Warwan Valley Trek

The high adventure from Ladakh to Jammu & Kashmir

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TREK DIFFICULTY

Difficult

TREK DURATION

9 days

HIGHEST ALTITUDE

14,495 ft

The high adventure from Ladakh to Jammu & 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 and 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 unique to the region.

The valley’s remoteness and isolation compound this beauty. This is a side of Kashmir that even most Kashmiris haven’t seen. 

What makes getting into Warwan Valley even more remarkable 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.

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 and 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 unique to the region.

Warwan Valley Videos

Warwan Valley - Complete Trek Information

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 trek day, 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.

Expert Speak

Arjun Majumdar

Founder & CEO, Indiahikes

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 most challenging day, you will encounter the Bracken glacier an hour after you cross over the Lomvilad pass. You see it 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 formed by melting 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. Fences border the trail you walk on. 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!

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.

Another intriguing fact about the Warwan valley villages is hidden in their shape. All the villages are circular in structure.

A few temples, which are highly revered by the locals, form the centre of these circular villages. Around the temples are the houses. Around the houses are the fields, which are the lifelines of these villages.

A little-known tragedy occurred in Oct 2016 in Margi Village, a part of Warwan. An accidental fire destroyed the entire village and reduced it to ashes.

A sense of gloominess and anguish now forms the visual background of Margi, as the locals of the Village still wait for a ray of hope.

5 Reasons Why Indiahikes

We are India’s safest trekking organisation

When we brought out new trails in Indian trekking, safety came with us. Back in 2012, we were the first to introduce microspikes, and two years later, pulse oximeters became standard thanks to us. Nobody does safe treks like Indiahikes. In the mountains, emergencies don't care who you're with – everyone knows that when trouble hits, you look for the yellow tents of Indiahikes.

We are pioneers of treks in India

We are pioneers in trekking. Since 2007, we have brought out treks that have become India's most famous treks: Roopkund, Rupin Pass, Buran Ghati, Kedarkantha, Kashmir Great Lakes, Tarsar Marsar, Brahmatal, Phulara Ridge—the list goes on. In 2023 alone, we brought out five new treks in Indian trekking. We know treks better than anyone. This comes directly from the reason why Indiahikes was born: to bring out trek information and enable trekkers to trek on their own.

We are India’s largest trekking organisation

More than 25,000 people trek with us every year. We are the largest trekking organisation in India. 24% of our trekkers come back to trek with us every year. Over 4,000 students from the top educational institutions trek with us every year. Aside from this, families with children choose to trek with Indiahikes knowing that our treks are the safest. We have taken over 8000 children trekking so far, and the number continues to grow.

Our treks are transformative

We focus on designing transformative experiences. Our trek leaders conduct thought-provoking exercises that help you reflect and contemplate. This impact stays with you for a long time. Trekkers return feeling energised, more confident, or developing abilities to deal with difficulties. Many have changed careers, rethought their core values, become more humble, shown gratitude to others, or started a new fitness journey.

We are India's most sustainable trekking organisation

Since 2012, we have pioneered sustainable practices that have become standard in trekking. Using eco-bags, our trekkers have cleared over 120 tonnes of litter from the mountains. We do not carry packaged foods; instead, we serve freshly made food. We do not light campfires; we carry coal to light angethis to keep you warm. Our bio-toilets not only keep our toilets odour-free but also enrich the soil. When you trek with us, you leave mountains better.

Indiahikes Features

You’re guarded with our trek again philosophy

If you are unable to complete a trek, or if you love a trek, you can repeat it with us anytime. You don’t have to pay us for it. See our thoughts behind this here.

Daily 3-time health checks keep you safe at any altitude

Our thrice-a-day oxi-metre checks keep altitude sickness at bay, never allowing you to reach a point where you need evacuation.

Join any group, they are all women-friendly groups 

With around 30% of our trekkers being women, all women, including those travelling solo are comfortable to join any of our groups.

Request Jain/Vegan-friendly food

Our kitchen teams understand your needs as a vegan (or a Jain). We will take special care of your food, even in the remote Himalayas. 

