Difficulty

Difficult | Level 3

Duration

9 Days

Highest Altitude

14,495 ft

Age

18 to 50 years

Duration

9 Days

Age

18 to 50 years

Difficulty

Difficult | Level 3

Highest Altitude

14,495 ft

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Trek fee

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Warwan Valley Trek

The Most Adventurous Trek in Kashmir

The Warwan Valley trek is the most exquisite in our country. There is no trek you would have done before this one that can match the experience of this trek. And there will be no trek you do after this that comes close. This might sound like a strong statement to make. However, our founders, who explored this trek in 2015, still stand by it. 

After all, Warwan Valley is exceptionally stunning – even for Kashmir. Even if you have travelled to Kashmir before, seen Sonamarg, Gulmarg, Pahalgam, and other places the valley offers – you are still going to be bowled over by the settings of Warwan Valley.  It is very unique to the region.

This beauty is compounded by the valley’s remoteness and isolation.  This is a side of Kashmir that even most Kashmiris haven’t seen. 

What makes getting into Warwan Valley even more special is the crossover trail. It begins in  Trans-Himalayan settings, among barren, purplish mountains around Panikhar. The trail goes through an oasis, river deltas, wildflower meadows, and glaciers – all among these stark mountains. It makes for hauntingly beautiful settings. As the trail slowly moves into the luxuriant greenery of Kashmir, after days of being surrounded by desert mountains, the effect of it is striking.

During the crossover, you experience what we believe is Kashmir’s greatest adventure. It is a great adventure because — outside the astounding beauty there’s a lot of thrill on the trek.  The pass day almost feels endless — it has a tricky climb up to the pass. And then it is followed by a 2 km long walk on the magnificent Bracken glacier, navigating its crevasses, right up to its snout when it pours over in moraines.

The high adventure on this trail makes getting into the glorious greenery of Warwan Valley a gift, after long, hard days of trekking.

However, this means that this trek is not meant for everyone. Though it is the most stunning trek you will ever do, it is also a difficult trek. Not only are you walking close to 20 km every day, but there are also tough stretches such as glacier walks, moraines, and overhangs above the river that require to be navigated. You need to be extremely fit with some prior high altitude trek experience to get on this trail.

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Warwan Valley Videos

Watch these videos to prepare well for your trek.

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Quick Itinerary

A route map of the Warwan Valley trek

Day 1

Drive from Srinagar to Panikhar (10,700 ft)

Drive distance: 185 km | Duration: 7-8 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu, Barbara Shah Chowk, near Flourmill, Srinagar

Transport will be organised at 5.00 am from Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu, Barbara Shah Chowk, near Flourmill, Srinagar. The cost of the cab is Rs 2,500 per person and needs to be paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Panikhar to Denora 

Trek Distance: 12.7 km | Duration: 8 hours | Altitude gain: 10,700 ft to 12,375 ft

Moderate. Continuously but gradually ascending trail as you trek alongside the river. A small river crossing just before entering the Delta region.

Day 3

Trek from Denora to Kalapari

Trek Distance: 3 km | Duration: 2.5-3 hours | Altitude gain: 12,375 ft to 12,850 ft

Easy-Moderate. A few river crossings from Denora campsite and gradual ascent. The shortest day of the entire trek.

Day 4

Trek from Kalapari to Kaintal via Lomvilad Pass

Trek Distance: 17 km | Duration: 13-14 hours | Altitude gain,loss: 12,850 ft to 11,550 ft via 14,495 ft

Difficult. The most challenging and adventurous day of the trek. Initial ascent to reach the alpine lake followed by a glacier walk lead to a steep ascent to the pass. A gently sloping, snowy 30 minutes walk brings you to a sharp descent and a series of switchbacks followed by a 2 km walk on the Bracken glacier. Trek through rocky moraines for over 3 hours before finally reaching a regular path that leads you to the campsite in the Kaintal meadows.

Day 5

Trek from Kaintal to Humpet

Trek Distance: 16.5 km | Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude loss: 11,550 ft to 11,120 ft

Moderate-Difficult. Long walks on the vast expanse of meadows with few easy river crossings in between. The trail goes through slight overhangs and ascent as your approach the bend taking you to Humpet.

Day 6

Trek from Humpet to Sukhnai

Trek Distance: 14 km | Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude loss: 11,120 ft to 9,320 ft

Moderate-Difficult. The initial climb was followed by continuous descent for about 3.5 hours. There are times, for brief moments, the trail hangs directly over small landslides and tricky sections that lead to the river. This is followed by an undulating trail which culminates in another descent for a couple of hours.

Day 7

Trek from Sukhnai to Basmina/Chaudraiman

Trek Distance: 16.5 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude loss: 9,320 ft to 8,350 ft

Moderate. The trail gently descends and ascends throughout the day.

Day 8

Buffer Day

Buffer day will be used either before or after the pass crossing 

No charges will be levied by Indiahikes for this buffer day as it is in-built into the itinerary.

