Palachak Valley Trek
Himachal Pradesh

Palachak Valley Trek from Rajgundha – Complete Guide

Have you ever dreamt of a trek where you have to walk through a beautiful forest with the river always on the side and the snowcapped mountains playing hide and seek with you throughout the trek? The Palachak Valley trek sums up all of the above and more. 

View of Uhl River from Rajgundha

When I went on the trek recently, unlike other treks, I didn’t check what my view would be like because there was not much information available online. And I must say that even after looking at all the images on this blog, you will still be mind-blown with the beauty the treks offer. So let me share all the details about the trek which has become one of my favorite one-day hikes around Bir(Rajgundha).

Palachak Valley Trek details

Plachak Trek Details
Trek Staring PointRajgundha
Trek DifficultyBeginner to Moderate
Trek Distance16kms return(8kms to Palachak Valley Campsite)
Time taken for the trek3-4hrs
The best times to do the Palachak trekMarch to June and October to December
TrailRajgundha Plachak Trail
Where to stay in Rajgundha1. Zostel Barot
2. Hotel Adventure Valley
3. Thampsar Pass basecamp

One can use the free version of the All Trails app to follow the trail.

How to reach Rajagundha/ Palachak Valley Trek Starting point

This was my 3rd trip to Rajgundha and it was only on this trip that I was able to see the remote parts of the place. The majority of travelers choose to stay in Rajgundha for a night to see the beautiful Milky Way (If you’re lucky) and then go back to Barot or Bir the next day. 

But Rajgundha is way beyond that, and this trek is a fair example. Now there are two ways to reach Rajgundha via Billing and Barot.

You can reach by vehicle from both ways, but if you want to reach Rajgundha via public transport, you’ll have to reach through Barot.

The starting point of the Palachak Valley trek is Rajgundha, but here is the exact point on Google Maps(Link). This trek can be done without a guide and you can use the free version of All Trails to find the trail since it’s pretty straightforward. 

Also sharing with you the All Trails link for the trail: Rajgundha Plachek Trail

Walking across the Oak forests

We started this trek a little late(10:30 AM) as we had done the Hanumangarh trek the day prior. The trail starts with the view of the pristine Uhl River on your right and slowly you start entering the forest region. 

Trail covered with oak trees

Within 10 minutes of the trek, you’ll enter the parts of the trail that are filled with oak trees and it is so dense that barely any sunlight passes through. You’ll find a lot of shepherds on the trail with their horses and sheep. Against the backdrop, you’ll be able to see the beautiful Dhauladhar ranges and hear the Uhl River flowing. 

The trail has a very gradual incline and decline making it very suitable for first-time hikers. You’ll be able to find ample water streams, so carrying just 1L of water should be sufficient. I was doing this trek with another friend and we took ample water breaks and took pictures at every scenic spot we found. 

Trees fallen on the palachak trek

You’ll find huge trees fallen on the sides of the trail and some even hanging. After the initial 2 km of the trek, you’ll also be able to find a small settlement where you can have your tea. A better alternative is to do this on the way back and enjoy the sunset colors and views.

Beautiful view of Palachak Valley

Small temple on the route

You’ll also see multiple waterfalls on the right side, formed by the water melting directly from the glaciers, which in the end join the river. You will also find a small shrine/temple on the way. Within 30 minutes of the shrine, you’ll start seeing the beautiful views of the Palachak valley. 

Beautiful view of the valley and uhl river

And trust me, it does seem like you’re in another country. The water is so blue and pristine when I still think about it, I’m in awe of the beauty and nature of this place. 

Beautiful view of the Palchak valley campsie

You will find a board that marks the entrance to the Dhauladhar Wildlife Sanctuary and from here it takes another 30 minutes to reach the most scenic spot of the hike. You’ll have to cross the iron bridge to reach a small settlement where you can find tea and snacks if on time. You will find an old couple here who can provide you with lunch(Dal Bhat) and snacks. It took us close to 3 hours to reach here.  

We decided to rest and have Maggi with the beautiful view. 

Taking a dip in freezing waters

Taking a dip in freezing waters

We still had some time and were so eager to take a dip in the water when asked for a safer spot. The locals pointed us to a smaller stream behind the shop. As soon as we reached there, we found an amazing spot with a view.

It was now the hardest part, to take a dip in the cold waters. Little did we know how freezing the water was going to be. On the first attempt, as soon as I reached the waist height depth, my legs started to freeze and I rushed out screaming with pain. Only on the second attempt could I stay a little longer. I took a dip quickly and rushed out to be in the sun. 

By 4 pm we started to wrap up and head back to Rajgundha. 

Where to go after the Palachak Valley

Places beyond Palachak

The trek doesn’t end here and the trail leads you to one of the most remote villages of Himachal, Bada Bhangal.

At just 5km from the Palachak Valley Campsite is the Johdi Waterfall. Though it might look closer, due to the incline, it takes 2 hrs to reach there from Palachak. I would recommend you to take a guide or find a shepherd for this section. If you want to reach the waterfall, I’d suggest starting the trek from Rajgundha early, maybe 5-6 am. Another great alternative is to camp at Palachak Valley Campsite, more details in the next section.

Thampsar Pass is another famous trek in the region. It takes 2-3 days from Rajgundha to cross the pass which is at a height of 15,700+ ft. Once you cross the pass and trek for another day you’ll be able to reach one of the remotest villages in Himachal, Bada Bhangal. I’ve already added this trek to my bucket list.

Camping details at Palachak Valley

Small house at Palachak Valley Campsite

If you want to visit the Johdi waterfall, there are two options. First, start the trek really early from Rajgundha, visit the waterfall on the same day, and return to Rajgundha. The other option is to camp at Palachak Valley Campsite, which you can either do with a local company or ask the old couple to arrange your stay in the rooms available there. 

The second option is cheaper.

Where to stay in Rajgundha

Rajgundha is still very remote and there are not a lot of accommodation options. I have stayed in multiple properties over my 3 different trips and here are my suggestions
1. Zostel Rajgundha(Barot) – My personal favorite

2. Hotel Adventure Valley –  has dorms as well. Stayed here on my most recent visit.

3. Thampsar base camp – For people interested in camping. Here you’ll also find the most amazing host Baleshwar Ji who will make the Rajgundha trip the most memorable one for you.

Views at the end of the trek

Coming back from Palachak o Rajgundha

We took our sweet time and enjoyed the view while reaching back to Rajgundha. Let me know in the comments if this piqued your interest in doing this trek and if you need any more details about the trek or Rajgundha. I’ll try my best to answer all your queries. For a faster response, reach me on Instagram @stories.of.raku.

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