Duration: 7 Days/ 6 Nights

Altitude: 3650m 

Distance: 40km

Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult

Duration: 7 Days/ 6 Nights

Altitude: 3,650m

Distance: 40km

Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult

Nafran Valley Trek is the most pristine and scenic trek in Kashmir. It has a trail that starts from Aru, a village 12 km from Pahalgam and around 112km from Srinagar. This trek has remained famous for offbeat trekking where one sees serenity and long lush meadows with gorgeous jungle walks and an alpine lake.

 

 

It has a unique landscape that exposes a trekker to not only meadows but jungle, alpine lake, and glacier as well. This forms a complete bouquet for a trekking enthusiast. Its wavy meadows an unmatched in any form. Even Kashmir Great Lakes Trek doesn’t offer as serene and other-worldly vast meadows and beautiful trail as this trek offers.

Right from the first day of the trek which starts alongside a river stream, the trek surprises the trekker with its sheer beauty. The trek meanders through beautiful patches of grassy land and pine forest and has an abundance of river streams.

This trek has Harnag Lake, which is at an altitude of 3500m, a great attraction. Camping in the vicinity of this clean lake is what a traveler dreams of. One has to pass over the famous and legendary Harnag Pass. The pass is traditionally used by shepherds and highland people to cross over to other valleys and move towards Kolahoi Glacier.

Another attraction of the trek is a lofty Kolahoi peak and glacier that one sees at a near distance. The ever charming Kolahoi glacier and the peak are refreshing. Kolahoi has remained a dream for many trekkers and mountaineers to climb or trek to. Behold the peak and glacier right before you and wonder at its intricate formation.

Harbaghwan Lake is nestled cozily in a gorgeous setup where the glaciers melt into at times as big chunks of glacier masses. Trekkers stop here for lunch rest and enjoy the view that is soothing to all the senses. This lake is away from tourist litter and crowd so much so that it has no trace of human impact.

Nafran valley trek has a blend of ascends and descends. It is categorized as a moderate to difficult trek for all the incoming trekkers. This trek will fascinate all whether you have done any trek here in Kashmir or not.

Nafran Valley Trek Heighlights

The main highlights of the trek are Aru Valley, Harnag Lake, Nafran Valley meadows, Harnag Pass etc.

Fixed Departure Dates 2022:
July : 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th
August : 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th
September: 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 25th
1

Day 1: Srinagar - Aru

  • Drive Distance 110km
  • Duration 3.5 hours
  • Aru Altitude 2450m

The first day of the trek is a drive to reach the base camp at Aru. Aru is the best scenic village in all of Kashmir. It is 12kms ahead of Pahalgam. Housing few numbers houses, this village has remained heaven for Trekkers for centuries. It is also from here that the famous Tarsar Marsar and Kolahoi Glacier Treks start.

2

Day 2: Aru - Mondlan - Bhaj Marg

  • Drive Distance 6km
  • Trek Distance: 7km
  • Trek Duration: 6 hours
  • Altitude: 2350m – 3150m
This is the first trek day of Nafran valley trek. The trek starts a few kilometers before Aru. The starting point of the trek is Mondlan. The trail starts just from the main road. The trail starts with an ascend and goes through a thick forest. The forest walk is the first serene feel you will get of this trek. The walk is in complete silence under the shade of tall trees and surrounding bird species. Many bird species are in these trees. Your trek leader will make you acquainted with some of the bird species that you never see in cities. The sun filters through these trees and gives you a feel of other-worldly.
You will see a clean river stream running at the beginning of the trek. Refill your water bottles as water will be scarce till the next campsite. You will have to cross this stream and then you will see a small collection of shepherd houses. The houses are your first glimpse of how people live in mountains. A serene and peaceful life, away from the daily troubles of modernity.
Further up to the trail, the walk jungle gives way to a beautiful small meadow called Shul Marg. Take a rest in the meadow and enjoy the beautiful landscape of this place. The grasslands here are full of colorful flowers in the summer season. The entire meadow looks colorful and rejuvenating.
From this small meadow, the trail ascends towards another settlement of shepherds. The trail turns towards the right by crossing the shimmering river stream. There comes another patch of the forest walk and then goes into a meadow.
Further up, the trail gains steepness till you spot a wooden gate. This is called the Gateway of Nafran Valley. The trail then leads you to the campsite called Bhaj Marg.
Bhaj Marg is a breathtakingly beautiful meadow and serene. You will hardly see a trekker crowd here. The grassland is vast and you will see horses trotting around. In the middle of this grassland, you get a panoramic view of the mountains.
Enjoy your food and tenting accommodation in the beautiful ambiance here.
The gradient of the day is easy to moderate.
3

