Gilgit-Baltistan, particularly Skardu, is home to enchanting valleys that will leave you in awe of their breathtaking beauty. These lush, green landscapes have been a cornerstone of the country’s tourism for decades, drawing locals and foreigners to explore their hidden treasures. Among these gems, Basho Valley, situated in the Roundu area near the Skardu district, stands out as one of Pakistan’s most popular destinations.
Despite its relatively challenging route, Basho Valley is gaining attention as an unmissable destination. Nestled amid towering granite mountains and glaciers, the valley is a haven of beauty with expansive pine forests. Its freshwater streams, majestic mountains, and vibrant greenery create a scene reminiscent of paradise. Even in summer, the peaks are adorned with snow, adding to the visual spectacle.
Basho Valley has been a lesser-explored gem, but now, more people are willing to make an effort to experience its breathtaking beauty. The optimal time to visit is from June to September, when the weather is perfect for camping and hiking, allowing visitors to appreciate this majestic valley’s charm fully.
Graana.com discusses everything you need to know about Basho Valley, including its importance, the best time to visit, and much more.
At the heart of Basho Valley, the local population plays a pivotal role in safeguarding the environment and wildlife. Their commitment involves prohibiting deforestation, prioritising the protection of animals and trees, and focusing on restoring and improving the natural landscape.
Beyond benefiting the inhabitants of this verdant and vibrant valley, such initiatives promise to open up new avenues for tourism in the region. The feedback from tourists so far has been overwhelmingly positive, attesting to the captivating beauty of this colourful valley.
Life at Basho Valley
Within Basho Valley, you’ll encounter Marco Polo sheep, ibex, and snow leopards dwelling deep within the forest. Cows, wild horses, sheep, and goats peacefully graze on the green pasture, creating a breathtaking view of an untouched, preserved natural environment that makes the challenging drive truly worthwhile.
The verdant plains and alpines of Basho Valley not only offer captivating vistas but also provide a thriving environment for local villagers to cultivate crops. Known as “Raisin Valley” in Balti, Basho Valley lives up to its name. As summer heat melts mountain glaciers, rivers of rushing water cascade through the valley, creating optimal conditions for grapes and various crops.
Driving to the top of Basho Valley in Sultanabad reveals a street adorned with fruit and nut vendors every thousand feet. On my journey, the first fruit stand boasted an extensive selection of apricots, mulberries, jams, raisins, and walnuts. Among them, the apricots, about the size of a golf ball, stood out with their sweet juices and tender pulp—a personal favourite.
In Basho Valley, locally grown apricots are a delight for villagers and are preserved through a meticulous drying process for extended enjoyment. Transforming apricots into travel-ready dried fruit involves rinsing, sulphur dipping, and sun-drying, harnessing the sun’s heat.
The resulting dried apricots are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious, packed with essential vitamins and minerals that support skin, eye, and gut health, as per local knowledge. With antioxidants and high potassium, these dried apricots have become a beloved snack among the locals in Pakistan. Affordable and convenient to carry, investing in a bag of these dried apricots is a wise choice for any traveller.
Best Time to Visit Basho Valley
Optimal for camping and trekking, the prime time to explore Basho Valley spans from June to September when the weather is ideal. This period ensures you can fully savour the valley’s attractions. Additionally, the summer season guarantees clear roads, facilitating easy access to the valley. It’s advisable to plan your visit promptly to maximise your experience.
Basho Valley Weather
Basho Valley in Pakistan experiences pleasant summer weather, characterised by moderate temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C, contrasting with the cooler climate of Skardu Valley. Nighttime temperatures can drop significantly, so it’s advisable to pack warm clothing.
During the monsoon months, the valley receives considerable rainfall, making it preferable to avoid visiting during this period. However, if you decide to visit during the monsoon season, pack appropriate rain gear.
Travelling to Basho Valley
Ascending the challenging rocky road of Basho Valley on a narrow lane offers minimal space for passing vehicles. The picturesque route winds through villages, culminating in Sultanabad, marked by bumps, sharp turns, and numerous switchbacks. Despite the challenging journey, the sight of cultivated farmlands, including potatoes, wheat, apricots, plums, and grape trees, makes the ride more tolerable.
As you ascend further up the valley, reaching a plateau, the scenery undergoes a dramatic shift. Juniper trees replace the previous landscape, rivers now flow horizontally, and colossal mountains encircle the plains. After a short time on the plateau, a vast plain nestled between mountain ranges unfolds, creating a haven of natural greenery. Here, horses, livestock, fish, and campsites contribute to the idyllic atmosphere of this plateau paradise.
