This is very common question from people who wish to come to valley of flowers. Valley of flowers trek needs one track for four days.
Valley of flowers trek First day:
Govindghat to Ghangaria.
The trek begins at Govindghat. Govindghat is 25 kilometers before Badrinath. Govindghat is at the height of 5500 feet and Ghangaria is at the height of 10,200 feet. That is the gain 4700 feet after trekking for 14 km. The trek is steep in its first 3 km and last 3 kilometers. Today’s trek may be avoided by taking pony or using helicopter. Helicopter service can be used only when weather is clear but the best time to visit Valley of flowers is the monsoon season. So you cannot rely on helicopter on this day. You may or may not get helicopter but you can easily get pony for Ghangaria. For elderly people even palanquins are available. But I have personally seen that many a times elderly people trek whereas some of the young people in young 30s take ponies.
Ghangaria to Valley of flowers:
Ghangaria to valley of flowers is not so steep trek as once you reach to the official starting point of the valley of flowers it almost at the same level for the next 3-4 kilometers. The official starting point of the Valley is almost 3.5 km from Ghangaria and according to me out of this 50% is steep uphill and the remaining is not so steep. This day ponies are not available as they are not allowed to enter in the valley. But Palanquins and Doli’s are available. But you need to buy the entry tickets for the porters as well. Their help can be taken up to the first three kilometers and after that you can trek as it is almost flat. But I recommend you to trek only or you will miss out lot of flowers on the way while in to Doli or Palanquin.
Ghangaria to Hemkund Sahib:
This is quite steep and I recommend to take a pony at least while going uphill. This saves time and energy both. If you have booked your trip with us we will be trekking beyond Hemkund Sahib where some of the rare flowers bloom. They are not even available in the Valley of flowers. While coming back you can walk down.
Ghangaria to Govindghat :
It is purely downhill as opposed to explained in Para 1 but if you want to save time you can use pony or Helicopter.