Day 3: Bhaj Marg - Nafran Valley

  • Trek Distance: 9km
  • Trek Duration: 7 hours
  • Altitude: 3150m – 3450m via 3500m
This is the day you will trek to the famous and scenic Nafran Valley for which Nafran valley trek is famous. Leave your campsite after a hearty breakfast and fill your bottle with the waters. The trail goes through a forest patch and is an ascent. After walking for a couple of kilometers, you will reach the ridge of Arram Pathri. The top of this ridge gives you the best scenic view of an entire Bhaj Marg meadow and Dadwar meadow. The trail further takes you through a couple of river streams. Ford these river streams carefully. Your trek leader will help you in crossing these river streams. The trail then reaches a hard rocky patch. You must meander the rocky patch cautiously as it risks the trekker falling. Place your steps carefully and firmly. The rocky terrain however gives you a commanding view of Pahalgam valley towards your left. This is the treat to the eyes.
The trail then descends towards Arram Pathri. The descent is steep and you will have to be again careful in descending this trail. As you descend, you will see a settlement of shepherds on the banks of beautiful Nafran Valley. This is Arram Pathri.
This is a nice spot for rest and refilling your water bottles. Take pictures and videos of this spot as the scenic landscape and serenity will be etched on your memory.
Keep the Nafran river towards your left and follow the trail which is strewn with boulders. The trail to your next campsite goes via a couple of grasslands and boulder sections. Shortly thereafter, you will reach the Nafran valley campsite. The valley is gorgeous and surrounded by mountains on three sides.
The gradient of the day is easy to moderate.
4

Day 4: Nafran Valley - Harnag Valley

  • Trek Distance: 5km
  • Trek Duration: 5 hours
  • Altitude: 3450m – 3500m
Wake up early morning to see how a calm breeze passes through your campsite. The mornings in this valley are refreshing. It takes all the troubles of the world off your mind here, and you get to know the reward of doing this trek. Since Nafran valley is the main highlight of this trek, start your trek with a tour around this beautiful valley. Your trek leader will make you go around this valley and get the best views that this valley offers. Once you are done with the tour of Nafran valley the trail proceeds towards the Harnag Pass. The trail gains steepness slowly. The trail gives a panoramic view of grasslands. And the river streams cutting across these meadows.
Your campsite will be just below the Harnag Pass. Soak yourself in the breathtaking Harnag valley. Enjoy the campsite and food that your cook will offer you.
The gradient of the day is moderate.
5

