This beautiful trek through the valleys and meadows of Kashmir is most rewarding

Photo of This beautiful trek through the valleys and meadows of Kashmir is most rewarding by Amrita

Kashmir needs no introduction. Everyone is aware of the beauty and magnificence and trekking in Kashmir has its own charm. Kolahoi Glacier Trek is one such classic Kashmir trek that traces the course of the Lidder River from Pahalgam upto the Kolahoi glacier. The valley glacier is revered to by the locals as the “Goddess of Light” as it is the perennial source of water of the Lidder and Jhelum Rivers. Infact, the glacier is the only perennial source of water in the Kashmir valley. The Kolahoi glacier is a 5 km long hanging glacier located just below the Kolahoi mountains and up the Lidder valley.

The trek starts from a picturesque Kashmiri village named Aru. The trail winds beside the Lidder River and through the beautiful Himalayan valleys, lush meadows and the beautiful coniferous forests of the valley. This is one of the best short treks in Kashmir. The trekking trail is undulating but does not involve any special technical requirements. But basic fitness is needed for the trek as for doing any Himalayan treks.

Photo of This beautiful trek through the valleys and meadows of Kashmir is most rewarding 1/1 by Amrita

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Pahalgam – Aru

The distance from Srinagar to Pahalgam is about 100 km and Aru is about 15 km from Pahalgam. You will drive through the picturesque valleys of Kashmir to reach Pahalgam and from there to Aru. This is the base camp of the trek from where the trail starts.

Day 2: Aru – Lidderwat (7958 feet to 9131 feet, 11 km, 6 hours)

The climb to Lidderwat is gentle, but long. It would take around 6 hours to cover the distance. You should start early from Aru and take the trail past the agriculture department’s fence following the course of the Lidder River. You will soon reach a spot from where the entire Aru valley will be visible.

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Pahalgam by Amrita
Photo of Pahalgam by Amrita

The trail will take you through the giant fir and conifer trees, open grasslands and meadows and you also have to cross the sprightly streams. Finally you will reach the Lidderwat meadow and a few Gujjar huts will tell you that you have reached your destination. The views around the place are amazing and there is a stream that runs straight from the glacier into the Tarsar Lake.

Day 3: Lidderwat Dudhsar Lake (9131 feet to 12600 feet, 8 km, 6 hours)

Start trekking towards the Dudhsar Lake early in the morning. The lake is located around 8 km from Lidderwat valley. The Dudhsar Lake will be the campsite for the night. The train is through coniferous forests.

The first checkpoint is Susrin from where the Susrin Nala flows to merge with the Dudhsar Nala. After a short walk, you will reach a crossing point. you have to cross the Nala and head towards Satlunjan, only about a km from Susrin. This is an immensely beautiful place with river tributaries flowing along. Then after a flat trail, there is a gradual ascent towards the Kolahoi Basecamp. Here the terrain is full of boulders and you have to walk beside the Dushsar Nala.

Kolahoi Base Camp is at an altitude of 10450 feet. From the Kolahoi Basecamp, there is a trail that goes up to the valley. Take that trail and continue towards the meadows. From there, it is an easy hike to the Dudhsar Lake.

Day 4: Dudhsar Lake – Kolahoi Glacier Viewpoint – Satlunjan (12600 feet to 11170 feet to 10450 feet, 7 km, 6 hours)

From Dudhsar Lake, you have to retrace your steps towards the valley. After about 2 km, you will reach the crevasse, which is also called the Kolahoi Glacier Viewpoint. The viewpoint is stunning, but do not take the risk of walking on the glacier, as it can be quite dangerous. From the viewpoint, retrace the same trail to Satlunjan, the campsite for the night.

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Mount Kolahoi, Forest Block by Amrita

Day 5: Satlunjan – Aru (10450 feet to 7958 feet, 14 km, 7 hours)

This day is the longest day in the trek but the trail is not very challenging. You will again pass through the lush meadows, beautiful valleys and the numerous mountain streams. If you start early enough, then you will probably reach Aru by 3 PM. Then you can head towards Pahalgam as well.

Source: Wikimedia

Photo of Aru Valley, Pahalgam by Amrita
Photo of Aru Valley, Pahalgam by Amrita
Photo of Aru Valley, Pahalgam by Amrita
Photo of Aru Valley, Pahalgam by Amrita

Some Facts about the Kolahoi Glacier Trek

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Basecamp: Aru

Nearest Roadhead: Pahalgam

Best Time: March to October

How to reach Aru:

The nearest airport is at Srinagar. Private cars are available from Srinagar to Aru.

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