This Himalayan town offers access to dramatic valleys, backcountry ski slopes and one of the world's highest cable car rides.
Gulmarg is a hiker's wonderland and highly regarded ski resort perched among the sharp Himalayan peaks. This small Kashmir town, home to just a few hundred permanent residents, is known for its scenic mountain trails, heli-skiing delights and the world's highest golf course.
Gulmarg was once a favorite summer vacation destination for British soldiers stationed in India. Learn why as you trek around the photogenic Alapther Lake or hike the spell-bindingly vast Kashmir Valley. Bring a picnic to a serene spot along the Ningle or Ferozpore streams and see views of the mighty Nanga Parbat, one of the world's highest peaks.
Experienced trekkers can challenge themselves with a multi-day hike up Mount Apharwat. This difficult walk is best traversed with a guide. At the summit, take in enthralling vistas from the roof of the world.
Other summer activities include mountain biking, horseriding or spotting birds through Gulmarg's natural vistas. Fish at the river or work on your swing at the highest golf course in the world.
See the views with ease from the Gulmarg Gondola. This two-stage cable car carries visitors from Gulmarg Station to the shoulder of Mount Apharwat, 12,959 feet (3,950 meters) above sea level.
In winter, this ride facilitates Gulmarg's status as one of the continent's best ski resorts with the fewest crowds. From Apharwat's peak, ski hard for 10 to 15 minutes to the base and rest on the way back up. These steep slopes require some skiing experience.
Adventurous skiers may like to try searching out unspoiled snowfalls on a heli-skiing trip, or take a guided run through backcountry powder. Amateurs can book lessons before trying more difficult slopes.
Get to Gulmarg via a 2-hour bus or taxi ride from Srinagar. Aside from hotel pick-up and drop-off, Gulmarg is vehicle-free and must be traversed on foot. Ski season is between December and March.
Beyond Gulmarg, take daytrips to religious sites like Baba Reshi and Haji Murad, or try refreshing Kashmiri blends at local tea plantations.