Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a classic trek in the Himalayas but in comparison to others trek in the Himalayas it’s not that explored. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a wonderful trek for first time trekkers in the Himalayas and considered as the beginner’s delight. The trek is considered as the best way to see the true beauty of Kashmir lies in the hidden valleys which are not accessible by road.
Day 1: Drive from Srinagar to Sonamarg (9000 ft, 4 hrs)
We will meet you at TRC, Srinagar and start the beautiful picturesque drive from Srinagar to Sonamarg which takes around 4hrs but prior to that you can make a short trip to famous places of Srinagar like Dal Lake, Mughal Gardens etc. Reach Sonamarg by evening and stay in tents ahead of Sonamarg our trek starting point and enjoy the beauty of Sonamarg at its best. Pickup Cost is Rs 500 one side extra
Day 2: Trek from Sonamarg to Nichnai ( 11500 feet,6 hours)
Today is the actual start of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek just few kilometres ahead of Sonamarg. The trekking tail starting point is marked by a nice roadside Dhabha where one can buy packaged food items for the trek. The trekking tail follows the Sindh River through the forest full of Maple and Pine trees. After trekking for few hours turn around to see the superb panorama of Sonamarg valley.
Day 3: Trek from Nichnai to Vishansar Lake(12500 feet,6 hours)
Trek from Nichnai to Vishansar Lake is long but a scenic one it passes through beautiful lush green meadows then small ascent to Nichnai Pass and from small descent to Vishansar Lake. The best part of Kashmir Great Lakes trek is that views it offered to trekkers. We cross Nichnai pass which is quite wide open and offer great views of white snow clad peaks.
Exploration Day (12500 feet,6 hours)
The day is free to explore the Vishansar Lake and its surroundings which just few minutes away from our campsite. The must things to do in Kashmir Great Lakes Trek are to capture the reflections of mountain peaks in the lake.We will explore the nearby Kishansar Lake which is also big and deep blue in colour.
Day 5: Trek from Vishansar Lake to Gadsar (13,750 feet,6 hours)
After breakfast we will start our trek passing by Kishansar Lake towards Gadsar Pass and to reach there it takes around 2 to 3 hours depending upon your pace and once you reach the top, be ready to absorb the views which you can never imagine both the Vishansar Lake and Kishansar Lake are in full view together. Gadsar is one of the most beautiful and most pristine lake of the Kashmir great lakes trek. On one side of the Gadsar lake lies the snow clad cliffs and on the other side open lush green meadows.
Day 6: Gadsar (12,000 ft) to Satsar (12,000 ft)
Start the trek with breathing exercise and nice breakfast beside the army camp. The best way to reach Satsar is after crossing the river and enjoys the dipping of your feet in ice cold water. Satsar is basically a collection of 7 lakes and you can actually find water in various lakes depending upon the season of your trek and all of them are interconnected. Camp at the beautiful campsite near the first lake.
Day 7: Satsar (12,000ft) to Twin Lakes of Gangabal (11,500 ft).
Today is a tough day and be prepared for a long arduous trek through the rocky terrain full of boulders. Crossing last Lake of Satsar we will start descending towards Gangabal our today’s destination.
Day 8: Gangabal (11,500 ft) to Naranag (7,450ft).
Today is the last and final day of Kashmir Great Lakes trek, you must be tired and exhausted. Start trekking towards the tree line alongside the stream and then through Pine forest and grassy land to reach our final destination of Naranag where our jeeps would be waiting for us.
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek exposes you to the magnificence of Kashmir. There are seven breathtaking lakes included in the trek. Each lakes introduces you to the never-ending beauty of the nature, as the lush green meadows become the pathway you walk on. Present at a height of 4191 metres, Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is filled with the views of snow-capped mountains. The trek faces poor connectivity issues, as Kashmir Great Lakes Trek takes you closer to nature and farther away from the commercialized world.
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Villages
Sonamarg is one of the most popular places in Kashmir. Known for its beautiful landscapes, colossal mountains and exquisite greenery, Sonamarg is a place worth seeing. Due to the presence of some hotels and restaurants, Sonamarg becomes a comfortable place for travellers. Those who want to enjoy the beauty of Kashmir without compromising on basic necessities can stay in Sonamarg.
Another village in Kashmir’s Ganderbal district is Naranag. Still relatively unknown, Naranag is the home to the beautiful Wangath river. Naranag also becomes a sought-after place during the winters by the adventure enthusiasts when the hills of Naranag covers with snow. It becomes a skiing heaven for the adventure-seekers.
A small, unknown village in Kashmir is known by the name of Shitkadi. Blessed with unmatchable beauty and ravishing views, Shitkadi can capture all your senses and immerse you into natural beauty. It is not easy to reach Shitkadi, and that’s why it has remained relatively unexplored.
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Difficulty
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a moderate level trek which requires some level of fitness and physique to overcome the obstacles provided by this trek. It takes around a week to complete this trek. Warm clothes, trekking stick and other basic necessities are required during this trek, as there are frequent ascents and descents in the journey. Mountain sickness is another major problem during the trek.
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek route map
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek begins from Sonamarg. You will find a lot of eating places in Sonamarg, and the weather of this place is pretty enjoyable as well. As you move towards Shekdur, the scenery starts changing. Meadows start unfolding themselves, as the sky-touching mountain peaks surround you. There is no sign of commercialization on your way. When you reach Nichnai, a crystal clear stream becomes your companion.
The gorgeous Krishansar lake is 3710 metres above sea level. Vishansar is another breathtaking lake in your trek. It is surrounded by enormous mountains from all the sides, as the spiritual lake is nestled in the lap of the valley.
The trek introduces you to gorgeous maple trees, widespread greenery and untouched natural beauty. There are very few treks which can provide you the kind of serenity and calmness that Kashmir Great Lakes Trek does. Then, head towards Gadsar Lake which is also known as ‘lake of Flowers’ due to its beauty. Snow-capped mountains cover the lake from each side and beautiful violet flowers grow on its bank.
Ahead on the journey lies Satsar which is formed by seven tiny lakes. Twin Lakes by the name of Gangabal and Nundkol will also make their presence known during the journey due to the captivating vistas that exist around these lakes. As you’d move towards Naranag village, you’ll encounter resplendent glaciers in all their raw glory.
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek weather
The best time to start the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is from June till the early September. The temperature remains moderate throughout the trek, as the average temperature can range from 15 to 20 degree Celsius. During the night time, the temperature can fall as low as 5 degree Celsius.