Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Solo
Many trekkers are apprehensive in taking Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Solo. They are in fact quite worrisome when it comes to trekking in Kashmir. However, en route this trek there will be many solo trekkers that you will meet. This trek is absolutely safe for solo trekkers as any safe trek can be. It has no threatening wildlife, no thick and dark forest and a clear trek trail that any trekker can safely follow. On the way, one sees abundance of water and grassland and enough open space for camping and relaxing.
You are good to go for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek only if you have a basic know-how of this scenic trek and what things are essential to take along when you are on a solo trek. The advantages of solo trekking are that you save yourself from both high budget and crowd.
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Highlights
- Duration: 7D/6N
- Distance: 80Kms
- Max. Altitude: 4200m
- Number of Alpine Lakes: 11 (However to see all the lakes, it takes more than 7 days)
- Base Camp: Sonamarg (The trek can be done from Naranag to Sonamarg)
Generally followed Kashmir Great Lakes Trek Itinerary
Day 1 Srinagar to Sonamarg
- Altitude: 2,377 m
- Time taken: 3 hours drive
- Drive from Srinagar to the base camp at Sonamarg. At Sonamarg, stay a night preferably to get acclimatized with the altitude.
Day 2 Sonamarg to Nichnai
- Altitude: 3,505 m
- Time taken: 6.5 hours, 9 kms
- A mild ascent will take you into the valley of Nichnai via famous tabletop that gives a panoramic view of a chain of mountains that include Thajwas Mountain range and Bear Valley. The Nichnai Valley is known as the valley of wildflowers. Pitch your camp there in the flowery meadows of Nichnai.
Day 3 Nichnai to Kishansar/Vishansar Valley
- Altitude: 3,650 m
- Time: 5.5 hours, 13 kms
- The trail follows an ascend and leads to the Kishansar/Vishansar Valley—a beautiful valley with two lakes resting soothingly before two lofty mountain peaks. The lakes are abound with colourful trout fish. Both of these lakes have a religious significance and they drain into Kishanganga River that meanders through Gurez valley.
Day 4 Kishansar/Vishansar Valley to Gadsar
- Altitude: 4200m
- Time taken:6 hours, 14 kms
- This day trekkers enter the Gadsar Valley by crossing over the Gadsar pass. The pass gives a wide view of both Kishansar/Vishansar valley on one side and the Gadsar valley on the other. Enchant yourself with long wavy meadows dotted with multi-coloured flowers.
- The Gadsar Valley is famous for its lake and sinking watersand. Spend you night here beside a shimmering canal that comes out of the Gadsar Lake. Legends say the water and fish from the Gadsar Lake have healing powers.
Day 5 Gadsar to Satsar
- Altitude: 3,600 m
- Time taken: 5 hours, 12 kms
- On the fifth day of the trek, the trail becomes mild and relaxing with a repetition of mild ascents and descents through the large meadows that stretch along a succession of fascinating mountains. The Satsar valley holds seven alpine lakes; pitch your camp for the night beside one of the canals that snakes around this valley.
Day 6 Satsar to Gangbal
- Altitude: 3,587 m
- Time taken:5 hours, 9 kms
- The sixth day will take you to the Gangbal Valley via the Zajibal pass. The pass cuts the Satsar Valley and Gangbal valley. Cover a mild gradient that leads to the Nundkol Lake lying judiciously at the foot of Harmukh. The Harmukh, the lake and the reflection of the Harmukh in the lake makes it majestic.
Day 7 Gangabal to Naranag
- Altitude: 2,271 m
- Time taken: 6.5 hours, 13 kms
- On the last day of the trek, descend into the Naranag valley. This ends Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Checklist before going for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Knowing weather forecast:
- You must be aware of the weather. Depending upon the month in which you take this trek, temperatures vary. In August the temperature remains around 25 degree celcius and can go down till 5 degree celcius. However, it can go further down if there is precipitaion which is likely to happen. In other months like July and September expect temperatures lower than that of August. Even if the weather looks sunny at the start of the day, it only takes little time to get the weather rough and rain heavely. So prepre yourself in advance that wind and rain are part of this trek.
Know how to read the map:
- Get a paper map or digital, preferably both. You must learn how to navigate by reading maps. Read the map thoroughly before starting this trek. You can avail the maps from tourism department. The trail of Kashmir Great Lakes is easy and is quite visible as you trek along.
Learn the basics of health and first aid:
- You need to get the basic know-how of diseases and complications like High Altitude Sickness that arise because of gaining high altitude. Get the basic information of First Aid. Remember the heighest altitude point of this entire trek is Gadsar Pass with an altitude of 4200m; and the trek starts at an altitude of 2377m. So you ascend around 1800m.
Personal medical kit stuff:
- Diamox for altitude sickness, Ors for re-hydration, Norflox TZ and Lemofen for Diarrhoea, Crocin for fever, Avomine for motion sickness, Avil 25mg for allergy, Combiflam as a pain killer, Dispirn for headache, Diegene for acidity, Crepe bandage for sprain, Moov spray for aches and sprains, Azithromicine for bacterial infection, Band Aid, Gauze, Cotton, Sunscreen, Toilet Paper, etc.
Take the right gear along with you:
- Trek pants, T shirt Fleece, Thermal Inners, Wind and Waterproof jacket, Trekking Hat and Woolen Hat covering your ears, Muffler, High-Ankle water proof Shoes, Cotton and Woolen Socks, etc.
- Sleeping Bag, Sleeping Tent, Trekking Pole, Lunch Box, Solo Hiking Stove (butane burner etc), Backpack and rain cover, Head Torch and Hand Torch, Whistle, Watch, Pocket knife etc.
Stay on your trek trail
- Although Kashmir Great Lakes Trek has no thick forests into which one can get lost, still it is very important that you stick to your trail all the time. Pitch your tent at the designated camping places. Follow the already walked-upon trail. Getting off the trail and wandering around only puts you in more danger. The trail all along the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is quite prominent and visible.
- Make sure that you take enough water to keep your body hydrated. Dehydration will make you exhausted and will invite diseases. En route Kashmir Great Lakes Trek you will find many glacier-fed streams, refill your water bottles frequently. Take water even when you are not thirsty, don’t wait for thirst to take water.
Consider these points positively:
- Avoid plastic usage only if it’s a necessacity.
- Don’t litter and Bring back whatever waste you create.
- Preferebly, camp at the designated camping places.
- Dig a cat hole for organic waste.
- Don’t disturb the wildlife
- Don’t pollute water bodies, glaciers or any natural resources.