Top 10 Hiking Trails in Pakistan
Hiking is an adventurous activity that comes with numerous benefits. Not only does it help you shed some pounds, but it also helps you relax while surrounded by nature. Moreover, it helps fight different health-related issues like hypertension, heart diseases etc. There are a number of hiking trails in Pakistan to explore, which are also some of the top tourist attractions in Pakistan. Some of them are pretty easy to trek while others are relatively difficult.
Graana.com, Pakistan’s smartest property portal, has compiled a list of the best hiking trails in Pakistan, along with their detailed information.
List of Top 10 Hiking Trails in Pakistan
The following is a list of some of the most popular hiking trails in Pakistan.
- Miranjani Trek
- Margalla Hills Track
- Gurez Valley – Kel to Taobat Trek
- Fairy Meadows Trek
- Dunga Gali-Ayubia Track
- Deosai National Park
- Naltar Valley
- Chitta Katha Lake
- Passu to Lake Borit
- Minapin to Rakaposhi Base Camp
At the top of the list comes Miranjani, as it is situated in the most beautiful region of northern Pakistan: Abbottabad, KPK. It is a 2-3 hour walk away from the Nathia Gali hill station.
The Miranjani trek begins at the Nathia Gali Bazaar and passes through the peaceful Dagri Naka mountainous region. During the hike, you will pass through the lush green pine forests, which are bordered by subtropical evergreen forests.
The hike is not challenging, rather it is a simple one. It also offers you some picturesque views of Nathia Gali on your way up.
Margalla Hills Hiking Trails
Nestled in the capital city of Islamabad, the Margalla Hills hiking trails offer a scenic view of the lofty mountains. There are six marked hiking trails into the Margalla Hills. Trail 3 is the most popular one as it is short and steep. Hiking trail 5 is also very popular. It is interconnected with trail 3; both originate at the northern end of Margalla road. On this trek, you will come across multiple freshwater streams. Additionally, these hiking trails make for one of the best places to visit in Islamabad.
Gurez Valley – Kel to Taobat Trek
The valley of Gurez is a lush green area located between Kel and Taobat and goes all the way to the Neelum river. This particular trek can be a bit challenging for the hikers, as it is quite long and can take a few days to complete.
Kel and Taobat are separated by a distance of 25 miles. To enjoy the scenic and mesmerising beauty of the region to the fullest, walking the full distance is recommended. Hence, you might want to wear the best trail running shoes for hiking on this track.
At the end of the hike, you will come across a thick pine forest, cherry-laden trees, and tiny wood cabins belonging to the locals.
Fairy Meadows Trek
As the name suggests, Fairy Meadows is a strikingly beautiful place and is listed among the top tourist attractions of Pakistan. The road to Fairy Meadows is one of the most dangerous roads in the world, however, the panoramic and scenic views of Nanga Parbat make it all worth it.
Firstly, you have to take the jeep ride to reach Fairy Point and, from there, you will have to hike onwards to reach Fairy Meadows. The month of August is the most suitable time for this hike as it does not snow around that time of the year. Also, the hike to Fairy Meadows itself is not too challenging and takes around two hours to complete.
Dunga Gali-Ayubia Track
The Dunga Gali-Ayubia Track, also known as Pipeline Track, is a 5-km long trek from Dunga Gali to Ayubia. It is rather easy to climb and quite popular among the locals. It is also the busiest during the summer season.
Moreover, the dense pine forests and the majestic mountains in the background make for a spectacular scene for the trekkers. People who prefer to camp in a peaceful area would especially love this place.
Deosai National Park
It is the second highest alpine plateau in the world, also known as the “Roof of the World”. Situated at nearly 13,000 ft above sea level, it makes for a popular camping spot for hikers and tourists. In addition to that, the place is full of wildlife, meadows, high grass etc.
Located between Skardu and Deosai National Park, Burji La is a natural pass and an exciting place to hike and explore. However, it is important to note that the hiking trail from Deosai to Burji La is a very long and tiring one, making it one of the most challenging hikes in the northern areas of Pakistan. Finishing the trek can take up to a few days.
The Naltar Valley is located towards the west of the Rakaposhi base camp. It is unique in the sense that the place is busy during both the summer and the winter seasons. During winters, skiing competitions are held there while, in summers, it is one of the most visited hiking trails.
Surrounded by gigantic mountains, the valley is set in a forest, which also gives it a calming and secluded effect.
To start the journey, hikers have to take a jeep ride from Gilgit to Naltar Valley, where the hike begins. All the three Naltar lakes are of different colours (green, dark green and azure), which makes it an even more memorable trip.
Chitta Katha Lake
In addition to mountains and meadows, Pakistan is home to mesmerising lakes as well, most prominently the Chitta Katha Lake. Located in Shounter Valley, Azad Kashmir, the mirror-like surface of this lake is a treat to the eyes of the viewers.
The thrilling journey begins at Areng Kel, from where the hikers take a jeep ride to Shounter Valley. After reaching there, you will need a guide with you to climb uphill to Chitta Katha Lake as the trail is not marked.
Despite the 12-hour long laborious hike, once you reach the Chitta Katha Lake, the majestic view of Nanga Parbat and the glimmering lake will make it all worth it.
Passu to Lake Borit
Do remote and exotic places excite you? If yes, then this hiking trail is the best choice for you. Located in Hunza Valley, Passu is a village that was named after the Passu Cone mountain and the Passu river.
This relatively challenging hike (because of its far off location) begins at the Passu bridge. Going a little uphill, the Passu river looks like an oasis entrapped in the middle of the sloping mountains of the Karakoram range.
The sight of Lake Borit at the end of the trail offers a spellbinding view to the hikers.
Minapin to Rakaposhi Base Camp
Rakaposhi, the 27th highest mountain in the world, is located in northern Pakistan. Among all the expeditions since 1958, only eight have been successful to reach the top of this mountain as it is highly challenging.
That is the reason lots of people enjoy trekking to the base camp of Rakaposhi instead because it is relatively easier. With even basic mountaineering skills, you would be able to complete this hike.
The trek starts at a village called Minapin. In the beginning, the path is quite steep but it gets easier further ahead. Reaching the Rakaposhi base camp can take you a few hours.
People sometimes camp there to enjoy the night view and witness the beauty of the green pastures and mountains.
There are various hiking trails in Pakistan, among which we selected the top 10 based on their popularity among both local and international hikers.
Before starting your hike, some of the items that you should prepare include the best trail running shoes for hiking, a backpack, a water bottle, snacks etc.
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