Day 9

Travel from Basmina/Chaudraiman to Srinagar

Drive distance: 155 km | Duration: 7-8 hours

We will reach Srinagar latest by 8-9 pm. The cost of staying at Srinagar will have to be borne by the trekkers. 

Please plan your travel back from Srinagar on the 10th day of the trek.

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

- Advisory Note: For all your travel plans include a buffer day to accommodate bad weather on the trek/political instability. This depends completely on the circumstances of the trek and the situation in Kashmir.

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a photocopy of their photo id along with the mandatory documents of the Medical Certificate and Disclaimer form. This is required for trek permissions before and during the trek.

- There are no facilities at Panikhar. Do not leave this or any other gears till the end.

- Stay at Panikhar will be in a lodge. Please note that rest of the days you will be staying in tents on all days of the trek. Trekkers need to make their arrangements for a stay in Srinagar at the end of the trek.

- We have a Cloak Room facility at the pickup location of Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels for excess luggage. No valuables like laptops, mobiles, cash or other things to be kept 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 Warwan 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.

Not a Regular Indiahikes trek:

Note that the Warwan Valley trek is not going to be like a regular Indiahikes trek. This will be more of an expedition-style of trekking and the entire team of trekkers will be part of executing the trek.

Day 1

Drive from Srinagar to Panikhar (10,700 ft)

Drive distance: 185 km | Duration: 7-8 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu, Barbara Shah Chowk, near Flourmill, Srinagar

Transport will be organised at 5.00 am from Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu, Barbara Shah Chowk, near Flourmill, Srinagar. The cost of the cab is Rs 2,500 per person and needs to be paid directly to the driver.

Day 2

Trek from Panikhar to Denora 

Trek Distance: 12.7 km | Duration: 8 hours | Altitude gain: 10,700 ft to 12,375 ft

Moderate. Continuously but gradually ascending trail as you trek alongside the river. A small river crossing just before entering the Delta region.

Day 3

Trek from Denora to Kalapari

Trek Distance: 3 km | Duration: 2.5-3 hours | Altitude gain: 12,375 ft to 12,850 ft

Easy-Moderate. A few river crossings from Denora campsite and gradual ascent. The shortest day of the entire trek.

Day 4

Trek from Kalapari to Kaintal via Lomvilad Pass

Trek Distance: 17 km | Duration: 13-14 hours | Altitude gain,loss: 12,850 ft to 11,550 ft via 14,495 ft

Difficult. The most challenging and adventurous day of the trek. Initial ascent to reach the alpine lake followed by a glacier walk lead to a steep ascent to the pass. A gently sloping, snowy 30 minutes walk brings you to a sharp descent and a series of switchbacks followed by a 2 km walk on the Bracken glacier. Trek through rocky moraines for over 3 hours before finally reaching a regular path that leads you to the campsite in the Kaintal meadows.

Day 5

Trek from Kaintal to Humpet

Trek Distance: 16.5 km | Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude loss: 11,550 ft to 11,120 ft

Moderate-Difficult. Long walks on the vast expanse of meadows with few easy river crossings in between. The trail goes through slight overhangs and ascent as your approach the bend taking you to Humpet.

Day 6

Trek from Humpet to Sukhnai

Trek Distance: 14 km | Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude loss: 11,120 ft to 9,320 ft

Moderate-Difficult. The initial climb was followed by continuous descent for about 3.5 hours. There are times, for brief moments, the trail hangs directly over small landslides and tricky sections that lead to the river. This is followed by an undulating trail which culminates in another descent for a couple of hours.

Day 7

Trek from Sukhnai to Basmina/Chaudraiman

Trek Distance: 16.5 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude loss: 9,320 ft to 8,350 ft

Moderate. The trail gently descends and ascends throughout the day.

Day 8

Buffer Day

Buffer day will be used either before or after the pass crossing 

No charges will be levied by Indiahikes for this buffer day as it is in-built into the itinerary.

Day 9

Travel from Basmina/Chaudraiman to Srinagar

Drive distance: 155 km | Duration: 7-8 hours

We will reach Srinagar latest by 8-9 pm. The cost of staying at Srinagar will have to be borne by the trekkers. 

Please plan your travel back from Srinagar on the 10th day of the trek.

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

- Advisory Note: For all your travel plans include a buffer day to accommodate bad weather on the trek/political instability. This depends completely on the circumstances of the trek and the situation in Kashmir.

- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a photocopy of their photo id along with the mandatory documents of the Medical Certificate and Disclaimer form. This is required for trek permissions before and during the trek.

- There are no facilities at Panikhar. Do not leave this or any other gears till the end.

- Stay at Panikhar will be in a lodge. Please note that rest of the days you will be staying in tents on all days of the trek. Trekkers need to make their arrangements for a stay in Srinagar at the end of the trek.

- We have a Cloak Room facility at the pickup location of Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels for excess luggage. No valuables like laptops, mobiles, cash or other things to be kept 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.

Not a Regular Indiahikes trek:

Note that the Warwan Valley trek is not going to be like a regular Indiahikes trek. This will be more of an expedition-style of trekking and the entire team of trekkers will be part of executing the trek.

