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Kargil to Pahalgam Trek (Via Sheshnag Lake)

This Trans-Himalayan odyssey from Suru valley, Kargil to Pahalgam is a world-class trek that has everything a trekker could ask for. From traversing hard passes across massive glaciers, spectacular panoramic views of mountains, meadow runs, wildlife, mountain tribes and camping by a the holy lake of Sheshnag, it is a highly gratifying trek. To top it off, the transition in landscape from higher to lower Himalayas is a very rare experience that only this trek provides. It’s an offbeat trail in the heart of Kargil that demands strong and seasoned trekkers.

9 Nights/10 days   Kargil, Kashmir Download PDF
8+ Age
  • Tour Starts
  • Tour Ends
  • Style of Tour
    Trekking (7 days)
  • Max Altitude
  • Approx Trekking
    73 kms
  • Trek Difficulty
    Hard, Must have previous trekking experience
  • Best Season
    May to October (Except July)
  • Stays
    Hotels on twin sharing basis/Organized Camping
  • Meals
    Breakfast and dinner in Hotels, All meals on Treks and Homestays
Day 1 :Arrive in Leh/Srinagar & drive to Kargil
  • Pick up from Airport and drive to Kargil (5 hours)
  • Lunch Enroute
  • Visit Drass War Memorial
  • Arrive in Kargil by late afternoon. Evening for leisure. check out the Hundurman Museum
  • Visit to Munshi Aziz Bhat Museum, a family run museum that had preserved the silk route history of Kargil
  • Overnight at hotel in Kargil
Day 2 :-Drive Kargil to Maita, Suru valley. Overnight in Maita
Drive Time:2.5 hours
  • After an early breakfast at hotel. A cab will pick you up from your hotel for the journey to Maita
  • Arrive in Maita by lunch time
  • Acclimatize and explore the village in the evening
  • Overnight at local homestay
Day 3:Trek from Maita (3246m) to Munkhang (3637m)
Drive Time: 9.5kms / 5 hours
  • Post breakfast we will start our march early
  • The trail will be quite easy on the first day.
  • We will follow a flattish trail upstream
  • On the way we will see Army bunkers, which are now in ruins. Here elevation will be 3511m
  • Reach the campsite by lunchtime.
  • Overnight will be spent in tents at Munkhang.
Day 4: Trek from Munkhang to Phay Doks (3750m)
Distance/Duration: 10.5 kms/8 to 9 hours
  • After an early breakfast,will start our trek from Munkhang to Phay Doks at 8 am.
  • We have to follow the river in opposite direction to reach Phay Doks.
  • Today’s trail will be hard and challenging. Major ascents and descents, 3 to 4 river crossing and a snow bridge crossing.
  • After trekking for 5kms we will reach Ainul Hazma top and the elevation will be at 3702m.
  • At Ainul hazma we will see the first Bakerwal dera.
  • Will have lunch in Raqstay where there is spring water nearby.
  • Post lunch, we will have to cross a couple of river streams
  • Arrive at the campsite at Phay Doks by evening
  • Overnight will be spent in tents
Day 5: Trek from Phay Doks to Upper Shangshing Valley Basecamp (3868m)
Distance/Duration:9 kms/3 hours
  • Our objective today will be to cover a short distance till the basecamp before the high pass, rest and acclimatize for the next day’s hard ascent
  • Today it will be an easy trek we reach the base camp at upper Shanshing valley.
  • We will start the trek at 9 am
  • The trail will be fairly flat but you definitely won’t get bored of the views
  • Overnight in tents
Day 6: Trek from Upper Shangshing valley to Khelkot (3515m) via Shangshing La (4920m)
Distance/Duration:16 kms /13 hours
  • Today is going to be the most challenging day of the entire trek as we will be covering a long distance over glaciers, boulder and moraine walks while doing the steep ascent and decent of Shangshing La
  • Today we will start early after breakfast at 6.00 am.
  • At 11:00 am we should be able reach at the top of Shanshing la pass.
  • We will descend through a rocky and scree trail till the glacier crest and then follow the crest down to the valley floor.
  • By late evening, will reach at our campsite at Khelkhot, which is also the intersection of Sai nala and shanshing nala.
  • Overnight will be spent in tents at Khelkhot.
Day 7: Trek from Khelkhot to Maidan (3199m)
Distance/Duration: 9kms /6 to 7 hours
  • Today we will start late as the day before was quite hard and challenging. After breakfast at 9:00am we will start our trek.
  • Trek will be a long decent with an elevation loss of 302m.
  • You will witness a lot of Bakarwal deras along the trail
  • Today you will also see beautiful green grassy meadows in between there are several streams
  • At 12:00 pm we will reach Nagi Talab (ponds). Here you will see three pounds of different sizes. We will have our packed lunch near the pounds.
  • By evening we will reach Maidan (Rangmarg)
  • We will set up camp near by a spring and around a lot of Bakarwal deras.
  • One of the best camping locations on the entire trail.
Day 8: Trek from Maidan to Sheshnag Lake (3676m) via Gulol Gully (4377m)
Distance/Duration:17 kms/6 to 7 hours
  • After an early breakfast. We will start our trek at 7:00 am. Towards Pahalgam via Gulol gully through Sheshnag lake
  • Today you will cover a distance of 17 kms with an elevation loss of 344m
  • The trail will have major ascents and descents.
  • By early afternoon, we will reach at the top of Gulol gully pass. Till here the trial is totally ascent.
  • From here we will also be able to see the trial that leads to the holy cave of Shri Amarnath.
  • The view from here surrounded by snowcapped peaks with wide and green valley floors below
  • By late afternoon, we will reach Sheshnag lake. The first view of the lake as you approach it will truly complete your trek.
