Kareri Lake Trek

Trek through the Himalayas crossing gushing rivers, alpine forests, lush meadows and snowy trails to reach the serene high altitude Kareri Lake with a view of the Dhauladhar Ranges.

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Kareri Lake Trek Overview

About Kareri Lake Trek

The Kareri Lake trek is a moderately easy 3 to 4 days trek into the Dhauladhar range of the Himalayas. The lake has a serene vibe and quiet environs and is shallow around the banks. The water of the lake is cold as it lies at an altitude of nearly 10,000 ft high up in the mountains.

Most of the trail is easy, but there are some rocky outcrops and steep uphill climbs, so it is recommended for fit beginners and experienced trekkers. It is suitable for families and children above 10 years of age.

Kareri Lake trek itinerary

For the Kareri Lake trek, you’ll start from McLeodganj and wind your way up to Riyoti, your first camp for the night. The next day, you’ll trek to Kareri village, and camp nearby for the night. On Day 3, you’ll trek to the lake and spend the rest of your day there. It’s a great chance for photography, and you’ll be able to watch the sun setting over the mountains. From there, you’ll retrace your steps and trek back to McLeodganj.

If you like trekking, you should check out our list of Short Treks in Himachal Pradesh.

Treks around Kareri Lake: Minkiani Pass or Triund

Extend your Kareri Lake trek to include a fun climb to Minkiani Pass. You’ll trek to the lake as per the itinerary, and then go beyond to Minkiani Pass. Apart from that, as you’re starting at McLeodganj, you can also cover Triund and Indrahar Pass before or after Kareri Lake.This extended itinerary takes you to the alpine meadows of Triund from where you’ll be able to see the magnificent spread of the Dhauladhar range and to the high-altitude Indrahar Pass. While this trek will challenge your endurance, it will also give you a real mountain experience.

Kareri Lake trek route and views

You start your trek to Kareri Lake through rhododendron and pine forests, crossing bubbling streams and wooden bridges. As you ascend higher, you’ll find yourself in the middle of alpine meadows and oak forests. The path will get steeper here, and you’ll have to work a bit harder to climb. You’ll camp close to gurgling streams, under starry skies. When you’re closer to the lake, the views open up, and you’ll see the Dhauladhar range all around.

At the end of your Kareri Lake trek, the lake is your reward. Your campsite will be set up close to the lake from where you will get stunning views of the Minkiani Pass.

Best season for the Kareri Lake trek – Temperature and weather

The summer is a good time to escape the heat and head for the Kareri Lake trek. Between May and July, the temperature remains between 8-20 degrees Celsius. You will trek through lush green meadows and rhododendron forests, and the lake is full. This makes the Kareri Lake trek a perfect summer adventure.

It is also one of the Top winter treks in Himachal Pradesh. The lake is usually frozen over during the winter months, and the snow lies thick on the trails. The trek becomes harder in the winter, and the temperature can drop to 2-3 degrees Celsius, or below zero in the night.

Kareri Lake Trek offers travelers a wholesome experience who end up witnessing the best of both summer and winter. It is quite easy to access, can be attempted by beginners (with a little bit of training) and offers uninterrupted views of the Himalayas. Nothing like the soothing sounds of nature and the calm currents of the lake to make you forget the hustle and bustle of urban life!

Kareri Lake Trek Summary

  • State: Himachal Pradesh
  • Nearest city: Dharamshala
  • Total days: 3-4 days
  • Grade: Easy
  • Max altitude: 9600 feet
  • Total trekking distance: 25-35 km
  • Season: All year round
  • Avg temperature: Summer is 20 to -4 degrees Celsius, winter is 18 to -6 degrees Celsius

Kareri Lake Trek in Himachal Pradesh – 3 days

Sketch itinerary:

Day 1: Dharamsala to Liyoti

  • Start point: Dharamsala
  • End point: Liyoti
  • Day start time: 08:00 AM
  • Trekking distance: 6 kms
  • Trekking time: 5 hrs

Day 2: Liyoti to Kareri Lake

  • Start point: Liyoti
  • End point: Kareri Lake
  • Day start time: 07:00 AM
  • Trekking distance: 7 kms
  • Trekking time: 5 hrs

Day 3: Kareri Lake to Dharamsala

  • Start point: Kareri Lake
  • End point: Dharamsala
  • Day start time: 07:00 AM
  • Trekking distance: 13 kms
  • Trekking time: 6 hrs

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1:

You are required to report at the pick-up point in Dharamsala by 08:00 hrs. You will be driven to the village of Kareri. You will take 3 hours to reach Kareri village from where your trek begins. You will trek through overgrown forests and vast meadows.

