This trip is taken in July with a group of 5 friends. We decided to start early and drove from Naran (altitude 2409m ). In Naran, we stayed at Pine Oaks hotel. This is definitely a great place to live offering quality accommodation at very reasonable rates. The distance from Naran to Gilgit is 234km that can be covered in five to six hours. An early headstart will give you a great opportunity to take breaks and explore some interesting places along the way.
The first stop along the way is Jhalkhand. This is a nice stop for pictures. The ascent starts to Dudipustar National Park. You will pass through the small towns of Besal and Gittidas. The road ahead gets steeper and curvier requiring some good driving skills. Four-wheel vehicles would perform great with proper gear ration. For a normal car, it is a bit of a hike. Make sure you have your car hand brakes fixed as you will be required to stop at steep parts of the road. Never take a chance by parking the car on the slope. Any obstruction like a stone will prevent the car from sliding.
With plenty of rockfall on the road, there is a likelihood of finding sharp rocks on the road. Make sure to keep a spare tyre and tyre changing equipment.
The road from Gittdas meanders through dry barren valleys to green pastures along River Indus reaching up to Raikot Bridge. We stopped over for lunch at a nice restaurant along the river Indus. A local variety of fish is very popular which is normally mixed with spices and deep-fried.
The national highway N15 turns into N35 near Chilas. The landscape changes to more hilly and dry with very little vegetation along the hills. You can see signs for Nanga Parbat along the road near Astore turn-offs. Nanga Parbat attracts plenty of international hikers in summers.
Town of Jaglot is located at the junction of three mountain ranges, Karakoram, Hindukush and Himalayas. Jaglot is famous for gold mining which is carried out by local tribes. There are a couple of fish farms in this area. The land is rich in minerals and very fertile.
Trout fishing is also very popular in Ghizar district. Plenty of brown and rainbow trout is found in lakes and waterways near Gilgit. Ghizar district attracts lots of tourists interested in angling. Trout fishing angling competition is organised annually by the fisheries department at Kalti Lake.
There are several mountain peaks in this area highest of which is Raksposhi visible from a distance from Gilgit. If you are planning for a hiking or mountaineering trip, local guides can be found in Gilgit city. There are plenty of places that are not easily accessible by roads and local guides hired for a couple of days can help you explore remote areas for camping and hiking.