Duration: 9 Days/ 8 Nights
Altitude: 14,469 Ft.
Duration: 9 Days/ 8 Nights
Altitude: 14,469 Ft.
Difficulty: Difficult Trek
Warwan Valley Trek
Warwan Valley Trek is a high-altitude Trans-Himalayan trek. This is the most exotic and offbeat trek in India. Unlike other treks, this trek offers fascinating serenity and a bundle of nature’s delights. This trek traverses over grasslands, pastures, and vast meadows of wildflowers, deltas, and glaciers. It exposes you to the most offbeat, least frequented trail.
Crossing over from Kargil to Kashmir, this trek spans a vast landscape. It gives you varied and contrasting features of Kargil and Kashmir. From the barren yet colourful mountains of Panikhar to the sumptuous greenery of Warwan valley, this Warwan Valley Trek gives you a glimpse of two worlds of nature. One of the striking features of this trek is traversing on a long patch of glacier spreading on around 10kms.
- Book: Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Warwan, where the trek ends, is isolated and still unbelievably untouched by modernity. It has the same traditional and ancient way of living life.
The place remains cut off from the rest of the world for winters and in summers there is a scant flow of tourists. Only those who are passionate about the offbeat and quiet place. This place is the least explored in India and thankfully least exploited. It has remained a go-to place for trekkers for centuries now and was part of an ancient route that connected Kargil to Kashmir. This trail is one of the ancient Trans-Himalayan routes.
The gradient of the Warwan Valley trek is difficult. It is recommended for seasoned trekkers or those having a solid fitness level.
- Book: Kashmir Offbeat Tour
Highlights of Warwan Valley Trek
Sumdo’s River Delta Basin
Sumdo is a breathtaking valley that is the confluence of two rivers. You will be fascinated by the vast river basin formed in the valley. The river turns into small rivulets cutting the basin in many forms and ways. You will be walking through these lush meadows alongside these little rivulets in Sumdo.
Bracken Glacier Traverse
The glacier traverse in Warwan Valley Trek is the most difficult part. This is the longest and most tiring day. It takes around 12 hours of continuous trekking to reach the campsite. What makes it difficult is the glacier traverse. This bracken glacier comes within an hour of a walk after Lomvilad Pass. It is greyish and it is fascinating to look at it from a distance and then traverse it. This is what will remain in your memory in the years ahead.
Imagine the sight of vast grasslands with horses grazing charmingly, the mountains in the background, and complete serenity. This is what you will encounter in the grassland that comes between Humpet and Kaintal.
As you will start entering Kashmir, you will see a striking difference in the landscape. Here in Warwan, the landscape is lush and green. It is in this beautiful warwan valley there is a settlement. The houses are traditional, people are hospitable and kind and least exposed to modern life. The trail goes through the village with beautiful fencing. A fresh river stream cuts into the middle of the village. This village is the perfect shot for wallpaper or scenery back home.
Fixed Departure 2024
|14, 21 (full), 24
|03, 11 (full). 12, 24, 25 (full)
|01, 14, 24
Warwan Valley Trek Day Wise Itinerary
Day 1 : Srinagar to Panikhar
- Altitude: 8,795 to 10,700 ft
Distance: 185 km drive
Duration: 7-8 hour drive
The trek starts with a long drive from Srinagar Airport. The drive takes a full day and is around 185km.
The dive goes via a famous tourist place in Kashmir called Sonamarg. The drive to Sonamarg is extremely scenic with the Sindh River running parallel to the road and the breathtaking snow-capped mountains on both sides. The drive goes through villages and paddy fields and gives you the best highlight of Kashmir’s landscape. The Sindh River you will see towards your right, eternally dancing down. The river is the tributary of the Jhelum River.
From Sonamarg, you will road winds up towards the Zojila Pass. It is an uphill drive and gives you breathtaking panoramas. Zojila Pass is a high-altitude pass that connects Kashmir to the Ladakh region. The altitude of the pass is 3,528m. And it takes a couple of hours to reach the top of this pass. From the pass, the drive descends into the Ladakh region.
It is a rewarding drive with long ranges of mountains on both sides and the valleys and meadows spreading in front of you. In a couple of hours, you will reach the first village of the Kargil region of Ladakh. The drive will then go via Drass. Drass is the second coldest inhabited place in the world. In winter, the place has freezing temperatures and in summer Drass turns into heaven for offbeat travelers.
Stop here for lunch and experience and see this quaint village. The people here are untouched by modernity and live traditional and cultural life. Post your lunch, the drive will go via the main Kargil market to the Panikhar campsite.
Panikhar is a small village that falls in Suru valley. Tucked away in complete serenity, you will feel the unspoiled nature here with long paddy fields at the foot of surrounding mountains. The population is scant and quite welcoming to travelers.
You will have to make all of your essential purchases at Srinagar or Kargil itself. Panikhar has only a few shops. The altitude of Panikhar is around 10,800ft
Day 2: Panikhar Acclimatization and Exploration
This is a rest and acclimatization day before you start for this long Trans-Himalayan Trek. Explore the beautiful Panikhar landscape and village. Since this trek is challenging and goes to high altitude, it is essential to spend a day here for acclimatization. It has a way that goes to Zanskar and towards the Nun Kun Expedition. You will see villagers busy in their farming life and will relish their hospitability.
- Book: Bodpathri Lakes Trek
Day 3: Panikhar to Sumdo/Denora
- Altitude: 10,700 ft to 12,350 ft
Distance: 14 km
Duration: 5-6 hours
The first day of trekking takes you first to the shimmering Panikhar Nallah. The trail walks parallel to this nallah and then crosses the bridge and goes to the other side of the nallah.
In a short walk, the village recedes and vanishes. The trail is wide goes through a narrow valley and has a gradual ascend. The landscape in the surroundings is barren. To the right side of the trail, the river cascades down beautifully.
As you walk along the trail, it unfolds varied attractions. There is a bridge crossing and a fantastic lush grassy meadow that has river streams cutting through it. You will come across on your way to the shepherd settlement. Immediately afterward, you reach the Sumdo campsite. This is the place of confluence of two rivers.
The trail now narrows down to a wide walking track. Continue walking on the trail. Another half-hour later, over a wide curve, you get the first glimpse of the two intersecting valleys up ahead. Below is Sumdo, your camp of the day. The campsite is scenic with rivers, meadows, and mountain chains in your surroundings.
Day 4 : Sumdo to Kalapari
- Altitude: 12,350 ft to 12,875 ft
Distance: 3 km
Duration: 1.5 hours
On this day there are many river streams you will have to cross. These multiple streams that are close to each other take around half an hour to cross. The water is cold and makes your feet numb. Panikhar Nallah is in your vicinity. This valley has another shepherd settlement.
Start the day by taking off your shoes. Multiple streams need to be crossed to get to the other end of the basin. The direction to take is the valley to the left, sticking to the right of the Nala that rushes down the valley. Immediately after the river crossings, you will see the basin of Denora and Sumdo. This is a gorgeous view. The landscape and this basin are quite wide and unending. The meadows are strewn with colorful flowers around you.
Shortly, you will see the meadow of Kalapari. You will camp in this meadow beside the river stream.
This is the shortest trek day and the gradient of the day is easy. All other days are challenging.
Day 5 : Kalapari to Kaintal via Lomvilas Pass
- Altitude: 12,875 ft to 11,550 ft via 14,550 ft
Distance: 17 km
Duration: 11 hours
This is the longest and the toughest day of the trek. You will have to start early in the morning. After having a hearty breakfast, gear yourself for the tough trek day. The trail is definite. However, what makes the day difficult is the length of around 17km, and the glacier traverse. The glacier trekking here does not need any equipment other than trekking poles. This is quite a safe maneuver. The trail goes through moraines.
Shortly after you have left the campsite, you will go via moraines and get a view of Kalapari summit and glacier. From the top look back towards your campsite, it looks so much spanning and vast and gives a panoramic view of the valley down.
You will now see the famous and only lake on the trail. The lake is fed by the glacier and has chunks of snow floating in it. The trail is beside the lake and exposes you to the long glacier about 1km wide. This is the brackish glacier is called the Kaintal Glacier.