The trail has flat stretches as well as gradual and some steep climbs as you ascend. The trail soon joins the Niyund river and you will meander along the river to reach your first campsite at Liyoti. Overnight in tents at Liyoti.

Day 2:

Today begins early with hot tea in the mountains and a hearty breakfast. Your trek will take you through forests of oak, pine and rhododendron. Keep trekking along the Niyund River and the trails begins to get steeper from here as you head towards the Kareri Lake.

Soon in a few hours and some final stretches of steep climbing, you will reach the Kareri Lake with breathtaking views of the entire Dhauladhar ranges of the Himalayas. Spend some time soaking up the serenity of the high altitude lake with pristine blue waters surrounded by the mighty giants covered in snow as far as the land stretches. Overnight in tents close to this beautiful Kareri Lake.

Day 3:

Spend the wee hours of the morning exploring the lakeside. Soon, you'll begin the return trek and retrace your steps back to the Kareri village. Hiking downhill past the campsites of Liyoti, you'll arrive at Kareri village by early afternoon. Board a vehicle from the village that'll take you back to Dharamsala. Your trip ends here.

Inclusions:

Travel arrangements between Dharamshala to Kareri Village in Tata Sumo or similar vehicle will be provided to you. Accommodation for 2 nights in tents on twin-sharing basis is included. All camping equipment required for the trek such as alpine tents, sleeping bag, mattress, common kitchen/dining tents and washroom tents will all be provided by the operator. All vegetarian meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 3 will be provided to you. Services of experienced trek leader and support staff is included. All government permits and charges and all applicable taxes are included in the package costs.

Exclusions:

Travel arrangements between your home city and Dharamsala are not included. Any personal expenses such as apparel, gear and extra meals or beverages etc. or any costs arising due to unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, natural calamities etc. will be additional. Anything not mentioned in inclusions will be additional.

3-Day Trek to Kareri Lake
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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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4-Day Trek to Kareri Lake
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4
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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Kareri Lake Trek – 4 days

Sketch itinerary:

Day 1: McLeodGanj to Kareri

  • Start point: McLeod Ganj
  • End point: Kareri Village
  • Day start time: 09:00 AM
  • Trekking distance: 13 kms
  • Trekking time: 6 hrs

Day 2: Kareri to Rioti

  • Start point: Kareri Village
  • End point: Rioti
  • Day start time: 07:00 AM
  • Trekking distance: 6 kms
  • Trekking time: 4 hrs

Day 3: Rioti to Kareri Lake

  • Start point: Rioti
  • End point: Kareri Lake
  • Day start time: 07:00 AM
  • Trekking distance: 5 kms
  • Trekking time: 4 hrs

Day 4: Kareri Lake to McLeod Ganj

  • Start point: Kareri Lake
  • End point: McLeod Ganj
  • Day start time: 07:00 AM
  • Trekking distance: 11 kms
  • Trekking time: 7 hrs

Detailed itinerary:

Day 1:

Arrive at McLeodGanj by 09:00 hrs. After a short break, you will embark on a trek towards the Kareri village. It's an easy trek that takes you through thick pine jungles, multiple small villages and downward mountain trails. The last stretch of the trek will involve a short uphill climb. You will reach the village by evening. Overnight at Kareri in tents.

Day 2:

Wake up and begin the next stage of your trek towards Rioti. An uphill trek along natural river streams, you will walk over wooden bridges and trek on narrow nature trails. Overnight at Rioti in tents.

