Difficulty

Moderate - Difficult | Level 1

Duration

7 Days

Highest Altitude

13,789 ft

Age

12 to 55 years

Duration

7 Days

Age

12 to 55 years

Difficulty

Moderate - Difficult | Level 1

Highest Altitude

13,789 ft

optional additions

Trek fee

+ % Gst

+

Nafran Valley Trek

The New Classic Trek In Kashmir

For a long time, we’ve been looking for another trek in Kashmir that matches up to our blockbuster treks, Kashmir Great Lakes and Tarsar Marsar.

For us finding anything that compares to the great two is like looking for an elephant with wings. “It’s near impossible for any trek to compare with the Kashmir Great Lakes or the Tarsar Marsar. It is hard to match up to the grand meadows, the turquoise blue lakes and picture-perfect landscapes of these two treks,” says Sandhya UC, who led the exploration and documentation of the Kashmir Great Lakes (2011) and Tarsar Marsar (2015) treks.

“We have looked for trails in Gurez, Doodhpathri, around Naranag, near Margan Pass, even towards the Thajiwas glacier. While each of these is beautiful, there’s always been some issue. Either the trek is too short, too monotonous, runs through disturbed areas, or has incomplete trails,” says Sandhya.

Now, for the first time in seven years, we have found a trek that matches up to the KGL and Tarsar Marsar in grandeur, variety and the kickback. 

We are talking about the Nafran Valley trek.

When the first exploration team returned, they were singing praises of the trek. They claimed it was as good, or even prettier than the Tarsar Marsar. We took it with a pinch of salt. Everything in Kashmir is beautiful. But was it matching up to Tarsar Marsar?

So we sent another exploration team to truly assess the trail. Does it have a variety — of forests, meadows, lakes, and alpine experiences? Does it have terrific camping options? Does it promise adventure? These are all questions they went with.

And did they come back with answers and how! They came back with photographic evidence, a day to day assessment of the trek and 4 great reasons why the trek is outstanding.

optional additions

Trek fee

+ % Gst

+

Nafran Valley Videos

Watch this video to get an idea of the Nafran Valley Trek

playicon'
playicon'

Quick Itinerary

A route map of the Nafran Valley trek

Day 1

Drive from Srinagar to Aru

Drive Distance: 100 km | Drive Duration: 3-4 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels

Transport will be organised from Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu, Barbara Shah Chowk, Srinagar at 8 am sharp. The cost is Rs 3,000 for a 5-6 seater and needs to be paid directly to the driver.

Note: The process of your registration, health screening, and document verification starts at 4.00 PM. Ensure you reach Aru on time for it. Do not travel elsewhere on this particular day before your trek.

Day 2

Drive from Aru to Mondlan. Trek from Mondlan to Bhaj Margi

Trek Distance: 6.35 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Gain: 7960 ft to 10374 ft

Easy to Moderate

Day 3

Trek from Bhaj Margi to Nafran Valley via Arram Pathri Ridge

Trek Distance: 8.25 km | Trek Duration: 6.5 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 10374 ft to 11358 ft via 11482 ft

Easy to Moderate

Day 4

Trek from Nafran Valley to Harnag Lake via Harnag Pass

Trek Distance: 4.40 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11358 ft to 12099 ft via 12509 ft

Moderate

Day 5

Trek from Harnag Lake to Harbhagwan Lake and back to Harnag Lake

Trek Distance: 9.20 km | Trek Duration: 9 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 12099 ft to 13,789 ft and back

Difficult

Day 6

Trek from Harnag Lake to Arram Pathri

Trek Distance: 7.15 km | Trek Duration: 5.5 hours | Altitude Loss: 12099 ft to 11,482 ft

Easy to Moderate

Day 7

Trek from Arram Pathri to Aru. Drive to Srinagar

Trek Distance: 8.20 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Loss: 11,854 ft to 7960 ft

Easy. You are expected to reach Srinagar by 8.00 PM. Cost will be Rs 3,000 per cab (5-6 Seater).

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges.

- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent.

- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

A route map of the Nafran Valley trek

PRO-TIPS

Book flexible flight tickets:

You are going on a Himalayan trek, where there are several unpredictable factors. It's best to book flexible flight tickets, which you can reschedule if required. These are available for a small added cost with most travel companies.

Break your journey at Delhi

Choose to book a flight that hops in at Delhi, instead of one that goes directly to Srinagar This will make your journey even more flexible.

Day 1

Drive from Srinagar to Aru

Drive Distance: 100 km | Drive Duration: 3-4 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels

Transport will be organised from Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu, Barbara Shah Chowk, Srinagar at 8 am sharp. The cost is Rs 3,000 for a 5-6 seater and needs to be paid directly to the driver.

