With the summer easing out and the weather becoming pleasant, hiking season is upon us. Islamabad is gorgeous at this time of the year, and it is the perfect time to bring out your hiking boots and check out some of the most beautiful trails in the country. The best part is, if you live in Islamabad or Rawalpindi, you don’t even have to use up your vacation days for these hikes.
This is one of the most popular trails as it has variants for all levels of hiking. Whether you’re a first-timer or a hardened trekker, Trail 3 has various branches for you. It is a hike that takes around 3 hours on average for a return hike, and leads you to Pir Sohawa, with its excellent views and tantalising restaurants.
2.Nooran di Galli & Talhaar Ridge Trail
This is actually a combination of two separate trails in the Margalla Hills, and isn’t exactly a beginners’ hike. On the Talhaar Ridge Trail, you will get to see gorgeous views of Islamabad as well as Talhaar Valley, giving you a sight to behold. You can approach this trail from Faisal Mosque Trail 4, and Monal Road. If you want parking space, then start from Faisal Mosque.
On the way back, take Nooran di Galli, which goes down to Islamabad through Kalinjer, a village in the Margallas.
For a medium to difficult hike, check out the two variants of Trail 4, the main trail itself and Trail 4A. This trail passes by the Airblue crash site and memorial as well. On average, this hike will take 4 hours, but it should be avoided in rainy weather as it tends to get overgrown then. Start this hike from Café Montana, and also park your car there.
4.Makhniyal Second Ridge Trail
One of the best trails in Islamabad, Makhniyal Second Ridge Trail offers the unique view of the two major lakes of the city. You can see both Rawal Lake and Khanpur Lake from this trail and will also be surrounded by beautiful greenery. This is a fairly easy hike, and will take 3 hours for a return trip. You can start from Makhniyal Village, where you can also park your cars.
5.Ratta Hotar Murad Gali
A beautiful village in a valley surrounded by the Margalla Hills, Ratta Hotar Murad Gali is one of the most underrated hikes of Islamabad. From here, you can go all the way up to the top of the Margallas where Trail 5 ends. You can combine the two trails for a more challenging hike. The total time you’ll need for this trek is around 4 hours and you can park your cars at the Trail 5 parking.
6.Pir Sohawa to Ghora Gali
One of the tougher trails of Islamabad, this is the perfect place to train for hiking in the North. It goes from Pir Sohawa Road all the way up to Ghora Gali, and takes 7-9 hours. There is no return trail, so make arrangements to go back accordingly. The trail runs along the top of a ridge, so there will be astounding views on all sides. This is a tough hike, so be prepared.
So, get those hiking boots on and go explore the beauty that surrounds Islamabad! These hikes are perfect for your weekend, with ample time to spare!