A Trek Guide to Ratti Gali Lake

A Trek Guide to Ratti Gali Lake

Ratti Gali Lake is a stunning alpine lake located in the Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It is a popular trekking destination for both locals and tourists alike, offering stunning scenery and a challenging but rewarding trek.

Trek Guide to Ratti Gali Lake:

How to Get There:

The nearest major city to Ratti Gali Lake is Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir. From Muzaffarabad, you can take a jeep to the town of Dowarian, which is the starting point for the trek. The jeep ride takes around 4-6 hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions.

When to Go:

The best time to visit Ratti Gali Lake is during the summer months (June to September), when the weather is mild and sunny. 

The Trek:

The Ratti Gali trek spans over 19 kilometers and typically takes around 4 to 5 days to complete. Here's a day-by-day breakdown of the trek:

Day 1: Dowarian to Jalkhad

  • The trek begins from Dowarian and leads you to Jalkhad, which is a 9-kilometer hike. You'll follow the Neelum River, passing through dense forests and scenic landscapes.
  • Jalkhad is a picturesque camping site by the river, and it's a great place to spend the night.

Day 2: Jalkhad to Ratti Gali Base Camp

  • The next day, you'll trek from Jalkhad to the Ratti Gali Base Camp, which is roughly 7 kilometers away.
  • As you ascend, you'll notice the landscape changing from lush green forests to alpine meadows.
  • The base camp is your last stop before reaching the stunning Ratti Gali Lake. You'll camp here for the night, enjoying the mesmerizing views and preparing for the final stretch.

Day 3: Ratti Gali Lake and Back to Base Camp

  • On this day, you'll hike for around 3 kilometers to reach Ratti Gali Lake.
  • The moment you arrive at the lake, you'll be greeted by its crystal-clear waters and the towering mountains surrounding it. Take some time to soak in the beauty and tranquility of this place.
  • You can either camp by the lake or return to the base camp, depending on your preference.

Day 4: Base Camp to Dowarian

  • The last leg of the trek involves hiking back to Dowarian, covering approximately 16 kilometers.
  • You'll retrace your steps through the picturesque landscape, bidding farewell to the stunning views and fresh mountain air.

What to Pack:

When packing for your trek to Ratti Gali Lake, it is important to bring the following items:

  • Comfortable hiking shoes or boots
  • A backpack with enough space to carry your supplies
  • Plenty of water and snacks
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat
  • A rain jacket and warm clothes
  • A sleeping bag and tent (if you are camping)

Tips for trekking to Ratti Gali Lake:

  • Start early in the morning to avoid the heat of the day.
  • Take breaks every few hours to rest and refuel.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated.
  • Be aware of the altitude and take it easy if you start to feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  • Enjoy the scenery and take your time!


There are a number of guesthouses and lodges located at the base camp of Ratti Gali Lake. You can also camp at the base camp or near the lake itself.


The trek to Ratti Gali Lake is a challenging but rewarding experience. The lake itself is a stunning sight, and the surrounding scenery is simply breathtaking. If you are looking for an unforgettable trekking adventure, be sure to add Ratti Gali Lake to your list.