Lahesh Cave Trek is an ideal trekking route for adventurers who wish to explore beyond an easy one day trek to Triund. The trail to Lahesh caves is one of the most beautiful in the Himalayas. It offers an enthralling experience with breathtaking panoramic views of the Dhauladhars.


Lahesh Cave Trek is set in Himachal’s Dhalaudhar Ranges. The caves are set above one of the most famous trekking places in India, Triund at a height of 3475 metres. Lahesh cave trek ticks all the right boxes for a beginner. It gives you the unique experience of crossing a glacier in winters.

Lahesh Cave Trek is moderate when it comes to complexity. Therefore, it can be pursued by beginners who are willing to bend their backs in preparation. All that training would come through when making strides would be a requirement along with the tough phases of the trek. In the current blog, I will share with you my journey to the magnificent caves. I will also share with you the snags I had to face in the pursuit of this adventure. 

lahesh cave trek guide

Lahesh Cave Trek: What you need to Know?

Lahesh cave trek is a moderate level trek situated near Mcleodganj in Dharamshala. Therefore, if you are completely new to the mountains, I recommend you go in for the relatively easier Triund Hill trek.

Lahesh cave trek is a three-day adventure that I recommend for adventure lovers who are travelling to Dharamshala McLeodganj and are open to the idea of a multi-day trek.  

Before going into the details of my journey, here is a quick overview:


Location of Lahesh Caves 

Part of the Dhauladhar Range, Himachal Pradesh, North India

Lahesh Cave Height (above sea level)

3475 m (11400 ft)

Total trekking distance from Mcleodagnj

12 km

Total Time Required to complete Lahesh Cave trek

2 Nights

3 Days

Starting point of the trek

Dharamkot. It is located at a distance of about 2 km (walking) from Mcleodganj bus stop.

How to reach the starting point of Lahesh Cave trek?

Take a bus to Dharamshala, hire a cab till Dharamkot

Accessibility of Lahesh Caves

March – December 

Best Time To Visit

May-June

September-November

Nearby Treks/Passes

Triund Hill

Indrahar Pass

Kareri Lake

Lahesh Cave Trek Difficulty

Moderate

Trek Preparation

30 Days

You should be able to run 5 kilometres in 40 minutes

Recommended Exercises

Jogging, Squats and Stair Climbing



How Did I Come Up with the Idea of Taking the Lahesh Cave Trek?

While savouring mouthwatering momos on the stalls just outside the university gates, a polite enquiry was made by a close friend. He was interested to know whether I was willing to tag along with him to Indrahar Pass.

I had other plans with a few of my batch mates on heading towards Kedarkantha initially. But my gut feeling warned me that the trip might get cancelled. Eventually, it did get cancelled.

I agreed to pursue the Lahesh Cave trek. The month of our departure was April.

We made our own arrangements for tents, food, burner, medical care and rucksacks like professionals. Well, you can always hire or rent a tent, but if you are as passionate about trekking, as I am,  it’s always a good idea to invest in good trekking essentials like a  decent tent. I am using a Coleman waterproof 2 person tent for the last few years, and I would definitely recommend it. 

All our packing was done except the sleeping bags, a major missing piece in the puzzle of trekking. A piece that was to be discovered in Mcleodganj.

Camping Himalayas

Trekking and camping is an experience I’ve always truly adored. It truly tests you, your body, and your abilities to act correctly in strenuous situations. All the arrangements for the trek were made by my friends and I. However, you could also go with a guide.

Lahesh Cave Trek Itinerary for first-timers

Before pursuing the Lahesh Cave Trek or any trek for that matter, preparing an itinerary is important. Given below is the itinerary we followed on our trek to Lahesh Caves

Day 1

Reach Dharamshala and check-in your hotel.

Tip: Make sure you Pre-book your stay in Dharamshala, especially on a weekend as it can get a little crowded. 

Day 2

Reach Mcleodganj 

Drive to Dharamkot, 20 mins

Trek from Dharamkot (6900ft) to Snowline (10321ft)

Note: If you are staying in Mcleodganj or Dharamkot, you will save time on day 2 and you can commence your trek from here. We stayed at the Tibet World guest house in Mcleodanj, which is centrally located. 

Day 3

Snowline (10321ft) to Lahesh Cave (11400ft) and back

Day 4

Dharamkot to Bhagsu Nag

Journey Back



16 Crucial Things to pack for Lahesh Cave Trek

Here is a list of all the important things that you would require to complete the Lahesh Cave Trek.

What gear to carry for trekking to Lahesh Cave? 

