Unveiling the Wonders: Day Hikes from Aru Valley for Nature Enthusiasts

Aru Valley, a renowned trailhead, is a gateway to numerous alpine treks and mountaineering expeditions. Situated 105 km from Srinagar City and 12 km from Pahalgam, Kashmir, it serves as the starting point for long treks such as Tarsar Marsar, Kolahoi Glacier Trek, and Kolahoi Summit expedition. Beyond these, Aru Valley offers a variety of captivating full-day trekking options. While some may pose a challenge to beginners or amateurs, we provide choices catering to all types of trekkers and nature enthusiasts. Explore the diverse landscapes and embark on an adventure tailored to your expertise and preferences.

1. Green Top Escapade: A Day Hike Like No Other!

Green Top
Green Top, Aru

Explore a range of budget accommodations in Aru, setting the stage for a smooth trekking experience. The Green Top adventure unfolds across lush meadows at an elevation of 3400 m, covering a total distance of 16 km. Commence the gradual ascent from Aru to the foothills of Burzamul Peak, entering the treeline at 2500 m before progressing to Kothpathri.

Following the renowned Nafran Trekking trail for 3 km, the path takes a right turn, introducing a gradual steepness. The panoramic view from the top showcases the Himalayan tree line, peaks, shepherd huts, and valley glaciers, elevating the hike’s scenic and adventurous appeal. This day trek is ideal from mid-April to the end of October. Experience nature at its finest with this exhilarating journey.

2. Day Hike on Lidderwat Trail:

Lidderwat Trek
Aru – Lidderwat Trail

Embark on a picturesque and moderate day hike from Aru Valley towards Lidderwat, covering a total distance of 12 km and 24 km round trip. Ideal for beginners, families, and kids, this trail leads through the Aru Biosphere, offering incredible views with small meadows paralleling the Lidder River. For beginners, it’s advisable to return to Aru by 3 pm after exploring the Lidderwat Trail.

For those eager to delve deeper, fitness is crucial for an early morning start from Aru, with an overnight stay recommended upon completing Lidderwat in one day. Whether opting for the entire trek or half, the trail treats you to stunning vistas of snow-capped mountains, and shepherd huts nestled in the valleys, glaciers, waterfalls, and vibrant wildflowers. Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature along this captivating journey.


3. Katernag Magic: A Day Hike to Enchant Your Senses!

Katarnag Lake
Glacier Lake,  Katarnag.

Kickstart on a captivating trek to the alpine lakes nestled in the foothills of Mt. Kolahoi, often hailed as the Matterhorn of Kashmir. The challenge lies in exploring both Katernag 1 and Katarnag 2, with the former standing at an elevation of 3750 m. Covering a distance of 14 km round trip, the trail unveils stunning vistas from the start, weaving through a treeline and water channel system known locally as Gashe Angun, translating to the “park of light” or “lawn of light.

Follow the outflow of Katernag Lake, ascending with each step. While the trail may present a few patches where the way isn’t clearly defined, the breathtaking views make every effort worthwhile. This day trek is best undertaken from mid-May to mid-October, under the guidance of an experienced trekking guide. Pro tip: Opt for an early morning start from Pahalgam or Aru instead of Srinagar for a smoother and more enjoyable experience, as the latter involves a longer travel time.


Embarking on treks from Aru Valley is an exhilarating experience when undertaken with an eligible guide. Proper preparation is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable journey through the stunning landscapes. Trusting in the expertise of a knowledgeable guide enhances the trek, providing valuable insights into the terrain and ensuring that safety measures are adhered to. Make the most of your adventure by preparing adequately and choosing a qualified guide for an unforgettable exploration of the Himalayan wonders that Aru Valley has to offer.

Mudasir Ismail

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