Crossing the Gadsar Pass – The Breathtaking Alpine Twin Lake | Day 4

This is a long day with many kilometers to go and mountains to climb. But the nicest part is that we can’t tell it’s difficult because of nature’s beauty. The ascent to Gadsar pass, the highest point of the Kashmir Great Lakes trek, is worthwhile. It’s all downhill from here until you reach a few little settlements. Along the journey, you will observe snow-capped mountains and Gadsar Lake.

Vishnusar Lake campsite

Start early from the Vishnusar lake campsite and spend a few minutes next to Vishnusar lake. Capture some of the best views from all possible angles as the water will be still in the morning, with no wind. Perfect to get the best shot of the reflection of mountains that are on the other side of Vishnusar lake.

Vishnusar Lake near Gadsar
Vishnusar Lake, Kashmir Great Lakes, India

How to reach Vishnusar Lake and Gadsar

Check out my previous posts for the first 3 days of trekking:

Day 1 – Journey from Srinagar to Sonamarg

Day 2 – Trek from Sonamarg to Nichnai

Day 3 – Trek from Nichnai to Vishnusar Lake

The magnificant Kishnsar Lake

Continue your journey by rising for another hour. Deep down to the left is a stream that flows from Kishnsar/Krishnasar lake at around 12,000 feet all the way down to Vishnusar lake at 11,000 feet. Krishnasar Lake is a great site to fill up your water bottles and prepare for the next hard climb. Kishansar lake has a little island that becomes more visible as you approach the Gadsar mountain. The two lakes look to be twin lakes from the summit or from Gadsar pass.

The toughest portion of the entire trail

The level area in front of Kishnsar Lake is good for walking through the meadows, followed by a difficult ascent. It’s a seventy-degree incline, and you can’t afford to make mistakes. Two bad steps and you’ll be all the way down, and there aren’t even any trees here. If it rains, this is a dangerous spot to climb; instead, camp near Kishnsar Lake and wait for the rain to cease.

Splendid view of the alpine twin lake

As you progress, don’t forget to stop and turn around every now and then. The scenery is really breathtaking. The hue of the water at Kishnsar Lake indicates how deep it is. It’s dark blue in some spots and greenish-blue along the island and the margins. As you climb, you can see the Gadsar peak in front of you, which appears to be a massive monolithic rock. Even though you cannot climb the mountain, you may get extremely near by using the Garsar Pass at 13,750 feet.

Twin lake view from Gadsar pass of Kishansar and Vishnusar lake, Kashmir, India
Twin lake view from Gadsar pass of Kishansar and Vishnusar lake, Kashmir, India

Garsar Pass – Crossing the highest point

As you get closer to Gadsar Pass, look back to observe the two lakes you passed over earlier. Even though there is a 1,000-foot height difference, it looks to be a twin lake and is the most stunning vista. Don’t forget to take a panoramic or wide-angle photo from here. Spend some time taking photos at the Gadsar pass.

What’s on the other side of Gadsar Pass

The view from the opposite side of the pass is just as lovely. To the left are snow-covered rocky mountains, while to the right are arid brown mountains. There are meadows, a stream, and a gorgeous valley in between. There will be no more climbing for the rest of the day, and it will be a gentle drop. If you’re lucky, you could come upon some brightly coloured flowers in the meadows below.

A plethora of streams to the left, generated by the melting snow from the snow-covered steep slopes. Continue trekking across the meadows for around 30 minutes before descending near vertically for about 10 minutes. This is where you may stop for lunch near to the stream, and it’s also time to refill your water bottles.

The gorgeous Gadsar Lake

Gadsar Lake, Jammu & Kashmir, India
Gadsar Lake, Jammu & Kashmir, India

Continue your journey for another 30 minutes and you will come across another gorgeous lake, the Gadsar Lake. This lovely lake is surrounded by rugged mountains and little waterfalls. Locals advise against drinking water from Gadsar. So, just take in the scenery, take some photos, and continue your journey. This would have been a great location for camping, but you are not permitted to do so.

Continue walking down the valley. The path you take from Gadsar to the next campground will run parallel to the stream. As you go, you will come across a few native homes. They were quite helpful, and after your document check, head to your campground, where you will have to cross the stream.

Gadsar Campsite, Kashmir, India
Gadsar Campsite, Kashmir, India

We had a difficult day because we were not permitted to stay adjacent to Gadsar Lake and had to trek four to five kilometres to the next campground. This campground is within around fifteen kilometres from the front lines/war zone. It was too much to climb and walk, but it was also the most enjoyable. Trekking across the Kashmir Great Lakes is something you should do at least once in your life. On day 5, we continue our trek from Gadsar to Satsar, another gorgeous campsite. Meanwhile, watch the YouTube video to get a sense of the hike on Day 4 to Gadsar.

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