Gurez Valley is one of the least explored regions of Kashmir. It is also one of the most beautiful ones and presents a different color in each season. The months of May, June, and September can be called the best time to visit Gurez Valley but will this suit you as well? Read on to find out.
Gurez Valley was recently opened for tourists. People have started visiting here but the number is still not that high. Most of the tourists visiting Kashmir still keep their itineraries limited to places like Gulmarg, Sonamarg, and Pahalgam. Only a handful will plan to venture in the direction of Gurez.
But if you are someone who likes to visit offbeat destinations and places that almost never get crowded, Gurez valley is perfect for you. It is slowly getting developed as a tourist destination and I am sure that in the coming years, will become a much sought-after destination.
For details like how to reach Gurez, where to stay, and what to see, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Gurez Valley. For information on when will be a good time to go to Gurez, please continue reading further.
About Gurez Valley
Gurez is a valley located in the Bandipora district of Kashmir. The small town of Dawar is pretty much the heart of the valley where you will find all the basic amenities like hotels, banks, schools, and a market.
The valley is divided into two districts. The area between Razdan Pass and Dawar is known as Dawar District. Beyond that, the region between Dawar and Chakwali is known as the Tilel district.
The majority of the tourists will travel from Srinagar to Dawar, stay there overnight and return to Srinagar the next day. But if you could add another day, you can extend your stay in Gurez and go sightseeing in Tilel as well.
You should keep in mind though that Gurez remains closed during winter after it starts to snow at Razdan Pass. During this time, there is absolutely no way to enter the valley by road. For a winter trip, you will have to board a helicopter from either Srinagar or Bandipora.
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When is the Best time to Visit Gurez Valley?
The months of April and September are the best time to visit Gurez Valley. This is when the weather here is most pleasant and enjoyable. For snow, you can plan a trip in January and February but will have to reach Gurez by Air.
You can visit in May and June as well but in these months, the weather here turns surprisingly hot. The sun will be so harsh that you will not be able to enjoy sightseeing during the day.
Monsoon hits the region in July and it continues to rain until the first week of September. You can plan a road trip in these months but will have to check the weather and ensure that there is no heavy snowfall predicted.
The road to Gurez Valey remains open in October as well but it is not considered a safe time because Razdan Pass becomes prone to snowfall at this time which may result in a temporary road closure.
For a family trip, you should plan for April and September. If you were into photography, I will recommend September, the post-monsoon season.
Also Read: What to See in Gurez Valley
Gurez Valley in Winter
If you want to visit Gurez Valley in Winter, the only way to approach is by Helicopter from Srinagar or Bandipora. Tickets can be booked at either TRC Srinagar or DC office in Bandipora.
As tourism in Gurez continues to increase, hotels also now remain operational in the winter months. You can play around in the snow and even enjoy winter sports like Skiing.
The fare per person for a helicopter ride to Gurez is Rs. 3,000 per person from Srinagar and Rs. 2,000 per person from Bandipore.
Weather of Gurez
Due to its high altitude, the weather of Gurez remains cold throughout the year. Even in the months of summer, you will still need a blanket to sleep in for the night and a light jacket or woolens for the day.
From January to March, the entire area remains buried deep under snow. Spring arrives in April and the snow starts to melt post which the road gets opened sometime in May.
Until September, the weather remains pleasant and then starts to get cold again in October. Come November, it can snow here anytime blocking the road at Razdan Pass.
Keeping the above facts in mind, you cannot actually visit here by road before at least April and after November. Your trip thus would have to be from May till October.
Below is how the weather trends throughout the year to help decide the best time to visit Gurez Valley for you.
Gurez Valley in January
The average temperature during this time is around 0 degrees Celsius. Nights will be extremely cold with temperatures ranging between 0 to -10 Degrees Celsius.
The day temperature will be around 5 Degrees Celsius on average. Heavy snowfall is expected and roads remain closed. Reaching by Helicopter is the only way to get to Gurez at this time.
