Introducing Naltar Valley
Naltar was the Gilgit Agency’s hill station, where the British administrators retreated when the summer heat grew oppressive. Most of the guides who know the valleys around Gilgit call this one the loveliest. Its postcard alpine scenery is accessible for overnight trips, or even a fast day trip by jeep from Gilgit, and it gets crowded in summer.
The valley meets the Hunza River at Nomal, 25km north of Gilgit, where a bridge makes a short cut to the KKH. Soon a jeep road strikes left and climbs a rocky canyon, passing a relaxed police checkpoint and a hydro power scheme beside the Naltar River. After 6km to 7km you pass Lower Naltar village (kilini Naltar in Shina, the local speech), and a further 5km to 6km brings you to ajini Naltar (Upper Naltar) at about 3000m. Here the valley opens out and begins to look alpine. Across the river is a Pakistan Air Force winter survival school.
From Upper Naltar it’s a beautiful 12km hike on a bad jeep road up to Naltar Lake and dense pine forests. No guide is necessary. Beyond this are more pastures and summer settlements.