Day 3:

One of the most scenic routes of the trek, your journey begins with a walk through a rocky track. As the trek continues, you will begin gaining height and the terrain will turn increasingly beautiful with each passing step. As you reach the Kareri Lake, you will set up camp in a gorgeous meadow overlooking towering mountains of the Indian Himalayas. Overnight at Kareri lake in tents.

Day 4:

Begin retracing your steps back from Kareri Lake and head towards Ghera. Your route will pass alongside natural river streams lined with coniferous forests of fir and spruce. At Ghera, you will board vehicles that will drive you back to McLeod Ganj. Your trip ends here.

Inclusions:

Travel arrangements between Dharamshala to Kareri Village in Tata Sumo or similar vehicle will be provided to you. Accommodation for 2 nights in tents on twin-sharing basis is included. All camping equipment required for the trek such as alpine tents, sleeping bag, mattress, common kitchen/dining tents and washroom tents will all be provided by the operator. All vegetarian meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 3 will be provided to you. Services of experienced trek leader and support staff is included. All government permits and charges and all applicable taxes are included in the package costs.

Exclusions:

Travel arrangements between your home city and Dharamsala are not included. Any personal expenses such as apparel, gear and extra meals or beverages etc. or any costs arising due to unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, natural calamities etc. will be additional. Anything not mentioned in inclusions will be additional.

Kareri Lake Trek in Himachal Pradesh
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4
McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh
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Trek to Kareri Lake trek
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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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5
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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Best time to go/Weather

The summer is a great time to escape the heat and head for the Kareri Lake trek. Between May and July, the temperature remains between 8-20 degrees Celsius. You will trek through lush green meadows and rhododendron forests, and the lake is full. This makes the Kareri Lake trek a perfect summer adventure.

The summer is a great time to escape the heat and head for the Kareri Lake trek. Between May and July, the temperature remains between 8-20 degrees Celsius. You will trek through lush green meadows and rhododendron forests, and the lake is full. This makes the Kareri Lake trek a perfect summer adventure.

Getting there

By Road:The closest town of Dharamshala is well-connected with all the major cities of North India, including Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun etc. with state transport buses and plenty of private volvos plying on the route. Plenty of private taxis and shared taxis are also a great option to reach Dharamshala from Delhi or Chandigarh

By Railways: Pathankot Railway Station is the closest railway station, which is 84.5 km from Dharamshala. From here you could take public transport or shared taxis.

By Air: Gaggal Airport, commonly known as Kangra Airport, is the closest runway to Dharamshala. From the airport, cabs and buses are easily available. This would be the best way to travel for those coming from further away from North India and other parts.

What to wear

Even though Kareri Lake trek is a relatively easier one, it is still a trek on the mountains of the mighty Himalayas. The weather is of high altitude mountains and the terrain varies greatly as you get higher. Therefore, what you wear matters a lot and one must dress appropriately to ensure you are safe, protected and have an enjoyable experience

It is best to wear clothing that keeps you warm and protects you from any harsh terrain or rocks. Here is a list of what to wear and include in your backpack: Dress in layers, wear thermal innerwear, warm t-shirts, trekking pants over thermal inner pants, warm and thick fleece and woollen sweaters. Wear and carry both regular and woolen socks for the temperatures get chilly at night.

Cover your head with a sun cap during the day, woollen gloves, muffler, neck warmers to cover your neck. Wear comfortable trekking shoes, and carry lightweight floater. Do not forget to carry a raincoat/poncho as the rains can be unpredictable here.

Do not wear any expensive jewellery or gadgets on you or carry any expensive items as you never know what kind of emergency situations there may be when you are at the mercy of nature high up in the mountains.

What to carry

Your operator will provide you and exhaustive list of items you must carry for the trek. However, at times, we forget to carry some important items that we may need during the trek in all our excitement. Then, it turns out that certain items can’t always be shared, and we end up feeling as if we are the odd ones out. So, in order to avoid that situation, here’s a list of what to carry:

A 50-60 litre rucksack, cotton clothes, warm jacket, feather jacket, fleece jacket, thermal wear, woollen cap that covers your head and ears, uv rays protected sunglasses, raincoat, extra pair of socks, water bottle, torch, cold cream, sunscreen, personal toiletries, trekking pole/walking stick. Please carry any personal medication you might need.

