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Top 10 Best Places to visit in Skardu Valley

Top 10 Best Places to visit in Skardu
Best Places to visit in Skardu Valley

There are very few places in Pakistan as enchanting as Skardu. Its beautiful lakes, scenic jeep rides, mountainous landscapes, and alpine plateau have been luring tourists worldwide.

Aside from alluring beauty, tourists can satisfy their adventurous souls by indulging in trekking, rafting, fishing, skiing, and snowboarding.

Are you looking to know which places should be on your bucket list when you visit Skardu? Here’s our cherry-picked list of the top ten places to visit in Skardu to help you plan your trip to this literal heaven on earth.

Top 10 places to visit in Skardu:

1-  Deosai National Park

Places to visit in skardu
Places to visit in Skardu : Deosai National Park

Deosai plains are locally translated as ‘shadow of the giants,’ the world’s second highest alpine plateau after Tibet plateau with an altitude of 3500 to 5200 meters. Deosai national park is located east of the Nanga Parbat —the killer mountain. At Desosai National Park, you can witness the beauty of vast grassland, the tranquil blue water of Sheosar Lake, flora and fauna, and snow-capped mountains.

Best of all, you may get a chance to see Himalayan brown bears, snow leopards, red foxes, and snow Cock.

Location: Between Skardu district and Astore district

How to get there: It is 30 km from Skardu by road. The other way is to reach there via Astore valley. 

Highlights: Trekking, horse riding, Camping at Sheosar Lake, and trout fishing are some of the best things to do in Deosai national park. 

2-Kharpocho Fort (Skardu Fort)

Kharpocho Fort
Kharpocho Fort

Kharpocho fort, or Skardu fort, is unarguably the crown jewel of Skardu. Visiting the 8th-century Kharpocho fort is one of the best things to do in Skardu valley, thanks to its ancient architecture, central location, and unbeatable views of the mighty Indus River. Kharpocho means the ‘king of forts’ in Balti, and it stands tall at 1400m, which gives travelers a bird’s eye view of the whole city.

An ancient mosque dating back to the 16th century stands on a wooden structure. A half-hour trek takes you to the top where you look down to witness the most beautiful view of Skardu city.

Location: Chumik road, Skardu.

How to get there: It is a 30-minute trek from the main bazar of Skardu.

Highlights: It offers a magnificent view of the Skardu valley at a single glance from here.

3-  Katpana Desert

Katpana Desert

One of the best experiences in Skardu is lying on the white sand and gazing at the stars. You wouldn’t believe us, would you? After all, who expects to find a cold desert at such a high altitude? Most people may not be aware that Skardu has the world’s highest cold desert, i.e., the Katpana desert. It is no less than a wonder between the Himalayas and the Karakoram.

It is 4.3 km away from the Skardu fort. The smooth blanket of snow covers the sand in winter, making it a land wonder. If you want to see the Milky Way in the night sky with your naked eyes, this place is worth visiting in the region of Skardu.

Location: K2 Resort, Katpana, Skardu

How to get there: It is 16.6km from Skardu airport by road.

Highlights: It is famous for sightseeing, Katpana Lake, camping, star gazing, cherry picking in spring, and snow-capped Karakoram Mountains.

4- Basho valley

Basho valley
Basho valley

Another top tourist attraction in Skardu on our list is Basho valley, located 30km from the central city of Skardu. Known for its bucolic meadows and streams, this picturesque valley offers plenty of reasons to enjoy. There is something for everyone in this hidden paradise, from hiking to climbing and kayaking to rafting. Best of all, you can watch the sky blanketed by gazillion stars at night.

If you want to spend an adventurous day in the wide pastures surrounded by Karakoram Mountains, this is the best thing to do in Skardu valley.

Location: Roundu Division of Skardu District

How to get there: It is 30km away from Skardu city.

Highlights: The best time to visit this place is in the summer. When you head to Basho valley, visit Basho meadows, Chocolate Rock Basho, Basho waterfall, and Basho Bridge.

5- Upper Kachura Lake

Upper Kachura Lake
Upper Kachura Lake

If you are exploring Skardu valley, then upper Kachura Lake should be the place you must include on your travel bucket list. It is a piece of heaven for those who love scenic and calm spots. It is one of the most beautiful and most visited places in Skardu, which is 45 minutes away from the main city by road.

Picturesque white mountains in the background, the deep blue water of the lake, and the landscape vista would soothe your soul and teleport you into the world of fantasy. Popular activities at this serene and scenic lake include trout fishing, boat ride, camping, and swimming.

