Serolsar Lake hike in Himachal Pradesh

Serolsar Lake is one of the hidden gems of the Himalaya. This lake is such a treat for the eyes of the perfectionists. It’s of a round shape, clean, there are no dry leaves on the surface and it reflects the tall trees and rocks surrounding it.

Since you have to hike there through Jalori Pass, it is not that touristy as many places where anyone can reach by car. This is a quick guide on how to reach the Serolsar lake from North Indian cities and how to plan your journey. Here are two focus questions for today:

  • How to reach Jalori Pass?
  • Jalori Pass to Serolsar lake hike

How to reach Jalori Pass?

Jalori Pass
The view from Jalori Pass

If you are interested in the hike to Serolsar lake, you need to reach the Banjar Valley first. It is a picturesque area with a few small Himalayan villages showcasing traditional wooden houses, clean streams and green hills covered with pine trees.

It can take you 8-9 hours till Banjar if you start from big cities in North India (Delhi, Manali, Chandigarh). I recommend choosing one of the villages in the valley as a base. Shoja is the nearest village to Jalori Pass though. It’s roughly 5 km away.

Note: if you come by bus and would like to stay overnight in Shoja, the last bus from Banjar starts at 4 p.m. (better don’t count on the last bus and try to take the earlier one). I will take Jibhi (a cute village in Banjar Valley) as a starting point in this article, as I stayed there and loved it, but you can adjust the bus timings depending on your village choice.

Read also: How to reach Jibhi from Delhi or Manali?

Jalori pass road
The road leading to Jalori pass

If you go by car/bike, you have all the flexibility to travel as you like. If you go by public transport, you have to take the first morning bus to the pass and finish your trek till the last bus returns from the pass.

The first bus starts from Jibhi at 8 a.m. in the morning. It stops for 20 min breakfast in Ghiyagi village. Although the pass is just 11km away from Jibhi, the road condition is not always good.  The overall journey from Jibhi to Jalori pass takes 1.5 hours together with a food break.

The bus ticket costs 14 INR for women and 18 INR for men (in this area there is a special discounted ticket price for ladies).  At the Jalori pass, there are a few food joints in case you need some snacks or water.

Jalori Pass to Serolsar Lake hike

Serolsar lake path
The path to Serolsar lake lies through the forest and looks mostly like this.

Serolsar lake is surrounded by a dense forest. It is an easy and enjoyable 5 km hike. The path to the lake starts just behind the temple at Jalori Pass. There are a few ascents and descends on the way to Serolsar, though the path is mostly straight. I even saw a few old people slowly walking down the path.

It took me around 1.5 hours of moderate walk to reach the lake, though I also climbed two small side hills on the way to see the view of the valley from above. There are a couple of campsites on the way if you would like to stay at the pass longer.

Himalaya flowers
Forest, wild strawberries, and flowers 🙂

On the way to the lake, you will see a few houses literally under the rock. I’ve noticed even one of them giving a basic room for rent.

The lake is so clean that you can see through it. I’ve met a shepherd there with a flock of sheep. He told that whichever season you visit the lake, you will not find fallen leaves on the lake itself. The birds keep it clean throughout the year.

Serolsar lake temple
Budhi Nagin temple near the lake

Though there were plenty of fallen leaves on the path, I didn’t see any in the lake. But, hey, I’ve been just an hour there. If you stay longer, let me know!

Close to the lake, you will see a few tents where you can buy basic snacks and light meals. They come at the same price as food at Jalori pass.

Note, the last bus from Jalori Pass is at 14.30. Sometimes it can be late and start at 15.00 but try to arrive earlier at the pass. If you miss the bus, your only hope is private cars. As per my observation, the cars were filled with families as a rule. It’s not the main road, so there are no trucks or other transport you can hail to go back.

From one of the hills near Jalori Pass
Here is a not boring view from one of the hills, though it takes an extra effort to climb it)

Overall time: I started the hike from the pass at 9.30 a.m. and reached the lake at 11.00 a.m. Roamed around the lake for a while. Started from the lake at 12.00 and reached Jalori Pass at 13.30. Since I had time till the last bus, I walked by foot to Shoja (5 km) and roamed around Shoja for a while. Note, my walking itinerary is roughly 15 km. I don’t recommend it if you are new to hiking or don’t have comfortable shoes.

