Overview

The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is a stunning high-altitude trek located in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful treks in the Himalayas, offering breathtaking views of pristine alpine lakes, snow-capped mountains, lush green meadows, and dense forests.

The trek takes you through some of the most picturesque locations in the Kashmir Valley, including Nichnai Pass, Vishansar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake, and Gangbal Lake. The trail is surrounded by towering peaks such as Kolhoi Peak, Harmukh Peak, and Gadsar Peak, which provide a dramatic backdrop to the trek.

The trek is a moderate to challenging level trek, with an average altitude of 13,000 feet above sea level. The total distance covered during the trek is approximately 75 kilometers, and it takes around 7-9 days to complete the entire trek, depending on the route taken.

The best time to undertake this trek is during the months of July to September, when the weather is favorable and the views are at their best. The temperature during the day ranges between 15 to 20 degrees Celsius, while at night, it can drop to as low as 3 to 5 degrees Celsius.

The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is a perfect combination of adventure and natural beauty, and it is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. It is a must-do for all trekking enthusiasts and nature lovers who are looking for an off-beat trekking experience in the Himalayas.

Why we prefer to start this trek on a weekday?

Kashmir Great Lakes trek has become very popular now-a-days and many trekkers are challenging themselves to complete this most beautiful trek. Because of its popularity, it is becoming crowded and to avoid this crowd Mountainfit starts the trek on a weekday and ends the trek on a weekday. Due to this we are sure that our trekkers will get more empty routes and no long queues on Gadsar Pass.

In addition, trekking on weekdays also means that our trekkers will have more flexibility in their travel plans, as weekends tend to be busier and more expensive for travel and accommodation. By starting and ending the trek on weekdays, our trekkers can save money and avoid the crowds, making for a more enjoyable and stress-free experience.

Trek Fees:

Srinagar to Srinagar - 23999/-

Sonmarg to Naranag - 20999/-

 

7 Nights 8 Days 28 Jul, 28 Jul, 11 Aug, and more Sonamarg
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  • Beautiful Alpine Lakes: The trek takes you through seven beautiful alpine lakes, each with its distinct color and charm.

  • Picturesque Landscapes: You'll see some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the Himalayas, including meadows, forests, and snow-clad peaks.

  • High Mountain Passes: The trek involves crossing several high mountain passes, including Gadsar Pass, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

  • Local Culture: You'll get to interact with friendly and hospitable people of Kashmir and learn about their culture and way of life.

  • Wildlife: The trek takes you through some of the most pristine forests and is home to a variety of wildlife, including the Himalayan black bear, musk deer, and snow leopard.

Dates and Rates
date & duration Variant price
Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival at Srinagar -  Assemble at Ghat No 9, Dal Lake till 11.00 am and transfer to Shitkadi base camp close to Sonmarg (2800m, 77 kms). It is a scenic journey from Srinagar to Shitkadi camp having a splendid mix of grasslands, scattered forests and snow blanketed mountains. Overnight stay in camp.

Day 2: Trek from Shitkadi village to Nichnai (3505m, 13 kms) - The trek begins with a climb towards the Nichnai campsite on a route lined with Maple and Pine trees. The highlight of this day is the enchanting view of Sonmarg, Thajwas glacier and the sprawling glaciers surrounding Sonmarg. The day ends after we descend into the Nichnai grazing ground (Shepherd's valley) through a Silver Birch forest. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 3: Trek from Nichnai to Vishansar Lake(3657m, 15 kms) - Today's trek comprises of a steep and grueling ascent to cross the Nichnai pass standing tall at 4080m and a descend towards Vishansar & Kishansar Lakes and into the Vishansar campsite. Visit Vishansar Lake situated 500 metres from the campsite. Enjoy the breathtaking splendour of the alpine high altitude lake. The lake's waters are crystal clear and change colour as the day progresses, despite being surrounded by mountains and being difficult to access. Sitting by the lake, listening to the lapping sounds of the water and taking in the picturesque splendour is bound to make you feel rejuvenated. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 4: Trek from Vishansar Lake to Gadsar Lake(4191m, 16 kms) - The day begins with a  250 meter climb to Kishansar Lake, about 1/2-kilometer from Vishansar Lake. Despite their near proximity, the twin lakes can only be seen from the top of Gadsar Pass. Getting to the Gadsar Pass at 4191m is a difficult task that will take a toll on your legs and back. The breathtaking views at the top of the pass, however, more than help compensate for all the efforts. To get to Gadsar Lake, descend from the pass through level meadows covered with colorful wildflowers. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 5: Trek from Gadsar Lake to Mengandob/Satsar Lake(3600m, 12km) - Early in the morning, we face yet another two-hour tough climb up into the Mengandob plains. We continue on our journey passing through an army base and approaching the Satsar Lakes. Satsar Lakes are a cascade of seven lakes. In the summer and autumn, some of these lakes, which are fed by melting snow, dry up. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 6: Trek from Satsar Lakes to Gangbal twin lakes (3505m, 10kms)  - Today will be physically and mentally demanding as you negotiate rugged and boulder-infested terrain, cross a few ridges, and climb mountains to reach a ridge at 3570m for a break. We then climb higher to reach the final ridge at 3000 metres. The twin lakes of Gangbal and Nandkol can be seen from here. After that, there is a steep rocky descend with a few ups and downs before entering verdant meadows that lead to Nandkol and Gangbal lakes. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 7: Rest day/Buffer day - Today you get to rest by the lakes, explore the neighbouring meadows, take in the breathtaking mountain scenery, discover something new about the lakes, exchange travel stories, meditate, practice photography, and do whatever it takes to calm your soul. This day can also be utilized as a make-up day if the weather turns bad and the team needs to stay an extra night at one of the prior campsites. Overnight stay in tents.

Day 8: Trek from Gangbal twin lakes to Naranag (approximately 11 kms) to Srinagar - On the last day, we hike past a tree line through some grassy plains and into the pine forest. For around 6-7 kilometres, follow the woodland line towards Naranag settlement. Then drive from Naranag to Srinagar by SUV or similar.

Trek ends.

Inclusions/Exclusions

What is included in the tour

  • Transportation in SUV/MUV or similar (Srinagar to Srinagar) - Reporting at Dal Lake Ghat No. 9 at 11.00 am.
  • All meals starting Shitkadi to Gangbal camp. (Day 1 Dinner to Day 8 Breakfast)
  • Professional guide, cook and support staff.
  • Clean sleeping bags and mattress.
  • Tented accommodation throughout the trek on double sharing basis.
  • Kitchen tents, common tents, toilet tents with portable toilet seats.
  • Forest entry charges for Indian nationals. For non-Indian passport holders, there will be an additional charge.
  • Porter and mule support to carry camping equipment and NOT personal luggage.

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Mule charges to carry personal luggage can be arranged at an additional cost INR 3000/- for 7 days (1 soft bag per person < 12 kg)
  • Personal expenses like tips, personal medicines, phone calls etc.
  • Any cost of transport/accommodation support during the trek apart from what is included above.
  • Any cost or services not mentioned in the inclusions.
  • Cost of sightseeing, shopping, etc.
  • Cost arising due to unforeseen incidents like bad weather, medical evacuation, road blocks, etc.
  • Srinagar Airport Pickup and Drop. (can be arranged at an additional cost)
  • 5% Government Service Tax as applicable. 
  • Insurance is mandatory -  Rs. 550/- 
Pickup point
Directions.
Shitkadi Camp, Sonamarg, Jammu and Kashmir View on Map
Offers
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Things to carry
  1. Trekking shoes – High Ankle length, waterproof, high grip rubber sole shoes. Avoid sports shoes/sneakers. Also, ensure the shoes are worn and used before the trek to avoid blisters during the trek.
  2. 2-3 pairs of comfortable clothing (track pants & t-shirts, preferably the quick-drying synthetic type and full-sleeve t-shirts).
  3. Full sleeve thick jacket (windproof and water resistant) & a fleece jacket.
  4.  A pair of the thermal inner (upper and lower).
  5. 3-4 socks (at least 1 pair of woolen socks).
  6. Ski Cap or Woolen cap.
  7. Woolen & Water proof hand gloves.
  8. A Poncho / Rain gear.
  9. Rucksack / Backpack (40-65L).
  10. Sunglasses (UV protective).
  11. Buff / Bandana / Sun hat to cover head.
  12. 2 one-liter water bottles/hydration bladders(recommended).
  13. Trekking poles (optional).
  14. Headlamp with extra batteries.
  15. Sandals / Floaters.
  16. Sunscreen lotion, Moisturizer/Cold Cream, insect repellent & lip balm.
  17. Tiffin box, Spoon & Glass. (Compulsory)
  18. Personal Medical kit. (refer recommended list below).
  19. Personal toilet kit including toilet paper.
  20. Energy bars / dry fruits / snacks.
  21. Whistle.
  22. Daypack / small backpack to offload items – in case you have to offload backpack on mules.
  23. Plastic bags to carry wet clothes/waste.
  24. Camera & charger. (No charging facility available on trek. Please carry power banks.)
  25. Medical Certificate & Disclaimer* (mandatory)
  26. Photo ID original is compulsory.
  27. One small bottle of liquid soap.
  28. Ziplock plastic bags for small electronic items like camera and phones.

The recommended medical kit includes the following:

  1. Crepe Bandage
  2. Gauze Cloth
  3. Cotton
  4. Band-Aids
  5. ORS/Electral
  6. Moov/Volini spray
  7. Anti Nausea meds
  8. Anti Diarrhea meds
  9. Pain Killers – Disprin/Aspirin
  10. Cold/Flu Meds
  11. Anti Allergic meds – Avil
  12. Antiseptic cream
Important Notes

​How to Reach Srinagar?

  1. By Air: Srinagar has its own airport, which is well-connected to major cities in India like Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, and Chennai. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach your trekking destination.

  2. By Train: The nearest railway station to Srinagar is Jammu Tawi, which is about 290 km away. From Jammu Tawi, you can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Srinagar.

  3. By Road: Srinagar is well-connected by road to major cities in India. You can take a bus or hire a taxi from cities like Delhi, Chandigarh, or Jammu to reach Srinagar.

​Book Flexi Flights:

Planning to go trekking in Kashmir? It is important to consider the uncertainties that may arise. To prepare for any unforeseen circumstances, it is recommended that you book a flexible flight ticket. These types of tickets are offered by most airlines and allow you to reschedule your flight without incurring any additional costs. By opting for a flexible ticket, you can have peace of mind knowing that you can adjust your travel plans if needed, without having to worry about losing money on your flight.

 

​Caution Note:

Travelling around Jammu & Kashmir or anywhere in India is quite a challenge for travelers, especially for foreigners. Most of the tourist places are prone to touts, bad behaviour, excess charging, cheating, etc. So it’s good to have a heads up on the places you visit and have a pleasant experience.

  • No personal Walkie Talkies or satellite phones to be used.
  • No taking pictures of Army posts or flying drones around their vicinity.
  • Prepaid sim cards of other states do not work here, only postpaid connections work.
  • Airtel, Jio and BSNL have good networks.
  • Most of the taxi drivers are prone to work for commissions for any tourist activity that you take up like horse riding, sledge rides, skiing, etc. Contact our office beforehand for the rate slabs to avoid being overcharged.
  • Dal Lake has a lot of shikara boats trying to sell saffron, avoid buying them as most of them are fake. You can politely refuse in case you do not wish to buy anything.
  • We get frequent complaints regarding Gulmarg with few locals being unruly and asking tourists to take horses or sledge ride to the Gondola gate. Your vehicle is not allowed inside the main area without a hotel voucher. Avoid taking up any activity at Gulmarg except for the Gondola ride to the Apharwat top. In case you plan to take up snow bike ride, ski or sledge rides, contact us beforehand for the rates of these activities.
  • If there is bad weather or flight cancellations and you can't make it to your hotel on the planned date, you might have to book another hotel. If that happens, you'll be responsible for paying any extra charges for the new booking.
  • Strikes are quite common in Kashmir due to political unrest in the valley.
  • Tourists are safe and are well protected even by locals. In case the situation is bad and we feel it is not safe for your team to venture to a particular place, we would re-route and take you to a different place.
  • Avoid religious or political topics with locals.
  • No consuming alcohol or any narcotic substance in public places or vehicles.
  • Contact our office if you would like to know good places to eat, shopping, etc.
  • Carry your Id cards with you all the time.
  • Tips are expected by the locals at hotels and any fun-based activity.
  • Avoid camo clothing. (Army colour cap, shoes, pants, t-shirts, etc.) while at Jammu and Kashmir.