Day 5: Harnag Lake Exploration

  • Trek Distance: 6km
  • Trek Duration: 7 hours
  • Altitude: 3500m – 3500m via 3650m
This is lake day. It is on this day you will be seeing the beautiful Harnag Lake. Start early morning after a delicious breakfast. Gear yourself with proper trekking essentials. The trail starts with a flat walk and then goes through boulder and rocky terrain. You must be extra careful while you walk on these rocky sections. At some places, the rocks are loose which increases the chance of dislocation or fall. Just put your feet firmly and carefully. Look for loose rocks and slippery boulders. The water coming down from the mountain makes the boulders wet and slippery. Be careful.
The walk is all ascending till you reach the top of Harnag Pass. The pass however is equally rewarding. It gives you one of the best panoramic views of the entire trek. You will see on one side the wide Nafran valley eternally gorgeous. Towards the other side is Harnag valley and Harnag lake sitting. The lake is just in the middle of this valley. A completely alone and enticing lake is a treat to the tired eyes. You will realize here that the view compensates more than what troubles you faced while climbing through the boulder and rocky sections.
To reach the lake, one has to descend towards the lake. The descent is equally tiring and challenging. You will have to be again careful with your steps. the trail is strewn with boulders and rocks which are loose, wet, and slippery. Make sure you follow the shepherd trail wherever you see it visible. Shepherd at times places rocks firmly to make a safe path in loose rocky terrain. Immediately afterward, behold the beautiful Harnag Lake. Soak yourself in the beauty that surrounds you here.
Further afterward, you will have to cross a couple of streams to reach near the Kolahoi Glacier viewpoint. Kolahoi glacier is a massive glacier and is the largest glacier in Kashmir. Shrouded under the lofty peak of Kolahoi, this glacier is vast spanning, and is all white. It is this glacier that melts into the Lidder river and then gets into the Jhelum river. Koalhoi peak is the highest altitude peak of Kashmir.
Take a rest here and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you.
Trace your steps back towards your campsite at Harnag valley.
The gradient of the day is difficult.
6

Day 6: Harnag Valley - Arram Pathri

  • Trek Distance: 7km
  • Trek Duration: 6 hours
  • Altitude: 3500m – 3200m
Today you will again retrace the steps back to Arram Pathri. The beautiful valley that you saw while coming. Enjoy the walk and take regular breaks to try your hand at photography. Stops at spots that you missed while coming. The walk of the day is easy and mild on your legs. Stop for the lunch in the middle of a beautiful meadow.
The gradient of the day is moderate to difficult.
7

Day 7: Arram Pathri - Aru - Srinagar

  • Drive Distance: 110km
  • Trek Distance: 10km
  • Trek Duration: 6 hours
  • Altitude: 3200m – 2450m
This is the last day of Nafran valley trek. You will be trekking from Arram Pathri to Aru. The trek ends at Aru thereby making it a circuit trek. The trail from Arram Pathri takes a right turn. The trail will give you a varied and different landscape than what you saw on the second day of the trek. The gradient of the day is easy. It is a gentle walk down to Aru valley. The trail will take you through the beautiful small valleys of Kanzal Pathri and Gagad Pathri. The valleys are strewn with the patches of forests. The trail goes to the confluence of two shimmering water streams of Nafran valley and Gash Angan.
On your way, you will see settlements of shepherds. Enjoy your breaks at these settlements. And see how they live their lives here away from any connectivity and modernity.
Immediately afterward you will reach the endpoint of this trek – Aru. This is the beautiful hamlet to rest in before you drive back to Pahalgam or Srinagar.
The gradient of the day is easy.

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The main highlights of the Nafran valley trek are:-

  • Aru Valley
  • Harnag Lake
  • Nafran Valley Meadows,
  • Harnag Pass etc.

What is the best time to do Nafran Valley Trek?

Nafran Valley Trek is a pure summer trek.The trek is inaccessible and not doable during winter, spring or autumn. Owing to its high altitude, the entire trail of Nafran Valley Trek remains under the snow throughout the winter. In Spring, the snow doesn’t melt fully on its trail Towards the start of summers like in May and June, the passes of the trek are still covered in snow which makes the ponies cross them difficult and quite dangerous. The autumn makes this trek difficult because of the drop in temperature which the ponies can’t bear at high altitude, also by the time autumn fully arrives, the grass in the grasslands of Nafran Valley dies down which is the main source of food for the ponies. Hence Nafran Valley is not doable in Winter, Spring, and Autumn.

The best months to do this trek are July, August, and September.

How to reach the base of Nafran Valley Trek?

Nafran Valley Trek starts from Aru valley which is around 112 km from Srinagar. From Srinagar, you can get the direct cab to Aru
Valley which will be arranged by Cliffhangers India.
You can reach Srinagar by air. There is a direct flight from Delhi every day for Srinagar. The nearest railway station to Srinagar is the Jammu railway station, you will have to take a cab from Jammu to reach Srinagar. The duration of the drive is around 8 hours.

