Visit Guide to Chitral Gol National Park

Chitral Gol National Park has located in the heart of the beautiful valley of Chitral in the northern areas of Pakistan. This national park of Pakistan is based on a narrow valley in the area the valley runs for around 18 kilometers before it finally broadens and turns into a basin, surrounded by high mountains of the region.

Main image: Tahsin A Shah, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Getting There

The Park is accessible from Chitral by foot or by vehicle through a jeep road (up to Chaghbini Hut, 18 km from Chitral town) on its northwestern side. Many mountainous foot tracks also lead to the Park.

To reach Chitral from Peshawar or Islamabad, one has to travel either through the Lowari Pass that is 3,230 m above sea level or through Lowari tunnel. In winter, the Pass remained closed during winter months of November to mid-April due to heavy snow. However, with the opening of Lowari Tunnel, Chitral will remain accessible round the year.

Moreover, Pakistan International Airlines flights also connect Chitral with Islamabad and Peshawar. Regular daily public transport plies to Peshawar and Islamabad at fixed times. It takes at least eight hours and twelve hours to travel by road on personal transport from Peshawar and Islamabad respectively.

What to Expect

Chitral Gol National Park is a well-known part of the city where kids, youngsters, and old age people equally enjoy. This is the main attraction of this city where tourists would love to visit. Chitral Gol National Park is the best place for the lover of nature.

The park is rich in trees particularly cedar trees. The park also serves to provide shelter to a vast bio-diversity, especially Markhor, an endangered wild goat species. The subspecies, which are found in the park include the Astor Markhor. Also, present in the park in small numbers are the Siberian Ibex, Ladakh Urial, as well as the Asian Black Bear.

The Snow Leopard does not appear to be a permanent resident of the park, but it is sometimes seen there. The Tibetan Wolf, Red Fox, Yellow-Throated Marten, and Himalayan Otter are all found in the park. Common birds in the park include the Bearded Vulture, Himalayan Vulture, Golden Eagle, Demoiselle Crane, Peregrine Falcon, Himalayan Snowcock, Himalayan Monal, Snow Partridge, and Rock Partridge.


The history of Chitral Gol as a Hunting Reserve of the royal family can be traced as far back as the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Mehtar Shuja-ul-Mulk banned goat grazing in Gokhshal in 1907. The shooting houses at Kasawir, Bironshal, and Gokhshal were constructed in 1912 and at Bermughhlast in 1934 while the hut at Merin was constructed much earlier.

There was no management per se during the rule of the Mehtars except for strict control on hunting that was a prerogative of the royal family. In 1895, the British Empire extended its authority to Chitral and published the first Gazetteer in 1902.

The status of Chitral Gol was shown as Mehtari Shikargah (royal hunting ground). The Shikargahs other than Chitral Gol were given under the control of Hukama (Naib Governors), sheer bears, etc. while Chitral Gol remained under the direct control of the Mehtar. During the Mehtar rule, hunting was regulated through the designated personnel of the state. During the transitional period (1969-1974), due to uncontrolled hunting, the Markhor population declined tremendously. Urial, locally called Ron, was extirpated.

The Snow Leopard, frequently seen in the past, was brought near to the verge of extinction. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Wildlife Department declared Chitral Gol as a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1979 and as a National Park in 1984.

Facilities Available

  • Several hotels and motels are located on the road side with beautiful views of the mountains.
  • Bazaars with local food and handicrafts are the main attraction of the area.
  • Landline and mobile connectivity makes it comfortable for the tourists to communicate.
  • Local tourist’s guides are also available for tourist facilitation.
  • Local and private transport is easily available 24/7.
  • PTDC Motel Chitral is a mid-range motel located at Shahi Bazzar Chitral, Chitral, The naturally vibrant location of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, The PTDC Motel Chitral comes with facilities like room service, tv, parking, restaurant, laundry, geyser, heater, 24 hour security that help cater a happening yet relaxing stay.