Sonamarg Trekking is trekking in Kashmir. It is the best adventure here in Kashmir. Known as the ‘Meadow of Gold’, Sonamarg is an ideal place for adventure. It is the favourite place for trekking, mountaineering, camping, and rafting. The Sind River that flows in Sonamarg abounds with trout and mahseer. The place has dense forests that inhabit alpine flowers, silver birches, firs, pines, and streams. It hosts Thajwas wildlife sanctuary which is home 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 destinations if one looks for trekking in India. Trekking in Kashmir is mostly clustered around Sonamarg. Its towering mountain peaks, lush meadows and beautiful alpine lakes make it the best trekking destination in Kashmir.
Famous Treks in Sonamarg
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
This is without any doubt the best trek in Sonamarg trekking. This famous trek starts from Sonamarg and is the most pristine and beautiful trek in India. This trek has around 11 alpine lakes. The lakes are 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 a life time experience. While on this trek you will be walking on the lush green meadows. The meadows have flocks of sheep grazing. On most of the days you will be trekking parallel to the canals and rivulets. The stream cross through its meadows. The trek gives the fantastic view of Mount Harmukh, Gadsar peak, and Mount Vishu.
The enchanting beauty of the trek is such that one ascends 11000ft without realizing it. This trek is the crown of trekking in Kashmir.
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Barafsar Lake Trek
This beautiful trek starts from the last village of Kashmir which 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 and Kolahoi Pass (highest in Sind valley). Also eight technical cliffs, six glacier beds, and Thajwas wildlife sanctuary. Barafsar Trek has a unique blend of lakes, meadows, snow-clad mountain, and wildlife sanctuary.
Harmukh Valley trek
Harmukh Valley trek starts and ends in Sonamarg District. It is an amazing alpine trail and is considered one of the most beautiful treks in Kashmir. This trek has camping beside Gangabal Lake (the largest alpine lake of Kashmir) and under the lofty Mount Harmukh. The peak is towering at the height of 5142 meters.
It was from Mount Harmukh that Thomas Montgomery, a great trigonometric surveyor, first discovered K1 and K2 mountains in 1865. It is known as the Eiger of Kashmir. Trekking in Kashmir is incomplete without mentioning Harmukh Valley Trek.
Mount Valehead Expedition
Mount Valehead lies in the Thajwas Mountian Range of Sonamarg area and is considered one of the doable summits in the 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 center at Sonamarg) via the 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. It stretches 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 seenpublicly below from the valley of Sonamarg. It rises from the first glacier of Great Thajwas. The middle cliff of the three cliffs that make Mount Thajwas is its summit.
Mount Harmukh Expedition
Mount Harmukh has five summits. Its Eastern Summit (5142 m) is the 4th highest mountain peak in the 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 were discovered.