Location: Near Shangri-LA resort, Skardu (around 3.2 km)

How to get there: It is 45 min. away from the central city by car and 15 min. trek through the Kachura forest

Highlights: The best time to visit this wondrous lake is from May to September. This lake remains frozen during winter months. Lower Kachura Lake is within walking distance from upper kachura lake. 

6- Marsur Rock Trek

Marsur Rock Trek
Marsur Rock Trek

Marsur rock is the spitting image of the Trolltunga rock in Norway. It is the most scenic cliff that gives panoramic views of the valley and the Indus River flowing between the mighty mountains. It is a relatively new hike that has been gradually gaining popularity. 

It is located in a small village named Hussainabad near Skardu. It takes 4 to 5 hours of uphill hiking from this village to reach this elongated rock. So start early in the morning and bring plenty of snacks and water with you.

Once you arrive there, you will get understand why tourists compare it to the Noridic icon, Trolltunga. The top scenic views from Marsur rock will definitely overpower your mind with delight.

Location: It is located in Hussainabad village, which is 15km away from Skardu.

How to get there: 4 to 5 hours of uphill hiking from Hussainabad village.

Highlights: From the top, you can see the bird’s eye view of Skardu valley, which is better than the view from Skardu fort or kharpocho fort.

7-Sheosar Lake

Sheosar Lake

Gilgit-Baltistan is home to many high-altitude lakes, but no one can match the grandeur of Sheosar Lake. It is one of the best tourist attractions to visit in Skardu. Located inside the green plain of Deosar national park, it can be accessed through Skardu and Astore district of Gilgit Baltistan.

Walking along the bank of this deep blue lake while the killer mountain of Nanga Parbat is in the background is like living in a postcard picture. Its beauty is always at its peak whether you visit it in summer or spring. It remains frozen in winter. 

Location: Deosai National Park

How to get there: It is 16km away from the Astore district while 65km away from the central city of Skardu by road. 

Highlights: It is the best place for camping and sightseeing. Watch the shooting stars and Milkyway at night as you camp next to this alpine lake.

8-Satpara Lake

Satpara Lake

If you are in need of serenity and solace, then spending time at Satpara Lake will surely soothe your mind and soul. This bright blue color lake is one of the best tourist attractions of Skardu to spend moments of peace.

Surrounded by glacial mountains, it is located 8km south of Skardu. The shining blue water, awesome weather, glittering blue of the skies, and snowcapped mountain in the background is something you need to disappear in the folds of time to dream and dance.

It takes around 20 minutes to get there by road. Best of all, it has an island in the middle of its blue water, which can be accessed by boat.

Location: Satpara road, Skardu

How to get there: It is 23.8km away from Skardu by road.

Highlights: Trout fishing, rowing, and boating are the popular things to do at Satpara Lake. 

9- Shangri-La Resort

Shangri-La Resort
Shangri-La Resort

Shangri-La resort is unarguably the most famous and beautiful place in Skardu. Built on the edge of mesmerizing Lower Kachura Lake, this red hut resort is a famous picnic point where you spend the relaxing afternoon surrounded by fascinating sceneries.

Chill out at this heart-shaped lake, enjoy boat riding, fishing, and even lying on the shores of lower kachura lake to feel the smell of the lake and its soothing effect on your brain. When you visit Shangri-La resort, make sure to enjoy grilled trout and organic fruit juice in front of this lake.

Location: Kachura, Skardu

How to get there: It is 18km away from Skardu by road.

Highlights: It is best known for trout fishing and boat riding.

10- Chaqchan Mosque

Chaqchan Mosque
Chaqchan Mosque

Visiting Chaqchan Mosque would elevate your Skardu travel experience to a higher level. It is one of the most must-visit destinations in Skardu. It is located in Khaplu valley and is the oldest mosque in the subcontinent. Its colorful interior and Tibetan-Mughal architecture makes it a fascinating place to explore.

The construction of this mosque dates back to the 14th century when people converted to Islam from Buddhism. Some parts of this mosque have similar architecture as Kashmiri mosques. It has a two-story praying area, a central hall, and a wooden balcony that provides additional space for worshippers.

Location: Khaplu City

How to get there: It is 112.5km away from Skardu by road.

Highlights: Visit it in the morning to avoid crowds.

The Bottom Line:

If you don’t believe that nature is multidimensional, then you must go to Skardu — one of the best places to visit in Pakistan. During you visit, you can enjoy the azure blue lakes, cold deserts, snow-clad mountains, waterfalls, lush green meadows, forests, wildlife, and roaring rivers.

In short, it is a place you should definitely visit if you want to know the real meaning of adventure and beauty. We hope this guide on the top 10 places to visit in Skardu will help you in planning your next vacation in Skardu.

If you have seen these places, let us know in the comment box how your experience was.

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