Trekking in Pakistan
Pakistan has been blessed with amazing mountain heritage in four famous ranges of Hindu Kish, Pamir, Karakorum and the mighty Himalayas. Besides, scaling various peaks in this region, other very rewarding activity is trekking for nature lovers who wants to have exciting and thrilling experience without involving in very hard labour of climbing peak in relatively inhospitable environments. Though at higher altitude treks, trekkers do need technical skills, special dress & equipment and determination in tougher topography to continue their memorable journey.
Every year, thousands of enthusiasts gather in the northern region of Pakistan for following one or more remarkable treks to enjoy their astonishing surroundings and have thrilling experience in mountainous region.
K-2 Base Camp Trek
K-2 Base Camp Trek is one of the world’s classic Treks, which is a demanding but rewarding journey to Concordia, the meeting place of the Godwin-Austen and upper Baltoro Glaciers. It begins from the mountains of Skardu and goes through the beautiful valley of “Shigar” before reaching to Concordia offering most stunning natural scenery in the journey. Usually, it takes 3 weeks to take this trip with at least 14 days of walk. This track needs through preparations and proper acclimatization as the trail itself is constantly shifting, depending on the whim of the weather and glacial action. There are numerous streams and tributaries to be crossed, loose screen slopes, and obstructions to be overcome or circumvented. But for those willing to take the slight risks, the rewards are immense. While traversing on this great trek, of the world, one witnesses mighty peaks of K-2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum II and Hidden Peak. Whereas, at Concordia, one finds oneself surrounded by giant granite pyramidal mountains including Paiju 6,610 meters , Uli Biaho 6,417 meters, Great Trango Tower 6,286 meters and ultimately well known K-2. From Concordia, trekkers can go to the base camps of either Broad Peak or K-2 or both as well. While returning from K-2 base camp, trekkers is option of adopting route via Gondogoro pass. This is demanding circular trek; the pass is very steep and crossing it requires the use of fixed ropes to ascend and descend. This is a more adventurous trekking done from July to September each year.
Snow Lake Hispar Trek
Snow Lake or Lukpe Lawo, is a high-altitude glacial basin in the Karakoram mountain range in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. In fact, it is not a lake, despite its name. Snow Lake is located 4,877 meters above sea level, and is approximately 16 kilometers wide. The basin lies at the head of the Biafo and Hispar glaciers, which spread down from the Hispar Pass in opposite directions, forming a 100 km river of ice that is among the world’s longest continuous glacier systems outside of the polar regions. Martin Conway, the first foreign visitor, gave Snow Lake this name in 1892 and described the area as “beyond all comparison the finest view of mountains it has ever been my lot to behold, nor do I believe the world can hold a finer”.
The journey to Snow Lake typically begins in Skardu, which can be reached by plane or jeep from Islamabad. From Skardu, a jeep takes travellers through the Braldu Gorge to the village of “Askole”. The trek from Askole initially proceeds towards K2, then turns northwest up the Biafo Glacier to Snow Lake. The trail for next few days follows loose rocky moraine ridges on the glacier although the campsites at Namla, Mango and Baintha are located in grassy areas behind lateral moraines. From Baintha camp one goes back onto the glacier and follow the wide ice highway making the walking relatively easy compared to lose rock earlier on the trek. The descent differs from the ascent, going through the Hunza Valley and ending in Gilgit.
Mashabrum Base Camp and K-7 Trek
Masherbrum Base Camp trek is one of our most exciting walking journeys as it is one of the most isolated treks of Pakistan in Karakoram with stunning scenery all around. The trek goes through Hushe Valley in Baltistan. It is an easy trek even for those who do not have any trekking experience but still intend to have a meaningful trekking experience. After exploring Masherbrum Base Camp trekkers continue to walk towards Gondogoro Base Camp by halting traditional camps of Schayechu, Dalchampa and then to Khuispan the base of Gondogoro Peak 5860mts.
Walking for a day or two will take trekkers to the bases of the higher mountains, from where once can go for walking excursions or taste light climbing in the vicinity to the higher altitudes. Masharbrum base camp is the first section of this trekking experience. Masharbrum (7821m) is the 28th highest peak is standing in the backdrop of the last outpost Hushe. In the second portion the Charakusa Valley offers stunning views of Chogolisa, K-6 and K-7peaks. In this trek one also go to the Ghandogoro valley to climb Ghandogoro peak 5850m have breathtaking views of the Greta’s peaks of central Karakoram including K-2, Broad Peak, Gasherbrum Group. After about five hours one can reach the crest of the pass and watch most fantastic views in the Karakorum, and many other mountains. In addition one can experience climbing of below 6500m peaks without any bonding royalty fee. The trek ends again at the beautiful Hushe Valley which is full of fruit orchards and potato fields. This trek does not require any technical experience so untrained and novice trekkers can embark upon it without second thought.
