Great Lakes Kashmir Trek
"Every travel with WANDERERS is an experience of a life time."
Great Lakes Kashmir trek is one of the best treks in our country. The views on the trek are just amazing and make the perfect desktop images. This trek is famous for having "7 lakes in 7 miles". A few decades ago this was "50 lakes in 50 miles", however they have dried up over the time. Beautiful lakes that are a perfect desktop picture can be spotted on this trek. On the last camp Nandkol we camp right at the foot of Mount Harmukh from where K2 was spotted for the first time as per history. We get to Vishansar – Kishansar twin lakes, Gadsar lake, Satsar lake (a series of small 3 to 4 small lakes), Nandkol and Gangbal lakes respectively. Each day's trek reveals different scenery, magnificent views at amazing heights. We get to cross a couple of army check-posts during this trek. Both these check- posts are close to Pakistan, having said that this trek is completely safe in terms of Kashmir being a sensitive area. This trek is termed as the great Lakes of Kashmir because of its breath taking views.
Day1 – Srinagar to Gagangir (drive - 70kms/ 1hour 30mins)
Arrive Srinagar and assemble with the rest of the team. From here you can book a vehicle straight for Gangangir and meet team Wanderers. Team Wanderers would like to assist in order to book a vehicle from Srinagar to Gagangir however if people want to make their own bookings, they are free to do so. We arrive at Gagangir and get acquainted with the rest of the team.
Day 2- Gagangir to Shutkadi (drive- 10 kms/ 45mins) to Nichnai (trek – 9kms/ 6hours)
Today we start the day with a small drive to Shutkadi. It's a drive of about 45mins and we reach the starting point of the trek. From here we ascend for a few hours to reach the table top. We need to keep our ID cards handy and with us at all times. 20mins after starting today's trek we reach the first army check point where we halt for the general checks. Post that we continue our trek to reach Shekdur top/ table top. We rest for a while here and click some amazing pictures. From here we get beautiful views of the Sonamarg valley along with Thajiwas glacier. There are tea stalls that serve maggi's along with tea and coffee on sunny days. After resting for about 10 to 15 mins we continue our trek. We walk on flat ground for about 15 mins to climb a steep patch of 150 to 200 metres. From here we enter the dense forest of the Himalayan birch trees. We get to spot unique shaped barks of these trees. Another 40 mins of walking through this dense forest and we reach the stones and boulders right at the water source. This running water comes from Nichnai and is termed as the Nichnai naala. We have our lunch here. After lunch we follow the river and head up towards the Nichnai camp. A couple of hours from here and we reach Nichnai. We camp here for the night. This is a cold campsite after dark.
Day 3 – Nichnai to Nichnai pass to Vishansar lake (7 hours / 12.5kms) (11,840 feet – 13000 feet – 12,000 feet)
Today we start our trek early as we cross the first pass of the trek – Nichnai Pass. It would take us 3 hours to reach the pass. We ascend for about an hour and a half followed by an additional straight walk of an hour and a half to reach the Nichnai pass. At 13,000 feet Nichnai pass is pretty windy. From the pass we can see both the valleys; the one from where came and the one we are entering. In the early season May mid onwards we can slide on soft snow from the pass. Without snow we descend gradually and for about an hour and reach the even land. We hit straight at the boulders and towards our left we can spot a waterfall. This spot is perfect o have lunch and we spend about 30 mins here. After lunch we continue our trek. Here onwards it is a straight trek for about an hour before we get to a gradual climb on our left. Right after the climb of 15 to 20 mins we spot our campsite and reach in the next 10 mins. We rest for the rest of the day.
Day 4) Vishansar to Kishansar and back (rest day/ acclimatization day)
Today we have a short trek to Kishansar lake which is just 30 mins from Vishansar lake. From Kishansar lake, we can see the Gadsar pass and it's route. We spend some time here and return to Vshansar lake. This day acts as our rest day and an additional day to acclimatize.
Day5) Vishansar lake to Gadsar campsite via Gadsar pass (12kms/ 7 -8hours) (12,000 feet – 13,800 feet – 12,400 feet)
This day is going to be a long day. We start from the vishansar lake to Kishansar lake and reach the foot of the Gatsar pass in about an hour's time. On a day with clear skies, we take about 2 and a half more hours to the reach the Gatsar pass. This is a moderately steep climb with zig-zag routes to the pass. We spend about 15 to 20 mins and descend down to the other side. From the pass we can see a couple of lakes that are sourced from the melting ice patches on the left ridges. A steep descent for about 30mins followed by a gradual descent to reach to the Gatsar lake. We stop at the lake for lunch and enjoy the beauty. This is one of the most beautiful lakes of the seven lakes on this trek. Many a times many bakerwals (gujjar nomads) can be spoted with their families, cattle and a shepherd dog. These dogs generally are aggressive in nature and we suggest stay away from them.
Post lunch we continue our trail and after a couple of hours and a ridge crossing, we reach the Gadsar army check-post. Here we need to show the ID cards of all the team members including the staff members before we move ahead. Generally, we camp very close to this check-post, about 200metres away. Our campsite could be seen clearly from this check- post. We do a basic cool down session as we had a long and tiring day and call it a day off.
Day 6) Gadsar to Maingan top via Satsar check-post (7.5kms/ 4-5hours) (12,400 feet – 12,300 feet)
Today is one of the shortest days of the treks. We start post breakfast about 8.30am from Gatsar. We cross a small ice patch to climb the next mountain with a gradual ascend of about 35mins. Frkem here we have a small steep ascend of about 45mins and we reach the trail back. This trail is very beautiful and looks some-what like the desktop images. As we continue our way forward, we approach the top where the surface is flat and we cross a small patch of a running stream. Here the winds are high and we feel the cool and refreshing breeze. Another 20 min gentle ascend and we reach the Satsar check-post. Here once again we need to get our ID cards checked before we continue. We have our packed lunch for the day either here or after a 20 mins walk further from the the Satsar check-post. The walk after this post is beautiful and that of a muddy trail and boulders. We cross about 4 to 5 small lakes of the satsar before reaching the Satsar camp – Maingan top. We reach by 3pm and relax for the rest of the day. This campsite is very beautiful. Some of the locals say that during monsoon season clouds rest over this cradled top and is a spectacle sight in itself. We could explore the nearby climbs if we have the time and weather permits us to do so.
Day 7) Maigan top to Nandkol, via Zach pass (9.5kms/ 6 to 7hours) (12,300 feet – 11,600feet)
After a healthy breakfast we start early today. We aim at starting the trek by 8am. We cross the small stream over stones and enter into a boulder section. These boulders and big sized boulders and we need to ensure to stay together when we negotiate them. As these boulders are of different shapes and sizes we suggest not to use the trekking poles as they could be a hindrance for balance. About 45 mins trek over the boulders followed by a gentle ascend of 15mins, we reach a table top which is right at the foot of the Zach pass. We ascend gradually for about 40 mins and reach the zig-zag route straight to the pass. On reaching the pass we get to see the mount Harmukh right in front of us. Just below the Mount Harmukh we can see the Nandkol lake. Generally the Nandkol lake is covered over with clouds adding to the beauty of the view. Towards the right we see the Gangbal lake.
Gangbal is the largest of lakes we spot on this trek. We get to see a 360 degrees view of the Pir Pinjal range which is a beauty in itself. After spending some time at this pass we continue our journey forward. The route from Zach pass is that of gradual descend followed by a steep descend. We zig-zag our route on the mud and stone trail. As this is a steep descend, we would feel the pressure on our legs hence we trek at a regular to normal pace. About 2 hours and 30mins of trek we reach the Nandkol campsite. We cool down and relax. As the descends were steep we need to ensure to rest well.
Day 8) Rest day at Nandkol (If need b,e we could use this as an alternate day in case it rains any of the days and we need are stuck at some campsite)
Today we rest well at the Nandkol camp as we've had long trek days. After a good and leisure breakfast, we trek for 45mins in the right direction to reach the Gangabal lake. We spend some time here at the lake and click some pictures. If we are blessed by the weather gods, we could attempt taking a circuit around the Gangbal lake. We make sure to return to our Nandkol camp in time for lunch. We rest for the remaining half of the day.
Day 9) Nandkol to Naranag (10 kms/ 6hours) (11,600 feet – 7,600 feet)
We start by 8am for our descend to Naranag. Our previous day's rest helps us to recover and trek today for this 10kms descend to Naranag. We start with a river crossing and trek down to reach a beautiful ridge. From this ridge we see a beautiful house in the meadows which is a perfect dream house. We reach this house with a zig-zag descend and continue trekking. We enter into the forest of silver birch and deodhar trees and trek at a muddy trail. We halt at a small settlement for some tea before taking our final descend into the forests to reach Naranag. On reaching Naranag we stop for some light meal and take the vehicle down to Srinagar.
Total trek distance – 68 to 70kms (including acclimatization walk) Cost – INR 18,500 + 5% GST per person (batch size of 10 to 12 trekkers)
Meals - All the meals from Gagangir to Gangbal
Accommodation - 1 st night at Gagangir in local home-stay
Transport - Srinagar to Gagangir - Naranag to Srinagar
Camping/ tea house on double/ triple sharing basis
A Certified wilderness first aid responder for any medical emergencies with fully equipped medical kit
Oxygen cylinder with oxy meter for a close daily check-up
An experienced and certified skilled mountaineer as the trek leader
2 guide for a group of maximum 12-14 trekkers. Generally it is 1 guide to about 6 members.
All our guides and trek leads are professionally trained/ skilled and have many years of relevant experience in guiding and leading treks.
Clean sleeping bags
Toilets – clean and hygienic (traditional cat pit style)
Camping & trekking permits and permissions from the local administrations/ authorities
Service tax 5% (as per the current in GST)
Porter/mule charges to carry your personal bags/ offloads
Any meals/services not mentioned above
Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
Payment to be made by Bank Transfer/Cheque/DD in favour of M/S Wanderers payable at New Delhi/Gurgaon or online through our payment gateway.
New Friends Colony
Account Number: 006961900002710
Account Type: Current Account
Name: M/S Wanderers
IFS Code: YESB0000069
Payment for this trip will not be adjusted against any future trips.
45 Days: Full refund (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.
30-45 Days: 75% of trip cost will be refunded (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.
15-30 Days: 50% of trip cost will be refunded (after deducting any expenses that have been incurred for hotel bookings, transport, etc.
15 Days: No refund