Pristine Uttarakhand Cycling Tour
Uttarakhand is home to some of the highest mountains on earth, including Nanda Devi, the highest mountain peak located entirely within India. Stunning vistas of the snow-clad Himalayas, magical forests of fir, pine, oak, and cypress, and clear blue skies make Uttarakhand a place right out of a fairy tale. However, this cycling tour isn’t just about mountains. It takes you from the quaint hamlet of Dhanachuli to the famous Nainital lake. In between the two, this adventure unfolds like a series of magical experiences that include hiking in the endangered broad-leaf oak forests of Binsar and cycling past the lower Himalayan range.
60km or 36mi
2000m above cyclingBike through the Himalayas at over 2000m above sea level with great views of snow-clad peaks.
|DAY 1||Dhanachuli||Te Aroha||D|
|DAY 2||Dhanachuli||Te Aroha||B,L,D||50kms/31 miles||cycling|
|DAY 3||Binsar||Khali Estate||B,L,D||70kms/42miles||cycling|
|DAY 4||Binsar||Khali Estate||B,L,D|
|DAY 5||Ranikhet||Windsor Lodge||B,L,D||50 kms/ 30 miles||cycling|
|DAY 6||Bhimtal||The Rosefinch Sarovar Portico||B,L,D||60 km/ 37 miles||cycling|
Day 1: Dhanachuli
Dhanachuli is a pristine hamlet located close to the better-known town of Mukteshwar. On this day you will be picked up from Pant Nagar airport and driven to Dhanachuli, some 80kms due north and high up in the Himalayas. At 2100m above sea level, Dhanachuli is home to apple orchards, lush green forests, and some great vistas of the western Himalayas. In case you arrive early, we recommend taking a stroll around the village to take in the crisp mountain air and clear blue skies. In the evening we meet over dinner for a briefing and to perform a bike fit.
Day 2: Dhanachuli
This is the first day of cycling. Today, we ride to the town of Mukteshwar some 15km from Dhanachuli. Mukteshwar is a small town immortalized by the British conservator and hunter Jim Corbett in his famous account of tiger hunting in Kumaon, the Man-eaters of Kumaon. Corbett called Mukteshwar one of the most beautiful spots in Kumaon, and it is a description that still holds true a hundred years later. We cycle up to a 350-year old Shiva temple that is perched atop the highest spot in Mukteshwar and offers great views of the surrounding valleys. We loop back to Dhanachuli through some beautiful scenery comprising of sylvan forests of pine, fir, and cypress.
Day 3: Binsar
Today we ride north towards the hamlet of Binsar, famous for its wildlife sanctuary and its forests of the Himalayan broadleaf oak, a tree that once covered large parts of the western Himalayas but is now under threat. At 2400m above sea level, Binsar is the highest elevation we stay at during our trip. You can expect a few challenging uphills on today’s ride as we gain altitude. However, the effort comes with its just rewards. From its commanding height, Binsar offers views of Nanda Devi, the second-highest mountain in India, and one of the highest peaks in the world.
Day 4: Binsar
Today we give our bikes a rest to go hiking through the Binsar wildlife sanctuary. The sanctuary was built to preserve endangered Himalayan flora such as the Himalayan broad-leaf oak and the rhododendron. It is home to some 25 varieties of trees, 200 bird species, and wild animals such as leopards, the Himalayan goral, the red giant flying squirrel, and the pine marten. The hike through the sanctuary takes up to 4 hours. After the safari, we return to our hotel to enjoy a quiet evening.
You are in the august company here, for the hamlet of Kasar Devi in which our hotel is located was once an important node in the 1960s counterculture movement, having played home to singers Bob Dylan and George Harrison, the psychologist Timothy Leary, the poet Allen Ginsberg, and the writer D.H. Lawrence who spent two summers here. We highly recommend that you sit back and enjoy the vistas that inspired the creativity and inflamed the passions of some of the greatest artists, thinkers, and scientists of the twentieth century.
Day 5: Ranikhet
Today we get back on our bikes and head south-east towards Ranikhet, a small cantonment town nestled within sylvan forests of oak, pine, deodar, and rhododendron. Ranikhet is located at 1869m above sea level so we drop a little altitude on this day.
Day 6: Bhimtal
We ride due south to the famous hill station of Nainital. Situated at an altitude of 1938m, the city gets its name from a beautiful eye-shaped lake located at the heart of the city. Before the advent of cheap airfares and widespread foreign travel, Nainital was the preferred honeymoon destination of most affluent Indians. A walk beside its lake tells you why. Bedecked in colorful yachts afloat on the Naini lake under the shadow of the densely wooded Himalayas, Nainital has a quaint charm matched by few other places in India, and indeed, the world.
After spending good time at Nainital, we continue riding to Bhimtal and spend a night next to the gorgeous lake.
Day 7: Nainital
You may depart as per your onward travel plans.
Dates and Prices
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Open your date as a join-in tour or customize further as private one.
We offer private departures on almost all our itineraries, and for groups of four or more, they cost the same as our standard trips!
All hotels as mentioned in the tour details (subject to availability). All options are personally reviewed.
A Van support that follows the group of riders and carries all belongings.
Refreshments and mineral water while cycling.
Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need and add meaning to your vacation.
Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.
Entrance fees to most of the monuments and temples.
Airport pickup and drop
We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.
Immaculately maintianed bike with helmet, suited to a terrain.
Some meals may not be included. Please check your itinerary.
Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.