Difficult | Level 3
18 to 50 years
18 to 50 years
Difficult | Level 3
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 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.
Warwan Valley Videos
Watch these videos to prepare well for your trek.
A route map of the Warwan Valley trek
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
We will organise transport at 5.00 am from Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels, Sathu, Barbara Shah Chowk, near Flourmill, Srinagar. The cab cost is Rs 1,500 per person and needs to be paid directly to the driver.
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.
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.
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 led 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 steady path leading to the campsite in the Kaintal meadows.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Travel from Basmina/Chaudraiman to Srinagar
Drive distance: 155 km | Duration: 7-8 hours
We will reach Srinagar latest by 8-9 pm. Cost of the cab is to be borne by trekkers. 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.
- Advisory Note: For all your travel plans, including a buffer day to accommodate bad weather on the trek/political instability. This depends entirely 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 must make arrangements to stay in Srinagar at the end of the trek.
- We have a Cloak Room facility at the Sheikh Feroze Tours & Travels pickup location 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. You'll still have comfortable space as these tents have been designed to accommodate three trekkers.
A route map of the Warwan Valley trek
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.
Our first group of trekkers recently went for Warwan Valley Trek on 17th July. Luckily, they had perfect weather, and the photos they brought back from the trek blew us all way! The cross-over trail with its barren purplish mountains and adventurous glacial walks ending with the green valleys of Kashmir - Warwan Valley is truly the most stunning trek in our country. See the glimpse of this expedition shared by our trekker Ankit Varshneya.
Panikhar village in Suru Valley is full of farms and fields. This is also where the trek starts.
Camping at the Delta basin of Denora. Denora is the confluence of two rivers. You will witness multiple meadows between the rivers, each lusher than the other.
Trailer for the next day which is one of the most adventurous days! You will cross through these unique river crossings with hanging glacier behind towards Lomvilad Pass. Also notice the Ladakhi barren landscape.
What I Like and Don’t Like About Warwan Valley Trek
What I Like About Warwan Valley Trek
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 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.
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 Fitness Matters on Warwan Valley Trek
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.
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.
Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder
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.
Sign up for our much loved Weekly Mailer
We have terrific trekking tips, trek updates and trek talks to look forward to