Trek to Karambar Lake is a must in the bucket list of an adventure lover. Trek difficulty level is EASY but involves multiple hours trekking so prior trekking experience will be preferable. The trek is one of the most diverse treks in northern areas of Pakistan and has many entry and exit points to the lake. It is also one of the most beautiful treks. Karambar lake lies on the boundary of Broghil valley in Chitral and Ishkoman valley in Gilgit Baltistan. The easy and shortest route to Karambar lake is from Chitral side (via Mastuj, Broghil valley). It took us 11 days for the round trip from Islamabad with spending two nights at the lake.
When you plan your trek to Karambar Lake, make sure you get NOC via fax or mail from Chitral. If you do not know the steps, here is the step by step guide How to get NOC for Karambar Lake?
Karambar lake ranks to the 31st highest lake in the world and it is not very far away from Karambar pass which connects Broghil valley and Ghizer district. The width of the lake is around 3.3 KM and has the area around 2.56 square km. The outflow of the main lake flows into another mini lake before moving downstream towards Broghil. Another beautiful lake called Ribat lake is at least 1 mile away from Karambar lake.
Keep your luggage/belongings in 1 piece (10 kgs max) to be allocated amongst porters.
Because of wilderness & remoteness of the terrain, washing facilities will be of adventure level.
We expect all participants to understand the difference between entertainment and adventure
Following was our original itinerary for our 2015 Karambar lake trek:
Our journey to Ishkarwaz turned out to be over incredibly difficult terrain. Please keep in mind that we got jeep track open all the way to Ishkarwaz which normally is open only till an area near Kishmanja when river water overflows. This adds 2 days of a trek to Ishkarwaz so please keep these extra days in mind.
The actually hardcore trekking starts from Ishkarwaz and because this area is very close to Afghanistan border, military soldiers check your ID cards. There is also a check post for Gilgit Baltistan scouts which also verify your NOC which you have with you.
A couple of hours walk away from Ishkarwaz is Garhil village which is Inhabited by a few households, This is one of the most beautiful spots of the whole area in terms of landscape. After crossing Garhil, one walks beneath the Darwaza pass and reaches Lashkargaz. Darwaza pass is another way to enter into Afghanistan's Wakhan Corridor. Before Lashkargaz, the main attraction of this day is a series of small but beautiful lakes with changing colors. In total, there are five different lakes just adjacent to each other. Every few kilometers on this path, one comes across a new pasture which is used as the grazing land for yaks. Lashkargaz is the place where traditional polo festival is held each year where Wakhi people from the whole region participate.
Its roughly 15-20KM trek for the day with no major climbs. People often break it down to two days because sometimes the weather near the lake is so unpredictable. If you also want to do that then camp at Laleerabad which is 10km before Karambar.
Enjoy a free day at the lake.
You should choose a different route on your return and come back via Darkot pass (Yasin Valley). This is another beautiful trek which involves an extra bit of effort to climb the Darkot pass. On the way back, camp at Lashkargaz after crossing Showrsheer. There is also a small two-room hotel in Lashkargaz which is owned by a local in the area if you find the weather unpredictable or there are chances of rain, you can stay at this hotel instead of pitching your tents.
For more information about distance, elevation please see the images above.
Chikar is the base camp for climbing Darkot Pass from Broghil Valley. For more information about distance, elevation please see the images above.
Trek to Darkot Pass base camp and enter to Darkot in Yasin Valley. It could take you 9-10 hours and you should take rest and do not attempt Darkot pass on this day. Crossing Darkot pass requires some effort and you shouldn't attempt it and reach Rawat at 12 am.
Trek and cross the Darkot pass and reach a small village Rawat. Darkot pass is very steep so, you need to move carefully and in groups. When you reach on on the other side, trek for 30-40 mints to reach a small village of Rawat and pitch your tents.
This should probably be the last day of trekking from Rawat to Darkut village. Hire a jeep from the village and reach Gilgit. Stay overnight in Gilgit city.
Personal van or public transport, get yourself packed and reach Islamabad.
If the path from Mastuj is not accessible due to landslide or flood, take the alternative path from Darkot, Yasin valley.
Trek to Darkot pass base camp, night in camps
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