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Best Hiking Trails in Pakistan

Overview

Pakistan has some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in South Asia, in the northern part of the country, as well as beautiful arid mountainous landscapes in the south.  Popular treks include Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat Base Camp, Deosai National Park, Rakaposhi Base Camp, Margalla Hills hikes, and of course the trek to the base of the second highest mountain in the work, the K2 Base Camp Trek.  Many parts of these mountains may be difficult to access, with little hiking infrastructure and changing security situations. The best months to hike and trek in Pakistan varies according to the region. Read further for more information on where and when to go hiking and trekking in Pakistan. 

Capital: Islamabad

When To Hike in Pakistan?

Year Round: For the north, the lower altitudes can be hiked from May – October, whereas higher altitudes are June – September.  For the south, the spring, autumn and winter months are the optimal months as summer months are too hot.
Varies
Varies: Cold, snowy outside of the optimal months; For the south, too hot outside of the optimal months

Climate: The Karakoram and Hindu Kush don’t really get the monsoon that the Himalayas do, therefore the valleys are often dry, and summer is the ideal time for high altitude hiking.   

 

Pakistan Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium – Hard:  For most of the treks, particularly in the north, you will likely need to go with a guide and obtain permits.  Some valleys are quite remote.

Transportation required: For hikes near the cities, could be accessed with public transit. For all other areas, you would need sturdy vehicle and driver.

Where to stay in Pakistan for hiking:

  • Islamabad
  • Mingora
  • Passu
  • Askole
  • Murree
  • Quetta

Top Places to Hike in Pakistan

The main areas for trekking are in the far north (including lots of high altitude hiking) where you’ll find the Karakoram, Hindu Kush and Himalaya mountain ranges. The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) has a lot of trekking opportunities, with the Hindu Kush mountains rising on the northern border of this province; Peshawar and Abbottabad are two main cities for this province. Gilgit-Baltistan – known as “Little Tibet” – is a region with the Karakoram Mountains on the eastern border with China. The disputed region of Jammu/Kashmir is covered in the India page. There are also mountain ranges in the south in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, but very little info on hiking there.

Filter out hiking places of Pakistan by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Ras Koh Hills

  • Nov – Mar

Hingol National Park

  • Nov – Mar

Around Quetta

  • March – April; Oct – Nov
  • Hazarganji-Chiltan National Park 
  • Mount Khalifat
  • Mount Chiltan

Kirthar Mountains

  • Mar – Apr: Oct – Nov
  • On the border of Sindh and Balochistan provinces; very arid
  • Gorakh Hill
  • Toshangi – Sindh’s Grand Canyon

Around Islamabad

  • May – Oct
  • Murree Hills – hill station of Murree
  • Margalla Hills National Park – https://iwmb.org.pk/hiking-trails/ there’s hiking here, according to one website, six marked trails

Skardu Valley

  • June – Sept
  • Deosai National Park
  • K2 base camp trek starts close by in the village of Askole

Fairy Meadows National Park

Hunza Valley

  • June – Sept
  • Passu village is popular
  • Passu Glacier

Kaghan Valley

  • June – Sept
  • Saif-ul-Malook National Park 
  • Machiara National Park
  • Lulusar-Dudipatsar National Park

Ayubia National Park

  • May – Oct
  • Pipeline Hike

Shandur National Park

  • June – Sept

Kumrat Valley

  • June – Sept

Swat Valley

  • June – Sept
  • Mingora is a base
  • Further up the valley, around Bahrain and Madyan

Chitral Valley

  • June – Sept
  • Chitral Gol National Park
  • Kalash Valley right next to it

Pakistan's Long Distance Trails

  • Most of the treks are multi-day hikes
  • Biafo/Hispar Glacier Trek – 122 km trek connecting Baltistan to Hunza
  • K2 Base Camp – 14 day trek

Pakistan's Walking & Hiking Resources

Pakistan Hiking Books

  • Trekking in the Himalaya, by Kev Reynolds, 2013, Cicerone Press
  • A Trekking Guide to the Karakoram: K2 Concordia, by Bob Gibbons and Siân Pritchard-Jones, 2021, Independently published
  • Pakistan Trekking Guide: Himalaya, Karakoram, and Hindu Kush, by Isobel Shaw & Ben Shaw, 1998, Odyssey Publications – old but only comprehensive guide
  • Insight Guides Pakistan, by Insight Guides, 2020, APA Publications – good resource for general info, but not really for hiking info
  • Footprint: Northern Pakistan, by Dave Winter, 2004, Footprint

 

Pakistan Hiking Associations: There seem to be several clubs on Facebook, YouTube, etc 

 

Best Hiking Trails in Pakistan:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from hiking guidebooks, trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices, as well as tour companies:

  • Nanga Parbat Base Camp
  • Moses Peak
  • Barah Broq
  • K2 Base Camp
  • Passu to Lake Borith
  • Rakaposhi Base Camp
  • Chitta Katha Lake

Easy Hiking Trails in Pakistan:

  • Fairy Meadows
  • Trail 3, Margalla Hills
  • Pipeline Hike – Ayubia National Park
  • Naltar Valley Lakes

 

Pakistan Hiking Websites:

 

Pakistan Weather site:

 

Pakistan Official Tourism Organizations:

 

Pakistan Hiking Apps:

 

Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Architecture
  • Various cultures throughout the country

Other Important Points

  • Some areas of Pakistan are no-go zones; always be aware of security situation and go with a guide