Sonamarg – The Paradise For Trekkers & Mountaineers
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Sonamarg – The Paradise of Trekkers & Mountaineers

Known as the ‘Meadow of Gold’, Sonamarg is an ideal place for adventure: trekking, mountaineering, camping and rafting. The Sind River that flows in Sonamarg abounds with trout and mahseer. The place is filled with dense forests that inhabit alpine flowers, silver birches, firs, pines and streams. It hosts Thajwas wildlife sanctuary which is habitant to the brown bear, common leopard, Himalayan marmot, Himalayan ibex, Himalayan fox and many other bird species. Sonamarg also hosts over a dozen challenging mountaineering peaks with extreme backcountry skiing. Sonamarg is one of the best trekking destination if one looks for trekking in India.

 

Here is a list of famous trekking trails that are in Sonamarg

 

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek 

This famous trek starts from Sonamarg and is the most pristine and beautiful treks in India. This trek offers a bouquet of five large alpine lakes surrounded by wavy meadows and snow-peaked mountains. Meandering through the North-West Himalayas, this trek is a kaleidoscope of nature. Great Lakes trek is nothing short of a lifetime experience: walking on the lush green meadows, seeing flocks of sheep dotting them, beholding the lofty mountains carrying glaciers that melt to form the undulated lakes; trekking parallel to the canals and rivulets that cut through mountains and waking up in the morning to see the clouds drifting around your camps. On the way, one gets a glimpse of Mount Harmukh, Gadsar peak and Mount Vishu and varied Himalayan animals like Common Leopard, Himalayan Marmot, Black Bear and many wildflowers and birds. The enchanting beauty of the trek is such that one ascends 11000ft without realising it. This trek, as is called, is the crown of trekking in Kashmir.

Best Time to Visit Kashmir Great Lakes Trek 

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is best done in the summer season. The lush meadows, lofty peaks and shimmering brooks make this trek a memorable trek for life.

How to reach the base camp

Once you land in Srinagar, the cab will take you to the Sonamarg Base Camp which serves as the starting point of the trek.

Safety and Expertise

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is an easy to moderate trek. However, this trek does not require any mountaineering expertise or any trekking credentials. This trek is safe for all groups.

Want to go for Kashmir Great Lakes Trek? Book here

 

Barfsar Trek

This beautiful trek starts from the last village of Kashmir that is at Sonamarg. The village is famous for porters that take devotees to the holy Amaranth cave. The trek has three alpine lakes on its route, and one being the highest altitude (4605) lake in Kashmir. On the way, one experiences two alpine meadows, Kolahoi Pass (highest in Sind valley), eight technical cliffs, six glacier beds and Thajwas wildlife sanctuary. Barafsar Trek has a unique blend of lakes, meadows, snow-clad mountain peaks and wildlife sanctuary.

Best time to do Barfsar Trek

The best time to do this trek is in from June to September. 

How to reach the base camp

After landing in Srinagar, the cab from Cliffhangers India will ferry you to the base camp situated near Sonamarg.

Safety and Expertise:

Barfsar Trek is a moderate trek. It requires some trekking experience and a fair fitness level. There is no technical climbing or advanced mountaineering involved. Someone with zeal to see the highest altitude lake of Kashmir and a good fitness level is best to do this trek. 

Want to go for Barfsar Trek? Book here.

 

Harmukh Valley Trek

Harmukh Valley trek starts and ends in Sonamarg District. It is an amazing alpine trail and is considered as one of the most beautiful treks in Kashmir. This trek has camping beside Gangbal Lake (the largest alpine lake of Kashmir) and Under the lofty Mount Harmukh which is towering at the height of 5142 meters (4th highest mountain of Valley).

Known as the Eiger of Kashmir, it was from Mount Harmukh that Thomas Montgomery, a great trigonometric surveyor, first discovered K1 and K2 Mountains in 1865. Gangbal Lake is considered the river Ganges in Shivism and is the largest alpine lake of Kashmir. Trekking in Kashmir is incomplet without mentioning Harmukh Valley Trek. 

Best Time to Visit Harmukh Valley Trek

This trek is done in both summers and winters. If you want to see the Mighty Harmukh draped in Snow & the Gangbal Lake, the largest alpine lake of Kashmir frozen and snowy then visit this beautiful trail in winters. But if you want to feel the sun and wind and clouds gathering around you then summer is the season for you.

How to reach the base camp

Once you land in Srinagar, the cab will take you to the Naranag which serves as the starting point of the trek.

Safety and Expertise

Harmukh Valley Trek is an easy trek recommended for beginners and experts alike. This trek does not require any mountaineering credentials or trekking expertise and is safe for all age groups.

Want to go for Harmukh Valley Trek? Book here.

 

Here is a list of Mountain Expeditions that are in Sonamarg

 

Mount Valehead Expedition

Mount Valehead lies in the Thajwas Mountian Range of Sonamarg area and is considered one of the doable summits in Kashmir Himalayas. The peak stands at an altitude of 4750 m. The peak was first scaled between 1933 and 1945 by John A Jackson (chief instructor of mountaineering centre at Sonamarg) via Thajwas route which is considered the toughest route to scale this peak. However, a team of Cliffhangers India scaled the peak via its southern route, the first of its kind.

Greater Thajwas Expedition

Great Thajwas is a small sub-range of Kashmir Himalayas stretching from the famous tourist resort Sonamarg to Kolahoi Pass. The range has 8 peaks like Mount Thajwas, Mount Valehead, Umbrella Peak etc., offering technical climbing. The very first ascends were made between 1933 and 1945 by L.Watts, J.Waller and John A. Jackson (Chief instructor of Mountaineering Centre at Sonamarg)

Mount Thajwas (4860m) climb can be seen publicly below from the valley of Sonamarg. It rises from the first glacier of Great Thajwas. The middle cliff of the three cliffs that make the Mount Thajwas is its summit.

Mount Harmukh Expedition

Mount Harmukh has five summits and its Eastern Summit (5142 m) is the 4th highest mountain peak in Kashmir valley. It lies in the Sonamarg district of Kashmir. The peak was first scaled in 1856 by the British Trigonometric Surveyor Thomas Montgomerie. It’s mostly climbed from the northwestern route of Arin, Bandipora district. The most challenging route is its north face; many climbing attempts have failed in this route. The five thousand feet vertical wall from its north face made of ice and rocks has given it a sobriquet The Eiger of Kashmir. It was from Mount Harmukh that in 1865 K1 (locally known as Masherbrum) and K2 was discovered.

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