Visit Guide to Khunjerab Pass

Perched at the end of the stunning and perfectly paved Karakoram Highway, which connects Islamabad with Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang province, Pakistan’s northernmost frontier is a destination in itself. At an altitude of 4,693m, it’s the highest land border in the world, a barren plateau hemmed in by snow-capped mountains.

Getting There

Coming here on rented motorbikes or cars and standing in this wind-battered wilderness before the imposing castle-like archway that marks the Chinese border has become a rite of passage for both international and domestic travellers – even those who don’t have the visa required to cross this once crucial passage between the Indian subcontinent and the northern trunk of the Silk Road.

Because of the altitude and punishing weather, the Khunjerab Pass is closed between November and April. The Pakistani side is only open from 9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday, so time your visit accordingly.

What to Expect

Driving from Sost, the last sizeable town on the Karakoram Highway (85km away from the pass), vehicles cross the Khunjerab National Park. It’s the third largest in Pakistan, home to Marco Polo sheep, elusive snow leopards, and blue sheep. It requires paying an $8 entry fee at a toll gate before commencing the final ascent.