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Kashmir Great Lakes Trek – Ex. Srinagar

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  • 6 Nights / 7 DaysDuration
  • Jul to Sep'24travel dates
  • 15-55 yrs.Age Limit
  • 1-20 max.Group Size

Highlights

  • Drive along the banks of the iconic Sindh RiverThe Sindh River is a major river in Kashmir, and it provides a beautiful backdrop for the start of the trek
  • Traverse meadows with cascading waterfalls and panoramic viewsThe Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is known for its stunning scenery, and you'll be treated to some of the best views in the Himalayas
  • Experience the serenity of Vishansar Lake and Kishansar LakeWitness a vibrant tapestry of crystal-clear lakes reflecting the ever-changing Himalayan sky
  • Challenge yourself by crossing the Gadsar PassThe Gadsar Pass is the trek's highest point, at an elevation of over 13,750 ft. The views from the top are truly unforgettable
  • Explore the Satsar LakesA chain of seven alpine lakes is a beautiful spot to relax and take in the scenery
  • Experience the serenity of Gangabal LakeThis lake is a holy site for Hindus, and it is said to have cleansing powers
  • Descent from the mountains & return to NaranagA beautiful village nestled in the Himalayas. This is a great way to end your trek and reflect on all that you've accomplished

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is an adventure that caters to every sense. It’s a challenging yet rewarding journey that leaves you with memories etched forever!

Key Info

  • KashmirLocation
  • SonamargBase
  • Jul, Aug, SepBest Season
  • ModerateGrade
  • 13,750 ft.Max. Altitude
  • 75 kmWalk (approx.)
EnduranceMedium: 7/10

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a challenging but rewarding trek that takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the Himalayas!

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a popular trekking route in the Kashmir region of India. It's renowned for its stunning alpine scenery, high-altitude lakes, and diverse landscapes.

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is situated in the Indian-administered union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, specifically in the region around Sonamarg, which is about 90 km northeast of Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir.

The trek is usually completed in 6-7 days and covers a distance of about 75 km. The highest point on the trek is about 13,750 ft. (4,190 m). The trek usually starts from Sonamarg and passes through several high-altitude lakes, including Vishansar Lake, Krishansar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake, and Gangabal Lake. The route offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks, lush meadows, and colourful alpine flowers.

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is more than just a scenic walk; it’s a journey that challenges you, connects you with nature, and unveils the hidden gems of the Himalayas!

Night Sky inKGL Trek

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and the night sky is no exception. With little light pollution, the skies above the Himalayas come alive with a dazzling display of stars, planets, and even the Milky Way. On a clear night, you can see thousands of stars twinkling brighter than you’ve ever seen before. The Milky Way stretches across the sky like a celestial river, and you might even be able to spot shooting stars streaking across the darkness.

The Milky Way is our galaxy, a giant spiral of stars, gas, and dust. On a clear night, you’ll be able to see the Milky Way stretching across the sky like a band of light.

Photo Credit: Vaibhav Kulkarni, Prasad Joshi

Detailed Itinerary

Day-wise Schedule

Day 1, Sun
Drive from Srinagar (5,430 ft.) to Sonamarg (8,900 ft.)

Drive from Srinagar to the base camp at Shitakadi, Sonmarg. While driving you will get the best view of the landscape of Kashmir. Winds through villages and farmland and the road lies between two mountain ranges. You will be driving beside the sparkling and ever-flowing Sindh River. Along the way, you can stop and enjoy the views of these mountains and meadows.

By evening you will reach Shitakadi where you will be served a welcome drink and evening snack, followed by dinner. You will spend the night camping at Shitakadi, surrounded by majestic mountain peaks. The reason to spend the night at Shitakadi is the ‘acclimatization’. You will be briefed about the entire trek by your trek leader and you will be given all the information about the trek.


Day 1, Sun: Highlights
• Altitude: ⇑ 3,470 ft. / ⇓ 0 ft.
• Drive (approx.): 90 km, 3 hrs.
• Accommodation: Campsite
• Meals: Dinner

Day 2, Mon
Trek from Sonamarg to Nichnai (11,600 ft.) via Shekdur

This is the first day you will be taking your backpack and start ascending towards the next campsite. It is a gradual ascend. Your first stop will be at Tabletop, a beautiful plateau that is surrounded by jungle but opens wide towards the Thajwas Mountain Range. This gives a fascinating wide look at the entire Sonamarg area and its mountain range. You will be able to see the famous Amarnath Peak from here.

Post this, you will trek towards Nichnai. You will be trekking beside the river canal that goes down, and after a patch of jungle, the trail opens up and gives way to tall mountains. There is a river crossing too, a small stream that cuts this valley. Your trek leader and guides will help you cross the stream.

The view becomes more and more breathtaking as you trek further towards the campsite. The trail has rocky patches as well and is dotted with maple, birch, and pine trees.


Day 2, Mon: Highlights
• Altitude: ⇑ 2,700 ft. / ⇓ 0 ft.
• Walk (approx.): 11 km, 6-7 hrs.
• Accommodation: Campsite
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3, Tue
Trek from Nichnai to Vishansar (12,200 ft.) Via Nichnai Pass (13,200 ft.)

The gradient of the day is moderate with long hours of walk. After breakfast, you will be given the packed lunch as we will be lunching on our way to the next campsite.

We will be taking our first rest spot at Nichnai Pass. The pass is after the river stream. Just before the top, crossing the ridgeline you will see the beautiful valley you just traversed. There is a steady ascent towards the pass. The pass has a steep and rocky descent towards the beautiful valley. The meadow below is dotted with wildflowers. You will walk in this quiet, serene meadow with joy and delight.

In the surroundings, you will see a long stretch of mountains to both the left and right sides of you. Towards the right, the mountain range is rugged, to your right the mountain line is snow-peaked.

After walking for a couple of kilometres you will cross the river and reach our campsite. The campsite is beside the river stream that originates at the breathtaking Vishansar Lake.


Day 3, Tue: Highlights
• Altitude: ⇑ 1,600 ft. / ⇓ 1,000 ft.
• Walk (approx.): 13 km, 6-7 hrs.
• Accommodation: Campsite
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4, Wed
Trek from Vishansar to Gadsar (12,000 ft.) Via Gadsar Pass (13,750 ft.)

The trek from Vishansar to Gadsar via Gadsar Pass is considered one of the most challenging and rewarding parts of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. It begins with a steep ascent towards Gadsar Pass. This is the toughest part of the trek, and it’s important to pace yourself.

The first attraction and the best attraction of the trek will be visible within an hour of your trek. Behold the two gorgeous lakes cosily and calmly adjacent to each other: Vishansar and Kishansar Lakes.

Once you reach Gadsar Pass, the highest point of the trek at 13,750 ft., you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Harmukh (16,870 ft.) and Mt. Kolahoi (17,800 ft.). From here, the trail descends gradually towards Gadsar, passing by Gadsar Lake.


Day 4, Wed: Highlights
• Altitude: ⇑ 1,550 ft. / ⇓ 1,750 ft.
• Walk (approx.): 16 km, 7-8 hrs.
• Accommodation: Campsite
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5, Thu
Trek from Gadsar to Satsar (12,500 ft.)

The gradient of this day is easy. Only around one hour is an ascend until the trail opens on the Satsar Meadow. Then the walk turns into an easy walk on lush grass and trail. The trail has small rocky patches amidst the lush meadow and some water-filled grassland. The landscape of the mountain is mostly rugged and desolate. The valley in total holds seven alpine lakes. The seven lakes are one of the sources of the famous Wangath River that you will see on the way to Srinagar after finishing the trek. Afterwards, shortly, we will reach our campsite in the vicinity of the river stream.


Day 5, Thu: Highlights
• Altitude: ⇑ 500 ft. / ⇓ 0 ft.
• Walk (approx.): 12 km, 4-5 hrs.
• Accommodation: Campsite
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6, Fri
Trek from Satsar to Gangabal (11,500 ft.) via Zaj Pass (13,280 ft.)

This day is moderate to difficult and starts with a patch of boulders and rocky terrain. The boulder section will dominate the day, with the hopping from one boulder to another. The trail goes up and reaches the Zajibal Pass. There is a sharp ascend towards the pass for about 3 hours and then an equally long descent. The trail then has a succession of ascends and descends until it goes into Gangabal Valley. On the way comes the biggest of the Satsar Lakes. The lake is bigger and more gorgeous. After the ascend, one reaches the highest altitude of the day at the top of the ridge called Zajibal Pass. The pass stands at an altitude of 4000m.

