Kashmir Alpine Lakes Trek
The Kashmir Alpine Lakes Trek also known as the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir valley that unwrap the serene beauty of the Kashmir region secluded within the mountains. It is one of the treks in the Indian Himalayan region that whirls along the tracks to some of the high altitude lakes of India that glisters in the midst of vast alpine meadows, which are dotted with colourful orchids. The trek is a potpourri of alpine high altitude fresh water glacier lakes that consist of Vishnasar Lake, Krishnasar Lake, Yamsar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake, Nandkol and Gangabal Lake. The trek stretches from an elevation of 2,723 meters, in Sonamarg, which is often dubbed as the "meadows of gold", to an elevation of 4,300 meters, in Lul Gul pass. The Kashmir Alpine Lakes Trek is approximately 5 days of knackered knees and tortured toes BUT worth the challenge.
A pulsating escape for the demented travellers, the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek commences from Sonamarg, which is located at an altitude of 2,723 meters and leads to the floor of Nichnai Pass at an elevation of 3,500 meters. The easy climb passes through several shepherds' settlements and meadows dotted with colourful orchids. Further, the trail proceeds to Vishansar Lake en route to Kolahoi base camp at 4,140 meters and Lidderwat at 3,050 meters. As you get closer to the Kolahoi glacier the track becomes harder and the terrain rugged, but the increasingly spectacular views of the Kolahoi Peak urge you on. From here the trek heads to Gadsar Lake via the Gadsar Pass and passes through an untamed terrain. Moving deep into the Kashmir valley the trek leads to Megandob, a meadow that offers a bird's-eye view down the Sindh valley to the upper reaches of the Vale of Kashmir. Thence the trekking trail in the Kashmir Valley climbs up to Gaj Pass, from where one can get enchanting views of the Gaganbal and Nundkol Lakes. The sacred peak of Harimukh rises above the lake, making it a divine experience. It is said that pilgrimages to the base of Harimukh and Gaganbal long preceded the Amarnath Yatra.
Day 01: Arrive in Srinagar
You will arrive in Srinagar where our representative will receive you and transfer to the houseboat. After reaching the houseboat, your trek leader will give you some important predeparture briefing. In the afternoon, enjoy a ride in the beautifully decorated Shikara's in the Dal or Nigeen Lake. Overnight stay at the houseboat.
Day 02: Srinagar - Aru via Pahalgam
Early in the morning, get ready for a drive to Aru, a famous tourist destination to see a magnificent view of the lush green pastures and beautiful Katrinag Mountains in the backdrop. Afternoon time is free to give your body some rest. Overnight stay in the tents.
Day 03: Aru - Lidderwat
In the morning, we will start the trek to the red line and then along the left of the Lidder River. After crossing the stream, we will cross the foot bride to reach out campsite. Overnight stay in the camps.
Day 04: Lidderwat - Satlanjan
The trek begins with a climb to the Nichinal Pass. Here you will be certainly mesmerized to see the mind-blowing views of the mountains. We then trail through the flower strewn meadows towards the Vishansar and Krishansar Lakes. After crossing a small stream, we will reach the Vishansar Lake to spend two nights in the camps.
Day 05: Satlanjan - Kolahol Base Camp - Lidderwat
Early in the morning, we will start hiking towards the Kolahol Base Camp where you will see the majestic Kolahol Peak. In order to get the picture-perfect view of the Kolahol Peak, you will be required to climb a little higher towards the opposite side of the ridge. The return trek is relatively is very easy as we trail back to Lidderwat via Satlanjan. Overnight stay at the camps in Lidderwat.
Day 06: Lidderwat - Sikewas
In the morning, we cross the stream to trek towards the Postpatri (Valley of Flowers) to get the fantastic view of the Karakoram Mountains. After reaching the saddle at Mangadub, we begin to trek towards the Zagibal Peak. The climb to the Zagibal Peak is very challenging, but also very rewarding as we get a wonderful chance to see the astounding views of the Gangabal Lakes and Hurmukh Peak. After a short trek, we reach the Gangabal Lakes for a two night camp stay.
Day 07: Sikewas - Tarsar Lake
The day is completely free to have some rest and reenergize your body. During the free time, you can either enjoy a refreshing walk around the lake or rainbow trout fishing. You also have another option to trek up to the Lul Gul Pass and get an astonishing view of the Nanga Parbat Mountain.
Day 08: Sikewas - Sonmus
Early in the morning, we will start the day by undertaking a short trail as we follow the Tarsar River to reach our camp at the Sikewas Meadow.
Day 09: Skewas - Sonamarg
After the hearty breakfast, we will trek through the dense forest, Gujar Villages and terraced rice fields to reach the road head at Sumbal. After the couple of hours drive along the Sindh River, we will reach Sonamarg. Overnight stay at the camps in Sonamarg.
Day 10: Sonamarg - Nichinai
A short trek through the lush pine forests will take you to a steel bridge that has been built over the Sindh River. From the bridge, we will climb steeply to Shkoder, a perfect point to see the stunning view of the glaciers and Sindh Valley. After spending some enjoyable moments in the valley, we will trek up to the Nichinai to enjoy an overnight stay in the camps.
Day 11: Nichinai - Krishansar
We begin our day with a trek to the Nichinai Pass. Here you will be captivated by the majestic views of the mountains. From here, we will trek towards the Vishansar and Krishansar Lakes. Overnight stay at the camps for two nights near the Vishansar Lake.
Day 12: Krishansar - Dubta Pani
After the breakfast, we begin a trek towards the breathtaking Gadsar Pass. The pass provides a splendid view of the captivating Karakorum Mountains. After reaching the Gadsar Pass, our trek then moves past the pristine Gadsar Lake where our overnight camps have been set up nearby the stream.
Day 13: Krishansar - Gangabal Lake
In the morning, we trek towards the Postpatri (Valley of Flowers) to reach the saddle at Mangadub; we begin to trek towards the Zagibal Peak. The climb to the Zagibal Peak is very challenging, but also very rewarding as we get a wonderful chance to see the astounding views of the Gangabal Lakes and Hurmukh Peak. After a short trek, we reach the Gangabal Lakes for a two night camp stay.
Day 14: Gangabal Lake - Srinagar
We will spend the day beside the Gangabal Lake and see the majestic panoramic views of the nature. Rest of the day is free for your own activities.
Day 15: Depart Srinagar
You will be transferred to the airport for your onward destination.