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Old 7 Sep 2009
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karakorum highway experts

I am planning to run the KKH with a bike in a couple of weeks (if everything go ok).
I will start the KKH from Islamabad side but I will likely have no time to reach GILGIT. I'd like to know when the road starts to cross the really beautiful mountain scenarios?
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Old 8 Sep 2009
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Hello, I'm not sure if you mean motorbike or push bike but if you are short of time and have a push bike I would take a bus to Abbotabad or Manshera if possible and start from there. Up until Manshera the road from Islamabad is pretty awlful, though you can take the Murree detour which improves things greatly. From Manshera onwards the highway gets better and better all the way to the top. After Manshera you will get good scenery but if you want the really good mountainous stuff that starts a little further up. Before Gilgit but particularly Gilgit - Passu stretch and all around Passu area is amazing. Karimibad is a fantastic place to stay if you can make it there.

We went up and down the highway just a few weeks ago. It is truly spectacular but be warned there are giant roadworks occurring at the moment so it is nowhere near as fast a ride as it has been in previous years. Roadworks are due to last another year or so until the Chinese workers widen it and create a better surface.
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Old 8 Sep 2009
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As a detour to avoid doubling back on yourself I'd recommend taking the Kaghan Valley (Mansehra to Chilas) on the way up and come back the main KKH route (or vice versa). Really lovely valley and popular with Pakistani tourists. Some nice remote spots/rough roads etc too.



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Old 8 Sep 2009
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I agree with all of the above BUT I would also recommend getting to Bunji (assuming you do it on the way north) and then turning right towards Astore, then on to Skardu via the Deosai Plains National Park. After Skardu, you can do another little trip to Kaplu and then back to Skardu before rejoining the KKH just south of Gilgit.

While in Astore, there is a little 5KM side trip up to Rama Lake but I'd recommend you don't do it in a 4x4 unless you want to come 6 inches from dumping said 4x4 in the river when the track starts to collapse under the weight!

Skardu is an absolutely idyllic little town, with stunning mountain peaks and even beaches on the Indus river. While there, stay in the Dewan-e-Khas hotel. Around Skardu, there's Shigar and Satpara Lake while Kaplu is also well worth going to.....although we didn't quite make it there as we took a wrong turning to the south half-way there and ended up nearly at Kargil !

Writing this has made me wish I was there again.

Check out the pix - overlandcruiser.net (Pakistan section)
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Old 22 Sep 2009
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The Reall KKH situation

Just finished the kkh coming in from China side . The KKH is in a terrible state all the way from kunjerab pass to chilas. And I mean terrible as the chinese are refurbishing the entire KKh. From Kujerab to gilgit the road is filled with workers and diggers and at points the chinese are blasting and widening the road so there will be some small delays .

Compared to the norther part of the KKh the southern bit is good roads ,just a bit bumpy at places but good. If your headng up from Islamanbad go up via Muree and u to Nathiagali , great viewas and fantasic winding roads.

But the scenary of the road is bloody amazing on the pakistani side all the way from kunjerab to manshera. But he best bit i my opinion is the Hunza valley , Skardu Road and the Desaoi Plains . This whole ara is amazing biking route .

good luck
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Old 25 Sep 2009
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Here is a blog along the KKH.
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Old 4 Oct 2009
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The farther you go on the KKH the more amazing, fascinating and intriguing it gets. Dont expect lot of greenery as much of its higher parts are cold deserts but it is the incomparable grandeur that makes it so special not to mention the friendly locals.
The road is under construction and pretty tough to drive but its beauty is the same. Enjoy it and dont miss the Deosai plains and Fairy meadows, which is pretty close.
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