Gurez Valley Trek in Kashmir: Map, Distance, and Itinerary

Gurez Valley Trek in Kashmir - Salam Travellers

The Gurez Valley Trek is an incredible journey through the high-altitude Himalayan valley located in Bandipora district in Jammu and Kashmir. This remote valley sits adjacent to the Line of Control and close to Gilgit-Baltistan. 

Trekking in Gurez is a very recent activity that is being promoted by locals and the administration under the Border Tourism Initiative. The path to Gurez Valley Trek, or Patalwan Lakes, travels across ridgelines, boulder fields, and valleys with both ascents and descents. The trek is rated as moderate because of the elevation gain and degree of steepness on the first day alone.

Also read: 8 Top Offbeat Places in Kashmir in Summer

What is special about the Gurez Valley?

Kishan Ganga in Neelum valley - Salam Travellers

The Gurez Valley Trek has become one of the most popular treks in the Kashmir region in recent years. The area has remained pristine due to the long period of being closed off, allowing trekkers to experience untouched natural beauty and charming local villages. The views of the high peaks and glaciers in the region are breathtaking. Trekkers also get a taste of the local Bakarwal tribal culture. With its combination of scenic vistas, high-altitude hiking, and cultural immersion, it’s no surprise that the Gurez Valley Trek has quickly become a highly sought-after trekking destination.

Also read: Bali Pass Trek

What is the route of the Gurez Valley Trek?

Kishenganga River, Gurez - Salam Travellers

The lush alpine highlands of Kashmir give way to the rugged, high-altitude deserts of the Ladakh region at Gurez, on the banks of the Kishanganga River. Two surreal Alpine lakes, Patalwan Sar 1 and Patalwan Sar 2, are also located in the region. The trek is also called the Patalwan Lakes Trek, and one must traverse from Lake 1 to Lake 2 to see both lakes because they are divided by a steep and rocky ridge line.

Also read: Bhrigu Lake Trek

The Gurez Valley Trek starts from Dawar in the Gurez Valley and takes you along the Disan Nala to the twin lakes. It is a 7-day trek with a moderate difficulty level. The trek covers 38 kilometers and reaches a maximum altitude of 3,500 meters.

The Story of the Patalwan Lakes

Patalwan Lakes - Salam Travellers

The Patalwan Lakes offer a captivating journey through some of the most pristine landscapes in Kashmir. These shimmering alpine lakes, surrounded by picturesque landscapes, offer a serene environment that captivates the senses. The journey to these lakes is both rewarding and challenging, requiring trekkers to be physically fit and well-prepared for the adventure. The best time to undertake this trek is during the short seasonal window from June to August, with June being the optimal month.

Also read: Zanskar River Chadar Trek

The Best Time to Trek in the Gurez Valley

Aerial view of Bandipora - Salam Travellers

The ideal time to do the Gurez Valley trek is from May to October, when the weather is pleasant. 

  • Summer (May – June): The summer months are perfect for trekking, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 25°C. However, rainfall is common in July.
  • Monsoon (July-Sept) – The monsoon season brings lush greenery, but rain and landslides can hamper the trek. It could become muddy and slick on the path. 
  • Autumn (October): October brings clear skies, comfortable temperatures, and colorful landscapes. It’s an ideal time with fewer chances of rainfall.

Winters are extremely cold, with heavy snowfall, and should be avoided. Landslides are common in monsoons, making it risky for trekking. To experience the valley at its best, plan your trek before or after the monsoon season.

Also read: Which is the Best Month to Visit Kashmir?

How to reach the Gurez Valley

Razdan Top in Gurez Valley - Salam Travellers

The nearest airport to Gurez Valley is Srinagar Airport, which is about 123 km away. From the airport, you can hire a taxi to Bandipora, which takes around 3.5 hours. 

The road connectivity to Gurez Valley is quite rugged. From Srinagar, you have to drive via Bandipora to reach Dawar town. From Dawar, you have to take a Sumo or shared taxi for about 2-3 hours on bad roads to finally reach Gurez Valley. There is also a road via Drass, but it’s unreliable and closed for 6 months in the winter.

The road to Gurez Valley remains closed from November to April due to heavy snowfall. The best way to reach Kanzalwan during these months is by helicopter from Srinagar Airport to Kanzalwan.

