Sarfaranga Desert | Location | Activities
At a height of 7,500 feet, the Sarfaranga Desert, also called Sarfaranga Cold Desert Skardu, presents a bizarre scene of sand dunes and extremely cold temperatures. Unlike other deserts where heat waves are constant, Sarfaranga’s desert captivates tourists with its biting cold breezes and captivating sunset vistas.
The Sarfaranga Desert is located in Shigar Valley. Here in the desert, nature displays an immense diversity. The Indus River flows close by, and mountains encircle the desert. This place has a gorgeous sunset. When the sun sets above sand dunes, the serenity of a desert is at its most unexpected and captivating.
Perfect for a fast outing to take group photos in a mountain surrounded Sarfaranga Cold Desert. From Skardu City, it takes only roughly thirty minutes to drive there.
Sarfaranga Desert Formation
Geologists think that throughout thousands of years, a mix of tectonic, climatic, and erosional processes contributed to the creation of this unusual desert. The tall peaks of the Karakoram Range provide rain shadow effects that trap wet air masses and leave the area leeward and relatively dry, which is why the terrain is so dry.
Special Features of Sarfaranga Cold Desert
When you hear the word “desert,” the intense heat immediately springs to mind. A desert’s typical terrain is made up of sand dunes, and any indication of water in or near the desert usually conjures up bad dreams. Since deserts are located in low-lying regions, it would be uncommon to find tall mountains surrounding one. However, this desert is not like the others.
You will be in awe of Sarfarnga Desert captivating scenery after viewing it because it features massive Rocky Mountains in the distance, a freshwater lake (Blind Lake) that is easily accessible, and the Indus River, which is Pakistan’s largest river, running alongside the desert. The imposing, Rocky Mountains that encircle the deserts and have brilliant, icy summits are, on average, 6000 meters high. Additionally, the largest river in Pakistan flows nearby, supplying water to thousands of acres of land spanning from Punjab and KPK to the Arabian Sea coast.
Activities in Sarfaranga Desert
Sarfaranga Cold Desert is not just a landscape to be admired from afar; it’s an immersive playground for those seeking thrilling adventures amidst the stark beauty of Skardu. Here, a myriad of activities beckons, offering a unique and adrenaline-pumping experience for every kind of explorer.
Sarfaranga Desert Jeep Safari
Embark on a desert safari that takes you deep into the heart of Sarfaranga Desert. Traverse the undulating sand dunes aboard a 4×4 vehicle, navigating the challenging terrain as the vastness of the cold desert unfolds around you. The safari provides an unparalleled opportunity to witness the panoramic vistas and feel the crisp desert air against your skin.
The Ticket price for Jeep Safari at Sarfaranga Cold Desert is PKR 8000.
Paragliding at Sarfaranga Cold Desert
For the ultimate adventure enthusiast, Sarfaranga Desert offers a unique opportunity to take flight and witness its unparalleled beauty from the skies through paragliding. Imagine launching from the sandy dunes, catching the updrafts, and gliding gracefully above the mesmerizing landscape.
Paragliding in Sarfaranga Desert provides an adrenaline-pumping experience, allowing participants to feel the exhilaration of soaring like a bird while taking in panoramic views of the Karakoram Range. The ticket price for this thrilling escapade is set at PKR 8000, offering not just an adventure of a lifetime but a chance to see the Cold Desert enchanting vistas from an entirely new perspective. Prepare to be captivated by the sheer beauty of Skardu as you soar through the crisp mountain air above Sarfaranga Cold Desert.
Enjoy the infinite charm of riding a horse in Sarfaranga’s golden light. Riding a soft horse through the desert and taking in the peace and quiet is an amazing experience. An authentic cultural element is added to your desert exploration with this traditional means of transportation.
Sarfaranga Desert Quad Bike Safari
Feel the wind in your hair as you zoom across the desert on a quad bike. The vast expanse of Sarfaranga provides an ideal terrain for quad biking enthusiasts. Navigate through the sandy trails, experiencing the freedom of off-road exploration against the breathtaking backdrop of the Karakoram Range.
The Ticket price for Jeep Safari at Sarfaranga Cold Desert is PKR 1000.
Camping Under the Stars at Cold Desert
As the sun sets over Sarfaranga, the desert transforms into a celestial wonderland. Engage in the magical experience of camping under the stars, where the pristine night sky unveils its sparkling tapestry. The peaceful solitude of the cold desert at night creates an intimate connection with nature.
Whether you are a thrill-seeker or a seeker of tranquility, Sarfaranga Cold Desert offers a diverse range of activities that cater to every adventurer’s soul. Each experience is a brushstroke on the canvas of Skardu’s enchanting landscapes, inviting you to create lasting memories in this unique and surreal desert realm.
Sarfaranga Desert Rally
This undiscovered gem was made public by the Sarfaranga Cold Desert Rally. For the past three years, in August, this location has hosted the jeep rally. This rally has between 80 and 85 cars and a few motorcycles participating. People travel there to take part in the rally and to support these kinds of regional initiatives from all over Pakistan, but particularly from Gilgit Baltistan. In addition, the chilly desert rally will present an opportunity to showcase Gilgit Baltistan’s cultural diversity and grow the travel and tourism sector in the area.
The rally is being organized by Pakistan Wheels and the Gilgit Baltistan Government. The track expanded by 54 kilometers in 2019 from its 35 kilometers in 2018. Now in 2023, the track is expanded to 80 kilometers. A good 10 km of the track are uneven. This track has four different terrains: sandy, hilly, and powder. The track is fairly challenging, but there is a trade-off between performance and safety.
Sarfaranga Desert Rally 2023
With the intention of promoting adventure tourism in Gilgit-Baltistan and strengthening the local economy of the remote area, the fifth edition of the rally was held in the world’s highest and coldest desert, the Sarfaranga desert in Shigar district. In addition to the main race, there were other events like the motorbike race, raft competition, free-style polo matches, sword dances, rock climbing, horseback riding, Mayfang, musical night, paragliding, tug-of-war, javelin throw, and tent pegging. A total of 135 stalls offered handicrafts, local cuisine, and gemstones.
Over a hundred racers from all over the nation competed at the 80-kilometer course during the event. Three female drivers and a total of eighteen local drivers competed in the race. Mr. Adil Naeem completed the 80km course in 48 minutes to take first place in the Prepared Main Category.
Weather at Sarfaranga Desert
In the winter, the weather in the desert can get pretty harsh. Nonetheless, the summertime average temperature ranges from 8 to 24 degrees. It can get as low as -17 degrees during the winter.
For this reason, it’s crucial to pack appropriately, including lots of snacks and warm clothing to keep yourself warm in the winter.
Evenings can be just as brutal, with lows that fall below freezing. If you plan to spend any time in the desert, don’t forget to pack warm clothing and camping supplies.
You can also check:
- Basho Meadows Skardu
- Customised Tours Packages
- Patriata Chairlift: The Ultimate Adventure Experience
Best Time to Visit Sarfaranga Cold Desert
There isn’t going to be a perfect time to visit this desert paradise, but you should plan your visit to maximize its potential during the appropriate season.
June through September is the ideal time of year to visit the Sarfaranga desert. This is because the weather is a little more tolerable during these months, which makes it ideal for taking advantage of everything this incredible location has to offer.
Wintertime in the desert is dry and chilly, with nighttime lows of below freezing. Although sunny, the days can get quite windy.
If you want to do something more extreme, go in the winter. Just make sure you have the necessary equipment and are ready.