6 Best Treks in Kashmir, India

August 8, 2021

Kashmir, also known as the Paradise on Earth, is a 100-kilometer-wide valley where the Himalayas separate the valley from the Tibetan plateau and the Pir Panjal range, which encircles the valley from the west and south, also separates it from the Punjab Plain of the Indo-Gangetic Plain. The Kashmir valley, which is home to numerous adventures, is one of India’s most popular tourist sites. This valley has an average elevation of 1,850 metres above sea level, although the Pir Panjal range to the north has an elevation of 3,000 metres.

The Himalayas, with their significant presence in northern India, are a wonderful spot to explore your adventurous side. Along with its enchantment, the Himalayas are a popular destination for exciting adventure activities such as mountain climbing, river crossing, trekking, camping, and much more.

Trek to alpine lakes like Gangabal, Gadsar, Tarsar, and Marsar, Great Lakes, and historic settlements buried away in the mountains like Naranag; finest camping locations on Kashmir’s lush and vast meadows are just a few of the memorable trekking experiences in Kashmir. Amarnath Cave via Sheshnag Lake is a spiritual journey that is only undertaken by Hindu pilgrims. In terms of moderate and difficult treks, Kashmir has a variety of options. 

Tarsar-Marsar Lake, Tulian Lake, and Thajiwas Glacier Trek with spectacular scenery and moderate difficulty to challenging treks of The Great Lakes Trek, the twin-lake trek of Vishansar and Kisharnsar Lakes, the Gangabal Lake Trek, and the Aru-Kolahoi Trek are among some of the great experiences in Kashmir.

Kashmir not only has a wide range of trekking adventures, but it also has a huge spectrum of tourist destinations. Trekkers can extend their adventures by exploring the Kashmir valley and its people, as well as learning about their indigenous tales and legends. Explore the lovely modern towns with a touch of old world architecture.

best treks in kashmir

The sunrise and sunset over the Himalayas’ gleaming peaks are the most popularized aspects of trekking over them, but misty clouds, serene weather, and local cuisine make the entire experience far more memorable. Trekkers are generally strangers when they first meet, but by the end of their trekking experience, they have become a great team and family. That’s what the magic of the stretching lands of the Himalayas do to you.

Best time to visit Kashmir Treks?

The best time to visit Kashmir for trekking largely depends on the type of trek you’re interested in and your preferences for weather conditions. Here’s a general overview:

Spring (March to May):

  • This season offers mild temperatures and blooming flowers, making it an excellent time for lower altitude treks and sightseeing.
  • Many trails are accessible during this time, and you can witness the valley coming to life with vibrant colors.
  • However, higher altitude treks may still have snow at the beginning of the season, so it’s essential to check trail conditions before planning.

Summer (June to August):

  • Summer is the peak tourist season in Kashmir, with warm temperatures and clear skies.
  • It’s an ideal time for trekking, especially for high-altitude treks where snow has melted, and trails are more accessible.
  • Lakes like Dal Lake and Pangong Tso are at their most beautiful during this time, adding to the overall trekking experience.

Autumn (September to November):

  • Autumn offers pleasant temperatures and stunning landscapes as the leaves change color.
  • It’s a great time for trekking as crowds thin out, and you can enjoy quieter trails and clearer views of the mountains.
  • Lower altitude treks are particularly enjoyable during this season, but higher altitude treks may start to experience colder temperatures and occasional snowfall toward the end.

Winter (December to February):

  • Winter in Kashmir is magical, especially for those interested in snow trekking and winter sports.
  • High-altitude treks may not be feasible due to heavy snowfall and extreme cold, but there are opportunities for snowshoeing, ice trekking, and skiing in places like Gulmarg.
  • The landscape is transformed into a pristine white wonderland, offering unique trekking experiences for adventurers.

best time to visit in Kashmir

Here are all six treks in Kashmir you should visit at least once

1. Tarsar marsar Trek

Kashmir known as the “paradise on Earth” is well-known for being the home to some of the most spectacular hikes in the Himalayas. Marsar Lake, an alpine lake located in Aru, Anantnag District, Kashmir Valley, India, is one of several lakes that dot the Aru valley and is well-known for its beautiful beauty. The lake is separated from another lake of the same type, Tarsar Lake, by a mountain with a minimum peak elevation of 4,000m. The two lakes are often referred to as the twin sisters due to their close proximity and similar physical traits. The location has become a popular tourist destination throughout the year and is one of the highly opted treks of the Kashmir Valley. 

The Tarsar Marsar is a moderate level trek journey made up of majestic pathways covering the base camp village of Aru, grasslands and three snow-capped lakes- Tarsar, Marsar, and Sundarsar- that complement each other’s perfection. Camping adjacent to snow-fed alpine lakes is the most significant and beautiful aspect of this hike. The stunning sunset and sunrise views across the lake from Tarsar and Sundersar campgrounds, while also observing the changing colors of the lakes as the light shines on them is a sight not to be missed.

  • Duration: 7 Days & 6 Nights from Srinagar to Srinagar
  • Altitude: 13,205 ft.
  • Trek distance: on foot 23km- by taxi 420 km
  • Temperature: Summer Temperature: – Day (5°C to 15°C) Night (2° C to 5° C)
  •  Winter Temperature: – Day (-2°C to -5° C) Night (-5°C to -12°C)
  • Best time to visit: june, July, August, September
  • Trek level: Moderate
  • Trek route day by day: Srinagar, Aru village, Lidderwat, Shekwas, Tarsar Lake, Sundersar camp, Marsar Lake, Homwas camp,
  • Weather: Winters are covered with snow whereas summers experience higher temperatures with no snowfall 
  • Highlights: Scenic beauty, pristine lakes (Tarsar and Marsar), lush meadows, and views of the surrounding mountains. The trek offers a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty.

Tarsar Marsar

2. Kashmir Great Lake Trek

The Kashmir Great Lakes, located at an elevation of 13,850 feet, is a collection of five separate alpine lakes spread across different valleys. This moderate to difficult level walk is a fantastic opportunity to immerse oneself completely in the Kashmir valleys. This close to heaven on earth experience includes everything a trekker could want, from snow capped mountains, verdant meadows to gushing streams, untamed north-west Himalayan flora and wildlife, spectacular panoramas, and glittering glaciers. The seemingly astonishing and unspoiled beauty of Kashmir’s Great Lakes is a visual feast for everyone who considers nature to be the best painter known to humanity.

The journey to all different valleys across hard passes and different terrain at every turn, presenting all distinct stunning views of lakes, is what makes this walk famous among frequent trekkers. The route begins in Shikari camp and ends at Gangabal camp, passing through the alpine lakes of Vishnusar, Gadsar, Satsar, and others. The hikers can see the natural home of trout and other types of fish at Gadsar Lake, also known as the Valley of Flowers in Kashmir with its towering mountains and harsh terrain. Local beliefs and mythical stories such as Gandsar Lake are sure to keep trekkers entertained throughout their route. 

  • Duration: 7 Days & 6 Nights from Srinagar to Srinagar
  • Altitude: 13,205 ft.
  • Trek distance: on foot 23km- by taxi 125 km
  • Temperature: Summer Temperature: Day (5°C to 15°C) Night (2° C to 5° C)
  • Winter Temperature: Day (-2°C to -5° C) Night (-5°C to -12°C)
  • Best time to visit: June, July, August, September
  • Trek level: Moderate
  • Trek route day by day: Srinagar, Shitkadi, Nichnai, Vishnusar Lake, Gadsar Lake, Satsar Lake, Gangabal Camp.
  • Weather: Winters are covered with snow whereas summers experience higher temperatures with no snowfall 
  • Highlights: Spectacular alpine lakes, lush meadows, and panoramic views of snow-capped peaks. Some of the prominent lakes include Gangbal Lake, Nundkol Lake, and Vishansar Lake. Explore the pristine beauty of Kashmir’s alpine lakes, including Gangbal, Nundkol, Vishansar, and Krishansar. The trek offers breathtaking views of snow-capped peaks and verdant valleys

Kashmir Great Lake

3. Tulian Lake Trek

Tulian Lake, located at an elevation of 3,684 metres, is a tourist destination in Pahalgam, Anantnag District, in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India. Tulian Lake, located between the Pir Panjal and Zanskar ranges, is a beautiful turquoise-colored lake that is thought to be in the shape of a number eight, with a narrow entrance to water. The lake is commonly observed with big slabs of ice floating on top of it. Tulian Lake is surrounded on three sides by majestic mountains that are frequently covered with snow.

This is a somewhat difficult trip that takes you through green valleys and steep slopes with thrill-infested uneven terrain in places. Despite the fact that this is a moderate-level walk, novice trekkers or those unfamiliar with the terrain in Kashmir should prepare ahead of time with appropriate equipment and physical fitness. Because navigation and weather are among the more difficult components of the journey, trekkers are encouraged to travel with a good local guide. Leaving aside the obstacles of the terrain, the end results are rewarding, with scenic and majestic views of the site.

  • Duration: 6 Days &  5 Nights from Srinagar to Srinagar 
  • Altitude: 3684m.
  • Summer Temperature: – Day (17°C to 20°C) Night (10° C to 15° C)
  • Winter Temperature: – Day (3°C to4° C) Night (-5°C to -12°C)
  • Best time to visit: March to October
  • Trek level: Moderate
  • Trek route day by day: Srinagar, Pahalgam, Baisaran, Tuilian Marag, Tulian lake, Tulian Marag, Kanimool
  • Weather: Winters are covered with snow whereas summers experience higher temperatures with no snowfall 

Tulian Lake Trek

4. Thajiwas Glacier trek

Thajiwas Glacier, located 3 kilometers from Sonamarg in Kashmir, is a majestic Glacier that is 3000 metres above sea level and is covered in snow all year. The walk is a graceful little trek that adds to Sonamarg’s allure and is one of the most easily accessible glaciers in the entire region. This trip is a treasure in Jammu and Kashmir since it appeals to both environment enthusiasts and adventure seekers.

Because of its snow-covered landscape all year, Thajiwas is a popular trekking location in the Sonamarg region. This easily accessible area is a popular alternative for families looking for a summer holiday hot spot that may offer small snow sports activities as well as nature-bound peace. The trek from Sonamarg to Thajiwas glacier is highlighted by landscapes of grazing meadows, lush pine forest, glistening lakes, and flowing streams. Conversations with locals can be an additional exciting experience for visitors. Due to its ease of access, it is an easy-level hike that requires only decent-quality body coverings, shoes, and a camera to capture its stunning views.

  • Duration: 3 days & 2 Nights
  • Altitude: 3000m.
  • Summer Temperature: Day (20°C to 25°C) Night (0° C to 10° C)
  • Winter Temperature: Day (3°C to4° C) Night (-5°C to -12°C)
  • Trek level: Easy to Moderate
  • Trek route day by day: Srinagar, Sonamarag, Thajiwas Glacier
  • Weather: Covered in snow throughout the year with colder temperatures during winters.
  • Highlights: Ideal for a short trek, Thajiwas Glacier trek offers stunning views of glaciers, meadows, and waterfalls. It’s accessible from Sonamarg and suitable for trekkers of all levels.

Thajiwas Glacier Trek

5. Naranag Mahlish Trek

The Naranag-Gangabal-Mahlish Trek trip is Kashmir’s sole trek with a distinct return route that is available most of the year. The trail winds from Narang with slightly steep terrain passing through the pine forest of Butsheri followed by a gentle walk through meadows of Bodpathri until arriving at Trunkhol for an overnight camping trip. 

Passing through the grassy fields after Trunkhol, trekkers will camp overnight near the first fresh water source of the region, the Gangabal Lake, one of the twin alpine lakes at the foothills of Mount Haramuk. Pushing the journey forward, trekkers would have to stroll across the sparkling green meadows to reach Kolesar before arriving at the Mahlish meadows for an overnight camping trip. A tranquil environment with an unbroken view of the star-studded sky is a prize worth seeking out.

The trek is easy to moderate in difficulty and not only offers a magnificent view of the Himalayas but also a breathtaking view of the Sind valley. It converts into a snow walk in April-May and October-November, providing a stunning view of the Himalayas.

  • Duration: 3 nights 4 days 
  • Altitude: 3575m.
  •  Summer Temperature: – Day (17°C to 20°C) Night (3° C to 4° C)
  •  Winter Temperature: – Day (10°C to 6° C) Night (-2°C to 4°C)
  • Best time to visit: June to October
  • Trek level: Moderate
  • Trek route day by day: Srinagar, Naranag, Trunkhol, Gangabal lake, Mahilish meadows 
  • Weather: Winters are covered with snow whereas summers experience higher temperatures with no snowfall

Naranag Gangabal Trek

6. Kolahoi Glacier Trek

Kolahoi Glacier is a valley glacier in the northwestern Himalayan Range located 26 kilometers north of Pahalgam and 16 kilometers south of Sonamarg in the union territory of Jammu and Kashmir, India. This valley glacier is adored as the “Goddess of Light” by the people of the Anantnag district for its year-round supply of water that is mostly used for drinking and agriculture. Kolahoi Glacier water feeds large rivers such as the Lidder River before emptying into the Jhelum River via tributaries at Khanabal Anantnag.

The Kolahoi Glacier hike encapsulates the allure of Kashmir with its unspoiled pathways, flower-bedecked meadows, and pure high-altitude lakes. The presence of snow capped mountains in the background adds to the journey’s special charm, allowing trekkers to enjoy nature’s real majesty. This simple to moderate-level walk is a fantastic opportunity for all trekkers to explore Kashmir’s breathtaking nature. Kolahoi Glacier has succumbed to global climate change over the years, so it is best to admire its majesty from a safe distance while exploring the path comprehensively.

  • Duration: 6 Days & 5 Nights from Srinagar to Srinagar
  • Altitude: 12,600ft.
  • Summer Temperature: Day (17°C to 20°C) Night (3° C to 4° C)
  • Winter Temperature: Day (10°C to 6° C) Night (-2°C to 4°C)
  • Best time to visit: March to October
  • Trek level: Moderate
  • Trek route day by day: Srinagar, Aru, Lidderwat, Dudhsar Lake, Kolahoi Glacier
  • Weather: Winters are covered with snow whereas summers experience higher temperatures with no snowfall 
  • Highlights: Trek to one of the largest glaciers in Kashmir, surrounded by towering peaks and pristine wilderness. The trek offers a challenging yet rewarding experience for seasoned trekkers.

Kolahoi Glacier Trek

Why should you trek to Kashmir?

  1. Stunning Scenery: Kashmir is renowned for its unparalleled natural beauty, with majestic mountains, lush valleys, pristine lakes, and meandering rivers. Trekking allows you to immerse yourself in this stunning landscape, with each step offering awe-inspiring views.
  2. Varied Terrain: Whether you’re a novice or an experienced trekker, Kashmir has trails catering to all levels of expertise. From gentle walks through flower-strewn meadows to challenging routes that lead to high-altitude passes, there’s something for everyone.
  3. Cultural Experience: Kashmir is not only blessed with natural beauty but also boasts a rich cultural heritage. Trekking through remote villages allows you to interact with local communities, experience their way of life, and gain insights into their traditions and customs.
  4. Adventure and Thrill: Trekking in Kashmir offers adventure seekers the opportunity to challenge themselves physically and mentally. Crossing rugged terrain, navigating through dense forests, and conquering high-altitude passes provide a sense of accomplishment and thrill.
  5. Solitude and Serenity: Despite its popularity, there are still many off-the-beaten-path trails in Kashmir where you can enjoy solitude and serenity. Trekking amidst pristine wilderness allows you to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with nature.
  6. Wildlife Encounters: Kashmir is home to diverse wildlife, including rare species such as the Himalayan brown bear, snow leopard, and musk deer. Trekking through its wilderness offers the opportunity to spot these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.
  7. Photography Opportunities: For photography enthusiasts, Kashmir offers endless opportunities to capture stunning landscapes, vibrant flora, and exotic wildlife. Every turn in the trail presents a picture-perfect moment waiting to be captured.
  8. Seasonal Beauty: Kashmir transforms into a winter wonderland during the snowy months, offering unique trekking experiences such as snowshoeing and ice trekking. In contrast, spring and summer bring blooming flowers, lush greenery, and pleasant weather, making it an ideal time for trekking.

Overall, trekking in Kashmir is not just about conquering peaks but also about immersing yourself in the unparalleled beauty of its landscapes, experiencing its rich culture, and finding inner peace amidst nature’s bounty.

why you should trek to Kashmir

5 thoughts on “6 Best Treks in Kashmir, India

  1. David Saul
    July 23, 2022

    We are a group of 2 people and would like to do a trek in Kashmir between the 7th and 14th August.
    Around a 2 or 3 day trek please. We are happy to join in with another group if there is space.
    We do like the look of Naranag Mahlish Trek

    July 7, 2022

    We are group of about 8 people and interested in Naranag-Mahlish trek in September (9-14), please confirm if it’s possible

  3. Bhavana Mehra
    April 14, 2022

    Hi. We are a group of 6 visiting Srinagar from 14 may onwards.
    We would like to do an easy to moderate trek of 3 D 2 N. Ps suggest the route itinerary, pick up and drop at Srinagar and competitive rates. We are all vegetarians.

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