Chopta valley is an ideal place to visit all around the year. But, what makes the valley more mesmerizing during the winters are the snow-clad peaks, large icefields & adventure activities like skiing/trekking. During the winters, Chopta witnesses a good influx of people from all across the country. An ill-planned itinerary can completely ruin your experience, seeing the heavy rush. The following article is for the people who plan visiting Chopta during winters and helps them in finding out their answers to certain questions. These may include picking the proper route, stays, guide, parking, weather and more! Let’s get started!
Please note that when we refer to the term -winters in Chopta- in this article, we mean the period between mid-November to February.
Visiting Chopta during Winters: Finding the Right Time
The winters at Chopta start as it receives its first snowfall. Generally, the first snowfall occurs late in November. Sometimes, it may happen in the first week of Nov, but does not last for long. If you want to experience heavy snowfall in Chopta, you can visit here in December or January. The entire hill station is fed with a thick snow cover with a height of 2-3 feet or even more sometimes. Meanwhile, the temperatures can remain below zero for several days in case of heavy snowfall. Even on a sunny day, you can feel the cool air flowing and freezing the valley.
During the first few weeks of February, the frequency of snowfall might decrease. By the end of the month, the ice starts melting a few days after every snowfall. It is one of the pleasant times if you plan visiting Chopta during winter.
Heavy rainfall in March can also invite snowfall. However, it does not last for long. The locals say that Chopta has witnessed snowfall even during June. However, they claim that the event had happened around 8-10 years back.
Is it suitable to visit Chopta with my family during winter?
It is completely suitable to travel to Chopta with your family during winters. However, if you have children below five years of age, we recommend you visit Chopta at the end of February. By this time, the snow starts melting, and the overall temperature of the valley starts rising. Meanwhile, you can still enjoy playing with the snow. You must also remember to ensure the availability of room heaters from your concerned hotel or camp in advance.
Read this article if you want to know about the ‘medical facilities’ in Chopta.
Is there any specific route for travelling to Chopta during winters?
You can reach Chopta from two different routes bifurcating after a small market known as Bhiri near Rudraprayag. Both the routes take equivalent time to reach Chopta. However, the road going towards the right is under construction and may experience blockades sometimes. We suggest you confirm the condition of the road from Bhiri to Chopta from the locals or your hotel in Chopta you are planning to stay at.
Connect with our team to know the present condition of the road.
How is the condition of the road in Chopta during winters?
The road to Chopta may get blocked after a heavy snowfall. Yet, you don’t need to worry as the road is cleaned frequently by the Public Works Department. However, if you plan to visit Gopeshwar or Chamoli from Chopta, you must always confirm it with the locals.
Sometimes, driving becomes tough because of slippery and snow-covered roads. So, You have to trek from the blocked area to the desired destination.
Where should I park my car in Chopta during winters?
In case of heavy snowfall, you may be allowed to park your cars at Ushara, Pothibhasa or Duggal-Bittha. You may have to walk further if the road is not open. The roads to Chopta are well maintained and smooth. However, you should always be cautious of your speed limit as it is a single lane road.
Visiting Chopta on a bike during winters
It is not a bad idea to travel to Chopta on a bike, especially during winters. However, you should refrain from riding in the snow and park your bike at your respective hotels. You can hire a taxi to travel within Chopta in case of a heavy snowfall. The local taxi drivers generally use snow chains that make it suitable for them to drive in snow.
Right Time to Trek to Tungnath During Winters.
In the event of heavy snowfall, the Tungnath Mahadev Temple may get completely covered with snow. Sometimes, it snows more than 8-10 feet in areas around Tungnath. You are allowed to visit Tungnath only if the level of snow is out of danger. Otherwise, you’ll be stopped at the trekking point by the SDRF officials.
Try to trek as early as possible in the morning. The view of sunrise from this place and the view of rare Monal birds will surely blow your mind. Monal is also a state bird of Uttarakhand.
The Tungnath temple remains closed during winters due to heavy snowfall and opens during summers. If you have always dreamt of snow skiing and snow trekking, Chopta is the best place to visit. The beauty of this place is a treat to the photographers.
Food and Stay in Chopta in winters.
While you plan visiting Chopta during winter, you must be sure about your food & stay options. Winters may be very busy in Chopta. You can find a heavy influx of people here, especially during December & January. Chopta is yet an emerging hill station and has a limited number of resources when it comes to food & stays.
When the demand increases, the prices also increase. You can try staying at hostels in Chopta to save your money. We always recommend you pre-book your stays in order to make your journey hassle-free.
You may not get a wide variety of food options due to the non-availability of ingredients. Chopta sits between the Kedarnath Wildlife Sanctuary area and is 30kms away from the nearest market. This makes it difficult for the hotels & camps to arrange services, especially during snowy winters.
Important Points to Remember
– Always carry warm clothes with you.
– You must carry boots, gloves, poles etc if you plan trekking to tungnath during winters. Rather than buying, you should rent the equipment. The sticks & shoes will cost you INR 300-400/person/day on rent.
– Carry some chocolates and energy bars as it helps to maintain the oxygen level at higher altitudes
Worried about the Budget?
Tips for your trip to Chopta:
- Avoid doing the Tungnath trek if you are visiting Chopta during winters old-age people. The route is covered with heavy and hard snow, it is quite difficult to climb up and get down due to slippery roads.
- Carry enough water and food items like fruits, dry fruits, and chocolates to enjoy trekking. Also, Don’t forget to carry extra clothes and a First aid box with you.
- Always hire a local guide while trekking for better and smooth experiences.
- People with chronic diseases like back pain, lung infection, asthma should consult a medical expert before going to higher altitudes. In case of any emergency, seek medical help immediately.
Visiting Chopta during winters is like watching fairy tales in real life. The valley will give you heavenly experiences. Yet, Knowing the complete guide can help you get daydreaming experiences. All the best for your journey!