Ancient Silk Route Bicycle Adventure (Ascent)
Ancient Silk Route Bicycle Adventure (Ascent)
- AREA: Karakorum Highway, Northern Pakistan
- Duration: 12 Days | 11 nights
- Difficulty: Strenuous
- Max Altitude: 15,400 Feet
- Total Ride: 450KM
- Total elevation gain: 10,480 Feet
- Bicycle: Bring your own bike (we'll take care of all logistics) OR ride one of ours
- Terrain: Asphalt only
- Dates: March/April/May
- Group size: 8-15 Riders
Embark on the Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour Extreme, a thrilling adventure that takes cyclists from Gilgit to the towering Khunjerab Pass and back. This epic journey begins in vibrant Gilgit, leading riders on a challenging ascent along the legendary Karakoram Highway, offering breathtaking landscapes and historic Silk Route connections.
Ascend through the awe-inspiring Karakoram mountain valleys, conquering winding roads and relishing the natural beauty at every turn. Reach the pinnacle at Khunjerab Pass, 15,400ft above sea level, where triumph meets stunning panoramas.
Forge camaraderie with fellow cyclists and immerse in local hospitality, as you pedal through quaint villages and share tales by bonfires. ADA's expert planning ensures a seamless experience, backed by seasoned guides and a rich history of successful tours.
The Karakoram Highway Cycling Tour Extreme is an unparalleled opportunity to ascend historic heights, embrace cultural encounters, and redefine your perception of Pakistan's allure. Join us for an unforgettable cycling expedition that fuses adventure and history in a unique and exhilarating way.
- Professional english speaking guide
- Airport transfers for domestic & international flights
- Internal flights and associated airport transfers
- All land transport involved in the itinerary
- Support/Back up vehicle
- Mechanical services and basic tools while on the road
- All accommodation (twin sharing basis)
- All meals (Lunch-breakfast-dinner)
- All sight-seeing
- All tourist attractions admission fee
- All permit fees, Park fees, entry fees and Government Taxes
- International flights
- Travel insurance
- Pakistan Visa
- Tips for local guides and support staff
- Miscellaneous expenses
- Souvenirs and personal shopping
- Personal equipment
- Drinks and snacks
- Personal expenses
- Laundry services
- Anything thats not mentioned in the ‘whats included’ section
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AT ISLAMABAD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Upon arriving at Islamabad International Airport, you'll be warmly welcomed and swiftly transported to your hotel. Take in the city's charm as you explore its attractions. Immerse yourself in the serene ambiance of the Faisal Mosque, and absorb the cultural richness of Saidpur Village.
DAY 2: FLIGHT TO GILGIT
You’ll take a morning flight to Gilgit, commencing your day with the excitement of exploration. Engage with the region's history as you visit ancient Buddha sites and immerse yourself in the bustling charm of Gilgit Bazaar, where local culture converges in a vibrant tapestry of sights and sounds. As the day winds down, indulge in an authentic dinner at a local establishment, savoring the flavors that the area has to offer. Opt for an early dinner, allowing you to combat any jet lag and ensure a restful night's sleep, recharging for the adventures that lie ahead.
DAY 3: GILGIT TO HUNZA
(First day on the bikes)
Embark on your inaugural cycling day from Gilgit to Karimabad in Hunza. Beginning at 4,920 feet, your journey will ascend to a rewarding endpoint at 8,200 feet, marking an elevation gain of 3,280 feet. Covering a distance of 60 miles, this ride promises both challenges and the thrill of conquering varied terrains while experiencing captivating landscapes.
Start elevation: 4920 feet
End Elevation: 8200 feet
Total Elevation gain: 3280 feet
Total distance: 60 miles
DAY 4: RIDE TO EAGLES NEST & EXPLORE KARIMABAD
Eagles Nest is a high point in Karimabad. The morning ride from main town Karimabad to Eagles nest is about 5 miles of uphill climb. The route takes you through charming villages and as you ascend, the landscape transforms, with rugged terrain and challenging uphill sections. Eagles Nest, situated at an altitude of around 9,800 feet, is the ultimate destination. Upon reaching this vantage point, cyclists are rewarded with panoramic vistas of the Hunza Valley, including sights of majestic peaks like Rakaposhi and Ultar Sar.
