Gangabal Lake Trek

Tour Plan

Undoubtedly, one of the most breathtaking treks in Kashmir is the Gangabal Lake Trek. On the first day of the walk, a drive from Srinagar to Naranag village is taken. The trip parallels the well-known Sindh River and winds through a national route. Enjoy the beautiful mountain ranges of Sindh valley while driving. The road winds through quaint and peaceful towns until arriving in the settlement of Naranag.

We reach Naranag and begin to climb towards the Trunkhol meadow. The trail starts at the foot of Butshree Mountain. The whole trail around this mountain meanders through a dense pine and deodar forest, offering protection from the sun. Until it opens up onto the expansive meadows of the breathtaking Trunkhol valley.

The most significant alpine lake in Kashmir is Gangabal Lake. This is the Gangabal Lake Trek’s delightful high point. For this reason, the hike bears this magnificent lake’s name. The lake is located 3587 meters above sea level. Situated at the base of Harmukh Mountain sits the lake. It is significant spiritually. The trip to Gangabal Lake is short, but the trail is just as picturesque as the places it passes through: lovely gorges and hills, lush green meadows, and clear streams. Take in the unspoiled beauty of nature—it’s perfect.

Gangabal Lake Trek Info/FAQ

Gangabal Lake is located to the northeast of Srinagar city in the district Ganderbal. The total distance from Srinagar to the trailhead of the trek is 45 km only. The Gangabal is located in the lap of Harmukh Mountain which is a 13 km trek from the Village of Naranag. The trek remains open from June to mid of October and is among one of the best treks of the Valley.
The Gangabal is located at an elevation of 3575 meters above sea level. The Lake is 3 km in length and 1.5 km in width. The trek is accessible through a mountain route starting from a mountain village named Naranag. The elevation of the trailhead is 2140 meters. The other Lake is located 100 m below the Gangabal lake which is named Nundkhol Lake. Both the alpine lakes are located in the lap of Mt, Harmukh 5142m which is the second-highest peak of the Kashmir Valley.
The Gangabal lake is a fresh water lake that getting fed by nearby glaciers. The water remains cold during the summers also and there is very little growth of algae in the water. The water of the Lake is sweet and fresh in taste and can be used for drinking purposes. The high-altitude freshwater lake is also the home number of fish species including the trout.
Getting to Gangabal Lake trek or Gangbal lake needs proper planning with trekking equipment. The trailhead of the trek is 45 km away from Srinagar City and lies to the northeast of the Kashmir Valley. Starting the trek from a popular tourism destination and the archeological site named Naranag. The total distance of the Gangabal trek from Naranag and return is 27 km. The first part of the trek is an ascent through a zigzag route going through a ridge of pine forests. The tourists who want to trek must consult an adventure tour operator to do the trek solo or with the group. The route remains busy with local trekkers, tourists, local shepherds, and Bakerwals. When it comes to the best time to do the Gangbal lake trek, it's from the end of May till the end of September.
The elevation of Harmukh mountain is 5142 m above sea level and is the third-highest mountain peak of Kashmir Valley. Getting to Harmukh mountain needs mountaineering skills and the safest route to the summit is from Erin Bandipora. The route requires climbing skills and previous experience of mountain climbing. To get to the top of this mountain proper planning for the expedition is needed. The climber has to cross moraines, crevasses, and scree of the mountain. The mountain has 4 pinnacles all of which rise above 5000 meters.
The total distance from Naranag to Gangabal Lake is 13 km only. The trek starts on a steep ridge which is a major part of the trek. The time is taken to cover the distance of 13 km in 8 to 10 hours for experienced trekkers. The Gangabal lake trek needs at least 3 days and 2 nights to complete. The best season to do the trek is from June to Mid September and before & after this season the weather remains harsh. So the total distance of the Ganagabal Lake trek is 26 km from Naranag and return. The trek needs permission from the Department of Tourism Jammu and Kashmir with proper planning and equipment. If you planning to do this trek you can do with a local adventure tour operator or hire a private guide and do it privately. The zone is also the living habitat of Himalayan Brown and Black bear so solo trekking is risk full.
Getting to Nundkol is a matter of a full day trek from Naranag to Nundkol. Naranag is 45 km away from Srinagar city and takes 3 hours during normal traffic. During the one side of the trek, you have to cover a distance of 13 km and gain the altitude by 1 km. The trek is not an easy trek but needs to push from the starting point till the next 7 km. Next to the Nundkol Lake, there is one more Lake named Gangabal Lake which is just 500 meters away from the Nundkol Lake. Proper planning and trekking equipment will be needed to do this trek. The trek can be easily done in 3 days and 2 nights from Srinagar to Srinagar.
The difficulty level of the Gangabal Lake trek is moderate when comparing with other treks of the Indian Himalayas. The trek is considered moderate on the basis of the route, elevation gain, and terrain. The first stretch of the trek is rough and needs a push to gain altitude on every step. The route of the starting part is steep over a ridge which could be difficult for beginners and inexperienced trekkers. On the basis number of main factors, the trek is graded as moderate and cannot be considered an easy trek even for experienced trekkers.