It is important to understand that if you are planning to do Lahesh cave trek independently (I mean without a guide), you will need to carry certain trekking gear. These are the most essential things I highly recommend you carry:

Rucksack– A rucksack is a must for long treks. Reason being that they are comfortable and can hold all your trekking essentials. Like the last 4 trips, my 45 litres backpack accompanied me to this trek.
Trekking Pole – I would recommend you carry an adjustable trekking pole for a better grip. I did not have one and I did regret later as you will read in my journey ahead.
Torch/Flashlight  – A torch is another must-have item on your packing list for Lahesh Cave trek. It’s a must to witness starry skies.
Tent-  Since I am an avid trekker I choose to carry my own tent. I am using a Coleman waterproof 2 person tent for the last few years, and I would definitely recommend it. 

Tip: If you don’t own a tent and don’t intend to buy one, you can rent one in Mcleodganj. It comes with a sleeping bag 

Sleeping Bag – A sleeping bag is a must.  Carry a sleeping bag that is light and easy to carry. 

What footwear is recommended for Lahesh Cave Trek?

This is certainly the most important requirement for a trek. You just cannot do without good footwear if you are trekking in the Himalayas, especially long-distance treks. These three are a must have:

Microspikes-If you are going to Lahesh cave during winters, make sure that you carry a pair of microspikes. These give a better grip on icy pathways.
Trekking shoes – While you can get away with normal sports shoes on short hikes,  for long treks you definitely need a pair of good trekking shoes. Since I go on a number of treks, I got myself these wildcraft trekking shoes.
Slippers – A pair of slippers to change into after you are settled at the campsite.

What apparels & accessories to pack for Lahesh Cave Trek?

Last but certainly not least are the apparels and accessories. High altitude regions such as Lahesh caves, can get really cold after sunset. Therefore, make sure you are carrying warm clothing even in summers. Make these a part of your packing list

Sunglasses- Sunglasses are a must especially in winter, to prevent Snow Blindness. The sun rays reflected from the snow surface can be very harsh for the eyes.
Medical Kit- This is one of the most important items that needs to be placed in your rucksack.
Thermals – These are needed for the colder months.
Down Jacket  – It can get really cold at such altitudes, so make sure you are carrying your warm jacket on the trek.
Woollens – 2 layers of woollens for summers and  5 layers of woollens for winters
Gloves 
Woolen Cap
Lip Balm & Other Toiletries (including toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, moisturiser, sunscreen, toilet roll, etc. )

Shoes on Treks

ALWAYS make it a point to invest a sufficient amount of time and money in prepping for a trek. This is something you just don’t want to compromise on. If you’re going in the winters or to a snow-ridden place, carry micro spikes for your shoes like these for better grip.

My Journey to Lahesh Cave in Eight parts

I have divided my Lahesh Cave Trek journey into 8 parts. Starting from reaching Mcleodgani, which acts as a base to the trek, I will take you through the journey to and all the way back from the caves. 

Part One

Reaching Mcleodganj

Part Two

Ride to Dharamkot

Part Three

The rocky route To Triund

Part Four

A cakewalk To Snowline

Part Five

The Snowline Saga

Part Six

The wrong way

Part Seven

Never give up, never surrender

Part Eight

The long way back home

1.  Reaching  Mcleodganj, the base for trekking to Lahesh Caves

We took the non-A/C Himachal Roadways Bus at 11 pm due to certain last-minute chores. You can pre-book an AC or non-AC bus on HRTC’s official website

The best thing about this journey was that I didn’t know a lot about the other 5 fellow travellers. Two of them had met me before for discussions regarding the trip. With one, I had a little bit of interaction in the past year. I tagged him along to Lahesh Cave trek because he seemed passionate and more so because he was a superlative trekker. 

We reached Dharamshala early morning. Seeing a beautiful morning in Dharamshala, I started to picture how the snow-clad mountains would look when I ascend towards the Lahesh cave trek.

Mcleodganj is half an hour from Dharamshala. For our excursion, we took a local bus. However, feel free to hire a cab if that suits you better.

Lahesh cave trek

This is me with my fellow trekkers at Mcleodganj. At this point, we had no idea of the adventures that were waiting for us. All we knew was that we were going to be trekking and camping. This very adrenaline is what makes me want to trek again and again.

2.  Riding to Dharamkot, where the actual Lahesh Trek starts 

Before starting our pursuit to reach Dharamkot, we had to make arrangements for the sleeping bags. They are available at the top and are in limited stock. They’re made available with the tents only. We were already carrying our tents so there was no point for renting them up there.

One and a half hours had gone by and yet no arrangements were made. We utilized the time in freshening up and having breakfast.

A tip from my side for first-time trekkers – “Have a heavy breakfast but do not overeat.”

Everything fell into place after our initial efforts. The sleeping bags were arranged and the best part was that we didn’t have to carry them to the top. We were getting them at Snowline Café. We were lucky enough to get them. However, to ensure that this doesn’t happen again, the first thing I did post this trek, was to get myself this sleeping bag that can also be used as a mattress. It’s light to carry and very comfortable. 

The cab was arranged for our ride to Dharamkot at cheaper rates than usual (300 INR instead of 400 INR).

Lahesh cave trek

Walking and resting steadily on the way to Dharamkot. Although this was the first and also the easy leg of the trek, we made it a point to halt and rest. It’s important to not tire your body outright at the start. Maintaining a consistent speed is paramount.

3.  Taking the Rocky Route to Triund, an ideal stop for beginner’s just before Lahesh 

It was 11 am by the time we started our journey towards Triund. This was the place where my latent lust for trekking had unleashed at first. In case you are looking for a travel guide for Triund, you can read this detailed blog

It seemed as if the rocks were not there for fellow trekkers as they were out of my sight in about 10 minutes. They were striding at a speed that would put even the locals to shame. We were segregated into two groups depending on our speed. 

Although we were carrying all the stuff including the tents, we were still making good pace when you compare it to the other group. They were nowhere to be seen or heard.

Trekking on rocks is hard work. You have to take care of stepping properly on the rocks. Else, your legs would take a toll. You commit one mistake and you would have your leg twisted.

With all the stuff on my shoulders, I still took lesser time than I did the last time. This showed how far I had come in the past eight months, with the experience of completing 4 treks before this one.

We were at the top at around 3 pm i.e in four hours. Some of the fellow trekkers took half the time.

Lahesh cave trek

Hike carefully on the rocky path towards Triund. You have to take care of stepping properly on the rocks. Else, your legs will hurt badly. Commit one mistake, and you’ll have your leg twisted. If need be, carry a trekking pole or a bamboo stick from a local.

4.  A Cake Walk to Snowline from Triund 

There was beauty everywhere we looked. The last time I visited this place, the mist was taking 360° rounds of the entire region. Due to the view, we had mountains in the front frame along with some parts of Mcleodganj as you look the other side. It was much quieter this time. There was no mist to be seen. It was all bright and sunny.

Time was passing by, and we couldn’t see the rest of our team anywhere. We had to reach snowline before sunset. While waiting for them, we rested while enjoying the “pahadi maggi and chai”.

It was at 3:30 pm by now. A decision had to be made. We decided that the swifter trekkers would go and pitch the tents while the two of us would wait for the other duo to arrive.

4:10, 4:20 – Two people with their heavy eyes, fully drained out bodies arrived. They were in dire need of sleep.

There come situations in treks that some hard decisions have to be made. As cruel as they may seem. We started moving again in about 20 minutes.

The path to snowline is a cakewalk when you compare it to Triund. They were straight roads that we took for most of the time. it was a 3 km hike. Just as the sun had fully set, we reached our destination.

The last time I was in Triund, I had vowed to return and go further someday. I had fulfilled that vow.

5.  Enjoying the Snowline Saga before reaching Lahesh Caves

Our destination was within sight, Indrahar Pass, in its magnificence – covered all in the snow. This is where we decided to abort our mission to go to Indrahar Pass. It was not possible to go without proper mountaineering gear. We were going to complete the Lahesh Cave Trek though.

A gala scene was set up. Bonfires were lit, conversations were made, bonds were made. After dinner, we said farewell to the stars and retired to our tents for nine hours.

A lazy time in the mountains is when you run around and slide around on the snowy slopes. You even enjoy the not-so-good meal as you observe the subtle nature of the mountains. That was what our morning was like.

At 10 am, we started our journey towards the mighty Lahesh Cave Trek.

6.  Taking the Wrong Way to Lahesh Cave

All six of us made our way to Laka Got. This is the last water resource point. Only 3 of us were determined to take the path to Lahesh Cave Trek, and that’s what ended up happening. The rest ended up staying back.

We didn’t know the route to Lahesh Cave Trek. We just followed the trail where the sound of the waterfall was coming from. This is where we went wrong.

The path that we took was a treacherous one. It drained off all the energy that I had. We returned when we were certain that we are getting no way ahead with this route.

Three hours of exertion without result. I was exhausted both mentally and physically by the time we returned.

7.  Learning an important lesson at the last leg of Lahesh trek- Never Give Up, Never Surrender

Just when we were about to head back without success, we saw a group of people crossing a glacier with the help of a guide. We had to cross the glacier in order to complete the Lahesh Cave trek.

I was in a dilemma about whether to go with them or abort the mission. I said to myself that I have come too long a way to go back unsuccessful.

I’d taken a bit of rest and hence lagged behind the group with another fellow traveller. 

It was a treacherous icy slope. Certain fellow trekkers helped themselves up with the foot holes that were made by the guide for the group. It required both their hands and legs.

