Essential Information - Karakoram Highway
Before booking please check the status of the trip you are joining. We do not advise you to book flights until a trip is confirmed to run.
There is a 5% booking incentive discount for all "Available" and "Available 2 More To Guarantee" tours. To confirm your place on a tour please make the deposit payment. Your deposit payment is fully refundable at any stage before the tour shows as "Guaranteed". Your final balance is payable no later than 56 days before the trip start date.
On booking your trip you are agreeing to our booking conditions. Please read them fully via the link here. For each holiday a minimum number of participants is required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed'. You can check the trip status for each departure on our ‘Dates and Prices’ page. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has reached guaranteed status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.
Guaranteed Limited - trips are open for booking and confirmed to run but have a limited number of spaces available.
Guaranteed - trips are open for booking and confirmed to run.
Available 2 More To Guarantee - trips are open for booking but not yet confirmed. 2 more bookings will guarantee the running of this tour.
Available - trips are open for booking but not yet confirmed.
Contact - If you would like to book this tour, please contact us.
Fully Booked - trips now closed for booking.
- Support vehicle(s)
- Transfers involved in the itinerary
- All accommodation
- Most meals (see trip notes for details)
- Snacks and mineral water during cycling days
- Airport transfers on the start and end day of the tour
- Local and redspokes Western English speaking guides
- Khunjerab National Park entrance ticket
- International and domestic (Islamabad-Gilgit) flights - flights. If you decide to fly to Gilgit we can secure your flight ticket, it is aound US$ 150 (£90).
- Alcoholic drinks
- Meals not stated on the itinerary
- Visa fees
- Travel insurance
- Tips for guide (s) and support staff
The tour starts in Islamabad. You will need to arrive in Islamabad on Day 1 of your itinerary no later than 05.00am. If you wish to get accommodation in Islamabad for the night before, then we can arrange this for you at cost price. We will try to take the early morning flight to Gilgit (not inlcuded in trip cost). If you decide to stay on after the tour, redspokes can assist you in booking your accommodation and airport transfers at additional cost. Your flight departure at the end of the trip should be booked for the final day of the itinerary. We appreciate that people join redspokes tours from all over the world. Whatever time you arrive at the airport on the trip start date you and your luggage will be transferred to the joining hotel. Please bear in mind that if you arrive before midday you may have to wait for your room to be made available. If you decide to arrive early or stay on after the tour, redspokes can assist you in booking your extra accommodation and airport transfers at additional cost.
Our tour price does not include your international or local flights.
As the tour ends in Bishkek you will need to book an "multi-destination" ticket that allows you to arrive in one destination and depart from another. Please feel free to book your flight for any time on your return day, as you will be staying in Bishkek the previous night. If you are flying home straight away after the tour your transfer to the airport is included in the price with redspokes.
You will at all times have the security of a back-up vehicle; either a jeep or a bus. The vehicle will carry your luggage (we transport your main baggage by support vehicle from each overnight stop to the next) and yourself if you want. The backup van will be with us throughout the day stopping around every 12 miles (20 km).
Our leaders carry a good tool kit and will help to fix any bike problems so all you normally need to carry is a daypack, for your camera etc. However, we cannot guarantee that we will be equipped for all repairs, so if you are bringing your own bike on the tour you must ensure that it is in good working order. If in doubt, have it fully serviced by a bike shop before you travel.
If you wish to hire a bike or have a single room for the tour this can usually be arranged for you at extra cost. You will have the opportunity to request these extras at the time of booking or, subject to availability, at a later date, by emailing your request to us.
If you require additional accommodation or transfers in advance of the trip start date or at the end of your trip we can arrange this for you at extra cost.
We have a wide mix of cyclists on our tours from couples, friends to solo travellers. Our prices are based on twin shared accommodation. If you sign up for one of our tours as a solo traveller we will twin share you with another person of the same gender in your group. If you prefer to have your own room this is an option on most of our tours for an extra charge.
Most meals are included in your trip price apart from on non cycling days and some other exclusions. Please check the itinerary for full details. If you have a special dietary request, please advise us at the time of booking. Most diets can be catered for, but it is always important to advise us in advance.
Pakistani food is similar to northern India but generally less spicy it also has some Central Asian and Middle Eastern influence.
It is mandatory that you are well-insured for the full duration of the tour. This must include personal injury, medical expenses, death, repatriation, helicopter or aircraft rescue, loss of luggage or equipment, cancellation or curtailments.
You should also ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for the type of activities included in your tour. Any claims concerning matters for which you are insured must be directed to your insurers. We strongly recommend that you take out insurance at the time of booking your trip to ensure that you are covered in the event of cancellation.
For people within the UK Snowcard Insurance Services specialize in all mountain sports holidays including mountain biking. Follow the link above to obtain full information and a quote.
We choose accommodation on the basis of comfort rather than luxury. Our prices are based on sharing a twin room. Should you wish to have a room all to yourself there is a single supplement option on the majority of our tours. For more information on the additional costs please see dates and prices.
The accommodation for this trip is a mixture of Guest House, Hotel along with one night in community yurts and 2 nights as homestays.
Some rooms within the Hotels will have En suite facilities and Air Conditioning.
We are unable to offer bike hire for this trip. Please refer to 'Bringing your own bike' for details of the kind of bike suitable for this trip.
For this tour we recommend a tough mountain bike as they can take a hammering. Low geared: a 22-tooth granny cog on the front crank driving an 11-32/34 block on the back will do the trick.
As there are some long days it is essential your saddle and riding position are set as comfortably as possible.
