The Kareri Lake Trek- Trek to Serene Beauty amidst Dhauladhar Range
Are you an avid trekker seeking a perfect blend of adventure and natural beauty? Look no further than the breathtaking Kareri Lake trek in the mesmerising Dhauladhar range of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Kareri Lake, also known as Kumarwah Lake, is a high-altitude freshwater lake nestled amidst lush green forests and towering snow-capped peaks.
Lesser known or one of the hidden gems in Himachal Pradesh, Kareri Lake is a glacier lake. Embarking on the Kareri Lake trek is a soul-enriching experience that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. The serenity of the lake, the enchanting vistas of the Dhauladhar range, and the thrill of conquering the trails make this trek a must-visit for every nature enthusiast and adventure seeker. The trek trail and the lake facing tall mountains is a photographer’s paradise.
About Kareri Lake Trek
Kumarwah Lake or popularly called Kareri Lake is situated at an altitude of approximately 2,934 meters (9,626 feet) above sea level in the Dhauladhar range. The lake is fed by the melting snow and glaciers of the Dhauladhar range. The lake remains frozen during the winter months and transforms into a picturesque paradise during the summer and autumn seasons. The crystal-clear water of the lake reflects the surrounding snow-capped peaks and lush greenery, making it a visual delight for trekkers and nature lovers.
Trekking to Kareri Lake
A moderate difficulty level trek that offers a blend of adventure, natural beauty, and magnificent views, Kareri Trek is one of the most beautiful treks in the region. A total of approximately 26 km, the trek takes about 3-4 days to and from the Kareri village.
Day 1 of Kareri Lake Trek
The trek begins from Kareri village where your trek coordinator /organiser will assist you in taking necessary permissions. A quaint walk for about a kilometre or two passing through the forest of tall pine and oak trees will take you to the gate of Kareri Trek start point. You will cross small villages of the region and will get a glimpse of the lifestyle of local Himachali people primarily shepherds. This is the point where you need to take tickets and register yourself.
The trek starts with a gradual trail walking with several wooden bridges over gushing streams. As you cross through the lush green and dense forest, the trail gets steeper. The first pitstop or the campsite is Reoti village. We pitched our tents by the side of the Nyund River. After trekking for nearly 6 hours with steep inclines, steps and rocky paths we reached our campsite. Our
Our trek coordinators had kept our lunch ready. Piping hot rajma chawal, aloo sabzi and roti felt like a blessing after a strenuous hike on that cloudy day. It started to pour with hail-storms in no time and we decided to stay there instead of trekking further.
After lunch, we explored the nearby places and helped our porters who were hunting for wood to be used as fuel for cooking. It was an adventurous day, with hail storms, cloud bursts and thundershowers. It was dark by 4 pm. I was scared. By then to our surprise, our MasterChef got us some hot pakors and chai. What else you can ask in life?
We decided to retire early as we had not slept properly the previous night and the day trek was quite tiring. The night was extremely cold. I was wearing 3 layers and still was feeling cold. I had to reach out for more blankets and by God’s grace, we had spare ones.
Pro Tip: Nights are cold in the mountains. Always be prepared with your woollen clothes.
Day 2 at Kareri Lake Trek
After resting on day one, we were recharged and started afresh for the day 2 trek. We were advised by our porters and guide to shift the campsite and stay near Kareri Lake on the second night. The weather on day 2 was also gloomy and I didn’t want to take any chance of getting caught in hailstorms or flashing rainwater. We decided to trek a little more and do a round trip to the lake and back to the campsite. It was very strenuous but the amazing views, a wide range of Dhauladhars, Indrahara Pass, and Mun Peak kept us going. The breathtaking views, awesome weather and other trekkers motivated each other. The trek from Reoti village to Kareri Lake is about 5 km and can be completed in 4-5 hours. The views of the mesmerising lake abandoned Shiva temple, and towering Gajj Pass didn’t allow us to come back. After spending an hour or so and taking numerous photos we headed back to our campsite and retired after a long day.
