Khunjerab Pass

Khunjerab Pass, the highest border-crossing in the world

Khunjerab Pass is an international high mountain pass at an elevation of 4.706m (15,439ft) above the sea level, located on the northern border of Pakistan with China. It is said to be the highest border-crossing in the world. It’s the highest point on the Karakoram Highway.

How can I get Khunjerab Pass?

The road to the summit, also known as Khunerjab Pass and Kunjirap Daban, is totally paved. The pass is traversed by the N35 (Karakoram Highway) in India and the China National Highway 314 (G314) in China. It's one of the highest roads of the country. This section of the road was completed in 1982 and it's, possibly, the highest metalled border crossing in the world. The Pakistani side features the highest ATM in the world. For comparison, Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Western Europe, is 4.810 m and Mount Whitney, the highest point in the 48 contiguous United States, is 4.421m. Its name is derived from two words of the local Wakhi language: 'Khun' means Blood and 'Jerav' means a creek coming from spring water/water falling. Bring plenty of water to help stave off the feeling of altitude sickness.

In which province is Khunjerab Pass situated?

Set high in the Karakoram Mountains, the pass is located on a strategic position on the northern border of the Gilgit–Baltistan Hunza-Nagar District in Pakistan's and the southwest border of the Xinjiang region in China. Due its elevation, it is highly advisable to limit your stay and keep going preferably during day time. Take warm clothes with you as it can get very cold.

Is Khunjerab Pass open?

The high elevation with its risk of altitude sickness, weather concerns, steep road grade and overall inaccessibility make the travel dangerous and difficult. The long, relatively flat pass is often snow-covered during the winter season and as a consequence is generally closed from November 30 to May 1. Choose your time carefully. The border is only open on Mondays to Fridays, from 9 am to 5 pm on the Pakistani side and 11 am to 8 pm on the Chinese side on Beijing time. There are some police checkpoints along the highway in China that may slow down your journey significantly if there are many cars and trucks. Don’t forget your passport. The journey is quite easy and only requires a little preparation but, due to the strict measures imposed by the Chinese authorities, you will need an extra dose of patience.
Pic: Travelling Pakistan

 

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