If you are thinking about taking an adventurous trip to northern areas of Pakistan or if you are tired of visiting Muree and Nathia Gali again and again then it’s time for some change. A Road trip from Islamabad to Khunjerab Pass is the best choice. Khunjerab pass is located in Gilgit Baltistan. Its name is derived from two words “Khun” meaning blood and “jerab” meaning creek from a waterfall. It is on the northern border of Pakistan at a height of about 4693 meters (15439ft). The feature that makes it unique is that it is the highest border crossing in the world. In the winter season, generally from November to May, it is blocked due to heavy snowfall. And if you are planning to visit this amazing place, Here is a complete guideline for a Road trip from Islamabad to Khunjerab Pass.
Before leaving make sure that you have packed your necessary things including a winter jacket, a pair of joggers, a first aid kit and your personal items. You should leave Islamabad early to avoid any traffic jams. Try to cross Mansehra in 2 to 3 hours.
Next, you can have a short stay at Balakot to enjoy breakfast at this majestic city. Try to eat something light. Also buy some snacks for the long journey. Then you will come across beautiful city of Naran. Don’t stay too long as this spot is very crowded. Instead take a short break at Lulusar lake and Babusar Pass. Then in about 3 to 4 hours you will reach Jaglot through Krakoram Highway. You should stay here at night. Find a suitable hotel and a nearby place to have dinner. Some famous hotels of this area include Junction Resort, United Hotel, Tourist Cottage hotel and Voyage Hunzo Inn.
In the morning, start your day early to avoid congestion. Take the Karakoram Highway and start your journey towards Hunza valley and take a short break at Three Mountain Junction. It has this striking quality that it is located at the junction of three most famous mountain ranges namely The Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindukash. Take your time to enjoy its mesmerizing beauty.
Then head towards Karimabad , the capital of Hunza valley. It will take about 3 to 4 hours driving to reach there. Karimabad is one of the busiest tourist attractions due to its striking beauty. You should enjoy a lunch break here. After lunch have a quick visit to nearby Altit Fort. It is ancient fort , about 1100 years old. It was home of ancient rulers of Hunza called Mir. Then you should visit Eagle’s Nest hotel. It is situated on the top 2850 km above sea level. It has the most captivating views of Hunza valley. What makes it unique is that they have fresh water from spring and meal is prepared with local ingredients.
Start your journey early with a light breakfast and head towards Attabad Lake. After about one hour you will reach there. A major landslide in 2010 resulted in this beautiful lake. It is one of busiest tourist’s sites in Gilgit Baltistan. Its pure blue colour water will make you fall in love with it. Karakoram Mountains surrounding it simply adds to its beauty. Here you can also enjoy snacks at famous Farmary hotel. This spot also offers boat ride, Fishing and jet skiing.
Baltit fort should be on your top list. It is a historic site of Hunza. It consists of 3 floors. It was once inhabited by the rulers of Hunza until 1945. It is famous for its historic value.
Minapin town is situated in Nagar valley along the Karakoram Highway. It is not only popular for its scenic beauty but also for the most welcoming people. It is a hilly area. You should take a walk and explore the nearby places. Small dam for electricity production is also located here. It has farms of different fruits including cherry and mulberry. You may want to find a suitable hotel and spend the night here enjoying the mesmerizing beauty of this town.
Your next point will be Khunjerab Pass. It is located at about 6 to 7 hours’ drive from Minapin town. Depending on the traffic and weather condition it can take longer. Departing soon from the hotel would be good for you. In this way you can avoid some of the traffic jams. Also it is a steep drive to Khunjerab Pass. You should drive carefully as road becomes very steep. Also carry snacks and juices with you to gain energy. Take a short break at Khunjerab National Park. It is the main spot for tourists so you might expect a lot of traffic. From this point on the road would be much steeper and as you go on higher the oxygen level drops. So make sure you are well fed and energized to avoid any disturbances. You have to park your vehicle at a distance from the Pak China Border. Make sure you don’t park very close to avoid any traffic jams. Walking few minutes will take you to the Pak China Border. Don’t forget to pose for a photo in front of the gate. Enjoy some time than head back to you hotel.
In the morning pack your things and start your journey back. You can’t reach Islamabad in one day so it is recommended to plan a stay at Naran. Book your hotel and eat at a close by restaurant. Pine Park hotel, Hotel Demanchi and Jumeirah Gold hotel are top choices. After lunch and some rest you can start again. On your way don’t forget to make a quick visit to Abbottabad. You should enjoy tea here and then start towards Islamabad. It will take about 7 to 8 hours to reach Islamabad. In the end we would hope that you enjoyed your Road trip to Khunjerab Pass.