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Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat Travel Guide

The Fairy Meadows in northern Pakistan is the best and ‘easiest’ destination to go to see the 2nd highest mountain in Pakistan, Nanga Parbat, which stands at an altitude of 26,660 ft (8,126m).

Just be aware that as it is an alpine region the weather can change easily and you may get cloudy days where Nanga Parbat may be partially covered in clouds. If you have time to spare check the weather forecast before going and plan your trip around that for hopefully clearer skies.

Having said that, even with clouds around it’s a very atmospheric place to visit, even if Nanga Parbat may not be in full view.

You don’t even have to be fit to get up there as horse rides are available, although it is quite an easy enough hike up to Fairy Meadows if you take it slow.

Getting to Fairy Meadows

Getting to Fairy Meadows is part of the experience of the whole trip. You will have to take a jeep ride up which lasts roughly 1 and a half hours. You can’t take your own car up there, and when you see the condition of the road you will see why only experienced local jeep drivers are allowed to go up.

As the jeep drivers know they are the only way to get up they are very hard to bargain with and the prices are generally fixed. They ask for money for a return journey, whereby you arrange with the driver the date and time you want to be picked up, and the rate when writing this article (in 2022) is 12000 rupees return.

However, although booking a return journey is the general rule, it is possible to take a jeep one way for 8000 rupees if you bargain with them for it, which is what we did. The advantage of this is that if you have more time on your hands, and you enjoy it up at Fairy Meadows and Nanga Parbat, then you can stay longer without worrying about getting back for your jeep ride.

On the way out we went back to where all the jeeps lined up on the road around mid-afternoon and randomly found the driver who had taken us up there. He charged us 4000 rupees for the ride back, so the whole trip worked out to be 12000 rupees anyway.

Part of the road clinging to the side of a cliff leading to Fairy Meadows.
Taking a short break from the bumpy ride.
It gets tricky when jeeps need to pass each other.
Nanga Parbat comes into view as you head further up the valley.

Hiking To Fairy Meadows From The Jeep Stop

The start of the hike up.

Fairy Meadows is at an altitude of 10,800 ft(3,300m) and is around a 3-hour hike if going at a reasonable speed. The trail does get busy with other hikers and horses.

There is the option to rent a horse and guide up there if you’re not feeling up to the hike.

Part of the hike to Fairy Meadows.
Heading up!
You can also take a horse ride if you want which is a fun way to get up there.

Where To Stay In Fairy Meadows

Drone shot of Fairy Meadows.

There are a lot of accommodation options in Fairy Meadows, ranging from simple camping to mid-range, to expensive. The place may be a bit more built up than you may think it is and can get a little noisy at night in the ‘central’ area.

We stayed at the Greenland Resort which is a good budget/mid-range option and is at the edge of the place and more quiet and has good views to Nanga Parbat.

Part of Greenland Resort.
Drone shot of Greenland Resort.

Hiking To Nanga Parbat Viewpoint From Fairy Meadows

Drone shot of Nanga Parbat from Fairy Meadows.

Nanga Parbat is really the main reason to come to Fairy Meadows in the first place, as I mentioned at the beginning of the article it is the 2nd highest mountain in Pakistan, standing at an altitude of 26,660 ft (8,126m).

An easy 2-3 hours hike takes you from Fairy Meadows to the ‘viewpoint’ where you can get good views of Nanga Parbat and the glacier, and if you’re short on time many people say it’s a good place to see the area and there’s not too much difference with going all the way to the base camp, which would take a few hours more.

We just went to the viewpoint area due to less time there and it was a good hike through woodland and open plains. You have the option to take a horse ride up there if you don’t feel like walking.

Hiking trail towards Nanga Parbat.
You pass through a lot of woodland on the trail.
Flowers and rocks by the trail, with Nanga Parbat partially covered in clouds.
Glacier view from the viewpoint.
Aerial view up the glacier taken by my drone at the viewpoint.

Visit Fairy Meadows

The Fairy Meadows, despite being busy, is worth the trip, if anything for the crazy jeep ride and epic views of the 2nd highest mountain in Pakistan, Nanga Parbat.

For more travel in Pakistan take a look at my guides to Pakistan.

I recommend using SafetyWing Travel Insurance for your trip, just in case, it’s best to be prepared.

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