Naltar Valley is located near Gilgit city, in Gilgit–Baltistan, north of Pakistan. At a 42 km jeep drive from main Gilgit city, Naltar can be accessed easily by road. Like its surrounding areas, Naltar’s terrain is mountainous where alpine lakes and coniferous forests provide relief.
Naltar Valley is renowned for its lakes whose waters change colours depending on the time of day. The three lakes are known by several names: Bashkiri Lakes, Satrangi Lakes or simply, the Naltar Lakes. According to locals, one of the lakes is called the Pari Lake because of its enchanting, deep blue colour.
The Naltar Lakes are situated at an elevation of above 10,000 feet and are counted amongst the high mountain lakes in the world. The drive to the lakes is undertaken in 4 by 4– wheeler jeeps as the road is rocky and rough. The Naltar River flows alongside the road making the tricky journey quite scenic. The first lake lies at a distance of 12 kilometres from Upper Naltar. The rest of them are within 10 km of each other.
Naltar is also famous for its ski resort managed by the Pakistan Air Force. The Ski Federation of Pakistan holds competitions there annually where international players come to compete. At an elevation of 9,600 feet plus, the resort is built atop the snowy slopes of the Karakoram Range. Naltar is the second place apart from Malam Jabba to have an operational ski chairlift that now attracts tourists from the world over. Naltar’s chairlift is the longest chairlift in Gilgit-Baltistan.
As Naltar lies in a green belt near the Karakoram Mountains, it is home to several mountain wildlife species. Among them are the Astor markhor, ibex, the snow leopard, the brown bear, the grey wolf, the red fox and the leopard cat. The Naltar Wildlife Sanctuary, established by the government, protects these species, most of which are endangered.
The sanctuary spans across an area of around 27,000 hectares and joins two other protected areas, Sher Quillah Game Reserve and Pakora Game Reserve. All along its length, the sanctuary is surrounded by dense coniferous forest and montane forests.
The tourist season in Naltar extends from May to August, when the weather is pleasantly cool. Temperatures range from 18 to 22 °C. From December to February, Naltar is covered in snow. It is usually teeming with either visitors on skiing trips or professional players taking part in one of the skiing competitions.
Naltar Valley Location
- Gilgit to Naltar — 42 km
- Hunza to Naltar— 88 km
- Muzaffarabad to Naltar — 408 km
- Islamabad to Naltar— 564 km
- Lahore to Naltar— 896 km
Naltar Ski Resort
Naltar Lakes/ Bashkiri Lakes
Naltar Wildlife Sanctuary
Naltar Continental Hotel
Naltar Palace Hotel
Naltar Guest House
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