Ghizer is one of the ten districts of Gilgit Baltistan. It is blessed with snow-capped mountains, diverse plants, attractive villages and crystal blue lakes. It is widely known as peace-loving and warm welcoming and natural beauty around the globe. Ghizer Valley is also famous for its beautiful lush landscape, eye-catching crystal blue lakes and high peaks of Hindukush and Himalayas touching the sky.

Geographical Background

Ghizer District is the most northwestern part of Gilgit Baltistan, connecting GB with Chitral through Shandur Pass and also to Afghanistan, Tajikistan via Kurumber valley of Khodarg Werth Pass-through Tehsil Ishkomen. Currently this district has four tehsils named Punial, Ishkomen, Gupis and Yaseen. All of the tehsils have further valleys with breathtaking views.

Eye-catching Spots in Ghizer Valley

Ghizer District is one of the beautiful regions which is yet to be explored for national and international tourists. Poor infrastructure ,unavailability of  basic facilities and lack of promotion and advertisement are the main obstacles in this regard. Here is the list of some tourist attraction spots in Ghizer Valley :

Allah Almighty has gifted natural beautiful lakes in Ghizer valley.These Lakes are the source of freshwater and trout fish.

Phander Lake
Phander Lake is situated in the Phander Valley, Located in a cup-shaped area surrounded by mountains all around, the crystal clear Phander lake is fed through a link canal from Gilgit river. Depending on the time of the day, the lake changes its colors ranging from blue to deep green. The lake is famous for trout but it is difficult to catch them as there is a lot of algae near the banks.

Khalti lake
Khalti lake is situated in the town of Gupis in Ghizer Valley. It takes almost 3-4 hours to drive from Gilgit to Khalti Lake. The lake is located on the main road so it can be accessible by any age of people. The lake is surrounded by mountains of Hindu kush range which makes the view more beautiful. The place is famous for its peace and silence. One can hear the sound of birds clearly. In the summer season one can enjoy boating and fishing while in winter the lake is frozen.

Hundarap Lake
Hundarap Lake is situated in the Hundarap village which is a small beautiful village to the west of Phander valley. Hundarap Lake is famous for trout fishing and is a good campsite which has been selected as a high altitude wetland by the World Wide Fund for nature.

Khukush Langer Lake
Khukush Langar Lake is also known as Baha lake which is situated in Shandur Valley Tehsil Gupis of Ghizer District. Baha Lake has sky blue color and it is an important source of freshwater full of trout. It is among the longest lakes of the Gilgit Baltistan region with an estimated length of almost 5km, Lake is part of Shandur National park as well. Baha Lake is accessible through the track of around 3 hours from Langer-Shandur road, track further leads to swat valley in KPK province through a high mountain pass.

Shandur Lake
Shandur Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Pakistan. It is located in the district of Gilgit Baltistan as a high mountain pass connects it to Chitral and Gilgit. The upper side of the lake is flat so it is also called Roof of the World. Its beauty is awesome. The clouds that float above it add to its beauty. The temperature there always remains 14 degrees Celsius. The greenery everywhere at Shandur catches the hearts of the tourists

Kurumbar Lake
Kurumbar Lake is a high altitude lake located between Yasin and Iskoman Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. It is the 2nd highest lake in Pakistan and is the 31st highest lake in the world. It is considered to be one of the most beautiful lakes in the world.

Historical places in Ghizer Valley

Gupis Fort
Gupis Fort is located in the Ghizer District of Gilgit Baltistan. The fort was built by the British colonizers in 1805. The Fort has residential quarters, stores, prison cells and offices, surrounded by a wall built for protection against invasion. The fort was used for some time by the Gilgit Scout and Northern Light Infantry. Currently, the historical fort is crumbling due to lack of care and attention.

Gahkuch Fort
Gahkuch is one of the most beautiful and historic villages in Ghizer. It is a beautiful town covered by glaciers and mountains. There are many historical places in Gahkuch like Chilla Shuwarun, Kalmakoi, Shawotai Khat, Gahkuch Fort (Defense Tower Gahkuch), Zeerati Thoko, Xaramarik and Sujo Thoko. Gahkuch fort is the oldest fort in Gilgit Baltistan. Many rulers used Gahkuch as their capital and it is very safe for defense and security.

Yasin Fort
Yasin Fort is also known as Dorkhand Fort, which is the most beautiful and biggest fort in Gilgit Baltistan which was started in the period of shah Khoshwaqt the farmer of Khoshwaqt Dynasty in 15th century. A Lot of historical wars have been fought with Maharaja of Kashmir and the invaders from china with the rulers of Wakhan and Afghanistan. The most famous war was in 1862 after the death of Raja Ghazi Goharman.In which Dogra forces occupied Yasin and abolished this fort and Muddori Fort.

