10 great places for hiking in Islamabad

hiking in islamabad


Sarmad Ali
5 minutes read

Pakistan is the enriched land of scenic beauty with heartwarming tourist attractions. The country possesses the world’s most attractive, beguiling, and largest mountain ranges and peaks. Pakistanis are taking full advantage of these tempting mountains and hiking trails. If you’re living in Islamabad, then you are opulent to a unique luxury of life that is, although a bit tiring one, the numerous hiking tracks. So, let’s have a look at the best tracks for hiking in Islamabad.

Hiking in Islamabad

Trail 1

Margalla Hills in Islamabad wind their way up to the ridge. By turning right, you’ll reach the Pir Sohawa road near the turn-off for Talhaar. It takes around 2 hours of hiking to reach the top. Extending your hike from Pir Sohawa road it’s a 20-minute walk to the Monal restaurant.

Trail 2

Also known as the zoo trail, begins just past the jungle shack drinks bar, a little way up Pir Sohawa. Another way to trail 2 is through the entrance of Islamabad zoo. It’s not a long track. If you’re looking for a 2 hours hike, this is probably the best choice for hiking in Islamabad. This trail will lead you up to Daman-e Koh viewpoint and if you’re not exhausted yet, you can extend your hike to the cactus ridge.

Do you know: The structure of Islamabad was planned by a Greek firm of architects. The city was planned in a triangular shape, with grid point facing toward Margalla. (Source: The Huffington Post)

Trail 3

The most common and widely used trail by the youngsters for hiking in Islamabad. This trail begins at the junction of the Margalla Road and Ataturk Avenue. Its a two-legged trail. The first leg is quite arduous and strenuous that ends up at the viewpoint. It is a 30 to 50 minutes track depending upon your agility. The second leg is more adventurous and easygoing. It will take around 45-60 minutes of a hike to reach Pir Sohawa where three enticing restaurants will be welcoming you with the alluring taste of food.

Trail 4

Trail 4 of Margalla Hills lies in between trail 3 and trail 5. If you have a long day and energetic mind and body, you can hike through trail 3, 4 and then trail 5 altogether. Trail 3 and trail 5 are parallel at some points and adjoined by trail 4 in between.

Trail 5

The initial point of trail 5 lies 500m below the trail 3, opposite to the jungle’s enclave in sector F-5, Islamabad. It is the easiest trail for tracking. Trail 5 is the longest track taking almost 3 hours to reach the finish line. If you lose your track and start walking towards the east, you’ll meet up with the top part of trail. Both the tracks finally end at Pir Sohawa. The top of trail 5 is almost 1.5 kilometers from the top of trail 3.

Trail 6

To the east of trail 5, lies the trail 6. Not everyone knows about this track on Margalla Hills. It begins from the back of Shah Faisal Mosque, Sector E7. This trail will lead you to a valley through a well-defined route with multiple sign boards leading you to the top of Pir Sohawa. The small patch that leads you from track 6 to track 5 is very scenic and clean as it is not commonly used.

Saidpur Trail

Saidpur Village lies at the foothills of Margalla Hills. Following the river, you’ll enter the valley. Saidpur trail starts from Saidpur Village and the trail will lead you to Monal Restaurant. Yet if you feel energized enough you can use the track of trail 3 to make your journey back to the hustle life of the capital city.

Bari Imam Trail

Bari Imam Trail is unique and quite an adventurous trail for hiking in Islamabad. This track starts from the end of Margalla Road, near the Government complex. By using steps, this track will first lead you to the Bari Imam Cave. Continue your journey through the steep trail and this will take you near to Pir Sohawa Road. To reach trail 3, you have to take a walk of around 5.5 kilometers and if you continue the previous path, you will drift into KPK (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) Province.

Trail 9: Banyan Tree Valley track

Banyan Tree Valley track lies within Pir Sohawa. This hiking trail in Islamabad is full of scenic beauty with a lot of eye-catching greenery. It is most of a circular track with a total distance of 7 kilometers. The average hike time of the trail is around four hours.

Trail 10: Rock Pools valley

A round-trip hike covering a distance of 8 kilometers. It takes almost 4 hours of a hike to return to the initial point of the trail. The hike starts near the Mandiala Water Works, north of Nurpur Shahan. Blue arrows along the track will be guiding you throughout the trail. This track will lead you through Sara Village. Crossing the village, you’ll reach Pir Sohawa road.

In the last couple of years, the trend of health fitness among the youngsters and middle-aged men has surprisingly risen. The exasperating noises of the city, the mayhem, the commotion and the dispiriting daily routine, all are antiquated. Mentioned above are few of the tracks for hiking in Islamabad. There are numerous others used by the people. So whenever you feel down and need to refresh yourself, just step out of your house while holding a water bottle and start walking on any of the hiking tracks.

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