Posted 24 March 2023 in Adventure awaits

The best places to go trekking in Kashmir

Kashmir is known as the ‘Switzerland of India’ because of its scenic beauty that can make anyone fall in love with this place. Located in the northern-most region of India, Kashmir is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country which has earned it the name, “Paradise on Earth.” It looks more beautiful in winters with the mesmerising views of snow-covered mountains, stunning peaks, exciting adventure sports, and astounding frozen lakes. 

If you ever wish to plan a vacation in winters, Kashmir should be on the top of your list. It has something to offer every kind of traveller be it honeymooners, solo traveller, or tourists vacationing with their family. Other than offering exciting adventure sports activities, Kashmir is also one of the best places for winter treks. It is now becoming a hub for winter sports and treks in India. 

Read more - Reasons to visit and explore Kashmir - Paradise on earth

Some of the top choices for trekking here are:

1. Kashmir Great Lakes Trek

Kashmir Great Lakes Trek is one of the most beautiful and thrilling winter treks in Kashmir. The lakes add charm to the beauty of the surrounding hills. Trek around the unexplored and untouched lakes in Kashmir and get to know about the local culture and traditions. These high-altitude crystal-clear lakes look like they are straight out of a movie. 

Popularly known as Sonamarg-Vishansar-Naranag Trek, it is a high-altitude trek in the valley. At an altitude of 13,750 ft, trekkers get a chance to witness the surreal beauty of the area. The trek can be rated as moderate to difficult on the difficulty level. Trekkers take around a week to complete the trek. 

The Great Lakes Trek starts from Sonamarg of Jammu and Kashmir. There is a 9 km walk from Sonamarg towards Nichai. The trek includes steep descents and ascents and is not for beginners. Situated at a distance of 75 km from Srinagar, the Great Lake Trek will offer a 360° view of the snow-covered meadows and turquoise alpine lakes. 

2. Tarsar Marsar Trek

Tarsar Marsar Trek offers mesmerising views of the meadows to the trekkers. Tarsar Marsar is a twin lake surrounded by snow covered hills in the Kashmir Valley. It is an easy trek and can be done by beginners. The twin lakes will bring calmness and tranquillity around you. The trek is perfect if you want to unwind and relax in the lap of the Himalayas. 

The trek completes at an altitude of 13,500 ft. While it is an easy trek, Tarsar Marsar Trek takes around six days to reach the summit. The starting point of this trek is Aru. Trekkers will have to do a 9 km trek from Aru to Lidderwat Valley. After a 5 km trek, you will reach Tarsar Lake. From there, trekkers need to climb 6 km more for Marsar Lake. The end point of the trek is Srinagar. 

3. Naranag Mahlish Trek

The Narang Mahlish Trek will give you inner peace and calmness with white layers of snow on the trail, unmatched beauty of the meadows, and snow-capped mountains. 

The trekkers would trek to twin alpine lakes of Gangabal and Nundkol. The Narang Mahlish Trek is a moderate level trek and requires a certain amount of expertise while trekking on the snow-covered trails. Situated at an altitude of 12,467 ft, the trek takes around six days to complete. It is one of the best for nature lovers.

The starting point of Naranag Mahlish trek is Naranag. After reaching Mahlish, trekkers will descend from a different route to Chaturgul. 

4. Naranag Gangabal Trek

Gangabal Lake is situated at the base of Mount Harmukh. Located at an altitude of 11,811 ft, the Lake offers a mesmerising view of the surrounding with majestic snow-capped mountains. The trek attracts nature lovers and landscape photographers. 

The starting point of the Naranag Gangabal Trek is Naranag in the Ganderbal district of Kashmir. Trekkers will pass by Butsheri and Bodpathri on their way to Trunkhol. After the trek, of 4 to 5 days, will end at Naranag. The difficulty level of the trek is moderate. 

The trail of the Naranag Gangabal Trek will take you through beautiful ridges, meadows, and gorges. The trek is more challenging in winter with layers of snow everywhere on the trail. However, this is what makes the landscape of the trek more beautiful. 

5. Kolahoi Glacier Trek

Kolahoi Glacier is the origin of major rivers like the Jhelum and Lidder. Locally known as the Goddess of Light, the Kolahoi Glacier will make you fall in love with the Kashmir Valley as the trek will lead you to some of the most amazing views of the mountains. 

The trail takes you to the untouched areas with beautiful streams, lush green forests, and lakes. The glacier is located at an altitude of 12,600 ft and trekkers will require 4 to 5 days to complete the trek. The Kolahoi Glacier Trek is not an easy one and is a moderate level on the difficulty metre. 

The starting point of the Kolahoi Glacier Trek is Aru village in the Anantnag district. After a trek of 10 km, you will reach the Lidderwat valley and from there the trek will move forward to Dudhsar Lake. The trekkers then require to climb down 1.5 km from the lake to the Kolahoi Glacier. The end point of the trek is the same as the starting point – Aru village.

6. Kashmir Alpine Lakes Trek

The Kashmir Alpine Lakes Trek takes you to high-altitude lakes situated in the lap of the Himalayas. The trek gives you an opportunity to explore the untouched lakes in Kashmir like Vishansar Lake, Yamsar Lake, Satsar Lake, Gangabal Lake, Krishnasar Lake, Gadsar Lake, and Nandkol.

The Kashmir Alpine Lakes Trek starts from Sonamarg and will take around 13-14 days to complete. The difficulty level of the trek is moderate and is not for beginners. The trek will take you to an altitude of 13,582 ft surrounded by pristine lakes and exquisite meadows. The trek promises to give you a memory of a lifetime. 

Read more - 7 famous treks in India worth embarking on

Travel tips

  • Before confirming hotel booking, make sure the hotel that you book has room heating. 
  • Enquire about the weather forecast and roads well in advance.
  • Wear enough woollen clothes while visiting Kashmir in winters.
  • Carry basic medicines with you.

How to reach?

  • By air: Sheikh Ul-Alam International Airport in Srinagar is the nearest airport to Kashmir. Several major airlines like IndiGo operate several flights on regular intervals. Sheikh Ul-Alam International Airport is located at a distance of 22 km from the Dal Lake in Srinagar. 
  • By rail: The nearest railway station that serves the valley of Kashmir is Jammu Tawi Railway Station located in Jammu. The Jammu Tawi Railway Station is located about 330 km from the Kashmir Valley. The railway station is connected to some of the main cities of the country.
  • By road: Tourists can get government and private buses in Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir State Road Transport Corporation provides buses that connect Kashmir to other regions in the area. The buses are comfortable and economical. Some of the major means of transportations in Kashmir are auto-rickshaws and buses.


Kashmir enjoys a moderate climate. The temperature during the winter months ranges from -2°C to 12°C. Winters can get extremely cold in Kashmir and the temperatures sometimes drop to freezing point. The temperatures during summer season range between a high of 30°C to a low of 9°C to 15°C.

Best time to visit

Kashmir will leave you awestruck in any season you visit. However, the best time to visit Kashmir is in the summer season from March to August. The months before the monsoon season are also a good time to explore the Valley. The temperatures are soothing and ideal for sightseeing. 

For travellers who would love to visit Kashmir during winter months for winter sports, the best time is from December to February. While the winter season starts from October and lasts till early March, the coldest months are December and January. Winters in Kashmir are a favourite for adventure enthusiasts. 


While winter treks are for adventure enthusiasts and tourists who love snowfall, Kashmir is also one of the major destinations to visit in the summer season. Thousands of tourists flock to Kashmir in the summer to enjoy the pleasant weather. Plan a visit to Kashmir according to your requirement, schedule and budget, and you won’t be disappointed. 

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