Hiking over the mountains under the melting heat of summer is the last thing anyone would wish for. No one would want to break a sweat under the scorching heat. The sweet bath of sweat wouldn’t be pleasant, would it?
But the plethora of experiences that trekking in summer has to offer is unique and quite in contrast with the dampness of the monsoon. It is like entering into a completely different surrounding of the same terrain where one had been just a few months ago!
The light of the day for walking is different, the shades of the foliage are metallic, the clouds are set on fire, and the night fills the empty heart with its sparks bursting out of the moon!
Allow me to elaborate, because a play in the wild is a lot more adventurous than just lazing on the couch!
- Night trek, Moving in the Dark – This might sound absurd for a few, but crawling through the dark is not a new concept here. And completely safe! The climate is favorable and the speed of climbing is doubled, than during the day!
- 50 Shades of Sky - Trekking during the day observe only pale blue sky with its unmerciful heat. But the night trek offers to display a spectacular show of sunset during the start of the journey.
The pleasant night calms the nerves and the blissful experience of sunrise gives a fresh start in the morning. Plus, the afternoon heat gets avoided!!!!
- Jungle on Fire, Not Literally Though! – Probably the best part about trekking during summers is to spectate the shade of the jungle flushed with yellow. The vast dry grasses almost look like a meadow set on fire!
The teasing of a gentle breeze and the tasty jingle of chirping birds simply places the mood right.
- Animal Sighting – I once trekked through the forest of Dahanu along with a friend during the summer. While walking, suddenly, something emerged from the heap of dry leaves in front of us. It was big, and standing firmly examining us. Its eyes dark and hollow, the wrinkled texture of the skin, and the posture in its body. I never saw something beautiful like this, so close. I realized it was a monitor lizard!
Animals roam around in search of water during this dry weather. Probably the best time for wildlife lovers!
- The Authenticity Of Village Experience – By authenticity I mean that the villages at the base have not kept up with the time and decided to stay happy the with their own lifestyle.
Sure, you may find bikes to travel and TV in the house, but the huts are made of the mud, the resources from the jungles are used efficiently and unlike city people, they are humble.
I wouldn’t hype by saying that a fan is not required in the afternoon heat, but it definitely feels cool inside the cow-dung insulated walls!
- Caution, Danger Ahead! – The hazard of trekking during summer is relatively less. Trekking during monsoon has a risk of making the mud loose due to the continuous flow of water. But the grounds are firm during the summer, less clumsy and the vision is better due to less thickness of forest cover.
It is not just about the season of the year to trek, but also the particular trek that you choose to go. It is important to choose the right place for hiking considering the circumstance of the place and the season of the year.
Below I have listed a few of the treks that are worth visiting during summers. I won’t describe much about the treks itself, since there is already enough information out there. Instead, I have tried to justify every trek with facts going by my personal experience.
The Valley of Shadows, Sandhan Valley –
I may rather call this a descending trek. One needs to literally hop from one rock to another!
Summer is a perfect time since the water levels are low to cross and there is enough shade in the valley to cross. If you are an adrenaline junkie, then I would strongly recommend you this trek since it has loads of surprises to offer at regular intervals.
The Everest Of Maharashtra, Kalsubai –
Go for a night trek and enjoy the sunrise from the highest peak on Maharashtra. It is quite windy up there.
Visit the place right before the start of the monsoon and you will get to witness two additional brownie points -
- Millions of fireflies hover around as it is their mating season just before monsoon.
- A sea of mist extends as far as your eyes could reach. Oh yes, literally above the clouds!
A Fort With An Abundance Of Beauty, Ratangad –
With a panoramic view of Bhandardara dam, Ratangad enjoys one of the most spectacular sunrise and sunsets. Plus, the natural hole in the rock called ‘Nedha’ is its USP. Wild wind blows through it, a picture for a DP here is worth.
A Perfect Beginners Trek, Prabalmachi –
The easiest trek amongst the lot. Prabalmachi trek is best for those who do not want to give up on facilities, yet enjoy the nature. A basic hotel built on the top provides food and amenities. Also, a very good place for camping with its ground dropping valley view.
Kalavantin is an extended version of Prabalmachi trek. Though easy, it gets slightly risky during the monsoon season as it consists of rock climbing. Here is a tip, Camp for the night at Prabalmachi and then pair it with Kalavantin trek next day early morning!
The Birthplace Of Mountain Man Lord Hanuman, Anjaneri –
The temperature is low and windy at the top even during the summers. So this place would be a perfect summer escape trek. The panoramic view of the surrounding mountains and the lake is totally worth it!
The Mythological Mystery Of Ajobagad –
I personally like the base village more than the trek itself. Dehne, base village of Ajobagad, is no ordinary rural community. Supported by an organization, the village members are empowered with employment for the betterment of their own lifestyle. People from the city who want to have a rural experience, visit this village for an overnight stay.
The Secret Lake Of Vaitarna –
Vaitarna is a secluded lake, tucked away with tiny mountains surrounding it. This place does not involve any kind of a trek. So count it as a leisure outing. Though trek enthusiasts can circumnavigate the lake, which is not easy. A beautiful place for camping with your loved ones. If you are heading to this place, ask for the availability of adventure sports. They have sports like Kayaking, Flying fox, Burma bridge, Tubing, etc….
9. The Strategically Important Naneghat –
Naneghat, a mountain pass, has a fascinating history. The relicts of it can be found here. Many stargazing enthusiasts flock this place for astronomy.
10. Prabalgad, Here The Best View Comes After The Hard Climb –
Prabalgad is again an extended version of Prabalmachi. What makes it worth is the million dollar view of Kalavantin pinnacle, after reaching the top. Plan your timing for the trek correctly since Prabalmachi takes one and a half hour to climb, and then another two hours for Prabalgad.
Author – Gunjan Shah