John Mock & Kimberley O'Neil



Appendix F - Resource Base for Tourism

Resource Base for Tourism
CHITRAL
Valley/Region Outstanding Natural Features Outstanding Cultural Features Outstanding Biological Features Activities for Tourists Accessibility

Kalash Valleys

  • typical Hindukush valley
  • only valleys in which earlier old (Vedic) religion survives in world
  • distinct language
  • cultural aspect main tourist attraction
  • ancient cedar forests
  • natural resources - morel mushrooms, pine nuts
  • cultural tours
  • seasonal festivals
  • limited day hikes</ul
  • easy access
  • two hour drive from Chitral

Chitral Gol

  • rugged terrain
  • very attractive mountain panorama
  • high rocky mountains
  • hunting bungalows of ex-Mehtar of Chitral: Birmogh Lasht, Kasavir, and Merin
  • endangered species - markhor and snow leopard. Markhor is a red-listed species
  • large healthy male and female markhor populations
  • snow leopard, black bear, birds
  • healthy stand of forest (ie, chilgoza and chir pine
  • edible plants (morel mushrooms)
  • wildflowers
  • hiking
  • wildlife viewing
  • jeep trips for sunrise or sunset
  • bird watching
  • Chitral Gol National Park
  • very easy
  • existent trail network (in disrepair)

Shishi & Golen Valleys

  • many side valleys
  • lakes
  • clear streams
  • high mountains
  • traditional Kho villages
  • cedar forests
  • wildlife (ibex, snow leopard, bear, birds)
  • wild mushrooms<
  • trekking
  • open zone
  • three hour drive from Chitral

Lutkho Valley

  • south side of Tirich Mir
  • hot springs at Garam Chashma
  • Gazikistan meadows
  • friendly villages
  • none
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • open zone; restricted beyond Garam Chashma

Turikho Valley

  • Tirich Mir and Istor-o-nal; highest peaks in Hindukush
  • none
  • wildlife (large mammals, birds)
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • open zone; restricted beyond Rich Gol

Upper Yarkhun Valley

  • arid, broad valleys
  • high rocky mountains
  • Karambar lake and meadows; largest alpine grassland besides Deosai Plains
  • Wakhi communities in Broghil
  • former Central Asian trade route
  • friendly Kho communities
  • wildlife in side valleys
  • wildflowers in Karambar meadows
  • world-class migratory water fowl site (Karambar lakes)
  • trekking
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • open zone; restricted beyond Lasht
GHIZAR
Valley/Region Outstanding Natural Features Outstanding Cultural Features Outstanding Biological Features Activities for Tourists Accessibility

Upper Ghizar River Valley

  • clear streams and lakes
  • Shandur Polo tournament
  • world-record trout from Hundrup River
  • peat bogs
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • kayaking and rafting
  • Shandur-Hundrup National Park
  • open zone
  • Gilgit-Chitral road

Yasin Valley

  • high mountains
  • wide valleys
  • isolated traditional
  • Burusho communities
  • well-tended attractive fields and villages
  • wildlife
  • trekking
  • cultural touring
  • open zone; restricted beyond Darkot to Darkot An
  • jeep roads to all trail heads

Ishkoman Valley

  • large valley glaciers
  • Karambar lakes
  • herders in summer pastures
  • multiple languages and cultures (Shina, Khowar, Gujar, Wakhi)
  • Karambar lakes (should be RAMSAR site)
  • Karambar meadows
  • trekking
  • bird watching
  • rafting
  • open zone; restricted beyond Imit in Karambar Valley
  • jeep roads to all trail heads
GILGIT, DIAMIR & KAGHAN VALLEY
Valley/Region Outstanding Natural Features Outstanding Cultural Features Outstanding Biological Features Activities for Tourists Accessibility

Bagrot & Haramosh Valleys

  • Diran and Haramosh peaks
  • traditional Shina-speaking villages
  • wildlife
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • jeep safaris
  • fishing
  • open zone
  • new jeep road to Bagrot two hour drive from Gilgit
  • Gilgit-Skardu road access to Haramosh

Nanga Parbat

  • Nanga Parbat
  • traditional culture in Rupal Valley
  • wildlife
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • jeep safaris
  • Fairy Meadows
  • open zone
  • Fairy Meadows close to KKH

Kaghan Valley

  • Babusar Pass and lakes
  • none
  • high altitude lakes and plateau
  • famous trout streams
  • trekking
  • jeep safaris
  • fishing
  • mountain biking
  • open zone
  • close to Islamabad
HUNZA RIVER VALLEY
Valley/Region Outstanding Natural Features Outstanding Cultural Features Outstanding Biological Features Activities for Tourists Accessibility

Naltar & Pakora Valleys

  • lakes in Naltar Valley
  • 5000m to 6000m peaks
  • none
  • wildflowers
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • butterfly catching
  • day trips/picnics to Naltar/Naltar Lake
  • open zone
  • along KKH two hour drive from Gilgit

Nagyr

  • Rakaposhi, Diran and Spantik peaks
  • stunning glaciers
  • high altitude Rush Lake
  • ancient Burushaski-speaking culture
  • attractive well-tended villages
  • wildflowers
  • Bar Valley Project (ibex)
  • other wildlife
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • butterfly catching
  • wildlife viewing
  • Central Karakoram National Park (ie, Hispar Glacier)
  • open zone
  • along KKH two to three hour drive from Gilgit

Hunza Proper

  • Ultar peaks
  • Baltit and Altit forts
  • former Mir's palace
  • ancient Burusho culture
  • attractive well-tended villages
  • abundant fruit
  • limited trekking
  • day hikes
  • mountaineering
  • cultural touring
  • mountain biking on KKH
  • open zone
  • along KKH two to three hours from Gilgit

