Kareri Lake is a high altitude, freshwater lake of the Dhauladhar range of Himachal Pradesh. It lies to the South of Dharamshala in Kangra District of Himachal Pradesh with an altitude of approximately 3200 meters or 10,500 feet. It lies at the base of famous Minkiani Pass that serves route for locals, shepherds and treks from Kangra to Chamba & Bharmour. Minkiani Pass is regarded as a twin of another famous Indrahar Pass in the region. Minkiani Pass is situated at an altitude of 4,250 meters or 13,950 feet, which is well over well renowned Rohtang Pass in Manali.
The main source of the Lake is the melting snow of the Dhauladhar range, hence the water visibility in the Lake is very high. One can even see the rivers originating as tiny streams at most of the places of the Lake. The Lake remains frozen from early December to April during the winter months when only exclusive Snow Trek is possible to the lake.
Kareri Lake trek starts from the Naddi village near McLeodganj (A famous hill station of Dharamshala). The first day of the trek leads us to the village of Kareri which about 13 km trek from McLeodganj. Kareri Lake is named after this nearby gaddi village. Kareri Lake is further 13 km Uphill to the Kareri Village. Trekking trail is easy to moderate at some places that go along with the Nyund (Liund) Stream of the Kareri Lake.
It is a unique and beautiful trek. The diversity witnessed on this trek is striking.
Duration: 4Nights/ 5Days
Day 01: Arrival in McLeodganj | McLeodganj to Kareri Lake
- Upon arrival in McLeodganj, proceed to the guest house to freshen up.
- After enjoying refreshments, begin this Minkiani Pass Trek by heading to Kareri village.
- The easy trail will take you through dense forests of pine.
- This approximately 5-hour long walk will take you past many small villages, where you can learn about the life of the locals.
- Most parts of this trail involve downhill trekking, while only the final section has some uphill hike.
- The small Kareri village is your resting place for the night.
Day 02: Kareri Village to Rioti
- The trek to the Rioti campsite is quite challenging, and your fitness will be put to the test here.
- Taking around four to five hours, the trail will take you along the Liund River, which you will have to cross many times.
- Sometimes there will be makeshift bridges, but other times you will have to jump from boulder to boulder to cross the stream.
- Tonight, after trekking near Dharamsala, you will camp in an open meadow, situated at an altitude of over 8000 feet.
Day 03: Rioti to Kareri Lake
- With Kareri Lake as the destination, this is among the most scenic sections of the trip.
- Beginning from Rioti, the venture first takes you on a narrow path between lush mountains and a narrow gorge.
- You will come across the diverse flora of the region on the way.
- As you continue to gain height, the thick vegetation will become less dense.
- Later, you will be walking on a rocky trail, and then along a river. Soon, all the deciduous vegetation will disappear, and only firs and spruces will be visible.
- The 4-hour trek will lead you to a pleasing meadow, from where you will be able to see Baleni Pass, Minkiani Pass and a valley below.
- This is your camping ground for the night.
Day 04: Kareri Lake – Minkiani Pass – Kareri Lake
- At this time, the toughest section of the Minkiani Pass Trek in McLeodganj begins, taking you to the summit of Minkiani Pass at an altitude of around 14000 feet.
- You will have to trek for about 4.5 km to reach the pass, and the same while coming back.
- The views of the surrounding mountains will definitely be amazing from the top. Indulge in a photo shoot before beginning your trek back to the campsite near Kareri Lake,
- where you will stay for the night.
Day 05: Kareri Lake to Ghera | Ghera to McLeodganj
- As you begin your walk from Kareri Lake, you will be walking along a gushing river.
- As you reach a lower altitude, the thick vegetation will soon reappear, and you will see tall trees of deodar and pine.
- After reaching Ghera village, board a Jeep and drive your way to McLeodganj, where this Minkiani Pass and Kareri Lake Trek ends.