Scenic Valleys and Camping Sites

Punial Valley
Punail is the most beautiful and scenic part of District Ghizer. Gakuch the capital of District Ghizer is situated in this valley. The Punial valley has many archeological sites and the valley is known as the Fruit Basket. The valley is also famous for camping sites and sightseeing. Some of the best spots are; Sherqilla Nalla, Upper Gahkuch, Picnic Spot Gajkuch and Tourist hut in Hopper.

Ishkoman Valley
Ishkoman valley is known as the hub of glaciers and trekking routes. There are some scenic locations for camping and sightseeing like Karambar lake, Sokhtarabad, Chillinji Glaciers, Werghot, Mahtramdan, Batsowat, Ater Lake, Ishkoman property, Immit, Pakora and Chatorkhand.

Immit Valley, Ishkoman

Chatorkhand , Ishkoman

Yasin Valley
Yasin valley is another eye-catching valley of Ghizer. Yasin valley is also known as Babaye-i-Yasin or Worshigum is a high mountain valley in the Hindukush mountains. The summer in Yasin valley has great attraction not only because of scenic beauty but it offers camping sites for tourists. Some attractive camping sites are; Yasin Proper, Sandi, Thui , Hundur, and Darkut.

Darkut Valley

Gupis Valley
Gupis is the scenic valley of Ghizer. There are so many villages lush green and very pleasant places, beautiful sites for camping for tourists like Gupis Fort, Khalti Lake, and Sosot Lake. The Khalti and Sosot lake are also famous for Fish Angling.

Sosot Lake , Gupis

Phander Valley
Phander valley is the newly constituted Tehsil of District Ghizer.Phander Valley was the breadbasket for the whole Gilgit Baltistan. It has many attractive places for camping and trout fish angling like Phander Lakes, Sahi Mahal, Terch and Gulghmuli, langer and Shandur. Hundarap and other spectacular valleys with lush green fields offer great sites of camping and fishing for visitors, it is known as the paradise for Trout Fish.

Gulghmuli valley

Shandur Polo Ground
Shandur Polo Ground is the highest polo ground in the world. It is naturally designed as small hills are all four sides of the rectangular ground and situated at an altitude of 12,500 feet above the sea level. Shandur Top is sometimes called “Roof of the World” where Hindukush in Gilgit-Baltistan, between Afghanistan and Gilgit-Baltistan and Karakoram mountain range of Gilgit-Baltistan meet. The top is flat, and a plateau can be crossed between April and early November.

Archaeological sites in Ghizer
Ghizer was dominated by Buddhism, which left various rock inscribed writings and pictures dating back between 5000 BC to 8th century AD. Many points are found in Ghizer are:

  1. Megalithic stone circles at Yasin
  2. Rock Arts at Yasin Nuh Bridge
  3. Remains of Mandori Fort at Sadi Yasin
  4. Remains of old settlements at Barkulti Yasin
  5. Unexplored graveyards in Grunjir and Bubur
  6. Remains of old Fort in upper Gahkuch
  7. Remains of old settlements at Dain Ishkoman
  8. Remains of old settlement at Chatorkhand
  9. Rock inscriptions around Chashi Nalla and Phandar top
  10. Fort in Gupis

Trekking Routes and Passes:
Ghizer particularly Yasin, Ishkoman and kohe Ghizer (Upper Ghizer) valleys are known as heaven for trekkers and famous for all kinds of trekking routes, normal to technical. Here is the list of some trekking routes:

Asumbar Haghost

Duration 04 days
Distance 44.7 km
Height of Pass 4560 m
Peak Asumbar Peak 5798 m
Standard Moderate
Season June-September
Start Asumba
Finish Dal Sandi
Zone & Permit Open, No permit
Summary This culturally and linguistically diverse trek through alpine meadows crosses a gentle pass with sweeping vistas.