Day 3 Return to Kareri Village
On the third day, you’ll retrace your steps back to Kareri village, descending through the beautiful forested trails and picturesque landscapes. The journey back will be equally rewarding, offering different perspectives of the magnificent Dhauladhar range. It appeared to long route to descend but we managed to reach it in 4 hours just before lunchtime. After a good hot water bath, we were served smoking hot rice and daal with some vegs.
The difficulty level of the Kareri Lake trek
While Kareri Lake and its trail offer some of the best picturesque and breathtaking views, do not underestimate the difficulty level of the trek. The trek is considered to be of moderate difficulty level and is suitable for both amateurs and seasoned trekkers. The trek involves ascending and descending through hilly terrain, dense forests, boulders, rocky terrain, crossing streams, and occasional steep sections.
The trek starts from Kareri village at around 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) above sea level and reaches an altitude of approximately 2,934 meters (9,626 feet) at Kareri Lake. It usually takes 3-4 days to cover a total distance of 26 km to complete the trek.
How to Reach Kareri
Kareri is a beautiful lake nestled in a quaint village Kareri, is just 26 km away and takes about an hour to reach from Dharmashala. You can reach Dharamshala either by road, rail or by air.
Kangra is the nearest airport connecting to most of the major cities of India. Even though it is a small airport, you will find taxis to reach Kareri. Alternatively, you can take a state road transport bus to reach the village.
Dhamarmshala is the closest major railway station and is well-connected to the major cities of North India. I took a night train from Delhi and reached Dharamshala by 4 am.
Travelling by road is always the best way to reach the last mile. Taxis and state-run buses are easily available from Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar, Manali etc to reach Dharmshala. Private taxis and local buses are available easily to reach Kareri.
Best Time to Visit
Being in Himachal Pradesh, Kareri is a picturesque trek with breathtaking views. The weather throughout the year is mostly pleasant and favourable to trekking conditions. However, monsoons can be avoided as the path becomes slippery and risky for trekking. There are hardly any stay options during the course, staying in tents during monsoon is not advisable. Winters are challenging for beginners as it snows heavily.
Hence, the Kareri Lake trek is best undertaken between April to June and September to November is the best time to trek. The weather conditions are favourable to trekking and are pleasant.
Accommodation in Kareri Lake Trek
Kareri Village serves as the starting point for the trek, and you may find a few guesthouses or homestays here. These accommodations offer basic amenities like a bed, blankets, and meals. Staying in Kareri village the night before starting the trek is a good idea to acclimatize and begin the trek fresh the next day.
Being a rustic trail, there are no homestay accommodations available on the route. You have to pitch your tent or the trek organiser will assist you in doing so. It is safe to have a tent along the trek route, ensure you do not leave any traces.
Takeaway / Tips Kareri Lake Trek
To make the most of your Kareri Lake trek and preserve the natural beauty of the region, kindly remember the following points:
- Physical Fitness- Although the trek is for 3-5 days, it is considered moderate to difficult. It is crucial to maintain good physical fitness to comfortably complete the trek.
- Pack Light- Carry only the basic and essentials and travel light. As the trek is not very popular and commercial there are very few porters available in the region.
- Drinking water is sourced from streams and rivers. Carry water purification tablets or filters. Though villagers consider the flowing water safe for drinking.
- Follow the trail- If you are planning to trek on your own, follow the trail as there are very high chances of getting lost in the wilderness. It might also disturb the local fauna and flora.
- Always carry rainwear, the rains are unpredictable in the mountains.
- DO NOT LITTER- the thumb rule for any hikes/treks – Do not litter the mountains and bring back all your trash.
The Kareri Lake trek is a perfect escape for experienced and amateur trekkers to immerse themselves in the serenity of the Himalayas. The trek not only rewards you with stunning vistas but also connects you with nature to discover the simple joys of life amidst the pristine wilderness.