Batura Glacier Trek
Batura Glacier is world’s 7th longest non-polar glacier and Pakistan’s 4th longest glacier that lies in Batura Valley Passu in Gojal region of the Gilgit-Baltistan Pakistan. The Batura Glacier, 57 kilometers long the northern region is holy with lofty mountains, long glaciers and amazing landscape making it a heaven for nature lovers. Batura Glacier trek is an incredibly beautiful trek of such scenery. An average height of 3800m, wild alpine flowers filled meadows, birch trees and where roses and juniper trees are common.
While trekking, we can get an opportunity to see the Wakhi peoples’ summer life style as they venture to summer pastures to graze their cattle and yaks The captivating Hunza culture, their smiling welcome, their warm hospitality is an equally charming experience of its own. Every day of the trip turns to be fascinating making the whole of trip an incredible life time experience.
Shimshal Minglik Sar Trek
Shimshal Pass Trek is one of the most amazing adventures in Pakistan. It is situated in one of the most remote valleys of northern Pakistan and is about 800 kilometers away from Islamabad via KKH. Trekkers can reach Shimshal Pass after trekking about 3-4 days from Shimshal village through the valley with is about 4700 meter high above sea level. Shimshal Pass is also known as Pamir pastures by the local population who use this pass for 6 months for grazing their herd of sheep, yaks and other domestic animals. One can find high altitude peaks including Minglik Sar (6000 m plus) at Shimshal pass. The peaks are a good training ground for aspiring mountaineers and climbers.
Shimshal pass trek offers amazing natural beauty. One can find lakes and wetlands in the area including the lake just below the Minglik Sar Peak. This is reasonably large lake known as Shimshal pass lake. The lake is surrounded with thin grass on one side and comparatively thicker grass on the other side. Snowlake is separated from Shimshal Pass by Braldo Pass. One of the major attractions of this trekking expedition is view of the mighty K2 and many other 7000 meters peaks on a lucky day when the skies are clear.
Trekking and Yak safaris to Shimshal Pass attract hundreds of foreign tourists from around the globe every year. During camping at the pass, one gets a chance to interact with the mountain communities and shepherds living there and taste natural and organic dairy products. This is served by the shepherds to all the guests as a sign of hospitality. Usual time-frame of expedition on this track is about 2-3 weeks.
Haramosh Pass and Laila Trek
It is a 2 weeks long strenuous trekking experience which is very rewarding in terms of sightseeing and gaining experience in trekking and mountaineering. The Haramosh Pass, located in the Karakoram Range of the Gilgit-Baltistan of Pakistan, connects the Haramosh Glacier with Chogo Lungma glacier which lies in the North East. The base camp of Spantik Peak is a place from where novice and semi experienced mountaineers try to scale 6000-7000 meters peaks located in the close vicinity including Laila Peak (6986 meters), Mani peak (6685 meters) and the Haramosh Peak (7409 meters) and so on. The fairy-tale lake of “Kutwal”, 3300 meters in altitude is one of the highlights of this trek. It shimmers under the shadows of Haramosh Peak. Usually, this is not a busy trek so one can have the opportunity to experience the romantic wilderness of Karakoram in its prime form.
Fairy Meadows Nanga Parbat Trek
Fairy Meadows is one of the most popular and beautiful places to hike in Pakistan as it offers an unobstructed view of Nanga Parbat 8125 meters, one of the highest mountains in Pakistan, only second to K2. Nanga Parbat is a Persian word, which means Naked Mountain, the local People call Diamer (Monarch of the God). It also knows Killer Mountain among the mountaineers as more 40 climbers have lost their lives trying to conquer it during expeditions. This trek is considered to be one of the most accessible hikes that will allow trekkers to witness an 8,000 meters plus high mountain without doing a multi-day trek.
After driving about 540 km on KKH from Islamabad trekkers reach at the start point called Raikot Bridge (1400 m). From this place, local Jeeps take trekkers up to the Tatto village which is at one and half hour excited drive from Raikot Bridge. Trekkers normally consume lunch at local restaurant and then proceed on foot towards Fairy Meadows. If required, trekkers have the option of hiring porters as well. At Fairy Meadows there are many options to stay ranging from tent to wooden huts, which offers magnificent view of the North face of the Nanga Parbat. There are several short walks on this plateau, including the full day excursion up to the Base Camp 3900 meters of Nanga Parbat. It is very easy walk through the forest till then the edge of the plateau call Beyal Camp (3500 m). Whereas, the trek from Beyal Camp to the Base Camp is comparatively difficult.
There are countless options available for trekking in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is not possible to cover each and every trek here. You are suggested to contact your Travel Agent or Guiding agency for seeking professional guidance.