Overview
Overview

Kashmir is undoubtedly one of the most heavenly places on Earth. With beautiful breathtaking valleys, mountains that exude serenity, Kashmir is easily a trekker's paradise. With pristine high altitude lakes such as - Gadasar, Satsar, Nundkol, Gangbal, Vishansar and Krishnasar, the trail that explores these lakes is one the most sought after treks in the region. 

The trek exudes beauty like no other and validates the statement - "Kashmir is heaven on Earth". The Kashmir Great Lakes trail is meandering and takes you superbly diverse terrains that will be etched in your memories forever. The trail was closed to civilians until a couple of years and was later opened up as a boon to the trekking community who could see the real beauty of Kashmir through its valleys and mountains. 

The High-Altitude Alpine Lakes

On the Kashmir Great Lakes trek, you get to explore and camp 5 high-altitude lakes in various mesmerizing valleys. with emerald green waters, these untouched water bodies look straight out of  HD wallpaper. These lakes are surrounded and guarded by tall mountains and are extremely scenic. One of the less explored lakes in this category is the Gasar lake. Not only does it require a hard trek, but it is also less visited by tourists. Gadsar is fed by a gigantic glacier near it and the trail will remind you of the Valley of Flowers trek. The meadowed grasslands and the wildflowers that grow here will make you feel like you're in the middle of a movie set!

You get a glimpse of all 5 lakes from Gadsar pass

While the Gadsar lake is immensely beautiful, the Gadsar pass is incredibly magnificent in itself. The higher you climb, the better the view gets. Right from twin lakes - Vishansar & Kishansar, you can also get a glimpse of the three Gadsar lakes which would be located towards the right. If you have a good camera, a panoramic picture of this view will be worth millions! With lush green meadows sprawling out near the crystal blue waters and snow-clad mountains in the backdrop, this sight will make you fall in love with nature all over again. Another surprising element here is that the Gadsar pass will also show you a glimpse of many smaller lakes on the way. Don't forget to count the lakes you've come across here! 

Breathtaking drive from Srinagar to Sonmarg/Sitkari

The base camp for the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is an enthralling hill station called Sitkari near Sonmarg. Post arrival in Srinagar, you will be driving down to Sonmarg and then to Sitkari. The drive to Sitkari will give you views of scattered forests, meandering streams, extremely treacherous roads, and incredibly majestic snow-clad mountains. 

Visit Zoji La Pass & Zero Point

On your day of arrival at Sitkari, to help you acclimatize to higher altitudes, you will be driven to Zero points near Kargil and will get to travel through the super famous high mountain pass - Zoji La pass for sightseeing.

Trekking to the treeline from Gangbal

Another promising aspect of this trek is the descent from Gangbal to tree line. This picture-perfect hike will take your breath away and leave you awed. While you would leave behind the view of Harmukh peak that is engulfed by the humongous glacier near the Nundkol lake. you will begin to realize that the beauty you see in Kashmir is something you would never find elsewhere. 

Gangbal - The Ganges of Kashmir

Here's an interesting fact: The name Gangbal was derived from the river Ganges. The lake is extremely sacred to Kashmiri pandits and is also considered to be a holy pilgrimage site. They take part in what is called a Gangbal-Harmukh yatra, the annual pilgrimage to the 14,500 feet-high Harmukh-Gangbal lake shrine. It is also believed that Lord Shiva resided near the Gangbal lake which makes it religiously significant. 

COVID-19 Links & Information:

After due considerations and post understanding the guidelines and precautions set by the respective State Governments and the Government of India, we have decided to resume our operations and reopen our treks, ensuring full safety and security of our Nomads and our on-ground staff.

