Kareri Lake Trekking – Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh

Picture this – You are standing beside a lake at the height of 9625 ft. You see large glaciers melting into a natural lake. This is Kareri lake for you. The trek ascends the relatively remote trails through magnificent forests and secluded Hindu villages not yet connected to the road. This is also an ideal base from which to explore the upper ridges of the Dhauladhar to savor the views across the Kangra valley as well as glimpse the high peaks that extend beyond the Pir Panjal to the Himalayan Range.

Kareri lake trail goes besides a stream coming direct from the lake. For most of the trek you will follow the same stream.

The lake remains frozen from early December to March–April. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti on a hilltop overlooking the lake. A few Gaddi kothis are present on the other side of the lake, an area which is used by the gaddis as a grazing ground for their animals. Kareri Lake serves as a base for trekking further into the Dhauladhar and onward to Chamba and Bharmour via the Minkiani Pass (4250m) and Baleni Pass (3710m).

Travel to base

The nearest Airport is Kangra. From Kangra you can easily find local buses and Taxis till Dharamshala.

Nearest railway station is Pathankot from where you can take a local bus till Kangra or Dharamshala. If you have additional time you can also board the Kangra train which is a narrow gauge line which goes through mesmerizing paths.

Travel by bus is available till Dharamshala which is well connected by Govt as well as a lot of Volvo buses coming everyday from Delhi.

Short itinerary for Kareri Lake Trek

Day 1 – Reach Dharamshala and explore places in Dharamshala. If you are coming by own you may also reach Kareri village. Acclimatize in village and go for shorter walks in the village and enjoy local culture.

Day 2 – Depart to first base camp at Rioti 4-5 hrs trek. (Pack lunch at the time trek starts). The trail goes through mixed forests of oak, rhododendron, and pine. The First 2-3 Km is a level walk and then there is a steep ascent along Kareri Nullah Stream which has to be crossed over improvised wooden bridges. Night stay in tents at the bank of the river.

Day 3 – After breakfast start trekking to the final campsite at Kareri lake for 3-4 hrs. Camp overnight at Lake and enjoy the sunset.

Day 4 – After breakfast descent back to Kareri village, 4-5 hrs.

Things to keep in mind before attempting Kareri Lake Trek.

  • There are tea stalls at Reoti and the lake however they are mostly non-operational so do check at Kareri village about the same.
  • On the last stretch, you will be facing the direct sun.
  • Mobile network is not available on most of the trek.
  • There are no stay options so it is recommended to carry your camping gear or hire an agency to manage your stay and food needs.

If you are planning for the trek and want to hire camping/trekking equipment you can rent it out at Chandigarh from Viknick .

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