• Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Why is Kashmir Great Lakes Trek considered to be one of the most astonishing treks within the Himalayan ranges?


The Kashmir valley in India, often referred as Paradise on earthis famous for its breath-taking trekking expeditions within the Himalayan ranges.The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is an extraordinary trek owing to the marvels of nature wrapped within the pristine lakes.The trek offers a magical view of the lakes traversing their way through the Himalayan glaciers.

What is the total duration and level of the trek and what is the ideal time to visit?

Typically it takes 8 days to complete the trekking journey and explore the lakes in its full glory. The best time to trek would be between July – September as the meadow trail is in its full bloom and the weather conditions with the average temperatures ranging between 18 – 20 degrees in the day and 3-4 degrees at night time. The trekking trail can be categorized in the medium to difficult level with the highest point of the trek being at approximately 14,000 feet.

Is there adequate network connectivity?

It is advisable to make all important calls and leave messages and withdraw money at Srinagar as network connections may be poor during the trek. An important thing to note is prepaid SIM cards do not work in Kashmir at all.

Trek Route

Srinagar – Shitkadi base campsite – Nichnai via Shekdur – Vishansar and Krishnasar twin lakes – Gadsar Lake via Gadsar Pass - Satsar – Gangabal and Nundkol twin lakes – Naranag

Trek Itinerary

Day 1 : Srinagar to Shitkadi

Your journey starts with a nice short drive from Srinagar airport to the base campsite located at Shitkadi on the banks of Sindhriver. Shitkadi is a small village located at a distance of six kilometres from Sonamarg region. It takes approximately four hours to reach Shitkadi, located at an altitude of 7800 feet. It is advisable to carry sufficient bottles of water from Sonamarg.

Day 2 : Shitkadi to Nichnai via Shekdur

The Nichnai pass is located at an altitude of 7800 to 11500 feet and it may take approximately 6 hours to reach there. The trek gradient is moderate and you will find sources to replenish the stock of water along the trek. Start trekking from your base camp at Shitkadi towards Sonamarg. After approximately 5 hours of following the track, at the mark of three kilometres, you will come across a jeep track to the right of the main road. Follow the jeep track which leads down to the Sindhriver. As you trek uphill along the track,it leads through a lush green meadow and a thick forest of maple and pine trees.The forest trail ends at the top of a ridge with a meadow sloping down on the other side at the end of which lies Shikdur!

Shekdur is an ideal resting place before moving along to Nichnai with a spread of meadows surrounded by snow peaks and birch trees. Follow the trail downhill from here leadingthrough the birch trees for approximately 45 minutes you reach a river from where Nichnai starts. In another hour, the trail opens up to a small valley clustered within two snowy peaks, ideal to pitch your tents and call it a night!

Day 3 : Nichnai to Vishansar lake

At the third day of the trek, you will proceed towards Vishansar lake located at 12,000 feet. It should ideally take six hours to reach there. Your first milestone as you proceed towards Vishansarlake will be the Nichnai pass. The trail to Nichnai pass is considered to be a medium climb leading through the meadows to Vishansar Lake.

Nichani Pass

The Nichnai pass is located at an altitude of 13,500 feet and provides a breath-taking view of a series of snowy peaks.Follow the trekking trail sloping down to a lush meadow outlined with snowy mountains and sprinkled with red flowers and a river traversing through it. As you keep walking through the meadows you will see two main streams flowing through the valley and the trekking trail is the one closer to the left. Follow the trail through a river crossing and through the meadows to the end of the valley, which serves as an ideal campsite as a stream from the Vishansarlake flows nearby.The Vishansar lake is just a ten minutes’ walk away to the left of the stream where you are camping! An important thing to note, BSNL networks stop working as you move beyond this point and will only work after you reach Gangabal.

Day 4 : Vishansar lake to Krishnasar lake – Day trek Vishansar lake trek

The Krishnasarlakelooks grand in size and lie beneath snowy mountains. The reflection of Krishnasarpeak on the lake makes it all the more breath taking with the lake changing colours depending on the time of the day and clouds. On Day 4, you will do a short-day trek from your campsite near Vishansar lake to Krishnasar. Follow the trail from your campsite till you reach our next destination, Krishnasar lake which lies about 0.5 km away and about 500 feet higher than Vishansar. It takes approximately 45 minutes from the campsite to reach this lake which lies at the base of the Krishnasar peak.

