Kolahoi Glacier Trek: Challenges and Rewards

 In Kashmir, places to eat, Places To Visit, Things to do, Travel Photography


Have you ever imagined what it would be like to visit one of the most breathtaking glaciers in the Himalayas? Nestled in the breathtaking Kashmir Valley, the Kolahoi Glacier is a hidden jewel that promises an amazing journey. This spectacular glacier, positioned at an amazing elevation of around 4,700 metres (15,420 feet), is the principal source of the Jhelum River. However, why should the Kolahoi Glacier trek be at the top of your Kashmir tour package itinerary?

The explanation lies in the unrivalled natural beauty, tranquillity, and exhilarating trip it provides. The hike to the glacier will take you through deep pine woods, across crystal-clear rivers, and across beautiful meadows, allowing you to experience Kashmir’s pristine magnificence. This trek is about more than simply reaching the glacier; it’s about immersing yourself in the quiet atmosphere and interacting with nature in its most pure form. So why wait? Discover why the Kolahoi Glacier trek is a must-see on your next Kashmir trip.

Why is the Kolahoi Glacier Trek so famous?

Why is the Kolahoi Glacier Trek so famous?

Why is the Kolahoi Glacier Trek so famous?

The Kolahoi Glacier is a must visit place in Kashmir. Its walk is famous for various compelling reasons, drawing adventurers, environment lovers, and hikers from all over the world. This walk, located in the picturesque Kashmir Valley, combines natural beauty, tough routes, and cultural richness to create one of the most sought-after trekking experiences in the Himalayas. Here’s a detailed look at why the Kolahoi Glacier trip is must thing to do in your next Kashmir Trip.

Stunning natural beauty.

One of the main reasons the Kolahoi Glacier trek is so popular is the breathtaking natural beauty that surrounds the entire route. The walk takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery in the valleys of Kashmir. Beginning in the bright green meadows of Aru, the route winds through deep pine woods, clean rivers, and calm alpine lakes. The centrepiece, of course, is the Kolahoi Glacier, a gigantic ice structure located at an elevation of around 4,700 metres (15,420 feet). The glacier, also known as the “Goddess of Light,” provides breathtaking views of the surrounding snow-covered peaks and valleys.

Challenging and rewarding trails

Challenging and rewarding trails

Challenging and rewarding trails

The Kolahoi Glacier trek is noted for its difficult yet rewarding paths, which appeal to experienced hikers seeking adventure. The walk is around 35 kilometres long and normally takes 5-6 days to complete. The course includes steep ascents, rocky terrains, and limited routes that require physical endurance and mental tenacity. The trek is difficult, but the sensation of accomplishment when reaching the glacier is enormously rewarding. The walk also allows you to discover distant and unspoiled parts of Kashmir, which adds to its charm.


Rich flora and fauna.

The hike to Kolahoi Glacier is a haven for ecology and animal aficionados. The region supports a rich mix of flora and animals, including rare and endangered species. Trekkers can see Himalayan wildlife such as the elusive snow leopard, brown bear, musk deer, and a variety of bird species including the golden eagle and Himalayan monal. The walk also passes through a diverse range of flora, from alpine meadows carpeted with wildflowers to deep woods of pine, cedar, and birch.


Cultural Experience

The Kolahoi Glacier hike is more than simply natural beauty and adventure; it also includes a rich cultural experience. The journey begins in the picturesque town of Aru, where hikers may immerse themselves in the local culture and traditions. The Kashmiri people’s warm hospitality, traditional music, and cuisine add a distinct flavour to the trekking experience. Interacting with the local shepherds, known as Gujjars and Bakarwals, reveals details about their nomadic lifestyle and centuries-old rituals.

Serenity and solitude

Serenity and solitude

Serenity and solitude

Unlike more famous trekking routes in India, the Kolahoi Glacier trek provides a sense of calm and seclusion that is difficult to replicate elsewhere. The trail is less congested, allowing hikers to genuinely connect with nature and appreciate the serenity of the Himalayas. The tranquil surroundings and pure beauty of the glacier give an ideal respite from the rush and bustle of city life.


Accessibility & Accommodation.

Despite its distant position, the Kolahoi Glacier trip is rather accessible. The voyage normally begins in Srinagar, which is well accessible by air and road. A picturesque journey from Srinagar leads you to Pahalgam and then to the town of Aru, where the hike begins. There are a variety of housing alternatives along the route, ranging from simple campsites to more comfortable guesthouses, guaranteeing that trekkers may find adequate accommodation according to their needs.

Kolahoi Glacier Trek itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Srinagar.

  • Arrival: Fly into Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Accommodation: Stay at a hotel or houseboat on Dal Lake.
  • Activities: Spend the day seeing Srinagar’s Mughal gardens, Shankaracharya Temple, and lively local markets.
  • Relax and acclimate to the altitude.


Day 2: Srinagar to Aru Valley (2,408 metres)

  • Drive: After breakfast, go from Srinagar to Aru Valley (around 3-4 hours).
  • Route: The picturesque journey passes through Pahalgam, which is noted for its lush meadows and river vistas.
  • Accommodation: In Aru Valley, stay in a hotel or campground.
  • Activities include exploring the lovely town, interacting with residents, and relaxing in the calm setting.
  • Preparation: Gather your gear and food for the hike, which begins the next day.


Day 3: Aru Valley to Lidderwat (3,048 m)

  • Begin the trip from Aru Village to Lidderwat, which is around 10-12 kilometres (5-6 hours long).
  • The walk leads you through deep pine trees, along the Lidder River, and past lovely meadows.
  • Highlights: Enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valley below.
  • Camp: Set up camp at Lidderwat, a lovely meadow beside the river.
  • Rest: Spend the evening relaxing and acclimating beside a campfire.


Day 4: Lidderwat to Satlanjan (3,550 m).

  • Trek: Continue from Lidderwat to Satlanjan, covering around 12 kilometers (5-6 hours).
  • Scenery: The route grows steeper and more difficult, with breathtaking vistas of towering peaks and glaciers.
  • Wildlife: Keep a look out for Himalayan marmots and other bird species.
  • Camp: Set up camp at Satlanjan, a high-altitude meadow with spectacular views.
  • Preparation: Get ready for the tough hike to Kolahoi Glacier the next day.


Day 5: Satlanjan to Kolahoi Base Camp (3,800 metres), then return to Satlanjan

  • Trek from Satlanjan to the Kolahoi Glacier base camp and return (about 14 kilometres round trip, 6-8 hours).
  • Challenge: This is the most difficult day, with a high ascent and maybe snowy weather.
  • Glacier: Arrive at the base camp to get a close look at Kolahoi Glacier, the “Goddess of Light.”
  • Photography: Capture the breathtaking environment with its ice formations and high peaks.
  • Return: Trek back to Satlanjan for an overnight stay.


Day 6: Satlanjan to Lidderwat.

  • Descent: Begin the descent from Satlanjan to Lidderwat (about 12 kilometers, 4-5 hours).
  • Leisure: Take in the beauty, stopping regularly for photographs and relaxation.
  • Camp: Set up camp in Lidderwat and relax in the evening.


Day 7: Lidderwat to Aru Village, then drive to Srinagar.

  • Final Trek: Travel from Lidderwat to Aru Village (10-12 kilometers, 4-5 hours).
  • Return Drive: From Aru Village, drive back to Srinagar.
  • Check into a hotel or houseboat in Srinagar.
  • Celebration: Have a celebration supper and reflect on your hiking trip.


Day 8: Depart from Srinagar.

  • Departure: Transfer to Srinagar Airport for your trip home or continue your journey across Kashmir.
  • Farewell: Say goodbye to the gorgeous scenery and memories of an incredible adventure.

Best time to go for Kolahoi Glacier Trek

Best time to go for Kolahoi Glacier Trek

Best time to go for Kolahoi Glacier Trek

The Kolahoi Glacier hike is best done in the late summer and early autumn, between mid-June and mid-September. This month provides the best weather and trekking opportunities in the Kashmir Valley.


Mid-June to July.

Early summers are beautiful in Kashmir, from mid-June to July, is an ideal time for the hike since the snow begins to melt, revealing beautiful green meadows, blooming wildflowers, and clean pathways. The temperatures are moderate, making hiking conditions tolerable throughout the day, but the nights may be frigid. The melting snow feeds the rivers and streams, which add to the route’s beautiful attractiveness.


August to mid-September.

The Kolahoi Glacier hike is perhaps best done from late summer to early fall, between August and mid-September. The weather is consistent in Kashmir during September and the bright sky provides stunning views of the neighbouring peaks and valleys. The danger of rain is low, which reduces the possibility of muddy routes. The meadows remain bright, and the glacier is now more accessible as snow and ice have receded farther.

