Marchoi Trek

The Most Beautiful Trek In India

Trek Difficulty

Easy-Moderate

Trek Duration

4 Days

Highest Altitude

10,498 ft

Suitable For

12-62 years

Marchoi Trek

Marchoi Trek also known as the Naranag – Dhumail – Marchoi trek is an easy snow trek here in Kashmir. This trek is the only winter trek that is both rewarding and quite scenic. Although popular throughout the year, this trek throws a different landscape when it snows here in Kashmir.

The trail becomes a winter wonderland with the canopy of jungle and vast meadows. The trek takes one to the summit of Marchoi Top which makes you witness the best panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountain ranges. One sees the breathtaking Harmukh mountain from here as well. 

The trek is a mix of snow bridges, jungle walks, frozen river stream of Wangath. This trek is also very much popular among anglers as you can experience trout fishing here.  The trek has a historical site of Indian archaeology. The ancient temple at Naranag takes you to the fantastic stonework of the past Kashmir.

Marchoi trek is a 4-day trek that starts at Naranag and ends at Naranag. Enjoy your winter this year with this beautiful snow trek in Kashmir. 

Trek Fee

Original price was: ₹10,000.00.Current price is: ₹6,700.00.

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    What are the Highlights of the Trek?

    Fixed Departure

    Date Status
    5,6,12,13,19,20,26,27 Nov 2024   Open
    3,4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 Dec 2024   Open
    1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 Jan 2024   open
    4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 Feb2024   open
    4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 March 2024   open
    1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16 April 2024   open

    Marchoi Trek – A Detailed Itinerary

    The first day of the Marchoi Trek you will stay at a homestay at Naranag. This is to acclimatize you with the altitude and the weather. You will take a walk in Naranag village in the evening before your dinner. The homestay is situated overlooking the snow filled pine forest and the Wangath river.

    Second day of the trek is the easiest with a walk in snow for around 3 kilometers uptill the bridge of Dhumail called the Bridge of Love. Here is the confluence of two rivers that make the Wangath river. The trail is mostly a walk through the meadow with a patch of jungle just before the Dhumail campsite.

    The third day of Marchoi trek is a summit day. On this day you will have to ascend to the top of the marchoi. The grade is moderate and goes via thick jungle and then finishes at the top of the plaetue. Return on the same day to the campsite down at Dhumail.

    This is the last day of the trek. Trek to Naranag and then drive to Srinagar.

    What are the Inclusions & Exclusions

    Inclusions

    • Accommodation. First night in a local homestay. Rest of the night in the camps on triple sharing in alpine four men tents.
    • Mountaineering qualified trek leaders, cooks, and helpers.
    • Passes and permission. 
    • Food. The meals start from the evening snack on the first day to the breakfast on the 4th day. Meals include breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, and dinner. All veg meals.
    • Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses.

    Exclusions

    • Insurance
    • Personal expenses. 
    • Transportation.
    • Porter services for the personal bag.
    • GST.
    • Anything not mentioned in the inclusion list.

    Here are the optional expenses that will be charged in case you wish to use these facilities.

    • Transportation from Srinagar to Srinagar: 1500 per person.
    • Porter service/offloading for a personal bag: 800 per bag for the entire trek. 

    Rental Items:

    • Winter Jacket: 400 for the entire trek.
    • Gloves: 200 for the entire trek.
    • Walking Stick: 200 for the entire trek. 
    • Gaiters: 200 for the entire trek.

    FAQ's

    Marchoi valley lies towards the Naranag side of Ganderbal District in Kashmir. One reaches Marchoi valley only by trek from Naranag. A two-hour drive from Srinagar takes one to Naranag.

    Marchoi trek is a year-round trek which one can take up anytime. However, in autumn and winter, this trek gets amazingly gorgeous.

    November is the prime autumn month in Kashmir. This trek is quite unique this month with the beautiful fall colors of brown, golden, crimson, and green. The entire trail is like a colorful fairyland.

    Another reason why you should take Marchoi Trek in November is the pleasant temperature during the day. The sun is out and shines quite charmingly making the walk easier. The clear sky makes the view quite blissful with no haze and fog. This makes November the best month for photography. Walk on the colorful trail beside the famous Wangath river.

    Marchoi Autumn trek is from November to early December before there is snowfall. This is also the famous season for the bird watching. It is the bird mating season.

    These are the prime months of the Marchoi trek. During these months the trail gets covered in snow, and you walk in the white wonderland trail. The camps are set up in the snow and the temperature drops to below zero.

    The peaks are enticing with their creamy snow layers and glaciers. In the middle of January and February, the water streams get partially frozen, the Dhumail gully gets frozen with icicles.

    Marchio trek is an easy trek. However, in the snow, the walk gets a bit difficult on the day of the summit. This makes the grade of this trek from easy to easy-moderate trek. The trail of this trek is definite and is quite safe. The day of the summit is when you will have to push a bit as it has an ascend of around 700m. This is a full-day trek, and you will be able to get down by the evening after starting early morning.

