Planning Your Trekking Trip Above 4,000 Meters in Pakistan – with Friends!

Adventure Is Calling

If you are a person with a fire in your belly for hiking and trekking adventures to discover new horizons from higher altitudes, then you will love a week-long trekking trip above 4000 meters!

Meet the Author!

Khadija Phool: A passionate hiker, an enthusiast swimmer, and a big-time tea addict who loves to explore new places, take up challenging tasks, and write about her love of life and adventurous experiences. If not on a mountain, or in water, you will either find me playing table tennis, reading a book, or trying something completely new on a vacation.

Guide At a Glance

- Price Range:
- Physical Difficulty:
- Time Required:

Adventure Activity

When I pushed for 4000 meters for the first time in my life, it felt like a daydream becoming a reality! I was so enthralled by the achievement that I kept longing for summiting higher peaks. Once you have set your feet at such a higher altitude, your soul is set on fire, flames flickering. There’s nothing like the high and lonely regions of the world.

But it’s not only about the sunsets and the sunrises or the smokey clouds around you at the top of the peaks. It’s more about what, as a human, have you accomplished, and how much have you evolved in your beliefs. It takes guts to get up here.

If you are planning your first ever week-long trekking trip with your friends, here is what you should know before you go!

By the way, I’m from Pakistan. I’m so lucky to have access to some of the most beautiful high-altitude regions in the world, such as the Himalayas, Hindu Kush and Karakoram mountain ranges. And in this article, I invite you to come explore my homeland with me!

What you need to know before you go!

Trekking is an arduous exercise of doing long walks (hiking) for days or weeks alone or in a group usually in the countryside or to the far-off mountainous regions. Don’t worry, it’s not a non-stop walking competition.

Trekking isn’t mountaineering or rock climbing. Those disciplines require special equipment and training. It’s the art of walking in the alpine environment.

For breaks and pauses, you establish camps at different sites where you cook meals and spend the night so you can start afresh the next day. Trekking requires strenuous efforts, smart backpacking skills, excellent stamina, survival equipment, and above all, good health!

Trekking isn’t mountaineering or rock climbing. Those disciplines require special equipment and training. It’s the art of walking in the alpine environment, which brings unique challenges like brutal weather, oxygen deprivation, geographic isolation and unforgiving terrain. 

I found a home for my heart amid the beauty of the peaks. Trekking in the vast landscape of far-stretched mountains helped me unveil the medium that connected my soul with pure nature and its ferocious beauty. I discovered a way of rejuvenation as it turned out to be my ultimate passion. Most importantly, it helped me establish a focused mind.

I started with hiking to nearby hills, and my hunger for going beyond made me trek above 4,000 meters for the first time back in 2020. I trekked to the Nanga Parbat Base Camp 1 (Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan) and since then I have been longing to go for Base Camp 2 which is further above sea level.

Either you are a teen with a taste for the rough trails, an adult with good fitness, or an experienced hiker, trekking above 4000 meters will be worth a challenge. The difficulty level of the trek entirely depends on your previous hiking skills, your ability to adapt to rough weather conditions, and of course on the steepness of the peak. With just the right skills and attitude, you are going to enjoy your first trekking experience!

Teach me your ways!

First-time trekking in any terrain means entering into an unpredictable realm of Mother Nature. So, when you are not sure about the dangers of an area, it is better to take precautions and be prepared to encounter the unknown.

  • Keep yourself hydrated and high in energy so you can walk for long hours without losing your breath or stamina.
  • Make sure your backpack contains only the necessary stuff so it is light on your shoulders.
  • Do not take longer breaks during the trek. Avoid sitting for long periods. Instead, slouch against a tree or a stone. The longer you take a pause, the earlier you lose your rhythm and it becomes harder to re-establish the same stamina.
  • If you are traveling during the daylight, always put on sunscreen to avoid sunburns.
  • If you want to rest for a while on the way, inform your companions so they can keep track of you. Otherwise, you will find yourself whining like a child lost in an unfamiliar market 😀
  • Always follow the instructions of your guide for your safety. Trust your guide because he knows the ins and outs of the terrain. After all, you don’t want to become the dinner of wild animals (Yes, these dreary lands are home to black bears and snow leopards).
    Religiously follow the schedule provided to you by the leader of the group. If you lose track of time, you can simply be lost in the darkness with no clue of finding your way to the campsite.

Need some inspiration?

Watch this video for another trekker’s hike to Fairy Meadows, the most beautiful lookout in Pakistan!

Still undecided?




Where and When to Go?


Trekking can be enjoyed anywhere across the world where there are alpines. For trekking above 4000 meters, you need to be very specific and selective in finalizing the trek and choosing the routes. If you are a beginner or an amateur alpinist, you should look for a 4000 meters+ trek that does not offer the challenge of steepness. For example, Nanga Parbat Base Camps (4000 meters and above) are challenging but not steep enough to cause you to lose your breath and legs at the same time.