Gurez Valley in February
Weather conditions will be the same as in January. Snow on the ground however will even be greater in February. Roads will remain blocked and the average temperature will fluctuate between -10 to 5 Degrees Celsius. This is a good time to enjoy Skiing and other winter sports.
Also Read: Hotel Review – Kaka Palace, Gurez
Gurez Valley in March
Snow will start to melt. The average temperature will rise to about 5 Degrees. Nights will still remain close to 0 Degree Celsius.
By end of March, the noon temperature will be around 10 Degrees Celsius. Chances of snowfall will still remain and the road will still be closed at Razdan Pass.
Gurez Valley in April
Spring arrives and the weather starts to turn pleasant. Snow will continue to melt and restrict itself to the top of the peaks. From lower areas, it will mostly be all gone.
The average temperature will rise to 10-15 – 20 Degrees during the day and around 0 to 5 Degrees Celsius at night. The weather in April is very pleasant overall. It will still be a bit cold but the kind that makes you feel good and comfortable.
Razdan Pass is declared open in April and the valley will become accessible by road as well.
Gurez Valley in May
This is when things here start to heat up. You will actually be surprised at how hot it gets here during the day. The sun will be very harsh, like the way it is in places like Ladakh and Spiti.
The average temperature will be about 20 Degrees Celsius during the day. The nights however will still be cold at around 5 to 10 degrees.
Gurez Valley in June
The weather in June will be very much the same as in May but even hotter. Towards the end of June, the temperature may even rise to 30 degrees during noon and dip down to 15 degrees at night. I will highly recommend bringing sunscreen lotion at this time.
Gurez Valley in July
Monsoon arrives in the region in July. The weather will continue to remain hot during the day and pleasant at night. The temperature will average out at around 25 degrees Celsius but nights will still be cold.
Whatever little rain Gurez gets makes traveling here even more difficult. The roads in the valley are all dirt which would turn into slush if it rained. On the positive side though, the monsoon will also bring lush green valleys all around.
Gurez Valley in August
The average temperature will still be around 30 Degrees with a high chance of rainfall as well. The first time I was in Gurez was in the month of August. We spent 2 nights there and it rained heavily on both nights.
Gurez Valley in September
The weather will start to turn a bit cold in September but more of a pleasant cold rather than a harsh one. Towards the beginning of the month, the temperature will average at around 15 Degrees Celsius but will drop down to 10 by end of the month.
Roads will remain open still. Monsoon will be gone but green will still remain in plenty which makes it a perfect time for photography.
Gurez Valley in October
Autumn arrives in October and also marks the beginning of the winter season. All the lush green left behind by the monsoon season will turn Orange and the valley will start to look like gold.
The average temperature will drop to about 10 degrees Celsius during the day. Nights will be at an average of around 0 Degree Celsius.
Gurez Valley in November
Vistas will turn a bit dry and dull in November. The weather will be extremely cold with an average temperature of around 5 Degrees Celsius.
There will be chances of snowfall in the upper areas and the nights will start to turn extremely cold. By end of November, the temperature will drop below 0 Degrees Celsius at night. Razdan Pass will get snowed out and the valley will no longer be accessible by road.
Gurez Valley in December
By December, it will start to snow in lower areas as well. The average temperature will drop down to around 0 Degrees Celsius with nights freezing at -5 degrees. Even some of the locals in these months move to other parts of Kashmir, like Srinagar, looking for work and to escape the harsh cold weather of Gurez.
Best Time to Visit Gurez Valley – Conclusion
Keeping all of the above in mind, the best time to Gurez valley will be anywhere between the months of April and September. The roads during this time remain open and the weather will be very pleasant.
If however, you want to see a Gurez buried under several feet of snow, then you can try reaching here by Helicopter either in the month of January or February.
I hope the information above on the best time to visit Gurez Valley was of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. You can also follow me on Instagram and chat with me live or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.