    Activities

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    • Experienced Trek Leaders: We provide the best and experienced trek guides to ensure safety during the trek. Their knowledge can improve your trekking adventure and guarantee enjoyment and safety all along the way. All of our trek leaders are Medical First Responders.
    • Safety: Cliffhangers India is known for its emphasis on safety. We provide high safety standards, necessary equipment, medical support and well-trained persons to ensure emergencies are catered during the trek.
    • Well-organised Itinerary: We create the trek itinerary very well, taking into account the difficulty levels, acclimatisation, trekking routes and the breathtaking beauty. We make sure that everyone has a well-rounded and entertaining experience.
    • Good Quality Hiking Equipment: We provide good quality hiking equipment like waterproof tents, hiking poles, -15 sleeping bags and other trekking gears. Trekkers will have a more pleasant and comfortable journey through this.
    • Affordable Prices: We are transparent about pricing, describing the expenses and the contents of the package, this helps trekkers to travel according to the budget they have.
    • Customer Reviews: An important consideration when selecting Cliffhangers India can be the positive evaluations and testimonies of prior hikers. Many people base their assessment of the calibre of services received on the experiences of others.
    • Educational Appeal: We frequently include educational elements in hikes, giving details about the local flora, wildlife, and geography. This gives the walk a more instructive and rewarding element.

    Since this trek is the summer trek, July to September is the best time to do this trek. This is the best summer trek in entire India. During winters, owing to the snow the trek closes and remains inaccessible. After October, the temperatures drop and there are chances of snowfall which make it impossible for porters and ponies to cross the passes.

    However, if you want to finish this trek with some snow still on the passes and mountain tops, then do it in June. Cliffhangers is the only company that starts this trek in early June and ends it in mid-October.  

    This is what most of the trekkers ask. It should be noted that this is a moderate to difficult trek. It is not a beginner’s trek. This is recommended to only seasoned trekkers or fit beginners. During the rain, it becomes slightly more challenging. If you are living a sedentary/nonactive life, you need to hit the gym and prepare yourself for this trek.

    The trek has long days of walking. It passes over three mountain passes; the trail is a mix of ascends and descends all along. It has boulder and rugged sections as well where you will be hopping from one boulder to another, and you will have to cross the river streams – sometimes walking on the log bridge or fording the stream through it. 

    The most difficult ascend is the climb to Gadsar Pass. The ascend is sharp and is the test of stamina and endurance. Immediately after reaching this pass, it has a steep and long descent and then a long walk in the meadow to the campsite. 

    The most difficult descent is on your last day. There is a sharp descent of around 1000m which will cause stress on your knees, ankles, and toes. This gives a challenge to most of the trekkers as they are about to finish the trek.

    Kashmir Great Lakes trek gets more difficult during rain. The trail gets blurry and at times vanishes at all. The ascend and descend then gets tricky and you will have to be extra careful while putting your next step. However, you will be all safe as Cliffhangers India’s trek leader will guide you through how to walk and will help you cross the passes. You need to strictly follow his instructions.

    There are boulder sections. You just have to be careful here as well, as the fall in the boulder section can give you an injury. Especially it gets difficult during rainy days.

    One of the best attractions of this trek is its campsite. Here is the brief about the campsites of KGL. 

    Nichnai Campsite: This campsite is your first campsite after your first day of walk. The campsite is in the middle of a beautiful mountain landscape with snow-capped mountains surrounding you all the time. The grass is greener and lush. However, the campsite is small and gets crowded with the flow of trekkers. 

    Vishansar Campsite:  You will be camping beside the river stream and just below some meters of Vishansar Lake. The campsite again is beautiful. One way of this campsite leads to Gurez Valley. In the river stream, you will see a lot of trout fish dancing. 

    Gadsar Campsite: This campsite again is just near the river streams, in a small valley surrounded by mountain ranges. The campsite has some shepherd houses and in its vicinity is an army check post. 

    Satsar Campsite: This campsite is just down the Zajbal Pass and is enclosed by mountains.

    Gangabal Campsite: This is the prettiest and the expansive campsite of the Great Lakes of Kashmir. You will be camping by Nundkol Lake. From your tent, you will have a beautiful view of Nundkol Lake and towering Mount Harmukh. The campsite is quite expansive with a long meadow surrounding you. 

    By Air: Srinagar has an airport that has an airway service from all the states of India. The most convenient and short way to reach Srinagar is from New Delhi. 

    By Train: Kashmir doesn’t have a railway facility that connects to the other parts of the country. The nearest railway station is in Jammu. Jammu station is very well connected to the other major railway stations of the country. From Jammu, take a shared cab or bus to Srinagar. 

