Rush Lake Trekking Guide: Pakistan has many beautiful lakes but some of them are so unique that they stand alone in their respective categories. One such lake is the amazing and the extraordinary Rush Lake. This lake is one of the alpine lakes of Pakistan and it has the honor of being the highest alpine lake of the entire region. Not only is the lake very beautiful, it has great views to offer as well. One of the best things about rush lake is that it is not located in some hard to reach mountains, rather the lake is located at a plateau and, even with its great elevation above the sea level, a trip to the lake is a very exhilarating experience which many ordinary hikers can undertake.
Rush Lake’s Geography
Rush Lake is the highest lake in terms of altitude and height located in the Gilgit Baltistan province of Pakistan. The closest peak to the lake is the Rush Pari Peak which reaches an amazing height of 5,098 meters above the sea level or 16,726 ft. The lake itself is located at an elevation of 4,694 meters above the sea level. This makes Rush one of the highest alpine lakes on the entire planet and the highest in the entire country.
The distance of the lake from the nearest base is about 15 km. The nearest base is the Miar Peak which is located in the south of the lake along with Spantik which is often called as the Golden Peak. Both of these peaks are located in the Nagar valley.
Best Time To Visit Rush Lake
The best time to visit the Rush lake is during the summers. This is partly due to the condition of the glaciers but the more important reason for this time is that the trek on the route of the lake takes the hikers through some very immense meadows and the time of the flowering of many plants is the mid of the summer season. If you go any time late you will see that the plants have flowered and then withered; and if you go any time earlier the vegetation will not have taken off and the land will be barren. So, the reasons for visiting the lake in the summer season are two-fold; one that the lake is easy to get to and the second is that the route leading to the lake is very beautiful.
Rush Lake Trekking Equipment
The trek to the lake can take up to 7 days; and the entire journey can be of almost 11 days. Therefore, it is vital that full trekking equipment is used here. This will include all carrying supplies such as heavy duty rucksacks that must be weatherproof as the journey is going to be long. A large supply of pre-made and pre-cooked food, medical equipment such as first aid kits and all other emergency equipment are necessary to be taken along. The members of the party will have to pack their warm clothes as well as good hiking and trekking footwear to make sure that they do not have any problems while trekking through the steep paths.
Rush Lake Trekking Guidance
Both the Rush Lake and the peak that has been named after the Lake are accessed through Nagar and Hopar while traveling over the Hopar Glacier which is also known as the Bualtar Glacier. The journey also takes the hikers over the Miar Glacier which has been formed over the Miar and Phuparash mountains.
The hikers first travel towards the Hunza valley and then from there they travel towards Rakaposhi which is located at an elevation of 7788 meters above the sea level. They reach the town of Karimabad during the first day of the travel.
The next day starts with a short trek towards the Hunza River which ends at the town of Hoper. This is the meeting point of the Barpu glacier and the Bualtar glacier. From this point onwards, the real trekking begins. The hikers will reach the first base during the second day.
Days Three And Four
Days three and four will be spent hiking towards the lake. This is done through glaciers and melting ice and snow. So, one needs to be really careful while trekking through these paths.
On the fifth day, the hikers will reach the glacier and stay there.
The return journey is usually undertaken through the town of Karimabad. To reach this town, the hikers usually take the route of the melting Barpu Glacier as its water flows towards the fertile valley. From Karimabad, the hikers travel to Nagar on jeeps.
Precautions and Tips
This is a very lengthy hike with definite Do’s and Do not’s. One must take care of things mentioned below:
- The trip should be pre-planned and all hikers should know how long they are going on the trip for. The time should be discussed so as to mentally prepare the hikers for the long trip
- Equipment should be water proof and in good condition as there will not be any way to get the equipment repaired during the trip
- Guides should be taken along on the trip
- All hikers should be in good physical condition, but they should never exert themselves over the limit. If a person is short of breath, all the hikers should stop and help their teammate
- All sorts of food and the cooking equipment should be taken along so that there may not be any scarcity during the trip. You may not be able to find these items anywhere on your route.
Rush Lake Nature Reserves
Hikers will see a lot of wildlife during this trip. There are reports that brown bears and leopards have been seen in the area but these reports are usually from places which do not fall under the route of this trek. However, the hikers will see many mammals such as the majestic Urial and the Ibex. But these have grown less and less in number ever since humans have encroached into their habitat. Marmots will be a common sight on this trip, as well as the otters which will be ready to come out of their habitats during the summer months. Weasels may also be occasionally seen. Other animals will include the various varieties of the mountain goats which are very adept at getting hard to reach spots in the mountains.
There will be many birds such as the eagles and the hawks as well as osprey. Snow pigeons can also be visible if they are nesting close by. Other than that, the blue tits, warbles and other birds of their kind will be seen.
As for the flora, the lake is surrounded by different aquatic species and there is abundance of rushes, pondweeds, lilies, and Chara. Cespitose and tussock, marsh fern, joe-pye weed, marsh pea, turtlehead, bog aster and swamp lousewort can be found dominating sedge meadow. Besides these, you can also be able to find oak openings as well as dry-mesic forest at surrounding uplands. So, you can rest assured that you are going to explore the natural beauties and find some cherishing new species of plants and flowers on your trip to the Rush Lake. It is going to be a great experience for sure!