The hike to the lake and back is already 10 km and it’s more than a common person is habitual to walk per day. See according to your physical state and decide how to go about it.

Interested in other short treks? Check out the rolling hills of Dzukou Valley.

Other information

Serolsar lake hike
The time I gave up on this friendly furry dog to pose with me.
  • If you start from Delhi, you need to reserve three days for this journey. One day to reach Banjar valley, another for trekking, third day for going back. You can also manage it in two days if you are very organized with timings and ready to spend the whole day on the road.
  • Please carry your plastic back to the big city. Serolsar Lake is one of the few places which is so well maintained and clean. If you buy biscuits, it doesn’t hurt to carry its cover until you reach home.

Hope this post will help you plan your hike in a better way. Talking about hikes, have you done any other lake treks in the mountains?

12 thoughts on “Serolsar Lake hike in Himachal Pradesh”

  1. Thank you for this Blog. We are planning to Visit Kasol in May. How far it is from Kasol and can we get taxi or bus to reach there?

    • Thank you for reading, Abhishek!

      Kasol is roughly 100 km from Serolsar. If you are planning to go by bus, most probably your route will be the following: Kasol – Bhuntar – Aut – Banjar – Jalori Pass- Serolsar. I would definitely recommend not to do it in one go.

      You can take a bus from Bhuntar in the direction of Mandi and hop off at Aut before the tunnel. You will find regular (e.g. hourly) buses going from Aut to Banjar and from Banjar to Jalori Pass. Due to numerous interchanges this journey can take 5-6 hours. I don’t know about the current road situation between Kasol and Bhuntar, but the ride from Manali to Aut was quite bumpy.

      Unfortunately, I don’t know much about taxi rates outside of big cities.
      Consider, that accommodation at Jalori Pass is mainly camping tents. If you are looking for host family/guesthouse stay – consider the neighboring places like Shoja, Jibhi.

      If you get a better way to commute, feel free to share! Have a great trip 🙂

  2. Hey thnx natalia..that is really a nice blog… but i want to know that we will reach jibhi around plz suggest us which place we can visit iand see in around 4-5 hours.

    • Thank you for feedback, Aakash! Consider that it gets dark in the mountains around 6ish. I would do a relaxing evening – a walk around Jibhi: climb up the hill for the evening view, walk down to the river. Jibhi doesn’t have “famous” landmarks or architecture sites, but the overall atmosphere is relaxing and natural. I have a separate post about Jibhi if you would like to read more)

      I definitely recommend visiting Jalori Pass from the morning if you are interested in lake hike and exploring a neighboring village)

  3. It was an interesting read Natalia! Thanx for the hard work you have put in all your articles. Will October – November be a good time to visit?

    • Thank you for heart-warming feedback, Satyendra! October is one of my favorite months to visit Himalaya. Days are still sunny and pleasant, mornings are fresh, the autumn comes with the bright colors). You will need good woolens for the night once the sun goes down though. November is chilly both day and night, so take warm clothes to feel comfy. Have a great trip!

  4. Hi Natalia,

    Thanks for giving this detailed description in your blog for the place. We are planning a trip to this place and we have a plan to leave Delhi on a Friday night, reach Jalori on Saturday, go for trek till lake same day and stay there overnight.

    But online we could not get a confirmation if we can find campsites there near the lake to stay overnight or not, would you be able to help with some contact! Considering winter season now, we are quiet not sure if we will find the tents or not.

    Any suggestion would be a great help, thanks.

    • Thank you for reading, Gunjan!

      I’ve seen a few tents on the way to the lake during my visit, though unfortunately, I don’t have direct contacts of the campsites and not sure whether they are seasonal. If you are going by personal vehicle, you can opt to stay in Shoja after the hike – it’s a picturesque village which is 5 km away from the pass. Basically any place between Jibhi and Shoja is picturesque and calm.

      Have a great experience!


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