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Hushe Valley - from Pebbles to Peaks - Motorcycle Tours Pakistan

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Riding from Khaplu to Hushe into the depths of the towering Karakoram mountains is a humbling and mesmerising experience. Intricate patterns, multitudes of textures, a creative mind's veritible feast of possibilties as the vast expanse of pebble after pebble after pebble spreads out in all directions. That is the beginning of our overnight journey to the small village of Hushe, Saling, where the Hushe river meets the Shyok river, opening out to vast rocky river flats framed by the beautiful backdrop of Haldi Cones. I love this place. It is by far one of my favourite locations on this extraordinary earth and is likewise much loved by riders on our Pakistan Motorcycle Tours. After crossing a bridge of a million judder bars (there's now a new modern smooth bridge next to the old one), the road passes directly through the pebbly flats and two lonely trees standing like sentinels surveying the land.

Indus Shyok and Pure Pakistan Motorcycle tours.
Haldi Cones at Saling

Heading out from Khaplu town it is just a short distance (around 15kms) to the next village of Machlu, but it is best to allow plenty of time to enjoy the river beds of Saling as you pass through. Shortly after passing Machlu there is a check point at which you may or may not be asked to stop. But stop anyway as behind here is a short walk of a couple of minutes to a clear view looking up the Hushe river Valley to Mashabrum Peak (7821 mtrs).

Hushe Valley is the gateway for mutliple peaks above 6000 mtrs including Laila Peak, K6 and K7. Hushe village is nestled deep into the central Karakoram region and is the exit route for trekkers doing the Gondogoro crossing after visitng K2 Basecamp. The valley is a trekkers paradise, and economically hugely dependent on tourism, producing many well respected and highly skilled mountain guides and porters. Multiple nearby sub valleys of Gondogor, Charkusa, Nagma, Nanbroq and Mashabrum all have trekking routes to the surrounding mountains but it is Hushe Vlley that serves as the road in or out so to speak. Hushe valley is one of Karakoram Bikers most loved motorcycle ride routes in Pakistan.

The naming of Hushe Valley has a story told by locals and shared with us by our well loved and very smiley support driver Waliyat, who hails from Khaplu (aka Mr.Khaplu). There was once a vast lake filled by glacial waters and contained by a jumble of massive boulders. The local people lived in the high mountain village and had little connection with the outside world. At one point the local elders decided to break away the rocks blocking the river passage and then headed back to their mountain village. Returning a few years later to discover that the lake had vanished and where the lake waters once were was now a beautiful green valley with a river flowing through it. In surprise at seeing the immense waters now gone they cried "Hush-Mat" (meaning not a single drop of water) and the name of Hushe was created.

Hushe Valley route passes through several small villages. There is a vibrancy about the friendly and hospitble communities, morning life is bustling with activity, children on their way to schools, women working side by side with the men in the fields and Apricots everywhere. The area seems to have the most Apricot trees of anywhere in Pakistan. Apparently Apricots are a good help in reducing altitude sickness, not sure if that's a fact but it can't hurt to carry a bag of dried apricots to nibble on as you travel!

Practical information

- Fuel is only available at Kahplu. Do not head out to Hushe without a full tank!

- There is very limited accommodation in Hushe, one hotel and 2 small guesthouses, the income from which goes directly back into the local community.

- There is no internet or phone signal in the vilage of Hushe.

- the road is bitumen for a lot of the way with a fun rough off road section for the 10 kms entering into Hushe itself. A few dirt sections line the overall route, fun but not overly challenging.


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