Ukkada falls hiking guide

Hiking Guide To The Lesser-Explored Ukkada Waterfall

One of the lesser touristy yet true hidden gem of a place in Chikmagalur is the Ukkada waterfall. On our third trip to Chikmagalur, we decided to go off-beat and explore the lesser-traveled road in the hopes of uncovering the city’s best-kept secrets. The trip was during the peak monsoon months of August which is the most ideal time to explore the land of waterfalls.

This guide covers all the information that you need to plan and successfully complete your hike to the Ukkada waterfall. Please go through all the sections of this blog as they contain unique and crucial information you must know before visiting.

Ukkada Waterfall Hiking Guide

How To Reach Ukkada Waterfall From Chikmagalur?

The road is the only possibility to reach the waterfall. We are not sure about the public buses’ accessibility to the waterfalls. 

We rented a bike from Chikmagalur and explored the beautiful place on its wheels. The most comfortable way to reach the waterfall is by using your own vehicle or using a rental. Another advantage of exploring using your transport is that you can do so at your own pace and you have the flexibility to explore nearby places.

Search for Ukkuda falls cafe on Google maps. A Km past the cafe, the road ends and you’ll be able to see the entry gate (picture attached below). If the roads aren’t good, park your vehicle in the village where you see a couple of houses.

Network Availability

You’ll get good reception until you reach the Ukkuda falls cafe. The place is easy to navigate using Google maps. After that, no signal could be traced on any of the mobile operators.

ATM Availability

There is no ATM availability nearby. The nearest one can be found only in the town area of Chikmagalur. Although you won’t necessarily need cash for this waterfall hike, it is always good to carry some.

Languages Spoken

The regional language of Kannada is the only language spoken by the people in the region.

Parking Availability

There is no dedicated parking space. People usually tend to park their vehicles on the side of the road before starting the hike. Travelers also tend to park in the village during rainfall, or even just before the gate during the summer period.

Restroom Facilities

No restroom was found along the hiking route or at the base. You are entirely dependent on nature.

Best Time To Visit

Ukkada waterfall full view

The best time to visit the Ukkada waterfall is during the monsoon months of July and August. The monsoon months increase the water flow and it is truly joyous to witness the Ukkada Falls in all its glory. September to December are the next best months to see the waterfall. However, keep in mind that the falls are active all throughout the year, the above-mentioned time period just makes a special sight even more breathtaking.

Where To Eat?

There is only one cafe in proximity to the waterfall. The Ukkuda Falls Cafe has refreshment drinks and snacks. 

Where To Stay?

Since the Ukkada Falls visit can be completed as a day trip, and given that there is no shortage of other beautiful sights near Chikmagalur, you can stay in Chikmagalur itself.

 

Things To Do At The Ukkada Waterfall

Waterfall exploration and hiking to the waterfall is the ideal activity here.

Hiking Details

Distance from Chikmagalur KSRTC bus stand: 40 Km

Cost: Free entry

Registration: No registration or online booking is required.

Permission: You need not get any permission from any official to travel to the waterfalls.

Timings: From 6 AM to 6 PM.

Duration: 2-3 hours in total

Hike Distance: 2 Km, one way

Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate which is highly subject to your fitness level.

Terrain: Grasslands, stones, boulders, and the muddy path which are slippery during the rainy and monsoon seasons

Hiking Route:

Muddy terrain during monsoon to the Ukkadam fall

A few meters from the Ukkuda Falls cafe, the muddy road starts. You will be crossing a village with a couple of houses en route. We parked our vehicle near one of the houses as the muddy road was too slippery and uneven to cross.

During monsoon, the best way to cross this slippery mud road is to adhere to the choice of footwear of the regional people. They wore boots during the monsoon and that enabled them to stroll these mucky roads. Meanwhile, despite having removed our hiking shoes and being barefooted we were struggling to take the next step.

Ukkada falls entry gate

After a 500 m walk along the stream to the left, we crossed another stream and arrived at the gate of the waterfall. This mucky road to the gate is very accessible by vehicle during the summer months or post-monsoon season. 

Follow the route that is visible towards the left of the gate. Before proceeding, apply Dettol or any leech-repellent spray to ensure the pesky bloodsuckers stay away from you. There were so many leeches, and the monsoon season ensured that we encountered at least 3-5 at every step of the trail.

Hiking route direction to the Ukkada waterfall

You will walk on a straight route for about 100 m. Past that the trail splits up, and you have to climb upwards on the small route that will be visible to you on your right. 

It is highly imperative that you keep this direction in mind and not miss this trail. For if you do, you will most certainly get turned around with no clue of where you are. There were no direction boards found en route throughout the hike. It is recommended that you go with someone — a local from the village, from your homestay, or anyone who knows the route reliably well.

Ukkada fall hiking route
Take a look at the boots they are wearing

Walk for 500 m straight. You’ll get well within hearing distance of the roaring falls. The sound of the screeching insects of nature creates an exciting ambiance.

Now comes the challenging part. We had to cross a huge natural wall-like structure with rock-cut stones and descend steep places with the aid of tree branches. Only when you cross this Tarzan-esque part, will you be able to set sights on the milky white waterfalls of Ukkada.

Difficult park of the hiking trail
Fortunately, we met Sreemanth, a native who guided us along the route and helped us throughout.

Crossing the stream near the waterfall to reach the upper base is not advisable during monsoons, please keep in mind that at any point in time, water flow might increase, and it will be difficult to cross the stream back.

At The Ukkada waterfall: Get lost in the wilderness with the sound of water falling on the earth and full greens around highlighting the milky white water gushing down as a stream. You can dip your legs or get wet. Spend some quality time in nature with your loved ones.

Important Things To Remember

  • As mentioned earlier, there is no proper trekking route. So, ensure you are aware of your surroundings as the probability of getting lost is extremely high.
  • We recommend you go during weekends as you can join other people or with someone who has already been to the falls.
  • During monsoon, be aware that there are plenty of leeches (literally too many) once you cross the private property gate right after the stream. Apply Dettol or any leech-repellent spray for precaution.
  • There are no changing rooms or restrooms near the falls. You can however politely approach and ask permission from the villagers to use their house and change there if possible.
  • The use of plastics and smoking is strictly prohibited. As a hiker, it is incumbent on you to be responsible and not litter. Collect and bring back the waste with you and dispose of them in the dedicated bins.

Essential Things To Carry

  • Ensure you carry at least 1L of water per person. You can refill your water bottle in the stream or from the waterfall.
  • Take sufficient snacks and energy bars, as there is only one cafe found 500 m away from the village.
  • Cap, sunscreen & sunglasses are essential to ward off the summer heat.
  • Carry a poncho or raincoat to stave off rain.
  • Above all, ensure you wear comfortable shoes with good traction and grip.
  • Carry leech repellent spray like Dettol as they are found plenty during the rains.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a guide required for the Ukkada waterfall trek?

A guide is not mandatory for the Ukkada waterfall trek. But we highly recommend going with someone who knows the route as there is no dedicated route and the probability of getting lost is high.

Is camping allowed at the Ukkada waterfalls?

The Ukkada waterfall is a private waterfall. Camping is strictly prohibited.

What are the places to visit around the Ukkada waterfall?

You can visit Hirekolale Lake, Bandekla Gudda, Mallandur Sunset Point, and go for a safari in the Muthodi forest.

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