  1. Click here to read more about our cancellation policy and recommendations for trekking amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  2. Click here more about the safety protocols followed by TrekNomads before, during and after the trek.
9 Nights 10 Days Available on request Srinagar
Inclusions
Inclusions & Exclusions

What is included in the tour

  • Airport Pick up and Drop Off by NAC vehicle
  • 1 Night stay on a deluxe house-boat at Dal Lake on day of arrival (Double/Triple sharing basis)
  • 2 Night stay at a three/four-star hotel at Srinagar post return from the trek (Double/Triple sharing basis)
  • 6 Night Camp stay along the trail during the trek (Double/triple sharing basis)
  • Meals included: Breakfast + Dinner at Srinagar & Breakfast+ Lunch+ Evening Snacks + Dinner on all camping days
  • Standard vegetarian food for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Transportation as per the itinerary by NAC Vehicle, Srinagar to Sitkari/Sonamarg & Naranag to Srinagar
  • Transportation to Zero point crossing Zojila Pass from Sonamarg for sightseeing
  • Personal Accident, Travel & Medical Insurance
  • Trek equipment: Sleeping bags, Mattresses, Utensils, Ropes
  • Tents: Trekkers tent (twin/triple sharing), Kitchen & Dining tent, Toilet tent
  • 1 Mountaineering qualified & professional trek Leader
  • Local Guide (Number of guides depending on the group size)
  • 1 High Altitude chef & support staff
  • Porters for carrying common equipments (like rations/tents/utensils/groceries)
  • Basic First aid Kit with a portable oxygen cylinder.
  • 40% discount on Fast&Up products
  • Personalised Dri-Fit T-shirt
  • TrekNomads goodies

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Travel to Srinagar and back 
  • Meals, tea, coffee, mineral water, soft drinks, etc that is not mentioned in inclusions
  • Medical, Emergency Rescue and Evacuation cost
  • Personal trekking gear
  • Tips for guide, chef, porter, etc
  • Local sightseeing, entrance fee, camera fee, etc
  • Any other expenses incurred apart from inclusions
  • All personal and medical expenses, emergency expenses like extra day stay or vehicle charges due to delays, landslides, evacuations, and other climatic conditions.
Highlights
Highlights of the Trek
  • Boat-house stay at Dal Lake
  • Drive from Srinagar to Sonmarg
  • Visit to Zoji La pass and Zero Point
  • Trek to Nundkol and Harmukh peak
  • Camping on the beautiful meadows on Kashmir
  • Witness great lakes of Kashmir.
Treknical Details
Treknical Details

Altitude Map:

  • Srinagar: 5,200 ft (1,585 m)
  • Sitkari/Sonamarg: 9,186 ft (2,800 m)
  • Nichnai: 11,500 ft (3,505 m)
  • Vishansar: 12,172 ft (3,710 m)
  • Gadsar Pass: 13,800 ft (4,200 m)
  • Satsar: 11,810 ft (3,600 m)
  • Gangbal: 11,730 ft (3,575 m)
  • Naranag: 6,982 ft (2,128 m)

Other Details:

  • Trek Gradient: Moderate
  • Trek Distance: 60+ Km
  • Assembling Point: Srinagar
  • Trek Duration: 40+ hours
  • Average Temperature: 25°C to 5°C
  • Best Months to trek: July, August & Mid-September
Type of Trek
Himalayan Treks
Trek Gradient
Moderate
Itinerary
Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Srinagar
Altitude: 5,200 ft (1,585 m)
Accommodation: Houseboat
Meals included: Dinner at the boathouse

On the day of arrival, we start the routine of briefing the group and introducing you to fellow group members and take you through the itinerary and plan for the next 10 days. Post this, you will check in to houseboat and relax for the day.

Day 2: Drive from Srinagar to Sitkari/Sonamarg
Travel Distance: 87 km
Time Taken: 2-3 hr
Altitude: 9,186 ft (2,800 m)
Accommodation: Camp stay
Meals Included: Breakfast at the boathouse & lunch, tea, and dinner at the campsite

On day 2, we start our journey towards Sitkari. This will primarily help you acclimatize to the higher altitude we will be attaining the next couple of days. The drive from Srinagar to Sonmarg and then to Sitkari is extremely scenic and will present you with a lot of photo opportunities. You will come across grasslands, scattered forests and snow-covered mountains. As an added, we will also take you to Zero Point and Zoji La Pass for sightseeing. Post the sightseeing, you will return back to our campsite at Sitkari and rest for the rest of the day by the lakeside. 

