The Most Dangerous Roads in Pakistan

Aug 28, 2019
If you've traveled through the north of Pakistan, you're probably aware of the hair-raising serpentines that cover the valleys and mountains there. From the Karakoram Highway to the Fairy Meadows, the Shimshal, Gilgit, Kaghan, Shandur, and Shounter valleys, we have not explored a place to bring you this collection of the most dangerous roads in Pakistan.


We start with the Karakoram Highway or KKH, the highest paved road in the world. Built over a period of 27 years, from 1959 to 1986, on the way of the original Silk Road, the KKH demanded nearly 900 lives during its construction. Most of them were Pakistani workers, while about 80 of them were Chinese. With a length of 1,300 kilometers, it is considered one of the scariest roads in the world. Here you can expect highs, serpentines and steep cliffs. Considering the route, the KKH is also prone to bad weather leading to avalanches, landslides and heavy snowfall that can block the route for days. The part of the KKH that leads to the Khunjerab Pass is particularly challenging. There is only enough space for a single jeep with a steep slope at one end and a rugged cliff at the other. Driving should not be attempted by novice drivers, and the vehicle should be adequately equipped for emergencies before crossing the route.


The 16.2-kilometer route begins at the Raikot Bridge on the Karakoram Highway and leads to the village of Tato at 3,300 meters above sea level. The road is unpaved, bumpy and risky. A jeep crawls carefully so as not to fall into the abyss. The route is certainly not for the faint of heart and is often listed as one of the scariest roads in the world. But it is not the ride that scares you, but the last two kilometers of the track, where the road gets so narrow that no vehicle can drive through. You have to dismount here and then hike up. The journey takes about 2 hours, but it can be the most terrible two hours of your life when a wrong step plunges the gravel down the cliff. You can do this part of the journey on horseback when trekking uphill is too much of a challenge.


Shimshal is the highest settlement in the Hunza Valley with a height of 3,100 meters. The settlement was only accessible in October 2003 on the street. At that time, a road that was under construction for 18 years was completed and then inaugurated. Before the route was built, the residents of Shimshal had to undertake a three-day trip over three passes under extreme weather conditions, to reach the nearest village, Pasu (at an altitude of approximately 2,485 meters), is one of the most dangerous roads in Pakistan, and only experienced ones Jeep drivers make the journey.

Normally, a vehicle leaves Shimshal every morning, takes all passengers to Pasu and returns in the evening, but without having to cross guardrails on the road and some scary wooden bridges and canyons to get to another settlement, few want to cross regularly , The distance is 56 kilometers, but the vehicle's speed limit is approximately 10 kilometers per hour. You should only experience this thrill if you are prepared to spend five hours on this dangerous path that even the locals fear.


The 48.7-kilometer road connects Jalkhad in the Naran Valley with Sharda in the Kashmir Valley and reaches Mount Noori Top. The route, built in 1998 by the Pakistani army during the Kargil War and one of Pakistan's most insidious routes, is now a tourist destination for adventure seekers.

The view on the way is fabulous, with the Naran Valley on one side and the Kargil Mountains and Kashmir on the other side. However, you can only enjoy the view if you ignore the steep slopes that run along the road at each turn. Weather-related restrictions often lead to an almost one-year blocking of the route. Therefore, July to September is the best time to enjoy this exciting and death-defying ride to the summit.


The route known as Strategic Highway 1 or S-1 starts on the Karakoram Highway in Gilgit and ends after 167 kilometers in Skardu. The slope carries passengers from a height of 1,500 meters to 2,200 meters above sea level along the Indus River. The road was built in 1982 by the engineers of the Pakistan Army in cooperation with engineers from China and was originally not asphalted. While the road sections are now paved, the journey is still 8 hours, and inclement weather may block the road for weeks. The rocky, rugged and barren mountains in the region make it difficult even for those suffering from car-sickness or claustrophobia, since the route is generally open only in the summer months, when the barren environment combined with an unbearable heat wave in combination with the gradual Slope can lead the track. For those who dare, the view is breathtaking as the road passes several suspension bridges, quaint villages and valleys.


Chilas in the Kaghan Valley is connected to the Karakoram Highway via Babusar Pass. This road was known for its slippery gravel that could shake steel nerves. Although the road is now paved, it is still known for its winding turns and is usually open from July to September. Afterwards the winter weather leads to a blocking of the route. Although the climb takes you up to 4,200 meters (13,700 feet), it is the drop that will challenge even the most experienced riders, especially given the unexpected weather conditions the region is known for and the steep crashes at each turn.

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