At a distance of 25 km from Bhaironghati and 34 km from Gangotri, the Nelong valley is a valley situated inside the Gangotri National Park in Uttarkashi district of Uttarakhand. The unexplored Nelong valley, situated at an altitude of around 11,000 feet, has a mountain desert landscape similar like Lahaul-Spiti and Leh-Ladakh.
The valley was reopened for tourists in May 2015 after a gap of 53 years. The valley had been closed to civilians since the 1962 Indo-China war, but before the war, it was the major corridor for Indo -Tibetan trade. The valley still contains some of the earlier infrastructure such as the Gartang Galion wooden bridge and the Lal Devta temple. The valley offers a panoramic view of the Tibetan plateau. Apart from the charming landscapes, Nelong Valley is also home to some of the important wildlife species like snow leopard, Himalayan blue sheep and musk deer.
The valley can be approached from Bhaironghati, located about 90 km away from Uttarkashi town. From Bhaironghati, One can take a 25 km ride in a forest department vehicle to reach the valley. The state forest department has decided to allow six forest department vehicles carrying four people each. A permit letter from the sub-divisional magistrate along with fitness certificate is required to visit the area. Foreign tourists are prohibited from visiting the valley owing to its strategic location on the India-China border.
The best time to visit Nelong Valley is from May to November and it remains closed during winter.