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.
Top 10 Hiking Trails in Pakistan
Top 10 Hiking Trails in Pakistan are:
1) Miranjani Trek
This is the best trail for beginners. Not so friendly but you can enjoy them in summer also. This peak is at 2960 metres and the base area starts at Nathia Gali.
Located in Abbottabad in the Kpk province, it takes 4 hours to reach the top. You can have a spectacular view of the Jhelum River and Tarbela Lake. If you go there in the daytime you will have a glorious view of the Mighty Nanga Parbat.
2) Margalla Hills Trails
Margalla Hills Trails is located 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.
3) Deosai National Park
The Deosai National Park is one of the most iconic hiking places that people can experience. Firstly, the pastures are filled with endless wildflowers in the entire Deosai area which is also the second largest plateau in the world. It spans 3000 square kilometres and has a height of 4000 metres. Deosai actually means ‘the land of giants’ and the unending beautiful green scenery proves that the name is aptly put.
This National Park was created in 1993 to protect the Himalayan brown bear but has also become a very popular hiking spot especially in the summers. The summers bring out blooming, colourful flowers along with butterflies and it is no short of how heaven would be. You need a guide to trek in the national park so it is liked by families who can have the assistance of a professional guide to take them through Deosai.
4) Dunga Gali - Ayubia Track
This track is more popularly known as the “pipeline track” as it follows the route of a vital pipeline that served Murree. The hike from Dunga Gali to Ayubia is generally easy and appealing to the eyes with fresh pine forests and stunning scenery. This 5 km hike is popular and liked by those who do not want to climb steep mountains and sleep in the middle of nowhere. The hike goes to Ayubia within the Ayubia National Park and this is one hike you can do with your kids.
5) Ratti Gali Lake Track
The Ratti Gali Lake is located in the Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir. To get to the lake you have to indulge in a scary yet exciting jeep ride from Dowarian to the Ratti Gali base camp which will take approximately 3 hours. After reaching the base camp, it is another 2-3 hours of medium to difficult trekking. However, the beautiful views in front of you give you the required push to proceed further. You can also take a horse ride to the top. Upon finally reaching the Ratti Gali lake, you will be rewarded with crystal blue waters of the lake in between snow-covered mountains.
6) Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat Base Camp
Fairy Meadows is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Pakistan as it gives an unobstructed view of the gorgeous, 8125 metres high Nanga Parbat which is second in height to K2. Although it is an 8000-metre height, it is still considered one of the most accessible hikes and is an 8 hour round trip in the summers when there is less to no snow.
When you finally reach the top, you cannot believe your eyes as the view is just so panoramic. The 9th highest mountain of the world seems to be scraping the sky with its snow-covered peak and seems to be a fortress fit for a goddess!
7) Naltar Valley
In the winters, Naltar valley is referred to as the ‘Magic carpet of Pakistan’ with ski competitions being held under the Pakistan Air Force. Even for hiking, the scenery is incredible just like it is in all parts of gorgeous North Pakistan. Naltar lies between the busy cities of Gilgit and Baltistan. The valley nestles between tall snow-capped mountains and towering forests. Naltar Bala, the centre of the valley is jaw dropping, beautiful and very unique as the forest covers a large part of the area as compared to other valleys.
8) 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.
9) Passu to Lake Borit
Due to its remote location, this hike is among the most challenging in the northern regions. The starting point for this lovely hike is the Passu River bridge. You can’t take your eyes off the beautiful scenery this site offers.
10) Minapin to Rakaposhi Base Camp
It appears a little challenging, but not too hard, to go hiking here. You can begin your journey in the village of Minapin. You will reach the Rakaposhi base camp within a few hours. Tourists are welcome to spend the night here and take in the stunning panorama of lush meadows framed by majestic mountains.
Hiking is a memorable experience. You will need a little bit of planning and preparation like checking for the weather and going with the hiking equipment like hiking tent, food, sunscreen, medicines, sturdy shoes, weatherproof jackets, maps, etc. but these wonderful tracks are well worth the effort.
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