Kashmir, a word that evokes a thousand emotions of love, grandeur, exotic and in the words of Firdaus, heaven. Some say it is a paradise on earth, others say it is a paradise by itself, but indeed Kashmir outstands all the stunning places on earth. Pristine and untouched, the lakes over here be it Dal Lake, Vishansar Lake or Gangabal Twin lakes are surreal and a rare sight. On Kashmir great lakes trek, we explore the most pristine combination of alpine lakes, far-reaching meadows, high altitude passes and the vast unexplored vistas of Kashmir Himalayas. As they say it, once you visit Kashmir, your heart stays there forever. KGL trek is an exemplary example of the beauty of the state. The best time to do the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is from July to September. Find the precipitation chart, temperature chart, elevation and distance chart and, the route map, itinerary and photos of the Kashmir Great Lakes trek on this page. Scroll down to the end to read some Kashmir great lakes trek blogs.
Arrival at Sonamarg (9,186 ft)
Report in Sonamarg by 3 PM. Dubbed as the “meadow of gold”, Sonamarg is one of the most popular hill stations in Kashmir valley and in its vicinity are some glaciers and peaks of the Kashmir National Park. Being one of the best tourist destinations, Sonamarg has postcard worthy settings and the place comes to life with towering vistas as around it. We will have a Team Introduction after evening Tea. Early dinner & stay in camps.
Sonamarg to Nichnai (11,482 feet ) -10 km
The first day of Kashmir great lakes trek is a good combination of ascent & descent. For the initial 3 km, the trail is uphill, next 2 km is descent and finally, there is a gradual ascent of 5 km up to Nichnai. On the trail, you will see beautiful meadows, dark forests with trees of Maple, Pine, and Bhoj. Reach Nichnai by afternoon. Camp in Nichnai.
Nichnai to Vishansar Lake (12,139 feet ) via Nichnai Pass (13,615 ft) - 11 km
Break camps early & start the trek by 8 AM as today it's a long walk through meadows. The scenery keeps changing all the ways which are a treat for the senses. Once you cross the Nichnai pass towards Vishansar Lake you have reached your destination for the day. The Vishnasr lake is an alpine lake which will calm your senses n the first glimpse of it. This banks of this lake make the perfect campsite. Camp here for the night.
Explore Vishansar and Kishansar (12,467 ft) - 2 km
The day is an easy one. There are two lakes nearby Vishansar & Kishansar. These two lakes are less than a kilometer apart. Today is for the exploration of these lakes. Take as many pictures as you can today. You will find Instagram worthy shots here. The lakes are famous for trout fishing but one has to get prior permission from Srinagar for fishing here. Camp for the night at Vishansar.
Vishansar Lake to Gadsar Lake (11,811 ft) via Gadsar Pass (13,697 ft) - 10 km
Trek upward to the top of the ridge from Kishansar lake. Initially, the trek is a steep ascent which is followed by a steep descent & a gentle walk through the meadows. Cross Gadsar pass. On the other side of the pass, there are a couple of small lakes & peaks outside the LOC can be seen from here. The beauty of flowers & Meadows en route is something you should look forward to. You will reach Gadsar lake by early afternoon. All details of the visitors including original id cards are checked in the army camp which is nearby. Please keep original Id cards essentially with you. Camp for the night at Gadsar.
Gadsar Lake to Satsar Lake (11,482 ft ) - 12 km
Start trek early towards Satsar. ID cards will be checked again at Satsar army check post. A few minutes from the army camp is the first of the Satsar lakes, which is pretty big in size and amazingly beautiful. Satsar is a group of seven interconnected lakes situated in a narrow alpine valley stretching north to south. The lakes drain out into the Wangath nallah which is a tributary of the Sind. Camp here for the night.
Satsar Lake to Gangabal Lake (11,482 ft) - 13 km
Trek is easy & mostly descending. After a trek of few minutes from the campsite, you reach the biggest of Satsar lakes. Today the trail is dominated by Boulders. Be careful of loose rocks while trekking. The view of Gangabal and Nandkol twin lakes from the top is something to look forward. Last few km are through Meadows. Pass through Nandakol lake & reach our destination for the day; Gangabal lake. camp here for the night.
Gangabal to Naranag (7,545 ft) - 11 km
Like most treks, the trail on the last day is a steep descent. Be careful while trekking as most injuries happen on descents. You will see the most beautiful pine forests today. The trail passes through a meadow with pretty yellow flowers. Finally, we reach the road head of Naranag. The trek ends in Naranag.
