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Karambar Lake: A Breathtaking Adventure in the Hindu Kush

If you are looking for a thrilling and rewarding trekking adventure in Pakistan, you might want to consider Karambar Lake, the highest alpine lake in the country. Located in the remote Ishkoman Valley, District Ghizer, Gilgit Baltistan, Karambar Lake offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, glaciers, and meadows. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about Karambar Lake, including how to get there, what to expect, and what to pack.

Karambar Lake

Karambar Lake is the 31st highest lake in the world and 2nd highest in Pakistan a height of 14,121 feet (4,304 m) and one of the highest biologically active lakes on earth.

Karambar Lake also known as Qurumbar Lake, is a high altitude lake located in Ishkomen, a Tehsil of District Ghizer in Gilgit–Baltistan, near the boundary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.

Karambar Lake is located at a distance of 205 km from Gilgit. Some (fabricated) maps clearly show that the entire span of lake is situated within the borders of Gilgit–Baltistan but in fact it is part of the Park Broghil Valley of Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province.

Although, some people say since the flow of Karambar waters itself dims the confusion about lake’s location as lake flows down towards Ishkoman but this theory does not hold water as mere flow of water in a direction does not grant ownership of lake to that downstream area.

The approximate length of the lake is 3.9 kilometers (2.4 mi), width is 2 km and, average depth is 52 meters (171 ft) .
Karambar Lake is the deepest lake in the valley with a maximum and mean depth of 55m and 17.08m respectively and is spread over a surface area of 263.44 hectares (2,634,400 m2) and discharges into Karambar valley of Gilgit Baltistan.

Water clarity level is 13.75,which is the highest value ever recorded in the literature of lakes in Pakistan.

How to Get to Karambar Lake

Karambar Lake is located in Boroghil, a village in the Ishkoman Valley, about 200 km from Gilgit, the capital of Gilgit Baltistan. You can reach Gilgit by air from Islamabad, the capital of Pakistan, or by road via the Karakoram Highway, one of the most spectacular roads in the world. From Gilgit, you can take a local bus or a private car to Chitral, which takes about 8 hours. From Chitral, you can take another bus or car to Mastuj, which takes about 3 hours. From Mastuj, you can hire a jeep to Lashkargaz, which takes about 6 hours. Lashkargaz is the last point where you can find any facilities, such as shops, hotels, and phone service.

The trek to Karambar Lake starts from Lashkargaz and takes about 4 to 5 days round trip, depending on your fitness level and pace. The trek involves crossing two passes, Karambar Pass and Darkot Pass, and ascending to an elevation of 4,694 meters (15,400 feet) above sea level. The trek is not easy and requires a good level of physical fitness, experience, and guidance. You should hire a local guide and porter from Lashkargaz, who can help you navigate the terrain, carry your luggage, and arrange your camping and food.

What to Expect from Karambar Lake

Karambar Lake is a natural wonder that will amaze you with its beauty and tranquility. The lake is about 3.9 km long, 2 km wide, and 55 m deep. The lake is fed by the meltwater of the Karambar glacier, and has a high salinity level. The lake is surrounded by majestic peaks, such as Istor-o-Nal, Koyo Zom, and Qalandar Shah Peak, and offers a panoramic view of the Hindu Kush range. The lake is also a sanctuary for migrating wildfowl, such as ducks, geese, and cranes. You can see them resting on the lake from March to June, and from September to November.

Karambar Lake is a great place to relax, meditate, and enjoy the nature. You can also indulge in some activities, such as swimming, boating, fishing, and birdwatching. You can rent a canoe or a kayak from the local villagers, who live near the lake. You can also fish for khara, a local fish, with a fishing license. You can also visit the nearby hamlet of Boroghil, where you can see the traditional lifestyle and culture of the local people, who belong to the Wakhi ethnic group and speak the Wakhi language.

What to Pack for Karambar Lake

Karambar Lake is a high-altitude trek that requires proper preparation and equipment. Here are some of the essential items that you should pack for your trip:

  • A backpack with a rain cover and a day pack
  • A sleeping bag rated for -10°C (14°F) and a sleeping mat
  • A tent, a stove, and cooking utensils (or rent them from your guide or the villagers)
  • A water bottle, a water filter, and water purification tablets
  • A headlamp, a flashlight, and spare batteries
  • A first aid kit, a personal medication kit, and sunscreen
  • A map, a compass, and a GPS device (or rely on your guide)
  • A camera, a power bank, and a spare memory card
  • A trekking pole, a pair of hiking boots, and gaiters
  • A warm jacket, a fleece, a hat, a scarf, and gloves
  • A waterproof jacket, a waterproof pants, and a poncho
  • A thermal base layer, a mid layer, and a pair of trekking pants
  • A pair of sunglasses, a pair of socks, and a pair of sandals
  • A toiletry kit, a towel, and toilet paper
  • A passport, a visa, and a permit (if required)

Karambar Lake Weather and Temperature Chart

Karambar Lake has a cold and dry climate, with large variations in temperature between day and night. The average temperature ranges from -8°C (18°F) in winter to 15°C (59°F) in summer. The precipitation is low, with most of the rainfall occurring in July and August. The following chart shows the average monthly temperature and precipitation for Karambar Lake.


Temperature (°C)-8-7-305101514104-2-7
Precipitation (mm)14916213858514028161415



Map of Karambar Lake

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