The Kashmir Great Lakes trek, also known as the KGL trek, has grown in popularity and is now the most sought-after monsoon trek in the Indian Himalayas. During this 7-day, 65-kilometer walk, Kashmir – “the paradise on Earth” – truly unfolds. This journey is made fascinating by several high-altitude lakes, alpine meadows dotted with tiny wildflowers, and exquisite campsites. As a result, the KGL trail is known as the Best of Kashmir, or Jannat E Kashmir, or a piece of paradise on Earth.
Drive from Srinagar to Sitkari (Trek base 2 kilometres before Sonamarg) – 85 kilometres – 3 hours. Camp.
Start your Trek which takes you to Nichnai (11 km, 7/8 hours). Camp.
Trek to Vishansar Lake (12 km, 6/7 hours). Camp.
Recuperation and active acclimatization Day. 2-hour hike to Kishansar Lake and back. Camp.
Trek to Gadsar (near the army camp) – 14 km – 7/8 hours. Camp.
Trek from Satsar to Mengendhop (10 km, 5-6 hours). Camp.
Trek to Nundkol lake– 8 km – 5-6 hours – visit Gangabal lake and return in 2 hours to Camp.
Trek to Naranag – 11 km, 5/6 hours – 60 km, 2/3 hours drive to Srinagar
This is a required reserve day. It must be due to bad weather or other unforeseeable circumstances.
Things to Note:
- You must arrive in Srinagar by noon on the first day. After the trek, you will return to Srinagar by 7 p.m. on Day 8 or Day 9 (if a reserve day is used). Make your travel arrangements and stay in Srinagar accordingly.
- Day 4, or rest and acclimatization day, is dependent on the actual conditions encountered during the trek. We may skip it and spend the day at Gangabal Twin Lakes Camp instead. Trekkers will have a full day to relax at the Gangabal twin lakes camp as a result of this arrangement.
- We will arrange shared transportation from Srinagar to the basecamp of Sitkari and back from the trek’s endpoint of Naranag to Srinagar. The fare for a Tata Sumo/similar that can accommodate up to 6 people is 3000 one way. You pay the driver directly and split the proceeds equally with the rest of the team.
- The cost of the mandatory reserve day, i.e.THE TREK FEE DOES NOT INCLUDE DAY 9. If we use it during the trek, you must pay an additional 2500 per person. This will be picked up in Naranag. If we do not use the reserve day, you will return to Srinagar in the evening on Day 8.
- In Srinagar, you can go on a Shikara ride on Dal Lake or stay on a houseboat. On Day 8, there is also the option of staying at the Naranag homestay. Please keep in mind that prepaid sim cards are not accepted in Kashmir. Airtel and Jio have good coverage in Basecamp and Naranag.
- This trail not only takes you past six fairly large alpine lakes but also provides an all-around hiking experience in Kashmir Valley. Jannat does not require a lengthy introduction. As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” so let’s take a visual tour of this incredible hiking adventure.
How difficult is the trek to the Kashmir Great Lakes?
KGL is a moderately difficult Himalayan trek. Walking long distances every day is also exhausting. At the same time, once you arrive at Gangabal Twin Lakes Camp, you will have a rest day. This is a welcome opportunity for relaxation before your long journey to Naranag. As a result, we rate it 6.5/10 on a physicality scale.
Distance of the trek
The relatively long 65-kilometre trail has a few ups and downs as well (refer to the altitude profile graph above). Water bodies/lakes are located at the base of the mountains, and you will usually cross a pass or ridge, such as Gadsar or Satsar, before descending to the next valley and lake (s).
When you climb a mountain trail, you must eventually descend. Almost all of the altitude loss in the KGL trek occurs on the final day of the hike, i.e. your climb down on the hike occurs on the final day of the trek. It is worth noting that more than 1000 m/3300 ft of descent occurred in an 11-kilometre span. Use walking sticks and knee caps, especially if you have or suspect you have a knee condition or injury.