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Margala Hills

Margala Hills, Islamabad, Islamabad Capital Territory, Pakistan
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Walking the Margala Hills Islamabad  Pakistan

Walking the Margala Hills

Just along the Margalla road in Islamabad are the Margalla Hills, the foothills of the Himalayas. Along the road from Constitution avenue till the Faisal mosque you'll find several trailheads that lead their way up the hills. There are several trails to choose from with varying degrees of difficulty. Trail 3 is the easiest and can easily be tackled by a hiker of any skill level, it even has stairs most of the way up. Trail 5 is the middle ground, and has a few slightly challenging moments, but for the most part can be handled by anybody in fairly good shape. Trail 6 is the most challenging of these trails and is fairly long, can be rather steep, but still doesn't require any equipment beyond a good pair of hiking boots.

Trail 3 and 5 both end up in Monal, which is an entertainment complex at the top of the Margalla hills with restaurants and some shops. Trail 5 has a few alternative endings as well that end on a road that can lead you to Monal. Trail 6 ends at pine corner which is a few Kilometers from Monal (you can walk to Monal along a slightly busy road). One option is to take one trail up and one trail down, however if you've parked at the bottom of one trail you'll have to walk along the Margalla road to get back to your car.

All of the trails offer great views of the city of Islamabad, as well as views of the mountains around. The wildlife on these trails consist of birds, some monkeys, the occasional wild boar, and very rarely leopards. Most likely you'll also come across local cows and goats, as well as wood collectors (these are local people collecting wood). Trail 3 can be very busy on some days, to the point of being crowded, it's not always that peaceful. Trail 6 is the least busy of the trails, and you can go for hours without seeing another person.

Many people bring picnics up the trails, and there are a few places on each trail where you can stop and enjoy a meal. As with anything in Pakistan it’s a good idea to make sure that it is safe for you to climb these trails. It’s also a good idea to travel in groups. There is no water available on the trails till the top, so making sure you pack plenty of water is crucial.