Duration: 5 Days/ 4 Nights

Altitude: 4605M. 

Minimum: 6 People Group

Difficulty: Difficult-Extreme

Duration: 5 Days/ 4 Nights

Minimum: 6 People Group

Difficulty: Difficult-Extreme

Altitude: 4605M.

Barafsar Lake trek is the most scenic and high-altitude trek in Kashmir. Its best feature is that it takes you to the highest-altitude lake in Kashmir called Barafsar Lake. The trek has a breathtaking landscape and gives a panoramic view of the tallest mountains of Kashmir. This includes the famous Kolahoi mountain. The trek has an over spanning view of the Thajwas Wildlife Sancturay and Thajwas Mountain Range. 

What sets this apart from other treks is its pristine and aloof location. It starts away from hustle and bustle and from the last village of Kashmir called Sarbal. This village is remote and very much in touch with mother earth. The road that leads to this village is the same one that pilgrims take for Amarnath Yatra. The trek takes a right turn en route to Amarnath Yatra and the trail blends into the serene landscape of Kashmir.

The trek has three alpine lakes on its route, one being Barafsar Lake – the highest altitude (4605m) 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. Barfsar Trek has a unique blend of lakes, meadows, snow-clad mountain peaks, and a wildlife sanctuary.

The gradient of the trek is moderate to difficult. The trail starts right from the beginning with a sharp steep. This ascend is through the beautiful meadows of Durinar. The Sarbal village is a quaint village, where the people are hospitable and welcoming. You will see them waving to you as you leave for Durinar. On this day you will be covering around 750m altitude.

On your second day, you will see the first lake of this trek with the name Durinar Lake. This lake is like a gem sitting in the middle of the surrounding mountains. The day sees an ascend of 700m around. We will camp beside this beautiful lake.

The next day will be the exploration of the twin lakes of this trek. We will start early from the campsite and by evening return to the same campsite. The trek first takes you to the ever-gorgeous Saphire Lake also called Durinar 2. A further push of 600m around will take us to the crown of this trek – Barafsr Lake. The lake is situated in an absolutely gorgeous location. It is in the middle of the snow-capped mountain peak. From here you will see the legendary Kolahoi Peak and all other peaks of the Thajwas Glacier Range. Enjoy this rare moment of landscape and trekking. This staggering beauty you will hardly see in any treks here. On the same day descend back to Durinar Lake campsite.

The next day descends back to Sarbal village and then drives to Srinagar. 

Barafsar Lake Trek Short Itinerary

Day 1 Srinagar – Sarbal Village

  • Altitude: 2,800m
  • Time taken: 3.5 hours drive

Day 2 Sarbal – Durinar Meadow           

  • Altitude: 2800m to 3,550m
  • Time taken: 6 hours

Day 3 Durinar Meadow – Durinar Lake

  • Altitude: 3550m to 4,171 m
  • Time taken: 7 hours

Day 4 Durinar Lake – Barafsar Lake & Sapphire Lake – Durinar Lake

  • Altitude: 4171 m to 4171m via Barafsar Lake 4605 m
  • Time taken: 7 hours

Day 5 Departure: Durinar Lake – Sarbal – Srinagar

Best Time to Visit

The Barafsar Lake trek is best done during summer only. The ideal month is July and August. The trek is completely closed in winter owing to the heavy snowfall it receives.

How Difficult is Barafsar Lake Trek

This trek is quite difficult to trek and is not meant for beginners. It requires a lot of endurance and trekking stamina. Its terrain is not easy, and it takes through rough terrain with rocks and boulders.

How To Reach Barafsar Lake Trek

By Air: Srinagar has an airport that is well connected to all the airports of the country, particularly to Delhi.

By Road: From Srinagar, take a shared cab to Sonamarg and then from there you will have to take another cab to Sarbal village.

By Rail: Jammu is the nearest railway station that Kashmir has. Take a train to Jammu and then a shared cab or government-run bus service to Srinagar. From Srinagar take a shared cab to Sonamarg and then to Sarbal.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Srinagar – Sarbal Village

  • Altitude: 2,800m
  • Time taken: 3.5 hours drive

The first day of your trek journey is around 3 hours of drive to the base camp as Sarbal Village. The drive is rewarding. It starts from Srinagar and then enters Ganderbal District. The road is beside famous Sindh River. You will see snow-capped mountains on your way. This will give you the snippet of how beautiful and serene your trek will be.

As this trek is a high-altitude trek, this will be your acclimatization day. Take a walk around this pristine village and get yourself acquainted with the how local live here.

You will get any market in this village. For anything, the nearest market is at Sonamarg.

Day 2 : Sarbal – Durinar Meadow

  • Altitude: 2800m to 3,550m
  • Time taken: 6 hours

This is the first day of your trekking. You will be trekking for around 6 hours. This is all ascend through the breathtaking Durinar meadows. The altitude gain is around 750m.   This meadow is surrounded by towering cliffs and flowing glaciers on two sides. Shepherds could be seen surrounding the meadow with their sheep and goats.

Day 3 : Durinar Meadow – Durinar Lake

  • Altitude: 3550m to 4,171 m
  • Time taken: 7 hours

On this day we will be leaving Durinar campsite early morning. After having hearty breakfast, gear yourself properly and be ready for another ascend day. The ascend is again for about 600m and it takes around 7 hours. The next campsite is at Duinar Lake. This lake is a crystal blue lake harbored in a giant granite rock. We pitch our tents at a location that serves as summit camp for two wonderful alpine peaks, Mount Innominate and Crystal Peak and a trail to Kolahoi Pass.

Day 4 : Durinar Lake – Barafsar Lake & Sapphire Lake – Durinar Lake

  • Altitude: 4171 m to 4171m via Barafsar Lake 4605 m
  • Time taken: 7 hours

This is again a high-altitude day, and it takes around 7 hours. This is an exploration day. You will be going to see the two breathtaking lakes of this trek. We trek up to view Sapphire Lake (4270m alt) and Barfsar Lake (4605m), and then push further 355 meters throgh rocky terrain. To the extreme right, we will find Mount Valehead and Kazim ridge on the left side. We descend back to Durinar Lake for an overnight stay.

Day 5 : Departure: Durinar Lake – Sarbal – Srinagar

  • Altitude: 3550m to 4,171 m
  • Time taken: 7 hours

This is all descend day. This day puts a lot of strain on your knees and legs. Be prepared. You will go through the same trail and reach Sarbal village. From the village you will drive to Srinagar.