Gilgit-Baltistan is one of the most magnificent regions of Pakistan in terms of its geography and natural beauty and covers an area of 72,971 Sq. kms (28,174 miles). The historic Silk-Route is one of the oldest routes that links this area to the other parts of the world. Gilgit-Baltistan is home to the world’s highest mountain ranges i.e. The Karakoram Range, The Hindukush Range and The Himalayan Range. Gilgit-Baltistan is also home to five out the fourteen 8000meters high peaks in the world and to more than 50 peaks above 7000meters, amongst them K2 8611meter (28,250feet) is highest in the region and second highest in the world.
Baltistan is known as the "Tibet-e-Khurd" or Little Tibet since its lifestyle reflects that of the roof of the World and Land of Lamas. It is situated in the Karakoram Mountains just to the South of K2, the world's second highest mountain. Baltistan borders Gilgit Agency in the West, the Xinjiang Autonomous Region (China) in the North, Ladakh in the East, and the Kashmir Valley in the South. Since 1947, the region is divided by the Line of Control with four of its five districts – Skardu, Ghanchee, Shigar and Kharmang, being controlled by Pakistan, and the Kargil district being part of Indian administered Kashmir. Skardu, capital of Baltistan is perched 2,438 meters above sea level in the backdrop of the great peaks of the Karakoram mountain range. The region, as a whole, is like heaven for mountaineers and hikers. Other than its lofty peaks, it also offers a unique cultural heritage, beautiful valleys, dazzling high-altitude natural lakes, glaciers and an array of rare fauna and flora. It has been called the Roof of the World, the Wonderland of Asia and the Jewel of Pakistan. More than 50 peaks reach above 7,000 meters. Skardu valley is accessible in all four seasons, however, the best time is from March to November.
GB is one of those palaces which is blessed with four seasons, 1) Spring (March – April) 2) Summer (May – August) 3) Autumn (September – November) 4) Winter (December – February) Warmest month (with highest average high temperature) is July (23°C). Month with lowest average high temperature is January (-30°C). Months with highest average low temperature are July and August (10°C). Coldest month (with lowest average low temperature) is January (-12°C).
GB is linked to the national capital, Islamabad by PIA which operates one flight daily and in summers twice a day. The flights here are subject to weather. The air journey is full of thrills and would itself be regarded as the highlight of the visit. After following the same air route which connects Gilgit to Islamabad/Rawalpindi, the plane turns right and flies over the gorge of the Indus river. Enormous rock faces rise on either side and at times it seems as if the wing tips of the plane would almost scrape against them. The alternate route is via Karakorum Highway (KKH), which will take approx. 20 hours from Islamabad to Skardu and to Gilgit it takes around 12 hours