The Kareri Lake trek has recently started gaining popularity. Experience it before it gets hits by tourism.
- Starting Point: Kareri Village (Reach by road from Dharamshala or Trek from Naddi)
- Last Point: Kareri Lake (further treks possible)
- Time Required: Overnight stay (Start in the Morning and come back the next afternoon)
- Water Sources: Stream flows all along the trail
- Food Sources: Multiple places selling maggi, tea, snacks and eggs along the way.
- No villages on the way
- Animals: Snow Leopards in Winters (Off-season time)
- Other Trekkers: During season time
- Total Distance: 11-13 kms (based on where you start)
The first night at Kareri was accompanied by strong thunderstorms. I decided to wait till the next morning to see if the weather lets me trek up to Kareri Lake which is a glacier lake around 11-13 km uphill trek from Kareri Village.
The morning turned out to be better than the night and I starting preparing my way up to the lake.
The news of the weather made the locals cancel their treks on this day. While I knew I should listen to the locals, I still went ahead with the trek. Another crazy brother joined me as we started our trek up to the glacier lake.
We had to cross the stream multiple times to avoid the bigger patches of snow. This made our trek longer and tiring. After a few hours, it was getting dark but we were lucky to be there near a full moon night. The moon stayed with us as we found our way to the top.
Reaching the top made every challenge worth it. And as we got our first view of the snow mountains, our tiredness disappeared. We were healed — externally and internally.
It was dark. We set up our tent and camped overnight. The next morning, the sun invited us to the beautiful views of the lake.
Here are some pictures from this experience…
- In Kareri village, stay at Maan Homestay. A very friendly family with great home food. Mr. Maan has been a trekker himself and has immense knowledge to share. Double rooms should be between INR 1000 to 1200. See more about this offbeat stay here.
- Enjoy an evening in Kareri Village and go to the ‘Out Of the World’ cafe on the market road (the only road in the village) and enjoy some ginger tea with a very friendly cafe staff and owner.
- Have breakfast at Maan Homestay (Mr. Maan’s wife cooks amazing food) and then start the Kareri Lake trek from the homestay (total distance: 11 kms). You can also ask her to pack lunch for the way or to eat at the lake.
- On the trek, try not to stop for food or tea until Rioti which is the mid-point of the trek. There are 2 cafes at Rioti where you can take a break and have some tea. The first cafe near the bridge has better views and beautiful dogs as well as a portable toilet you can use if you wish.
- If you need a guide for the trek, ask for Deepu Bhai who is Mr. Maan’s Damaad. He’s probably the friendliest and most skilled guide I’ve seen in that region. I met him on my solo trek as he was guiding a group.
- Everyone in this region is very friendly they’re part of the ‘Gaddi’ community, one of the friendliest people you’ll meet.
- You can get the trail from Kareri village to Kareri lake on Maps.me, thanks to Inditramp.
- Once you reach Kareri Lake, you’ll forget all your tiredness. Enjoy the beautiful views and camp there overnight. It’s really important to stay overnight to get the full experience.
- You can carry a sleeping bag and mat and sleep near the temple. It’s cold and there are no doors or windows or proper roofs in the temple stay.
- Alternatively, you can carry your tent and pitch it on the various potential camping sites around the lake. This is a better option.
- Please don’t leave anything in the hills. Carry your rubbish and stuff back with you. There isn’t a proper garbage disposal system there as you’re in the lap of the Himalayas so make sure you get it back and dispose properly.
- You can continue your trek beyond Kareri Lake to Laam Dal Lake if the weather and your body permits. It’s better if you have a guide for this one. Alternatively, you can do this trek during Janmashtmi when all the villages do it. You won’t need a guide and you’ll get free food along the way.
- There is a shop at the temple where you can get basic stuff and perhaps even food as I’ve heard. Everything was closed due to weather conditions while I was there hence I’d have no first-hand food reviews from this shop, nor would it matter to me.
- The next morning, trek back to Kareri village. Don’t skip the sleepover at the lake which is the essence of the experience.