Also read: 19 Famous Things to Buy in Srinagar

Gurez Valley Trek Itinerary

The Gurez Valley trek typically takes around 7-8 days to complete. The most popular route starts in Bandipora and ends in Dawar. Here is a sample 7-day itinerary:

Day 1: Bandipora to Minimarg

The trek begins in Bandipora. On the first day, you will trek from Bandipora to Minimarg, which takes around 4-5 hours. You will pass through dense forests and beautiful meadows on this trail. Overnight stay at camps in Minimarg.

Also read: 9 Best Adventure activities in Gulmarg

Tulail - Gurez - Salam Travellers

Day 2: Minimarg to Bagtore via Gurez Valley

On the second day, you will trek from Minimarg to Bagtore, crossing the Gurez valley. You will get mesmerizing views of the Habba Khatoon peak. The trail passes through Kanzalwan village. Total trekking time is around 5-6 hours. Overnight stay in camps at Bagtore.

Also read: Mawphlang David Scott Trail

Day 3: Bagtore to Budgam via Kanzalwan

Today the trail goes through Budgam, crossing the Kanzalwan village again. You will trek along the Kishenganga River for the most part. The total trekking time is around 4-5 hours. Overnight stay in camps at Budgam.

Also read: Channarayana Durga Fort Trek

Baghtore - Gurez Valley - Salam Travellers

Day 4: Budgam to Dawar via Kali Mata Peak

On the fourth day, you will trek from Budgam to Dawar via the Kali Mata peak. This is the most challenging part of the trek, as you have to ascend the Kali Mata peak. The views from the top are breathtaking. Later, I descended to Dawar for an overnight stay. The total trekking time is 6-7 hours.

Also read: Buran Ghati Pass Trek

Day 5: Dawar to Rdrung

From Dawar, you climb gradually to Rdrung village. Enjoy the views of Habba Khatoon and other peaks throughout. Overnight stay at Rdrung. The total trekking time is 4-5 hours.

Also read: Kedarnath Temple Trek

Day 6: Rdrung to Minimarg via Gurez Valley

Chorwan village of Gurez Valley - Salam Travellers

On the sixth day, retrace your steps back to Minimarg via the Gurez Valley again. This is mostly a descending trail. Overnight stay at Minimarg. The total trekking time is around 5 hours. 

Day 7: Minimarg to Bandipora

On the last day, descend from Minimarg to Bandipora, which takes around 3-4 hours. This completes the Gurez Valley trek.

The total Gurez Valley trek distance is around 60-65 km over 7 days. The difficulty level is moderate to difficult. Good fitness levels are required as you will be trekking for 5-7 hours daily and also ascending the Kali Mata peak.

Also read: Bodpathri Meadows and the Doodhpathri Trek in Kashmir

How long is the Gurez Valley trek?

Glacier Melt in Dawar. Gurez - Salam Travellers

The Gurez Valley Trek is a moderate-difficulty trek covering a total distance of around 80 km. Here are some key details about the distance and difficulty of this trek:

  • Total Distance: The total trekking distance is approximately 80 km starting from Dawar village and ending in Kanzalwan. This covers the round-trip distance for the entire trek.
  • Difficulty Level: The difficulty level is moderate, as there is not much steep climbing involved. There are gradual ascents and descents on most days. But the trek requires decent fitness levels to cover 15-20 km of distance daily.
  • Altitude Range: The maximum altitude reached on this trek is around 3,500 meters at Razdan Pass. The average walking altitude is between 2,500 and 3,000 meters. Acclimatization to the altitude is usually not a major issue on this trek.
  • Terrain: The trail passes through valleys, meadows, ridges, and mountain passes. The initial route from Dawar village is a dirt trail. Further along the trek, the terrain opens up more into grasslands and valleys. The ascent to Razdan Pass involves boulder hopping.

Also read: 8 Things to Do in Pahalgam

Is permission required for Gurez Valley?

Camping Site In Gurez - Salam Travellers

To trek in the Gurez Valley, you need to obtain permits from authorities due to the valley’s proximity to the Line of Control. The permits are easy to obtain if you plan. 