Krishnasar Lake

The mystic blue Krishnasar lake is bordered on the right by a rising ridgeline on the top of which is Gadsar pass from where the lake is at its best. As this lake is located at a short distance from Vishansar lake, you can trek back to the campsite to rest for the night!

Day 5 : Vishansar Lake to Gadsar

On the fifth day, you will begin your journey from the Vishansar campsite towards GadsarthroughKrishnasar lake and the Gadsar pass which is located at an altitude of around 13,800 feet. The trekking trail is moderate and it goes uphill for an hour before it starts sloping. It takes around five and a half hours to reach Gadsar. There will be plenty of sources to replenish water stock on the way. Follow the thin line to the ridge from Krishnasar lake making its way through the mountains. As you climb uphill, you will be able to see Krishnasar lake and Vishansar lakes together in their full glory. You will reach the top of the ridge, called the Gadsar pass surrounded by snow.

As you start climbing downhill, you will cross the Yamsar lake and walk along the flowery meadows at the end of which you reach the serene Gadsar lake, located at 12, 500 feet surrounded by blue flowers and snowy peaks.

You can either pitch your tents next to the lake or at the army camp at Gadsar, which is located downhill after you cross another blue lake. It takes about an hour and a half to reach the army base camp. To move further from Gadsar, you have to report at the army camp in order to get an approval from their Headquarter. Please ensure to carry your identity cards and other important details as they will verified.

Day 6 : Gadsar to Satsar

You start trekking to Satsar which is a beautiful mix of seven small lakes, located at approximately 12500 feet on the sixth day. It is a moderate trail and takes typically six hours to reach. Please ensure to carry sufficient water as the water sources on the way might not be suitable. You will cross a stream and follow the trail going uphill. After you cross the 11,500 mark the trail twists itself into a traverse into the meadows with a few craters and you have reached Maengandob which lies alongside a ridge. You can camp at the Satsar army check post lies to the right beyond the ridge, a few kilometres behind the first Satsarlake.

Day 7 : Satsar to Gangabal– Nundkol twin lakes

You will start your journey towards the Gangabal twin lakes located at an altitude of about 11,700 feet on Day 7. It should ideally take a little more than six hours to reach Gangabal as the gradient of the trek starts becoming difficult from this point. You will cross a stream while climbing downhill later where you can replenish water stock.

Satsar Lake

Follow the trail from the camp to the biggest and the last lake out of the seven Satsar lakes towards the forest line to the top of a 1000 feet high ridge lying to the right. After reaching the top of the ridge, you will see another two ridges at the end of which lies the twin lakes in their utmost grandeur. Continue walking from the third ridge on the descending trail towards the lakes which takes you through a stream into the meadows lined with trees. Cross the wooden log bridge at the end of the treeline to reach the Nundkollakewhich lies at the foothills of Harmukh peak. Both the lakes are connected by a stream which can be crossed through a bridge from Nundkol to reach the giganticGangaballake. You can pitch your tents here and rest for the night along the banks of the lake.

Day 8 : Gangabal to Naranag

You will descend to your final destination, Naranag located at an altitude of 7,500 feet on the final day of your trek. The descent to Naranag takes approximately six hours. Follow the trail down the stream from Gangabal towards the treeline along the ridge and you will reach the end of the ridge opening into a meadow in half an hour. You can see the outline of hilly cottages and the trail then goes uphill to 11,000 feet in the last leg of the Great Lakes trek before you slope down to approximately 8500 feet where the trail enters the Naranag main road. The capital city of Srinagar is only a few hours away from here, which marks the end of the Kashmir Great Lakes trek!

Hope you had a life-changing experience and are going back refreshed energy from the mountains and views to remember!

Plan a trek with Kashmir Alpine Trek and we guarantee to make your trip memorable. We give you the chance to take a glance at the famous lakes settled in the valleys with our well-planned Kashmir great lakes trek. we have everything at one place for your convenience.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Map

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Reviews on Great Lakes Trek

Reviews on Great Lakes Trek

1. I just want to say thank you to Alpine travels for making my first solo trip a memorable journey.
2. Me and my group of 12 friends had been planning to give the Great lakes trek a shot together.

