Dare to drive the defiant road from Gilgit to Skardu

Located in Gilgit–Baltistan, in the northern portion of the larger Kashmir region of Pakistan, the road from Gilgit to Skardu is a very challenging drive.

Gilgit-Skardu Road

How long is the road from Gilgit to Skardu?

Set high in the northern part of the country, the road, also known as Strategic Highway 1 and Skardu Road, is 167 km (104 mi) long. It starts at the Karakoram Highway, in Gilgit, the capital of Gilgit-Baltistan within the namesake district, at an elevation of 1,500m (4,900ft) above sea level, and ends in Skardu, a town and capital of Skardu District, in Gilgit–Baltistan, at an elevation of 2,226m (7,303ft) above sea level. The road is very important from both a tourist and strategic point of view. It's not an easy drive, with hundreds of turns and dangerous drop-offs.

Is the road from Gilgit to Skardu in Pakistan paved?

The road runs along the River Indus. It’s an all-weather road. Initially, the surface was gravel, but over the years, some sections were asphalted. In 2021, it was widened and fully paved, inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This project was revived in 2017 and has taken four years to complete.

How long does it take to drive from Gilgit to Skardu in Pakistan?

After the last improvements, to drive the road without stopping will take most people between 3 and 4 hours.

Is the Skardu Gilgit road open?

The road can be blocked for weeks at a time depending on weather conditions (though two to five days is more normal). It has a high risk of landslides.

When was the road from Gilgit to Skardu in Pakistan built?

This road was constructed by Pakistan Army Engineers in association with Chinese Engineers from 1970 to 1982. Along the road, you can admire many beautiful villages, the largest suspension bridges, and valleys.
Pic: By Shikari7 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons