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Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour

Created with Sketch. Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan
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Duration

12N/13D

Difficulty Level

___

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Group Size

10 people

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Languages

English

Overview

Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour

Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour is once in a lifetime experience through Hunza Valley Pakistan. Hunza Valley is in the heart of the Karakoram, which is a lush green alley with rich culture and friendly people. In our tailor-made Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour, you will get to peek behind the curtain and discover a side of a country which many people cannot imagine. Imagine cycling close to a shining glacier and isolated Himalayan villages, sharing delicious local cuisine around a crackling bonfire and soaking in the stars as you give your feet a much-needed rest.

Pakistan is a wonderful country. Our job is to not only make sure you have a fantastic time but also to take care of all of the paperwork, logistics, permits, and full boarding basis. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy the once in a lifetime cycling experience. Pakistan will become your favorite country in the world. It’s a land of towering peaks and ancient glaciers; of swaying bridges and mountain villages. The ancient silk road leading to China has been traveled by explorers and philosophers, conquerors and merchants, pilgrims and spies. Now is your chance to follow in their footsteps.

Cycling Along the Karakoram Mountain Range

Our Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour starts from the lush green and purpose-built city Islamabad. Your guide will Meet & Greet you at Islamabad international airport. Then, transfer you to the hotel for a rest to recover from the journey. We will meet in the afternoon for a briefing about the Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour. Next morning we will start our epic journey towards the north on the famous Karakoram Highway. We will spend the night in a luxury hotel in Chillas. In the morning we start our Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour along the Indus and Gilgit Rivers to Gilgit. Spectacular view of Nanga Parbat and junction point of Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindukush mountains range is the highlight of the day. Gilgit is the Capital of Gilgit Baltistan province. Gilgit valley is surrounded by the pillars of the mighty Karakoram mountains. After exploring Gilgit, we will cycle up to rejoin the KKH. The road climbs gradually, we pass a few small villages, beyond here we will catch sight of the massive spiral of Rakaposhi mountain looming in the distance. The road goes so close to its base that it is hidden most of the way. We will spend the night in Minapin.

We continue our Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour towards Karimabad today. Above, the highest snow-covered peaks are hidden from view behind the jagged teeth of the ridge. Our ride leads us to Karimabad, the capital of Hunza. A short but spectacular day. A rest day, but with so much to see in this enchanting village, it is unlikely that you will get much rest. Highlights include the 13th Century Baltit Fort and the Sacred Rocks of Hunza Valley.

As we leave Karimabad to Passu, the road drops down to the village of Ganesh before we begin a fairly hard 15 km climb. The road climbs with intermittent glimpses of glaciers, precipices, and gleaming white peaks, before the 10 km descent to Passu, which brings us directly to the incredible Passu Glacier where we will stop for the night. Today we transfer by vehicle setting off for the first 6km along the KKH. Just beyond the Batura Glacier, we turn off to cross a suspension bridge over the Hunza river and follow a jeep track up to Shimshal. People in Shimshal are Wakhi. We cycle down through the valley, passing the Mulungutti Glacier as we travel through stunning scenery. Then, we’ll cross the Hunza River over a suspension bridge before re-joining the KKH about 6km north of Passu.

A Lifetime Cycling Experience

Next morning we can make a late start. When we depart our beautiful surroundings, we have a scenic ride to the quiet and remarkable border village of Sust, before Khunjarab pass (the Pakistan-China border). It is the last stop of our journey. Then, we will head back towards Islamabad via Gilgit. Night stay in Gilgit then take a flight to Islamabad. You will overnight in Islamabad, then in the morning after breakfast, we’ll transfer you to the airport for your flight back home. Please make sure to book your return flight on our last day of Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour.

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Karakoram highway cycling tour on the ancient silk route
  • Spectacular mountains vista of the Karakoram Range.
  • Camping at Minapin, right under Rakaposhi
  • Experience the culture and hospitality of the friendly Hunza people
  • Sneaky view of Nanga Parbat (8126m) and Rakaposhi (7788m) from KKH.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival day in Islamabad

Most of the international flights arrive at Islamabad International Airport in the mornings. Your guide will meet and greet you at the airport; then you will be transferred to the hotel. Rest of the days is free to recover from your journey. Later in the day, when everyone has arrived, we will have a group briefing about the tour. Depending on the time available to us, there may be an option to do some sightseeing in Islamabad, a purpose-built city in 1961 as the new capital of Pakistan.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (D)

Day 2: Drive to Chillas (461km) 8-9 hs

Today you will start your Epic Journey towards Karakoram Highway. You will pass through some other culturally rich and historical Towns, Taxila, Hassan Abdal, Hari Pur, Abbot Abbad then Basham. You will do a few stops along the way for tea breaks. KKH takes off from Hasan Abdal. The road follows every twist and turn of the Indus River. About 190 km after Beshamn, the road meets Chillas which appears to be an ‘oasis in a desert.’ Chillas has a unique charm. Here you will have a magnificent view of the three World highest Mountain ranges: the Karakoram in the north, the Himalayas in east and Hindu Kush in the west. Chillas is the getaway to Nanga Parbat (8126m). Nanga Parbat is the ninth world highest mountain, which is one of the hardest mountains to climb. It has a nickname of Killer Mountain. In Chillas there are no Tourist attractions.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 3: Cycle to Gilgit (60km - 4 hs)

In the morning you will start your Cycling Adventure Towards Gilgit on the Karakoram Highway along the mighty Indus and Hunza River. The real attractions of Pakistan are in the Gilgit Baltistan and to get there, you need to travel along the world’s highest paved road, The Karakoram Highway. Cycling along The Karakoram Highway is an unforgettable experience; you will see peaks and valleys, rivers and glaciers. Twenty-one of the world’s one hundred highest peaks are visible from the KKH, and the journey is a great introduction to the mountains as civilization slips away behind us.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 4 – Cycle to Minapin (80km - 2,030m)

Setting off from Gilgit, we rejoin the Karakoram Highway the road climbs slowly passing a few small villages before we start to witness the huge spiral of Rakaposhi looming in the distance. The road goes so close to its base that it is hidden most of the way. It is only when we arrive at our small family guesthouse at Minapin that we really witness the true beauty of Rakaposhi. Our accommodation for the night is situated in a beautiful tranquil orchard.
• Minapin Altitude: 2,030m (6,660ft)
• Cycle Distance: 82km (51 miles)
• Total Climb: 1,353m (4,439ft)
• Total Descent: 772m (2,533ft)
• Accommodation (guest house)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 5 – Cycle to Karimabad (32km - 2,400m)

The Karakoram Highway (KKH) is at its most spectacular between Ghulmit and Gulmit. The road rides high on the eastern side of the river, twisting and turning around the barren foot of the Hispar Range, which boasts six peaks over 7,000 meters. On the opposite bank, villages cling implausibly to the side of the 7,388m Ultar Mountain. Above, the jagged teeth along the ridge hide the highest snow-covered peaks from view. A short but spectacular day to Karimabad, the capital of Hunza Valley.
• Karimabad Altitude: 2,400m (7,874ft)
• Cycle Distance: 35km (22 miles)
• Total Climb: 703m (2,306ft)
• Total Descent: 341m (1,119ft)
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 6 - Sightseeing & Rest Day

Today will be a rest day, but with so much to see in this enchanting village, it is unlikely that you will get much rest. Highlights are a visit to the 13th Century Baltit Fort, Altit Fort or a visit to see the Sacred Rocks of Hunza. For the real adventuress amongst you, a trek up to Hon will give you incredible views across the whole of the Nagar valley.
• Karimabad Altitude: 2,400m (7,874ft)
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 7 – Cycle to Passu (41km - 2,480m)

As we leave Karimabad, the road drops down to the village of Ganesh before we begin a fairly hard 15 km climb. Remember that if at any time you have had enough, just wait around for the back-up vehicle. Due to the floods of 2010, a section of the KKH between the village of Gulmet, and Gulkin is now impassable, and we will take a ferry here to continue along the route. This afternoon we cycle on a further 16 km to Passu. The road climbs with intermittent glimpses of glaciers, precipices, and gleaming white peaks, before the 10 km descent to Passu, which brings us directly in front of the incredible Passu Glacier where we will stop for the night.
• Passu Altitude: 2,480m (8136ft)
• Cycle Distance: 41km (25 miles)
• Total Climb: 910m (2,985ft)
• Total Descent: 762m (2,500ft)
• Accommodation (guest house)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 8 – Cycle to Shimshal (60km - 3,100m)