Day 3: Trek from Sitkari village to Nichnai 
Trek Distance: 13 km
Time Taken: 4-5 hr
Altitude: 11,500 ft (3,505 m)
Accommodation: Camp stay
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, tea & snacks and dinner

You start your day early today and start trekking towards the Shokdhari campsite. This trail is lined with maple & pine trees is mesmerizingly beautiful during fall & autumn. You will get glimpses of Sonmarg and various glaciers en route from the campsite. You will descend into the Nichani grazing ground. The trail we take to descend will be lined with Silver Birch making. You will stay the night at Nichani campsite. 

Day 4: Trek from Nichnai to the Vishansar lake
Trek Distance: 15 km
Time Taken: 6-7 hr
Altitude: 12,172 ft (3,710 m)
Accommodation: Camp stay
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Tea & Snacks, Dinner

The trek to Vishnasar lake is a steep ascent where you will have to cross the Nichani pass that stands at a grueling altitude of 4,080 m. You descend towards Vishansar and Kishansar lakes and into the Vishansar campsite. 

You can visit the Vishansar lake which is situated about 1 Km from the campsite. Nothing that we say or write can prepare you for the beauty of the alpine high altitude lake. Surrounded by mountains and being hard to access, the waters of the lake are crystal clear and change color as the day proceeds. You are guaranteed to start feeling rejuvenated just sitting by the lake and listening to the lapping sounds of the water and soaking in the scenic beauty.

Day 5: Trek from Vishansar lake to Gadsar lake 
Trek Distance: 13 km
Time Taken: 5-6 hr
Altitude: 13,800 ft (4,200 m)
Accommodation: Camp stay
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, tea and snacks, dinner 

Today you trek to attain another height of 250 m from the Vishansar lake to see the Kishansar lake. This lake is situated about 1-2 km from the Vishansar lake. While the Vishansar and Kishansar lakes are situated quite close to each other, it can only be seen as twin lakes from Gadsar pass.

Gadsar pass is located at an altitude of 4,191 m and the trek up to Gadsar pass is quite challenging and will put a lot of pressure on your back and legs. Having said that, the breathtaking views from the pass will compensate for the effort you've put in. Upon reaching the pass, you will start descending into flat meadows, that are entirely covered by wildflowers to finally reach Gadsar lake.

Day 6: Trek from Gadsar lake to Mengandob/Satsar lake
Trek Distance: 12km
Time Taken: 5-7 hr
Altitude: 11,810 ft (3,600 m)
Accommodation: Camp stay
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, tea & snacks and dinner

You start your day early today and start the trek with a steep ascent to enter into the flatlands of Mengandob. You continue trekking ahead crossing an army camp to Satsar lakes. Interestingly, the Satsar lakes are a collection of 7 lakes that are in a cascade formation. These lakes are primarily fed by the melting snow of the mountains and end up dry in summer and autumn.

Day 7: Trek from Satsar lakes to Gangbal twin lakes
Trek Distance: 10km
Trek Time: 6 hr
Altitude: 11,730 ft (3,575 m)
Accommodation: Camp stay
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, tea & snacks and dinner

Today's trek to Gangbal lake will test you both physically and mentally. To reach the Gangbal lake, you start the trek from Satsar lake campsite and cross rocky boulder terrain, cross multiple ridges, climb mountains and break at a ridge at 3,570 m. You break here for a while, and continue trekking up to reach the final ridge located at 3,000 m. You can get a great view of Gangbal and Nundkol lakes from here and they will look a lot like twin lakes. Post reaching the ridge, you will start your descent which will be rather steep into green meadows that will eventually lead you to Nundkol and Gangbal lakes. 

Day 8: Rest day/Buffer Day
Accommodation: Camp stay
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, tea & snacks, and dinner

Today is your rest day. You can unwind and relax with great views of the Gangbal twin lakes, interact with each other, indulge in photography and share stories. The day is at your disposal to do anything you wish to amidst nature. 