Avoiding Monsoons and Winter

It is best to avoid walking during the rainy season (late June to early August) because of the increased risk of landslides and slippery pathways. Similarly, winter in Kashmir (late September to May) is unsuitable for the walk due to heavy snowfall, intense cold, and the closure of several routes.

In summary, the optimum time to begin on the Kolahoi Glacier trek is between mid-June and mid-September, when the weather is great, the routes are accessible, and the natural beauty is breathtaking, providing a safe and unforgettable trekking experience.


Places of attraction in Kolahoi Glacier Trek

The Kolahoi Glacier trek, known for its magnificent scenery and difficult terrain, provides a plethora of sights along the way. Each part of the route offers unique and interesting experiences, making this trek one of the most popular in the Kashmir Valley.


Aru Village

The walk begins in Aru Village, a lovely village around 12 kilometres from Pahalgam. Aru, known for its beautiful meadows, deep forests, and quaint wooden homes, makes an excellent starting point. The village provides a look into the traditional lifestyle of the indigenous Kashmiris while also serving as a retreat for nature enthusiasts.



Lidderwat, an important halt on the walk, is a magnificent meadow located at an elevation of around 3,048 metres. Lidderwat, surrounded by tall pine trees and bisected by the trickling Lidder River, is a tranquil camping destination. The green meadows are ideal for relaxing and admiring the breathtaking views of the Alps.




Satlanjan, at around 3,550 metres, is another prominent camping place on the way to Kolahoi Glacier. The region is distinguished for its vast alpine meadows, which provide panoramic views of the nearby summits. The walk to Satlanjan is flanked with wildflowers and provides opportunities to observe local animals such as marmots and other bird species.


Kolahoi Base Camp.

The base camp, located at roughly 3,800 metres, serves as the entryway to the Kolahoi Glacier. Trekkers may see the beautiful Kolahoi Peak and the vast glacier from this location. The base camp has breathtaking views of the glacier and is an ideal location for photography and taking in the majesty of the Himalayas.


Kolahoi Glacier

The Kolahoi Glacier, often known as the “Goddess of Light,” is a breathtaking sight. The glacier, tucked between towering hills, provides a stunning view of ice forms and rough terrain. It is the principal source of the Jhelum River, and its sheer scale and splendour are breathtaking.


Kolahoi Glacier Trek Cost

The cost of the Kolahoi Glacier walk varies based on a number of criteria, including the length of the trek, the style of hotels, and the services provided. A 6-7-day walk typically costs between ₹15,000 and ₹25,000 per person.

Breakdown of costs:

  • Permits and fees cost from ₹500 to ₹1,000.
  • The round travel from Srinagar to Aru Village might cost between ₹2,000 and ₹3,000 per person.
  • Guesthouses or camping sites in Aru, Lidderwat, and other places might cost between ₹500 and ₹1,500 per night.
  • Meal expenditures range from ₹300 to ₹500 per day.
  • Fees for hiring a guide and porter are roughly ₹1,500 and ₹1,000 per day, respectively.
  • Equipment rental might cost an additional ₹2,000 to ₹3,000.
  • These estimates can help hikers budget correctly, resulting in a more comfortable and pleasurable trekking journey.


The Kolahoi Glacier hike offers an ideal balance of action, natural beauty, and cultural encounters. This comprehensive schedule offers a well-paced tour with time for acclimatisation and enjoyment of the breathtaking scenery. Each day offers fresh perspectives and difficulties, culminating in the breathtaking sight of Kolahoi Glacier. Whether you are a seasoned trekker or a nature lover, this trek provides an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Himalayas.

How Difficult is the Kolahoi Glacier Trek?

The Kolahoi Glacier hike is somewhat tough, with steep ascents, rocky terrain, and high elevations. It demands high physical fitness and prior hiking expertise. Trekkers should be prepared to face difficult terrain and major elevation fluctuations.

What is the best time to do Kolahoi Glacier Trek?

The optimum time to do the Kolahoi Glacier hike is between mid-June and mid-September. This time of year is ideal for trekking because of the consistent weather, bright skies, and easily accessible routes.

What things do we need to carry?

Trekking gear, sturdy boots, layered clothes, a sleeping bag, a tent, a first aid kit, water bottles, food, sunscreen, sunglasses, trekking poles, and personal identification are all essential. Also, bring waterproof clothing and altitude sickness medicine.

What type of food is served during this trek?

Meals on the hike are basic and healthy, consisting of rice, dal, veggies, chapati, and the rare non-vegetarian item. Breakfast often consists of oatmeal, eggs, and tea. The meals are intended to offer energy for tough trekking.

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