This day will be utilized in case of bad weather or other unexpected delays. This day will only be used if the need arises during the trek. You are advised to keep a buffer day in your travel plan. If the buffer day is used, you have to pay us Rs. 2,300 per day (INR) +5% GST / per person. The amount will be collected by the Trek Leader
Kashmir Great Lakes is a moderate level trek i.e. it requires more strength and endurance than easy level treks. It is recommended that you first gain experience of trekking to altitudes higher than 3000 meters, and then move one level up with this trek. However, if you are a beginner but committed to preparing, then you need at least 2-3 months to prepare physically & mentally for this trek. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale.
You must have done a small trek of 2-3 days before and hiked to an altitude of more than 3000 meters.
Click here for packing list.
The best time to do Kashmir Great Lakes trek is June to August.
The base of Kashmir Great Lakes trek is Sonamarg. Sonamarg is 80 km away from Srinagar and can be reached by taxi or bus. Similarly, on the way back, Naranag is around 55 Kms from Srinagar and one can easily get a taxi from Naranag to Srinagar.To get to Srinagar -
By Air: There are multiple flights daily directly from Delhi to Srinagar, or connecting flights from all major cities. This is the easiest way to reach Srinagar.
By Rail: Although Srinagar has a railway station, it is not linked to the Indian Railway network. The closest national railway station is Jammu Tawi, from where Srinagar is 270 km away. There are multiple trains from Delhi and Chandigarh to Jammu Tawi. From Jammu, you can make the road journey to Srinagar either via private or state run buses or private taxi.
By Road: The road distance from Delhi to Srinagar is 800 km if you are taking a taxi or driving down in a private vehicle. Direct buses to Srinagar are available from Jammu.
All major networks have coverage in Sonamarg and Naranag. However, all outstation prepaid connections do not work in J&K. You will need either a postpaid connection or a local prepaid connection.
Dal Lake: The jewel of Srinagar, the Dal lake is synonymous to a visit to Srinagar and almost a visual definition to the town. Spread over a straggling 26 sq.kms, it is the most photogenic stretch of this instance of paradise on earth and undoubtedly also the most sought after of attractions.
Mughal Gardens: Built in the Mughal era, donning its majestic architecture, are the Mughal gardens. The garden is a combination of the Nishat Bagh, Shalimar Gardens & Chashm-e-Shahi. The most prominent feature of the gardens its long stretches of cascading fountains makes this a must see for every traveler.
Nishant Bagh: Laid out in 1633, the Nishant Bagh fondly known as the Garden of Joy. Its beauty is enhanced by the well-manicured landscapes, long avenues of Chinar & cypress trees, rare flowering plants, 12 terraces & several bubbling fountains that's cover the whole expanse of the garden.
Shankaracharya Temple: Visit this effulgent, age old temple in Srinagar to feel closer to the gods. Situated at a height of about 1100 feet on the south-east of the city, this sacred temple offers splendid views of the valley and the snow clad mountains of the Pir Panjal range.
Hazratbal: Hazratbal Mosque, situated on the western shore of the pristine Dal Lake, is a very sacred Muslim shrine in Hazratbal. Hazratbal's special significance is derived from the fact that it houses a heir of the prophet Muhammad, a relic, titled Moi-e-Muqqadas. The relic is only displayed to the public on religious occasions, usually accompanied by colourful fairs afterwards. The shrine commands a grand view of the lake and the mountain beyond, especially when its pristine white marble elegance is reflected in the waters of the lake.
The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors aged between 13 to 17 should be accompanied with their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking.
ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried) and Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) are the mandatory documents required for the trek.
We will be camping during the entire course of the trail.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accomodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.
Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek.These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.
The temperatures range from 20 degree to -3 degree celcius.
A team of participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have a certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.
We can arrange reserve taxis on request from Srinagar to Sonamarg and back from Naranag to Srinagar. Use the "Additional Transport" add-on to book the transport with us. The vehicles will leave Srinagar at 1200 Hrs and reach Sonamarg by 1500 Hrs. On the way back, the vehicle will start from Naranag at around 1500 Hrs and reach Srinagar by 1800 Hrs.
The trek ends in Naranag by around 1500 hrs and one can reach Srinagar by 1800 Hrs. We advise you to keep at least a 3-4 hrs buffer for both timings.
You will be provided with good quality of gaiters and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
There might be snow on the higher reaches depending on the season.
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.
Yes, trekking pole is necessary. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.
You can buy your essentials in Srinagar. However, do not leave anything for last minute purchases.
Yes, it is absolutely safe for solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.
Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.
Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure