Cycling to Hattu Peak: Littered with Deodar Trees
Ascent: 2420 meters over 46 kms. (This is from Bethal; though there are easier gradients too, read on for more).
Yes, this is an interesting climb that takes you through Deodar tree forests.
Elevation Profile for Cycle Ride to Hattu Peak
The Elevation Profile is shown below and as you can see it is a testing climb. This Elevation Profile is by using the Thanedar road starting from Bethal H.
The gradient is not consistent and this is probably what makes this trail a challenge. The road quality is not terrific, but good enough. Since the Thanedar road is not a highway, it is narrow. There is no way a road bike can take this challenge, you will either need a Cyclocross, Hybrid, or a Mountain Bike.
The last 4 kms of the road is a steep climb that takes you to Hattu Peak. Since you’ll be sharing this narrow road with cars, you should stop and give way whenever a car comes down or goes up. In May/June, you will get traffic. This means you will be need to ride in bursts lasting 3 to 4 minutes. The last kilometer is the worst because it is very steep and muscle fatigue will how its ugly face.
How to Get to Hattu Peak
There are multiple ways to this Himalayan Peak. Here are some:
Easy Route to Hatu Peak
Theog to Hattu Peak: In this route, take the highway from Theog to Narkhanda. Leave the highway and take the Thanedar road. After 3 kms, take the Hattu road. From Narkanda, the Hattu peak is 7 kms. The road to Narkanda is slick. However, since this is a highway, you do get traffic during seasons. The danger is not in trucks hitting, rather it is the diesel fumes.
The Elevation Profile is shown below.
If you do not plan to ride, you can take a short trek (7 kms.) from Narkanda.
Difficult Route to Hattu Peak
Bethal to Doja to Haatu Peak: Get yourself and your bike to Bethal (891 meters). From Bethal ride towards Narkanda using the Thanedar road. You should manage this trip in 1 day.
See the Elevation Profile above.
Challenging Route to Hattu Peak
Shillaru to Doja (See map below): There is road construction from near Shillaru to the starting point of the Hatu road (Doja). The road is rocky and has gravel. If you really want to challenge your mountain biking skills, take this route. It is approximately 30 kms.
This route is littered with villages that do not provide too much support. The road runs parallel to the highway and you will definitely ride along side apple orchards. It rocky road makes it very difficult. In the picture below, I was on a Trek 7100 hybrid. Most of the way, I did not stop. In some places, I walked it. But, that’s probably because I’m not super fit!!!
Anyways, before you take this route, make sure you prepare well. Also, try to get a support car. Why? Well, though the road is parallel to the highway, it is quite desolate. The villages are quite far apart and if you have a break down, it’ll be a long walk to the closest human.
The video below shows a little preview of the road condition.
The cycling gradient is shown below.
Beyond Hatu Peak?
After you’ve cycled up Hattu Peak, you’ll have a peaceful downhill ride to Narkanda (2900 meters). This little town is located on the highway. It is the same road that you came up with. Alternatively, you can pitch a tent at Hatu Peak and watch the sunrise. The temple, however, does also offer basic accommodation.
There are several routes worth exploring near Haatu Peak, see Chail and Narkhanda for more.
The Thanedar route is low density traffic regardless of the season. If you really must use the highway, avoid the this cycling trip during the Indian summer (May/June)because it tends to attract significant local tourists. This translates to more diesel fumes. Weekdays are the best, if you plan to use the highway. Expect snow during mid-winters.
Yes, a support car would be useful, but not necessary.
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