Safety During the Trekking in Kashmir

Safety During the Trekking in Kashmir

Apart from the aforementioned, there aren’t many security problems to address.
One should undertake this trek only when he/she is fully prepared, mentally and physically.

Best time for Kashmir Great Lakes and FAQS

Best time for Kashmir Great Lakes and FAQS

July and August are the best time of the year to commence the Trek.
How will we reach Sonamarg?
What type of food will be served on the trek?

How to Reach Here

How to Reach Here

You can reach Srinagar by taking a flight from New Delhi or bus or taxi from Jammu to Srinagar. Sonamarg basecamp can be reached via Srinagar.

Things you need to carry – Itinerary

Things you need to carry – Itinerary

Backpack (40-60 liters) - Trekking shoes - Full sleeve fleece clothes - Thick jacket - Thermal inners – Sunglasses - Synthetic hand gloves - Daypack (20 liters) - Toiletries.

Great Lakes Trek Route

Great Lakes Trek Route

The valley gives a closure to nature’s gifted resources in the form of gigantic mountains, lakes and steady passes Vishansar Lake - Krishnasar Lake - Gadsar Lake - Satsar Lake - Gandabal and Nandkol Lake.

Fitness Guide

Fitness Guide

The old saying “Health is Wealth” holds perfect for Trekking. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain a good fitness level before initiating a trek.

Book Your Trek

Book Your Trek

Join us for KTG (Kashmir Great Lakes Trek) Fixed Departures 2018. Let’s Discover the trails of Kashmir Lakes.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek – Getting Up Close & Personal with Nature

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek – Getting Up Close & Personal with Nature By : Smriti Gupta

It started with a discussion on the last day of a trip we were on. We were planning for our next trip and we all decided it would be a trek. There were different names flowing from the six of us in the room. Needless to say, it was after hours and a ton of rejects that a trek finally got almost all of us a little intrigued and curious. It was the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek.

Undoubtedly there were a lot of doubts regarding the political stability issues which constantly surround Kashmir, but after browsing a few pictures over the internet, we all were swooned by the beauty and charm every image held. We agreed that the trek routes would be incredible since Kashmir as a whole is one of the most fascinating places in earth.

I had been to Kashmir before on a family vacation and therefore vouched for the scenic trails and picturesque views which are present in every corner of the beautiful state. After researching a bit more we found that the trek involved visiting five magnificent alpine lakes in Kashmir over a period of 8 to 10 days. The picture-perfect views of the lush green meadows, glittering lakes, snow-capped peaks and exquisite passes were enough for us to drool over the thought of us being there together. Since we did not have much experience and knowledge about this trek we thought it would be wise to get in touch with a trekking community so the trek could be done with more people and we decided to plan it with Kashmir Alpine Trek Team, one of the most renowned local trekking community.

Since the trek was in the high altitudes and would last for over a week, we knew that physical stamina and mental strength were crucial to ensure that the trek was completed successfully. We decided to embark on this trek during the month of August, giving ourselves 7 months to build up our health and prepare for this wonderful trek.

The seven months went past with all of us engrossed in bookings, preparing and applying for leaves. Finally, we all were ready with all our groundwork to commence our journey.

Srinagar Airport – Dal lake

I reached Srinagar airport with my friend’s early morning. We wanted a day to explore Srinagar before beginning our trek. We checked into a houseboat in Dal Lake. After an hour of taking power naps and freshening ourselves we headed out for a Shikara Ride. We visited a couple of the Mughal Gardens and went around the lake checking out the floating gardens and markets. We had our dinner at a small restaurant a few kms from Dal Lake and headed back to the houseboat for the night.

Gaganger – Base camp Sonamarg

Next morning, we met the Kashmir Alpine Trek team and proceeded to Gaganger which was our base camp in Sonamarg. The day was spent getting acquainted with the team. There were around 20 people in the entire trekking team. A lot of questions and doubts were addressed to the Kashmir Alpine Trek team and they managed to provide all the trekkers sufficient surety about the trails and the kinds of circumstances we may encounter. After a sumptuous dinner, we went ahead to retire on our tents.

