Pakistan may not be on the top of your bucket list or even appear on it at all, but it definitely should! The best treks in Pakistan deliver staggeringly beautiful scenery and some of the world’s highest mountains. Read this guide to Pakistan trekking holidays to find out more.
Guide to Pakistan trekking holidays
Rewind just a few years and Pakistan was a thriving adventure tourist destination. It was full of eager trekkers coming to conquer the rugged Karakoram range, part of the Himalayas that lay in Northern Pakistan.
Let’s face it, pretty much every trekking route in Pakistan is challenging and requires a great deal of fitness! Pakistan classified trekking at trails below 6000m, above that you will need mountaineering permits.
Best treks in Pakistan
However, this country is no stranger to instability and since its long battle with India over Kashmir, these giant peaks have been left relatively untouched.
Visitors should also pay close attention to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice on travel to Pakistan before planning a trip.
K2: The most famous of them all
There is only one place to start with when discussing the best treks in Pakistan. K2, the ‘Savage Mountain,’ is the most famous of them all.
However, the second highest mountain on earth doesn’t come without its challenges. One in four have never returned after attempting to conquer it! This is a mountain that should be avoided during winter.
Needless to say, you have to be an experienced mountaineer to climb its dizzying heights. Although it peaks at 8,600 meters, there are plenty of treks in its lower reaches that still challenge and offer breathtaking scenery.
K2 is shaped like a giant diamond which rises from spectacular glaciers and is a dream for the passionate trekker.
Start the trek at Concordia Base Camp, the glacial junction, then ascend through the Baltoro and Godwin-Austen Glaciers which unfold to Karakorum’s famous ‘eight thousanders’ summits.
As you travel further along the Karakorum Highway to the border of Pakistan with China, the Nanga Parbat (known as the ‘Naked Mountain’) comes into view.
Trekking here will also lead you through the ancient Silk Route. In doing so passing the Indus and Hunza Rivers revealing lush scenery and snowy peaks.
The ‘Killer Mountain’
According to experienced climbers, the Karakorum are known as the world’s wildest mountains. Their vast, untouched nature are unspoiled by tourism and have a remoteness that is hard to find anywhere on the planet.
Aside from K2, another classic trek is the Nanga Parbat Mazeno Pass. This route is extremely challenging. The Nanga Parbat mountain was first conquered in 1953 and has claimed many lives! Earning the nickname of ‘the Killer Mountain.’
The trekking offers superb views, yet its slopes are steep and bare of snow or any vegetation. Camping overnight is under the Rupal face: the largest wall in the world, which rises 5000 meters to the summit of Nanga Parbat. Other overnights include sleeping near the Mazeno and Rakhiot Glaciers.
This trek is considered to be amongst the best treks in Pakistan but try at your peril! June to August is the best time to visit and you’ll trek for five to six hours a day.
The Shimshal Minglik sar and Chapchigal Pass
We cannot have a guide to Pakistan trekking holidays without mentioning the Shimshal Minglik sar and Chapchigal Pass!
Offering the best Himalayan views, this route takes you through the remotest part of Karakoram. These mountains are some of the toughest and will take you to 6,000 metres.
The trekking starts from Islamabad where you drive to Passu towards the upper part of Hunza for a jeep ride into the entrance of the valley. June to September is the best time for this trek.
Hire local porters as guides. They are excellent climbers and have scaled these monstrous beasts numerous times as porter.
As you trek past yaks, sheep and goats within the Shimshal high mountain towns, you’ll get to experience the areas hospitality first hand.
Locally known as Joot, the Fairy Meadows trek starts near the base camp of the Nanga Parbat. At 3,300m, it is also used as the starting point for climbing the Rakhoit face of the mountain.
Often cited as one of the best treks in Pakistan, the journey is 12km long. Starting from Raikhot bridge, the trek takes you along the Karakoram highway, finally finishing at the village of Tato.
With stunning unobstructed views of the Nanga Parbat, the route is extremely popular with locals and can get busy at peak times.
Ansoo Lake Trek
Ansoo lake is situated near Malika Parbat in the Himalayan range. Only discovered in 1993, this beautiful lake is shaped like a teardrop. This really is a hidden gem in our guide to Pakistan trekking holidays
The lake can be reached by two routes. The first is a seven hour round trip starting from Lake Saif Ul Malook. With stunning scenery parts of the trek is covered with snow for most of the year.
The second trek is a 6-7 hour round trip starting at a village named Mahandri. This picturesque route can be steep at times but the scenery is worth all the hard work!
When to go on Pakistan trekking holidays?
Allow at least three weeks for trekking in Pakistan. The trekking season is from May to October and can differ depending on your desired trekking route.
Perhaps combine your walking adventures with other activities at lower altitudes. The mountains and foothills in Pakistan are perfect for motor biking and mountain biking too.
The mountains that lie in this land have an awe-inspiring lure, and wherever you choose to trek, you will be rewarded with unsurpassed scenery.
Pakistan’s potential is up there with trekking in Nepal so it could become the ultimate trekking destination. Once word gets out, it will be on the top of every adventurer’s bucket list…
We hope you have enjoyed our guide to the best treks in Pakistan. What do you think? Have we missed any out that you think should be included?