Rainbow Lake in Gilgit Baltistan – A Hidden Natural Gem

Rainbow Lake, also known as Haider Ali Sagar, is an artificial lake in Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan, created by constructing the Attabad dam on the Hunza River in 1975. The lake has grown since then and now holds water year-round. You can explore Rainbow Lake on your own or take one of the many tours organized by local travel companies in nearby Gilgit City. If you’re traveling to Gilgit-Baltistan anytime soon, don’t miss out on this hidden natural gem!

Rainbow Lake Domel Attraction & Locations

The Rainbow Lake Domel attraction is just a few kilometers away from Gahkuch town. It is a natural lake surrounded by green trees, with a reflection of the mountain around it and the lake itself.

The color of the water at this lake changes depending on the angle one views it; that is why they named it Rainbow Lake Domel. It takes approximately 3-4 hours to reach this spot from Rawalpindi, where tourists get backpacking to spend their days here.

Why is it Called Rainbow Lake?

The water of Rainbow Lake is considered so precious that people drink it exclusively. The clean, crystal clear, deep blue water of Rainbow Lake Domel derives its sparkling, rainbow-like colors from the natural reflection and refraction of light on its surface.

Rainbow Lake Gilgit

This gem hides within the Karakoram Range and offers a cooling retreat to those who visit it. It’s possible to walk up to the lake via some stone steps, then swim or relax in its clear waters during summer.

When is the Best Time to Visit Rainbow Lake?

Rainbow Lake is situated approximately 29 km northeast of Gilgit. The best time to visit Rainbow Lakes is during July, August, and September when the weather is most pleasant, and the surrounding slopes bloom with wildflowers.

Recommended Gears

-Sun Hat: Put this on as soon as you get out of the car and hike up the steps to Rainbow Lake. The sun is powerful here, so a sun hat will help protect your skin from getting burnt or freckled.

-Sunglasses: Put these on after putting on your sun hat.

Main Attractions

The pristine and scenic beauty of the Rainbow Lake at Nagar Valley is attributed to its unrivaled natural beauty. Situated at an altitude of 3800 meters, the lake forms an aesthetically breathtaking scene during winters. Locals believe that a person who drinks water from this lake lives for eternity!

Rainbow Lake Gilgit

● World’s Beautiful Lake

Living near a natural oasis will have you feeling energized and relaxed. Such is the beauty of Rainbow Lake; a hidden gem tucked away in Pakistan’s remote and breathtaking Northern Areas.

●     Surrounded by Lush Green Meadows

The lake, surrounded by lush green meadows, owes its stunning colors to the reflection of wildflowers adorned the edges of its banks.

 ●     Calm and Peaceful Environment

If you are looking for a vacation with peace and tranquility, you might want to consider the Rainbow Lake area of Pakistan. The greenery and the calm and peaceful environment will replenish your soul. 

 ●     Dark Grey Skies at Night

A continental climate and highland terrain characterize Gilgit. Cloudy weather with low precipitation levels and heavy winter rainfall produce mesmerizing scenes.

 The grayish tones of the sky contrast with the intense watercolors, giving it a tranquil atmosphere that beckons you to go out and explore this hidden gem. You can take your adventure one step further and see the pristine landscape or visit one of the many archaeological sites found around Gilgit.

●     Snow Fall

Locals flock to Rainbow Lake during the cold winter months, while those escaping the heat of summer come to enjoy the clear waters. The beautiful natural landscape surrounding the lake attracts hikers and nature enthusiasts, who can explore a diverse range of flora and fauna. 

Rainbow Lake Gilgit

The surreal beauty of Rainbow Lake is set amidst a picturesque mountainous backdrop with snow-capped peaks dotting its horizon.

●     Hub of the Tourist Spot

Amidst the dramatic, tall peaks of the Karakoram range sits Rainbow Lake. This massive, colorful lake is a haven for bird watchers, trekkers, and sightseers. Travelers have come from around the world to catch a glimpse of this valley and lake’s stunning and rare sights.

●     Domel Valley View

The Domel Valley has been the home of human settlements for at least 10,000 years. The valley was formed by the Himalayan mountain range on one side and the Karakoram Mountains on the other. Ancient petroglyphs depict scenes of local lifestyles such as hunting and farming. There are also pictographs (rock paintings) that show people with horses and camels. The ancient Silk Route passes through this valley which may be why it is so rich in history.

