The Kareri Lake trek, Himachal Pradesh

Kareri Lake, near McLeodganj, is a clear, serene glacial lake that is a gorgeous place to get away from it all. You’ll hike through cool forests of pine and oak to get to the lake, and will also see the charming villages of Riyoti and Kareri.

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About Kareri Lake Trek

The Kareri Lake trek is a moderately easy 4-day trek in the Dhauladhar range. The lake has a calm vibe and quiet environs, and is shallow around the banks, although the water is cold. 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.

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 lower.

Top Kareri lake treks

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3
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Price from:₹5,200
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3
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Trip Description
This 3-day trek to the Kareri Lake will take you through the mountain peaks of Dhauladhar Mountain Ranges. You will trek through forests of oak, pine and rhododendron, hike along the Nyund River and camp in some of the most scenic locations in Himachal Pradesh. Open your eyes to the exhilarating beauty that nature holds and trek from one gorgeous landscape to another. At altitudes as high as 9,600 ft, you will spend the evening around a crackling bonfire with the rest of the travellers. You will end your days in tents pitched under the starry Himalayan night sky and drift into a restful night’s sleep.

You will trek over relatively easy terrain for 5 to 7 hours every day, making it a perfect for fit beginners as well as experienced trekkers.
    Inclusions
  • Travel arrangements between Dharamshala and Kareri Village in shared, private cabs
  • Accommodation in alpine tents on twin sharing basis
  • All equipment required for camping
  • Alpine tents, sleeping bags and mattresses
  • Common kitchen/dining and toilet tents
  • All meals from breakfast on Day 1 to lunch on Day 3
  • Morning/evening tea and hot soup
  • Bonfire (subject to good weather conditions)
  • Any technical equipment required for trekking
  • Microspikes (in case of hard ice) and gaiters (in case of deep snow)
  • 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 Dharmashala
  • Porters/mules to carry personal luggage (can be arranged for INR 320 per rucksack, per day)
  • 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
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days

4
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Price from:₹5,000
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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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days

4
Price from:
₹5,000
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Trip Description
This exciting 4-day trek to Kareri Lake begins at the town of McLeod Ganj. Hiking over mountain trails, you'll trek alongside the Niyund river stream and camp at the villages of Rioti and Kareri before arriving at the Kareri Lake. En route, 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.

Please note that a minimum of 2 travellers are required to book this trek.
    Inclusions
  • Travel arrangements from and to McLeod Ganj in shared non-AC Jeep/Sumo or similar vehicle
  • 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 4
  • 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 McLeod Ganj
  • Any accommodation or meals in McLeod Ganj
  • 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
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days

3
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Price from:₹3,800
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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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days

3
Price from:
₹3,800
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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
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days

4
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Price from:₹8,800
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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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days

4
Price from:
₹8,800
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Trip Description
Imagine this: You're walking down a trail in the middle of the Dhauladhar mountains, the wind blowing gently over the wide open spaces. You've just walked through forests scented of pine and filled with blossoming rhododenron, but now you're out of the shade, enjoying the sunshine. The air is fresh and the skies are clear. In the distance, you can see a flock of woolly sheep being herded down the green slopes. And then, as you go around a boulder, as if by magic, Kareri Lake appears. It's a clearwater lake, and you can see every pebble at the bottom, and the reflection of the skies above. You take off your trekking boots, lay your backpack down on the ground, peel your socks off, and step into the cold water at the edge of the lake. It's paradise. And you're in the middle of it.

IMPORTANT: This Kareri Lake trek is not a fixed departure trip, so you will need a minimum of 4 persons to book it.
    Inclusions
  • Transport from Kareri village to McLeodganj/Dharamshala
  • Accommodation in tents on triple sharing basis
  • Meals while on trek
  • Tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses
  • Kitchen tent, toilet tents
  • All necessary permits and entry fees
  • First aid medical kits
  • Mountaineering qualified and professional trek leader, guide and support staff
  • Staff insurance
  • Service tax
    Exclusions
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Food during transit
  • Insurance
  • Mules or porter to carry personal luggage (can be arranged for INR 250 per day, per bag)
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under the inclusions
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days

9
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Price from:₹29,900
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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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days

9
Price from:
₹29,900
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Trip Description
This exciting 9 day trek takes you to three iconic destinations in the Dhauladhar range: Triund, Kareri Lake and Indrahar Pass. You'll trek through mixed forests of rhododendron, cedar and oak trees while crossing ridges, rivers, glaciers and Gaddi tribal villages. En route, you can expect to see herds of woolly sheep grazing peacefully on the slopes. You'll camp on the banks of Kareri lake, in the alpine meadow of Triund, and you'll get to walk on a glacier too. And to top it all off, you'll conquer Indrahar Pass, at a height of 14,500 feet.
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation in tents on twin/ triple sharing basis
  • Sleeping bags and mattresses
  • Toilet tent
  • Kitchen tent
  • All meals from breakfast on Day 1 to lunch on Day 9
  • All permits
  • Trekking equipment if needed
  • Services of accompanying guide
  • Services of cooks, porters for camping gear etc
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Drinks, personal expenses, tips, laundry, telephone calls, personal medicines
  • Any expenses incurred due to reasons like bad weather or road blocks due to land slides etc.
  • Insurance
  • Anything not specified under inclusions
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days

3
Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
Price from:₹6,500
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Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh
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days

3
Price from:
₹6,500
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Trip Description
The Kareri Lake trek is a perfect trek for anyone who is seeking natural enrichment in a short span of time. For a blissful 3 days, you will be amidst dense forests, grazing sheep, snowy peaked mountains, lush valleys, clear blue skies, fresh air and of course the lake itself! The lake is fed by melting snow from the Dhauladhar range around, and is pristine and shallow. There are great opportunities for photographers here, thanks to the reflections in the clear water.

IMPORTANT: This is not a fixed departure trek and requires a minimum of 2 travellers to book.
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation in tents on twin/ triple sharing basis
  • Sleeping bags and mattresses
  • Toilet tent
  • Kitchen tent
  • All meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 3
  • All permits
  • Trekking equipment if needed
  • Services of accompanying guide
  • Services of cooks, porters for camping gear etc
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Drinks, personal expenses, tips, laundry, telephone calls, personal medicines
  • Any expenses incurred due to reasons like bad weather or road blocks due to land slides etc.
  • Insurance
  • Anything not specified under inclusions

FAQs for 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 nights – 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.