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Trekking In Kashmir

The veritable ‘Paradise on Earth’ in the poetic imagination, Kashmir is a fabled land of beauty. Verdant and flourishing with thousand splendors of nature, Kashmir, calls mountain lovers to go on a soul enriching journey. Iconic landmarks of Kashmir include the Dal Lake of unparalleled beauty in Srinagar, gorgeous tulip gardens and city parks bearing regal legacies. The meadows of Gulmarg sprinkled with summer flowers and a thrilling snow cover in the peak of winter, the very scenic Sonamard, alpine peak views from Kupwara, and many a blissful lakes nestling secretly in the bosom of the hills make up some of the other attractions of Kashmir. Beyond the valley, Kashmir gives way into the rugged cold desert topography of Ladakh, bringing a different glimpse of the mountains altogether.
Let’s go for trekking in Kashmir to check some of the finest treks in the Himalayas off our bucket list! There are a number of treks to suit your convenience regarding challenge level and duration.

Why Should You Go For Trekking In Kashmir?

Come for trekking in Jammu and Kashmir to see with your own eyes the unearthly beauty of the valley, absolutely unparalleled and inspiration of eternal lyricism. On the other side of the pristine greenery of Kashmir valley, there lie the glacial deserts of Ladakh, rugged and stark against the sky. Trek in these amazing lands to experience the two very exquisite and uniquely opposite characters of the Himalayan landscape. Here are the highlights:

  • Breathtaking placid lakes hidden away at great heights and surrounded by green carpets of velveteen grass, like Gangabal, Gadsar, Sadsar, Nundkol,  Vishanshar, Kishanshar, Tarsar-Marsar and many more.
  • Velvet steppes of summer green grass in the valleys punctuated by thickets of oaks, silver birches, and willows.
  • Finding naturist interests such as the gorgeous blue irises of Kashmir valley or the snow leopard of Ladakh.
  • Lake side camp nights with fun activities.
  • Glacier walks at some parts.
  • Magnificent photo ops of twin lakes from high vantage points.
  • Trekkable peaks like Stok Kangri in the Zanskar Range of Ladakh.
  • Trailing the absolutely gorgeous Indus and Zanskar rivers found in flourishing shades of blue from different points on the road.

Which are the Best Treks in Kashmir?

Here is to list the most amazing trekking in Jammu and Kashmir that you just cannot leave unexplored:
Kashmir Great Lakes Trek
Scenic as a picture book, the visual ecstasies of Kashmir Great lakes trek is unmatched. Treading through the wild meadows of Kashmir, this trek will take you to a string of turquoise oasis of still waters in the midst of the mountain quietude. The summers are delicate in these meadows by the lake side where wildflowers grow in abundance. You can clearly see the glaciers in the crannies of the mountains from where these snowmelt lakes originate and pours down further birthing the gentle rivers of Kashmir.
Tarsar Marsar Twin Lakes Trek
Another picturesque walk to exquisite lakes in paradisiacal Kashmir valley, the Tarsar Marsar journey will take you by the crystal Lidder River onto sprawling meadows fringed with pine and silver birch forests and thatched roofed shepherd’s villages. Later as the journey intensifies and the altitude peaks, you will encounter steeper overhangs and rocky hikes finally opening up to views of the lakes secreted away amidst floating clouds. Besides memorable nights spent by the lakes, the other high points of the trek includes the vision of Kolahoi glacier.
Chadar Frozen River Trek
The Zanskar River freezes over at the peak of winters. ‘Chadar’ meaning sheet refers to the solid sheet of ice along the river that gets good to trek on. You will find the absolute thrill of fording a river that oozes beneath the ice on this unique trek, experience survival in subzero
Temperature, and learn the nitty-gritty’s of technical ice walk using crampooned boots, goloshes and ice axes. The trek climaxes upon reaching a cascading waterfall caught while in motion-- a marvel of nature extreme!
Markha Valley Trek
One of the many amazing options for trekking in Jammu and beyond in the state of J&K, the Markha Valley tour around Leh is also culturally enriched besides its scenic quality. The little hamlet of Markha composed of 25-30 lie peacefully in the bosom of the Markha river valley. It’s an oasis of pristine greenness against the stark ochre and browns of the cold desert topography. Explore indigenous village life of the ladakhi people at homestay accommodation on the Markha Valley trek.
Stok Kangri Peak Expedition
A full-fledged peak expedition, Stok Kangri offers a challenging learning experience for passionate mountain thrillseekers. However, you do not need to be a technical climber to access this amazing peak climb of a whopping 20,182 feet! The journey of Stok Kangri kicks off from Leh city-- a historical site of Tibetan Buddhist civilization in the rugged Himalayan territory of Ladakh. Take this challenge to test your rock-climbing potential and the mettle to conquer seriously high altitudes with basic technical support.

When to Visit?

July to September is a great time to make lake treks in the Kashmir Valley. You will find the meadows in soft shades of green and plenty wildflowers.
July to August is the designated time to attempt the Stok Kangri summit as it means less snow.
For Chadar Trek, the best time is from January to February at the peak of winters when you can find the river frozen and secure to walk upon.

What Are The Essential Items To Pack For Trekking In Kashmir?

  • Large or medium size backpack, and a duffle side bag for extras
  • Water bottle
  • Sun hat
  • Warm cap
  • Base layers
  • Fleece jacket
  • Outer jacket
  • Rain jacket (essential for the monsoon months)
  • Sturdy trekking shoes and a pair of floaters
  • Flashlight
  • Trekking pants, several pairs
  • UV-protection glasses
  • Thermal socks
  • Sunscreen

How to Reach?

The nearest domestic airport in Kashmir is in Srinagar, and the most convenient international airport is in Delhi. You can access most treks in the Kashmir Valley from Srinagar or make an entry into the state of J & K by road from Delhi. For accessing treks in Ladakh, you would need to reach Leh airport.
The nearest railhead to most of the treks in J & K is in Jammu. From Jammu, you can travel by road to Leh or Srinagar depending whether you are trekking in Kashmir valley or in Ladakh.
Srinagar, Jammu, and Leh-- the bases to various treks of J & K are well connected by bus to the national capital Delhi.