Note: The process of your registration, health screening, and document verification starts at 4.00 PM. Ensure you reach Aru on time for it. Do not travel elsewhere on this particular day before your trek.

Day 2

Drive from Aru to Mondlan. Trek from Mondlan to Bhaj Margi

Trek Distance: 6.35 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Gain: 7960 ft to 10374 ft

Easy to Moderate

Day 3

Trek from Bhaj Margi to Nafran Valley via Arram Pathri Ridge

Trek Distance: 8.25 km | Trek Duration: 6.5 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 10374 ft to 11358 ft via 11482 ft

Easy to Moderate

Day 4

Trek from Nafran Valley to Harnag Lake via Harnag Pass

Trek Distance: 4.40 km | Trek Duration: 5 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 11358 ft to 12099 ft via 12509 ft

Moderate

Day 5

Trek from Harnag Lake to Harbhagwan Lake and back to Harnag Lake

Trek Distance: 9.20 km | Trek Duration: 9 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 12099 ft to 13,789 ft and back

Difficult

Day 6

Trek from Harnag Lake to Arram Pathri

Trek Distance: 7.15 km | Trek Duration: 5.5 hours | Altitude Loss: 12099 ft to 11,482 ft

Easy to Moderate

Day 7

Trek from Arram Pathri to Aru. Drive to Srinagar

Trek Distance: 8.20 km | Trek Duration: 6 hours | Altitude Loss: 11,854 ft to 7960 ft

Easy. You are expected to reach Srinagar by 8.00 PM. Cost will be Rs 3,000 per cab (5-6 Seater).

Please note: The distance between campsites may vary by 100 meters depending the weather conditions and the route you take. The altitude may also vary by 100 feet for similar reasons.

IMPORTANT POINTS

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.

- At the base camp, your stay will be arranged in lodges.

- On the trek, you will be staying 3 in a tent.

- We have a cloakroom facility at the base camp for excess luggage. Do not leave behind any valuables in the cloakroom.

Please note: Twin sharing tents may not be available in May, June, July and August. This is because raw materials for making tents are sourced from different countries. But their export has been affected due to international unrest. This has led to a global shortage of tents. Having said that, you'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.

PRO-TIPS

Book flexible flight tickets:

You are going on a Himalayan trek, where there are several unpredictable factors. It's best to book flexible flight tickets, which you can reschedule if required. These are available for a small added cost with most travel companies.

Break your journey at Delhi

Choose to book a flight that hops in at Delhi, instead of one that goes directly to Srinagar This will make your journey even more flexible.

Campsites at a Glance

At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Nafran Valley trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.

The Aram Pathri Campsite. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

The Nafran Valley campsite. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

The Bhaj Margi Campsite. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

Why Trekking With Indiahikes Is Different

playicon'

People have always told us that trekking with us is different. That it is not just about the trek.

Our trekkers go as far as to tell us that it is a life-changing experience. They feel a renewed sense of confidence, they feel more inclined towards sustainable living, and they even feel independent enough to trek on their own. As our founder, Arjun Majumdar, says, "It's almost like seeing two different people before and after the trek."

This is what makes trekking with Indiahikes different. The experience is designed in such a way that it has a deep impact on trekkers. Our Trek Leaders are trained in experience facilitation, to ensure that trekkers take the best out of being in the outdoors. This is why trekkers love trekking with Indiahikes.

playicon'

Dhaval Jajal

Dhaval Jajal is a Film Maker and Trek Leader at Indiahikes. A dentist by profession, He decided to switch his career after he trekked to Goechala trek with Indiahikes. Currently, he is working towards taking the Indiahikes YouTube channel forward, making films on a wide range of topics to educate the trekking community. Dhaval was also an explorer at Indiahikes and has brought to the trekking community two amazing treks – Nafraan Valley in Kashmir and Tamenglong trek in Manipur.

What I Like About the Nafran Valley Trek

Dhaval Jajal

Dhaval Jajal is a Film Maker and Trek Leader at Indiahikes. A dentist by profession, He decided to switch his career after he trekked to Goechala trek with Indiahikes. Currently, he is working towards taking the Indiahikes YouTube channel forward, making films on a wide range of topics to educate the trekking community. Dhaval was also an explorer at Indiahikes and has brought to the trekking community two amazing treks – Nafraan Valley in Kashmir and Tamenglong trek in Manipur.

1. The endless grasslands

“The Nafran Valley is extremely lush. Perennially fed by the waters of the Kolahoi glacier, the valley is a luxuriant green. In July, the grasslands are a soft green carpet, slowly blooming into a flower bed in August. In September, the meadows slowly start taking on a beautiful yellow tinge, still replete with flowers.