However, the best part of this pass and the treat to the eyes is the first look you get of twin lakes: Nundkol and Gangabal Lakes. After the descent from the pass, you will be walking in the narrow meadow after which there are small ups and downs in the terrain until you reach the twin lakes of the valley.

Both the lakes are glacial lakes and get the water from the melting of glaciers that hang on Mount Harmukh. You will be camping beside the Nundkol Lake which has this gorgeous Mount Harmukh in the background. Gangabal Lake is almost 25 minutes from Nundkol Lake. Both the lakes are abundant in trout fish.


Day 6, Fri: Highlights
• Altitude: ⇑ 780 ft. / ⇓ 1,780 ft.
• Walk (approx.): 10 km, 5-6 hrs.
• Accommodation: Campsite
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7, Sat
Trek from Gangbal to Naranag (7,800 ft.)
Drive from Naranag to Srinagar (5,430 ft.)

This is the last day of great lakes kashmir trek. The gradient of this day is difficult. You will be leaving in the early morning after breakfast. The trek towards Naranag i.e. the endpoint of the trek is first a gradual descent and then a sharp descent through the jungle. The gradual descent is through the meadow of Trunkhol. This is where you will see the government hut and wavy meadows in the middle of the surrounding mountains. The grass is lush and dotted with yellow flowers. And the land stretches far ahead of you. Take a rest at Trunkhol Meadow Hut. You will see a lot of shepherd houses made of mud and brick. You can stop, if time allows, to sip the local tea here in the mud houses.

Post-Trunkhol meadow, the trail immediately goes through the jungle. After walking for half an hour you will reach Butsheri Top, and it is from here a 3-hour steep descent starts. It is heavy on your knees. Make sure you tie your laces ankle-high, if you have kneecaps wear them. The trail isn’t tricky or dangerous but hard on your legs.

After descending halfway, you will begin to see the houses below. It further takes a hard descent to reach the end of the trek. At Naranag take some rest before leaving for your destination further.


Day 7, Sat: Highlights
• Altitude: ⇑ 0 ft. / ⇓ 3,700 ft.
• Walk (approx.): 13 km, 6-7 hrs.
• Accommodation: Campsite
• Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8, Sun
Buffer Day

Unforeseen Delays: In Kashmir region, mountain weather can be unpredictable, and sudden rain can slow down your pace or even make some sections unsafe. A buffer day gives you flexibility to wait out bad weather without throwing the whole itinerary off track.

Important Note:
1. The decision to use the buffer will solely be taken by the trek leader.
2. If the buffer day is used, you have to pay us ₹ 2,000 pp.

For all your travel plans include a buffer day to accommodate bad weather on the trek/political instability. This depends completely on the circumstances of the trek and the situation in Kashmir region.


Day 8, Sun: Highlights
• Altitude: N/A
• Walk (approx.): N/A
• Accommodation: N/A
• Meals: N/A

Inclusions

What's Included?
  • Transport From/To SrinagarBy private vehicle & driver allowance
  • 6N at Campsite during the TrekTent stay, on a twin sharing basis
  • 6 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners(Lunch on Day 1 to Lunch on Day 7)
    We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food
  • Camping EquipmentHigh quality tents with sleeping bags & mats, kitchen tents, toilet tents with portable toilet seats
  • Camping PermitAll trek permits, camping charges & all necessary paper works
  • An Experienced Trek LeadsTeam of Certified Mountaineers & Outdoor Experts
  • Cook & Support StaffPorters/Mules support to carry camping equipment
  • Trekking InsuranceBenefits: Disability Covered, Medical Expenses & Many More
  • Safety Equipment & EmergencyFirst aid kit, oxygen cylinders, oximeter etc. will be at the campsite as well to deal with emergencies
  • GSTAll Applicable Taxes

Exclusions

What's Not Included?
  • Any Personal ExpensesLike shopping, mineral water, etc.
  • Personal Trekking GearsLike trekking poles, down jackets, etc.
  • Backpack Offloading Charges₹ 2,800 per bag for the entire trek (Max. 10 kg)
  • Food during TransitAny food you have during your travel to & from the base camp is in your own expense
  • Tips for Guides & Porters
  • Anything specifically not mentioned in the inclusions list

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Kashmir Great Lakes Trek – Ex. Srinagar