Every part that the former group went on, had turned exceedingly slippery because of their steps. It was slips, slips and slips. 12 failures of slipping right down to the bottom. I was up against it.

I had tried everything – made my own foot holes for my legs, as well as my hands. I slipped making them at times. Most of the times, I was really close to my destination, but still failed at the last moment.

Lahesh Cave Trek

This trek taught me that one must keep going. Just when we were about to give up and head back, we spotted a group of trekkers crossing the glacier. This was a true ray of hope in an otherwise helpless situation. So, just believe, have faith, and keep going.

My upper body strength was not must up to the mark. I was regretting not buying a trekking pole, a bare necessity, especially for these situations.

When I Finally Made It!

13th Attempt!!

If I didn’t make it to the cave with this attempt, I was going to quit. I grabbed the last two snickers with my beaten up hands, composed myself, and cleared my mind. The plan was set. It was now or never.

I remembered the Dark Knight Rises scene where Batman climbed up the pits knowing if he slipped, it would be his last attempt.

I was really careful not to slip and took my steps judiciously. Then, I took my time in making the foot holes and climbed through them. I was going to slip at times but I held strong. I was not going back with failure on my head. Finally, I was there at the top.

I still had to walk a little to make it to the end. My legs had given up, but I couldn’t rest. I had to get back and I was afraid if I took rest, I would not be able to get back up. I might’ve collapsed.

The cave was filled with 4/5th of ice. There was a way back from the top there – an iceless path. Thoughts came into my mind that even the guide had misguided us. It was all maybe for the lesson of never giving up.

Lahesh cave trek

Made it to the destination finally. After having fallen, bruised, and lost all hopes a gazillion times, I couldn’t believe I had actually made it. The long way back to Dharamkot seemed like a mammoth task at this point, but I knew I was going to be fine!

8. Long Way Back Home from Lahesh Caves

It must have taken my frostbitten feet 2 hrs (1/2 hr path) to get back to the Glacier.

I heard “Aarush, Aarush” as I reached close to Laka Got. I responded once. It was another call this time, but I couldn’t respond. All the water from my body had been sucked out.

I finally managed to get some water. However, my struggles hadn’t ended yet. We were devoid of lunch and sufficient water. I had to deal with a team that was angry, yet happy to have me back at the campsite.

Thankfully, I had an extra bottle filled with water in my tent, which I filled up with tang. I didn’t care for the fly that went into the bottle. At that point, it was the least of my worries.

The next day, I had inflammatory clots in my frostbitten feet which should have slowed me down but they couldn’t. I just wanted to get back. My mental tiredness trumped my physical tiredness. It took me just 3 hours to get back to Dharamkot. Then, we were lucky enough to find a hotel after lots of searching.

It was rare for me that I actually wanted to leave the mountains and head back. Vishal had the same idea. We waited for the rest to arrive, took the return Volvo tickets from them, got them cancelled and got back home with a bus from Kangra to Chandigarh. I eventually reached Patiala after parting from Vishal who headed to his home in Chandigarh.

Lahesh cave trek

Me and fellow trekkers on the way back. Despite how wonderful the trekking experience was, we were pleased to be heading back. I craved a good hot shower and a hot meal. For the first time ever, I felt like heading back home – to Patiala.

What did I learn from My Lahesh Cave Trek Experience?

This trip taught me to have vigour in life. It made me capable to face every situation head-on. A lesson was taught to me, life would knock you down but those who are willing to stride would achieve what they want to achieve. A chapter of being patient in every situation was learned by me.

The Lahesh Cave trek taught me to always have a certain set of equipment and medical care in every trek. It is one thing you shouldn’t try to save money on.

Last but not least, it turned me into a storyteller. It was after this trip that I had a wish to blog and jot my experiences down.

5 Commonly Asked Questions by Beginners taking the Lahesh Cave Trek

I have tried to answer below the most commonly asked questions about the Lahesh Cave Trek. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section.

On the Lahesh Cave trek, where can the last ATM be found?

Mcleodganj

Do you get mobile signals on the way?

No, the last place you would get mobile signals at would be Dharamkot.

What is the approximate length of Lahesh Cave Trek?

26 kilometres (to and fro)

Where would be the last water source be?

Laka Got

Where would the last shop be?

Snowline

As a beginner, you should be pursuing all the three treks – Triund, Kuari Pass and Lahesh Cave Trek. You will feel more confident and be a seasoned trekker with each new trail. I took all three. You should too.

Happy wayfaring 🙂

About The Author

Aarush Tandon is an adrenaline junkie having the spirit of living by the sword and dying by it. His passion for travel blogging is only bettered by his obsession with travelling; his obsession for travelling unmatched. Reach Out to me on Facebook and Instagram.

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