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Introduction

Basha Valley

The Basha Valley, with its hot springs, is one of favorite places to visit. It receives very few foreign visitors each year, with a handful of trekkers and climbers crossing the Haramosh while traversing up the Chomo Lungma (glacier).

A 3 hour drive up from Skardu brings travelers to upper Shigar ValIey’s, Basha Valley. At this point, the Shigar Valley is perhaps 10 or more kilometers across. In the fall, sometimes nomadic gold miners working the rivulets. They submerge their hands in the I-degree Celsius water and manually pan for gold. Traversing the valley, at the south bank of the Basha River is the extended village Tisar. There is a police check-point just before entering Tisar. Only very few foreigners travel up this valley. About 6 kilometers to the northwest and up the river is the small village of Chutran. The name literally means “hot water” in the local Balti tongue. In Chutran, there is a medicinal hot springs. Over the decades, the spa has become popular  with the local people, who are even coming from beyond Hunza (15 hours by road) to soak in the 40-plus degree Celsius water. Nestled at the base of the northeast side of the Haramosh Range, Chutron is partially shaded and thereby relatively cool. Its scalloped terraced wheat fields are intercrossed by footpaths and stone field boundaries, all of which conspire to provide beautifully pastoral views and retains a primitive charm, seemingly stuck in in the 19th century.
The village of Hemaesil is about 35 to 45 minutes by Jeep up the Basha River, just across a gushing stream from Chutron. On the opposite side of the river is Dogoro. Just upriver from Niaslo is Doko, where an ancient bridge that is some times impassable.

After Doko, the road climbs steeply above the Basha River, providing superb views of the isolated villages of Zil and Sesko, on the north bank of the Braldu. These villages are hemmed in by the over 6,000 meter peaks that sit behind them. Zil and Sesko are so primitive that entering them seems like entering the Middle Ages. Both viIlages are accessible only by either riding a suspended cart on a cable or by crossing the woven vine bridge. The Jeep trail is often blocked above Doko. At its highest point, the trail clings tenaciously to a steep cliff. Driving down that trail is a heart-pounding, gut-wrenching ordeal. Continuing up the south bank of the Basha River, the river gradually veers southward. The village of Bisil sits on the opposite side of the river; a cable cart connects the village to the Jeep trail.

Bisil also has a hot spring, with the small pool emitting strong smells of sulfur. Locals rarely see foreigners and are quite welcoming. After Bisil, the trail moves into the base of the narrowing valley where swampy thickets of seabuck thorn bushes and numerous stream crossings make travel slow and tedious. Traveling is particularly difficult if there has been a heavy snowmelt. At about 3,000 meters, the trail ends at the village of Arindo.

Basha valley is an extension of  Shigar Valley reachable via Skardu, which is accessible by 22 hour drive along the Karakoram Highway from the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad; Or a 6 hours drive from Gilgit or alternatively by an easy 45 minutes plane flight from Islamabad to Skardu.

Must-See Attractions:

  • Choutron and Bisil Hot Springs: Relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs, known for their therapeutic properties and stunning mountain views.
  • Hemesil Waterfall: Marvel at the majestic Hemesil Waterfall, cascading down from towering cliffs amidst lush greenery.
  • Arindo Wilderness and Glaciers: Explore the pristine wilderness of Arindo, home to breathtaking glaciers and rugged landscapes.
  • Spantik Trek and Climb: Embark on the ultimate adventure with a trek or climb to the majestic Spantik Peak, offering panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Centuries-Old Traditional Houses: Step back in time as you visit centuries-old traditional houses, adorned with intricate woodwork and steeped in history and culture.

Plan Your Adventure: Plan your unforgettable adventure to Basha Valley and embark on a journey of discovery amidst the stunning landscapes and vibrant culture of Baltistan. Whether you’re seeking outdoor thrills, cultural immersion, or simply a peaceful retreat in nature, Basha Valley offers an unparalleled destination for vertical explorers.

Experience the Magic of Basha Valley with Vertical Explorers:

  • Scenic treks through pristine wilderness
  • Cultural encounters with local Balti communities
  • Thrilling rock climbing and mountaineering expeditions
  • Authentic culinary experiences and traditional hospitality
  • Customized itineraries tailored to your preferences

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