Monday, August 14, 2017

Naltar Lakes


There are three lakes in Naltar Valley known as Naltar Lakes or Bashkiri Lakes at an altitude ranging from 3050–3150 m. The first Bashkiri Lake is located at a distance of 12 kilometers (08 mi) from Upper Naltar (or the Naltar Bala).

The road up to the lakes is a non-metallic dirt-road alongside a rivulet, flowing down the valley. The lakes are surrounded by dense pine forests, during winters it becomes almost impossible to reach the lake with any vehicle due to the heavy snow (10 to 15 feet high) on the road.

There are some lakes in the world which are known for their great color, while there are some which are known for the great treks and great paths that lead to them. The three Naltar Lakes in Pakistan are a prime example of both of these great qualities. One of the most amazing things about the three Naltar Lakes is that they are in very different colors. While Naltar One is clear and calm like a crystal clear drop of rain, the Naltar 2 and Naltar Lake three are of amazing hues from aquamarine to azure. The best looking lake is often the Naltar three which has an amazing azure color during the summer months and it is the most visited lake of the three. The Naltar Lakes are also called the Bashkiri Lakes.

Another thing which makes these lakes so unique is that the path that leads to them is not some ordinary mountain path, rather the way to the lakes is via a long road which travels parallel to a flowing stream. This makes the journey to the lakes one of the most amazing and enjoyable journeys in the tour. Parties usually travel to the lake in open jeeps and this adds to the overall excitement factor of the journey.

The difference of elevation between the lakes is very small. The lowest of the lakes is located at an elevation of 3050 meters above the sea level while the highest of the three lakes is situated at a height of 3150 meters above the sea level; therefore, the elevation difference between the lakes is quite nominal. The lakes are located in the Naltar Valley which in itself is part of the Gilgit Baltistan Province in the northern part of Pakistan. The closest towns to the valley are those of Nomal and Hunza.

When snow falls in the area during the winter months, there is almost no place for the snow to go. As opposed to other northern areas that receive snowfall, the area is not that heavily slopped and, therefore, all the snow that falls will pile up. This insulates the snow underneath and it is quite common to have snow with heights of 15 feet blocking the roads during the winter months.

Therefore, the best time to visit the lakes is in the summer. However, the summer months can be very harsh in the area, so it is advised that the visitors should plan their trip from early to mid-summer. It should be remembered that most of the distance is covered in jeeps so there is no need to be afraid of the mushy and marshy conditions that are caused by the melting snow. Therefore, trips should be arranged in the early part of the summer months between the months of June and July. Trips that are taken to the area in the months of August and September will feel the full brunt of the scorching sun.

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