Trek Starts : Shekdur – Nichnai

After breakfast, the next morning we began our trek. As everyone had anticipated, after a couple of hours there were some sighs and lethargy in the air, but as we moved ahead on the trails the views kept getting better, serving as a motivation to continue. Since it was the first day some of us did face issues with keeping the pace and surviving at low temperature. After crossing an array of forests and vibrant meadows we reached Shekdur, where we halted for Lunch. Our final stop for the day was Nichnai pass where we reached around 6:30 pm and set our camps. Everyone headed off to their tents to rest and later reunite for dinner. At around 9 pm we all sat around the fire which was lit by our team. We were relishing on some well-prepared dinner and talking to the other trekkers. Our leader informed us that we had to begin very early the next day and so we called it a night and went for a deep slumber.

Vishansar Lake

The next morning started with voices outside our tent instructing us to wake up. It was 6 am in the morning. I got up and stepped outside the tent. It was like I had forgotten where we were. Seeing nature at its raw form this early in the morning was something I just saw in movies. It was freezing but the view of the far hills and the Greenland made everything worthwhile. So after getting cleaned up and having breakfast we cleared our campsite and stepped ahead in our journey. Our trek today would reach us to Vishansar. The route basically consisted of meadows and was comparatively easier than the previous day. By afternoon we had already reached the campsite and then moved to hike up to the lake which was parked at an elevation of around 3700 meters. The white silver mountains surrounding the greenish blue lake was a tantalizing sight.

After a lot of photography and immersing ourselves in the view we got back to the camp for some evening snacks and tea. The night was followed with ice breaking games and singing songs on high pitched voices. Quickly after dinner, everyone was freezing and so we all went to hide in our warm tents.

SKrishnasar – Gadsar Pass

The following day started with a steep climb. I could tell the trails were starting to get a little rugged and challenging. There was a point in the climb where we could see the lake of Vishansar and Krishansar together. The sunlight upon us, the cool breeze blasting around us and the stunning view of the lakes, it felt the entire world was in sync for that moment. We reached the highest point of our trek today Gadsar Pass, located at around 13,700 feet. The temperature was quite low but the sun kept our spirits strong. We halted for a bit and began our descent. We stopped for a meal at the Gadsar Lake. The lake is one of the highest altitude lakes in Kashmir and serves as a natural habitat for varied kinds of fishes. The route which followed were covered with splendid flowery meadows. We reached the Gadsar Army Camp to get all the permits in order and proceeded to our campsite. Our campsite was mostly along the river which helped us a great deal in cleaning and keeping us well hydrated.

The next day trek involved crossing freezing cold water rivers. Undeniably, many of us faced problems with the moss-covered rocks and the pain of going through a river and constantly slipping, but the Kashmir Alpine Trek team aided us in our movement throughout. We descended for a little while and then carried our journey up above the treeline. What followed ahead was a thin desolate path.

We went through some official id checking at an army camp the next day and from there we proceeded ahead in our journey. We came across the first lake of the “Satsar” which refers to the seven lakes. We entered our campsite and laid off on our baggage. We rested alongside the tents and lake and later moved ahead to climb some peaks to get a peek of another lake. We came back to our campsite and spend time conversing after which the dinner followed. The Kashmir Alpine Trek team staff were very warm and ensured that all our basic requirements were sincerely met.

Zach Pass Nandkol and Gangabal Lakes

The next day had one of the most challenging routes. The path was filled with crucial traversing and boulder hopping. A lot of us were quite nervous about moving at such a height but the entire team was very encouraging and helpful. We also got some small injuries and pain in our knees and toes. After walking through a meadow we stopped for lunch at Zach Pass which had the most incredible view of the Nandkol and Gangabal Lakes surrounded with high glowing white peaks. The banks of the Nandkol Lake was the campsite for the night. The walk to the hill which lead us to our camps was wonderful. I still have the image crystal clear in my mind, the perfect hued sunset, the misty snowcapped mountains and the cold soft breeze. As I walked towards our den a part of me had awaken, I had never been so close with the nature, not this way. I reached the camp and indulged in some hot ramen before retiring.

