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Best Trekking Plan for Kashmir

We offer the best of Kashmir trekking experience for you with our specially designed trekking tour packages. Trek to the alpine lakes like Gangabal, Gadsar, Tarsar & Marsar, Great Lakes, and the ancient villages tucked away in the mountains like Naranag with our best trekking tour packages for Kashmir.

The best time to trek in Kashmir is considered July to October, which cover two seasons – monsoon and winter/autumn. Trekking in April is also considered an ideal time.

The Kashmir Great Lakes trek has 7 trekking days. And coincidentally you are also trekking in 7 different valleys. What’s more, each of these valleys, spread themselves out each day of the trek. Every valley gives a hard competition to the valley before and the valley after.

Among the 7 different valleys you trek, 6 happen to be distinct grasslands or meadows. These high altitude meadows and grasslands are connected to one another via high passes. One would expect the meadows on either side of a pass to be similar. But they aren’t. Each one of them is a world of its own and has a charm of its own.

The highest trek in Kashmir is Kolahoi Glacier Trek, where one crosses Basmai Pass at the altitude of 4300 m. There are also short treks to Khilanmarg and Ningel Nallah from Gulmarg; to Thajiwas Glacier from Sonmarg; and to Aru Valley from Pahalgam that are ideal family treks as well.

5 Treks to do This Summer in Jammu Kashmir
The Great Lakes Tour of Kashmir
The Tarsar Marsar Trek.
The Trek of Narang Mahlish.
Kolahoi Glacier Trek.
Sonmarg Vishansar Trek.

1. The Great Lakes Tour of Kashmir

The Great Lakes Trek is the most popular trek in Kashmir. One of the key scenic beauties of Kashmir just happens to be a large number of beautiful lakes which are spread across the entire state. Some of them are spread across the lustrous green valleys while others are located atop mountains. Whatever their location, each of them is sure to captivate you with their beauty and majestic setting. One of the most popular options among the top treks in Kashmir, the Great lakes tour takes the tourists on a trekking expedition across the different lakes spread across the Kashmir valley and mountains. It is a popular option for beginners as well, as the exertion is relatively moderate to low and can be handled even by first time trekkers easily. The duration of a typical trekking expedition of the lakes extends to about 7 to 10 days.

2. The Tarsar Marsar Trek

The Kashmir valley with its lush green meadows and enchanting lakes is in full bloom during the spring and summer. It is a beautiful time to embark on a trek across these green meadows and spend nights under the clear night sky. The Tarsar Marsar Trek aims to achieve exactly that, and provides tourists with an opportunity to enjoy the scenic views from the banks of the twin lakes which are nestled among the lush green meadows and a valley that extends to as far as the eye can see. It is also a very comfortable trek option for beginners which makes it one of the top 5 treks to do this summer in Jammu Kashmir.The trek location is about 5 kilometres from Subdarsar, and is therefore easily accessible. The duration of the trek is about 7 days. The beautiful lakes and the green valley makes it one of the must visit spots in the entire state.

3. The Trek of Narang Mahlish

Moving on from the valleys to the foothills of mountains, the Narang Mahlish trek is easily one of the best Himalayan treks for this summer. The trekking expedition takes you to the foothills of the Harmukh Mountain and allows to fully enjoy the beauty of the twin mountain top lakes of Gangabal and Nundkol. The scenic setting provides an ideal views of the lakes and meadows amongst the backdrop of the mountains. During the course of the trek, the trekkers have to go through dense forests of pine, where you can soak in the greenery and the fresh air as you move towards the mountains.

The trek is a special one as it allows you to explore the different aspects of Kashmir, letting you travel through pine forests, across green meadows and ultimately to the blue waters of mountaintop lakes. It is therefore a must visit for all tourist who are adventure enthusiasts.

4. Kolahoi Glacier Trek

As we move to our next entry on the list, the stakes are even higher, as we take you on a journey to the Kolahoi Glacier, the origin source of the major rivers of Kashmir such as the Jhelum and Lidder. The entire trek closely follows a path across different rivers originating from the glacier and takes you on a journey across beautiful riverbanks, filled with pine forests and guzzling mountain water.

From the river banks, the journey gradually shifts to the valleys of the Himalayas which are filled with lush green beauty of Kashmir during the summer time. From the valleys the trek continues up to the glacier itself located atop the Himalayan ranges. The trek itself is quite arduous and should only be attempted by trekkers with previous experience and with suitable physical fitness. Beginners can also attempt the trek after going through the necessary training procedure. The duration of the trek extends to about 5 days, and takes you up to an altitude as high as 12,000 feet above the sea level.

5. Sonmarg Vishansar Trek

The final entry on our list is a truly spectacular journey that takes you across the high altitude passes of the Himalayas to the peaks of Vishansar and Narang. The journey takes you across the mind boggling views of the Nichnai pass nestled amongst the Himalayas. The views of snow covered mountains and valleys as you trek upwards into the higher echelons of mountaintops is a breathtaking one. On the way, one can also enjoy the beauty of the Krishnasar Lake, among others. Taking trekkers’ upto an altitude of 13000 feet, the journey isn’t for the light hearted. But the 8 days experience is sure to be one that you would never forget


Ladakh Trekking

The best time for trekking in Ladakh is from May to October. However, some treks are possible only from early July due to heavy snowfall on the mountain passes in winters. The onset of winter marks the beginning of two treks that are organised from January to March every year in Ladakh: the Chadar trek on the frozen Zanskar river and the Snow Leopard trek.

Markha valley trek
Best time: end of April to beginning of October
Duration: 6 to 8 days
Difficulty: level 3
Max altitude: 5260m

The Markha valley trek in the Hemis National Park is the most popular trek in Ladakh. The Markha valley runs parallel with the Indus valley, wedged between the snow-clad Stok Kangri massif to the north and the Zanskar range to the south. During this trek, you will see breathtaking mountain scenery, wild animals and small isolated villages surrounded by green barley fields. You will have the opportunity to stay in homestays in these villages and discover the way of life of the local people.

The trek takes 6 to 8 days to complete depending on the starting point. The Markha valley can be reached from two different routes: one from Spituk and the other from Chilling. The trek from Spituk is the longest option. It crosses 2 passes, Ganda La (4961m) and Kongmaru La (5260m), before reaching Hemis where the trek ends. Those who don’t have enough time and those looking to avoid the Ganda La pass could start the trek from Chilling, an easier and shorter option.

Nubra valley trek from Phyang to Hunder
Best time: mid-July to end of September
Duration: 5 days
Difficulty: level 3
Max altitude: 5438m

The trek from Phyang to Hunder connects the Indus valley to the Nubra valley. It follows an ancient trade route which was part of the old Silk Road network stretching from India to Central Asia. The highest point on this off-the-beaten-path trek is the Lasermo La pass (5438m) which is covered with ice and snow even in summer. From the pass, there is a wonderful panorama of the Karakoram range. This trek is done in 5 days.
After the trek, you will visit the main highlights of the Nubra valley. You will have the chance to ride on a double-humped Bactrian camel at Hunder sand dunes and marvel at the sight of the 32-metre tall statue of the Maitreya Buddha at Diskit monastery. Then, you will head back to Leh via the Khardung La pass.

Sham valley trek
Best time: all year round
Duration: 3 days
Difficulty: level 1
Max altitude: 3874m

Often called the “baby trek” because of the easy nature of the trek, there is no doubt the Sham valley trek offers some picturesque views to the trekkers. If you are looking for an easy trek suited for your kids, then this is the one for you. It never goes above 4000 metres and it can be done throughout the year.

The trek passes through many small villages where you can spend the nights in homestays and enjoy the authentic local cuisine prepared by the families. Some ancient and famous monasteries at Likir, Rizong, Temisgam, Basgo and Alchi could be visited during and after the trek.

Stok Kangri Trek (6153m)
Duration: 4 to 6 days
Difficulty: level 5
Max altitude: 6153m
Best time: mid-June to end of September

The Stok Kangri peak is the perfect objective for a first mountaineering experience in the Himalayas and for those looking to cross the 6000-metre barrier. Even though the peak is not technical, climbers still have to use all the mountaineering gears such as crampons, axe, rope, etc. The expedition guide will provide a short introductory course on how to use the equipment during the day of acclimatization at the base camp.

The Stok Kangri expedition is hard on your body and mind but you will realise it was worth it when you reach the summit and enjoy the incredible view of the surrounding mountains. The expedition can be started from Stok or from Spituk, or it can be combined with the Markha trek.

Lamayuru to Alchi trek
Best time: mid-June to mid-October
Duration: 5 days
Difficulty: level 4
Max altitude: 5153m

The western part of Ladakh is not only famous for its centuries-old monasteries but also the Lamayuru to Alchi trek. This five-day trek is dotted with two tough passes - Kongskil La (4948m) and Stakspi La (5153m) - and will push your limit to the maximum, but you will be rewarded with dramatic mountain sceneries. Spend nights at homestays in remote villages if you want to experience local culture closely. Also, visit monasteries before or after the trek.