Karambar Ann and Darkut Ann

Duration 11days
Distance 123.5 km
Height of Pass 4650 m
Peak Zhui Sar
Standard Demanding Technical
Season July-September
Start Bort
Finish Darkot Yasin/ Broghol Chitral
Zone & Permit Restricted, US$120 permit
Summary This trek needs the glacially carved Karambar valley across a meadow and lake filled pass to Pamir grasslands, then crosses a historic glaciated pass into the incredibly scenic darkot valley, which features springs and tumbling ice falls

Punji Pass

Duration 04days
Distance 40.3 km
Height of Pass 4680 m
Peak Panji Peak 5800 m
Standard Demanding
Season July-September
Start Darkut/ Ghotolti
Finish Ghotolti/Darkut
Zone & Permit Open no Permit
Summary This traverse of the Hindukush Range, through unspoiled traditional valleys with spring-fed meadows and superb alpine vistas, crosses a straightforward pass with opportunities for climbs and first ascents

Pakora Pass

Duration 05days
Distance 46.9 km
Height of Pass 4710 m
Peak Sentinel Peak 5260 m
Standard Moderate
Season June-September
Start Upper Naltar
Finish Pakora
Zone & Permit Open no Permit
Summary A fine introduction to Karakoram trekking, this route has alpine meadows, a small glacier, and not-too-high pass, incredible scenery and it is easily accessible from Gilgit

Chilnji Ann and Qalander Uween

Duration 06 DAYS
Distance 57 km
Height of Pass 5106 m
Peak Kuz Sar 6677 m
Standard Very Demanding/ Technical
Season June-September
Start Baba Ghondi Ziarat Gojal /Warghot/ Sokhatarabad
Finish Warghot/ Sokhtarabad (Karambar Valley)/Gojal
Zone & Permit Restricted US$120 permit
Summary Cross a challenging glaciated pass along Pakistan’s northmost border between the dramatic and sacred landscape of Choposan and the rock walls and inspires of the Karambar Valley

Kuru Ann

Duration 03-04 days
Distance 27 km
Height of Pass 4700 m
Standard Demanding
Season June-September
Start Kuru pakor Gol/ Baj Gaz Immit
Finish Baj Gaz Immit/ Kuru Pakoro Gol
Zone & Permit Open no Permit

Altar Pass

Duration 04-05 days
Distance 45 km
Standard Demanding
Season June-September
Start Ghotolti Ishkoman
Finish Darkut Yasin
Zone & Permit ROpen no Permit
Summary An immense amphitheater surrounded by a circle of snowy peaks and hanging glaciers. Scenic a greenish four Km long lake

Thui Ann

Duration 05 days
Distance 47 km
Height of Pass 4500 m
Peak Kuz Sar 6677 m
Standard Moderate
Season July-September
Start Nialthi Thui Yasin
Finish Sholkush Yarkhun Chitral
Zone & Permit Open no Permit
Summary An outstanding and popular traverse over a relatively easy pass, surrounded by tumbling glaciers and jagged 6000m peaks, this trek passes through traditional villages and links Yasin and Chitral

Darmandar Haghost

Duration 04 days
Distance 42 km
Height of Pass 4495 m
Standard Moderate
Season July-September
Start Jondoli Gupis
Finish Dal Sandi Yasin/ Asumbar Ishkoman
Zone & Permit Open no Permit
Summary Non Glaciated trek mostly used by local Gujars who ride horses to medicinal springs above Barkulti in Yasin

Nazbar Ann

Duration 04 days
Distance 53.6 km
Height of Pass 4980 m
Standard Demanding
Season July-September
Start Batakushi Nazbar Yasin
Finish Chashi
Zone & Permit Open no Permit
Summary A challenging route takes adventurous trekkers through the wild and ruggedly scenic alpine country via a high pass with a penalty of opportunity for exploration and peak bagging

Zagaro Ann

Duration 06 days
Distance 57.6 km
Height of Pass 4920 m
Standard Very Demanding
Season July-August
Start Batakushi Nazbar/ Chashi
Finish Chapali Chitral/ Barsut Ghizer
Zone & Permit Open no Permit
Summary Gilgit-Baltistan’s most challenging unglaciated pass traverses unvisited valleys between Ghizer and Chitral, offering opportunity for exploration and alpine climbs

Chumarkhan Ann

Duration 02 days
Distance 29 km
Height of Pass 4328 m
Standard Easy
Season July-October
Start Barsat Ghizer
Finish Chapali Chitral
Zone & Permit Open no Permit
Summary This gentle pass leads through meadows and meanders along a stream. “It is an outstanding quick route between picturesque upper Ghizer and Colorful Yarkhun

Dadarelli Ann

Duration 05 days
Distance 69 km
Height of Pass 5030 m
Standard Demanding
Season July-September
Start Hundarap
Finish Kohistan Khandia /Matiltan Kalam
Zone & Permit Open no Permit
Summary Scenic glaciers and lakes with meadows and animal herds are the prominent features of the pleasant trekking routes