Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

  Kashmir Great Lakes Trek planner

Kashmir the golden gates of paradise Region:North India Jammu and Kashmir , District Ganderbal ,Himalaya Range, Duration:Seven Nights eight Days Trekking Elevation:-4300 Meters Approx ,Trekking Distance:-76 km ,Grade:Cross country High altitude  Difficult .Best Time for trekking Season; July To Mid September :Starting point : Sonamarg ,Trek Ends Naranag . Review                                                                                                                                                      journey to Kashmir Great lakes  is exquisite  glimpses of paradise.the day journey are very beautiful as the trekkers come a cross the open alpine valley ,wild flower gardens,glacier lakes,nomadic shepherds ,snow covered mountains ,glacier streams,rugged passes,and lot more for spiritual feelings .

The nights at camp sites are more beautiful the stars are so close you can feel that your are in sky full moon and falling stars make it unforgettable dream of life. .Expedition to seven wonder lakes  are bunch of high altitude alpine lakes ,the prime lakes is gangabal along with vishansar lake,krishansar lake is the source of neelam river,gadsar lake the highest altitude lake in Kashmir region, yamsar lake the lake of death angle.

Kashmir great lakes trek
Beautiful view of twin lakes from gadsar top.

 Sonamarg to Gangabal lakes Trek

Led you over various ascents and descents.The principal pass has an elevation four thousand three hundred meters and highest peak is Harmukh peak 5400 meters in the region .

kashmir high altitude gadsar lake
Kashmir Gadsar lake

Kashmir great lakes trek reaches the higher elevation of the Himalayas and produces the rare wild life, snow- leopard ,black bear ,brown bear Himalayan mammals , Himalayan meerkat, mask deer,along with others,wild flowers are other charm of great lakes trek some of rare herbs and plants are found on these higher elevations .

The charm of these high altitude lakes does not consist in their beauty only, but the alpine pastures high altitude meadows and rugged passes converge its extreme beauty.Kashmir Alpine lakes expedition opens the doors for adventure sports as the lakes are high altitude oligotrophic and produce large amount of different spices of trout fishes, and offers great deal for trout angling,fly fishing .

vishansar pass
Trekking group crossing vishansar top in snow

Best time for  trekking ,The trekking has short season about three months , the beginning of July are mostly snow passes August is much clear passes and lot of wild flowers, to ending September.Climate  short rains, hails or low-speed storms are expected during the high pass of the trek. and den fogs are also expected.

how to reach, Srinagar is base point for all the trekking and sight seen for Kashmir,the Srinagar is well-connected by road air to rest of the country.From Srinagar you can hire a customize jeep, share basics taxi or take local or tourist bus up to Sonamarg. Minimum time to complete trek 4 nights 5 days.Minimum age from 10 years i have taken from 6 years old for this trek.

 Packages Details

Our company takes small group maximum 10 persons and customize groups also As a Group Rates no tax no extra charges ,The rates include seven nights eight days trekking,from Sonamarg to Naranag, Mountain Guide,Cook,Cooking Helpers,Back up Horse for any emergency ,Camps,Sleeping Bags,Sleeping Mats, Blalnkets ,Toilet tent,Breakfast, Dry lunch, Dinner ,Tea, Coffee ,Veg and non veg meals, Chicken Some time Trout fish, Baggage Horses .and your personal.

baggage up to ten kg carry by horse ,

note IT is very difficult to carry your bag pack of 15 kg  as trek is high altitude even if you are experienced trekker  it  will take you extra 2 hours to  reach campsite .still it is advisably to let the horse carry your bag and a small bag pack  carry your self.

Solo trekkers and self trekkers information

The trekking trail is well marked from sonamarg to naranag, There are manny nomadic shepherds who can give you directions to  the trail .all you need tent and food to carry,

Cost Details Basic cost 12500 rupees 

Transport cost 800 rupees from Srinagar to Sonamarg and back Naranag to Srinagar. Baggage charges up to ten kg  carry by horse for seven days 1200 rupees. Total cost 14500 rupees, if you carry you backpack your self and arrange transport by your self there will only basic cost. no tax no hidden charges.

