Neelum Valley Road is a spectacular and dangerous high mountain road going through the Neelam Valley (also spelled Neelum Valley) at North and North-East of Muzaffarabad in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan, running parallel to Kaghan Valley and the Indian border.
The road is located in the Neelam Valley, in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan. It's jeepable in fair weather. Neelum valley is the name given to the areas surrounding the Neelum River. A land of blue waters, panoramic valleys and breathtaking greenery, home to God’s manifestations of beauty in nature is the Neelum Valley, one of Pakistan’s most enchanting tourist destinations. Those who have set foot on this land call it heaven on Earth.
The road has 2 parts. The conditions from Athmuqam to Muzaffarabad are very good and suitable for any kind of transport. But once you reach Muzaffarabad the real adventure begins. You will require a 4×4 jeep for the rest of your journey because of the dirt tracks left behind as a result of the catastrophic earthquake of 2005.
The road conditions in winter are extreme. The road onward Keran is blocked due to heavy snowfalls often and it is very difficult to reach upper parts of the valley. There are also land slidings, which cause that visitors suffer from very cold weather and also food shortage problem when they are stuck on the road. After Kel the lack of proper roads means that the journey further on can only be performed by 4WD vehicles. From Keran to Kel road condition is not well and not suitable for low floor vehicles.
The road is winding, in some places only wide enough for one vehicle, and in many places bordered by a drop of hundreds of meters (many hundreds of feet) unprotected by guardrails. Words can’t describe the road and pictures don’t do it justice.
This track can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. During and after a storm the road may be impassable, even with a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
This trail passes through remote areas, so you need to be prepared. This route is not suitable for normal cars. If you dare to 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. It’s a real challenging road and a true test of your vehicle and your stamina because the road abounds in twists and turns with wheels sometimes hanging above the precipice.
Pic: Zohaib Shikrani