Discovering The Pearl of Kaghan: Dudipatsar Lake

The northern terrains of Pakistan have such hidden gems that they will leave you breathless. One such undiscovered beauty that is receiving quite some footfall from trekkers and tourists is the Dudipatsar Lake trail. Away from the crowds of bustling Naran, in the deep wilderness of Kaghan Valley lies Dudipatsar Lake, endearingly called, “Queen of Lakes.” In this edition of Tales from the Trail, we connect with a seasoned trekker and positively growing Youtuber, Abdullah Salman, to know all about his adventurous trek to Dudipatsar Lake.

If you are planning a trek to Dudipatsar Lake anytime soon, now’s the time to scroll through this comprehensive interview that serves as a perfect guide.

Meet Abdullah Salman…The Narrator For The Dudipatsar Trail

So, before we descend into the beautiful wilderness, that is the Dudipatsar trail, let’s get acquainted with the rising star in the Youtube vlogging community, Abdullah Salman. A photography enthusiast, Khan is continuously on the road exploring, traveling, and filming his adventures through the lens. You can check out his social media to discover the undiscovered and off-beaten paths that will satiate your wandering soul.

Let’s get to the crux of the matter! The trek to Dudipatsar lake.

Everything You Should Know About The Dudipatsar Lake Trek

If you have been preparing to partake in a trekking expedition to Dudipatsar Lake, you are in just the right spot. Every curious question that you might have in mind regarding this trek, you will find all the answers, as we navigate the terrains and meadows from Abdullah Salman’s perspective.
As we warmed up the conversation, we started with the basics!

Abdullah, can you tell us what lured you to the Dudipatsar Lake?

Here’s what the travel enthusiast had to say about Dudipatsar Lake! Dudipatsar Lake is one of the most picturesque, hidden gems in the Kaghan Valley, located in Lulusar National Park. It is not just the unabashed beauty of the wilderness that the lake offers. The whole trek is scattered with blinding beauty of the lush, green meadows, pearly white, frozen glaciers and alpine vegetation. The Kunhar River stream running alongside takes your breath away at every step and turn.

So, the trek to Dudipatsar Lake is not just reaching the destination, but it’s also the journey that counts. And once you reach the lake, the surrounding snowy peaks and crystal clear waters will leave you mesmerized. So, Dudipatsar is a magnificent landscape. However, what actually lured me to this trek was the anticipation of exploring the unknown trail and the adventurous nature of this trek. I’d say, adventure and exploration is always the real motivation when it comes to any location, not just Dudipatsar Lake.

Alright, that has us excited! So, how accessible is Dudipatsar Lake?

According to Khan, Dudipatsar Lake is not accessible year-round. The stunning lake is only accessible for 4 months a year, from mid-June to September. For the rest of the year, the lake is inaccessible and covered with snowfall. Towards the month of October, the Dudipatsar trek comes to a close and is quite abandoned, as the locals start migrating by then.

We further prodded him on the same question.

So, according to you, what would be the perfect time to plan the Dudipatsar trek?

As Abdullah states, the best window to see the Dudipatsar Lake in full bloom is July and August. That’s when the weather is best and you can witness the wildflower blooms, crystal clear water, and blue skies in all their glory.

Can we talk about the route for Dudipatsar Lake? How to get there and trek details?

Abdullah Salman filled us in on all the details regarding the Dudipatsar trek. Here’s everything you need to know!

So the whole expanse of reaching Dudipatsar Lake stretches around 8-9 hours with a distance of 18 kilometers from start to endpoint. Throughout the trek, you will cross through glaciers, rivers, meadows, and lush landscapes.

So, if you are coming from Islamabad or Lahore, I’d recommend you to arrive at Naran while continuing your journey onwards to 45.5 km and stay at Besar. Many people also opt to stay at Main Naran, Batakundi, or Jhalka; but, staying at Besar saves you the extra travel time and allows you to start the trek early.

