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Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, Sonamarg
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7 nights 8 days

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size

30 people



About Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

The Kashmir Great Lakes trek is moderate-to-difficult with rocky trails and high altitudes. Nestled in the Pir Panjal range, in the mighty Himalayas. Kashmir is called the paradise on earth and the trek to these beautiful lakes makes it more exhilarating. It is situated 75 km northeast of Srinagar. The views of 360° panorama with wild, snow-capped mountains, mesmerizing meadows and thrilling alpine lakes give a thrilling insight into this beautiful trek. The seven stunning high-altitude lakesVishansar, Kishansar, Gadsar, Satsar, Gangbal, Nandkol, and Dal Lake are the main highlight of the trek. If you have not been to this trek then put it on your bucket list. It is surely worth giving a chance.

When you embark on a journey it is more like stepping into some haven. You witness the most beautiful picture-perfect, postcard-worthy trek. It gets more interesting to see these lakes just as they are being fed by the snow-clad mountains. If you are lucky enough, you might see the occasional iceberg floating across the pristine blues and greens of the lake.

Kashmir Great Lakes trek Distance

Kashmir Great Lakes trek starts from Sonmarg in Jammu and Kashmir. It is an 8 days trek including travel from Srinagar. The total trek distance is 72 km from Sonmarg.

Kashmir Great Lakes trek Difficulty Level:

Kashmir Great Lakes trek is a moderate to difficult level trek. You need to be physically and mentally prepared for the trek and should stick to a proper fitness routine before coming on the trek. Download the fitness program from here: Click here.

Best Time to Visit Kashmir Great Lakes trek:

Kashmir Great Lakes trek is best done between July – October

Kashmir Great Lakes trek Weather/Temperature:

With temperatures ranging between 3-20 degrees Celsius during these months, trekkers can enjoy bright sunny days and chilly nights. In early July, you can the blooming valley and a few patches of snow. From July to August it gets hot during the day but the nights are pleasant. From Mid Aug to September, the weather is the most beautiful, with a slight nip in the air and brilliant blue skies. During the end of September, you might see the snowfall.

Accommodation During Trek:

During the trek, trekkers will be provided 3 person tents on a twin sharing basis and 4 person tents on a triple sharing basis. Female trekkers will share a room/tent with female trekkers only. Solo female trekkers will be provided with a separate tent.

Meals on Trek:

Meals start from day 1 dinner to day 8 breakfasts. On Day 8, early departure after tea. During the trek, you will be provided healthy hot meals which include breakfast, lunch, evening tea and snacks, hot soup, and dinner with daily different desserts. Hot drinking water will be provided daily at the campsite.

Kashmir Great Lakes Height/Altitude:

The lowest altitude will be 7, 800 ft at Sonmarg and the highest at 13,700 ft at Gadsar Pass.

Fixed Departure Dates 2022:
July – 2nd, 5th, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 20th, 26th, 29th and 31st
Aug – 6th, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 28th,
Sept– 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th 14th, 17th, 18th, 29th, 30th
Oct– 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th and 9th.

How to Reach Sonmarg:

By Rail
The most convenient railway station is Jammu Tawi Railway station, from there you can take a bus to reach Sonmarg, The road distance from Jammu Tawi to Sonmarg is approx. 350km.

By Road
The Srinagar Bus Stand is well connected to Delhi, Chandigarh, and Jammu. Sonmarg is accessible through National Highway 1D to other states of India. The Srinagar bus stand is about 87 km away from Sonamarg, and frequent bus service is available from Srinagar to Sonamarg.

By Air
Srinagar airport is about 70 km away from Sonamarg. Srinagar Airport is well connected to the major cities of the country. You can book flights from Delhi, Jammu, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, and Kolkata.

Note: Always book your return flight/train tickets after including the buffer day in your itinerary. Buffer days are kept for unforeseen conditions in the mountains, if not used, you can use them for sightseeing in Srinagar.

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  • Every day you are confronted with endless blue skies; a larger than life panorama of rugged mountains and lakes.
  • Trek through beautiful silver birch and maple forests.
  • Get mesmerized by the views of Vishansar Lake which is referred to as the colour changing lake.

Day 1: Arrival at Shitkadi via Sonamarg from Srinagar

🏔Altitude: 9,187 ft.

🏠 Stay: Tents

🚗 Drive: 95 km (4 hrs drive).

⌚ Pick up at 8:00 am from Srinagar

🍱 Meal: Dinner.

After reaching Srinagar we will head to Shitkadi. Shitkadi is a quaint little place just a few kilometres beyond Sonamarg. The journey to the base camp is picturesque and pleasant. From the bustling beauty of Srinagar complete with gardens and shimmering lakes to the ‘Meadow of Gold’, Sonamarg, the 4 hours drive will set your mood perfectly for the trek. The route and schedule for the trek will be discussed before dinner by our team.

Day 2: Start from Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shekdur

🏔Altitude: Sonamarg (9,187 ft) to Nichnai (11,500 ft) via Shekdur

⛺ Stay: Tents

🚶Trek: 5 km trek

🍱 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

You will be starting your trek on Day 2 with a steep ascent towards the meadow of Shekdur. After 3 km there is a Dhaba on the right where you can get your edible supplies. After reaching Shekdu, you will see r when the scenery changes to Bhoj Patra or Silver Birch trees. The last stretch will be through the riverside trail with snow-capped mountains on both sides. The river valley marks the beginning of Nichnai and further downstream, there will be plenty of open meadows to pitch your tents for the night. Overnight at Nichnai.

Day 3: From Nichnai to Vishansar Lake via Nichnai Pass

🏔Altitude: Nichnai (11,500 ft) to Vishansar Lake (12,100 ft)

⛺ Stay: Tents.

🚶Trek: 12 km, approx time to reach 7 – 8 hrs.

🍱 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

There is also a noticeable change in scenery beyond Nichnai! We start early in the morning by 08:00 AM so that there’s sufficient time for you to wander around and admire the beauty of the meadows. A rocky path full of boulders gives way to lush greenery with wildflowers start popping up. As you walk through the trail you will be welcomed by these flowers. The climb to Nichani pass is a moderate one before it descends and eases off into a flat walk as you approach Vishnusar Lake. Vishansar Lake is half a km away from the campsite, nestled at the foot of four towering peaks. Vishansar changes its colour depending on the weather conditions. After reaching your destination you will unwind and relax.

Day 4: Explore Vishansar and Kishansar Lakes – Rest Day

🏔Altitude: 12,100 ft

⛺ Stay: Tents.

🚶Trek: 3 km trek, approx time to reach 2 hrs.

🍱 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Your fourth day of the trek constitutes of exploring the lakes; Kishansar is located only half a kilometre away from Vishansar, at the base of Kishansar peak. Vishansar Lake and its twin, Kishansar Lake are so mesmerising that a whole day is kept to explore their beauty.

Day 5: Vishansar Lake to Gadsar Lake via Gadsar Pass

🏔Altitude: Vishansar Lake (12,100 ft) to Gadsar Lake (12,000 ft) via Gadsar Pass (13,700 ft)

⛺ Stay: Tents

🚶Trek: Trekking distance of 14 Km, Trekking time around 10 hours

🍱 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

We will again cross the Kishansar while trekking to Gadsar lake. The trek will continue along a ridge with an accent. At the top of the thin ridge is Gadsar Pass at 13,700 ft, which is the highest point of your Kashmir Great Lakes trek. From the top, you will get a full view of both lakes. Vishansar and Kishansar. Gadsar Lake is an epitome of beauty and camping here will be worth it after a tiring day of trekking. After sharing your stories by the campsite with a hot cup of tea and dinner, retire to your tents.

Day 6: Gadsar Lake to Satsar Lake

🏔Altitude: Gadsar Lake (12,000 ft) to Satsar Lake (12,000 ft).

🚶Trek: Trekking distance of 12 Km, Trekking time around 6 hours

⛺ Stay: Tents

🍱 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

On your sixth day of trekking, you will see a drastic change in the landscape. You will cross the army base camp is the first thing you will notice from here. Today there will not be much ascent and descent as the lakes are at the same altitude. Satsar Lake is a camouflage of seven interconnected lakes; the view is so beautiful and can be differentiated depending on the season. Take a moment to feel the beauty of the place, this place is so untouched and filled with vivid views that you wouldn't want to leave.

Day 7: Satsar to Gangabal Twin Lakes via Gaj Pass

🏔Altitude: Satsar (11,800 ft) to Gangabal Twin Lakes (11,500 ft) via Gaj Pass (13,000 ft)

🚶Trek: Trekking distance of 11 Km

⛺ Stay: Tents

🍱 Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today you will cross two more Himalayan lakes i.e Gangabal and Nundkol. Both are located 20 ins away, with a stream that runs between these two lakes. The route will take you through three ridges, which are green in patches and barren otherwise, except for local Gujjar huts. After reaching the top of the ridge, the two lakes situated side by side can be seen clearly. You will cross the stream with the help of our team. After reaching our team will pitch tents. After dinner, retire to your tents.

Day 8: Gangabal Lake to Naranag - Drive to Srinagar

🏔Altitude: Gangabal Lakes (11,500 ft) to Naranag Drive (7,500 ft)

🚶Trek: Trekking distance of 11 Km, Trekking time around 7 hours

🚗 Drive: 70 Km drive back to Srinagar

🍱 Meals: Breakfast.

Today will be mostly decent, be careful while you trek down. Pine trees will accompany you along the route. The last 4 km of the will be of decent 3000 ft altogether. When you will reach Naranag, you will see the stone-paved road which means, you have entered the civilization and your beautiful days spent in the valleys have come to an end. We will drive back to Srinagar. Make sure you have pre-booked your hotel. Always keep a buffer day because in the mountains there can be delayed due to weather, landslides or rain.

  • Meals start from day 1 dinner to day 8 breakfasts. On Day 8 early departure after tea. During the trek, you will be provided healthy hot meals which include breakfast, lunch, evening tea and snacks, hot soup, and dinner with daily different desserts. Hot drinking water will be provided daily at the campsite.
  • Tents, Sleeping bags, mats, kitchen tents, toilet tents, and Dining Tents.
  • Accommodation: During the trek, you will be provided with a 3-person tent on a twin sharing basis and a 4-person tent on a triple sharing basis
  • Forest permits and camping fees.
  • Trek guide, cook, and support staff.
  • Porters/mules to carry trekking equipment.
  • First aid medical kit, oxygen cylinder and UIAA certified safety equipment.
  • Trek Certificate
  • Experience that you will gain.
  • Any kind of personal expenses on the trek.
  • Meals during road journeys.
  • Transport from Srinagar to Srinagar
  • Mules or porter to carry personal luggage.
  • Any kind of travel insurance.
  • Anything not specified in the inclusion list.

8+ Days

Monsoon (Jul-Sep)

Tour's Location

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek, Sonamarg

How long we have to trek every day?
The average walking distance is 7- 8 km each day and trekkers complete it in 5-7 hrs. Please refer to the trek itinerary for more details.
What kind of food is provided on the trek?
Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. Breakfast varies from bread and butter, semia, poha and cornflakes etc. Lunch mainly comprises roti or puri with sabzi. Dinner is complete with Dal, rice, roti and dessert. A dry ration of biscuits and toffees will be provided as well. You may carry nuts and dry fruits if necessary.
Will there be water sources on the way? Will two liters of water be enough?
Our campsites are pitched near water sources. For your day’s trek, two liters of water should be enough. You will find water sources on the trek to refill your water bottles. Your trek leader will brief you about these before starting the day’s trek.
What is the washroom/toilet facilities like on the trek?
During the trek, toilet tents will be set up along each campsite. A toilet tent will have a deep pit, where one can answer nature’s call. There will be a mound of soil and a shovel to cover it up. These are dry toilets, where you’ll have to use toilet paper. This is the most hygienic and convenient way to answer nature’s call in the wild. Please use plain toilet paper and refrain from using wet wipes since these are not biodegradable.
What will be the accommodation?
Stay will be in tents. Each tent will be shared among 2 trekkers. Toilet tents will be set up for the convenience of trekkers.
Do you provide tents and sleeping bags?
Yes, you will be provided with tents and high-altitude sleeping bags that can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC.
Which are the best seasons for the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek?
This trek is best done between July to Mid October.
What if it rains while trekking?
If it starts raining while you’re trekking, we will continue on the trail as planned. Your poncho should protect you from the rain. Carry a backpack cover for extra protection from rain for your belongings.
What will be the temperature on the trek?
The weather can get biting cold but it is worth it. But during the daytime sunlight is good and the weather is clear but you have to dress in layers at the night. The temperature will be between 10 to -3 degrees.
When it gets really cold can I consume alcohol?
Alcohol is dangerous in extreme cold, especially at high altitudes. Contrary to what people believe, alcohol does not make you warmer. Instead, it opens your pores, making your body colder. Moreover, it dehydrates you very quickly. Hence consumption of alcohol is absolutely prohibited on all Nomad Adventures treks. Anyone found with alcohol is quickly removed from the trek. Smoking, similarly, is not allowed on Nomad Adventures treks.
What all do I need to carry on the trek?
Please visit the 'Things to Carry' tab to check the essentials required for the trek.
Are trek poles, jackets and other equipment available for rent from Nomad Adventures?
No, but there are shops on the base camp from where you can rent shoes, jackets and trek poles, headlights etc.
Do I need special snow shoes on this trek?
You don’t need special snowshoes. A good waterproof trekking shoe is sufficient for the trek. When there is snow, we provide micro spikes and gaiters.
Why is the trekking pole necessary?
A trekking pole gives you stability and balance and helps reduce fatigue.
What is the age limit?
The minimum age limit is 8 years. However, minors aged between 8 to 17 should be accompanied by their parents or guardians. The maximum age is 70 but please follow the fitness regime before coming on the trek.
Can I take my child along on this trek?
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is a moderate to difficult trek and requires trekkers to be physically fit. The minimum age eligibility is 8 years. As a parent or guardian, if you feel that your child can adapt to the conditions of the mountains and would be able to walk every day as required, then certainly, yes!. It is recommended to maintain good physical stamina before coming on the trek.
At what time should we reach Srinagar?
It is advisable to reach Srinagar by 7:00 am on Day 1. Nomad Adventures pick up is lined up at that time. From there, 3- 4 hour drive from Srinagar to Shitkadi base camp.
What kind of vehicle will be there?
Tata Sumo/ Bolero/Max kind of vehicles we arrange and accommodate 6-7 People in a vehicle.
Is this a good trek for a first timer?
The trek is not as easy as the pictures make it seem. It is moderately difficult, beginners can attempt this trek provided they stick to the fitness schedule and meet their health requirements. As in all treks, physical preparation is mandatory.
Is there a mobile network on this trek? And, what about charging points?
The last electricity charging point and mobile network point would be in Srinagar. You’ll get only the Bsnl/Airtel network over there. However, come prepared for the possibility of power cuts. It is good to carry your power banks and extra batteries for your camera.
Who will be there with us on the trek from Nomad Adventures?
Nomad Adventures team consisting of a qualified Trek leader, trek guides, porters and cooks will be with you throughout the trek.
What places I can visit before or after the trek?
You can spend time exploring tourist attractions around Srinagar like visiting Dal Lake, Nishat garden, Gulmarg, Betaab valley and Patni top. Please note that these are suggestions and Nomad Adventures does not make any arrangements for visiting them.
I am solo female trekker. Do I need to share a tent with a male?
No, Female Trekkers share Room/Tent with female co-trekkers and the same applies to others.
Is it safe to trek with Nomad Adventures?
All high-altitude treks come with their share of risks. We pay utmost importance to the safety of trekkers. While we do our bit to ensure a trekker is safe, we also expect any trekker who is enrolling with us to know what could go wrong, and if it does, how to tackle it.
Can I leave my extra luggage behind and collect after the trek?
There would be no facility available to keep extra luggage behind because we won't be returning to the starting point of the trek, therefore you need to carry all your belongings. Nomad Adventures is not responsible for loss or damage to any belongings.
How many members will be joining the batch?
Minimum 6 people and the maximum 20 we take in one batch. We need a minimum of 6 people to run a fixed departure but for the customized trip group size doesn’t matter.
Is Diamox advisable?
No, but in case you are having so please consult your doctor because there are lots of myths about Diamox.
Is there any chance of offloading the backpack?
If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to inform us in advance so that the necessary arrangements are made. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. If you decide on the spot then the charges are higher than usual.
What are the mandatory documents required for the trek?
Carry Adhar ID proof, medical certificate and Covid vaccine certificate.


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