The road beyond Balakot was once fit only for four-wheel drive vehicles. Visitors would have to leave their cars in Balakot and rent jeeps for the onward journey. Today, the road is suitable for all kinds of vehicles up to Naran and Jalkhad, adding a little flavor of the old days, however, are a couple of glaciers that have not yet lost their snowpack in the early tourist season, and are difficult to cross with cars. From mid-June onwards, the road to Naran is open for regular cars, vans and coaches. If you are driving, always start early in the morning to safely reach your destination well before dark.
For those preferring public transport, travel by air-conditioned bus service is an option. There are several bus companies with regular direct service to Balakot from Lahore and Rawalpindi. PTDC operates daily air-conditioned bus service to Naran from Flashman's Hotel in Rawalpindi at 9.00 am. Bookings can be made by calling at 051-9272017 and 9272004. Daewoo Bus Company operates the most comfortable and reliable air-conditioned bus services on all major routes in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. They have frequent bus service to Abbottabad from where van shuttles depart to Mansehra, the main station for the onward journey to Kaghan Valley. In addition, buses to Mansehra originate from Pir Wadhai bus stand in Rawalpindi. From Mansehra, one can find direct van service for Balakot, Kaghan and Naran.
One can also hire a jeep from Balakot to go anywhere in the Kaghan Valley. There are plenty of private jeeps for hire at Balakot, Kewai, Shogran, Kaghan and Naran to go on various day trips.
There are four ways to visit and travel in the Kaghan valley and you can pick either of them according to what suits you best.
The first way is to go to the valley in a personal vehicle such as a car or a personal jeep and then visit all the places that are connected by a metalled road. This will allow a family to reach almost all of the local hot spots. Many places allow a person to stay for the night and have good accommodation.
The second way is to trek through the valley on foot camping at the various places which are of natural beauty. This does not require much experience and new people should do this fairly easily. The equipment needed for this kind of a journey is not much and only minimal carrying equipment is needed.
The third way is to hire jeeps in the valley and then hire pack animals such as mules. This allows a person to visit the various lakes and other natural hotspots without the burden of carrying the equipment at all. However, there are many places which the pack animals will not be able to reach so the trekking which is done with the animals will not be able to take the people of the group to all the places that are there to be explored in the valley.
The fourth way to travel through the valley is a hiking tour where people with special hiking equipment will try to visit various peaks and lakes which are difficult to reach and out of the way. This kind of tour is recommended for only the experienced hikers who have at least had one previous hiking journey in this kind of situation.
Each kind of trip will require different kinds of equipment. For a hiking trip, full hiking gear is needed along with some carrying equipment. Personal equipment remains the same for all tours and includes warm clothes, good boots, sun protection, and gloves, etc.
For a tour on the car with the family, the only equipment needed is a tool kit for the car and extra fuel as well as some extra clothes.
For a tour by the jeep where camping is an option, the things required are camping gears and carrying equipment.
For a tour by foot where camping is required, the group will need food and other necessities as well as camps, and walking sticks, sleeping bags, etc.
The lake is open for visitors from June to September, 10 kilometers from Naran Village. Saif-ul-Malook Lake is accessible through 4×4 vehicles via Naran Valley. Jeeps are easily available in Naran Bazar. The journey takes about an hour, on a shingled road, starting from Naran. The whole path fills with captivating beauty.
Kaghan Medical Store Saeed Swati
Hospital in Pakistan
Address: Mansehra - Naran - Jalkhad - Chilas Rd
Phone: 0344 9546494
Hazara Diagnostic Center & Clinical Laboratory
Hospital in Balakot, Pakistan
Address: Mohsin Market Kaghan Road Balakot, Naran Road, Balakot 21300
Open today · 8:30AM–7PM
Phone: 0315 9407308
Kaghan Medical Hall Shinkiari
Medical center in Shinkiari, Pakistan
Open today · Open 24 hours
Phone: 0333 5053602
BHU Shohal Najaf Khan
Hospital in Pakistan
Address: Mansehra-Kaghan Rd
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