Different trails offer you different environmental conditions. For example: 

  • It might be a plain terrain with no challenging steep and may rise gradually. For example, Musa ka Musalla Peak (4100m, Pakistan).
  • A trek can be rocky to such an extreme level that your shoes might wear out. Such as the trek of Shimshal Pass (4375 m, Pakistan). Whereas, some treks might be lush green. 
  • A trek can be a combination of steep patches, plain trails, and scary ridges such as the one that takes you to the Nanga Parbat Base Camp from Raikot through Fairy Meadows. 
  • Some treks might be snowy and have glaciers on the way depending upon where it is situated. 
  • Also, there might be waterfalls, or streams on some trails, whereas there might be only rocks on others.


The weather conditions entirely depend on the month or season in which you are stepping out.
It can be extremely harsh and unbearable if you plan out a trekking trip in the months of winter such as November – January (in Pakistan).

The weather can be pleasant in the months of summer such as June and July (in Pakistan). For trekking above 4000 meters, always bear in mind that the temperature at higher altitudes is comparatively lower than the plain regions. It might be scorching hot on the land while it snows on the peak.

For your first week-long trekking above 4000 meters, the ideal time of the year would be midsummer. It will neither be blazing hot nor freezing cold at 4000 meters in summers when the sun shines at its best.

Things to do before the trip:

  • Travel with friends or a group of trekkers. You can hire a travel agency that can send along a professional trekker with you to lead. Never go alone for trekking at higher altitudes.
  • Plan your trekking trip ahead of time i.e., at least 4 weeks before you set out for the expedition.
  • Create a detailed checklist of equipment and clothing required. Consult with the professional if you need guidance.


Maybe I’m biased, but Pakistan has access to some of the most stunning high-altitude peaks and plateaus in the world!

You can also find many trekking locations in the USA, Switzerland, France, Peru, and Italy, depending upon where you are located on the globe. Some of the best mountains above 4,000 meters outside of central Asia include the European Alps, North American Rockies and South American Andes.

For your first ever week-long trekking, you don’t need to travel to another country. Just try to find it in your homeland.

Northern Pakistan

Northern Pakistan and the neighboring countries include India, Afghanistan and India are home to hundreds of the Middle East’s best treks. Some of the highlights include Moses Peak in the Karakoram mountain range, Deosai National Park, and Margalla Hills National Park. If you’re not Pakistani, you’ll generally fly into either Lahore or Islamabad.

Nepal and Tibet

Everest Base Camp (5600 m) in Nepal, K2 Base Camp (5,117m) in Pakistan, and many 5000 meters+ treks in Shimshal valley of Pakistan are ideal for serious trekkers. However, these high peaks of the Himalayas can be difficult or impossible to access with a guide.

Essential Outdoor Skills

What outdoor and survival skills should I master before embarking?

To make your trekking experience a pleasant memory, you should acquire the following outdoor skills:

  • Basic backpacking skills. You should be aware of what you need to carry along, may it be food, clothing, trekking equipment, first aid, or camping stuff.
  • Setting up camp: You should know how to pitch a tent and how to choose a perfect camping site.
  • Making a campfire: It is crucial to cook food and to restore body warmth. 
  • Tying knots: It is essential for securing your bags, tents, or other equipment. 
  • Learn how to purify water. Drinking filthy water can cause stomach diseases.
  • Leave no trace: You should not litter the trail with candy wrappers, orange peels, or any other food packaging. Also, you should not harm the trees or leave any garbage at the campsite.

Numbers to remember

is the official start of Very High Altitude!
0 m
is the recommended amount of water per person per day in the backcountry!
0 l
is the average person's hiking speed!
0 kph

Safety & Risk

Is this adventure for you?

Trekking at 4000 meters above sea level is not like a walk in the park. This fascinating adventure comes with its risks.




What animals can I expect to encounter?

Wherever you go trekking, you are definitely gonna spot some wildlife on the way. It could be innocent mountain goats, arrogant musk deer, or graceful yaks. There might also be signs of snow leopards, wolves, cougars, and bears. I was struck by the scary sight of a headless dead goat on my trek towards Nanga Parbat Base Camp. The local guide told me that leopards exist there, and I had witnessed the evidence.

As you ascend up the hill, the chances of encountering any deadly animals are rare because the temperature drops significantly lower and those animals can’t find any natural resources of food. That’s another case if they get to know about your arrival.

However, always do your research first and ask questions from your trekking guide so you keep your facts straight.

Fitness & Training

What is the recommended level of fitness?

For trekking at a higher altitude, you should be in your best health and shape. Patients with asthma, arthritis and serious heart diseases cannot go on this expedition.

Eat healthy, and live healthy so you can witness the glory of the world from the top of the mountains.

Training and preparation exercise regimen

Trekking above 4000 meters is not a joke. You should work out a physical training routine to build your stamina and to improve the flexibility of your body at least two months before you set out for a week-long trekking trip.

