Kuari Pass is a popular trek near Auli, Joshimath in Uttarakhand. Kuari pass trek is popularly known as "Lord Curzon's trail". The British Viceroy, George Curzon, attempted crossing it and remarked about the beauty of the trek. Though the pass is not very high, it offers excellent views of Nanda Devi, Dunagiri and other Himalayan peaks. The Nanda Devi national park and the Rishi Ganga gorge are visible from the first day itself. Chaukhamba massif, Neelkanth, Mana, Kamet, Hathi Ghoda, Trishul, Nandaghunti, Nanda Devi, Dunagiri, are the peaks visible on the trek.
We start very early from Dehradun and reach Karanprayag by evening. The drive is through the towns of Devprayag, Rudraprayag, which happen to be two of the 5 prayags or confluences of rivers, having religious significance. We can arrive at Karanprayag by early evening and proceed to witness the Aarti at the Prayag in the evening.
After breakfast we drive to Joshimath amd onwards to Dhak, towards the road to Tapovan. The trek begins at Dhak. The trail goes uphill towards our right away from the road. Over half of the path is open and without shade. We pass two villages on the way. We enter a forest about a kilometer before reaching the campsite of Guling. The camp has views towards the peak of Dunagiri.
The trail today has a gradual slope up. We walk among oak, rhododendron and pine forests. Khullara is an open meadow with a view of surrounding peaks like Dunagiri, Hathi and Ghodi.
We have an early breakfast and start walking uphill towards the pass. We reach a ridge, cross it and take a left. The path leads us away and towards our right to the pass. We spend some time here and then head back along the same way till we reach the ridge again. From here instead of heading down towards Khullara, we walk along the ridge towards Taali. We reach a small hillock with flag, named Chitrakantha. From here we get This spot has stunning panoramic views. We can see the peaks including Chaukhambha, Neelkanth, Mana, Hathi, Ghodi and Dunagiri. We walk down the other side and proceed towards our campsite. Taali is located inside the forest and is closed from all sides.
On this day, the walk is easy. The forest clears away soon. We pass by Taali lake, which is often frozen in winter. As we keep traversing towards Auli, the view of Nanda Devi peak becomes clearer towards our back. After crossing Gorson Bugyal, a large meadow, we enter a forest. A short walk further, the skiing destination of Auli presents itself. A vehicle takes us back to Karanprayag from here.
We leave from Karanprayag and reach Dehradun by early evening.
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