Fairy Meadows Road is a spectadular and dangerous high mountain track with a length of 16,2km, located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. It has been heralded as one of the most spectaculars roads in the world by the dangerousroads.org users.
This trail, one of the most dangerous in the world, starts on the Karakoram Highway and ends in the village of Tato, near Fairy Meadows, a picturesque destination at an altitude of about 3,300 meters above the sea level.
Fairy Meadows is the launching point for trekkers who wants to climb the the Nanga Parbat, the 9th highest mountain in the world and second in Pakistan after K2. The road was built by the local people, and is therefore a private toll road. It’s steep and just the width of the jeep, with unstable gravel road hacked out of the barren hills.
This dirt trail is narrow, unpaved, steep, and without any guardrails to prevent your car from rolling down into the deep gorge. The first part of the road can be driven by a 4x4 vehicle, but the concluding sections, all the way to Fairy Meadows, needs to be traversed by foot or by a bicycle owing to the congested narrow lane.
This road is closed in winter, and is accessible only in summer. Anytime can be closed when the access is not cleared of snow. Avalanches and heavy snowfalls can sometimes block some sections of the road and can be extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh. Road closures can be frequent, so check conditions before traveling. June and July are the best months to visit this place.
The road's winding design, providing stunning panoramic views, is very curvy and fun for a leisurely ride, so it pays to take it slow. Exercise extreme caution when passing on-coming traffic, over-taking and around corners.
Avalanches and heavy snowfalls can sometimes block some sections of the road and can be extremely dangerous in winter due to frequent patches of ice. Conditions can change quickly and be harsh.
This is a maintained road where a high clearance 2WD vehicle is able to travel safely at low speeds on long dry straight-of-ways, without losing control due to wash boarding, ruts, or dips. All primitve dirt roads may be rocky with areas or soft gravel or sand that makes travel unsafe for sedans or RVs. Some road sections may require a high clearance 4WD vehicle, in four-wheel-drive, driven by a driver experienced in 4WD drive techniques to drive the road without getting stuck.
If you dare take the risk and travel along this dusty and bumpy route, then make sure to be driven by someone who has experience of the road. Staying on track here takes oodles of concentration. There's sheer drops virtually along the entire route and enough hairpins to make a whirling dervish dizzy.
The unpaved sections of the road can be impassable when wet. In any case, driving 4WD is recommended due to uneven surface. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle and can easily get muddy if it rains making it challenging to get through.