There are many beautiful hiking trails in Islamabad, most of which begin at the foothills of the Margalla hills. Seven of these natural hiking trails of Islamabad are popular tourist destinations.
Trail 1 begins in the Margalla hills, located behind Sectors E-8 and E-9 in Islamabad. It takes about two hours to reach Pir Sohawa Highway. This track requires a lot of workouts if tourists commit to approaching the top. After a 20-minute drive on the main road, tourists will arrive in Pir Sohawa which is a beautiful area with breathtaking views of the city from the top.
A short hike of Trail 2 begins just outside Pir Sohawa Street, behind the Islamabad Zoo, that ends at Daman-e-Koh. It takes about an hour of hiking to reach the viewpoint, where there is a playground, street food and tea stalls. With two separate routes ahead, Trail 2 is the shortest route to Daman-e-Koh.
- The first is a small dirt track next to Marghazar Zoo.
- The second is a marked track at the start of Pir Sohawa Road. It’s only a short walk from the Trail 4 parking lot.
This hiking trail is well known for its upkeep. There are three rest areas along the way with benches for a short rest. Trail 3 is one of the most adventurous and difficult hiking trails in the Margalla hills. A large number of tourists walk along this trek every day. It is also one of the longest hiking trails in Islamabad. A parking area is available at the beginning of trail 3. The route is steep and it takes more than half an hour of moderate hiking to reach a viewpoint of the stunning beauty of Islamabad.
It takes about an hour on foot to reach the finish line near Pir Sohawa Road from the middle of the trek. Hiking Trail 3 is the most popular tourist destination due to its easy accessibility, proper marking, rest areas and good maintenance.
The trail is narrower than Trail 3 and takes a completely different path at first, then intersects Trail 3 twice or three times after about 2.4 kilometres. It is the best trek to try if tourists want to enjoy the jungle, scenic beauty, and nature’s music. But it is less popular with hikers.
It connects hiking trails 3 and 5. Trail 4 is the best option for tourists who want to cover a long distance while enjoying panoramic views. This trail, which is located in the hills and features beautiful scenery, is ideal for tourists who extend their hiking time for an active day. The trek begins about a mile from Marghzar Zoo, on the left at La Montana restaurant. The trail runs along Pir Sohawa Road after a 300-metre turnabout from the parking area. The trail then takes a right onto the Dhok Jeevan Loop Trail.
Darra Janglan is the starting point for Trail 5. It’s a half-mile walk from Trail 3. This is the most popular and peaceful hiking trail, beginning at the northern end of Margalla Road in F-5. It is easy for tourists to trek to Trail 3. Hiking Trails 3 and 5 runs parallel for a short distance and are sometimes connected by Route 4. It has a parking lot, a large plant nursery, an educational centre, a picnic area and a camping site. There is a tourist information centre where visitors can be guided along the route.
Trail 6 can be reached from Sector E-7 in Darra Kavani which is a village to the north of Faisal Masjid. The first half mile of the journey is relatively easy when the tourists walk through dense jungle. After that, the trail becomes difficult and rough. This is one of the best hiking trails in the area, surrounded by greenery and natural beauty. The entire route will take 3-4 hours to complete. There used to be a stream on Trail 6, but it has been dry for several years. The mountain bike track is also available on the trail. The Chak Jabbi Trail, which is approximately 4 kilometres long, leads up to the Village Jabbi.
The hike takes tourists through a dense forest of dates and palm trees. A path leads to Budho Ban Hill in the north. The Trail is clearly marked and well-kept. The Ridge begins at Boulder Pass (Kot Ban) and ends at Pir Sohawa. The road is approximately 8 kilometres long. The journey from Kot Ban to Pir Sohawa Road takes four to five hours.
Darra Kalinjar Trail
This trail begins between Sectors E-8 and E-9. It is the shortest route from Kalinjar village, which is located near the Margalla Hills. Tourists must present their identification to security personnel. Foreigners are not allowed.
The hike begins at a small mazar in Kalinjar village. Hikers can also walk through the fence of the Navy Golf Course from Trail 6 near the Visitors Information Center at Faisal Masjid to the villages of Gandhian and Kalinjar.
The trail ascends and leads to the Panryas centre. It ascends on the right to Loran di Gali, where it connects with the Gandhian station. The trail then leads Sandhuri to the Ridge.
Tourists can take the trail down to Sanyari Valley, where it ends near the famous Banyan Trees. A road leads from here to the Margalla Highway exit, which leads to F-9 Park.
The Trail 7 in Islamabad was inaugurated on August 23, 2022. Hiking Trail 7 runs for 5 kilometres from Sector C-12 (Shah ALLAH Ditta, Islamabad) to Kainthia Village (Alexander Well).