After the glacier walk, the trail leads to the valley. After this valley is another glacier, you will be walking on the moraines and then get below the Kalapari mountain. Shortly after his glacier, you will have to ascend towards the pass. The pass stands at an altitude of around 14,550m. You will see multiple lakes on your way most of them almost frozen.
Large snowfields lead out from the pass. They are gently sloping and easy to walk on. Get on to the snowfield in front, keeping a general direction towards the valley opening towards your right. It takes about half an hour to get there.
On your right, a large lake, almost frozen, is in your view. There is a steep boulder section that can be difficult to negotiate as you descend. This is until you get close to the opening of the valley. At the opening of the valley, you get your first view of what lies in store on the other side.
The descent from the pass has little patches of snow walking and it leads to the famous Bracken glacier here. This patch of a glacier is quite hard and icy. You need to be careful with your steps. The icy glacier recedes and then comes the rocky moraines. Immediately afterward, you will see the Kaintal valley below. This valley has a rocky trail and then turns into a vast grassland. The campsite is amid this grassland.
It takes over two hours to descend through the moraines to get to the edge of the glacier and a faint upper grassy area. It is another hour of descent through very rough moraines before you get to the basin of the river that emerges from the bottom of the glacier.
Although the trek is challenging, the campsite is rewarding. This is the patch of heaven here.
Day 6 : Kaintal to Humpet
- Altitude: 11,550 ft to 10,950 ft
Distance: 16.5 km
Duration: 6 hours
This day is long with continuous ascents and descents dominating the trail. From Kaintal the trail goes alongside the river and passes through shepherd huts. The trail has many river streams till Humpet.
The grass fields and meadows are long with horses grazing charmingly. The trail within a short distance takes you to the top of the hump which gives you a spectacular view. There are many such humps till the next campsite.
The trail on its way has many river basins. After almost every grassland you will see a couple of river crossings. The water is shallow but cold. You need to remove your shoes to ford these streams.
There is one famous grassland called Sar grassland. Post this grassland, the bracken glacier is out of view. A couple of hours of the trek after the Sar grassland, you get the view of the Humpet.
Humpet gives you a contrasting view of both Kashmir and Ladakh. To the west are far-stretching lush mountains of Kashmir and to the East are barren mountains of Ladakh.
The campsite of Humpet is on a grassland. From the campsite, you get a fantastic view of the shepherd village called Thangkam.
Day 7: Humpet to Sukhnai
- Altitude: 10,950 ft to 9,225 ft
Distance: 16 km
Duration: 7-8 hours
This day of the trek is a long downward trek towards Sukhnai Valley. On the way, one gets a view of the route that leads to Amarnath Yatra. Sukhnai is in Warwan Valley which holds 285 plant species of which 26 species are said to be threatened.
The trail starts with an ascent and then a long descent for about 4 hours. The descent takes you to the beautiful grasslands and gorgeous Sukhnai Village.
A trek of a couple of hours takes you to the junctions where a clean river merges with Kaintal Nala and becomes a wider river. Towards your one side is the mountain range and the trail that reaches to famous Sheeshnag Lake and the Amarnath Yatra.
From this junction is what starts the exotic Warwan valley. The valley is not wide and has many river crossings like in the previous days. The trail is decent from here. You will see a bridge here and near to it is the trail going to Sheshnag Lake.
On this day you will have to cross some overhangings, so you need to be careful with your steps. Be confident and careful while traversing these overhangings.
Immediately afterward, you will get a fantastic view of Sukhnai. The view is of long grasslands. It takes a further 2 hours of trek to reach the village of Sukhnai. The trail goes through farms with short fences. This gives it a countryside look of Europe. This part of the trail is superbly beautiful.
Day 8 : Sukhnai to Chaudraiman
- Altitude: 9,225 ft to 8,300 ft
Distance: 17.5 km
Duration: 6-7 hours
This is the last trekking day of this trans-Himalayan trek. This day of the trek beholds the beautiful grasslands and Marwah River and the pretty village of Rekenwas. The trail is strewn with ascends and descends. After a couple of hours of walking, you will see the beautiful Rekenwas village.