Campsites at a Glance

The first campsite of Denora makes you understand why Warwan Valley Trek is so special. Denora is on the river basin where there is a confluence of two rivers and you camp in the grassy knolls. Picture by Sandeep Janardan

Your second campsite before the pass crossing is Kalapari Campsite. Big mountains and hanging glaciers are visible nearby. Picture by Ashwin S

Sukhnai Campsite is one of the last few campsites on the trek. The lush green valley is such a contrast compared to the campsites before the Lomvilad Pass. Picture by Ashwin S

Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder

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Trekking transforms lives. It has completely changed my life. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible. 

I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences. 

I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.

In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.  

Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine. 

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Arjun Majumdar

Founder & CEO, Indiahikes

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, went on this exploratory trek almost a decade ago. He is a veteran of the trekking community in India. He’s an expert when it comes to the trek. Here’s Arjun talking about one of The Most Adventurous Trek in Kashmir.

What I Like and Don’t Like About Warwan Valley Trek

What I Like About Warwan Valley Trek

Arjun Majumdar

Founder & CEO, Indiahikes

Arjun Majumdar, the Founder of Indiahikes, went on this exploratory trek almost a decade ago. He is a veteran of the trekking community in India. He’s an expert when it comes to the trek. Here’s Arjun talking about one of The Most Adventurous Trek in Kashmir.

1. The river delta basin of Denora

All the while on your trek from Panikhar, the Nala is tumbling and frothing alongside you. And then, quite suddenly, it goes quiet. What was a gushing river is now a wide river basin over a flat plain. The river splits, forks, rejoins and does this multiple times over the basin. In between these splits and forks are grassy meadows, each lusher than the other. This is Denora– the confluence of two rivers.  You will be camping either here, or a little further ahead at Denora. 

Picture by Sandeep

2. Traversing the Bracken glacier

On what is going to be your longest and hardest day, you will encounter the Bracken glacier an hour after you cross over the Lomvilad pass.  You see it first from a ledge, a greyish mass tumbling out of the mountain flanks to the bottom. It is a jaw-dropping sight. Fifteen minutes of descent later,  you are on top of this magnificent glacier. You traverse this glacier, walking for about two kilometres on its hard ice surface, until its snout where it falls over in moraines. The sights you see on this day of the trek will stay with you.  

Picture by K Pradeep

3. Grasslands between Humpet and Kaintal

The trail to Humpet climbs a hillock which follows a flat grassland. Beyond a hillock is almost always another grassland. These grasslands are the highlights of the day’s trek.

You find grasslands filled with horses grazing in the wild. These grasslands of Sar alternate with a grassy river basin. It is quite an exquisite walk!

Picture by Subro

4. The Alpine lakes

You cannot talk about the Warwan Valley trek without mentioning the two alpine lakes that have been formed with the melting of glaciers.

Starting from clear at dawn to sea green to light blue to inky blue by evening. The two lakes on the pass crossing day will blow your mind away and make you grateful to witness this spectacular in front of your eyes.

Picture by Subro

5. The villages of Warwan Valley

The setting of villages in Warwan Valley is too perfect even for pictures. The trail you walk on is bordered by fences. Willow trees jut out between houses. Mud baked lanes crisscross the village. Flower beds line the hills around the houses. To top it, a clear stream runs through the village! All in a way that distinctly resembles the Gaulish village from Asterix comics. This setting is unique to this part of Kashmir.

Picture by Subro

What I Don't Like About Warwan Valley Trek

1. Ok, for the second time I don’t have a line to write about what I didn’t like.

Warwan Valley has to be the most complete and exquisite trek I have done. It has stunning scenery, one of the best meadows, great culture, and terrific high-altitude adventure. Even the road journey to the base camp and back is superb!

Picture by: K Pradeep

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 Warwan 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. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

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PRO TIPS

Why Fitness Matters on Warwan Valley Trek

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On Difficult treks, you’re likely to trek around 12-20 km each day. Expect extremely steep ascents and descents. Expect maximum altitudes above 15,000 ft, which can go up to 19,000+ ft. Technical sections (such as rockfall zones, near-vertical sections, glacier walks, boulder and scree sections) are an everyday affair. Some sections can only be crossed with the help of our Technical Staff.

Difficult treks are the most demanding, which is why we take only those trekkers with prior trekking experience on them. 

To do a difficult trek, target running 10 km within 60 minutes consistently. This will be possible only if you can run 5 km within 30 minutes comfortably before signing up for a difficult trek.

Note: There is a strict fitness screening process for difficult treks. In addition, if you are above the age of 58 years, you'll need to submit a Treadmill Test report within 7 days of registration.

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Trek Trivia

The Warwan Valley is rightly called a ‘lost world’, as it stands completely disconnected from the mainstream world. The path through the valley takes you through the remotest and pristine ways of Kashmir.

This experience would leave anyone with an air of undisturbed clarity.  

The Warwan valley still has no regular roads. The locals travel by horse and refuse to imbibe the modern culture. They are self-contained with their traditional practices, which in itself is pure bliss to watch.

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.

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