Zanskar trek from Padum to Lamayuru
Best time: mid-June to beginning of October
Duration: 10 days
Difficulty: level 4

Max altitude: 5009ma

Zanskar is one of the most remote areas in Ladakh and that is where its beauty lies. This 10-day trek from Padum to Lamayuru is the best trek in Zanskar that covers ancient monasteries, small villages and the beautiful landscapes of the Zanskar range.
Before the start of the trek, you can visit the famous Phuktal monastery, one of the most isolated monasteries in Zanskar that was built in the 15th century. Zanskar offers sceneries of exceptional beauty, mountains in almost every colour and also its unique culture to the trekkers. The trek is peppered with three main passes: Hanuma La (4724m), Singge La (5009m) and Sir Sir La (4832m).

Chadar frozen river trek
Best time: January and February
Duration: 9 days
Difficulty: level 3

As Zanskar remains cut off from the rest of the country in winter due to heavy snowfall, the Chadar route acts as a lifeline.

Over the years, the Chadar trek has become the "next big thing" in Ladakh and it is easy to see why. Walking on the frozen Zanskar river that stretches 105 km in mind-numbing temperatures (-25 to -35 degrees) tests the limit of the trekkers. Also, there are not too many treks that pass through gorges with frozen waterfalls and that follow a trail of ice that turns into a mirror for the sky. The Chadar trek has received coverage in the form of documentaries, especially in the BBC's 2011 series called “Human Planet”.

Tour Program : Trekking Program 8 nights 9 days
Trek Route : Leh - Tilad Do - Chilling - Tilad Do to Shingra Koma - Tibb cave to Naerak camp - Tibb Cave

Detail Itinerary
Day 1 - Fly to Leh : Pickup from Airport and Drop to The Guest house
Overnight stay at the hotel/guest house.

Keep your woollen cap and gloves handy.
Flying over miles and miles of heavily snowed mountains will tell you just why it's impossible to reach Ladakh by road in the winters. The moment you land at the Leh airport, one of the highest airports in the world, you will feel the fresh and crisp air, and a drastic drop in the temperature. The town has just begun shedding off the thick winter slumber and is slowly coming to life. Taking a stroll through the Leh market, you will find that very few shops and eateries in the town are open for business; but if required, some last minute-shopping for the trek can be done here. The chill in the air will serve only as a preview of the temperatures during this winter trek. The night is spent in a copy guest house.

Day 2 - Drive to Tilad Do via Chilling (11,400 to 10,390 ft)
Climb to Shanti Stupa and Witness the Sunrise
Trek to Tilat Sumdo ( 1-2 Hours approx.)
Overnight stay at camps

You can start the morning by witnessing the sunrise from the Shanti Stupa , from where you can get a panoramic view of the entire town of Leh and its surroundings. You can also see the peak of Stok Kangri almost beckoning you to climb it.

But today's agenda includes a very picturesque and thrilling long-drive to Chilling. The roller-coaster ride takes you along the Indus to the village of Nimu, where the Zanskar converges into Indus. After stopping at this confluence point to take in the view, the drive continues and the road begins descending right into the river valley. There are quite a few heart-stopping moments as the vehicle negotiates the steep hairpin bends over snow covered road. The road goes past Chilling to Tilad Do. Among these mammoth mountains, the feeling of insignificance of one's being does not escape anyone.
To reach the camp-site, you have to cross the frozen Zanskar river and this is when you take your first steps on the Chadar. It takes a while to get a hang of walking on the ice sheet. As the evening comes, the team pitches tents on the banks of the Zanskar, and hands out thick warm sleeping bags. To get some exercise and keep warm, you can climb up the nearby mountains and get a good look at the frozen river. As the sun sets, it drags the temperature down with it, and the sleeping bags in the tents look quite inviting.

Day 3 - Tilad Do to Shingra Koma (10,390 to 10,550 ft. Trek 10 kms)
Reach Gyalpo via Shingra Koma , Overnight stay in camps at Gyalpo

The biggest challenge of this day, and all the remaining days, is to get out of the warm toasty sleeping bags and go out into the giant freezer outside, but the steaming cups of tea being served provide ample motivation.

Today is a long walking session, about 10 km, on the Chadar. The trek leaders will give a briefing about the day, and give tips on how to walk on the Chadar. Depending on the weather, the Chadar can assume various forms. It can be a cold and hard surface of slippery ice, or it can have a dusting of snow over it, providing a good grip. The ice can be thick or thin, and its best to keep closely following the guide. The locals, it appears, have a sixth sense as to where exactly to step on the Chadar. At places, it might be necessary to wade through ankle deep water, or climb on the cliffs at the side of the river. Eventually you get used to walking on the Chadar, which looks like a cross between gliding and skating. Mid way to Gyalpo, the porter-cum-cooks prepare hot bowlfuls of soupy noodles for lunch. It is important to keep up a decent level of fluid intake. Nothing makes you adapt to the conditions faster than nicely circulating blood in your system.
After passing Shingra koma, you reach the camp-site for the day at Gyalpo. The Gyalpo campsite is at a bend in the river, surrounded by high peaks and walls of rock-faces which almost look man-made. All that is left to do is to soak in the views, have an early dinner and call it a day.

