Basmai Pass Trek is a fascinating trek in Kashmir. This trail of this trek is what shepherds for centuries have followed. The trek starts just a few kilometers from Sonamarg. It goes over the famous Basmai Pass and crosses over to Lidder valley. This trail from Sindh river to Lidder river is what makes this trek interesting. The lush and large meadows are the highlight of this trek.
This trek starts from Gagangir which falls 70 km off Srinagar. Just beside the Sindh river is the trail going into the jungle and leading to Basmai Pass. While on this trek, you will rarely see a trekker. Occasionally, you might see shepherds flocking their cattle. The trek is completely offbeat and is a paradise to someone looking for a desolated trail. The entire trek gradient is moderate. It is a 40-km trek and the most followed itinerary is of 5 trekking days.
This pass is among the five traditional and famous passes that connect Sindh Valley to Lidder Valley. The shepherds used these passes to shuffle their flock between Sonamarg and Pahalgam. The four passes are Kolahoi Pass, Yemhar Pass, Basmai Pass, and Sonmos Pass. Kolahoi Pass is the toughest among all to cross over. But, Basmai Pass and Sonmos Pass are relatively easier.
Detailed Itenerary of Basmai Pass Trek
Day 1 Srinagar to Gagangir.
- Drive Distance: 70km
On the first day of the trek, you will be driving to the base camp. The base camp is at Gagangir which is around 70 km from Srinagar. By 4 o clock in the evening, you will have to report to the campsite. The drive to Gagangir is quite scenic. You will be driving beside Sindh River and with a fantastic mountain view. The drive winds through the National Highway. You will be going via villages, pastures, and bustling markets.
Once you reach the campsite, relax and look around this beautiful campsite. You will feel the vibe of how beautiful and scenic this trek will be.
Day 2 Gagangir – Basmai Meadow.
- Trek Distance: 11 km
- Trek Duration: 7 hours
- Altitude: 2450m to 3200m
This second day becomes the first trek day. After savoring your breakfast, get yourself geared properly and start the trek. Your trek leader will brief you about the day and the terrain. Make sure you fill your water bottles. As you will be traversing through jungles and meadows, you will see the ponies carrying the load. They will be ascending the way one descends.
The trek towards Basmai Meadow is tiring. There is an ascend and the altitude gain is around 800m. This makes the gradient of the day difficult.
Day 3 :- Basmai to Satlanjan via Basmai Pass
- Trek Distance: 9 km
- Trek Duration: 5 hours
- Altitude: 3200m to 3700m via 4200m
This is the toughest trek day among all days. Start early in the morning after breakfast. The trail is all along an ascend till it reaches the legendary Basmai Pass. The ascend will test your endurance as you will be gaining 1000m altitude till the pass.
This is also the day you will be exploring Basmai Lake. As we will be descending from the pass, we will be visiting the lake. This lake is a beautiful alpine lake. Drink its water or take a quick dip.
The descent from the pass is around 500m. The trek as you descend gives you the best of the meadow walks of Kashmir. The long stretching meadows of Satlanjan will welcome you.
Day 4: Kolahoi Glacier Exploration
This is the day you will be exploring the famous Kolahoi Glacier. Within a 2-hour trek duration, you will see the vast glacier and the Kolahoi Peak.
Kolahoi Peak is the highest altitude peak of Kashmir. And Kolahoi Glacier is the largest glacier here. There has been quite a flow of trekkers to Kolahoi Glacier since the European era.
Day 5 Satlanjan to Lidderwat
- Trek Distance: 10 km
- Trek Duration: 6 hours
- Altitude:3700m to 3400m
The towering peak of Kolahoi will be visible to us for long till we reach our next campsite at Lidderwat. The trail is mostly flat and a short and gradual descent. However, you need to be careful as you will be maneuvering the boulder section. The boulder section is for some kilometers. Put your feet firmly.
The trek is quite joyful with the surrounding mountains making a ridge to your two sides. By evening you will reach the campsite at Lidderwat.
Day 6: – Lidderwat – Aru
- Trek Distance: 10 km
- Trek Duration: 6 hours
- Altitude:3400m to 2250m
- Drive Distance: 120km
This is the last day of the trek. This day is rewarding. It is the easiest trek day and quite scenic. You will be trekking through the lush and long meadows of Lidderwat. The meadow meets the river Lidder and you will be walking beside the river. The shimmering water of Lidder is gorgeous. There are some small river crossings over wooden bridges. Towards the last half of the day, you will enter a jungle and walk through its thickness until you reach Aru. Aru is the last point of the trek.
Frequently asked Questions
How difficult is Basmai Pass Trek?
Basmai Pass is a difficult trek. You need to have a fair amount of fitness to finish this trek. The trek is offbeat so you won’t be seeing any trekkers on the way. Beginners need to do stamina building, endurance, and stretching exercises before this trek.
Is it possible to do Basmai Pass Trek and Tarsar Marsar Trek together?
Yes. We can extend the itinerary by four more days. This will cover Tarsar Marsar Trek along with Kolahoi Glacier Trek.
There is also another way of finishing this trek. From Sundersar Lake of Tarsar Marsar Trek, we can go over the Sonmos Pass and finish this trek at Sumbal rather than at Aru.
How many kilometers in Basmai Pass Trek?
This trek is around 50 kilometers.
Note: This is from our series of an exploration of offbeat and traditional treks. We don’t run any fixed departures for these trek, however all the groups we take for such offbeat treks are customized. Please contact us if you want us to organize this trek for you.