Day 9: Trek from Gangbal twin lakes to Naranag 
Trek Distance: 11 km
Trek Time: 6-7 hr
Altitude: 6,982 ft (2,128 m)
Accommodation: 3/4 Star hotel in Srinagar
Meals Included: Breakfast, lunch, tea, snacks, and dinner

On the final day of the trek, we trek through a tree line, meadows and enter a pine forest cover. The forest line extends for up to 6-7 Kms post which we descend into Narang Village. You relax for a while at Narang Village and then travel back to Srinagar. You check into a hotel, freshen up and rest for the day.

Day 10: Departure from Srinagar 
Trek Distance: 11 km
Trek Time: 6-7 hr
Altitude: 11,730 ft (3,575 m)
Meals Included: Breakfast at campsite

Today, we wrap up this wonderful experience of trekking in Kashmir and head back to Srinagar. You wake up leisurely, have breakfast, check out and start head to the airport or choose to stay back in Srinagar (at an added cost). 

Note:

  • Bring 4 copies of your ID proof and 4 photographs
  • Cellular network is available only on the post-paid number
  • Consumption of alcohol and smoking is strictly prohibited
  • If you don't want to carry your backpack so you can hire a porter, but you have to keep us informed about this in advance and you have to pay INR 300 to 350 (subject to change) extra per day per bag.
  • We strongly suggest that you should carry your own backpack and the weight of the backpack should not be more than 10 Kg maximum.
  • If the Minimum group strength is not met, we have the right to cancel the departure. Should you wish to customize the trip as per your preferred date, separate charges will apply.
  • Itineraries are based on information available at the time of planning and are subject to change.
  • TrekNomads reserves the right to change expedition dates or itineraries as conditions warrant. 

Risk and Liability 

We will endeavor to make your program smooth and as pleasant as possible. However, the entire course of trekking depends on the ranges of the mighty mountains, physical health, and environmental conditions. Therefore, TrekNomads shall not be responsible for any changes in the itineraries due to unavoidable circumstances and natural disasters such as landslide, road blockage, flood, snowing, cancellation of flight and delay, any type of sickness including altitude sickness.

Fitness Criteria 

This trek requires a good level of fitness.

To register for this trek you are required to complete a 5K run in under 35 minutes. Once you do register, please share the run details with our Trek Captain. 

If you're not already following a fitness regime, you would need to follow the regime that will be shared with you. The training routine is spread over four months and you would be expected to work out at least 4 times a day. The regime is designed to help you climb smarter even in higher altitudes. The regime consists of a good combination of exercises that works on all parts of your body including - Upper Body, Core, Endurance, Lower Body, Shoulder strength and streamlining your breathing pattern. When followed religiously, you can rest assured that you will be ready for the trek. Not only does this regime help you with the trek, but it will also help you inculcate a sense of fitness in your day-to-day life. 

Do’s and Don’ts:

  • We believe in leaving the mountains in a better condition, which is why we follow a no-litter policy on our treks. Each trekker will have to bring back the waste that is created during the trek.
  • Trekking is best enjoyed when you’ve worn comfortable clothes. Try and avoid wearing Jeans, bright colors and heavy apparel as much as possible.
  • A lighter backpack always helps you have a better trek, try and carry just as much as needed.
  • Always be in sight of your trek lead, if you feel the need to stop for any reason at all, please keep the trek lead informed.
  • If you do come across any reptiles, animals or even insects during the trek, please keep your calm and let it patiently pass by. Any kind of noise and panic will scare them as well.
  • Do not venture out into the forest/waterfalls on your own as it may be dangerous.
  • Trekking is a good adventure, having said that, it is our primary responsibility to take good care of ourselves and be compassionate towards fellow trekkers
  • If, at any point, during the trek, you feel uneasy or unwell, please inform the trek lead immediately
  • Tune in to the sounds of nature while on a trek and avoid carrying speakers or playing music during the course of the trek
  • To help you enjoy the trek to the fullest, we avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol, and other intoxicants during the course of the trek.
Pickup
Location
Srinagar View on Map