The striking feature of the day is the succession of pristine villages and the Marwah River. One such village is Basmina. It is a slightly bigger village than others. It has few shops and a hustle-bustle. The people live here with traditions and are untouched by modernity.
The people here are welcoming and curiously will ask where you traveled. The village has a river on one side. From this village, the endpoint of the trek i.e. Chaudraiman is around 5km. By evening you will reach the campsite.
Day 9 :Chaudraiman to Srinagar
- Distance: 153 km drive
Duration:8-9 hour drive.
This is the last day of the trekking trip. Drive from Chaudraiman to Srinagar. The drive is long and takes you first to the famous Margan Top and then descends to the Anantnag district. Passing via villages and orchards, the road merges with the NH1 highway and takes you to Srinagar.
- All veg meals during the trek. Breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, dinner.
- Camp accommodation on all nights in high-quality tents on a twin-sharing basis. Sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, dining tents, and cutlery are included.
- Helpers to pitch the tents, wash the dishes, serve the food, and assist while on the camp.
- Mountaineering qualified and experienced trek leaders, guides, and experienced cooks.
- All the necessary mountain medicine includes first aid, oxygen cylinder, etc.
- Passes and Permits.
Meal plan: In every meal plan, we try to provide different varieties, trying not to repeat the dishes, particularly at dinner and lunch. Here is the list of dishes and items from which we serve the clients.
- Breakfast: eggs, paratha, chana, poha, dalia, upma, cornflakes, bread toast, butter, jam, roti, coffee, tea, kehwa, etc.
- Lunch and dinner: we make a variety of dishes and try to serve the varied dishes. On all trek days, there will be different dishes served. We try not to repeat our dishes unless the clients say otherwise.
- We serve veg dishes like veg biryani, veg pulaw, muttar paneer, palak paneer, aloo gobi, rajma chawal, rajma kadhai, mix veg, chana masala, kadhi chawal, dal makhni, bhindi masala, dal fry, veg korma, Kashmiri nadru, Kashmiri haakh, aloo matar, bhaingan ka bharta, dam aloo, andaburji, etc. We have both roti and rice available for dinner and lunch. We serve them with different pickles and salad.
- For evening snacks we have tea, pakoda, soup, noodles, maggie, veg rolls, biscuits, etc.
- For dessert we serve gulab jamun, phirni, halwa, custard, sewaya, fruit chaat, fruit cake, almond cake, etc.
- 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 4500 per person. The transportation cost is to and fro. The pickup and drop place will be Srinagar.
Offloading charges: Warwan Trek has mandatory offloading. The cost per bag is Rs 4000/ 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 the rule of adequately place the load on our ponies.
Best Time for Warwan Valley Trek
Quite frequently we are asked the right time for this trek. Summer is the best time to do the Warwan Valley trek. From July to September is the ideal time to pack your backpack and join this trek. During the summer months, this trek is amazingly delightful with the full bloom of summer grasslands, dancing river streams, and towering peaks.
In July you will find the snow still in the upper reaches of the mountains, and the lakes will still have some snow. In July you will see both summer and some traces of snow. By August, all snow melts and you get to see full summer bloom. In September end, the weather starts to dip during nights, evenings, and mornings. But the dip in weather is quite bearable.
Warwan gets closed in winter owing to the heavy snowfall in the region. The entire region of Warwan gets cut out from the rest of the country for about 7 months.
Why Should You Do Warwan Valley Trek?
The Grand Trek: The best reason you should do the Warwan Valley trek is the grandness that this trek has. This is the Trans-Himalayan trek with long walks through grand grasslands and under the shadow of the towering peaks of Kisthwar. You will get the landscape of both Ladakh and Kashmir. From barren, rugged mountains to green landscapes, you travel two words in this trek.
Bracken Glacier: The walk on the bracken glacier. In summer treks, you don’t get this beautiful experience of walking on a glacier that is too safe without any technical maneuvers. Finishing of this glacier traverse gives you the feel of summiting the challenge of trekking.
