Karakoram Highway travel – what and where?
What was once just a dirt track caravan trail on the Silk Road is now the highest paved international road in the world. Connecting Pakistan and China at the highway border crossing in the world – the Khunjerab Pass, the Karakoram highway is an adventure travellers’ dream.
Its construction was started in 1959 as a joint project between the two countries and opened to the general public in 1986. Up to 1000 workers lost their lives, mostly in landslides and falls, while constructing the highway.
Ranked as one of the best tourist destinations in Pakistan by The Guardian newspaper. The highway is best travelled in the Spring or early Autumn given the extreme temperatures and conditions experienced during the winter and summer months.
Is it dangerous?
The road itself can be treacherous. In the winter, avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur and block some sections of the road. Health risks like altitude sickness can also pose issues.
Northern Pakistan is very safe, peaceful and welcoming. The locals will go out of their way to assist you and make you feel at home. It’s a far cry from the intensity of Southern Karachi and the Afghan border.
What can you encounter on a Karakoram Highway Tour?
In short – some of the world’s highest and most spectacular peaks. From the stunning “Fairy Meadows” to the 9th Highest mountain in the world – Nanga Parbat to the second highest – K2. The road winds through mountain gaps not suited to the faint hearted.