redspokes’ Karakoram Highway to Kyrgyzstan cycling holiday is an adventure filled journey through three fascinating Asian countries where you will encounter outstanding, varied natural beauty. The legendary KKH to Kyrgyzstan itinerary offers stunning scenic biking with the chance to experience the contrasting cultures and lifestyles of Pakistan, China and Kyrgyzstan.
We begin with a dramatic flight from Islamabad to Gilgit by turbo prop plane around Nanga Parba at 8,125m; the sharp triangle of K-2, the second highest mountain in the world, is clearly visible on the horizon. From Gilgit we cycle the Bagrote Valley at the heart of the Karakorum Mountains, and Dubani to the south east. riding narrow road to summer pastures passing beautiful terraced fields and meadows where crops and orchards are irrigated by water channels from the Barchi and Hinarchi glaciers and mountain snow. We visit school and community projects supported by redspokes and our partner charity LVCF, receiving a warm village welcome. We journey onwards to Shimshal, the highest settlement in the Hunza valley, cycling back down the pass on thrilling mountain road.
You will revel in the striking beauty of Northern Pakistan's snow-capped Karakoram mountain range (with its peaks at 7,000-8,000m) and glacial river valleys characterised by distinctive black rocks and the world's largest non-Polar glaciers.
We leave Pakistan crossing the Khunjerab Pass. The Khunjerab is known as the highest paved international border crossing in the world at an elevation of 4,693 meters.
In the autonomous region of Xinjian Uyghur in Western China we visit the city of Tashkurgan, named after 1400-year-old stone (tash) fortifications (kurgan) and home to an ethnic Tajik community. We cycle along vast valley basins, passing lakes and ascending mountain passes enjoying views of the stunning north side of the Muztagh Ata Massif (Father of Ice Mountains at 7,546m). We enjoy a rest day in Kashgar with time to sightsee and visit one of the largest outdoor traders’ market in the world.
Last but not least, on our cycling tour is enigmatic Kyrgyzstan a land of distinctive wide plains and grass-clad mountains (90% of the country lies above 1,000 m). We encounter semi-nomadic horsemen and shepherds tending to their flocks on an unparalleled off-road cycling route. You will visit Issyk Kul. the second largest alpine lake in the world, before finally discovering the delights of Kyrgyz capital Bishkek.
Dates & Prices
- 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.
"A wonderful trip with excellent organisation, in a fascinating part of the world. The biking days were quite doable for an average cyclist, and the occasional rest days were interesting..."