If you’ve wondered about what it’s like to go cycling in the Chopta region of Uttarakhand, read on…
After exploring the Rudraprayag area (Kodima village, and trails around Rudraprayag), our team headed to Gopeshwar to ride to Kund which lies on the Haridwar-Kedarnath highway.
From Gopeshwar, we rode to a small village called Mandal on the Gopeshwar Ukhimath highway. The total distance of the ride is about 13Kms on an decent road. There are potholes and bumps and several road works here which made progress slow.
The initial part of the ride is a short uphill which rises from 1,570 meters to roughly 1,690 meters. From this point, there is a long downhill into the valley. We thoroughly relished the fresh mountain air while riding downhill and ended up at an altitude of about 1,440 meters. From here the last few kilometers to Mandal village was an easy uphill. The altitude at the village is roughly 1,510 meters.
We decided to stop for the night at the village as it was getting close to sunset time. There aren’t many places to stay in Mandal and after looking around we decided to stay at Semwal guest house. The place is very basic and isn’t very clean. Thankfully we were prepared for such eventualities and were carrying our sleeping bags(and cycles, of course!).
The next day after a light breakfast we started preparing for the long uphill to Chopta. From an altitude of about 1,500 meters, we were going to reach about 2,600 meters over 26Kms. Despite the fact that the ride is all uphill and requires a lot of effort, it is spectacular. The area is a part of a wildlife sanctuary and the thick forests and the scenic beauty of the place ensured that we didn’t get too tired.
At Chopta, there are several small guest houses which are again quite basic. Since today we had time, we decided to continue to Duggalbitta where one of our partners has a resort. From Chopta, Duggalbitta is an easy downhill.
Next morning, we decided to take a break from riding and head out for the Tungnath, Chandrashila peak trek. The route from Chopta to Tungnath is a well defined concrete path made for pilgrims visiting the Tungnath temple. Ahead of Tungnath the walk through the meadows to Chandrashila peak is simply spectacular. The 360 degrees panoramic view of the Himalayan peaks from Chandrashila top is nothing short of surreal. We spent some time at the peak and hiked back to Tungnath where we took a nice long break at the temple.
We were looking forward to the next morning as the ride to Kund is a nice 30Kms downhill from about 2,600 meters to 1,850 meters. There were short uphill sections but those were enjoyable as the road condition was quite good and there was very little traffic on the road. Our cycling was stable and steady.
En route we stopped over the at GMVN at Ukhimath for lunch. Although the GMVN property is quite basic, it overlooks a beautiful valley and the view is simply superb. It is one of those places from where you don’t want to move in a hurry. Relaxed and home-like.
At Kund, we loaded up the bikes on our vehicle and drove the rest of the way to Haridwar.
All in all a beautiful trip mountain biking on the roads of Chopta. We will surely be coming back to Uttarakhand again.
Interested in joining us for this trip? Click below to see the full itinerary.