Lord Curzon went up to the Kuari-pass in 1905 and since he made the trek, it was named after him as “Curzon Trail”. Kuari Pass means “door way”. Kuari pass trek is one of the well-known treks in Uttarakhand, located at an altitude of 4268 m in Garhwal Himalayas. It is among the most scenic excursions that you will ever take through the Himalayan Mountains that end with a mesmerising view of the Kamet, Dronagiri, Trishul, Bertholi, Hathi Ghodi Parvat, Mana and Nanda Devi summit in all its glory.
Arrive early at Haridwar railway station (6:30am) and drive to Joshimath (transportation included) which will take approximately 9 to 10 hours. The drive from Haridwar to Joshimath is a beautiful one. The route passes through many mesmerizing views and drive goes along hugging the mountain side and you see the forests and valleys of Garhwal below you. We will also be passing by the panchprayag or the five holy confluences of Ganga – Devaprayag, Rudraprayag, Karnaprayag, Nandaprayag, and Vishnuprayag. Breakfast and Lunch will be on the way at a roadside inn, exclusive of charges.
After an early breakfast we will head off to Dhak Village which is around 11 km from Joshimath. The drive usually takes around 45 minutes to reach Dhak Village which has a few grocery stores and a dhaba. From here our trek will commence. The trek begins with an ascending, dirt trail that leads away from the main road, towards Tugasi village. This is the trail going inside the village. Twenty to twenty-five minutes into the trek, you will be reaching village Kharchi, where you can fill your bottles and take some rest. The trail for the next 45 minutes ascends gradually, with a few switch backs in between and leads you to Lower Tugasi. After 40 minutes of starting from Lower Tugasi, you reach the first rest point. You will be surrounded by oak forests on all sides. Continue on the trail leading into the forest. Except rhododendrons, you can find walnut and some other varieties of conifers in here. You will reach the second clearing after about an hour. All this time, you will cross small streams along the trail. The water in them is clean and you can drink it.
After breakfast start on a 5 hour journey deeper into the forest of Talli. After the exacting climb of last day, the trek today will be less arduous. The gradients of ascent is relatively smooth and will allow you an enjoyable trek.
After half an hour, you will come to a green clearing overlooking the magnificent snow peaks. After a few moments of rest, the climb must continue crossing a little stream to enter a mixed forest slowly thickening with oaks and rhododendrons. If you are coming in late March you might still find some white and pink blossoms. Except rhododendrons, you can find walnut and some other varieties of conifers in here. The Khullara campsite is located in a clearing.
Along this path, the Hathi-Ghori peaks will be manifesting gloriously along with Dronagiri now somewhat flipped to the side.
Fourth day is the summit day, likely to span 8-10 hours depending on the group’s pace. You need to gear up appropriately for high snow and squalling wind on the ridges today. There is going to be no water sources found on the way today, so carry enough to sustain you through. The trail from Khullara begins to climb steeply out of the tree line. In 1-1.5 hours, you reach a ridge, which is a part of Lord Curzon’s trail. From here 360-degree views of the Himalayas open up before you. On one side you see Chaukhamba, Neelkanth, Dronagiri, Nilgiri and Hathi Ghoda peaks. Straight ahead of you are Trishul and parts of Nanda Devi. Continue on this trail to reach the upper grasslands of Kuari Pass. A gradually descending trail from here will bring you to Kuari Pass in about 40 minutes.
Today we will advance towards Auli—the skiing capital of India, and one of the most famous in south Asia. Exploring the beautifully snow patched rolling valleys of Gorson Bugyal; we will come down to Auli through a sweetly enjoyable journey. Traversing the Bugyal of Gorson is completely free of any arduous and hassling climb, mainly on a smoothly rolling terrain, though the snow of high winter might leave the place a tad desolates. In the thaw season of March, skiing is a big activity here. Upon reaching Auli, get on a vehicle to head back to Joshimath.
You will start off on an early morning ride down hill; Rishikesh-Haridwar will be reached at sundown, around 6 in the evening. Breakfast and Lunch will be on the way at a roadside inn, exclusive of charges.