Ratti Gali Lake is a hidden gem located in the Neelum Valley of Pakistan. This beautiful lake is surrounded by lush green meadows, snow-capped peaks, and crystal-clear water. Trekking to Ratti Gali Lake is an adventure that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and challenging terrain. In this guide, we will provide you with all the information you need to know to plan and embark on a successful trek to Ratti Gali Lake.
Name and Meaning
It received its name from the scarlet hues of the surrounding escarpments and hills (the Punjabi word “ratta” indicates “red”). The lake is referred to as Dowarian Lake by the locals.
The Lake’s Specialty
One of Azad Kashmir’s many paradisiacal locations is Ratti Gali Lake. It is among one of the highest lakes in the entire globe in terms of altitude.
Location and Accessibility
Ratti Gali Lake is located in the Neelum Valley of Pakistan, in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir region. It is located at an altitude of 12,130 feet above sea level.
The distance of the Ratti Gali Lake from Islamabad is approximately 158 km, which means that the lake can be reached in about 3 hours and 30 minutes.
The trek to Ratti Gali Lake starts from the town of Dowarian, which is located approximately 150 km from the city of Muzaffarabad. The trek can be accessed via a jeep ride from Dowarian to the Ratti Gali Lake trek starting point.
Trekking Difficulty and Duration
The trek to Ratti Gali Lake is considered to be a moderate to difficult trek. It takes about 3-4 days to complete the trek, depending on the route you take and your level of fitness. The trek involves steep inclines and rocky terrain, so it is essential to be in good physical shape and have proper hiking gear.
What to Expect on the Trek?
The trek to Ratti Gali Lake offers a unique blend of natural beauty and challenging terrain. You will be trekking through dense forests, crossing streams and rivers, and climbing steep inclines. Along the way, you will be treated to breathtaking views of the Neelum Valley, snow-capped peaks, and the crystal-clear Ratti Gali Lake.
How to Prepare for the Trek?
To prepare for the trek to Ratti Gali Lake, it is essential to be in good physical shape and have proper hiking gear. You should also be prepared for extreme weather conditions, as the weather can change quickly in the mountains. Some recommended items to bring on the trek include a good pair of hiking boots, a waterproof jacket and pants, a warm hat and gloves, a first-aid kit, and a water filter. It’s also important to have a guide who is familiar with the area and experienced in trekking.
Camping at the Base Camp
Leverage the power of a three-day, two-night camping excursion to Ratti Gali Lake. Exploring Ratti Gali Lake, Keran Valley, and staying at Ratti Gali base camp would enable you to fully appreciate Kashmir’s natural magnificence.
Accommodation and Food
During the trek, accommodation is available in the form of tents, or in local guesthouses. It is recommended to bring your own camping gear if you plan to stay in tents. Food is also available in local guesthouses, and you can also hire a cook to prepare meals for you during the trek. The local cuisine is primarily made up of rice, lentils, and vegetables.
Permits and Regulations
To trek to Ratti Gali Lake, it is necessary to obtain a permit from the local authorities. It is also important to be aware of and follow any regulations set by the government or local authorities to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Ratti Gali Lake is from June to September, during the monsoon season, as the landscape is at its most beautiful and the lake is full of water. However, this is also the time when the trek can be more challenging due to the muddy and slippery conditions. The temperature can also drop significantly at night, so be prepared for colder weather.
Trekking to Ratti Gali Lake is an adventure that offers a unique blend of natural beauty and challenging terrain. With the right preparation and mindset, you can enjoy the beauty of this hidden gem while pushing yourself to your limits. It’s important to obtain the necessary permits, be aware of regulations, and choose the best time to visit to ensure a safe and enjoyable trek. Ratti Gali Lake is a destination that will leave you with unforgettable memories and breathtaking views.