Front suspension will help with the washboard tracks and potholes, but it is not essential. Full-suspension is okay, but may be hard work on the tarmac stretches. If you have flat bars, fitting bar ends will give you a different hand position and help with the climbs. Touring bikes. The trip can be done on a traditional touring, but it is important to ensure it has got strong enough wheels, sufficiently wide tyres (37mm is about the minimum) and low enough gearing. It's worth investing in a pair of 36 spoke, hand-built wheels, using a good quality rim (e.g. Sun Rhyno, Mavic or Rigida).
The route is a mixture of good road, poorly maintained tarmac and very rough gravel tracks. The best tyre for the job is probably the Schwalbe Marathon XR. It's very tough and hardwearing, and has a decent tread for the gravel without being too knobbly for tarmac.
We strongly recommend that you have your bike fully serviced before going on the tour. Ensure that wheel spokes are adjusted, grease all bearings, check gear and brake cables, tighten all nuts and bolts, check chain, quick release clamp and tyres. Put in new inner tubes and check wheel rims are not worn.
We recommend that you take the following items with you:
- Multi tool
- Tyre levers
- Spare inner tubes
- Spare spokes
- Check with your bike shop for disc/ brake pads
- A few links for your chain
- Spares for unique features of your bike, eg. fluid or bleed kit.
Your bike must be carried as part of your luggage allowance. The weight of a bike in cardboard box is about 15-20kg, so please bear this in mind when packing for the trip - you may also have to pay an excess luggage charge.
Whilst we endeavour to provide accurate information obtained directly from the relevant Embassy, High Commission or Consulate, this information is subject to frequent change without warning and at very short notice. Due to this, we cannot be held liable for any errors in the information provided on this site. We strongly advise you to check with the relevant Embassy for current information regarding passport and visa requirements.
You must be in possession of a valid passport and visa. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after the date of arrival or 1 month after expiration of visa and have 2 blank pages available for visa stamps.
E-visas are available and are valid for up to 90 days: e-Visa website.
If you would prefer to pay an agent to arrange your visa we would suggest using Travcour UK Ltd. They have been in the visa business for 25 years.
Please ensure you check that all the details on the visa are correct prior to your departure.
We strongly recommend that you contact your doctor or local Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks before going on your trip for advise on the correct vaccinations required for your trip. Also please refer to advice from National Travel Health Network and Centre .
There are no mandatory vaccinations for this trip, however the following are recommended Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis.
Vaccination requirements can change and we aren't medically qualified to answer your questions regarding vaccinations so please also check again with your health professional before departing for your trip.
Pakistan's climate is varied because of the difference in elevation from one end of the country to another. During the summer months: April to September the mountainous north is pleasant and temperate, but the Indus Valley swelters in temperatures of 100oF (40oC) or more. In late summer the southern region experiences monsoons, particularly along the coast. In winter the low-lying areas cool down appreciably to average temperatures of between 50oF and 70oF (10oC to 25oC), while the
northern mountains ice up with the air well below freezing.
In terms of clothing this is clearly up to you and we can only supply a rough guide as to what to take. This guide is entirely flexible and should be tailored to your specific needs.
- Cycle Helmet
- Water bottles or camelbak
- Base layer tops
- Fleece jacket/ pullover
- Waterproof cycle jacket (breathable fabric)
- Padded cycling shorts
- Trekking shoes/ Cycle shoes
- Lightweight socks & heavyweight socks
- Baggy Trekking Shorts
- T-shirts– lightweight
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Fingerless cycling gloves
- Warm gloves
- Warm fleece hat
- Lipbalm/ high factor sunscreen
- Fleece Sleeping bag liner
Our guides carry first aid supplies, however we recommend you bring your own first aid kit which should contain the following item;
- Paracetamol/ Ibuprofen (or whatever you prefer for headache)
- Lomotil or Diacalm
- Rehydration salts (Dioralite)
- Antiseptic cream
- Throat lozenges
- Plasters (band aids)
- Nasal spray
- Eye drops
- Ear plugs
- Anti bacterial hand wash
- Antiseptic wet wipes
- Insect Repellent
- Energy Bars (gels, power bars)
- Energy/recovery drinks
Tipping is an accepted part of everyday life, and although it is always at your discretion, you will be expected to tip to reward service. 65USD for the guide and team at the end of the tour is recommended.
It is customary for this to be collected up and given to your guide who will distribute it amongst the team. Unfortunately there is usually a hierarchy for the division between guides, helpers and drivers.
Spending money depends on your taste for souvenirs, drinks etc. We estimate that £350 will be more than enough to cover the tour.
Kyrgyz Republic - Capital: Bishkek
Population 6 million
Area 199,900 sq km (77,182 sq miles)
Major languages Kyrgyz, Russian
Major religions Islam, Christianity
Life expectancy 67 years (men), 75 years (women)
Our professional cycling tops are designed with three rear elasticated pockets to give you plenty of space for your cycling essentials and comes with a silicone bottom hem. Lined with COOLMAX ® to keep you cool and comfortable and ensure moisture wicking. Available in varies sizes so please refer to size charts for more information.
- Karakoram mountain range, gleaming white peaks.
- Chirah village school and women's sewing centre.
- Passu Glacier.
- Kashgar: Sunday market.
- Traditional Yurt stay.
- Bishkek: bazaars, parks, Soviet era monuments.
"When I heard the wildest people from the 2005 redspokes Laos tour would be cycling from Karakoram to Kyrgyzstan in 2007, it was impossible to turn down, even though I..."