Marchoi Trek In 2024: All You Need To Know

 In How To Guide, Kashmir, places to eat, Places to stay, Places To Visit, Travel Facts, Travel Photography

The Marchoi Trek is an offbeat trail that offers an unparalleled trekking experience in the mesmerizing valleys of Kashmir. Unlike the more popular trekking routes in the region, Marchoi remains relatively unexplored, allowing trekkers to immerse themselves in untouched natural beauty.

The Marchoi Trek, situated in Jammu & Kashmir, India, epitomizes the region’s renowned beauty. Just hearing “Jammu & Kashmir” conjures images of lush green valleys, dense forests, and flowing rivers. This trek, of gradual to moderate difficulty, reaches an altitude of 10,500 feet and traverses the Wangath Forest Conservation Zone. Along the trail, you’ll encounter a partially frozen river and pine forests, enhancing the breathtaking scenery. 

Starting from the Dumali campsite, you’ll pass wild walnut trees and be captivated by the stunning Marchoi meadow. The route also features mud houses, grazing horses, coniferous forests, and charming wooden bridges over streams. Additionally, the trek is adorned with magnificent maple and silver birch trees, adding to its allure.


Marchoi Trek is located in the Ganderbal district of Jammu and Kashmir, approximately 40 kilometers from Srinagar. The trek begins from the picturesque village of Naranag, which is also the starting point for several other famous treks in Kashmir, such as the Gangbal and Harmukh treks.

Why You Should Do the Marchoi Trek

Why You Should Do the Marchoi Trek

Why You Should Do the Marchoi Trek

Discover the Naranag Temple Ruins

One of the highlights of the Marchoi Trek is the visit to the Naranag Temple ruins. This archaeological site dates back to the 8th century AD and was built by Lalitaditya Muktapida, dedicated to Lord Shiva. 

The temple complex, though in ruins, is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the region, offering a glimpse into ancient architecture and history.

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  • Marvel at Snow-Covered Peaks

As you traverse the trek, you’ll be mesmerized by the snow-clad peaks of Mount Harmukh and Kotwal Peak. Mount Harmukh, revered as the ‘Kailash of Kashmir,’ holds significant spiritual importance for Hindus. 

The recently explored Kotwal Peak adds to the breathtaking scenery, providing trekkers with awe-inspiring views of the majestic mountains.


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  • Spot Trout in Pristine Lakes

Kashmir is known for its beautiful lake and Naranag village, is the spot for its trout fishing, which offers a unique experience even though fishing is now prohibited. 


You can still spot these beautiful fish in the crystal-clear waters of the natural rivers and lakes along the trek, adding a touch of enchantment to your journey.

  • Enjoy the Scenic Shadimarg Meadow


Shadimarg Meadow is a picturesque paradise that transforms into a winter wonderland with the arrival of snow. This fairytale-like valley blanketed in snow, is a must-see for anyone looking to experience the serene beauty of nature in its purest form.

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Best Time to do Marchoi Trek in Jammu & Kashmir 

Best Time to do Marchoi Trek in Jammu & Kashmir

Best Time to do Marchoi Trek in Jammu & Kashmir

The ideal time to embark on the Marchoi Trek depends on the kind of scenery you wish to witness:

Winter (October to Mid-March): Experience snow-covered landscapes, frozen gullies, and glistening icicles.

Summer (June to September): Enjoy lush green meadows, vibrant wildflowers, and deep blue rivers.

A detailed Itinerary of Marchoi Trek

The Journey Begins: 

Day 1: Srinagar to Naranag

Your adventure starts in Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir. After exploring the city’s famous places to visit in Srinagar, you will head towards Naranag, a scenic drive that takes about two hours. The route offers glimpses of the majestic Himalayas and lush green valleys, setting the tone for the journey ahead.


Day 2: Naranag Via (Dhumail) to Sangri, Marchoi Valley (5 km, 4 hrs)

On the second day of the trek, you’ll enjoy a relatively gentle journey, covering approximately 3 kilometers through snowy terrain until you reach the picturesque Bridge of Love, also known as the Dhumail Bridge. 

This spot marks the convergence of two rivers, forming the majestic Wangath River. Along the way, you’ll traverse through sprawling meadows, with a brief passage through a charming forest just before arriving at the Dhumail campsite.

Day 3: Marchoi Base Camp to Marchoi Top

The trek to Marchoi Top is the highlight of the journey, offering stunning vistas and a sense of accomplishment. This part of the trek is more challenging, with steeper ascents and rugged terrain.


Day 4: Summit to Marchoi Trek

On the third day of the Marchoi trek, you’ll embark on the summit expedition. This day entails ascending to the peak of Marchoi. The route is graded as moderate, leading you through dense jungle before culminating at the plateau’s apex. You’ll then descend back to the campsite located at Dhumail on the same day.


Day 5: Final Day back to Base camp

The final day involves trekking back to Naranag, retracing your steps through the enchanting landscapes. The descent is easier and quicker, allowing you to enjoy the scenery at a leisurely pace.


Tips for Trekkers

  • Physical Fitness: Ensure you are in good physical condition, as the trek involves moderate to challenging climbs.
  • Guides and Porters: Hiring local guides and porters can enhance your trekking experience, providing insights into the region’s culture and helping with navigation.
  • Packing Essentials: Carry adequate warm clothing, waterproof gear, trekking poles, and a first aid kit. Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning landscapes.
  • Acclimatization: Spend a day in Srinagar or Naranag to acclimatize to the altitude before starting the trek.

