Discovering the unpaved road from Chitral to Parsan is a terrifying adventure on wheels

The road from Chitral to Parsan is one of the most frightening drives in the world. Located in the Parsan Valley of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, the road is a nightmare for travelers. It’s literally blasted out of the side of the mountain, and the smallest error can be fatal.

Chitral-Parsan road

How was the road from Chitral to Parsan built?

The road was constructed on a community basis by the local residents of that area without any modern machines.

Is the road from Chitral to Parsan unpaved?

The road is totally unpaved and runs from Chitral (the capital of the Chitral District, situated on the western bank of the Chitral River) to Parsan (a beautiful valley of Tehsil Garam Chashma with a population of 350 households). It’s about 25km (15 miles) long. The road runs along the Lutkho River and through a place called Garam Chashma. The route is very unstable, without any safety.

Is the road from Chitral to Parsan challenging?

Located in the northwestern part of the country, oncoming traffic is a nightmare. The smallest error can be fatal. The road is curvy and steep with little or no chance of error. The unpaved road throughout is so narrow that if a vehicle comes from the opposite side, one has to reverse at least 1km to find passage for the other vehicle to pass through. Mountain cliffs are perched over the dirt track while the river skirts it several thousand feet below.

What’s the Parsan's tunnel of death?

The scariest part of the road is dubbed Parsan's tunnel of death by locals. It’s a section extremely narrow, cut straight through the mountain, for 4x4 vehicles only. The road becomes narrower and grades get more difficult every time. The beauty of this track is that it’ll take you from 4,000 feet to 10,000 feet in a matter of a few miles. So, imagine the inclines.
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson
Pic&video: Ishtiaq Sarwar