Rakaposhi is the 15th highest mountain in the world and looms large across the Karakoram Mountains, and the Rakaposhi Base Camp hike is one of the best shorter hikes you can do in Pakistan.
The base camp for the start of climbing to Rakaposhi peak is a reasonably short hike to get to and can even be done in one day if you start early and have the stamina for it.
But the best way to see the base camp and the area is to camp overnight either at the first reached Hakapun campsite on the hike or further up at Rakaposhi Base Camp itself.
That gives you more time to relax and enjoy where you are.
You can do the trek/hike by yourself without a guide as it’s easy to follow the path all the way up. We had a guide simply because we had visited other parts of the Hunza Valley with him and loved his company.
Rakaposhi Base Camp
First Day Hiking
We opted for the option of camping at the first campsite, Hakapun, so there would be no rushing around and it worked out perfectly.
Starting from the village of Minapin you walk 20 minutes or so out of the village along a reasonably easy road until it reaches a very steep climb just across a bridge where the river flows through.
It takes around 20-30 minutes to do the first initial steep part before it levels off a little and is then a mix of a little steep and some flat terrain walking.
You walk along a small stream and amongst a small forest with the end of a glacier in the distance surrounded by steep mountains.
It’s a very beautiful walk.
This is the easiest part of the trek until after roughly an hour of that and you have one last 20 minutes of steeper uphill again before reaching Hakapun campsite.
It costs 800 rupees ($5) to pitch your tent at Hakapun (2020 price).
Looking down on Minapin after climbing the first steep part.
Glacier in the distance.
Farmers houses on the way to Hakapun campsite.
20 minutes after leaving the farmer’s houses area you arrive at Hakapun campsite.
Cool place to camp!
If you don’t have your own tent the men at the campsite can help arrange one or maybe let you stay in their big tent with them.
It’s best to bring your own tent though just to be sure.
Second Day Hiking
The great thing about camping at Hakapun is you don’t need to take everything with you up to Rakaposhi Base Camp for camping.
Just pack up before heading out in the morning and leave the bag in the campsite’s main tent and pick it back up when back from the trek.
Having said that the views at Rakaposhi Base Camp would be incredible to wake up to so if you don’t mind trekking an extra 1-2 hours then bringing your camping gear to the base camp itself is also a great option.
Leaving Hakapun campsite it’s a steep initial climb for around 30 minutes through pine forest before 15 minutes of easier straight hiking then the final 15 minutes of steep climbing again.
Then you reach the first viewpoint across the glaciers and Rakaposhi peak (if the weather is clear to see the peak).
Part of the forest on the way up.
About to reach the first ridge for some epic views.
The views when you reach the first ridge will blow you away and if they don’t the wind might!
Continue walking for 10 more minutes past the first viewpoint and you will reach Rakaposhi Base Camp itself.
Rakaposhi Base Camp where you can pitch your tent with plenty of space to choose from.
Local animal herder at the basecamp area.
Walk past the herder’s house area along the flat ground for 10 minutes and then climb the other ridge in front of you for even better views.
It’s the best place to get to so make sure you do.
Beautiful flowers blanket part of the area near the base camp.
Walking past the base camp area to a ridge for a better view of glaciers and mountains.
Get on top of that second ridge for stunning views!
Time to relax at the highest point we reached which was around 3400 metres.
You’ll get better views across the glacier from the ridge further along so make sure to head up there.
The second ridge.
Drone pic looking onto the ridge that looks onto the glacier.
After all that just head back down the way you came. It’s a much easier walk heading back.
Part of the walk back down.
The Rakaposhi Base Camp Hike
The Rakaposhi Base Camp trek is a must-do as far as I’m concerned if you are going up the Karakoram Highway and have any interest in hiking. It can be done in one long day or enjoy the night camping and see some of the best scenery in the whole area.
My advice is to slow down a bit and camp overnight at the Rakaposhi Base Camp so you can appreciate it all without rushing too much.
Another great hike up the Karakoram Highway to another glacier is about an hour’s drive further north to Passu from the Rakaposhi area. Have a read about how to hike Passu Glacier in the Hunza Valley.
Here’s a video showing mountains and glaciers in the Hunza Valley by a drone that includes Rakaposhi. Subscribe to my YouTube channel for more vids if you like what you see.
For more guides on the Karakoram area and other parts of Pakistan take a look at my Pakistan destinations page.
The north of Pakistan is truly a mountain paradise and out of many mountainous places I have visited in the world I can safely say it’s number one on my list.
Be sure to take travel insurance for any trip you do to be safe. I use World Nomads Travel Insurance and find them excellent for adventurous travellers.
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