Jammu and Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, of 07 Nights & 08 Days, covers the high altitude famous lakes of Kashmir, which are Vishansar, Gadsar, Satsar and Gangabal.  The trek, which grades as a difficult trek, keeps throwing constant challenges before you while treating you to the most spectacular sceneries you will ever come across. The trekking route crosses lush meadows, bubbling streams, snowclad majestic mountain peaks and mountain passes. 

The trek starts from Nichnai Valley, the route to which dotted with pine trees, pastures, glacier streams & mountain peaks. From Nichnai Valley, Vishansar Lake, the first Alpine Lake in the trek, followed by Kishansar Lake, which adjoined by an enormous meadow. There onwards, the trekking route continues to Gadsar Pass, the highest point of the trek at 4,300 meters. From here, you are treated to splendid views of Mt. Nanga Parbat. The next stop is Satsar Lake. From Satsar Lake, you will make your way to Gangabal campsite, while crossing the Zaji Pass & enjoying the views of Mt. Harmukh at 5,000 meters on the way. From Gangabal, the descent begins up to Narang Valley & then drive to Srinagar.

Throughout the trekking tour, you will be at an elevation of 2000-4000 meters. During the course of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, you will have the wonderful opportunity of observing the rich flora & fauna of the northwestern Himalayan region. The Harmukh Peak, at a height of 5,400 meters, will arouse both awe & inspiration in you. However, the best part about the trek is the lakes themselves, which almost magically change their colours from clear at dawn to sea green to light blue to inky blue by evening. It will be an experience that you will cherish for a long time. 

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Highlights

  • Camping on the banks of River Sind
  • Cross the Nichnai Pass at almost 4,000 meters
  • Visit Vishansar Lake 
  • Hiking to Kishansar Lake and camping
  • Enjoy the magnificent views of Mt. Nanga Parbat 
  • Get clear views of Mt. Harmukh at 5,400 meters 
  • Visit the Naranag Temple which is 4,000 years old

Best time to take the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

The best time to take the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is from July to mid-September. In early July, you will still come across patches of snow at high altitudes, flowers beginning to bloom and greenery all around. From mid July to mid August, almost all the snow melts away, and you see the landscape in its most colourful avatar. From mid August to September, the temperatures witness a decline, and there are occasional showers. Snowfall usually occurs after mid September.

Where are the Kashmir Great Lakes?

The Kashmir Great Lakes are located in the central Kashmir Valley between Shitkadi and Naranag, which can be reached via trekking, and are a part of a famous trek called the Great Kashmir Lakes trek. The treks’s starting point is Sonamarg, which can be reached from Srinagar via a taxi and private vehicle

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek (Detailed Itinerary)

Day 01

Srinagar – Sonamarg (79.4 kms/2 hrs 10 minutes approx)

Other Benfits (On Arrival)
  • Breakfast
  • Transfers
  • Stay Included

The Kashmir Great Lakes Trekking Tour begins from Srinagar. After arriving, drive to Sonamarg (3 hours drive approx). Overnight stay in camps on the banks of River Sindh. This is extremely important for acclimatisation. 

Day 02

Sonamarg-Nichnai (11 km/6 hours trek)

The trekking route begins from Sonamarg and continues right up to Shekdur. Along the way, you come across pine trees, lush pastures, mountains and glacier streams. You will also cross silver birch forests and encounter several boulders, climbing which will require additional effort on your part. Finally, you reach Nichnai Valley. The altitude of Nichnai Valley is 3,500 meters.

Day 03

Nichnai-Vishansar Lake (13 km/7 hours trek)

The trekking route starts from Nichnai Valley, where the first 3 hours climb to Nichnai Pass is steep. The Nichnai Pass is located at an altitude of 4,000 meters. Along the way, you encounter meadows that are carpeted with a wide variety of wild flowers and offer gorgeous views of the Himalayas. After reaching the Nichnai Pass, descend towards the Vishansar Lake campsite. This is the first Alpine Lake in the Great Lakes of Kashmir.

Day 04

Kishansar Lake 

Today is a rest day, where you can recover and rest. There will be a short hiking tour to Kishansar Lake, which lies at the base of the Kishansar Peak. The lake is enormous with pure blue water and has a meadow stretching beside it. Enjoy the fabulous views around and take in the beauty of the place.

Day 05

Vishansar to Gadsar Lake (16 km/8 hours trek)

The trek starts from Vishansar Lake, where the climb to Kishansar Lake is quite easy. From Kishansar Lake, the route to Gadsar Pass at an altitude of almost 4,300 meters, is quite steep. On a clear day, you are treated to views of the Yamsar Lake and Mt. Nanga Parbat, 9th highest mountain in the world at 8,126 meters. The trail is dotted with wild flowers, glaciers, rare herbs and wild animals of various kinds. 

Day 06

Gadsar to Mengendob (10km/4 hours trek)

The trail begins from the Gadsar campsite. After you cross the snow bridge, the climb up to Kustoorkut is moderate. Just opposite to Kustoorjut is a lone permanent settlement called Jawdora. After Kustoorkut, take a left curve to reach the Satsaran campsite. On the way, visit the Satsar Lake. 

Day 07

Megandob to Gangabal Twin Lakes (11km/6 hours trek)

The trail starts by climbing to Mengandon to Zaji Pass, which will take about 3 hours. From Zaji Pass, enjoy the breathtaking views of the Gangabal and Nandkhol lakes, along with Khoulsar Lake. You can also spot Mt. Harmukh, at 5,400 meters, in all its majestic beauty. There are other small spectacular lakes whose spectacular views can be enjoyed from the pass. From Zoji Pass, the descent to Gangabal campsite is a bit difficult.

Day 08

Gangabal to Naranag Valley (15km/08 hours trek)

Hike up to Trundkhul, Budshare ridge. From the ridge, the descent trail to the Naranag Valley begins, which will take you almost 4 hours. After reaching Naranag, visit the 4,000 years old Naranag Temple. That is followed by a drive to Srinagar. The trek comes to an end. 

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