Grasslands: The long, lush grasslands of Warwan Valley. The joy of walking for days in endless grasslands with river streams and surrounding mountains is straight from the travel fantasy. You will be immersing yourself in this experience.
Offbeat Trek: This is the most offbeat trek. You won’t see any crowd on this trek. Warwan Valley is the least populated. On the way you will hardly see any people going around. Just here or there some shepherds making their flock graze the lush grass.
The Difficulty of Warwan Valley Trek
Once you are interested in doing this trek, you must know the gradient of the trek. The Warwan Valley Trek is difficult. This is in no way recommended for beginners. The trek has almost all days where you will be walking for an entire day. The longest day is when you will be doing a glacier traverse and crossing over Lomvilad Gully. This day takes around 12 hours of continuous walking. It tests your endurance and resilience in trekking.
- Book: Tarsar Marsar Trek
You must be physically fit and must have done some high-altitude treks before. The trek has many challenges apart from high altitude and length like traversing the glacier. In terms of safety, we take the best care and precautions for the trekkers. However, you must have good stamina and endurance to finish this trek.
How To Reach
The trek starts from the Panikhar Valley of Zanskar. This is an offbeat and far-off place. You must know how to reach this place as most of the people including the cabs you will book won’t know about the location of this place. Another challenge in reaching Panikhar is that there is no network at all. It takes a full day of drive via Sonamarg and Kargil to reach Panikhar.
Similarly, reaching Srinagar from Warwan on the last day is quite long. Warwan is offbeat and far off. One has to go over Margan Top to reach Warwan. There is no network in the campsite of Warwan.
To make the travel smooth and safe, Cliffhangers has the transportation facility for this trek. The pickup and drop location is Srinagar. Our drivers are well versed with the route and camping locations. You can book any cab service via our Kashmir Taxi Service option.
Things To Carry
Since this trek is challenging and offbeat, here is a detailed list of what to carry on the Warwan Valley Trek. Make sure you don’t miss anything.
Backpack: You must carry at least one backpack of 60 liters.
Shoes: You need to have trekking shoes necessarily. The shoes must be sturdy and high-ankle.
Three T-shirts: Carry one full sleeve dry-fit T-shirt, and at least two other T-shirts.
Three insulation layers: Carry at least 3 insulation layers – 2 light fleece and one full-sleeve sweater.
One Outer layer: You need at least one padded jacket/down jacket
Two trek pants: You need to carry two pairs of pants and that will be sufficient for your entire trek.
Trekking poles. Two trekking poles are always better than a single trekking pole.
Raingear: A poncho is a good choice over jacket-type raingear, as the poncho covers your entire body till the knees down and you can keep your daypack bag inside it too.
Rain cover for your backpack: Buy a good rain cover for your backpack to keep it dry and safe. It also helps to keep your backpack from wear and tear.
Daypack: A small bag of around 20 to 30 ltrs to carry your essentials like water bottle, rainwear, headlamp, snacks, etc
Sunglasses: Carry one to protect your eyes from glare and UV radiation.
Suncap: You can either get the normal suncap or a suncap with flaps which is preferred by most trekkers and is advisable by the experts.
Synthetic hand gloves: You can wear them during the evenings and mornings.
Woolen cap or Balaclava: The cap covers your ears, neck, and some parts of your face.
Three pairs of Socks: Take two pairs of sports socks and one pair of woolen socks.
Headlamp: You might want to go to the loo during the night, or just sit and relax outside the camps, you need the headlamp
A toilet kit: It should include things like a toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturizer, lip balm, deodorant, etc. Women should carry their sanitary pads.
Water bottle: carrying a water bottle is a must.
Plastic covers: Carry a plastic bag to keep the wet or used clothes in it.
Personal medical kit: If you are on any medicine, don’t skip that during the trek unless your doctor advises. Always consult your doctor if you have any diseases that can worsen in the mountains or by altitude gain.
Mandatory Documents: Carry your original Aadhar card Passport or Driver’s license.
Lunch Box: Every day you will reach the campsite only in the afternoon, so there will be no hot lunch but a packed lunch. You must buy and carry one small lunch box.