What to pack for the Marchoi Trek?

What to pack for the Marchoi Trek

What to pack for the Marchoi Trek

Essential Packing List for the Marchoi Trek as it is a high altitude trek the trekking gear carried for this trek is different from other treks.

1. Head Lamps

Crucial for night treks and evening camping, headlamps provide excellent visibility and convenience.

2. Hats or Caps

   A beanie cap shields against cold winds and freezing temperatures at night.

   Sun hats protect from the sun during the day and should have a strap to prevent them from blowing away.

3. Sunglasses

 Opt for UV-protective, well-fitting trekking sunglasses to ensure they stay in place during climbs and jumps, and are suitable for various weather conditions.

4. Buff / Balaclava

  Essential for shielding your mouth and neck from extreme temperatures and keeping them warm.

5. T-shirts / Long Sleeve Shirts

  Pack 4 to 5 T-shirts to have clean, dry options available. Long-sleeved shirts protect against UV rays.

6. Hiking / Trekking Jacket

   Choose down jackets suitable for -5 to -10°C or three-layer jackets for versatile protection.

7. Thermals

 Bring at least two pairs to maintain body warmth in cold conditions.

8. Undergarments

   Pack according to personal hygiene needs and preferences.

9. Gloves

A pair of gloves will keep your hands warm and comfortable.

10. Shorts / Leggings / Pants

 Carry 3 to 4 pairs of warm, comfortable shorts. Leggings are useful for cold mornings and evenings. Include lightweight, quick-drying pants and warm fleece-lined or ski pants.

Marchoi Trek

kashmir great lakes trek

11. Socks

   Bring at least 3 to 4 pairs for freshness and warmth.

12. Footwear

 Waterproof trekking shoes with ankle support are essential. Also, pack walking sandals for comfort during breaks and stream crossings, and consider optional sneakers for casual use.

13. Rain Gear

Include a raincoat, rain jacket, and pants. A poncho can provide extra protection during prolonged rains. Waterproof covers for your backpack and daypack are also recommended.

14. Backpack

A comfortable backpack of 60-70 liters capacity should suffice for a week-long trek. Ensure it has good hip and shoulder support with easily accessible pockets.

15. Daypack

 A daypack is vital for daily excursions, shorter hikes, and sightseeing when you don’t want to carry your main backpack.

Personal First Aid Kit

Consult your doctor before packing any medication.

  • Antiseptic wipes or water syringes for wound cleaning.
  • Butterfly bandages for small cuts.
  • Cotton, elastic bandages, and sterile gauze pads for larger wounds.
  • Latex gloves for handling bleeding wounds.
  • Diarrhea medication.
  • Cold, flu, fever, and headache medication.
  • Painkillers.
  • ORS pouches.
  • Quick pain relief spray (for external use).
  • Any personal medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Dimox or similar for high altitude sickness.
  • Bug repellent.
  • Energy bars and drinks (non-alcoholic).

Gadgets and Other Items

  • Trekking poles.
  • Mobile phone and camera.
  • Spare batteries, power bank.
  • Lightweight flashlight or headlamp.
  • Waterproof bag for the camera.
  • Music system or Bluetooth speaker.
  • Electrical plug/converter.
  • 1-liter water bottle.
  • Journal and pen for notes.
  • A book for leisure.
  • Map and guidebook of the region.

Marchoi Trek


Hygiene and Personal Toiletries

  • Sunscreen with UV protection.
  • Quick-drying towels (1 or 2).
  • Toilet paper, tissues, wet wipes.
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and mouth freshener.
  • Deodorant, talcum powder.
  • Shampoo.
  • Lip balm.
  • Sanitary pads or tampons (for female travelers).
  • Biodegradable soap.
  • Nail clipper.
  • Other personal daily-use items.

Compulsory Documents

Original and photocopy of a government-issued photo ID (e.g., Aadhaar, Voter ID) for submission to the Forest Department before the trek. Without these, you will not be allowed to trek.



Kashmir: An Overview

The Marchoi Trek in Kashmir offers an unforgettable journey through some of the most beautiful and untouched parts of the Himalayas. Whether you are a seasoned trekker or a nature enthusiast, this trek promises a perfect blend of adventure, tranquility, and natural beauty. Embark on the Marchoi Trek to discover the hidden treasures of Kashmir, and create memories that will last a lifetime.

Marchoi Valley trek seasons and best time to visit?

The Marchoi trek remains open throughout the year, offering adventurers the flexibility to embark on it at any time. Yet, it’s during the enchanting seasons of autumn and winter that this trek truly reveals its breathtaking beauty.

What is the difficulty level of the Marchoi trek?

The difficulty level of the Marchoi trek is moderate. It involves traversing through dense jungles and ascending to a plateau, making it suitable for trekkers with some experience but accessible enough for enthusiastic beginners.

How much does the Marchoi trek cost?

The trek to Marchoi costs per person around 6000 to 7000 depending upon the season and the trekking company.

What To Pack For Marchoi Trek?

For the Marchoi trek, pack sturdy trekking shoes, warm clothing, a waterproof jacket, a backpack, a water bottle, snacks, a first aid kit, trekking poles, a flashlight, and personal essentials like toiletries and medications.

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