Preparation/Fitness

This is an easy trek with moderate levels of difficulty as the trail gets steeper towards the lake. It is suitable for families, young children and beginners to introduce them to high altitude treks. It is also a great beginner’s snow trek during the winter.

However, even though it is an easy trek, you must have a decent level of fitness. You should be able to walk at least 6 to 8 km everyday and be able to carry a 15kg backpack for adults. Try to have regular walks or runs in the weeks before the trek and practice climbing stairs or slopes around you for at least 15 min. This will make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. Especially, when the terrain gets a bit more challenging during winter when it gets covered in snow.

FAQs about the Kareri Lake trek

Can beginners do the Kareri Lake trek?

Fit beginners can do the Kareri Lake trek in summer. In the winter, when snow covers the trails, the trek will become harder, so it is not recommended for first-timers.

If you’re looking for summer treks, you should check out our blog, Top Summer Treks in India.

What is the best time to go for the Kareri Lake trek?

The summer is a good time to go for the Kareri Lake trek. The trail is green and lush, and the lake is full. However, in the winter, it is a very beautiful trek with snow on the trail and all around. You’ll also get to see the lake in semi-frozen form. However, it can be very cold during the night – as low as 2 or 3 degrees Celsius.

What should I pack for Kareri Lake trekking adventure?

For the Kareri Lake trek, you must carry layers, depending upon the season. While even the summer months will require warm layers and light sweaters, the chilly winters demand thermal liners and fleece jackets. Your day-to-day outfit will consist of synthetic track pants, full sleeves T-shirts and a pair of sturdy trekking shoes.

You will need a windproof jacket, woolen gloves and socks and a balaclava to keep your ears covered. While these will keep you warm and covered, don’t forget to pack your daily essentials. You must keep a water bottle, light snacks, raincoat, torch and wet wipes always handy.

Top Kareri Lake treks

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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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Trip Description
This exciting 3-day trek to Kareri Lake begins at the quaint Kareri village. Trekking alongside the Niyund stream, you'll catch riveting views of the Dhauladar mountain ranges. Upon reaching Kareri Lake, you'll also visit the temple of Lord Shiva, located on a hilltop overlooking the still waters of the lake.

Since this trek takes you over relatively easy terrain with patches of strenuous climbs, it is ideal for fit beginners as well as experienced trekkers.

IMPORTANT: Please note that a minimum of 2 travellers are required to book this trek.
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation in dome tents on triple sharing basis
  • All equipment required for camping
  • Dome tents, sleeping bags and mattresses
  • Common kitchen/dining and toilet tents
  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 3
  • Services of an experienced trekking guide and camping crew
  • Permit charges, entry fees and camping charges
  • First aid kit
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Travel costs between base city and Kareri Village
  • Any accommodation or meals in Kareri Village
  • Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, road blocks etc.
  • Personal expenses such as tips to staff, alcohol or beverages etc.
  • Travel or medical insurance
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions
Kareri Lake Trek in Himachal Pradesh
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3
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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Kareri Lake Trek in Himachal Pradesh
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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Trip Description
Embark on a gorgeous trek to Kareri Lake and spend three days in the hills of Himachal Pradesh. Hiking through thick forests of oak and pine, you'll explore vast grasslands and gushing waterfalls. At vantage points where you can rest and catch your breath, you'll get unfiltered views of mountains in the Dhauladhar range. After trekking for hours each day, you'll spend the night in tents pitched at some of the most scenic locations, including a night spent camping by shimmering waters of the Kareri Lake.
    Inclusions
  • Travel arrangements between Dharamsala to Kareri Village in Tata Sumo or similar vehicle
  • Accommodation for 2 nights in tents on twin-sharing basis
  • All camping equipment required for the trek: alpine tents, sleeping bag, mattress
  • Common kitchen/dining tents and washroom tents
  • All vegetarian meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 3
  • Services of experienced trek leader and support staff
  • All government permits and charges
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Travel arrangements between your home city and Dharamsala
  • Personal expenses such as apparel, gear and extra meals or beverages etc.
  • Costs due to unforeseen circumstances like bad weather, natural calamities etc.
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions
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