    By Bus: Srinagar has an NH1 highway that connects it to the rest of the places in India. There are regular bus and cab services from Delhi or Jammu. You will reach within a day from Jammu to Srinagar. 

    From Srinagar take the Cliffhangers shared taxi service to Sonamarg Campsite. 

    • Clothing: Wear warm clothing to protect yourself from the cold at night, such as fleece, thermals, and heavy jackets.
    • First Aid: Must have a first aid pack that contains all the prescription drugs and bandages that you will need for the walk, as well as medications for fever, headache, diarrhoea, cold, flu, and non-alcoholic beverages.
    • Hiking Shoes: For the hike, high ankle hiking shoes are a good choice because they offer the right balance of comfort and durability on a range of terrain and activities.
    • Woollen capes: Gloves and a woollen cap for the night.
      Sunscreens: Cold cream and lip balms.
    • Backpacking: To carry all your equipment, it is necessary to carry a good quality of backpack with a minimum capacity of 50-60 litres.
    • Electronic Equipment: Carry trekking poles which include torch, mobile phones, sunglasses, power bank, water bottle, Bluetooth, camera and some kind of music system.
    • Toiletry: personal toiletry which includes towels, toothbrushes, toilet papers, tissues, nail slipper, sanitary pads for female travellers, shampoo and your personal essentials that you utilise every day.
    • Sleeping Bags: Pack a sleeping bag that is small, light and appropriate for the temperatures you expect to experience on your hike.

    Make sure this list fits your needs before starting your trek by adjusting it for the length of your trip and the requirements of your destination. While preparing for your adventure, keep comfort, safety, and the least amount of negative environmental impact in mind.

    We often get this question from our trekkers, wherein they are apprehensive and want to know how safe it is to go for the great lakes of Kashmir trek. Here are some of the points that we have tried to explain to trekkers.

    At first, do know that this Trek is not easy. Its gradient is moderate to difficult. The trek is long and around 70 km, it has three passes and there are days when you will have to ascend a steep ridge and walk around more than 15km. Every day you trek till afternoon to evening.

    The Terrain: The landscape no doubt will give you everything that you can ask for in mountains – it has jungle walks, meadows, boulder patches, ascends, descends, mountain passes, river crossings, and lakes.

    However, to enjoy all this beauty you need to be prepared for tough trek days. There are boulder sections where you will have to hop from one boulder to another. Also, few river crossings, at times over a bridge, the log bridges and at times when the water level is high you will have to ford the streams by making a line.

    There are steep ascends. The steepest you will encounter while going up to Gadsar Pass, this is the most tiresome day both length-wise and ascend-wise. Immediately after ascending Gadsar Pass, it has a sharp and long descent and then a long walk to the campsite.

    Another pass that you will be ascending is the ridge of Zajibal Pass. This will take around 3 hours and then it also is followed by a long descent.

    The sharpest and hardest descend in on your last day. There is a steep descent that is very much heavy on your knees. This day you will feel the stress on your knees, ankles, and even toes while descending to Naranag.

    Altitude Gain: This trek has an altitude gain of around 2000m. You will expose yourself to altitude sickness in case you make your itinerary short. The ideal duration for this trek is 7 to 8 days. This has been developed to keep many things in consideration including altitude sickness. 

    The Kashmir Great Lakes trek starts at around 2700m, you are first made to spend the night at this altitude, and it is only after three days of the trek you will be gaining the highest altitude of this trek i.e. Gadsar Pass. By this time your body is well acclimatized to the altitude.

    However, you need to follow the instructions that your trek leader will provide to finish your trek without any hiccups. Take plenty of water, both while trekking and at the campsite. You need to take frequent water breaks even if you are not thirsty and not let yourself dehydrate. Take small steps and have a moderate pace.

    In case you feel a headache, nausea, or any altitude sickness symptoms, don’t ignore the symptoms and talk to your trek leader.

    The Weather: Since this is a summer trek, weather is mostly sunny. During the day you need to keep the safety against sunburn and sunstroke.

    However, it does rain at times mostly during July. In rain, the trail gets slippery and is quite risky. The most difficult is to ascend and descend and at some ascends the trail vanishes completely when it rains a lot. You need to be prepared for this.

    It is times like this when the trek becomes difficult. However the leaders at Cliffhangers India are expert and learned trek leaders, they will help you in traversing during the rain quite safely. If the roping is required, they will make sure that it is done. From your side, you need to follow the instructions that the trek leader provides you must have sturdy trekking shoes.

    Exit Points: In case you are feeling sick and feel you won’t be able to finish the trek, the best expert suggestion would be to exit the trek before going to Gadsar. You need to take a call till you are at the Vishansar campsite. It is a quick and easy evacuation from Vishansar or before that. However, if you cross over to Gadsar Pass, you reach almost the middle of the trek which makes the evacuation hard, although not impossible.

    Once you reach the base camp Shitkadi, the nearest hospital is just around 4km from there at Sonamarg market.

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