Kashmir Great Lakes Trek duration is approximately 7-9 days, and this trek is frequently rated as moderate in terms of trekking challenges. The highest point of the trek is around 13000 ft covering a distance of 63kms. The trek to the Great Lakes is worthwhile as it will fulfil a trekker’s expectation and dream. It will give trekkers a chance to taste the varied terrains, snow covered glaciers, pinnacles, passes, rocky barren lands, and streams with gushing water flowing down the valley.
Reach Srinagar and transfer to Shitkadi. Explore Srinagar surrounded by waterbodies such as the mesmerizing Dal Lake and Jhelum River.
Shitkadi is a beautiful, quaint little place just a few kilometers beyond Sonamarg. The drive to Shitkadi is very picturesque and will take around 4 hours. You will reach the campsite by evening. Note: The pick you up will be arranged from Tourist Reception Center, Near Dal Gate 1 from 1 pm -2 pm. Cost of 5-6 seater cab is minimum Rs. 2,700 Which is shared between the fellow trekkers.
The Kashmir Great Lakes trek begins about 3 km away from Sonamarg, along the Srinagar road. Once you cross 3 km, a solitary little dhaba can be seen on your right. If you’re short on edible supplies, this dhaba is the last place until Naranag to buy them. The trail follows a moderate ascent for the first 3 hours, followed by an hour-long descent before another mild ascent leads you to Nichnai. Another 30 minutes into the trek, trees of maple and pine spring around, beyond which the trail dips down to a small stream and then moves up again You’re now treading through a dense Maple forest – a dreamy experience that is exclusive to Kashmir treks. Continue along the trail climbing up until the forest finally ends at a ridge, giving you a beautiful glimpse of the Sonamarg valley. You now begin descending to another meadow graced generously by beautiful trees of Silver Birch. What comes next is a beautiful blanket of greenery that spans the meadow. There are a few brooks here whe
We start early in the morning by 08:00 AM so that there’s sufficient time for you to wander around and admire the beauty of the meadows. The Nichnai Pass or Vishnusar Berry almost marks the halfway point of the day’s trek. About half an hour later, a river-crossing awaits you and the trail runs along the left bank of the river. The trail now begins ascending gradually through the meadow, with the pass being just an hour’s climb away now. The climb to Nichani pass is a fast one, and you can actually feel the altitude shift even as you climb. Nothing to worry about though, as, beyond the pass, the trail begins deepening quickly into a large meadow through which a beautiful river flows. The color of the lake changes throughout the day, depending on the weather and skies. The next destination to explore is the Kishansar lake, just 500 meters away from Vishnusar lake. It thrives right at the foot of the Kishansar peak and takes 45 minutes to reach. It is accompanied by a magnif
The trek starts from the side of Kishansar Lake, and the trail leads to the ridge’s top. Follow the narrow trail that unfolds along the mountain side, and stick to the ascending trail. Reaching the top should take you about 1.5 hours or 2, depending on your pace. Soon, you are treated with the views of Vishnusar and Kishansar lakes in entirety. It is a rare view and follows you right up to the tip of the ridge i.e. Gadsar Pass. Reigning atop 13,800 ft., Gadsar Pass is the highest point of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. The ascent is a steep one, and takes about 2 hours, followed by an equally steep descent which eases out into a mild walk through the meadows. You can see some tall and lofty mountains in the distance; these are beyond our Line of Control. You will most likely find some snow at the pass. Yamsar Lake is the first small lake visible on your left. Another hour’s descent dips into the meadows, with two glorious ranges bordering both sides of the valley. The grassy mea
Begin the trek by crossing the stream and following the trail that climbs up the mountains. The terrain starkly resembles that of the Western Ghats here. You can see the river valley and tree line right beneath you. It is a level walkthrough Maengandob, a place identified by its iconic, deep craters. The riveting views of the mountains and valleys take your breath away. Satsar is a cluster of 7 beautiful lakes On the right side, just next to the ridge is the Satsar army check post, where some ID proofs must again be shown. The first Satsar lake appears 10 minutes away from the army post. Camp overnight at Satsar
The trail starts out as a mild ascent, alternating between ascents and descents. This lake is the last one for the trek. The trail begins descending now as a lovely forest appears on the left. As you reach the top for a ridge atop 13,400 ft., you can see the two beautiful lakes side by side, out of which the biggest one is Gangabal, accompanied by Nandkol. The route climbs up and down yet again followed by a stiff descent, which lasts for 1.5 hours and brings you to lush, green meadows. Another kilometer into the trail, the tree line springs up again. A short climb followed by a quick descent brings you to the lake. You can see that Nandkol lake, right at the foot of Mt. Harmukh, is not nearly as untouched and clean as the other lakes of the trek. Gangabal is merely 20 minutes away from Nandkol, and the two are linked by a whispering stream which must be crossed via a bridge. Camp overnight
Though it is the last day of the Kashmir Great Lakes trek, it is an exhausting one and takes a toll on your knees and toes. The trail descends gradually initially, followed by a steep descent all the way. About 30 – 45 minutes into the trail you can find traces of Aircel connection. The Harmukh peak still dominates the landscape, tall and mighty as you enter a beautiful meadow with blooming yellow flowers covering its face. An hour later, the tree line emerges again, and the pine trees are a welcoming sight. We stick to the borders of the forest, instead of heading straight into it. For the next 6 km, you keep weaving in and out go the first before finally entering it. Soon, the descent becomes really steep through the pine forest. Soon, the main road of Naranag can be seen, from where Srinagar is a short drive away. Overnight stay at Srinagar. Arrange for your stay in Srinagar (On own)