Bayal Camap Fairy Meadows
How to Get to Fairy Meadows
Camping site Bayal Camap
There are several stages that you will have to go through before getting to Fairy Meadows.
First, you will have to get to 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 trailhead and then you will have to hike up to Fairy Meadows.
This is the ultimate campsite for most adventure tourists. It requires an expert guide and over 6 hours of hiking from Fairy Meadows. As it is at such a high elevation, camping here is recommended in July and August.
Raikot Bridge is located 80km south of Gilgit and it will take you around an hour to get there. You can either get a taxi to drop you off at the bridge or take a bus heading toward
Chilas from the NATCO bus terminal shown below:
Getting to Fairy Meadows Trail Head (1.5 hrs by jeep)
This is where it will get expensive especially for independent travelers like us. You see, from the Raikot Bridge, you will need to take a local jeep up the mountains and it will cost you 7,600 PKR per jeep for a round trip. The jeep can be shared with the locals or other travelers of up to 5 passengers. You can wait for some other travelers to show up at the bridge if you have the time but if you arrive late, and you don't want to be hiking in the dark, you will have to bite the bullet and pay for the entire jeep yourself.
Once paid, the jeep will take you through one of the bumpiest roads you will ever experience in Pakistan. The roads zigzag its way up the rocky mountain for about 1.5 hours and you will arrive at a village, where the trailhead begins.
Just before you leave, your driver will ask you on the date of your return and the exact time you will arrive back. Make sure you give your driver the correct detail and be sure to stick to it. This is essential for the driver as they will have to come back and pick you up. Also, remember your driver's face!
Getting to Fairy Meadows (2 hrs by walk)
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.
Where to Stay in Fairy Meadows
Greenland Resort by far offers the best view of Nanga Parbat with a clear view over the glacier towards the mountain. The room is clean and well-built. The food costs around 150 - 500 PKR. The owner is also very friendly helping me with all the booking, transportation and food while letting my friends camp for free. If you want a place with the best view in Fairy Meadows, this is the one.
The Hiking Trails in Fairy Meadows
Fairy Meadows to Beyal Camp (2 hours one way)
Length: 2 hrs one way
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.
Beyal Camp to Nanga Parbat Base Camp (3 hrs one way)
Length: 3 hrs one way
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.
You will no longer feel like walking through a fairy-tale forest, you will be surrounded by ice blocks and rocks instead.
Disclaimer: I tried to get to the base camp with a couple of people but it was snowing heavily and we had to turn back just after the viewpoint. Maybe you will have more luck then I did.