The Great Lakes as the name suggests treks through many high altitudes alpine lakes situated at the foothills of different snowy mountain peaks in Kasmir. The trails pass through streams, plenty of colourful meadows and cross three mountain passes. The trek from Sonamag to Naranag via Nichnai Pass is among the most beautiful trekking routes in Himalayas. The trek has innumerable beautiful alpine lakes throughout its trails. The vistas will leave you with memories that would last a lifetime. Since it’s a moderate level trek, it can be taken up by fit but amateur trekkers or even some first timers. Arduous days, steep and rocky passes and altitudes approaching 4200m all makes it an challenging trek in one of the most beautiful and serene parts of Kashmir.
Best Time : July, August and September
Duration : 09 Days
Max. Altitude : 4200 m
Commences At : Srinagar
Ends At : Srinagar
This trekking format is often referred to as an expedition format of trekking prevalent in the Indian Himalayas. The entire trek will be self-sufficient with a separate Kitchen Tent and Staff, Dining Tent, Toilet Tent and 3- Man, Dome shaped tents in which trekkers will be accommodated on a double occupancy. On the first night, trekkers will be staying in Sonmarg in a Guest House, and on completion of the trek, we will be arranging for a night in a House Boat on Dal Lake, in Srinagar.
You need to be in good physical shape to trek especially to trek over the mountain pass. It’s a challenging trek and does demand good physical fitness and some bit of prior trekking experience. Please refer to our physical fitness document for more details on this topic.
One needs to fly to Srinagar Airport for the Great lakes of Kashmir trek. There are regular flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata. On your arrival at the airport, you will be picked up and driven directly to Sonmarg where an Adventure-Pulse representative will greet you. The next day, we make our way to the start point of the trek by car which is a short 30 minute drive. After the trek, we will arrange for transportation to Srinagar for a night on a House boat and the next day we transfer you back to Srinagar airport for your flight out.
Any kind of climbing equipment or gears are not required for this trek. For list of other things and warm clothing to carry, please refer to our link - List of things to carry for the trek. You do need to make sure you have adequate warm clothes and very good Rain Gear as we do expect rainfall on this trail.
Regular phone and data services work in Srinagar. While on the trek, most days there is no network. One is disconnected on most days during the course of the trek.
We at Adventure Pulse consider acclimatization as one of the most important aspects of trekking / climbing a mountain and spend enough time to do that. We move up the mountain slowly giving enough time to our bodies to acclimatize. Each day, we monitor each trekkers SPO2, Blood Oxygen Saturation, with a portable Oximeter, to ensure they are acclimatizing well. Our senior guide will keep monitoring the team on a daily basis to ensure that there are no problems along the way.
Meals will be as close to home cooked food as possible and is usually Vegetarian. Breakfasts will consist of bread, honey, jams, tea and Nescafe along with eggs, paranthas, etc. For lunch there will be a variety of local food , or a full packed lunch. Dinner will usually be a soup followed by lentils, vegetable curry. Our endeavour will be to try ensuring a daily variety in the food that we prepare so we keep the group's appetite up along with their morale.
Regular shower facilities will be available in the hotel, but while we are higher up on the trek, shower facility is not available for the trekking period.
The Adventure-Pulse staff and guides carry a fully equipped medical kit with necessary medicines and an Oxygen meter. As a standard practice, we check oxygen levels of all our clients twice a day and take necessary precautions if any irregularity is found in the oxygen reading. In case the problem persists, the client is sent down with a qualified guide. In case of an Injury where the trekker is not in a position to walk down, a Pony is organized to the closest road head where a vehicle and a doctor visit can be organized.
Adventure-Pulse usually plans all it treks during the most favorable season on the mountain, but having said that, weather is always an unpredictable factor. We usually look at weather reports before leaving for the trek. In case the weather is unfavorable, we could delay it to the next day depending upon the Itinerary. A buffer day/s is always built in the itinerary as contingency if we get hit by unfavorable weather conditions. In the worse situation, we may have to turn back midway, but safety is always a priority which cannot be compromised on.
Extreme temperature variations, high altitude, snow glare & proximity to sun are certain factors which necessitate the need to for proper mountaineering and trekking equipment. In order to enjoy your experience in the mountains, we have recommended that you carry the following with you.
The trek to Great Lakes can be steep & strenuous at some places, even though it does not require that you have any previous mountaineering experience in Particular, It’s important that you be in good physical condition and be able to hike at a comfortable pace for 5-6 hours over hilly terrain with a light day pack. Good cardio-vascular conditioning and muscles that are used to hiking will make your trip much more enjoyable. Our goal is to trek at max. Altitude of 13,750 feet and walk through beautiful meadows and glaciers leading to pristine lakes of Kashmir. You will spend 6 - 7 days in a land where life is simple, trails are steep and the air is thin. We recommend the following schedule to the participants:
Please remember, consistency is the Key here. Do not do anything to exert yourself or something that will increase chances of Injury. Running / brisk walking 4-5 kms for 5 days in a week is far better than running a 20 km on one day of the week and injuring your Knee/Ligaments in the process. If you can be consistent with above mentioned schedule, The Great Lakes Trek, though physically challenging, will become a pleasant and enjoyable experience for you. Feel free to call us or mail us in case you want more details on how to prepare for this trek!