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 freaking 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

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. It’s certainly breathtaking and has a fearsome reputation. 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. Always check the weather forecast before you start your journey: adverse conditions are common. 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 river skirts it several thousand feet below.

Driving Parsan's tunnel of death

The scariest part of the road is dubbed Parsan's tunnel of death by locals. It’s a sections extremely narrow cut straight through the mountain. 4x4 vehicles only. This track can get very muddy and slippery after rain making it challenging to get through. The road becomes narrower and grades get more difficult every time. Beauty of this track is that it’ll take you from 4k feet to 10k feet in a matter of few miles. So, imagine the inclines. The road was constructed on community basis by the local residents of that area without any modern machines.
Pic&video: Ishtiaq Sarwar
Road suggested by: Hugh Wilson