Shandur Pass: driving in 1st and 2nd gear only

Shandur Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 3.728m (12,230ft) above sea level, located on the boundary between Chitral and Ghizer districts of Gilgit Baltistan, in Pakistan. Expect a rough gravel road and driving in 1st and 2nd gear only.

Shandur Pass

Is Shandur Pass in Pakistan unpaved?

The road to the summit is mostly unpaved. It’s called Gilgit-Shandur road. A 4x4 vehicle is required. The road features very steep climbs and descents with narrow hairpins in one of the most beautiful, but isolated and rugged landscapes on Earth, frequently called the ‘Top of the World’. The road is crossed by small streams. The pass is a popular destination for trekking and hiking. 

Where is the highest polo ground in world?

Tucked away in the northern part of the country, the greatest and most infamous polo tournament (Shandur Polo Festival) takes places annually on this pass, and it becomes the highest polo ground in the world. The story of the Shandur polo festival started in 1936 and is held every year in July.

How long is the Shandur Pass?

The road is 65.3 km (40.57 miles) long, running from Barsat to Mastuj. It’s the main route along which traffic travels from Pakistan’s Khyber-Pukhtoonkhwa province to the Karakoram Highway. The route is in fact no road worthy of the name; every day in the warmer months two NATCO buses, one in each direction, rattle along the track which links Gilgit to Mastuj and Chitral. Traffic is infrequent at the best of times, and the route is only driven by a series of 4WD jeeps, that ferry supplies to some of the more remote villages.

Is Shandur Pass open?

Set high in the Hindukush range of mountains, the pass remains snow covered in winter. It’s accessible between late April and early November. From the AK-47 arms dealers, to the bakers and cobblers, these valleys were home to some of the world’s most resilient but generous people, who offered the traveler nothing but great hospitality.