Mount Harmukh

The next day we decided to keep it easy and gave ourselves a little rest once we reached Gangabal Lake. Situated at the foothills of Mount Haramukh, Gangabal Lake is one of the most pristine lakes of the region. We savored on amazing breakfast provided by the highly efficient kitchen staff and spent the day strolling leisurely around the dazzling waters of the lake. By afternoon we moved to Nandkol Lake. It was invigorating sitting idly by the lake at an altitude of over 11000 feet and just looking at nature in its best form. The staff had prepared a special three course dinner for us tonight which needless to say we reveled in. We went back to our tents for the night. That night I got up at the sound of the wind against our tents. I stepped out along with a friend. The campsite was decently lit and we decided to sit for a while before we went back to sleep.

That night was undoubtedly one of the most beautiful night I had witnessed. The sparkling water of the lake, the clear night sky with numerous stars, the frosty breeze around and a close friend. We conversed for a bit, spend time starring at the sky and packing our mind with the energy surrounding the place so that we could take some of it back home. A few yawns later we went back to our slumber.


The final day we came down to Narang through a terrain of dewy forests. It rained a little thereby affecting our pace but the view of the washed forests made up for our loss time. The muddy routes and the walk through dense pine forests was an enchanting experience. We came to the end of our trekking journey by reaching the Naranag Village in Ganderbal District. Some of us also went ahead to visit the Narang Temple. After reenergizing ourselves with some food we were driven back to Srinagar and checked in to a guest house for the night.

The next day all us thanked the Kashmir Alpine Trek team and departed to our respective cities with a bag filled with unparalleled and everlasting memories.

        --- Smriti Gupta

2018 Fixed Departures for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

For the adventure junkies, the Kashmir great lakes trek is a gateway to paradise. This trek gives a glimpse of the famous Alpine lakes in Kashmir along with the golden Meadows of Sonamarg and ancient heritage village of Naranag. Starting from the base camp of the Sonamarg valley, this 8-day trek sums up all the exotic views of the northern Himalayas of Kashmir. This moderate level trek is a perfect escape for the beginners to explore the untouched beauty of Kashmir from the month of July to September in 2018 with our fixed group departures. Walking across the pine and deodar trees, this 72km trek ends at Naranag which lies at 7,450ft above sea level.

Most Appropriate Time July to September:

The Kashmir great lakes trek can be completely enjoyed in the months of July to September. This is the most appropriate time to see the rain washing away the snow and filling up water in the Vishansar, Gadsar and other Alpine lakes in the route. Coming along with its own difficulties in this season, the sight of the rain and the pristine lakes amidst the gigantic peaks of the mountains is a sight to behold. During this time, the valley looks more green and beautiful along with the freshwater of the lakes. At this time, the temperature drops till 1 degree Celsius, but the excitement of the rain just ignites the thrill.

The untouched beauty of Kashmir and the exotic view of the lakes makes Kashmir Alpine trek one of the most desired treks for the adventurous travellers.

Fixed departures for 2018

Fixed Departure in JUNE – 2018

Batch Code
30th June – 2018 Ju-KGT-1st 12,400 INR Book

Fixed Departure in JULY – 2018

Batch Code
5th July – 2018 Jl-KGT-2nd 12,400 INR Book
8th July – 2018 Jl-KGT-3rd 12,400 INR Book
12th July – 2018 Jl-KGT-4th 12,400 INR Book
15th July – 2018 Jl-KGT-5th 12,400 INR Book
19th July – 2018 Jl-KGT-6th 12,400 INR Book

Fixed Departure in August – 2018

Batch Code
1st August – 2018 Jl-KGT-7th 12,400 INR Book
5th August – 2018 Jl-KGT-8th 12,400 INR Book
8th August – 2018 Jl-KGT-9th 12,400 INR Book
18th August – 2018 Jl-KGT-10th 12,400 INR Book
23th August – 2018 Jl-KGT-11th 12,400 INR Book

Fixed Departure in September – 2018

Batch Code
2nd September -2018 Jl-KGT-12th 12,400 INR Book
5th September -2018 Jl-KGT-13th 12,400 INR Book
9th September –2018 Jl-KGT-14th 12,400 INR Book
12th September -2018 Jl-KGT-15th 12,400 INR Book
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