Great Lakes Of Kashmir Trek
The Great Lakes of Kashmir trek is set in an almost heavenly arena of high mountain vistas, endless pasturelands, and ofcourse, the great lakes. Arguably the best way to witness the beauty of the Kashmir Himalaya, you will be rewarded with a palette of colours every single day that you walk on this trail. The trek is moderate but goes over high 13000ft+ high passes, but the terrain is extremely relaxing and the deep blue coloured mountains and lush flower filled meadows make the going extremely pleasant. You may get to experience a fewcultural insights. Local shepherds, their herds and families may be your trail companions. On your way from Srinagar to Sonamarg and as well on the houseboat you will get an idea of the local culture, food and religion in Kashmir. There is colour everywhere. The Great Lakes of Kashmir trek will lead you to its turquoiseblue-greenlakes, climbs over high altitude passes and offers you one of the best trail experiences you will savour for a lifetime
Day 01 Arrive Srinagar, drive to Sonamarg (95 km ; 3 hrs ; 8500 ft).
Arrive at Srinagar in the morning and proceed together to our camp in Sonamarg. The drive takes approx. 3 hours. Short walk depending on everyone’s arrival times at airport.
Trek 3 hrs to gain altitude of approx. 1000 feet and camp overnight at a meadow. (3-4 km ; 3 hrs ; 9500 ft)
Acclimatise and relax. Camp overnight.
Day 03: Trek to base camp at Nichnai passing Shekdur (6 km ; 5 hrs ; 11500 ft)
After breakfast we take a short drive to the start of our Great Lakes of Kashmir trek. We begin our ascent from Sonamarg town, and walk through maple trees, past lush meadows and rivulets till we reach Shekdur for lunch. Shekdur pasture is lined by Silver Birch trees with herder huts, with the backdrop of the big mountains. Post lunch, we traverse a rocky section and move upto a very pretty meadow walk.
Day 04: Trek Nichnai to Vishensar Lake (12 km ; 8-10 hrs ; 12243 ft)
Our day begins with a climb over Nichnai Pass (13500 ft). Its a day of variety with a river crossing and our first small lake of this trek. We descend rapidly to be amongst mountain pasture land again, with Mount Vishu on the left and river crossing again at the start of the meadows. Great views make this a brilliant day – a waterfall, mountains, alpine flowers littering the meadows, as we camp by the stream fed by the lake. Vishensar is the lake of Lord Vishnu, and is a kilometer long and half a kilometer wide, this lake is the main source of the Neelum river, and its great to take in a post trek walk around it.
Day 05: Acclimatization day
Today we do a short walk around camp, and acclimatize before crossing the 13800 ft high Gadsar pass. Fishing, and inflatable kayak!!
Day 06: Trek Vishesnsar to Gadsar (10km ; 10 hrs ; 11880 ft)
Today we trek to Kishansar, with a steep ascent which provides great overview of Kishansar and Vishansar lakes together, as we climb towards the Gadsar Pass at 13,800 ft (4181 M). This is the highest point on the trek. We descend to a meadow with irises littered all over the hillside. We camp 4-5 km below Gadsar lake near the army camp.
Day 07 : Trek Gadsar to Satsaran (12km ; 8 hrs ; 12000 ft)
Today, we trek over tree line. We begin with a gentle descent for about an hour, which would make you think this is the easy part of the trek until you encounter the steep ascent for about three hours. A flat meadow walk is your just reward after this challenging section. Finally we reach Satsar, which literally means seven lakes. The Satsar Lake is a series of seven small lakes connected with each other in a cascade formation. The season you trek will determine how many of the lakes have water in them. We pass the Army Camp before camping by the first lake.
Day 08: Trek Satsaran to Gangbal (9km ; 7 hrs ; 11500 ft)
This morning we climb to the Zajibal Pass which is on an altitude of around 13000 ft. which takes about 3 – 4 hours. From here, you can see the Harigandan lake, Harmukh lake, Harmukh mountain (16,500 ft.) as well as big and small Gangbal lake. We will start ascending towards the small Gangbal lake and camp within the lake area.
Day 09: At Gangbal.
After breakfast we walk to the big Gangbal lake which is at an altitude of 11,500 ft. We explore the source of water coming into the lake. There is a big ancient rock – in former days the pandits used to drop the remains of dead bodies after burning them into the big Gangbal lake. They used the shortest way from Naranag to reach Gangbal to perform this ritual. Enjoy our last day in the wilderness, and return to Camp.
Day 10: Trek towards Naranag (11km ; 5-6 hrs ; 7550 ft)
A 4000 ft descent awaits your knees! Descend to Naranag & drive 50 km to Srinagar. Overnight at houseboat with a traditional dinner at the Dal Lake, Srinagar.
After breakfast, drive to Srinagar airport. Trip ends.
- All travel from Srinagarand back to Srinagar by road as applicable (by non ac car / coach)
- All arrangements for staying and camping while on the trip,
- Accommodation on twin share basis in tents / rest houses / hotels,
- All group camping
- All meals from lunch on Day 1 till breakfast on Day 10,
- Professional guide fee, peak fee, sanctuary fee / royalty / permits where applicable,
- All trekking arrangements with india’s most experienced guiding team, camp staff, cook etc.