sonprayag or Guptkashi.
Plus, you can also visit the famous Kedarnath Dham temple, which is one of Char Dham Yatra and also one of the main 12 Jyotirlinga.
Apart from the Khatling trek, you can also check out Auden’s Col which is also a very popular trekking destination, close to Bhilangana Valley.
12. Har ki Doon Valley
Har Ki Doon Valley in the Garhwal Himalaya region, and is an easy difficulty level trek that can be enjoyed by starting trekkers.
While trekking here you will fall in love with the natural beauty of all the scenic views of sites like Swargarohini Peak, Kala Nag, Bandarpoonch, etc
The main stops of the Har ki Doon valley trek are Sankri > Taluka > Osla > Har ki Doon and then a trek towards Jaundhar Glacier. You must give full 7 days for the trek starting from Dehradun.
You can also plan camping here at one of many riverside destinations or you can stay in local villages like Osla & Sankri, which also has some guest house options.
The trekking trail will reveal the very best of Himalayan landscapes, where you will find magnificent views of the Bugyals, alpine lakes, shepherds grazing their cattle, river streams, mountain valleys, and summits.
13. Kuthi Valley
Kuthi Valley is in eastern Uttarakhand, Pithoragarh District, Dharchula region, and is also a border region with China, with Kuthi village being the last village in India.
The Kuti Village is named after Kunti, of the Mahabharata, who stayed here for a long time. The valley has many waterfalls, villages, alpine lakes, and mountain streams.
There is also the Kuthi River, which later meets with the Kali River in Gunji village, which is also an excellent place to camp.
The trekking here is suggested to moderate level where you will start the journey from Dharchula (which has many guest house options), then Mangti Nala > Budhi > Gunji village > and then Kuthi Valley.
There are some local homestays and lodges in Kuthi Village and these will give you basic amenities only.
Plus, from Kuthi Valley you can also visit Adi Kailash Peak, which is considered a sacred place. The route also comes in the very famous Kailash Mansarovar Yatra route.
Trekkers who are on their trek to Om Parvat also can halt here in Kuti Village for a night, and Joling Kong is the nearest place to view Adi Kailash mountain peak and is just 14 km from Kuti Village
14. Saur Valley
The only place in Uttarakhand that is as beautiful as Kashmir valley is the Saur, Pithoragarh district.
Travelers who visit the valley are mesmerized by stunning views of the Himalayas mountain peaks of Nanda Devi, Nanda Kot, Panch Chuli, and Trishuli.
Saur Valley is not a place for trekkers but more for people searching for remote places to stay and here one can stay at a nice comfy homestay in the valley.
Saur Valley is close to the border with Nepal, so you can even view Nepal mountain peaks from Saur Valley. Api mountain peak of Nepal is visible from here.
To reach Saur Valley, you need to reach Pithoragarh, which has direct flights with Delhi. Then you can either take a private cab or take the local government bus till the valley which is a 200-250 km drive.
15. Happy Valley Uttarakhand
Happy Valley is a tourist attraction of Mussoorie and is famous for the Shedup Choepelling Temple, which is the first Tibetan temple that Dalai Lama built in India.
More than 5000 Tibetan refugees live here, and you can view the entire hill station of Mussoorie from Happy Valley.
George Everest House, another attraction of Mussoorie hill station, is also clearly seen from Happy Valley.
You must try the Tibetan dishes here at the local restaurants. You can reach Happy Valley very easily when you visit Mussoorie.
16. Mandakini Valley
Mandakini Valley, famous for rafting, cycling & trekking is a U-shaped valley in Uttarakhand near Rudraprayag.
Many travelers who visit Charm Dham yatra or just Kedarnath Dham, spend some time here (1-2 days) and enjoy some scenic views of the Himalayas and Mandakani rivers, which also pass through Kedarnath Dham temple.
Some famous places that one can visit in Mandakini Valley are Rudranath Temple, Chamunda Devi Temple, Tungeshwar Mahadev Temple, Koteshwar, and others.
Due to the heavy snowfall at Mandakini Valley, it is best to be visited during the months from April to June.
We even suggest avoiding the monsoon months as the river levels rise here and there is a great danger of flooding and landslides.
To reach here you either take a cab from Haridwar, Dehradun, or a public bus to Rudraprayag.
17. Merag Valley
Merag Valley is in the Chomali district, famous for some of the best valleys in Uttarakhand, and also for Badrinath Temple, one of the Chota Dham Yatra sites and grand Char Dham Yatra of India.
Merag Valley is a popular tourist destination for travelers staying in Auli, which again is a top hill station of Uttarakhand famous for skiing.
You can come here, spend a few days to weeks in local villages, enjoy trekking (easy level), taste the local village cuisine, and if you are here in winter that do go skiing in Auli.
To reach Merag Valley, you can take a bus, or cab from Haridwar or Dehradun, which is a 275 km drive (7-8 hours).
The nearest town from here is Auli, Joshimath, and Pipalkoti, and you can also plan a trip to Badrinath Dham temple, and even the trek of Hemkund Sahib Gurudwara is not too far.
Uttarakhand is not just a place to visit hill stations, as it has some fantastic, unexplored valleys where locals offer amazing homestays, and has the best trekking & camping sites in the lower Himalayas region.
So, if you are planning a trekking trip to Uttarakhand, now you know which valley to choose, as per your trekking expertise, or you can come to visit some of these valleys for just a camping trip too.