Built as high as 15,000 feet above sea level and under very rough conditions, the Karakoram Highway is sometimes considered the Eighth Wonder of the World. Construction on the road began in 1966 and was completed in 1979, although it wasn’t open to the public until 1986.
This dangerous road covers more than 1,300 kilometers and, at least in some places, follows the old Silk Road. Cutting through the most mountainous region in the world, the Karakoram Highway is beset with hazards: rock falls, landslides, avalanches, flooding, snow drifts, reckless drivers, herds of animals, precipitous cliffs and terrible storms.
Interestingly, the road meanders through the Hunza Valley, the scene of James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, a novel about the mythical Shangri-La, a harmonious place where people live for centuries.
It is one of the dangerous routes ever to be built as it crosses Pakistan and into China touching the Indian border along its way into China. Karakoram highway is said to be the highest paved international road in the world. It is known as the ‘Road to Paradise’ that is if you like exploring the mountains. For bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike, this is on their top 10 bucket list of places or routes to ride on, although it is said to be one of the rarest travelled routes by bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts alike.
Karakoram highway connects China and Pakistan across the Karakoram mountain range, through the Khunjerab Pass, at an elevation of 4393 meters (15,397 Feet) above the sea level. The road is one the most dangerous and hair-raising road trip in the world. 812 Pakistani and 82 Chinese workers lost their lives in the mudslides and falls, while building the highway.
Portions of the road may be temporarily closed due to road work or inclement weather. Heavy and prolonged rains cause a great deal of stress to the riders who are riding through the area. Due to the remoteness of the area, it is recommended that every rider must make sure that his/her bike is ready for the trip. Inspect all tires and make sure that they are properly inflated, check all fluids in the bike, replace all worn out spares and most importantly pack light essentials that is needed for day to day survival.
This is one of the most dangerous routes that is travelled by riders rarely due to its remoteness and climb in elevation over thousands of feet, and pass through remote areas across the Pakistan borders. Always suggested to check the weather forecast for the day and then plan your ride as it gets really dangerous during the rainy seasons.