Will there be any mobile connectivity on the trek?

This trek takes you to the pristine and serene places of Kashmir. There will be no mobile connectivity during the entire trek of Nafran Valley. You need to keep your family and friends informed before you start this trek about the no connectivity.

How difficult is Nafran Valley Trek

Nafran Valley Trek is a moderate to difficult trek. To embark on this trek, you need to have a fair level of fitness. The trek has some steep ascents. It has boulder and rocky sections which one has to maneuver. The toughest ascent is on the day one goes over the famous Harnag Pass which is full of large boulders and gets slippery with the water that runs down over it.
For a beginner, this trek will require some pre-trek fitness preparations. Beginners should hit the gym, try cardio and stretching along with moderate to tough squat exercises. The trek will put a strain on our knees and ankles.
The main reason for the trek being moderate to difficult is that it gains altitude with a short distance that makes it steeper.

Inclusion 

  • All veg meals during the trek. Breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, dinner.
  • Camp accommodation on all the nights in high high-quality tents on a twin-sharing basis. Sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, dining tents, and cutlery included. 
  • Helpers to pitch the tents, wash the dishes, serve the food and assist while on the camp.
  • Mountaineering qualified and experienced trek leaders, guides, and experienced cooks. 
  • All the necessary mountain medicine includes first aid, oxygen cylinder, etc. 
  • Passes and Permits.

Meal plan: In every meal plan, we try to provide different varieties, trying not to repeat the dishes, particularly in dinner and lunch. Here is the list of dishes and items from which we serve the clients.

  • Breakfast: eggs, paratha, chana, poha, dalia, upma, cornflakes, bread toast, butter, jam, roti, coffee, tea, kehwa, etc.
  • Lunch and dinner: we make a variety of dishes and try to serve the varied dishes. On all trek days, there will be different dishes served. We try not to repeat our dishes unless the clients say otherwise.
  • We serve veg dishes like veg biryani, veg pulaw, muttar paneer, palak paneer, aloo gobi, rajma chawal, rajma kadhai, mix veg, chana masala, kadhi chawal, dal makhni, bhindi masala, dal fry, veg korma, Kashmiri nadru, Kashmiri haakh, aloo matar, bhaingan ka bharta, dam aloo, andaburji, etc. We have both roti and rice available for dinner and lunch. We serve them with different pickles and salad. 
  • For evening snacks we have tea, pakoda, soup, noodles, maggie, veg rolls, biscuits, etc. 
  • For dessert we serve gulab jamun, phirni, halwa, custard, sewaya, fruit chaat, fruit cake, almond cake, etc. 

Exclusions:

  • Lunch on the first day. 
  • Personal expenses.
  • Anything not specifically mentioned in the inclusion list.
  • Offloading 
  • Transportation

Extra Services:

If you wish to avail of our transportation service, then the extra cost will be 1500 per person. The transportation cost is to and fro. The pickup and drop place will be Srinagar. 

Offloading charges: In case you want us to carry your backpack, the cost per bag is Rs 2500/ per bag. The maximum weight allowed is 10kg. Please note that only a proper trekking backpack will be allowed to offload. No trolly or suitcase will be allowed to offload. We strictly follow to adequately place the load on our ponies. The maximum weight on each pony will be 40kg as recommended by the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department. 

Covid Guidelines

All our staff will be covid tested and only covid negative staff will accompany the groups. All our equipment will be sanitized before the start of the trek. Our trek leader will be carrying other than oxygen cylinder and medical kit, covid RAT kit. Extra sleeping bags and tents will be provided in case someone develops symptoms of covid, he/she will be quarantined and sent back to base camp. All the camping stations will have proper hygiene protocols.

Furthermore, we strictly follow the policy of leaving campsite with no trash and all the environmental guidelines will be followed as per the wildlife and tourism guidelines.