As I mentioned earlier, the whole trek spans 18 km. I covered around 12 km on day 1 and covered the rest of the distance on the second day, so I reached the lake pretty early in the morning.

While Abdullah gave a pretty in-depth overview of the trek, we were hungry for more. So, our inquisitive nature kicked in.

That’s interesting, Abdullah! Can you flesh out the trek a bit more comprehensively for our readers?

“Yeah, I sure can,” Abdullah quickly responded. Here’s what he had to say, “So, for the Dudipatsar Lake trek, your starting point is at Besar, the infamous Moon Restaurant. I’d suggest you grab a good breakfast and start as early as possible. The Dudipatsar trek is divided into two days, so you can enjoy the scenery and not just rush through the hike.

Many tourists try to complete the 18 km trek in a single day. But, I wouldn’t recommend that, since Dudipatsar isn’t the easiest terrain to ascend or descend. Pacing through the trek would only cause fatigue and increase the chances of injuries.

For Dudipatsar Lake, people opt for solo treks, hire local guides, or join groups. So, how you carry out the trek depends on your personal preference. So, once you start your trek from Besar, crossing a local village, you have to traverse a river strait via a small cable pulley. Mostly there are local villagers who’d help you cross that river, or you can pull the ropes yourself to reach the end.

On the first day, the goal is to reach the point, called ‘Mulla ki Basti,’ where we have to spend the night camping. At the start of the trek, you definitely feel burnout and exhaustion, since you are gaining altitude. So, go at your own pace. From Besar to Mullah ki Basti, the total duration would be around 6-7 hours, depending on your pace.
Make your tent or hire a camp from locals to spend the night. The next day, after a 2-3 hour long hike from Mulla ki Basti, you will reach Dudipatsar Lake.”

Wow! This seems easy, Abdullah! So, is the trek as easy as it sounds, or there’s more to the story?

What are the lessons and loopholes we should know when planning a trek to Dudipatsar?

Our question definitely caused Abdullah to chuckle. Here’s the gist of blunders and miscalculations you should avoid on the Dudipatsar trek, according to the Youtuber. The trek to Dudipatsar Lake isn’t a cakewalk. You will be crossing river straits, glaciers, narrow mottled paths, and huge rocks up and down the terrain. So, let’s get this out of the way that Dudipatsar is an easy trek to cover. You will definitely feel your body giving up at times if you are out of shape or haven’t packed the proper gear for the trek.

According to Abdullah, for Dudipatsar Lake, you need grit, persistence, and patience to make it to the end, even if you are out of shape. Additionally, he also mentioned that the right kind of shoes and gear make all the difference. Waterproof and anti-slipping shoes are a life-saver on this trek, once your shoes are wet the trekking becomes complicated to another level.

Additionally, if you are carrying heavy bags, the physical strain would slow you down further. So, it’s advisable to pack light or you can hire locals with horses to carry your stuff. Other than that, always keep a raincoat, torch, and layers with you and pack efficiently. Planning ahead of time is of utmost importance to staying comfortable on the trek.

What other tips and tricks would you like to give for visiting Dudipatsar lake?

Here’s how Abdullah responded, “Well, that’s pretty much it. But, the weather during Dudipatsar is always changing, so always be prepared for that. One moment there will be a cold wind gust and moderate sun and another moment, it will start raining. Additionally, after the rain, the snow patches become extra slippery, so always step with caution and use hiking sticks for extra safety measures.”

In a Nutshell!

The trek to Dudipatsar Lake is definitely a worthy experience to add to your bucket list. This moderate difficulty level trek requires your grit and persistence, rather than technical experience, if you plan well and pack efficiently. Plus, the scenic views along the journey and the magnificent lake surrounded by the breathtaking peaks and wild blossoms is a once-in-a-lifetime, highly rewarding experience that no one should miss out on.

This was it on the Dudipatsar Lake trek. But, if that was magnificent, get ready to be blown away, because we have more stories to tell and more scenic gems to explore. Find out all that and more on our latest series of ‘Tales from the trails.’