Once you’re back in Karimabad from Eagles nest, explore some history with visits to the ancient Altit and Baltit Forts, standing strong for over a thousand years. Experience the strength of women's entrepreneurship at the Ciqam All Women Furniture Factory. Engage with local schoolchildren, sharing stories and creating cherished memories. Relish the local cuisine at an authentic eatery, where both the food and the welcoming locals will leave a heartwarming impact. Be sure to explore the lively Karimabad bazaar and treat yourself to the renowned walnut cake at Cafe de Hunza.
Start elevation: 8,200 feet
End Elevation: 9,800
Total elevation gain: 1600 feet
Total distance: 10 miles
DAY 5: KARIMABAD TO PASSU
On the journey from Karimabad to Passu, the ride unfolds from an elevated starting point of 8,200 feet to a destination at 8,087 feet. Covering a distance of almost 40 miles, this leg of the expedition promises a captivating blend of scenic landscapes and cycling challenges.
Start elevation: 8,200 feet
End elevation: 8173 feet
Elevation loss: 27 feet
Total distance: 36 Miles
DAY 6: PASSU TO SOST
On your journey from Passu to Sost, your cycling adventure commences at 8,173 feet and concludes at 9,186 feet, marking an elevation gain of 1,100 feet. Covering a distance of 40 miles, this leg of your expedition promises a blend of challenging terrain and scenic beauty.
Start Elevation: 8173 feet
End Elevation: 9186 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 1013 feet
Total Distance: 22 Miles
DAY 7: THE BIG DAY (SOST TO KHUNJERAB PASS)
Prepare for the monumental journey ahead – a true feat. From Sost, pedal your way to the awe-inspiring Khunjerab Pass, the highest international paved border crossing on the planet. Starting at 9,186 feet, your ascent will lead you to a remarkable 15,400 feet, marking an elevation gain of 6,210 feet. After conquering the pass, drive down to Gulmit to check into your hotel. Alternatively, if you're up for the challenge, you can also cycle down. Covering a distance of 60 miles, this day promises unforgettable landscapes and an extraordinary sense of accomplishment.
Start elevation: 9186 feet
End elevation: 15,400 feet
Total gain in elevation: 6210 feet
Total Distance: 60 Miles
Drive down to Gulmit and check into hotel (you may also ride down the pass if you wish to)
DAY 8: REST DAY IN GULMIT
Rest day and some exploration of Gulmit. Opt for a half-day trek or relax in the serene apple orchid garden. Traverse the Hussainy suspension bridge on foot. Indulge in a meal at Yak Burger or savor the fully organic delights of Khao Palao. Witness the artistry at the all-women weaving factory, where hand-woven rugs and carpets come to life. For aquatic pursuits, engage in water activities at Attabad Lake, completing a day rich with diverse experiences.
DAY 9: RIDE/DRIVE TO GULMIT TO MINAPIN (GATEWAY TO RAKAPOSHI BASE CAMP)
Today marks the start of the return journey and the last day on the bikes. After leaving the last Hunza villages, the road climbs as you head towards Minapin in Nagar, following the same path you used to enter the Hunza valley. The last part of the ride can be challenging, with steep inclines. In Minapin, you'll find the entrance to the famous mount Rakaposhi (7788 feet). Today you can choose to ride your bike back or drive – it's your call.
Start elevation: 8087 feet
End elevation: 8,720 feet
Total gain in elevation: 633 feet
Distance: 40 miles
DAY 10: DRIVE TO GILGIT AIRPORT (FLIGHT TO ISLAMABAD)/DRIVE TO NARAN
An early morning drive to Gilgit Airport from Minapin to catch the flight to Islamabad. If weather permits, we should arrive in Islamabad by noon.
NOTE: In case the flight to Islamabad from Gilgit is delayed or canceled due to bad weather, the group will drive down to Naran, and the morning after to Islamabad.
DAY 11: DRIVE TO ISLAMABAD (INCASE OF FLIGHT CANCELLATION)
Drive from Naran to Islamabad. We will start early to make it in time to Islamabad. Upon arrival, delve into the charms of Islamabad, a city that seamlessly merges urban liveliness with greenery. Marvel at the grandeur of the Faisal Mosque, an architectural marvel that stands as an emblem of Pakistan's spiritual heritage. Venture to Saidpur Village, a captivating enclave where history and culture intertwine, offering a unique glimpse into the past. As the day winds down, settle into your accommodation, where you can unwind and reflect on the diverse experiences that have unfolded during your journey.
DAY 12: FLY HOME
Write to us when you reach home. Safe travels!