Fairy Meadows


Fairy Meadows is the heart of North Pakistan and famous for its beautiful lush green plateaus and World’s ninth-biggest mountain Nanga Parbat (the Killer Mountain) is located in the Diamer District of Gilgit-Baltistan region, Pakistan.

At 3,300 meters (10,826 feet) above sea level, the wide grassy meadow surrounded by dense alpine forest is fed by waters from a glacier formed by the Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest mountain in the world (and second-highest in Pakistan, after K2) that towers over Fairy Meadows from the south. A magical setting indeed — made all the more wondrous by the dangerous road one must take to get here.

The place was named Fairy Meadows in 1953 by Australian climber Hermann Bhul due to its mesmerizing beauty. He was here to climb the peak of Nanga Parbat. He became the first one to summit the mountain. Fairy Meadows is also called “Heaven on Earth” due to its matchless beauty. Known as “Joot” among locals, the place was given the name Märchenwiese (literally “Fairy Tale Meadows”) by German mountaineers who were no doubt astounded when they first glimpsed this idyllic landscape. 

Fairy Meadows is approachable by a fifteen-kilometer-long jeepable trek starting from Raikot Bridge on Karakoram Highway to the village Tattu (Tato). There is only one road to Fairy Meadows, and it isn’t your average tricky mountain road; in 2013, the World Health Organization ranked it as the second deadliest road on the planet. The dangerous and narrow gravel mountain road is open to locals only, who provide transportation to visitors from Raikhot Bridge to the village of Tato. From Tato onward, it takes about three to four hours of hiking by a five-kilometer trek to Fairy Meadows. The grassland is located in the Rakhiot valley, at one end of the Rakhiot glacier which originates from the Nanga Parbat and feeds a stream that finally falls into the River Indus

Visitors to Fairy Meadows can find accommodation in small on-site cabins or designated campsites (the Pakistani government declared the location a National Park in 1995). The site serves as a launching point for mountain climbers summiting the northern face of the Nanga Parbat. Since 1992, locals have operated camping sites in the area.

A night camping or stay in a traditionally constructed wooden cottage at Fairy Meadows with a breathtaking view of mighty Nanga Parbat’s North Face is a very unique and wonderful experience. Even more, if the sky is clear and night is a full moon. The cool moonlight reflecting from the gigantic majestic icy peak shows the real meaning of nature’s beauty and peace.

Fairy Meadows has been a source of enchantment for a long for backpackers, climbers, wildlife researchers, photographers, painters & geologists, besides nature lovers. The pine forests skirting Fairy Meadows are perhaps one of the virgin forests in the north of Pakistan and are home to several species of birds and wildlife. The site overlooks the Raikot Glacier and provides a majestic view of the North Face of Nanga Parbat, commonly known as the Raikot Face.

The famous day hike from Fairy Meadows is for Bayal Camp & the Base Camp of Nanga Parbat. Friendly and experienced mountain guides, who are familiar with the terrain, accompany the visitor, taking them on different treks. The staff at the cottages is experienced and helps trekkers in planning their routes. Camping equipment & food can also be arranged for these treks. Natural rock climbing pitch is a part of this beautiful setting, where climbing may be practiced under the supervision of well-trained staff.