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Best Icy Lakes in Pakistan

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Best Icy Lakes in Pakistan The animated film ‘Frozen’ is quite popular among kids and adults alike. Much of its popularity, especially among children, comes from the fact that Elsa can turn anything to ice upon her touch using her magical powers.

While the story of the movie is purely fictional, what if you can literally experience something similar in real life? During winters, the freshwater lakes up in northern Pakistan turn to solid ice, just like the frozen fjord from ‘Frozen.’ If the thought of seeing an icy lake excites you, then you should head over to some of the accessible frozen lakes in Pakistan and experience some fun activities there.

Let’s check them out.

There are quite a few popular frozen lakes in Pakistan that are a hotspot for tourists.

Khalti Lake
Phander Lake
Attabad Lake
Chitta Katha Lake
Kachura Lakes
Let us discuss each of them in detail.

Khalti Lake
The scenic Khalti Lake in Ghizer District, only 120 km away from Gilgit-Baltistan, is one of the top tourist destinations of Pakistan. It takes around 3-3.5 hours to reach Khalti Lake from Gilgit. You can stay at the PTDC Motel which is located in Gupis Valley – only 6 km away from Khalti Lake. In fact, Khalti Lake is basically the Gilgit River that widens up in Khalti Village, forming a lake.

Khalti Lake is known for its clean fresh emerald blue waters in summers and icy frozen surface in winters. The lake has an ample supply of trout fish and in summers, locals and foreign tourists enjoy fishing at the lake. You need to get a fishing license from Gupis.

As the winter season approaches, from mid-December to February, the water of the lake freezes – turning it into an exciting frozen lake, where people walk, skate, and even play football! Yes, you heard it right! A football tournament is held between two local teams on the frozen surface of Khalti Lake every winter. It is fun watching the thrilling game on ice. Check out the local people’s traditional dance in this video on the frozen Khalti Lake and enjoy:

Phander Lake
Sitting at 10,000 ft above sea level, between two rocky mountains, is the mesmerizing Phander Lake. It is located in the Ghizer District of Baltistan and it takes about 6 hours to reach Phander Valley from Gilgit.

In summers, the blue waters of the lake are one of the best tourist destinations, while in winters the lake water freezes, turning into a block of ice, where local children are seen playing games. The frozen lake in winter amidst the high mountain peaks is an unforgettable experience.

Attabad Lake
If you are a risk-taker, then enjoy walking on one of the most popular frozen lakes in Pakistan – the Attabad Lake. The teal-colored waters of Attabad Lake against the backdrop of the majestic Karakoram Mountains offer spectacular views in summers.

People go jet-skiing, boating, and fishing in summer. In winters, the Attabad Lake slowly freezes into a complete block of ice. When the lake freezes, people enjoy taking a stroll on the slippery frozen Attabad Lake.

Chitta Katha Lake
One of the most popular frozen lakes in Pakistan that remains a block of ice most part of the year is the Chitta Katha Lake, which literally means the white stream. It is located in Shounter valley in Azad Kashmir. From Upper Domel, it takes around 4-8 hours of laborious trek to reach this beautiful lake.

It is situated above 13,500 ft above sea level. To reach Upper Domel, which is a remote village in Azad Kashmir’s Shounter Valley, it would take around 4-5 hours traveling by jeep from Kel in Neelum Valley. You can only access this lake when it is not frozen from June to August.

The rest of the year, the lake is completely frozen and becomes part of the glaciers surrounding it! But if you are a daring mountaineer, you can visit the frozen lake and experience the beauty firsthand.

Kachura Lakes
The Kachura Lakes are two lakes in the Skardu District of Gilgit-Baltistan. The lakes are located about 20 km away from Skardu Airport. The two lakes are named Upper Kachura Lake and Lower Kachura Lake and are easily accessible in winters.

They are more than 8,000 ft above sea level. The Lower Kachura Lake is also known as Shangrila Lake as the famous pagoda-shaped tourist resort Shangrila Resort is built there. In summers, the reflection of the Shangrila Resort in the Lower Kachura Lake has a spell-binding effect.

The Upper Kachura Lake, with a depth of 230 ft, has a cool 15 °C temperature recorded in summers. However, in winter, the surface becomes frozen solid and becomes a tourist attraction even in winters. People who visit Skardu never miss a chance of staying at Shangrila Resort.

So, these were some of the most popular icy lakes in Pakistan. If you are an avid traveler, then do visit these most popular lakes in Pakistan even in summers.


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