Although the traditional yatra trek to the Amarnath cave is
from Pahalgam one can also go there from Sonamarg.
Day 1: Sonamarg-Baltal
This 15-km trek takes about five hours
and it's an easy walk since there is little altitude change
between Sonamarag and Baltal. One should be able to get a
lift on a truck to the roadblock, from there on it is better
to walk. The roadblock is closed until noon or later,
waiting for traffic to come across the Zoji la from Ladakh.
From the roadblock one can walk along the river valley
track, which is very pleasant. The river valley track is
also 2 to 3-km shorter than the vehicle road. A military
camp is the first sign of Baltal, which can be reached in a
day from Srinagar.
Day 2: Baltal-Amarnath
The 15-km trek to Amarnath climbs over a thousand metres
from Baltal at 2,743 metres to the cave at 4,175 metres and
the walk takes about nine to 10 hours. The route crosses one
major snow bridge over a river and climbs steadily up,
crossing the Satsing pass, 3 ½-km before Amarnath, at 4,115
metres dropping down and then climbing up again to the cave
at 4,175 metres. There are some tea stalls along the way,
even at the river, and after the junction with the main
trail there are even more.
From Amarnath one can follow the
traditional yatra trail down to Pahalgam.
marnath to Baltal & Sonamarg from the Amarnath cave
return along the pilgrim trail as far as the junction of the
Panchtarni and Amarvati rivers. Here the trails divert, with
the track to Baltal heading down the true right of the
valley. The trail is prone to rock avalanches where it
traverses large scree slopes and one should be wary of
descending without first checking its condition. If there
are no problems, the trek to Baltal can be completed in
about four hours.
Baltal there is a regular bus service during the pilgrimage
period, getting back to Srinagar that night. At other times,
camp at Baltal and continue to Sonamarg at a more leisurely
pace the following morning. From Sonamarg there are three
buses a day to Srinagar and the drive takes around five