Phander Valley – Gilgit Baltistan
If you’re a travel enthusiast, you must’ve visited so many valleys in Pakistan, but no place can compare to the beauty of Phander valley. A heaven-like valley is right there in Pakistan, awaiting you! Phander Valley is a stunningly beautiful valley located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. Surrounded by the lofty peaks of Hindukush Mountain, Phander Valley is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts looking for adventure and breathtaking views.
Phander Valley is situated in the Ghizer district of Pakistan and borders Afghanistan. Hindukush Mountain embracing it makes it an ideal spot for trekking and mountaineering. Ghizer district is also called Gupin Yasin District. It is 184 km from Gilgit, the capital of Gilgit-Baltistan. On the Shandur Pass, the journey continues to Chitral. You can also access it via another district of Gilgit, i.e., Mastuj Chitral district.
Phander Valley Weather
The weather of Phander Valley is pleasant in the summer and cold in the winter. The temperature ranges between 10-15 degrees. So to visit Phander Valley is during summer between June and September. It is the time when the valley is covered with green fields and majestic snow-capped mountains. With winter coming, the weather gets colder, and the snow accumulates in the valley. And some of the areas of Phander Valley remain snow-clad even in summer. The valley is known for its crystal clear lakes, mesmerizing meadows, and dense forests. The most famous lake in Phander Valley is Phander Lake, located at an altitude of about 9300 above sea level.
What is the Meaning of Phander?
The Phander Valley is derived from the word “Phan,” which means “palm” in their local language. The local language spoken there is Khowar. It is named such because the valley is flat and resembles a palm. People come to this valley for fishing, camping, and adventure activities like trekking, mountaineering, and mountain biking. The lake’s serene beauty, surrounded by lush greenery, makes it a perfect destination for families and friends to explore and enjoy nature’s beauty.
Culture of Phander Valley
The folks of Phander Valley are friendly and welcoming. They primarily focus on agriculture, while some also earn their living by selling handicrafts. The Phandar Lake is the center of most activities. People often visit it for fishing and to participate in cultural events, like music and dance performances. In addition to the cultural and recreational activities, Phander Valley also boasts numerous geographical attractions. These include the mighty Hindukush mountain range, green forests, lakes, and more. Several trekking routes make the valley a haven for adventure seekers.
The hospitality of the locals makes Phander Valley an ideal destination to explore and enjoy the natural beauty. Visitors can stay at the local guesthouses or even camp in the valley.
When is the Best Time to Visit Phander Valley?
The best time to visit Phander Valley is between June to September. The pleasant weather and breathtaking views make the valley a must-visit destination during this time. The weather is not too cold or hot, and the skies are clear and blue. The valley experiences rain between July to September, making it an ideal time for trekking and camping. The valley is home to the mesmerizing Phander Lake, surrounded by snow-capped mountains and lush green meadows. The lake is perfect for fishing and boating during the summer months.
Phander Valley Attractions
There are many attractions in Phander Valley, some of which include:
The turquoise-green water of Phander Lake is the main attraction of Phander Valley. It is an ideal spot for fishing and boating. It is located at an altitude of 9,855 feet above sea level. This lake stretches to about one km and is known to be one of the cleanest lakes in the region.
Surrounding Beautiful Mountains
Hindukush Mountain is a mighty mountain surrounding the Phander Valley. It contains the second-highest mountain in Pakistan. It is known for its rugged beauty and stunning views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. Many hiking trails lead up to Hindukash Mountain, providing adventure seekers with plenty of opportunities to explore this majestic landscape. The peaks of Hindukush Mountain are covered in snow throughout the year, providing visitors with a unique and captivating landscape. Peaks such as Chashma Peak and Trichmir Peak are accessible to those wishing to climb them.
Green Fields & Fruit Trees
What is a valley without fields and fruit trees? Phander Valley offers travelers a picturesque view of these vast grasslands and lush treelines that stretch for miles. The valleys are known for their abundant fruit production, including apples, apricots, peaches, pears, and more. One can sample the local produce and enjoy the fresh air and stunning views of Phander Lake.
Moreover, the village locals offer some of the best hospitality in the region. The green fields of the valley provide ample opportunity for leisurely activities such as bird watching or photography. In addition to its natural beauty, Phander Valley also offers many activities, such as horse riding, fishing, and archery. No matter what one is looking for, this Valley is sure to provide an unforgettable experience!
Gilgit river enters the valley and divides into several small tributaries. Tourists can enjoy the scenic beauty of the flowing river or take a leisurely swim in it. The valley also provides an array of activities, such as white water rafting and kayaking, for those seeking thrills. Phander is one of the few valleys in the world that offers a unique combination of land and water sports. Upon exit from the valley, Gilgit river tributaries merge in one again and exit in the form of the Gilgit River.