“The meadows are massive, even bigger in size than Lidderwat of Tarsar Marsar and Satsar of the Kashmir Great Lakes,” says Vivek Saini, Slope Manager at Indiahikes who led the second exploration.

“What is unique is that you enter this vast valley within two hours of trekking, and you stay in the grasslands almost until the end of the trek,” shares Vivek. “On most other treks, you trek for at least two days to enter such grasslands,” he adds.

The coniferous forests open up to the beautiful meadows of Shul Margi. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

2. The striking blue lakes

It’s a known fact that one of the biggest attractions of trekking in Kashmir is the alpine lakes. Nafran Valley has not one, but two such lakes — Harbhagwan Lake and Harnag Lake.

Both of them are a crystalline blue, with astounding reflections in the morning hours, slowly taking on the hue of the sky at midday, and reflecting millions of stars at night.

“The blue waters of the Harbhagwan Lake and Harnag Lakes are wonderful surprises for trekkers in an otherwise green valley,” shares Dhaval Jajal, who was the lead explorer of the trek. The biggest bonus is that you camp on the banks of one of these lakes — the Harnag lake.

The crown jewel of the trek, Harbhagwan Lake. Picture by Dr Dhaval Jajal. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

3. An extraordinary view of the Kolahoi Glacier

“While trekking from Harnag to Harbhagwan, trekkers are in for a surprise. Just as they’re walking, on the left side, they start to see huge chunks of the Kolahoi glacier. Within a few minutes, the entire east-facing glacier reveals itself,” shares Dhaval.

“The view of the glacier hanging precariously on the Kolahoi Peak is magnificent. You don’t get to go so close to glaciers on any treks, except perhaps the Gaumukh glacier. So the experience of observing a glacier at such close quarters is very special,” he adds.

The Kolahoi glacier is a major highlight on the trek, apart from the lakes, meadows and peaks. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

4. The campsite locations

“It’s a manicured meadow, which stretches to the horizon. A few sheep graze about in the distance, some flowers sprinkled here and there. You get to camp right in the middle of these meadows. It’s an experience that you’ll remember for life,” he says.

On the other hand, you also camp on the banks of the Harnag lake. “This is a huge lake — as big as Vishansar or Kishansar (of the KGL trek). Camping beside such a pristine lake is an absolute privilege,” he adds.

While these two might be top campsites, the other camps — one in the heart of Nafran Valley and another at Arram Pathri — are no less. Both of them are lovely grasslands. “Arram Pathri has a gentle river flowing through and we camp on the banks of the river, whereas the main campsite at Nafran Valley is set amidst grand alpine meadows. You will have your Sound of Music moment in these meadows,” smiles Dhaval.

The Nafran Valley has a few of the most picturesque campsites compared to all our treks. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

5. The seclusion

Another phenomenon that takes you by surprise is the Kolahoi glacier standing tall in front of you. Make this your rest point and appreciate the spectacle.

A huge chunk of ice slants slightly on the rocks to form this glacier. The cracking sounds of the ever-moving ice are common if you observe quietly and you may even witness the breaking of the ice off of the glacier.

Getting to see a glacier along the valley is a refreshing change in scenery.

You will most likely be the only group trekking in the Nafran Valley. It is yet to come out as a classic trek in Kashmir. Picture by Dhaval Jajal

The lush green coniferous forests before the meadows are a treat to walk through.

Picture by: Dhaval Jajal

Lush Green Forests

Know Your Trek

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a surficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Nafran Valley trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content.

Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

PRO TIPS

Why fitness matters on the Nafran Valley Trek

playicon'

On Moderate-Difficult treks like Nafran Valley, you’ll walk for about 8-12 km each day. Gradual to steep ascents and descents are common on all days. Expect to reach high altitudes of 15,000+ ft. There will also be technical sections (such as rockfall zones, near-vertical sections, glacier walks), which our technical teams will help you navigate.

Your goal is to comfortably run 5 km within 32 minutes.

How to Get Fit for Your Trek

Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll need to submit a Treadmill Test report within 7 days of registration.

playicon'

Leaving Mountains Better

Green Trails is our promise to leave the mountains better. We have removed over 1 lakh kilos of the waste left behind by others on trekking trails. Yet this is a small percentage of what we do. Green Trails dives into reducing the use of resources, reducing our carbon footprint and bringing about a change in the daily practices of our trekkers too.

By signing up to trek with Indiahikes, you also sign up to do your part to ensure that the mountains are left in better condition.

Available Dates

Slots Available

Filling Fast

Waitlisted Group