What is the difficulty level of the Warwan Valley?
Warwan Valley trek is a challenging trek. Its gradient is difficult and needs quite a good fitness level to finish. It is ideal for experienced trekkers, and not recommended for beginners. The trek has many challenges it is a lengthy trek, it has many ascends and descends, a long glacier walk, and one high altitude pass.
Where is the starting point of the Warwan Valley trek?
The starting point of the Warwan Valley trek is Panikhar. This is situated in the Kargil province of Ladakh region and the trek ends in Warwan valley of Kishtwar district. Panikhar is an offbeat location that falls towards the Zanskar region of Kargil.
How high is the Warwan Valley Trek?
Warwan trek is a high-altitude trek. The highest altitude of the trek is 14550ft at Lomvilad Pass. It has many ascends and descends. However, the campsite is lower than this altitude. The highest altitude of this pass is crossed and one descends to the valley at a lower altitude.
In which district is Warwan Valley located?
The Warwan trek is located in the Kistwar district. It gets connected to Kashmir on one side and the other it gets connected to Kargil’s panikhar.
Is it worth doing Warwan Valley Trek?
It is completely worth doing the Warwan Valley trek. It has the best of both Kashmir and Ladakh landscapes. It has long grasslands, glacier traverse, alpine lakes, and high altitude pass. The walk goes through the beautiful valley and highland villages of Warwan.
How many days is the Warwan Valley Trek?
The total duration of the Warwan Valley trek is 9 days which includes two days of drive to and from Srinagar. One day is used as acclimatization. The total trekking days of the Warwan trek are 6 days of long walks every day.
What is the distance from Srinagar to Warwan Valley?
The distance between Srinagar and Warwan Valley is around 150km. The route goes via HN1 National Highway and then goes through Anantnag District and winds up via Margan Top to Warwan Valley. The drive takes around 6 hours.
- Want to book less strenuous treks? Check out Tarsar Marsar Trek.
What is Kishtwar famous for?
Kishtwar is most famous for Sapphire and the pure quality of Saffron. It is also famous for old traditional trek routes and was part of an ancient route connecting Kashmir to Kargil and Leh.
Where is Warwan Valley?
Warwan Valley is situated in the Kishtwar district of Jammu and Kashmir. This picturesque valley is located 150 kilometers from Srinagar and approximately 68 kilometers from the main town of Kishtwar. Warwan Valley is a Himalayan valley known for its vast grasslands and quaint, small villages. Due to heavy snowfall, the valleys are cut off from the rest of the world during the winter months. On one side, this valley connects to the Panikhar region of Ladakh. The altitude of Warwan Valley is around 2100 m.
The fascinating Warwan valley is situated in Kishtwar. Kishtwar is famously known as the land of Sapphire and Saffron. It is a unique place in Jammu and Kashmir that has both Sapphire and Saffron the two costly bounties of nature. The altitude of Kishtwar varies between 3000 to 15000ft. It is situated on the banks of the River Chenab.
Kishtwar is the bridge between Kashmir and Kargil. It was frequented during the old time by shepherds and travelers to cross over to Kargil from Srinagar or from Srinagar to Kargil. Warwan Trek is the fines trek of Kishtwar District.
At Bhandarkoot, many tributaries like Fambar Nallah, Chingam Nallah meet the eternal flowing Chenab River. Warwan valley is located around the river Marusudhar.
This entire area is known for lofty peaks and trekking destinations and has been very much famous right from the British era. It has mountain peaks like Brahma Peak, Shivling Peak, Aushuko Peak, etc and some are situated in its remote area called Paddar. The altitude of these peaks ranges from 20,000 ft to 21,000 ft. Some of the best treks that are in Paddar are Omasla terk, Potla trek, Sarsangle trek etc. The trekking area is best mentioned in the travelogues by British writers like Otto Rothfield in his book With Pen and Rifle in Kashmir.
However, the most famous trek in Kistwar has remained Panikhar Warwan Trek. Trekkers across the globe do this trek to see the most pristine and fantastic landscape of this place.
- Book your Kashmir Tours Here: Kashmir Tour Packages