With a landscape blessed with the mightiest mountain ranges, snaking rivers of incredible speed and grand valleys, Pakistan is the ultimate destination for adventure travel. From glacier trekking and mountaineering to rock climbing and rafting, there are plenty of ways for thrillseekers to get their adrenaline fix. We have gathered the best tours that will appease the most adventurous of the travelers.
It would be totally illegitimate to talk about adventure tours in Pakistan without mentioning the deadliest and most impossible of all the peaks to conquer. For the extreme adventurers with professional background, an appetite for danger and the will to pursue a highly challenging expedition, the K2 climb, which is the world’s most difficult, might be the answer. Towering at 8,611-meters, the world’s second highest mountain is notorious for being the least friendly, however the trek to its base camp Concordia is a little more forgiving and doable by most but still not for the faint-hearted.
As mountaineering expeditions are divided into peak’s heights in meters of 8,000+, 7,000+, 6,000+ and so on, there are a bunch of expedition options to explore. Some of the most renowned include Nanga Parbat, Gasherbum I, II, III and IV, Broad Peak, Masherbum, Rakaposhi, Batura I and Tirich Mir.
Whitewater rafting, canoeing and kayaking
There are many options of fast flowing rivers to satisfy the senses of an adrenaline junkie in Pakistan. These rivers are born in the arms of the word’s greatest mountain ranges and flow through at enormous speeds throughout the country before uniting with the Arabian Sea. Some of these rivers include Chitral, Hunza, Indus, Gilgit, Kunar, Swat and Neelam. Like trekking, Pakistan’s rafting is one of the best in the world and offers levels ranging from amateur to professional. There are also short training courses for first-timers to get instructed and comfortable.
Cycling from Karakoram Highway (KKH), Hunza to China
Bicycling on the world’s highest paved road is an experience unlike any other where you will surrounded by mountains as high as 7,000-meters, luscious green hills, mesmerizing glaciers lining the roads and valleys as deep as you can see. Along this route you will see the incredible beauty of central Asian people and their cultures in the nearby villages to KKH, both in Pakistan and China with their unmatched hospitality.
Skiing in different regions
If you plan to travel during the spring and winter months than there are many fine spots for skiing that will be available to you. Naltar, Bruzil, Ratu and Astore are some great spots in the north, along with Malam Jabba on the north-western side of the country. Skiing resorts are found at these spots but it’s advised to enquire as prior booking/permission depending on the weather may be required. Ski lessons are also provided for beginners.
Rock climbing at Lady Finger Peak
For the technically aware professional rock climbers, there are many challenging options for rock climbing at some steep and high mountains. One of the most famous spots in the country for rock climbing is the Lady Finger Peak (6,000 m) because of its immense height and short duration. Other spots include the Trango Tower (6,251 m ) and the Shipton Spire (5,852 m) which both require sound knowledge, strength and stamina.
Trekking in different regions
There are numerous treks that an adventure enthusiast can take in Pakistan depending on their fitness and preference of landscape.
The Gondoro La K2 trek is one of the best but toughest as it offers 360 degree panoramic views of the world’s highest mountains. Biafo to Hispar Glacier trek is also unique as its crosses a snow lake on one of the longest glacial spots outside the planet’s polar regions. Other treks include Spantick BC Haramosh La Trek, Thalle La Trek and K6-K7 Base camp Trek.
Rakaposhi Peaks is among the most popular and highest in the region and its trek winds around scenic glaciers and valleys like Bargot, Minapin and Jaglot. For those who are beginners and focused purely on natural beauty, the Nagar Rash Phari trek is a must to take as it winds through fruit orchards, potato fields and glaciers, and unfolds at the beautiful sparkling lake of Rash Phari in front of the glorious Rush Peak, which experienced climbers can also explore. Some of the other treks in the region include Batura Glacier, Patundas and Shimsal Valley.
Other regions with many more treks are Chitral, Ghizer and Diamir, with up to an average of five trekking routes in each area individually.