●     Streams of Fresh Water

Rainbow Lake is home to many streams of fresh water. These streams are a vital water source for plants and animals in and around the lake. The water in these streams is also spotless and transparent, making them a popular spot for swimming and fishing.

Things to do at Rainbow Lake

Are you looking to escape city life’s hustle and bustle? Check out this beautiful spot just 4 hours from Islamabad. Rainbow Lakes lies right in the foothills of the Karakoram mountain range. One of its most incredible features is that you can go trout fishing in a small pool right near the mouth. With panoramic views and plenty of space for tents, campers, or travelers with cars (camping is free), it’s an excellent weekend destination!

●     Camping

Tucked away in the high mountain peaks of Gilgit Baltistan is one of Pakistan’s most beautiful lakes, Rainbow Lake. Best enjoyed during the autumn and spring seasons, you can spend the night camping near it.

Rainbow Lake Gilgit

Lying on breathing fresh air while listening to nothing but the sound of wildflowers swaying with a gentle breeze is an experience like no other. And as it so happens, there are also hiking trails nearby, which you can embark on if you’re feeling adventurous.

●     Fishing

It also offers ample opportunity for angling and trout fishing. Rainbow lake is a hidden natural gem in Gilgit Baltistan that needs to be shared with the world to protect it from environmental pollution.

●     Photography

If you’re interested in photography, Rainbow Lake is a place you should visit. The vibrant colors of the lake and the surrounding area make for some stunning scenery. There are plenty of photo ops to choose from, and you’re sure to come away with beautiful pictures.

How to Reach Rainbow Lake?

The best way to get to Rainbow Lake is via Skardu. The city of Skardu is accessed by either airplane or jeep, and the journey from there on to the lake can be made by jeep or taxi.


The highlight of the trek is Rainbow Lake. One of the most beautiful lakes you will ever see. Filled with glacial water and is ideally situated with breathtaking mountain views. You can easily spend a day sitting on the banks and looking out over the scenery. You can do activities like fishing, kayaking, rafting, or even hiking up to one of the smaller neighboring lakes if you are more adventurous!

●     Parking

There is no parking at the lake, so bring your cars, buses, or taxis and drop off passengers before you continue. There are some parking spots on the road above and below the lake, but arriving on foot is preferable.

Rainbow Lake Gilgit

The hike down to the lake takes about 45 minutes. The path is not hard, but it gets steeper as you near the water. This trek is worth it for all travelers seeking a peaceful retreat from worldly worries and cares.

●     Restaurant

This unique eatery is nestled at the foot of the high Karakoram mountain range. It features an authentic Pakistani cuisine unheard of in many other parts of Pakistan. The house specialty is shikari kebab – made from juicy chunks of mutton marinated with spices and grilled to perfection.

●     Rest Houses

To visit Rainbow Lake, you can opt for rest houses (known as daroos) that are relatively cheap and offer various cuisines. It is essential to book the room well in advance to ensure availability.

You can have a marvelous time fishing or play with their cute trout and bearcat family at the lake. The lake provides facilities for outdoor activities like trekking, rappelling, mountain biking, and adventure sports like hang gliding.

How much is the Distance between Rainbow Lake from Islamabad?

The distance to Rainbow Lake from Islamabad is 1400 kilometers. The journey takes about 18 hours due to the slow speed of the roads. The local people speak Shina as their mother tongue; most are Shia Muslims, followed by Sunni Muslims and Ahmadiyya Muslims.

Location of Rainbow Lake Gilgit Baltistan

One of the unique places in Pakistan is a gem tucked away in the northern region of Pakistan, far off the beaten track. The lake is situated at an altitude of 14,500 feet.

Despite being one of Pakistan’s most remote and dangerous areas, visitors are attracted to Rainbow Lake by its natural beauty and serenity. Many locals believe it is also one of the holiest sites for Muslims due to its proximity to the Mani Maqam shrine, commemorating Hazrat Ali Hajveri or Ali Hujwiri.


Rainbow Lake is a very famous destination in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. It has always been a subject of intrigue for travelers, tourists, and explorers all over the world.

It may not be known by many, but there are many stunning natural gems that exist in Pakistan’s northern area. The most scenic lake of them all is probably Rainbow Lake which can be found in Kharmang Valley near the China border. At first glance, you see only half of the beauty here, though. It needs a detailed tour.