The Kashmir Great Lakes or KGL trek or the Alpine Lake trek are two of the most beautiful places in India and the world. This area is known for its breathtaking scenery, clear water, snow-capped peaks, forests near Sonamarg and Naranag, meadows, and razor-sharp mountain peaks. It’s a must-see destination that everyone should visit at least once in their lives, in my opinion. If you are new to trekking, this would be an excellent Himalayan trek, to begin with. I’m sure this will entice you to return to the Himalayas and keep you interested in trekking for a long time.
I’ve gone on several hikes in the last few years. You can find more information on each of the treks on my outdoors page, and KGL Trek is one of the best. It’s well worth the money you’ll spend traveling all the way. The memories you bring with you will stay with you for the rest of your life. I wouldn’t mind returning to the Kashmir Great Lakes trek. The first trek should always be a good and memorable one so that you can continue trekking for years to come, and Kashmir Great Lakes would be an excellent Himalayan trek, to begin with.
Drive to Sonamarg, the unforgettable experience
You may take a public bus to Sonamarg from the TRC bus stop at Dal Lake, or you can take a shared cab directly next to the bus stop. You may also take a cab from the airport, which may be costly. The drive will take about 2-3 hours to reach Sonamarg. By the way, Dal lake is the starting point to another famous trek in the region – Tarsar Marsar lake, another beautiful trek. Read Day 1 – Journey from Srinagar to Sonamarg to know more.
Trek to Nichnai with breathtaking views of Sonamarg
This is day 2 of the Kashmir Great Lakes trek, and the true hiking begins from Sonamarg all the way to Nichnai. The trail is also known by the name Alpine Lakes trek or KGL trek. This day will take you through several high-altitude forests of Maple, Pine, and Silver Birch with the beautiful view of Sonamarg and the hanging glaciers. Read Day 2 – Trek from Sonamarg to Nichnai to know more.
Trek to Vishnusar lake, the most beautiful Alpine lake
Day 3 is a more gentle climb, consisting of a few hours of gentle ascent alongside the towering razor-sharp peaks and rockfall region. This is followed by a level walk until we reach the magnificent Vishnusar lake, which is at a slightly higher elevation than the campground. Vishnusar Lake feeds the stream you’ve been following all day. We pitched our tent right next to the lake and spent the evening exploring the area. Read Day 3 – Trek from Nichnai to Vishnusar Lake to know more.
Crossing the Gadsar Pass – The Breathtaking Alpine Twin Lake
This is going to be a long day, with many kilometers to travel and mountains to climb. The best part is that we can’t tell it’s difficult because of the beauty of nature. The ascent to Gadsar pass, the highest point of the Kashmir Great Lakes trek, is well worth it. From here, it’s all downhill until you reach a few small settlements. You will see snow-capped mountains and Gadsar Lake along the way. Read Day 4 – Trek from Vishnusar Lake to Gadsar to know more.
Trek to Satsar – a beautiful hiking trail from Gadsar
Day 5 started with another beautiful morning in the Himalayas at Gadsar. Hike to the other side of the mountain range. Because climbing all the way up is too difficult, we took a detour, and then stroll through the meadows was well worth it. This was followed by bad weather. Our hike was made difficult by the cold weather and heavy rain. We circumnavigated Satsar Lake, which looked more like a marsh, and eventually arrived at the Satsar campground. We had a wonderful evening near the creek after a long day. Read Day 5 – Trek from Gadsar to Satsar to know more.
Strikingly impressive view of Gangabal Lake and Mt Harmukh
We begin our hike to Gangabal Lake on this day by crossing a stream, which is followed by a boulder section of the trail. This is difficult because they are massive and there is no designated trail. Then it’s an uphill climb until we reach the pass, from which we can see Mt Harmukh, Gangabal Lake, and How to Nundkol Lake. From this vantage point, this appears to be a twin lake. The rest of the hike is all downhill, with a stream crossing and camping next to Gangabal Lake. Read Day 6 – Trek from Satsar to Gangbal to know more.
Splendid view of the dense Naranag forest
The final day of the Kashmir Great Lakes trek starts in the meadows, a few kilometers from the twin lake. We enter the Naranag forest area after passing through the government guest house. The hiking trail winds through the pine forest all the way down to the historic Naranag temple complex. This section of the trail has been well-known since ancient times because Mt Harmukh and the twin lake are sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites. This trail is also ideal for a weekend getaway. Read Day 7 – Trek from Gangbal to Naranag to know more.
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There are many trekking groups like Indiahikes, Trek the Himalayas, Youth Hostels (which is for Indian nationals and is cheaper) who can organize the trek or you can go on your own with locals. Hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Buy me a coffee to support my work or you can go to my store to buy some of my images. Also, do not forget to join my FriendZone by signing up for my newsletter. Consider subscribing to my YouTube channel.