Be comfortable and sustainable with bio toilets

We have specially designed bio toilets to ensure you have no sight or smell in toilets, at the same time making sure the toilets cause no harm to the fragile ecosystem we trek in.

Fresh, nutritious food at every camp

We’ll admit it. Our love for food surpasses our love for minimalism. Expect freshly cooked, multi-cuisine food at all camps, designed to meet your nutritional requirements and keep your taste buds happy!

Trekker Stories and Experiences with Indiahikes

Jigita Shah

August 2023

I don’t know if there is any trek that can live up to to beauty of Warwan
My biggest highlight was traversing the Bracken Glacier. Actually, in Warwan every corner is a highlight. Warwan mesmerises you with new views every moment. Not a single moment is dull and boring. Tru...Read More
My biggest highlight was traversing the Bracken Glacier. Actually, in Warwan every corner is a highlight. Warwan mesmerises you with new views every moment. Not a single moment is dull and boring. Tru...Read More
Karthik Cariappa

August 2023

More challenging than KGL or Tarsar
Rugged terrain with absolutely no trails, One of the most remote isolated treks I've ever done and change of scenery at every turn. Glacier walk for several kilometers. Not to mention it's a very chal...Read More
Rugged terrain with absolutely no trails, One of the most remote isolated treks I've ever done and change of scenery at every turn. Glacier walk for several kilometers. Not to mention it's a very chal...Read More
Abiram Vyas

July 2022

I felt like I was in a different planet
The highlights of the trek were mainly the beautiful walks along the river delta and the vast grasslands. It was so nice seeing the horses just grazing and it felt like I was in a different planet. Th...Read More
The highlights of the trek were mainly the beautiful walks along the river delta and the vast grasslands. It was so nice seeing the horses just grazing and it felt like I was in a different planet. Th...Read More
Caroline Mwika

August 2023

Warwan is the best! I will do it again with India-hikers!!
Warwan is the best! Spectacular view and great team, well-organised trekking. Trekking with Indiahikes was perfect! I will do it again with India-hikers!! Was easy for me even coming from the Netherla...Read More
Warwan is the best! Spectacular view and great team, well-organised trekking. Trekking with Indiahikes was perfect! I will do it again with India-hikers!! Was easy for me even coming from the Netherla...Read More
Jigita Shah

August 2023

I don’t know if there is any trek that can live up to to beauty of Warwan
My biggest highlight was traversing the Bracken Glacier. Actually, in Warwan every corner is a highlight. Warwan mesmerises you with new views every moment. Not a single moment is dull and boring. Tru...Read More
My biggest highlight was traversing the Bracken Glacier. Actually, in Warwan every corner is a highlight. Warwan mesmerises you with new views every moment. Not a single moment is dull and boring. Tru...Read More
Karthik Cariappa

August 2023

More challenging than KGL or Tarsar
Rugged terrain with absolutely no trails, One of the most remote isolated treks I've ever done and change of scenery at every turn. Glacier walk for several kilometers. Not to mention it's a very chal...Read More
Rugged terrain with absolutely no trails, One of the most remote isolated treks I've ever done and change of scenery at every turn. Glacier walk for several kilometers. Not to mention it's a very chal...Read More
Abiram Vyas

July 2022

I felt like I was in a different planet
The highlights of the trek were mainly the beautiful walks along the river delta and the vast grasslands. It was so nice seeing the horses just grazing and it felt like I was in a different planet. Th...Read More
The highlights of the trek were mainly the beautiful walks along the river delta and the vast grasslands. It was so nice seeing the horses just grazing and it felt like I was in a different planet. Th...Read More
Caroline Mwika

August 2023

Warwan is the best! I will do it again with India-hikers!!
Warwan is the best! Spectacular view and great team, well-organised trekking. Trekking with Indiahikes was perfect! I will do it again with India-hikers!! Was easy for me even coming from the Netherla...Read More
Warwan is the best! Spectacular view and great team, well-organised trekking. Trekking with Indiahikes was perfect! I will do it again with India-hikers!! Was easy for me even coming from the Netherla...Read More