Nafran Valley Trek

The Most Beautiful Trek In India

Trek Difficulty


Trek Duration

7 days

Highest Altitude

12,000 ft

Suitable For

12-62 years

Nafran Valley Trek

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. 

Nafran Valley Trek 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 the Kashmir Great Lakes Trek doesn’t offer as serene and other-worldly vast meadows and beautiful trails 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. 

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 the 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 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.

Book: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Book: Tarsar Marsar Trek


Trek Fee

Original price was: ₹14,750.00.Current price is: ₹13,500.00.

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    What are the Highlights of the Trek?

    Nafran Valley Trek Day Wise Itinerary

    • 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 12 km ahead of Pahalgam. Housing few numbers of houses, this village has remained heaven for Trekkers for centuries. It is also from here that the famous Tarsar Marsar and Kolahoi Glacier Trek start.

    • Drive Distance 6km
    • Trek Distance: 7km
    • Trek Duration: 6 hours
    • Altitude: 2350m – 3150m

    This is the first trek day of the 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 from 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 the 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 tented accommodation in the beautiful ambiance here.

    The gradient of the day is easy to moderate.

    • 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 this trek is famous. Leave your campsite after a hearty breakfast and fill your bottle with water. 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 the 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 a 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 the 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 Valley campsite. The valley is gorgeous and surrounded by mountains on three sides.

    The gradient of the day is easy to moderate.

    • 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 the food that your cook will offer you.

    The gradient of the day is moderate.

    • 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 are Harnag Valley and Harnag Lake. 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 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. Kolahoi Peak is the highest altitude peak in 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.

    • 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 lunch in the middle of a beautiful meadow.

    The gradient of the day is moderate to difficult.

    • Drive Distance: 110km
    • Trek Distance: 10km
    • Trek Duration: 6 hours
    • Altitude: 3200m – 2450m

    This is the last day of the 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.

    What are the Inclusions & Exclusions


    • All meals. Breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, dinner. We provide nutritious veg food and try not to repeat the dishes. 
    • Camp stay on all nights in high-quality tents on a double-sharing basis. Sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, and dining tents.
    • Mountaineering experienced trek leaders, guides, and experienced cooks. 
    • All the mountain medicine includes first aid, oxygen cylinder, etc. 
    • Passes and permits.


    • Lunch on the first day. 
    • Personal expenses.
    • Anything not specifically mentioned in the inclusion list.
    If you wish to avail of our transportation service, then the extra cost will be 1800 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 2800/ 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.
    • 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.


    The highest altitude of Nafran Valley is 3650m. This is however the highest point only of the pass. We will be camping just below this altitude which makes it quite safe for the trek. The daily altitude gain is moderately spread and the length of the trek is also moderate.  

    This Nafran Trek is located in the Aru Valley of Kashmir. Aru is just 12 km from Pahalgam which is the most popular tourist destination of Kashmir. Towards one side, the trek gets connected to Kolahoi Glacier, and towards the other, it gets connected to Amarnath Cave.   

    The Nafran Valley is a moderate to difficult trek. It is best recommended for trekkers or fit beginners. One has to prepare for this trek by hitting the gym or practicing like running. One can even start day hiking once a week before some months of joining this trek

    This trek has a moderate length. The total distance of the Nafran Trek is 43km. This is spread over 7 days in total which includes one day of acclimatization. Every day one has to walk until the afternoon.  

    The best time to do this trek is from July to September. However, if you wish to see snow on the trek, then June end is the best time for this trek. In the summer months of July, August, and September, the trail and landscape are all green. The rivers are full of water and the lakes are full. 

    The total duration of the trek is 7 days. This includes one day of acclimatization which is on the first day. There are 6 days of walking. This duration makes the trek quite moderate. If the days are reduced then the trek becomes difficult in gradient.   

    The starting point of this trek is Aru Valley. This valley is the base camp for some of the prominent treks and expeditions of Kashmir like the Kolahoi trek, tartar trek, etc. This valley is half an hour’s drive from Pahalgam and has a small local population that forms the guides and ponywalas for all these treks.   

    Yes, a fit beginner can do this trek. It needs some preparation before you join this trek. Hit the gym, and make your lower body strong and flexible. Any person with a fair level of fitness can finish this trek quite easily.   

    Nafran Valley is quite a safe trek. It has no threatening wildlife, no sharp climbs, or no technical trekking involved. The trail is definite and quite easy to trace and walk on. It has easy evacuation points and emergency exits.  

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