  • Running is the best exercise to build stamina. You should be able to complete a 10k run without stopping.
  • You can do body stretches to reduce your risk of injury.
  • You should also practice some strength gaining exercises so you can trek confidently with your backpack on your shoulders.


Woman Sprinting Up Stairs

You should be able to complete a 10k without stopping. Focus on distance, not speed, as it’s endurance that will count in the mountains.

Loaded Hill Walks

You must strengthen your core and shoulders to support the weight of a 15- to 30-kg pack. It is NOT something you can merely will your body through!

Bodyweight Strength Training

Man Doing Bodyweight Push Up

Bodyweight strength and muscular stamina training will increase strength without adding unnecessary muscle mass.

Gear Guide

What gear do I need for this trip?

A week-long trekking to cross 4000 meters requires smart packing skills. Here is a list of gears that are required for it.

Required Gear

  • Trekking shoes
  • Gaiters
  • Water bottle
  • Rucksack
  • Daypack
  • Sleeping bag, sleeping mattress (if not already being organized by the adventure group you have hired)
  • Camping gear (should usually be arranged by the adventure group)
  • Sunblock
  • Food/snacks
  • Basic kitchen utensils (should usually be provided by the adventure group)

Supporting Gear

  • Cap
  • Glasses
  • Raincoat
  • Trekking stick
  • Headlamp or handheld torch (for visibility in night)
  • Down trouser
  • Down jacket
  • Gloves
  • Toiletries
  • Ropes

Accessories & Apps

For navigation, use GPS or better keep a compass as the internet might not work often in remote areas.

Finances & Budget

What are the costs associated with this adventure?

Gear & Products



The trekking gear should not cost you much.

Roughly it should be around $300 if you already have the mains i.e., trekking shoes, warm clothing, rucksack, hiking stick, sunblock, etc.

However, if you want to purchase the camping gear as well as all of the trekking items listed above, then it will cost you around $600 depending on where you are buying from.

I would suggest investing in good trekking shoes as your shoes are your true companions out in the wild mountains.

Food & Nutrition



You can carry instant food such as noodles, rice, potatoes, bread, soup, or canned food such as beans etc.

Food does not cost much. You should keep a budget of $120 – $150 per week. 

Choose nutrition with lots of carbohydrates for instant energy and lots of fats for energy reserve.

  • Protein bars
  • Chocolates
  • Dry fruits

Avoid foods with high water content. These will add unnecessary weight. 




It all depends on the distance of the trekking region from your hometown. For example, if I travel from Punjab to Raikot, I need to keep a budget of $90 – $110 while traveling in Pakistan 🙂

You can check out the transportation cost with the travel service providers in your region. For instance, roundtrip service to Islamabad from a U.S. international airport is usually $1,000 or more.




If camping is in the plan, it is not gonna cost you anything at all. It will be included in the package offered by the adventure club. Or even, if you are going on your own, just carry a camping kit with you.

Because you may not be able to find any den or a hotel at 2500 meters or above 4000 meters.




Consider a guided service! Some locations are not even accessible to single or unpermitted travelers.

One of the most popular is Hunza Guides Pakistan Tours Trekking & Expeditions. A 10-14 day tour usually costs around $1400 USD.

Savings Tips

You can save a lot on your trekking gear and still have quality if you purchase from the stores that are selling items on sale.

Sharing the cost of meals is another smart saving trick.

If you can borrow trekking support gear such as trekking stick, headlamp, raincoat and even gaiters, then go for it. Just don’t act like an extravagant princess and spend all your saving on buying the new items unless you are going to continue this activity as a passionate alpinist.

Insider Tips

Here's what most people don't know!

  • Train yourself with a backpack so you can build stamina for the upcoming challenging week.
  • Pace yourself on the trek. Don’t start running like a hero, because by the end of the day you will be zero. I have witnessed this! So, try to maintain a pace at which you can walk all day long without exhaustion.
  • Do not talk much on the trail. It really consumes your energy and affects your focus.
  • Try not to carry anything such as a water bottle in your hands. Walk with free hands, and keep all the necessary stuff in your backpack such that it is easy to access.

What does no one tell you?

Don’t get carried away by minor setbacks or mishaps on the way, if any. Remember to enjoy bonfires, live singing, and dancing when you are out there. Good memories are all you are going to recall when you return home!


You shall not bring kids who are not trained for harsh weather conditions and rough trails.

If you are a person who seeks comfort, a kid below 8 years of age, or someone who doesn’t prefer long walks, then an adventure like trekking might be a nightmare for you …

It’s a rare case that you find a bathroom above 4000 meters. So you have to do it the old school way. 

See Notes on transportation in the Finances & Budget section.

See notes in the “Where and When to Go?” section.

Yes! See “Miscellaneous” notes on budget. A guided tour is HIGHLY recommended – and maybe even required – for your trekking trip in northern Pakistan.

Yes! But don’t pile up 3-4 bags for a 7-days trekking trip. Traveling light is the key! You can hire porters to carry your other bag.