Top 7 Most Family Friendly Hiking Trails in Pakistan

Pakistan has been bestowed with some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. Looking at the lush green valleys, snow-covered mountains, deserts, rivers and lakes, it is safe to say that Mother Nature has been very kind. Pakistan is set to become a hot tourist destination with improved infrastructure and security situation. More and more people are starting to take interest in the incomparable beauty that Pakistan has to offer. For example, Hon Pass in Hunza Valley was recently named as the top travel destination of the world.

The best way to explore these landscapes is to go hiking. Hiking has many health benefits such as weight control, improvement in mental and cardiovascular health, lower stress levels, and more. However, not all hiking tracks are suitable for kids or elderly. 

If you are looking for reasonably easy hiking trails, following are some of the best options: 

1. Margalla hills - Trail 3 

Margalla Hills in Islamabad is situated right at the foot of the mighty Himalayas. There are unlimited hiking opportunities and around 30 hiking trails in Margalla hills for any age and skill. Of the many trails at Margalla hills, Trail 3 is the oldest and also most popular and properly maintained. Trail 3 has different variants for different skill level, a distance of 5.57 km and a maximum elevation of 1177 m.
It has ample parking opportunities and is located conveniently opposite Sector F-6 on Margalla Road. A highlight of this trail is the “viewpoint” where you can see almost all of Islamabad. Hikers with family usually end their hike at the “viewpoint”. However, many enthusiasts continue forwards as two third of the journey still remains. If you reach the finish point, you are rewarded with the food at the very popular Monal restaurant along with a breathtaking view. Due to the proper resting place, markings, good maintenance and cleanliness; Trail 3 is a very popular choice for hikers with family or without. 

2. Miranjani 

Miranjani Track (Photo Credit)

Miranjani is a good hiking trail for beginners, although not very easy but it is do-able especially in the summers. The Miranjani peak is at 2960 meters and the base area starts at Nathia Gali. The Miranjani peak is located in Abbottabad in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. It takes around 4 hours to hike up to the peak and view the spectacular visuals of Jhelum river and Tarbela lake along with Abbottabad and Thandiani. If you are lucky enough to go on a clear day, you will also get to witness Nanga Parbat in all its glory! 

3. Deosai National Park 

Deosai National Park (Photo Credit)

The Deosai National Park is one of the most iconic hiking places that people can experience. Firstly, the pastures are filled with endless wildflowers in the entire Deosai area which is also the second largest plateau in the world. It spans 3000 square kilometers and has a height of 4000 meters. Deosai actually means the ‘the land of giants’ and the unending beautiful green scenery proves that the name is aptly put. 
This National Park was created in 1993 to protect the Himalayan brown bear but has also become a very popular hiking spot especially in the summers. The summers bring out blooming, colorful flowers along with butterflies and it is no short of how heaven would be. You need a guide to trek in the national park so it is liked by families who can have the assistance of a professional guide to take them through Deosai. 

4. Dunga Gali - Ayubia Track 

Ayubia National Park Track (Photo Credit)

This track is more popularly known as the “pipeline track” as it follows the route of a vital pipeline that served Murree. The hike from Dunga Gali to Ayubia is generally easy and appealing to the eyes with fresh pine forests and stunning scenery. This 5 km hike is popular and liked by those who do not want to climb steep mountains and sleep in the middle of nowhere. The hike goes to Ayubia within the Ayubia National Park and this is one hike, you can do with your kids

5. Ratti Gali Lake Track 

The Ratti Gali Lake is located in the Neelum Valley of Azad Kashmir. To get to the lake you have to indulge in a scary yet exciting jeep ride from Dowarian to the Ratti Gali base camp which will take approximately 3 hours. After reaching the base camp, it is another 2-3 hours of medium to difficult trekking. However, the beautiful views in front of you give you the required push to proceed further. You can also take a horse ride to the top. Upon finally reaching the Ratti Gali lake, you will be rewarded with crystal blue waters of the lake in between snow-covered mountains. 

6. Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat Base Camp 

Fairy Meadows (Photo Credit)

Fairy Meadows is one of the most popular hiking destinations in Pakistan as it gives an unobstructed view of the gorgeous, 8125 meters high Nanga Parbat which is second in height to K2. Although it is an 8000-meter height, it is still considered one of the most accessible hikes and is an 8 hour round trip in the summers when there is less to no snow. 
When you finally reach the top, you cannot believe your eyes as the view is just so panoramic. The 9th highest mountain of the world seems to be scraping the sky with its snow-covered peak and seems to be a fortress fit for a goddess! 

7. Naltar Valley 

Naltar Valley (Photo Credit)

In the winters, Naltar valley is referred to as the ‘Magic carpet of Pakistan’ with ski competitions being held under the Pakistan Air Force. Even for hiking, the scenery is incredible just like it is in all parts of gorgeous North Pakistan. Naltar lies between the busy cities of Gilgit and Baltistan. The valley nestles between tall snow-capped mountains and towering forests. Naltar Bala, the center of the valley is jaw dropping beautiful and very unique as the forest covers a large part of the area as compared to other valleys. 

Hiking is a memorable experience. You will need a little bit of planning and preparation like checking for the weather and going with the hiking equipment like hiking tent, food, sunscreen, medicines, sturdy shoes, weatherproof jackets, maps, etc. but these wonderful tracks are well worth the effort.

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