Today you can either cycle or transfer by vehicle. The first 6km along the KKH before turning just beyond the Batura Glacier to cross a suspension bridge over the Hunza river and follow a jeep track up to Shimshal. The road has been described as a miracle of engineering by some. On our approach to Shimshal, we pass fields of stones partitioned by dry stone walls, and houses built of mud and stone. In the distance, we may catch a glimpse of Odver Sar (6,303m). The village herdsmen pasture their sheep, yak, and goats in the seasonal mountain grasslands, located several days walk from the village. The people of Shimshal are Wakhi.
• Shimshal Altitude: 3,100m (10,170ft)
• Cycle Distance: 59km (37 miles)
• Total Climb: 972m (3,189ft)
• Total Descent: 383m (1,256ft)
• Accommodation (guest house)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 9 – Shimshal to Gulmit (3,300m)

Today you will cycle down the valley passing the Mulungutti Glacier as we travel through stunning scenery. The valley is home to herds of sheep, goats, and yaks that are moved up and down the area with the seasons. But you will see little evidence of settlement apart from the few shepherd’s huts on the narrow track road. You will cross the Hunza River over a suspension bridge before re-joining the KKH about 6km north of Passu. From here you will be transferred to Gulmit.
• Gulmit Altitude: 2,465m (8,087ft)
• Cycle Distance: 59km (37 miles)
• Total Climb: 383m (1,256ft)
• Total Descent: 972m (3,189ft)
• Accommodation (guest house)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 10 – Gulmit to Minapin (68km – 2,030km)

Once again you will pass the magnificent Karimabad and surroundings of Hunza valley; the mountains to soar high above us and the road is lined with apricot trees. Minapin is a small detour off of the main road; you will climb through tiny villages where friendly locals will greet you. Near Minapin you will enjoy a spectacular view of Mt Rakaposhi from the road. At the height of 7,788 meters, Rakaposhi has an uninterrupted vertical rise of approximately 6000 m making it the tallest mountain on land when measured from the base to peak.
• Minapin Altitude: 2,030m (6,660ft)
• Cycling Distance: 68km (42 miles)
• Total climb: 680m (2,231ft)
• Total descent: 1,450m (4,757ft)
• Accommodation (guest house)

Day 11 – Minapin to Gilgit (80km)

Today you will trek around the local area. You are surrounded by steep hillsides where small conifers grow. The village of Minapin is a popular destination as it provides the easiest access to three peaks that mountaineers are fond of scaling: the 7,788m Rakaposhi peak, the 7,266m Diran peak and the Miachar peak in the Karakoram Range. The valley’s natural beauty and the hospitality, culture, and traditions of the locals all contribute to its popularity. The valley is also known for an abundance of fruit production, including apricots, apples, mulberry, walnuts, and pomegranates. In the afternoon we will head towards Gilgit for a night stay.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 12 – Gilgit to Islamabad

Today you will return to Islamabad. You either fly or travel by road. Those who opt to fly will have time to explore Islamabad. The city’s monuments, shrines and places of interest include Pakistan’s largest mosque: Faisal Mosque and the Lok Virsa Museum where you’ll see an interesting collection of folk and traditional artifacts. Green spaces. Just an hour by taxi from Islamabad is the Unesco World Heritage site Taxila. Meaning “City of Cut Stone” or “Takṣa Rock,” Taxila is an important archaeological site where you can see remains of four early settlement sites, Buddhist monasteries, and a Muslim mosque and madrassa. The journey by road takes approximately a day. Please make sure to book your flight home on Day 13 later in the day – late afternoon or evening.
• Accommodation (hotel)
• Meals (B, L, D)

Day 13 – Departure day

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Islamabad International Airport for the flight back home. End of trip.

Included/Exclude

  • Professional Culture Guide. (Government requirement)
  • Airport transfers for Domestic & international flights.
  • Internal flights and associated airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as described
  • All meals
  • Sight-seeing as described
  • Tourist attractions admission fee
  • All permit fees.
  • Travel insurance
  • Pakistan Visa
  • Tips for local guides and support staff
  • Miscellaneous expenses
  • Personal expenses (laundry, souvenirs, etc)
  • Cycle and personal equipment
  • PLEASE NOTE: an airport departure tax of Rs1500 is sometimes payable

Tour's Location

Created with Sketch. Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan

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Created with Sketch.
from €1,989

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Trango Adventure Pakistan

Member Since 2019

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