Gojal

immense glaciers (eg, Batura, Passu, Mulungutti)

  • highest peak in Karakoram west of K2, Destaghil Sar
  • many 7000m peaks
  • Khunjerab Pass
  • Wakhi community
  • women in pastures
  • shrine of Baba Ghundi Ziarat in Chapursan
  • ancient juniper forests (eg, Boiber and Lupgar valleys)
  • largest snow leopard population in world in Khunjerab National Park
  • Marco Polo sheep
  • Blue sheep
  • ibex
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • wildlife viewing
  • jeep safaris
  • cultural touring
  • mountain biking on KKH
  • Khunjerab National Park
  • open zone; except Chapursan is restricted
  • along KKH four to five hours from Gilgit
BALTISTAN
Valley/Region Outstanding Natural Features Outstanding Cultural Features Outstanding Biological Features Activities for Tourists Accessibility

Saltoro Valley

  • interesting glaciers (eg, Bilafond)
  • Balti dress
  • old traditions
  • Nur Bakhshiya sect
  • wooden Kashmiri-style mosques
  • none
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • closed

Kondus Valley

  • rock towers in lower valley and along Kondus Glacier
  • hot spring in Kor Kondus
  • not as interesting as Saltoro Valley
  • none
  • world-class rock climbing
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • closed
  • more removed from Siachen Glacier; some possibility of access if reclassified by GoP

Hushe Region

  • high peaks eg, Masherbrum)
  • Masherbrum icefall
  • four upper valleys that disperse concentration of tourists
  • dramatic formations and glaciers
  • Gondogoro La and views of four 8000-metre peaks
  • Nur Bakhshiya sect
  • friendly villagers receptive to tourism
  • women in pastures
  • alpine forest above Hushe village intact
  • wildlife present, but hard to see
  • alpine meadows healthy and intact
  • villagers limit grazing (eg, Gondogoro Valley) to places where tourists do not go
  • abundant wildflowers in Gondogoro Valley and Spangser
  • easy to strenuous trekking
  • mountaineering
  • rock climbing
  • very good
  • open zone
  • road to Hushe village
  • link to Baltoro Glacier and Concordia
  • about 1,000 tourists per year visit Hushe and its upper valleys (significantly greater percentage than any other Northern Areas valley)
  • well-known and popular

Braldu Valley

  • Baltoro Glacier
  • Biafo-Hispar glaciers - the longest glacial traverse outside polar regions
  • extensive ablation valleys in Biafo
  • most outstanding scenic beauty in all of Pakistan Concordia and four 8000-metre peaks
  • gemstones
  • hot spring in Chongo
  • traditional Balti villages
  • extensive ablation valleys along Biafo Glacier have wildflowers, birds, ponds, and lakes
  • wildlife decimated on Baltoro Glacier (primarily due to hunting by military) - blue sheep gone, some ibex present (eg, above Liligo)
  • Biafo Glacier reports indicate bears, ibex (readily visible), birds (eagles, large birds)
  • meadows unused as pastures
  • rigorous trekking
  • world-class mountaineering
  • rock climbing
  • ski mountaineering
  • snow boarding
  • limited kayaking
  • Central Karakoram National Park
  • road to Askole needs constant repair and always problematic in peak tourist season because of high water in Braldu River
  • Baltoro Glacier most heavily visited; Biafo Glacier fewer visitors
  • Biafo is an open zone; Baltoro is a restricted zone.
  • Permit/bureaucracy hassles; need to ease formalities and police checkposts

Basha Valley

  • Chogo Lungma Glacier and tributary Kero Lungma Glacier
  • extensive ablation valleys
  • hot spring in Chutron
  • gemstones
  • Arandu is very traditional Balti village (eg, weave willow/birch) vine bridges, house construction, yak pasturing
  • traditional herder's life is easier to see than elsewhere in Baltistan
  • wildlife prevalent in upper areas
  • abundant seasonal wildflowers in ablation valleys
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • hot springs
  • open zone
  • road to Doko offers easy access

Shigar Valley

  • far from mountains
  • broad cultivated valley
  • Thalle La
  • villages
  • architecture in mosque (Imam Bargah) is Kashmiri-style wood construction
  • none
  • day trips from Skardu to see Balti village
  • trekkers pass through en route to Braldu Valley and to trek over Thalle La
  • open zone
  • very easy access; close to Skardu
  • frequent transport
  • good road and new bridge over Indus River

Panmah Valley

  • Panmah Glacier and Dumordo River
  • none
  • none
  • trekking
  • mountaineering
  • restricted zone

Deosai Plains

  • most extensive high altitude plateau in Pakistan (ie, also outside Tibet)
  • clear streams and rivers
  • none
  • a few Gujars in summer
  • largest brown bear population in Pakistan
  • ibex in hills
  • native fish (snow trout)
  • unique grasslands
  • unbelievable mosquitoes
  • jeep safari
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • ski touring
  • hiking has widest appeal
  • fishing
  • Deosai Wilderness National Park
  • open zone
  • excellent access from both Skardu and Astor Valley
  • easily combinable routes/activities

Tormik Valley

  • mountain valleys
  • unique dress
  • wildlife
  • trekking
  • open zone
  • easy access from Stak on Gilgit-Skardu road
Forward to Appendix G - Average Length of Stay - Trekkers
Back to Table of Contents for Survey of Ecotourism Potential in the Biodiversity Project Area


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Copyright Text & Photographs © John Mock & Kimberley O'Neil 1997-2017
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