Exploring the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek: Best Time, Itinerary and more

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Situated in the Himalayan lap, the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek shows the unmatched beauty of India. The trek is 70 km long in Jammu and Kashmir’s northwestern region. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is popular for its lush meadows, vibrant flora, and snow-capped peaks. Not to forget the view of the turquoise and pristine lakes, which is the main part of the trek. It is an unforgettable journey, with breathtaking landscapes keeping you company. 

It is a grand trek with a difficult, steep descent and ascent, so it makes the trek a bit challenging. However, the views, excitement, and experience you get here are worth all the effort.

When is the best time to visit the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek?

The best time to embark on the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is between July and early September. During these months, the area is dry with no heavy rain. So, it is a great time to trek the valley of Kashmir and view the most beautiful lakes. During July, the snow melts and the valley becomes a beautiful flower-laden place, inviting everyone to enjoy the glorious summer.

Short Itinerary: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Day 1: Head from Srinagar to Sonamarg 

The trek starts with you driving from Srinagar to Sonamarg, passing through scenic vistas. Sonamarg is the gateway to the trek, as you reach Shitkadi, the base camp, 10 minutes away. You get a day to rest and get used to the weather.

Day 2: Trek to Nichnai Pass 

On day 2, you start the trek in full form as you commute from Sonamag to Nichnai and see tons of birch trees and pine forests.  

Day 3: Head to Vishansar Lake  

On day 3, you start your ascent to Vishansar Lake, the first lake in this trek. It has crystal-clear water that reflects the peaks nearby, which is a beautiful sight to see. You can camp here and enjoy the sights.  

Day 4: Trek towards Gadsar Lake 

From Vishansar Lake, you trek to Gadsar Lake, which takes you through Gadsar Pass, situated at an elevation of 13,800 ft. The trail offers stunning vistas of the Kashmir valley and Harmukh Range peak.  

Day 5: Heading to Satsar Lake 

From Gadsar, you head to the Satsar Cluster of Lakes, also known as ‘Seven Lakes’ in Kashmir. These are interconnected lakes that are nestled amidst rolling meadows, rocky terrain, and beautiful views for both photographers and bird watchers alike.  

Day 6: From Satsar Lake, head to Gangbal. 

It is the final stretch, taking trekkers to Gangabal Lake from Satsar. Gangabal is known as the most picturesque lake of the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. Here, you will be engulfed by pristine meadows and towering peaks. 

Day 7: Gangabal Lake to Naranag 

The last day of the trek will conclude with a descent starting from Gangabal Lake to Naranag. It passes through quaint villages and forests. The end of this trekking adventure is Naranag, the ancient Hindu temple town, which has mesmerizing landscapes.  

two mountaineers in mountain
Photo by Saikat Ghosh on Pexels.com

Things to keep in mind while trekking to the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Throughout your entire trek, you will see the rich diversity of flora and fauna native to this region. You will see things like primulas, blue poppies, potentials, and more. You may also spot musk deer and Himalayan brown bears. Remember to be respectful towards them; do not disturb them or wander in the forest without your guide.

The Flora and Fauna of the Kashmir Great Lakes

Throughout the trek, trekkers encounter a rich diversity of flora and fauna endemic to the region. Alpine flowers such as blue poppies, primulas, and potentillas carpet the meadows in a riot of colors during the summer months. Wildlife enthusiasts may spot Himalayan brown bears, musk deer, and various species of birds, including the golden eagle and Himalayan monal.

Respect the local life and their traditions.

 As you trek along the trail, you will meet local shepherds while enjoying a glimpse of the rich cultural life of Kashmir. As you savor the local cuisine, you will also be exposed to the many cultural and religious traditions of Kashmir. Ensure you respect their tradition and the local people. Do not click on their pictures without asking them; that is paramount. 

Be an eco-tourist.

Ensure you do not litter along the trail. Do not carry plastic; use reusable containers. Also, do not smoke in the valley to ensure you do not start a fire. 


The Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is not just a physical journey; it is a spiritual journey as well. As you trek the most beautiful landscape on Earth, you will witness the shimmering lakes, verdant meadows, towering Himalayan peaks, and more grandeur of nature. The trek to Kashmir Great Lakes, like Vishwanar Lake or witnessing Gadsar Pass, will leave you with a memorable experience. Just ensure you pack well to accommodate the changing weather and keep in mind the tips to be sensitive to nature and the locals.

Check Out: 15 Best Trekking Places Near Bangalore For Adventurous Thrill

Frequently asked questions

What is the difficulty level of this trek?

The grade of this trek is moderate to difficult. It is a 7-8-day  trek with a few challenging sections, but mostly the ascent is gradual. 

Is this trek good for beginners?

Yes, beginners can do the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. But a beginner has to plan and prepare well for this trek. 

  • Work on your physical fitness. Being obese or having serious ailments will not fly with this trek.
  • Work on your mental fitness and be strong enough to complete this trek, even when it becomes extremely challenging.
  • Ensure you have good gear with you. 

Is consuming alcohol during the trek allowed?

No! It is not recommended to drink alcohol during the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek. It can make you fall sick, and the trek guide you go with will have to send you back without any refund. 

How do I get there for the trek?

The pickup point for the Kashmir Great Lakes trek is Shitkadi, some 10 minutes walk from Sonamarg. From Srinagar, it will take you around 3 hours to reach Sonamarg, which your booking agency will help you with. To reach Srinagar, you can choose one of these options.

By air: Srinagar airport is connected to major Indian airports. As you reach the airport, take a cab to the pickup point mentioned by your tour guide. 

By bus: Srinagar has good connectivity with other cities by bus. The main bus stand has a taxi stand, which can help you reach your desired location.

By train: There are two railway stations, Jammu railway station, from which you can reach Srinagar in 9 hours via a private or public bus. From the Udhampur bus stand, it will take you around 6 hours to reach Srinagar.

Leave a Reply