Permit requirements

  • A valid government ID like an Aadhaar card, driving license, or passport.
  • Filled out the permit application form. You can get the form at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Bandipora or from designated trek operators.
  • Processing fee of around INR 200 per person.

Process to obtain

  • Submit the filled-out permit application form along with ID proof and fee at least 10 days before the trek. This can be done directly at the DC office or through a trek operator.
  • Permits are issued within 2-3 working days. 
  • Collect the permits and carry printouts during the trek. Show them at the checkpoints along the way.
  • Foreign nationals need additional permissions from the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Getting the permits on time is crucial for a smooth trek. Consider enlisting a reliable trek operator to arrange the permissions if you are short on time.

Also read: What documents are required for Kashmir Trip

What to Carry

Dawar Helipad - Gurez Valley - Salam Travellers


  1. Trekking pants – Quick dry synthetic pants that are light and breathable. Avoid jeans.
  2. Trekking shirts – Synthetic t-shirts that wick away sweat. A full sleeve is recommended.  
  3. Fleece jackets – For warmth during evenings and early mornings.
  4. Waterproof jacket – For protection against rain and snow.
  5. Thermal inners – For layering and insulation.
  6. Trekking socks – Woolen trekking socks that prevent blisters.
  7. Woolen cap – For protection against cold winds. 
  8. Sun cap – For protection against the harsh sun.


  1. Trekking shoes – Waterproof shoes with good traction and ankle support. Break them in before the trek.
  2. Trekking pole – For balance and support. Strongly recommended.
  3. Rucksack – At least 40L capacity with comfortable shoulder straps. 
  4. LED torch – With extra batteries.
  5. Water bottles – At least 3 liters capacity. Must carry your water.
  6. Sunscreen – SPF 30+ is recommended.


  1. Medicines – Personal medication, blister kit, pain relief spray, etc.
  2. Toiletries – Light towel, toilet paper, sunscreen, moisturizer, etc. 
  3. Identification – ID and permits.
  4. Snacks – Dry fruits, energy bars, etc.
  5. Other – Swiss knife, plastic bags, passport pouch, etc.

Also read: What to Pack for the Kashmir Trip in October

Safety Tips for the Gurez Valley Trek

Dawar - Gurez - Salam Travellers

The Gurez Valley trek is considered moderately difficult, so it’s important to be prepared and take proper precautions. Here are some key safety tips:

  • Get in good physical shape before the trek, and start slow once you begin. Allow time for acclimatization.
  • Have medicines for altitude sickness, headaches, upset stomachs, etc.
  • Stay hydrated and eat healthy, nutritious snacks to keep your energy up.
  • Follow your guide’s advice closely regarding pace, rest stops, etc. Don’t overexert yourself.
  • Walk slowly and steadily on inclines. Use trekking poles for balance, if needed.
  • Wear proper layered clothing and hiking boots with good ankle support.
  • Apply sunscreen, wear sunglasses, and wear a hat for protection from the harsh sun at high altitudes.
  • Get a good night’s rest each day. Avoid alcohol and smoking, which can worsen the effects of altitude.

Emergency Contacts

Police Station Gurez: 01953244337

District Hospital, Bandipora: 01953242192

24×7 Tourist Helpline: 01942332264

Medical Facilities

Basic health facilities and small clinics are available in villages along the route. However, for serious health issues, medical evacuation may be required to Srinagar or other major hospitals. Have emergency transport plans in place with your guide. Carry insurance documents and contacts.

Book your trip today!

The Gurez Valley Trek offers a captivating adventure through a landscape unlike any other in Kashmir. Enjoy the lush green pine forests, encounter rare wildlife, and witness the beauty of the Patalwan Lakes. Challenge yourself with a moderately difficult trek that traverses diverse terrain and rewards you with breathtaking mountain vistas. Set forth on the Gurez Valley Trek for an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Himalayas.

Stay tuned for more adventure guides from Salam Travellers.

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Hassan Tariq Malik is a highly skilled Freelance SEO Consultant, specializing in Technical SEO, Digital PR, Rebranding, and Content Marketing. With a deep understanding of search engine optimization, Hassan develops effective strategies to support business development and increase conversion rates, ultimately leading to greater profitability for his clients.

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