PUNJI PASS / ISHKOMAN PASS TREKKING
|Trip Duration||:||12 N / 13 D|
|Altitude||:||Max: 4650 m|
|Zone||:||No Permit is Required|
|Best Time||:||July – October|
Go wild once in a while! Traversing Punji Pass at above 4600 meters while trekking from Ishkoman to Darkut valley, Hindukush Pakistan
A less-explored hiking route of Ghizer valley in Gilgit Baltistan region takes you through some incredible scenery while finding yourself on an off the beaten track of the valleys and passes. You will have the opportunity to connect with the locals in a variety of villages and mountainous regions. Exploring on foot allows you to escape the crowds and see Pakistan’s remote villages, passes, pastures and people living at the foot of Hindukush mountains.
The walk from Passes to Passes on shepherd’s footpaths known to few outsiders and is scarcely explored by trekkers. It is an interesting and easy trek with sumptuous views of snow towered Hind Kush peaks and is one highly recommendable trek on our list
DAY – 1: Arrival-Islamabad Sightseeing
Arrival at Islamabad, transfer to hotel for rest. If arrival is during the day, you will be taken for a short sightseeing trip around Islamabad. The new Capital City of Pakistan is lush green at the footsteps of Potohar hills. We will visit Faisal Mosque, Pakistan monument and Lok versa, institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Islamabad.
DAY – 2: Islamabad – Gilgit
Take an early morning flight to Gilgit – the capital town of Gilgit Baltistan. There will be ample time to explore bazaars of Gilgit and a visit to a Rock Carving Buddha from 5th century AD.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Gilgit
DAY – 3: Gilgit – Ghotulti / Ishkoman valley
Running north to south to join the Gilgit valley, the Ishkoman Valley divides the Karakoram Range from the Hindu Kush. It is an interesting 4-5 hours drive along the Ghizar River crossing through beautiful villages of Punial and Ishkoman of the Ghizar district. There is a beautiful camping site to rest at Ishkoman in a garden under the apricot trees. You will be able to pick and eat fresh apricots if you decide to visit in the months of July and August.
Overnight stay in a Camp.
DAY – 4: Ghotulti to Dazjabuk
On the first day we will have a five to six hours easy day walking on a smooth path. The first one hour is a little steep but then gradually the trek takes you smoothly along the summer villages with some pleasing landscapes. We will go across other summer villages with the views of lush green meadows and jagged peaks along the birch and juniper trees to reach a summer village which is the campsite at 3300 meters with clear spring water and mesmerising views.
Overnight stay in a Camp
DAY – 5: Dazjabuk to Holojut
Today will be a short walk of 3-4 hours, the first hour is an easy walk along the River and then a gradual ascent for the remaining part. There is summer settlement at 3400 meters comprising of some shepherds’ huts by a small lake. The people here are friendly and invite travelers to their huts to offer milk tea and yoghurt which is the traditional hospitality of the mountain communities.
There are many possible campsites along the way under the shadows of the trees, but we prefer to continue and extend the length of hike until a place called Holojut at about 3,900 meters. This is a beautiful vast grassy field with some stone shelters for the porters.
Overnight stay in Camp
DAY – 6: Holojut across Darkut / Ishkoman Pass to Anisarbar
Today is the hardest day of the trek as we are going to ascend to the pass which is very steep and takes 3-4 hours to cover almost 700 meters vertical to the top. We will pack up and start early in the morning in order to reach the top and avoid sinking in the snow on the pass.
In late August, snow melts away and gets easier for trekkers to climb and cross the pass whereas in other months, snow remain on the top at 4650 m.
In approximate an hour we will get down to the base camp of the pass on Darkut side which is a good place to take a break, prepare lunch and enjoy the views of snowcapped mountains of the Hindu Kush. After lunch half an hour walk gets you down to the last summer settlement located at 3800 m.
Overnight stay in a Camp
DAY – 7: Anisarbar to Darkut
Today is the last day of the hike as we are making our way down to Darku valley within 5 hours through sparse pastures to the first summer settlement of the Darkot people surrounded by barley fields and occupied for three months in the summer. From here the view gets wider and we can see whole Darkot valley which is nestled in Hindukush Mountains. The view all the way down is magnificent and we can see many snowcapped peaks ahead.
Note: The historical Darkot pass trek can be combined with this trek if you have more time to explore and see the Broghi Valley that is located not far from the border of Afghanistan, in the Wakhan.
Darkot is a large village with many houses situated at 2900 meters in wide fertile bowl. Apart from a tranquil natural setting, this remote valley has played a leading role in the history of the region, continually fought over by the local rulers and then came under attention of the British Empire after murder of the British agent /explorer (George Hayward) in 1870 during espionage of the ‘Great Game.
Overnight stay in a Camp
DAY – 8: Darkut – Khalti Lake – Gilgit
After our breakfast, we will drive down to Gilgit via visiting the Khalti Lake in Gupis en-route, the lake has formed on Ghizer river due to a landslide.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Gilgit.
Note: You have a choice to return to Islamabad and take the flight back home in the next two days time. However, if you have time, a side tour to well-known Hunza valley and Khunjerab top (highest international border) between Pakistan and China) is highly recommendable as every visitor who visits Gilgit Baltistan doesn’t miss this trip.
DAY –9-10 : Hunza valley / Khunjerab Top / 4750m (OPTIONAL)
You will have two full days to explore the extraordinary Hunza valley, where you will be able to visit the ancient Baltit Fort, newly formed Attabad Lake, Hussaini Hanging bridge and Passu Glacier. You will have the choice of a spare one full day and drive all the way to Pakistan – China border; it is beautiful drive on a metal part of the highway through the mountains to highest international border.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Hunza valley.
DAY –11: Hunza valley – Besham / Naran
Travel down the Karakoram highway and break the journey enroute at Besham or Naran, subject to condition of snow on Babusar top.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Besham / Naran
DAY –12: Besham / Naran – Islamabad
Complete the road journey down to Islamabad towards Monal restaurant in Islamabad to wrap up the trip in a perfect ambience: good food, night view of the capital and live music.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Islamabad
DAY –13: Transfer to airport three hours prior to homebound flight.
Trip cost: Depends on number of participation
The trip includes:
- Airport pick up/road transfer in private Car / Jeep
- All meals (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) on the way and during the trek
- All accommodations ( hotel / camping as specified in the itinerary)
- 10 kg of personal baggage during trek
- Sleeping tents, mattresses, kitchen tents, mess tent.
- Kitchen equipment, crockery, fuel, cooking, camping, cleaning and
- related gear
- Cook and Assisting staff
- Visa supporting documents (If needed)
- Camping Fees
Trip does not include:
- Visa to Pakistan
- Personal sleeping bags and personal nature clothing/equipment.
- Extras at hotel, like drinks, laundry, phone calls, act. Charges
- incurred as a result of delays beyond our control.
- Extra days beyond the specified itinerary.
- Insurance liability and other under force conditions, medical aid and
- helicopter rescue
- Any other service or product that is not agreed or mentioned herein
- or agreed prior to the commencement of the journey.
- Any tipping to staff