The Karakorum is the backbone of vast colliding mountain ranges incorporating some of the world's highest peaks and longest non-Polar glaciers. These peaks reach 7,000-8,000m and include K2, the second-highest mountain on the planet. The road travels through some spectacular scenery starting near Rawalpindi, following the River Indus (which separates the Himalayas and Hindu Kush ranges) to Gilgit. Here one feels the "real" mountains begin as the road climbs towards the Khunjerab pass at 4,730m. En route we pass through the Hunza valley which has a reputation for outstanding natural beauty, welcoming people and endless hiking and biking opportunities. Until very recently Hunza was cut off from the modern world and became mythologized in books and films as the "Lost Kingdom of Shangri-La". Due to its isolation and purity its people are reputed to have extraordinary health and longevity.
If you are looking for one of the world's great cycle rides, set amongst ever-changing scenery, this trip is hard to beat.