Naltar Lake Trekking Guide: There are some lakes in the world which are known for their great color, while there are some which are known for the great treks and great paths that lead to them. The three Naltar Lakes in Pakistan are a prime example of both of these great qualities. One of the most amazing things about the three Naltar Lakes is that they are in very different colors. While Naltar One is clear and calm like a crystal clear drop of rain, the Naltar 2 and Naltar Lake three are of amazing hues from aquamarine to azure. The best looking lake is often the Naltar three which has an amazing azure color during the summer months and it is the most visited lake of the three. The Naltar Lakes are also called the Bashkiri Lakes.
Another thing which makes these lakes so unique is that the path that leads to them is not some ordinary mountain path, rather the way to the lakes is via a long road which travels parallel to a flowing stream. This makes the journey to the lakes one of the most amazing and enjoyable journeys in the tour. Parties usually travel to the lake in open jeeps and this adds to the overall excitement factor of the journey.
Naltar Lake’s Geography
The difference of elevation between the lakes is very small. The lowest of the lakes is located at an elevation of 3050 meters above the sea level while the highest of the three lakes is situated at a height of 3150 meters above the sea level; therefore, the elevation difference between the lakes is quite nominal. The lakes are located in the Naltar Valley which in itself is part of the Gilgit Baltistan Province in the northern part of Pakistan. The closest towns to the valley are those of Nomal and Hunza.
Best Time To Visit Naltar Lake
When snow falls in the area during the winter months, there is almost no place for the snow to go. As opposed to other northern areas that receive snowfall, the area is not that heavily slopped and, therefore, all the snow that falls will pile up. This insulates the snow underneath and it is quite common to have snow with heights of 15 feet blocking the roads during the winter months.
Therefore, the best time to visit the lakes is in the summer. However, the summer months can be very harsh in the area, so it is advised that the visitors should plan their trip from early to mid-summer. It should be remembered that most of the distance is covered in jeeps so there is no need to be afraid of the mushy and marshy conditions that are caused by the melting snow. Therefore, trips should be arranged in the early part of the summer months between the months of June and July. Trips that are taken to the area in the months of August and September will feel the full brunt of the scorching sun.
Naltar Lake Trekking Guidance
These days a road has been created from the town to the lake which is used by many jeeps to take tourists and trekkers to the lake. However, there is also a trail which can be used for the trekking to the lake. In both conditions the path is the same, and the difference is only of the time spent on the way. When the trip is done on foot the time taken will be in hours and the trek will be medium due to the height and elevation of the lake. However, jeeps will be able to cover the same journey in a very short time and the members of the group will have the time to enjoy the lake and the various activities on the lake.
Precautions to Trek Naltar Lake
While on the trip to Naltar Lake, the tourists will be taken to the army land and to an active lake, therefore, two things must be kept in mind. Firstly, the people participating in the trip should make sure that they’re following the law and, secondly, they should make sure that they are not disturbing nature. So, here are some things that must be kept in mind when traveling on this route.
- Make sure that all group members are carrying valid identification documents as well as any permission documents that may be needed in the said area.
- Make sure that no member of the trip engages in any illegal activity during the trip. This includes use of illegal firearms and buying or selling of contraband goods.
- Make sure that all people who are traveling with the trip behave as local customs dictate and do not harass or misbehave with any locals.
- When at the lake, make sure that the group does not engage in littering, fire making on the ground and other activities that may harm the natural habitat.
- Make sure that no member of the group hurts any woodland animals that they may see. Also do not disturb the nests of any birds that the group may find.
Nature Reserves of Naltar Lake
The entire area which the trip will visit has a lush forested eco system. There are trees and shrubs that grow in the area and blanket the entire area during the summer months. The most common trees in the upper altitudes are the montane broadleaf but, in the relatively lower heights, forests of coniferous species such as Picea as well as Junipers can also be found in abundance. Many trees of the deciduous variety such as Fraxinus and Olea are also found here as well. The area also has growths of Pistachio and Sage retia as well as the Betula and Salix. There are many herbs that are local to the area and these have been used for medicinal purposes for many centuries. These herbs include plants like Artemisia, Haloxylon and Stipe.
There are many endangered animals that make this area their home. These include the beautiful Astor Markhor and the magnificent Alpine ibex. There are also reports that the snow leopard and the brown bear along with both the gray and the red wolves and foxes have been found in the area, but these reports are not many. More common reports are of the marten and leopard cat being found in the area. The most common birds in the area are blue tits, blue jays and warbles. The most amazing bird is also a warbler and is known as the Brooks’ leaf-warbler.
All these nature reserves make your trip to the Naltar lake awe-inspiring and an ever memorable one. There will be lots of sightseeing options and many unique experiences.