Kareri lake is best known for being a trekking destination in the Dhauladhars. The lake remains frozen from early December to March–April. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and Shakti on a hilltop overlooking the lake.. A few gaddi kothis are present on the other side of the lake, an area which is used by the gaddis as a grazing ground for their animals.
Kareri Lake is a high altitude, shallow, fresh water lake south of the Dhauladhar range approximately 9 km North West of Dharamsalain Kangra district, Himachal Pradesh. Its surface is 2934 metres above the sea level. Snow melting from the Dhauladhar range serves as the source of the lake and a stream, Nyund is the outflow. Since the source is fresh melting snow and the lake is shallow, water visibility is very high and in most places, the lake bed can be seen.
Kareri Lake serves as a base for trekking further into the Dhauladhar and onward to Chamba and Bharmour via the Minkiani Pass (4250m) and Baleni Pass (3710m).
Kareri Lake is not connected by a road. The closest roadhead is at Nolli village, which is on the route from Salli village to Kareri Village. One can stay overnight at the Snow Monk Camp in Salli for preparations. From Salli village, there are 2 options of visiting Kareri Lake. If someone has just 1 night, then the route via Nolli village offers that option. One can drive till Nolli Village and start the trek to return the next day after camping.
If there are 2 nights at disposal, then the second relatively lesser known, easy and lovely route is along the Khauli river from Salli Village, which flows from the glaciers under the Baleni Pass. From Salli village, one can trek for 7-8 km / 4 hours approximately and reach the camp at Daled. With a two-night stay at Daled, one can climb to Kareri Lake over the ridge on the right flank. The entire route is scenic with dense forest, river, meadows and then the highlands of Daled and Chagroutu.
The other traditional route is accessed through a 9 km dirt road linking Kareri village from Ghera. Ghera is accessed either by shared jeep from Dharamsala (17 km, about one hour) or on foot from Naddi (about 2 km by forest trails). The schedule of jeeps from Dharamsala to Ghera is irregular, and jeeps from Ghera to Kareri even more so. A taxi from Ghera to Dharamsala costs 800 Rupees as of early 2016. The trail is not well marked and a guide may be required. It is a long, near about 6km trek and moderate trail. It is steep and more adventurous in the last portion of about 1km up to the lake from this side of the route wherein you have to climb a mountain via a steep route alongside a stream which flows from the very same mountain.The lake surrounded by mountain tops on all sides is situated just on the other side of the top.
Hikers may carry their own tents and camp besides the lake. One may also stay in the temple complex on the hill overlooking the lake, however most of the time it is locked. The infrastructure is most basic there. There are 2-3 stone and thatched roof rooms that can accommodate people but they belong to the villagers. Another option is to stay in the gaddi kothis, if travelling with a local guide, which are on the other side of the lake, under the Minkiani Pass. Snow Monk Camp at Salli village has all the necessary equipment's, guides etc and may be used as a resource for staying at the Kareri Lake.