About Kashmir Great Lakes Trek - Treks in Himalaya
Kashmir is full of unparalleled beauty, postcard-perfect scenes. Our trek in Kashmir traverses some of the hidden jewels in the Kashmiri mountain cape of the pristine alpine high altitude lakes of Vishansar, Krishansar, Gadsar, Satsar. Nundkol and Gangbal. Now you know the reason for the trek named as the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek circuit is recommended, if you are looking for green meadows filled with colorful wildflowers, natural color changing water lakes, meandering streams and amazing Himalayan views.
Our trek trail follows the ancient routes taken by the Gujjars – The nomadic shepherds of Kashmir. Starting from the famous hill station in Sonamarg, our trekkers are delighted with breathtaking views of rugged snow-capped mountains, colorful grasslands, and trout filled crystal clear lakes. The trek in both terms physically and mentally challenging with the highest pass to be crossed being at 1491m with rocky terrain. Trekkers need to be physically fit and should have a penchant for the Himalayan remoteness to enjoy the trek.
Highlights of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek:
The only trek in Kashmir for trekkers to explore five stunning lakes at a high altitude.
Experience of once in a lifetime with vintage memories to cherish.
Witness the high mountain passes and the snow patches feeding the lakes. View of milky white iceberg floating on the inky blue lake surface.
Mesmerize with the views from small hamlets and lights through the steep ascend of the trek.
Trekking through innumerable meadows, snow-clad glaciers and pinnacles passes, rocky barren lands, struggling streams.
Basic Details of Kashmir Great Lakes Trek:
Altitude: Max. Altitude at Gadsar pass at 4191m
Temperature: One can expect the temperature to range from 25 degree Celsius during the day and drop down to as low as 5 degree Celsius during the night. Do note that due to wind chills, it can feel a lot colder especially during evenings and nights.
Trek Duration: 8 days.
Trek Season: June – September
Base Camp: Sitkari
How to reach Kashmir great lakes trek Basecamp?
Our base camp is Sitkari which is at a distance of 87kms from Srinagar which takes approximately 4 hours.
Reaching Srinagar via Train:
One can take a train to Jammu and then make a taxi/bus ride to Srinagar. Srinagar is connected to the National Highway to the rest of the country.
Reaching Srinagar via air:
One can take a direct flight to Srinagar from Delhi or Mumbai to avoid the stopover at Jammu. The nearest airport is the Sheikh ul Alam airport also known as the Srinagar airport.
Detailed Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Itinerary:
Day 1 – Drive from Srinagar to Sitkari/Sonmarg (2800m, 87kms)
We are expected to be assembled at the Sirkari village by 6 pm. One can take a local taxi from Srinagar to Sitkari which should cost approx. INR 2300- 2800. Book a taxi from the Srinagar Tourist Reception Center by latest 2 pm to be on time. Trek & Trail can also arrange taxis on request from trekker at their expense to pick from Srinagar TRC to the drop location in Sitkari. The drive to Sitkari is scenic with an excellent mix of grasslands, scattered forests and snow covered mountains. Our overnight stay in Sitkari is in tents.
Day 2 – Trek from Sitkari village to Nichnai (3505m, 13kms)
We start our day early on the maple and pine tree-lined route towards Shokdhari campsite. Overstay is at this campsite location. The road is full of mesmerizing views of Sonmarg and glaciers. Once we start descending into the Nichnai grazing ground through the Silver Birch forest, know that we are near our camping site.
Day 3 – Trek from Nichnai to the Vishansar Lake (3657m, 15kms)
Today we cross the Nichnai pass on the steep with the arduous ascent. Once we cross the Nichnai Pass, we are standing at 4080m, and then we start descending towards Vishansar & Kishansar Lake and finally our today’s destination campsite in Vishansar.
Our campsite here is 1km away from the Vishansar Lake. Be prepared for the beauty which is beyond words to mention. This alpine high altitude lake between the mountains and is tough to access. One can feel rejuvenated just by the sight of the lake which is crystal clear and changing in colors as the day proceeds.
Day 4– Trek from Vishansar Lake to Gadsar Lake (4191m, 13kms)
Vishansar Lake and Krishansar Lake are very close by at almost 0.5kms distance. Despite being this close, a better view of this lake can be enjoyed only from the top at Gadsar pass. Gadsar pass at 4191m is no easy task. However, the toll on your legs and back, however, will be compensated with the view at the top of the pass. From there we start descending into flat meadows with brightly colored wildflowers to reach the Gadsar Lake.
Day 5 – Trek from Gadsar Lake to Mengandob/Satsar Lake (3600m, 12km)
Our day starts with a two-hour steep climb up in the mountain as we enter into flatlands of Mengandob. We trek ahead crossing the army camp till the Satsar Lake. Satsar Lake is a collection of 7 lakes in a cascade formation fed by melting snow. Our camping site here awaits with Overnight stay in tents and Meals -Breakfast, Lunch, Tea& Snacks and Dinner.
Day 6 – Trek from Satsar lakes to Gangbal twin lakes (3505m, 10kms)
Today is the real physical and mental test as we cross the rocky and boulder ridden terrain, cross few ridges and Climb Mountain to arrive at our break location on a hill at 3570m. This mandatory break helps our keep going further to reach the final peak at 3000m. The height is the location with a view of the twin lakes of Gangbal and Nundkol. What lies ahead is a steep rocky descent into the green meadows leading to Nundkol Lake and Gangbal Lake.
Day 7 – Rest day.
Today is best to say of the trek as we get to chill and relax by the lake to explore the surrounding meadows and soak our self into the magnificent mountains cape. Go ahead and uncover the few local legends about the lake, share the travel stories, exercise, showcase photography skills and more without disturbing others.
Day 8 – Trek from Gangbal twin lakes to Naranag (11kms)
Today is our final day into the trek as we walk past the tree line, some grassland towards the pine cover forest following the forest line for about 6-7kms to descend and land into the Naranag village.
From here one can take a cab to Srinagar, or we at Trek & trail can arrange one for you. Please let us know during registration if you would like to opt for the Srinagar dropping service.
The FAQ on Kashmir Great Lakes Trek:
1. When is the best time recommended for the trek?
Best time to go for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is during June – September.
2. How difficult is the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek?
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek in comparison is easy to moderate difficulty with another high altitude trek.
3. How much distance do we have to trek each day?
On an average, we cover roughly 10-14kms between our camping stations.
4. What will happen if a trek is extended?
Beyond our controllable reasons when the trek is extended, then additional charges tend to be applied.
5. Who will be our lead guide person?
Lead guide person is certified & experienced personnel. These guides are locally sourced and have other team members including local guides, cook, helpers, and porters.
6. Is this trek safe for girls?
Our treks are planned with a male: female ratio. As an organizer, we make sure that their tents are shared only with other female trekkers.
7. Many people in a tent?
Our tents are all three person tents.
8. What is the level of fitness expected from the trekkers?
Good physical and mental fitness is expected to complete the Trek. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is ideal for beginners to familiarize themselves with similar high altitude treks.
9. Typical Food menu during a trek?
We make sure that wholesome and nutritious breakfast, lunch and evening snacks are served. We believe and serve only vegetarian food as it is easy to digest and preferable in high altitudes.
10. What if we encounter a medical emergency?
We are trained to manage emergencies in high altitudes. Our lead guide is professional and experienced. Our team do carry emergency first aid kits and oxygen cylinder.
What is included in the tour
- Accommodation in dome tents (2/3 per tent)
- Meals mentioned in the itinerary on a fixed menu/ buffet basis
- Internal transportation cost as per itinerary
- Camping Equipment: Tents, Sleeping bags, mats, gaiters
- All charges for guides and permits
What is NOT included in the tour
- Transportation cost from Srinagar to Sitkari and Naranag to Srinagar
- Backpack offloading: Trekkers are expected to carry their own backpacks. If the trekker cannot carry his/her backpack due to physical inability, and chooses to offload on mules, this will be on additional cost
- Air fares, airport taxes and anything not mentioned in the inclusions and itinerary
- Meals, tea, coffee, mineral water, tips, transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
- Doctor, telephone, laundry and other personal expenses
- Cost of personal emergency exit or expenses due to external factors such as climatic conditions
- Trekking shoes – High Ankle length, waterproof, high grip rubber sole shoes. Avoid sports shoes/sneakers. Also, ensure the shoes are broken in (worn and used) before the trek to avoid blisters during the trek
- 2-3 pairs of comfortable clothing (track pants & tee shirts, preferably the quick-drying synthetic type and full sleeve t-shirts)
- Full sleeve thick jacket (windproof and water resistant) & Fleece
- A pair of the thermal inner (upper and lower)
- 3-4 socks (at least 1 pair of woolen socks)
- Woolen &Water proof hand gloves
- A Poncho / Rain gear
- Rucksack /Backpack (40-65L)
- Sunglasses (UV protective)
- Bandana / Sun hat to cover head
- 2 one-liter water bottles/hydration bladders(recommended)
- Trekking poles
- Torch/Headlamp with extra batteries
- Sandals / Floaters
- Sunscreen lotion, Moisturizer/Cold Cream, insect repellent & Lip Balm
- Tiffin box, Spoon & Glass
- Personal Medical kit (refer recommended list below)
- Personal toiletries kit including toilet paper
- Energy bars / dry fruits
- Daypack / small backpack to offload items – in case you have to offload backpack on mules
- Plastic bags to carry wet clothes/waste
- Camera & charger
- Medical Certificate & Disclaimer* (mandatory)
- Photo ID original compulsory
- Water purifier tabs or if you can buy Aquamira at Amazon great (this would last long for wilderness travel only & it’s little expensive). If you anyone coming from the USA, it’s very cheap to get from there
- One small bottle liquid soap
- Ziplock plastics for small electronic items like camera and phones
Medical Kit listed
We wanted to prepare an essential and finite list of medicines, but after further inspection, we realized we cannot give you one fail-safe medical kit. Some trekkers may require extra medication and have health issues we may have overlooked. Names of drugs are also an issue since advertising and brand names may vary from place to place. The recommended medical kit includes the following
- Crepe Bandage
- Gauze Cloth
- Moov/Volini spray
- Anti-Nausea meds
- Anti-Diarrhea meds
- Pain Killers – Dispirin/Aspirin
- Cold/Flu Meds
- Anti-Allergic meds – Avil
- Antiseptic cream