Day 4 - Shingra Koma to Tibb Cave (10,550 to 10,760 ft.
Trek through Zanskar (15 km approx) Overnight stay in tents

This day follows the same early morning routine: bed tea at 7, breakfast at 8, and quick-march at 8:30. Have a good breakfast, as today is the longest walk of the day - almost 15 km. But that is nothing to worry about, all the walking keeps you incredibly warm.

Today's walk through the deep ravines of the Zanskar is stunning. The sublime walls of the mountains on either sides of the river keep the sunlight away from the Chadar for most part of the day. There are numerous caves in these mountains, big and small. Today is the day when you can see frozen waterfalls, some higher than the others. As the fable goes, centuries ago the local villagers faced a dearth of water and went to Tibet to plead for water. They were given a box which they were to open once they reached the village, and not any time sooner. But curiosity got the better out of them, and when they opened the box, two fishes jumped out of it, creating two huge waterfalls. One of those waterfalls, miraculously, is not iced-up even in such freezing cold. The rocks below this waterfall are covered with moss, and this is the only greenery you'll see on this trek.
At Tibb, there is a big cave. This cave is the dwelling of all the porters, and they welcome you warm-heartedly in here. The highlight of the day is to share a cup of butter-tea with them!

Day 5 - Tibb cave to Naerak camp (10,760 to 11,150 ft. Trek 12.5 kms
Overnight stay at camps in Nyerak Village
Attraction Frozen waterfall

Today is the most spectacular of all days on this trek. Walking on the river you cross deep gorges and reach a point where Juniper trees are covered with prayer flags. The porters give you a twig of this tree tied with a piece of prayer flag as a badge of good-luck and good-health. A few steps away stands the mother-of-all frozen waterfalls - a huge instance of suspended animation several feet tall and equally wide. You can see dozens of colours in this enormous ice structure as sunlight plays off its surface. Right next to the waterfall is a bridge across the river which is a part of the summer-time road from Zanskar to Leh.
The Naerak village lies several feet above the river, a vigorous hour-long trek can take you to the village if you want to see the life of a Zanskari. The camp is set up close to the river.

Day 6 - Naerak to Tibb Cave (11,150 to 10,760 ft Trek 12.5 kms) Stay in tent

Today you start the return journey and go back to the Tibb cave. And if you thought that it was just a matter of retracing your steps back to Chilling, you can think again. The Zanskar River reacts to the slightest change of temperature, and constantly keeps repackaging itself. The Chadar would have assumed a completely new form, and will it will almost be impossible to say whether you have been here before.

On the way, you can meet a lot of locals wearing their traditional woollen Gonchas - some of them monks who are hiking from the Lingshed Monastery to Leh, some of them young students accompanied by their parents returning to their schools in Leh after the winter vacation. Watching the locals negotiate the Chadar is a fascinating sight. They are suitably adept to the climate and seem very much at home in the sub-zero temperature and the biting cold winds. Nothing wipes the smiles off their faces and dampens the warmth of their spirit.

Day 7 - Tibb Cave to Shingra Koma (10,760 to 10,550 ft. Trek 15 kms) Stay in tent

Starting from Tibb, go up to Gyalpo today. The high walls of mountains rising from the sides of the river almost look like castle walls. You can see several trails of pug-marks all along the trek - footprints belonging to foxes, ibex or snow-leopards. You would be lucky to view a snow-leopard; but you can almost be sure that you are being watched by one all the time.

Day 8 - Shingra Koma to Tilad Do and drive to Leh (10,550 to 10,390 and drive to 11400 ft. Trek 10 kms)
Drive 65 kms to Leh
Last day of Chadar Trek
Check-in into the guesthouse
Dinner , Overnight stay in the guesthouse

This is the last day of treading on the Chadar - the last chance to immerse in the pristine beauty of the frozen river. Once you reach Tilad Do, it is time to say good-bye to the Zanskar and the Zanskaries. The team and porters will take good care of you and make this trek one of the most memorable experiences for you. Tonight you get to sleep in a warm guest-house again.

Day 9 - Leh Departure
After Breakfast Check out Guest , Continue with your return journey







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