Sonamarg, India, (the Golden Meadow, as it translates) is the last lush green area on the road leading from Kashmir's capital Srinagar to barren Ladakh. Located 400 mi/650 km north of Delhi, Sonamarg is really just a small collection of stores (such as the Cheepest Chemist) and a government-run hotel, but it's the starting point for a few interesting day hikes.

Some 3 mi/4 km from town is the base of Sonamarg Glacier, where local Gujar men will be happy to give you a ride on their sleds for a small fee. Or head into the Nichinai Nar Valley and follow the stream for a few hours before retracing your steps. You'll see beautiful views of the mountains. The more ambitious may want to take the six-day trek to Wangat—the route reaches an altitude of 13,700 ft/4,200 m.

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