An easy but splendid trekking option for Kaghan Valley lovers is the Noori Lake. This less known and hidden lake is an exceptionally beautiful lake. Frozen for most of the year and accessible in late July to October, the Noori Lake and trek is full of natural splendors, tranquility and thrill. The dark green grassy slopes strewn with flowers, waterfalls, herds of grazing domestic animals and frequent snow patches make it superbly rich trek.
The trek from Jalkhad (Noorinar Top) Noori Lake may be completed in minimum 2 days. It is recommended to complete all the preparations at Naran to avoid any inconvenience.
Naran to Jalkhad
It takes about 2 hours by a private jeep/Suzuki van from Naran to Jalkhad. This is a lovely ride with serene views of Kunhar River, side streams, waterfalls and forested landscapes of Kaghan Valley. There are several staying options at Battakundi and Burawai before reaching the Jalkad.
Jalkad is a beautiful valley and seasonal tourist settlement with a restaurant, a small mosque and a couple of basic commodity shops. There is an excellent riverside camping field behind the restaurant. The Jeeps can also be hired from here for the trek’s starting point just after the Noorinar Top. If a porter/guide is required, make sure that the hired person has done the complete trek recently.
Jalkhad to Noorinar Top
Due to the heavy snowfall on Noorinar and surrounding heights, the road to Sharda from Jalkahd remains closed till the mid of the season. Occasional glacier and landslides also create problems for jeep traveling on this jeep road.
If the road is opened, it may take upto three hours to Noorinar Top, 17KM from Jalkhad. This is an awesome jeep ride with incredible views of snowcapped mountains, frequent side streams and grassy slopes with a smooth flowing stream in the deep. Ask the driver to drop a further 2 kilometers from the Noorinar Top at the starting point of trek.
Noorinar Top to Noori Lake
The trek starts from the jeep road and enters into the remote green and white hills. The walking trail is sometimes too narrow to step on due to the dense layer of lush green grass and flowers of every color. This is an easy walking for about 45 minutes to reach a remarkably large and noisy waterfall flowing from the Noori Lake. A small stone hut is made by local gujars who take care of a large herd of sheep and goats. Beware of watchdogs kept by the gujars.
The path for Noori Lake is on the right side along the waterfall. This is an inclined climb on the stony ridge for about 10 minutes which takes you to a bowl shaped valley, usually filled with white snow. A careful walk on the snow is required to get on the left side trek. This is a moderated hike of about another 45 minutes to reach the snowy lake, circled by mountains.
This is an ideal location for the camping for those who are carrying proper gear. The nights can be very cold as we found the lake’s surface frozen in the morning in the early August days.
Noori Lake to Hans Raj and Ratti Gali Lakes
Please read Ratti Gali Lake Trekking Guide for detailed information.
Noori Lake to Noorinar Top
It can take about 2-3 hours to reach back to Noorinar Top on the same trek.
Noorinar Top to Jalkhad
This 17KM trekking on the jeep road can be done in 5-7 hours. There are limited possibilities of finding a jeep coming from Sharda, AJK or a jeep brought by any other tourist group and returning empty.