How to prepare  beginners

The beginners need at least  months preparation to enjoy the trek,regular jogging up to 3 to 5 km daily,start with slowly and exceed the pace by daily wise,do some squats and stretches to increase your stamina.food has lot to do with your stamina ,home remedies have great result,take garlic soup every dinner,use ginger tea in breakfast.

The high altitude passes  needs basic Fitness as the trekkers have to come across the challenges,trekkers need to acclimatize before attempting the trek.

Regarding any health issues or normal check up the health centers are in Sonamarg and Naranag

If you are looking more easy trek then Tarsar Marsar lakes trek is ideal  trek for beginners in Himalaya.

Detailed  itinerary for Kashmir Great Alpine lakes trekking package

The trekking is normally for week to explore the lakes need more than one week.the trekking itinerary is as follow.

Kashmir alpine lakes trek
Sunrise in sonamarg

Day 1 Srinagar to Sonamarg ( 2800 meters)

Drive about 3 hours  from Srinagar center  via Ganderbal District,Kangan the old silk route over night on bank of Sind river near Shutkar village in camps. Highlight of the day, Four hours trip to thajwais glacier.

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
the drive up to Sonamarg from Srinagar is 90 km.

Day 2 Sonamarg to Nichinni  (3500 meters)(5-6 hours walk)

from the road bridge follow the left hand trail.the route ascents quite steeply along the gujjar trails. After 1000 meters the trail opens out on the meadow at Shokdharan m providing panoramic views back towards the Zojila and Sonamarg. the trail then continues across the open meadow and along through forest before a short steady climb over the bolder fields to nichinni. Highlight of the Day: Pine forest, nomadic village,Sind river branch.

North India Trekking
Nichinaya Second campsite 3500 meters

Day 3 Nichinni to Vishansar  (4000 meters 5-6 hours walk)

The ascent to Nichinni bar is quite gradual .The pass just below 4000 meters is generally under snow until mid July. However the shepherds usually herd their flocks up the valley by mid June and clear something of trail.The initial route from Nichinni crosses the stream and follows the right side of the nallah or stream.

The average trekking time to the pass is about 3 hours. From Nichinni bar ,it is possible to climb the gully to the south.The climb should take about two hours on snow and is rewarded with an unimpeded view to the north -east of baltoro region and k2. No technical climbing is necessary ,but an ice-axes come in very handy for cutting steps.

The descent to vishnasar lake is through open meadows covered in wildflowers trout fishing is possible here. Highlight of the Day : Small ice lake on top of Vishansar pass,wild flowers valley,Vishansar stream,Vishansar Lake.


Day 4  Sight seen in vishansar  lake and  or rest at camps, Highlight of the Day : Trout Fishing, sightseen,

Day 5 Vishansar to Gadsar via Krishensar(5-6 hours walk)

The trail crosses the open marshland between Vishansar and Krishensar lakes.From Krishensar lake there is a steep and slippery climb to the pass 4300 meters from where are views of nanga parbat ,

the descent to the small turn to gadsar is gradual and a good campsite besides the gujat encampment. Highlight of the Day : Krishansar lake,Gadsar top 4300 meters,Yamsar lake, Gadsar lake.

Krishansar lake view
The krishansar lake and gadsar pass ,

Day 6 Gadsar to Megandob via kustoorkut satsaran lakes (5 hours walk)

Cross the gadsar stream over the permanent snow bridge and follow the kustoorkut trail up along the satsaran lakes,a steep climb of about i hour before the trail winds through open pastures

.the valley at the head of pastures marks the northern end of megandob. Highlight of the Day: Kustoor kut meadows, in sunny day a beautiful view of Nangaparbat 8000 meters peak, Satsaran lakes.

Day 7 Megandob to Gangbal lakes (5-6 hours walk)

From Megandob the trail descends for half kilometer before climbing goat track.

The ascent takes up to three hours.From the pass there are impressive views across to mountain Harmukh 5755 meters and the lakes of Gangbal and nudhkol. The initial descent to the lake is quite steep and beautiful .

Camping all along the lakes and trout fishing can be done. Highlight of the Day : Zach pass 3800 meters, Beautiful view of Four Lakes, Gangabal, Nundkhol,Kholsar lake, and a small lake,can be viewed in sunny day.

Kashmir high altitude lakes trek
Gangabal lake

Day 8 Gangabal to Naranag via turndkund  (5-6 Hours walk)

From gangabal is sweet walk up to the Budshire mountain top. From the top descent to naranag is very steep in a forest.The wangath temple in naranag is worth to see of 3rd centure bc.And drive back Srinagar. For more information of the trek. Highlight of Day : Pine forests, Naranag temple,naranag village.

Some important links regarding trekking

videos  Best images  Important trekking gears list    Trekking Map

Reviews when you scroll down you will find a lot of reviews and feed backs about  trekking and our services.

Reservation contact .riyaz@trekkashmir.com  Land Line Call 0194 -2311 424 (call +91 9419592631 Watts ape ) and 09796394081,Home

Join Planned Hikes At Fixed Dates 2018 -Special Offers For K.G.L.Trek

Trekking in July

(30 June to 7 July )- (4 July to 11 July )- (7 July to 14 July)- (11 July to 18 July)- (14 July to 21 July)

(18 July to 25 July)-(21 July  to 28 July  )-(25 July to 1 August )-(28 July  to 4 August )

Trekking in August

(1 August to 8 august )-(4 august to 11 august)-(7 august 14 august)-(11 august to 18)

-(18 august to 25 august)-(22 august to 29 august)

(25 august to 2 September)

Trekking september

(1 august to 8 September )-(4 September to 11 September )-(8 September to 15 September) –

(11 September 18 September )


Stages : Srinagar to Sonamarg 90 km drive 3 hours , Sonamarg to nichinaya 12 km 6 hours walk, Nichinaya to vishansar lake 14  km 7 hours walk, vishansar to gadsar 17 km 8 hours walk, Gadsar to megandob 8 km 4 hours walk, Megandob to Gangabal lakes 14 km 7 hours walk, Gangabal to Nranag 15 km 7 hours walk,

Note : Guest house hotels are avaible at sonamarg, Naranag  all the baggage and trekking gears will be carried by horses.


23 thoughts on “Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

  1. Hii please quote me the best price for Aug 2018, we are the group of 6 people. I also contact Kashmir mountains for the

  2. Hi Riyaz, I & some friends are planning a trip up to Kashmir lakes, which months are the best time to hike there? Please advise. TQ.

    Tom T.

  3. the great alpine trek with riyaz was excellent….the organisation with food, cook, did not fall short with anything….my children did this trek and were very happy to learn and see more… riyaz was so patient with them as they walked at their pace taking time…..
    we met tariq his joyful brother too and must say they are a great family…. the kawah and food was excellent on a cold evening….
    thank you for the hospitality, kindness shown….
    keep going strong and positive and hope many many will enjoy the beauty of kashmir …. the beauty of India…..
    Karishma, Philippe, Tarina, Rishayn

  4. Dear Riyaz & Team, We had a very wonderful and memorable trek, the entire team was very co-operative, flexible and supportive. We wanted to cook ourselves and they facilitated.We really enjoyed the trek and it was beyond our expectations and this only because of Riyaz and team. Both his brother very friendly and helpful Shafeen & Tareeq… Their team was very committed and dedicated including the horse man. They khava prepared by shafeen was amazing and loved it. Even the food… Big thanks for all your support in making this trek a memorable… Our future treks in Kashmir will only be with Riyaz & Team… Kudos to entire team of Riyaz

  5. We hiked the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek in July 2015, organised by Riyaz at Trek Kashmir. His brother lead the trek and we had an absolutely wonderful experience. The trek is beautiful – easily one of the most beautiful that we’ve done, and our guides and support staff were fantastic. They were very friendly and always helpful. The cook was a very nice person and his food was very good. Riyaz and his brother were also extremely helpful to us before and after the trek. We thoroughly recommend Riyaz and his team.

  6. The Great Lakes trek was an amazing experience, thanks to Mr. Riyaz’s excellent arrangements. Though we faced heavy rainfall and ankle deep snow during the trek, our experienced guide Md. Hanif Pakhtoon, who also happens to be the elder brother of Mr. Riyaz made sure that we completed the trek in safety and thoroughly enjoy the sights that the trek has to offer. Even on evening strolls at Krishnasar and Gandabal, he accompanied us and never let us feel alone or left out. His temparament was excellent even in tough situations. The horse owner(Ghorewala) Manjoor too deserves a special mention. Not only is he a good help at hand on dangerous tracks, but also is an excellent cook. Food cooked by him is a culinary delight, though we had a proper cook with the team too. Food too thus became a delightful surprise- right from chicken to trout fish. The ‘Halwa’ was my personal favourite. The care that was taken during the trek days and the hospitality we received makes us crave to return to Kashmir again and again. We would like to thank the entire team who contributed in making the entire trek so successful.

  7. Dear Riyaz,

    It was an amazing and exciting track. Kashmir was struck by its beauty. The Himalayas are beautiful and majestic. Beautiful nature, rivers, fields, clean air. Abrupt change in the weather gave us a real test and verification of fortitude. And I’m grateful for that. It was difficult, but it helped to rethink many things in my life and to take another look at this world. I want to say that this was my first track in my life. Riyaz, thank you for this track, patience and endurance. The whole team was on the ball. Thank you. This journey will remember all my life.

  8. When my husband and I found about the great lakes of Kashmir, we then had to look for a travel agency that organises the trek. We had no previous experience in trekking at all and we found trek kashmir as well as few others offering that trek. We checked the prices and the programs and what each one offers. The first reason that made us choose Trek Kashmir was that , first of all, they were willing to customise a trek on suitable dates for us, or form a small group and that would be just for almost the same price as what other companies charge for being part of a big group. The 2nd reason that made us trust Trek Kashmir is that it is a family business, you are dealing with the owners and managers of the company directly, and one of them is always with you on the trek. When Riaz said in one of our first telephone calls “you have my word”, it really was so. Whatever he promised when we were booking, we got it and even more than expected. When I asked about the food for example, he said “you will get fresh food”. Well.. it sounded nice and all, but I didn’t really imagine it until we were really on the trek and saw all the stuff which our guides brought in order to prepare us the meals and yes, freshly made. When the trek started, I really realised the advantage of dealing with a business that is run by a family in Kashmir and not just some big corporation where nothing is personal. From the moment we were received at Pakhtoon house, we were greeted with enormous hospitality from all of the family members. And on the trek, Tarek Pakhtoon joined us, well, he was all the support someone needs on such a journey, on so many levels. My husband and I got the feeling that we were dealing with a friend, a brother, and not just a business owner. They really cared about our wellbeing and satisfaction and constantly asked if we need anything else. The trek itself included of course some of the most beautiful scenery one could see but one needs to be with expert guides and guides you can rely upon. For us, the journey in Kashmir was a great life experience, but it wouldn’t have been complete, if we hadn’t met Riaz, Tarek and his family. We thank them from all of our heart for making our trek possible.

  9. Hi Riyaz

    Thank you very much for the most memorable trip of my life. The 7 days alpine Lakes trek with you and my husband was a life-changing experience for me. You are not only a good guide but also a good friend too! I look forward to the Tarsar-Marsar trek with you next year.

    – Priya

  10. Dear Riyaz,
    Thank you for arranging our holiday in Kashmir. Kashmir is really a beautiful country which is endless mountain, high altitude meadows and snowy cover the peaks all day along. I saw it on April’14 and the 2nd this Sept 2014, yes it was when the big flood was coming, we were there with my 8 friends. Fortunately we already finished the 5D trekking even the climate were unfriendly due to heavy rainy all day along. Once in never enough to enjoy Kashmir, so my friends & I will try to explore another trek from Naranagh to Gangabal lake next year. Insha Allah early Jun 2015 we will be there. Thank you Riyaz, send my best regards to ur youngest brother Shafeen, we miss his great Chai and all great dinner. CU next year

  11. Mr. Riyaz helped us to organize trekking guide, houseboat accomodation, transport and missing gear for our KGL trek and following stay in Srinagar afterwards. The guide he has choses was experienced and superB person. We were carying all the load in backpacs, but anytime we needed help, he was immediatly there. He even started to fight with one wild dog to protect us 🙂

    Trek itself is piece of lost heaven, untouched, not crowded with sceneries so beautiful that you wouldnt like to come back home 🙂 Beautiful meadows, streams of crystal-pure water digged into deep valley surrounded by great Himalaya hills full of wild flowers. Simply amazing.

    But, what make Kashmir the best place to visit, are the people. No one is staring, no one is cheating you on price, much less beggers and warm-heart ppl indeed. And Riyaz and his brothers 🙂 are a perfect example of responsible and very kind ppl. Strongly recommend his/their services, since he/they are able to organize everything 🙂

    Houseboat where we were staying is much much better than those one on Dal Lake. Its hidden beside on the river, quite area, perfect sleeping and privacy (in compare with overcrowded Dal Lake area). Its clean, well furnished and decorated. Clean as well.

    Riyaz once again thank you for perfect stay in Kashmir and having a great time full of unique memories. Shukria 🙂

    Jana and Stefan, Czech Republic and Slovakia

  12. Dear Riyaz,

    I will never forget my wonderful trek in Kashmir, your hearty welcome and your excellent competence. It was a very satisfying experience, and I felt safe and comfortable anytime. Also I enjoyed talking with you and your friends about many things: you gave me a chance to enter in Kashmir’s culture and world. I hope to come back and trek again with you and your staff. Thank you for everything.
    Maura (Italy)

  13. Hey Riyaz,
    Thank you for all your hospitility shown during trek to Kolhai gracier. I do appreciate your guidence and eagerness to take us through magnificent beauty of Kashmir region.
    You were much considerate about fact that it was my first trek in kashmir and that high altitude.
    Please convey my sincere regards to saifee as well for his exceptional co throuout and mouth watering food.
    It was pleasure to discover the Aru, lederwat. Wish we could have reach to kalhoi as well.

  14. I did 2 treks with Trekkkashmir. The first one was the Great Lakes trek in 2012 and the second one was Kolohai Glacier Trek in 2013. First time i met Riyaz i was a bit apprehensive as i had already done few treks in Ladakh . But right form the first day i met him and we had a lunch in his house all the apprehensions were set aside. At his house, I met his brothers Tariq and Safeen too . I came to know how knowledgeable they are about the mountains in Kashmir. We started our trek on the same day. And right from the first day I was impressed with his arrangements and attention to detail. We had Safeen;; his brother as a cook and expert photographer for the trek. Our 7 days of the great lakes trek just breezed by in the company of these 2 wonderful brothers. We also were fortunate to eat Trout fish thanks to Riyaz who was patient enough to spend hours fishing for them. When we were having a rest day in Vishnusar, i wanted to go up the mountains and discover a hidden lake. Riyaz was with me in this expedition and though it was a rest day he came with me and both of us together discovered a beautiful hidden lake in the Vishnusar mountain region. He had his permits well taken in advance and we were easily cleared by the Security people. Overall an extremely good and satisfying experience in my first trek with Riyaz. This made me come back again for the second trek with him for the Kolohai glacier. Even this experience was equally satisfying. And now i am looking for more. If it comes to trekking Kashmir, i think of of only one name now and that is Riyaz of TREKKASHMIR.

    Thanks dear


  15. I met Riyaz in Srinagar in may 2013. He hosted me in his own house-boat and was always very nice and kind to me. We spend several hours talking about everything with his brother too, and I found Riyaz very smart and curious. So I decided to join him for a trek in the Aru Valley. He took care of everything, he showed me and John (my travel mate) amazing places, we had the chance to talk to some local nomadic tribes’ people while the horses were carrying our backpacks and the chef was cooking delicious dishes all the time. The valley was absolutely beautiful, so green and peacful, with a river surrounded by snowy mountains. Unluckily the third day we got caught by a storm and the rain didn’t allow us to go on, so we didn’t have the chance to see the lakes, but they all took care of us, giving us heavy blankets, hot chay and amazing warm food. Next time I’ll go back to Kashmir, I will definitely call him for another trek, and if you guys are there, don’t miss the chance to join Riyaz, he will show you the most beautiful remote places of that area for a very reasonable price!
    Thank you very much Riyaz, say hi to your brother and see you soon
    Alice Bandiziol

  16. Kashmir Great lakes trek is one of the best treks that the Kashmir valley has to offer. Starting point of the trek is Sonamarg (Alt 7800 ft) which is 3 hours’ drive from Srinagar the summer capital of Jammu & Kashmir state.

    Trek Day 1: Sonamarg to Nichnai via Shokdur
    Trek Day 2: Nichnai to Vishansar lake
    Trek Day 3: Vishansar lake to Gadsar lake via Kishansar lake
    Trek Day 4: Gadsar lake to Satsar lakes
    Trek Day 5: Satsar lake to Gangabal twin lakes
    Trek Day 6: Gangabal lake to Naranag (trek ends at Naranag)

    However you can spend more days at these Lakes as per the days available to you and enjoy some fly fishing as well.

    This trek is approximately 70km long with many ascents and descents changing to different landscapes, from meadows to forest, forest to barren lands, climbs, streams to rocky terrain to the lakes and glaciers.

    Gadsar Pass approximately 13800ft is the highest point of the trek.

    The trek is not very difficult but I would still suggest doing this trek with a local and experienced guide and that could be none other than Riyaz Pakhtoon who has a family history of dealing with clients coming from various countries.Riyaz is a professional guide and knows these mountains very well.The Pakhtoon brothers provided us great insight information about this trek.

    For More Information feel free to email me at azharqadri@hotmail.com

  17. Our group did this trek with Riyaz during Aug’2013. I am an avid trekker with many years of trekking experience in the Himalayas. I have to say that Riyaz organized the trek very professionaly. The support staff were excellent and took very good care of us. I hurt my knee in a fall, and from that point our guide took the responsibilty of trekking beside me to ensure I completed the trek safely. The quality of tents and sleeping bags were top-notch. There was hardly anything wrong with the trek.
    Thank you Riyaz! I plan to do the Tarsar-Marsar trek with you next year.

  18. The Trek was a great experience, there are moments during the journey where you feel that you are in a very special place and you won’t forget it. Riyaz is a friendly, knowledgable guide that took us to some great locations with beautiful scenery. Their hospitality was great, not to mention the delicious food from the cook and service from the horseman. Would love to go again, i highly recommend it.

  19. Beautiful trek, wonderful view, great company and entertainment with Pakhtoon family. Waking up in the morning, when the mountain is covered with fresh snow, and the color of the lake is blue I have never seen before, was an experiene me and my son will never forget.
    Hana and Tom Edelstein, Afulam Israel

  20. Your hospitality would rank among best no doubt.. It was my first trek and couldn’t have been better. Wish to explore the whole of KASHMIR on your service.. best of luck to your organisation and I definatly recommend yours to everyone!!! 🙂

  21. Dear Riyaz

    The alpine lakes trek is fantastic trek, We (our Group) enjoyed ever best trek with your team, good guidence, and good food. I always rembember Shafins tastier food and also best guide in your team. Once again we are planning of Tarsar trek with your team.

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