Situated between towering mountains on three sides, the valley boasts some of the world’s most stunning attractions. From majestic peaks to dense forests, vibrant green landscapes, wildflowers, enchanting meadows, colossal rocks, and breathtaking waterfalls, this valley has it all. Numerous rivers and streams add to its allure, creating an ideal setting for picnics or camping, making it a versatile haven for nature enthusiasts.
Let’s look at some famous attractions in the valley.
Upon reaching the valley, your attention will immediately be drawn to the immense mountains enveloping the landscape. These mountains aren’t just imposing; they exude beauty and majesty. The sight of these colossal peaks against a backdrop of vibrant wildflowers is awe-inspiring, so be sure to bring your camera to capture these views and create lasting memories.
Alpine Forests & Green Scenery
In Basho Valley, another enchanting feature is the dense alpine forests and abundant greenery that blanket the surroundings. These lush forests offer substantial shade, providing an ideal retreat from the summer heat. Within these verdant woods, numerous streams and rivers present perfect opportunities for a revitalising dip on a warm day.
For enthusiasts of wildflowers, Basho Valley is a true haven, boasting some of the most captivating meadows in Pakistan. Bursting with a variety of flowers, these meadows present a breathtaking spectacle when in full bloom. Moreover, these floral landscapes are home to rare and endangered plants, adding an extra layer of fascination and making them an essential destination for any nature lover.
For a refreshing escape, the ideal destination is the Basho Waterfall, situated near the Basho Bridge that leads to the valley. Notably, this waterfall is not a natural cascade but rather the overflow from the hydropower plant in Basho Valley, adding an element of unique charm to this beautiful spot.
In Basho Valley, numerous rivers and streams grace the landscape, with the prominent Basho River standing out as a notable watercourse originating from the mountains. Known for its icy and pure waters, this river meanders through the valley, converging with various streams before uniting at a single point. Eventually, it joins the Indus River. The chilly temperature of the Basho River makes it a refreshing yet brief experience for those who venture into its waters.
The Basho Bridge, constructed over the Basho River, serves as the sole entry point to Basho Valley. However, it’s essential to exercise caution when crossing this aged and somewhat unsteady wooden bridge.
Basho Valley is a haven for enjoyable activities that cater to diverse interests. Let’s explore some of the exciting activities awaiting you in Basho Valley.
The Basho River offers an excellent opportunity for fishing, boasting a population of trout. Choose a scenic spot, set up your fishing gear, and indulge in a delightful day by the river.
Barbeque & Camping
Immersing yourself in nature and camping at Basho Valley promises an extraordinary experience. Discover picturesque spots along the riverbank to pitch your tent and relish the tranquillity of this location. Waking up in Basho Valley is sure to etch unforgettable moments into the tapestry of your life.
Ideal for nature enthusiasts and hiking aficionados, Basho Valley boasts numerous trails weaving through dense forests and meadows, beckoning exploration. Ascend to the mountain peaks for unparalleled views that will leave you in awe. The breathtaking scenery ensures a fulfilling and enjoyable time in this valley.
When journeying towards this heavenly valley, ensure your camera accompanies you, as every turn will tempt you to capture its picturesque beauty. The valley’s enchanting scenery is so captivating that you’ll inevitably develop a deep admiration for it.
Whether you’re a novice or an expert photographer, you’ll effortlessly seize remarkable views. This is due to the abundance of visual delights the valley presents.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Following are the most commonly asked questions and their answers about Basho Valley.
Q: What is Basho Valley?
A: Basho Valley is a serene and picturesque destination nestled in the heart of nature. It is known for its lush greenery, flowing streams, and tranquillity.
Q: Are there accommodation options in Basho Valley?
A: Yes, there are various accommodation options ranging from cosy guest houses to nature resorts. It’s advisable to book your stay in advance, especially during peak seasons.
Q: What activities can I enjoy in Basho Valley?
A: Visitors can indulge in hiking trails, bird watching, photography, and relaxation by the riverside. There are also cultural events and local markets to explore.
Q: Is there a specific time to visit Basho Valley?
A: The best time to visit is during the spring and autumn seasons. This is when the weather is mild and the natural beauty of the valley is at its peak. However, it’s open year-round.