Glaciers in Phander Valley
The Phander Valley is home to some of the most breathtaking glaciers in the world. ‘Ghonogh Glacier’ and ‘Gha Cherkick’ are two large glaciers that attract tourists from all corners of the world. These glaciers are accessible by foot and are especially popular for ice climbing in the summer. The lake is home to several species of trout that can be fished. In addition, the lake is surrounded by lush green meadows, making it an excellent destination for camping.
Things to Do in Phander Valley
Although we have mentioned a few activities, the list continues. Visitors can enjoy trekking, hiking, and mountaineering in Phander Valley. The valley also offers boating, fishing, and horseback riding. In addition, there are several villages near the lake where visitors can stay and experience local culture.
The trout in Phander Lake is enormous and can be fished with various methods. The lake is stocked annually to ensure the fish population stays healthy. And while fishing, you can enjoy the beautiful view of the mountain ranges surrounding Phander Valley.
For those who love trekking, Phander Valley offers plenty of opportunities for exploration. The trails are well-marked and easy to navigate. From the top of the valley, one can get an incredible view of the region. And some trails even lead to the summit of one of Phander Valley’s highest peaks.
The vast Phander Lake is perfect for those who want to enjoy a peaceful day on the water. With its crystal-clear waters, it’s ideal for swimming and kayaking. Visitors can rent boats near the lake or bring their own. And some of the nearby river streams offer excellent trout fishing.
For those who love camping, Phander Valley is a great destination. There are plenty of designated campsites to choose from, most of which come with outdoor fire pits and picnic tables for barbecuing. And for those wanting to go off-the-grid, there are plenty of spots to pitch a tent and explore the wilds of Phander Valley.
Who would not take advantage of the magnificent and unspoiled views that Phander Valley has to offer? Whether it’s a stunning view of Phander Lake or the cascading waterfalls at the base of the valley, this is a photographer’s paradise. With the mightiness of the surrounding mountains, the route in and out of Phander Valley is a perfect spot to take some breathtaking photographs. And not only the landscape, the tiny but vibrant-colored flowers also offer a unique photographic opportunity. The green fields and the snow-capped peaks give the perfect backdrop for a portrait.
Where to Stay in Phander Valley?
There are several resorts and hotels if you are looking for a place to stay while exploring Phander Valley. You can choose from luxurious mountain cabins or tents perched on the banks of the lake. The spectacular views of the mountains, coupled with the warm hospitality of the locals, make your stay truly memorable.
Lake Inn Phander
Find the owners at the contact numbers: 03555203015, 03555203532. It is a small resort situated on the banks of Phander Lake. The lodge has a restaurant with delicious local cuisine, and all rooms are tastefully decorated with traditional furnishings.
Dream Island Hotel Phander
You can contact the owners at the contact number: 03555479348, 03555621945, 03555479248. This luxurious hotel is situated on an island in Phander Lake. All the rooms are spacious and well-appointed with modern amenities. For a four-person room, the charges are Rs. One thousand six hundred per night, and for a two-person tent, it is Rs. 1000 per night.
Phander Rest House
Due to an earthquake, the Phander Rest House was destroyed and is now being rebuilt. The accommodation includes deluxe rooms with air conditioners, a hot water supply, satellite television, telephone facilities, and a refrigerator.
The PTDC motels are located in the Phander Valley and offer comfortable accommodations for travelers. The rooms have air conditioners, hot water showers, and other essential amenities. The rates start from Rs. 4500 per night for two people sharing a double room. They are the most expensive accommodation in the area.
Islamabad to Phander Valley Distance
The distance of Phander Valley from Islamabad is approximately 767.8 kilometers. The journey takes about 16 hr 17 min depending on the traffic. It can be reached via Murree or Abbottabad in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province.
Frequently Asked Question
How much is the area of Phander Lake?
The lake of Phander runs for about 3 kilometers and covers an area of about 40 acres. It is situated within the limits of Gilgit-Baltistan in northern Pakistan. The lake has a depth of 44m, and the surrounding area is full of snow-clad mountains. Phander Lake is a popular tourist destination, offering a glimpse of the majestic beauty of northern Pakistan.
Can we visit Phander Valley in winter?
Unfortunately, one can visit the Phander valley only in the warmer months of the year due to extreme weather conditions. During winter, heavy snowfall and severely cold temperatures make it unsafe for tourists to venture into the valley.
How do I get to Phander Valley?
The best way to reach Phander Valley is by private car or taxi. However, booking a guided tour from nearby cities such as Gilgit and Skardu is also possible. You will have to go up the Suspension Bridge and then take a right turn at the Y-point to enter the Phander Valley.
Phander Valley Gilgit Baltistan is a beautiful and picturesque place in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan. The majestic Hndukash and Phander Lake, on the other, surround it. It is home to stunning lakes, glaciers, and mountains, making it an excellent place for adventurous travelers.
However, due to its remote location and severely cold temperatures, travelers should be prepared for a challenging journey before entering this Valley. But it is a journey worth it!