Tour Plan

01 Srinagar - Naranag

We welcome you to an awesome adventure with us, The driver will be sent to any of the locations in Srinagar to pick you up. It takes almost 3 hours to cover the distance of 45 km from Srinagar to Naranag. The route goes parrel to river Sindh and with a mountain road of 14 km will take you to the Naranag Village. The remaining day will be spent by exploring the Naranag and taking a short hike to Dumail. Dumail is the location where two water streams meet. Enjoy the delicious meals with the bonfire at the campsite.

02 Narnag - Harmukh Valley

Starting the trek from the foothills of Mt. Harmukh and gaining altitude on every step. The route takes you to the pine forest and goes zigzag till the top of the ridge named Budhsheri. The main part of the trek is to reach the Budhsheri top which is 7 km away from starting point. Trekkers will experience the roughness in the route because of loose stones and rocks on the route. The route further on is very much moderate and views are mindblowing. A chain of small valleys is covering the trail from one side with the number of waterfalls on the route. After reaching the altitude of 3000 meters the route enters into the meadow named Trundkhol. Camping in this part of the Valley gives you a closer view of snow-capped mountains and most amazing most is Mt. Harmukh 5142 meters.

03 Campsite to Gangabal Lakes

Getting to Nundkhol and Gangabal Lake from Trundkhol will take up to 90 minutes. The route is very moderate through the rolling slopes of the valley. The adventure is going to be more exciting while being in the lap of Mt. Harmukh and summiting the first alpine of the trek. In the mountaineering terminology, lakes are known as Tarn. The Nundkhol Lake is 1 km in length and half km in width and located to the northern side of Mt. Harmukh. After an incline hike of 30 minutes, you reach near the outflow of Gangabal Lake. The Gangabal Lake is located at an elevation of 3575 meters above sea level and is the home of trout fishes like Rainbow and brown trout. After exploring  Lakes, we will descent back to the Campsite which will be at Trundkho Meadow.

04 Campsite -Narnag -Srinagar
Get your belongings packed right after breakfast and get ready for the descent trek of 10 Km.  The views are amazing from the Trudkhol Campsite and also the route provides a panoramic view of nearby Valleys and snow-capped mountains. Getting down to the Naranag from the campsite takes up to 6 hours if you are walking easily. A river originating from Ganagabal Lake flows parallel to the route enters the nearby Village before joining the river Sindh. The sounds coming from pine trees and from the flowing water stream make the walk melodious. Enjoy the packed lunch in between the pine trees and feel the wilderness of this mountain region. After reaching the Naranrag our driver will be ready to pick you up and drop you at the Srinagar. The trek will end with awesome adventure memories which remain for a lifetime.


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