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Benog Tibba is a full day hike in the Mountain Quail Sanctuary located on the western outskirts of Mussoorie. Benog Tibba trek involves a scenic forest walk followed by an easy & adventurous zig zag climb to the Benog Hill peak (2,250m) where a temple dedicated to Jwala Devi is located.
Benog peak gives a 360 degree panoramic views – Doon valley to the south, Yamuna & Assan barage to the west, backside of Mussoorie to the east and mighty Himalayas to the north.
Benog Tibba is an ideal trek for trekkers who are looking for a short 5-6 hours hike on easy gradient forest trail. The trek is suitable for all age groups, be it children, youngsters or senior persons. Minimum recommended age group is 5+ years.
Clouds End (15 mins drive from Mussoorie)
Dehradun Railway Station
Jolly Grant near Dehradun
Waverly to Park Chungi
TrailHikers invites you to Benog Hill Trek 2019 – a long full day hike in Mussoorie, rich with historical, environmental and botanical insights that will delight the historian as well as a nature lover. The walk takes one past the fine colonial building of Savoy Hotel (the biggest in the Himalayas) and the exotic but authentic French lines of chateau, beautifully preserved but not open to public. The road doubles back at Modern School and brings you to Waverley Convent, one of Mussoorie’s oldest and most famous girl’s schools. The motor road walk from Waverley to Park Chungi is a level 3 km that passes through the unspoilt jungle preserved by virtue of belonging to private estates. In the nick of time, the Supreme Court banned resort developers from axing these forests.
Clouds End Forest Resort
Near the old Chungi is Leopard’s Lodge, a ruin that marks the residence of the famous Delhi commissioner Fraser. The building of Cloud End bungalow, isolated and immaculately girldled by oak forest, was supervised by one of the first colonial travel writers, Fanny Parkes, in 1838. The present proprietor of Cloud End Forest Resort has made a sincere attempt to create a resort that combines its original ambience with latest eco-friendly regard for the surroundings. There is an outdoor restaurant that functions during the Mussoorie season.
It seems hard to believe that limestone trucks once ran up and down the sheer mountain side of Benog. A public outcry saved Benog from the fate of Hathipaon (adjoining Everest’s estate) that was decapitated for its limestone, considered amongst the purest on the planet. So frenetic and irresponsible was the urge to quarry it that all eco-sense was abandoned and the Supreme Court had to intervene to enforce a ban. This eastern side of Benog has now been declared the Mountain Quail Sanctuary and, thankfully, new plantations have sprung up to obscure the limestone roads. The mountain quail was last sighted here in 1880’s. It is believed that this bird species, assumed, extinct, has been re-sighted in another area of Uttarakhand.
Start From Clouds End
TrailHikers organises this day trek which involves walking between 15-20 km. This means a long day, but only half a distance if you use transport to and from Cloud’s End. If you wish you can start from Library (Kitabghar), a fine victorian building maintained by Hugh and Collen Gantzer, which presides over Gandhi Chowk at the western end of Mussoorie’s Mall road. It is a 6 km walk to Cloud’s End through a well forested, mainly level ridge, west of Mussoorie.
During winter season, one can choose to start this trek right from Library to enjoy the full view of the scenic western outskirts of Mussoorie. Waverly to Park Chungi is almost a flat walk. Park Chungi to Clouds End is moderate level hike.
To get your trekking money’s worth, walk on the main road from the Library, past the Savoy Hotel. The road doubles back at Modern School and brings you to Waverley. Just beyond the gates, you get an overview of the route that lies way ahead. To the west lies the solitary peak of Benog Tibba. Also visible is your return route, culminating in the yelow roof of the Happy Valley Tibbetan Monastary. Now note the sheer plummeting of the eastern face of Benog, and hope your knees will be warmed well enough to tackle it by the time you get there. From Waverley to Park Chungi is a beautiful, level, 3 km forested road.
At Park Chungi, there is a shop and piped drinking water. The shortest way to Everest’s Park Estate- which occupies the ridge overlooking the Doon- is to follow the over-grown, quarry road uphill, taking appropriate short-cuts to cut off the corners (like all pragmatic hill people). The ridge walk to Cloud’s End from Everest’s Estate is another 3 km through the pristine jungle. At Cloud’s End, turn north, descending to a narrow saddle straddling limestone cliffs. Then, swing east to traverse a well aligned path (3km) up to the southern, bald face of the mountain known to the British as ‘Ben Og’. Benog gives great views of the snow peaks and the River Yamuna. The northern face is so steep and thickly forested that it hosts the ‘ghoral’, a mountain goat once quite common in these hills but now almost extinct.
From Benog you can either return via Cloud’s End and the motor road to Mussoorie, or make an adventurous descent down the eastern face (facing Mussoorie) by a pagdandi (faint foot-path) to the old stone quarries. Continue down near-vertical roads, built for high-geared limestone trucks that once zigzagged crazily to Dhobhi Ghat, famous for its gushing water springs. From Dhobhi Ghat, one of Mussoorie’s least visited and magical corners (not to be confused with Woodstock Dhobhi Ghat), to avoid a long detour, opt for a 1-hr climb up the eastern flank of Mussoorie’s Happy Valley (following the pipeline) through the forest. It will bring you to Murray Pumping Station, with its still-working colonial machinery. There is a jeepable road to Company Bagh, but it is just as quick to keep ascending by the original bridle path to emerge at the Tibbetan Central School. There is a reason for the big Tibbetan settlement here, mostly built in the authentic Tibetan style. When the Dalai Lama first fled Tibet, he took up residence here, at Birla House. From Happy Valley, a level, well forested motor road returns you to the Library after 4 km.
Benog forest region was established as Mountain Quail Sanctuary in September 1993. The sanctuary was named after Mountain Quail, a Himayalan bird which is now extinct in the region. This forest has a rare species of Himalayan goat known as Himalayan Goral or Ghural, found at higher alitudes. Also known as Benog wildlife reserve, this region has some amazing nature walks, rich flora & fauna and an adventurous hike to the Benog Tibba peak (2,250m). It is a scenic nature trail & a learning experience for nature lovers of all age groups.
Yes, it is absolutely essential to take a guide for this trek whether you are trekking solo or in a group.
Benog Hill is an all season trek.
Yes, it is suitable for kids 5+ years.
Yes, in fact all the Himalayan trails are quite safe for women & solo travelers. People of the region are very warm, caring & hospitable in nature.
Guides & porters in the region will never demand any tip money from you. They just need their daily wages paid by the trek operator. However, it is always encouraging if one can give a little tip to them if they provide good services.
Indian currency is accepted
Superb day hike to Benog hill top at 2,250 m. Panoramic Himalayan views at the hill top. Beautiful visit to Jwala Devi temple on the Benog Hill top – thanks team !