The picturesque Hramosh Valley in Gilgit Baltistan is between snowcapped peaks, lush green landscape, and natural serenity. The peaceful beauty attracts the tourists like a magnet. It is an almost 3,310 m high-altitude destination. Hike towards Haramosh is not so difficult. The famous point in the valley is definitely Kutwal Lake, but there are various worth visiting spots as well. Hikers witness a diversified terrain, with mixed views.
How to Access Hramosh Valley
The valley is 492 km away from Islamabad via the Babusar route and 583 km by the Karakoram Highway route. One can reach Haramosh Valley through the town of Sassi, situated on the Gilgit-Skardu route. The tourists start the journey from Islamabad on Peshawar Motorway M-1. From Hazara Interchange, they turn onto Hazara Motorway (M-15) and travel towards Mansehra. At Babusar pass, the tourists have two options according to the situation.
The high-altitude Babusar pass, which interlinks the Kaghan Valley with Gilgit Baltistan, remains open for traffic from June to September. This period is the peak hike season. Remaining time of the year, the Babusar pass remains snow-covered up to 12 ft. and therefore, closed for traffic.
Whenever open for traffic, the Babusar Pass is an easier and short route toward Gilgit Baltistan and is obviously the most preferred one by tourists. In this scenario, the tourists should turn towards Narran from Mansehra. The distance of the pass from Mansehra is 186 km, covered in 6 hours. The route is replete with scenic views and beautiful mountains on both sides. The temperature is pleasant. The striking landscape of the valleys beneath it pleases the tourists. On the other side of Babusar Pass, near Chillas the road merges with the Karakorum Highway.
In case of the closure of Babusar Pass, the only choice is to turn towards Besham from Mansehra and start the journey on Karakorum Highway. However, this route is longer. Almost 5 hours more than the Babusar route. The road is not in good condition as well and is to be repaired from various places. It brings discomfort and irritation to travelers. Moreover, the temperature is hot and adjoining mountains are without greenery. The only benefit of this route is that it remains open throughout 12 months of the year.
The Karakoram Highway from Chillas to Raikot, about 90 minutes section, is a poorly conditioned road. The Indus River flows side by side on the left. However, from Raikot Bridge, the cars and vehicles turn left to the Indus River and, from this point, the road quality improves. The journey becomes comfortable. The vehicles easily start running at the speed of 100 km per hour.
After some kilometers, the tourists reach a point where the gorgeous Nanga Parbat Mountain can be viewed on the right side. This scenario, of course, is a panacea to the whole fatigue of the journey.
Keep driving on the route and reach the Skardu Morh. Turn right towards Skardu. After crossing the river and driving for 2 hours, the town of Sassi appears. Here, the tourists have a night’s stay.
Almost a 20 to 22 kilometers journey via bus. From Faizabad bus station, a bus will be available for Skardu. Which will pass by Sassi. The tourists should leave the bus here.
Gilgit Airport is near the Haramosh Valley. However, foreign flights do not land here. The tourists land at the airport and after 4 to 5 hours of journey by taxi, they reach Sassi. The town of Sassi is 66 km away from the airport.
Jeep Track to Dasu, Haramosh Valley
From Sassi, the tourists hire a jeep and head towards the trail. Despite the fact that Jeep rides in Pakistani mountains are not comfortable. On the Haramosh track, the ride is pleasant and comfortable. Blueberry and apricot trees go side by side on the track. The mountain villages on the track are so wonderful and striking. Nature is understood in true spirit at this trial. The tourists riding in an open jeep can pluck the blueberries and apricots freely. The trail is 75 km long. After pleasant trekking along the natural serenity, exceptional beauty, striking landscape, and promising trail, the trekkers reach Dasu.
Hike toward Kutwal Village
After leaving the jeeps, the tourists continue trekking on the same trail. The wide jeep track after a while turns into a narrow pedestrian one. On the right side of the trail, there is a blue water small stream that blows down to the village. After some walk on the trail, there appears a waterfall and after it a path vulnerable to rock slides. The tourists must cross this 50 m section carefully.
The first point on the trail is Iskere village, having various fruit trees. There may be some snow/ice patches on the trail, which need to be crossed vigilantly. On trial, a stream is to be crossed via a wooden plank, indeed a memorable experience.
Camping at Kutwal Village
After 5 to 6 hours walk on the trek, beautiful meadows appear. A village Kutwal comes after half an hour. Campsite is there. Campsite gear is to be taken with you because of no services available at the campsite. The stream water is too cold. Various peaks such as Haramosh, Dobani, and Laila Peak can be viewed from the campsite. The temperature of the campsite can rapidly fall up to 0 degrees at night, so a high-quality sleeping bag must be with the trekkers.
Hike to Kutwal Lake
Kutwal lake comes after 2 hours of trekking from the village. From the campsite to Kutwal Lake, the trek is the climax of the whole journey. At Kutwal Lake, the scenic view changes after every 20 minutes. During the hike, the tourists embrace a far and wide, lush green meadow adjoining the dark gray of the astonishingly close mountains. The trekkers witness the adorable trees, which constantly emanate the tiny particles in the air, creating a gorgeous atmosphere.
After the trees, there is some elevation. One witnessed the meadow and awesome trees with Bilchar Dobani’s peak in the backdrop. The magnificent scene implores the tourists to forget everything.
The height of Kutwal Lake is 3,310 meters. Interestingly, the trekkers have passed through so fabulous spots that when they reach the lake, its beauty doesn’t impress to a greater extent. Otherwise, the lake is so gorgeous that the visitors get mesmerized by its beauty. If anyone continues the hike up to the base of the mountains, there is an impressive glacier awaiting.