Named by German climbers (German Märchenwiese and locally known as Jaugth,s a grassland near one of the base camp sites of the Nanga Parbat, located in Diamer District, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.
At an altitude of about 3,300 metres (10,800 ft) above the sea level, it serves as the launching point for trekkers summiting on the Rakhiot face of the Nanga Parbat.In 1995, the Government of Pakistan declared Fairy Meadows a National Park.
Easy to moderate hiking
Fairy Meadows is one of the most popular and beautiful places to hike in Pakistan and for good reasons. With the unobstructed view of the 8,125 m high beast that is Nanga Parbat, one of the highest mountains in Pakistan, only second to K2, it is considered to be one of the most accessible hikes that will allow you to witness an 8,000m high mountain without doing a multi-day trek.
With a moderate difficulty level this track is viable for tourists aged 18~50 with no serious medical conditions
How to Get there
You need to reach Gilgit, the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan province in the north of Pakistan. From there, get to the Raikot Bridge and then you will have to rent a jeep to get to the trail head and then you will have to hike up to Fairy Meadows.
Two options to reach Gilgit:
1. PIA Airlines from Islamabad to Gilgit, Runs twice a week
2. Private or rental Cars involving local vendors
If you would like to shed some weight off your backpack and leave some stuff before the hike, it is suggest to go directly to Gilgit, stay one night there and leave your stuff at your guest house.
Crazy Jeep Track
Fairy Meadows is approachable by a fifteen kilometer-long jeep trek starting from Raikhot bridge on Karakoram Highway to the village TATO. Further from Tato, it takes about three to four hours hiking by a five kilometer trek to Fairy Meadows. The grassland is located in the Raikhot valley, at one end of the Raikhot glacier which originates from the Nanga Parbat and feeds a stream that finally falls in the River Indus.
Getting to Fairy Meadows
From the village, the trail gradually climbs for about 2 hour, and then it goes up steep for about 30 minutes until you arrive in Fairy Meadows. Gaining 700m elevation over 5km, this trek follows a well established dirt track to Fairy Meadows. At the start of the trail, there is a well placed restaurant and snack shop. Have some intake before starting out on the hike.
The trail is fairly gradual in its ascent as it follows the river up the valley. If you glance ahead, can see the summit of Nanga Parbat fall into the shadows while slowly hiking towards the meadow.
In the final kilometre there is a big switch back as the trail starts to cut its way into the side of the valley. From there you will be lucky if able to catch with a stunning sunset over the distant Karakoram range. One more switchback will take you onto Fairy Meadows itself.
Where to Stay
As the Fairy Meadows has grown in popularity, the meadow has lots of accommodation to choose from. There are restaurants that serves delicious hearty meals and the accommodation itself is a series of wooden cabins, with balcony views of Nanga Parbat. You need to get a reservation before planning the trip.
Trail - 1 Fairy Meadows to Beyal Camp
Our first trail begins with a well-leveled path through a thick forest out of Fairy Meadows and along the ridge with the view of Nanga Parbat and Raikot glacier on your left.
The trail continues on a flat landscape for about an hour through the forest, passing several streams, until you reach an opening where you will see a village being overshadowed by Nanga Parbat from a distance.
Congratulations, you have reached the Beyal camp. You can grab a cup of coffee or continue on for about 30 minutes further along the trail and you will arrive at a viewpoint at 3,667m where you will be able to see the Raikot Glacier and Nanga Parbat up close.
This part of the trail is just a simple stroll and so it is perfect for those who are not looking to hike a lot, but if you want to hike further, you can continue the trail to Nanga Parbat Base Camp.
Trail - 2 Beyal Camp to Nanga Parbat Base Camp
From the viewpoint 30 minutes pass Beyal camp, you will have to climb up a ridge for another 30 minutes and walk across the rocky glacier in order to get to the base camp. Be very careful at this point as the trail becomes steeper and rockier, but more and more scenic too. Following the glacier, you will have to climb up again into glass plain where you will find the Nanga Parbat base camp standing at over 3,900m.