  • Here we pitch our tends for the night, at the most spectacular camping site
Day 9: Trek from Sheshnag lake to Chandanwari (2858m) Drive to Pahalgam and on to Srinagar
Distance/Duration: 6 kms/2 hours
  • We will begin at 8 am after breakfast
  • The trail today start with a quick ascent till Pisu top. From here the trial is totally descent all the way till Chandanwari.
  • We will reach Chandanwari road head within a couple of hours
  • From here we will take the scenic drive to Srinagar via Pahalgam
  • Check into hotel in Sringar by evening
  • You can celebrate the completion of the Shanshing la trek. The experience will teach you that you are capable of much more than you can ever imagine. And the images that are captured in your mind, shall stay with you for a long time to come. Congratulations!
  • Overnight will be spent in hotel at Srinagar.
Day 10: Departure from Srinagar
  • Early morning airport transfer
  • Airport pick up and drop and journey to Kargil
  • Trek point transfers
  • Transport for sightseeing
  • Breakfast and dinner at hotel in Kargil and Srinagar
  • All meals on the trek
  • Twin sharing rooms at hotel
  • Dome tents on trek
  • Camping gear (sleeping bags, mattress, two man dome tents, toilet tent, dining tent)
  • Safety gear (ropes, ice axe, micro spikes)
Medical Services:
  • Onsite first aid
  • Oxygen cylinder
  • Trained and experienced guide/trek leader
  • Kitchen and support staff
  • Porters
Permits & Fee:
  • Trekking permits
  • Camping charges
  • Single room accommodation
  • Lunch during stay in Kargil and Srinagar
  • Meals while on the road
  • Personal equipment such as walking sticks, rain coats, gloves etc
  • International & Domestic flight fares, visa charges
  • Monument/monastery and Museum visit fee
  • Any expenses of personal nature such as mineral water, laundry.
  • Cost incurred due to emergency evacuation
  • Any kind of insurance, such as accident, theft, medical, evacuation etc.
  • Personal Mules & porters. You can request for one in advance while booking
  • Tips to porters, camping team, driver, guide, etc.
  • Cost incurred due to change / extension in the itinerary due to roadblocks, bad weather condition, flight delays, vehicle breakdowns, etc.
Mountain Ethics
  • We have a zero trash tolerance policy. We always clean up after ourselves on all hikes and trips
  • We use portable T3 tents and portable toilets and wash basins at our campsite which are cleared and wrapped up at the end of each journey.
  • Our camp locations are temporary and we don’t keep any permanent fixtures at the location. We say no to plastics
  • Be Local – there is no harm learning at few local words while you are there. It always helps in building a rapport with the locals and blend in. Try to eat and buy locally. Carry your own water bottles.
Equipment & Safety
  • We use comfortable mattresses with -10degree sleeping bags
  • There is no electricity at most of our campsites as they are at remote locations. We use solar powered tent lamps.
  • Our trips require a moderate level of fitness.
  • The maximum altitude for treks can go upto 6100m
  • Drink lot of water to stay hydrated and to avoid mountain sickness
  • We always carry a first aid kid and a portable oxygen canisters for emergencies
  • Average of two guides are provided for a group of 10 people
Creating “Shared Value”
  • We respect the local traditions and customs. We will always brief you regarding these each time you travel to a different location. We encourage you to be open and free while travelling to these locations and invite you to explore the region in its true sense.
  • We focus on engaging local communities in our work to create livelihoods locally. Most of our camps/homestays are managed by the local villagers and local youth is engaged as guides/hosts
  • We organize workshops to train local communities and youth for technical training in mountain guiding, hospitality and responsible tourism. If you are interested in contributing, do let us know.
What to carry?
  • Valid ID proof (Passport/Voter ID/Drivers Licence)
  • No suitcases. Opt for 70 to 90 litre backpacks
  • Water-proof trekking shoes
  • One down jacket or warmer for chilly nights
  • Rain poncho or jacket/windcheater (a must!)
  • Thermal inner (not advisable to wear it while trekking)
  • Trekking pants (one spare)
  • Sun block
  • Hat
  • Sun goggles
  • Trekking pole
  • Spare under garments and socks (three pairs max)
  • Flashlight with extra batteries (preferably wearable)
  • Water bottle, preferably wide mouthed, with at least one litre capacity
  • Personal toiletries
  • Power bank (if you want to use phone camera)
  • That book you’ve been meaning to read
Fine Print & Trip Specific Important Information: By signing up for a trip with Roots, you acknowledge that you have voluntarily applied to participate in this trip and that you have read the description of the trip as it appears on the website and the information below:  
  • You are expected to carry your own luggage. If you need a porter/mule during treks please inform us in advance.
  • Delays are expected on account of roadblock & weather conditions. Our effort will be to continue with the trip as per the schedule & make you as comfortable as possible. But in such situations we may have to compromise on the campsite & adjust to these situations then & there. The final call will be taken by our Lead Guide on location.
  • The itinerary should be viewed as ideal & we may have to make some spot changes due various unavoidable reasons.
  • The distances & altitude mentioned in the above itinerary are to the best of our knowledge & information; marginal variance in the actual distances & altitudes is possible.
  • You are expected to be in reasonable shape and fitness, being able to walk for several hours at a normal pace as well as to take care of your own equipment.
  • You are required to produce a Medical Fitness certificate before starting the trip.
  • The minimum age restriction for this trip is 18
  • All outdoor related activities involve a certain level of risk. You are expected to sign an Indemnity Form in agreement to the risks involved through part taking in such outdoor activities.
  • Roots Ladakh reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals and photographs submitted by them on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes