2023 dates are now live for K2 Base Camp Trek. Check them out now.

10 Reasons Why the K2 Base Camp Trek Should Be On Your Bucket List

trekking in pakistan

Nestled deep inside the Karakoram mountain range of Northern Pakistan lies a rare patch of earth where some of the world’s highest peaks jut of vast glacier systems, rock, and ice. This region is steeped in mystery, climbing lore, and the stuff of adventure legend.

Central Karakoram National Park is home to FOUR 8000 meter peaks – one of them being the world’s second-highest mountain, K2.

Making the trek to the base of the world’s second-highest mountain is an experience like no other for many reasons; below we break down why the K2 Base Camp Trek should be the top multi-day trekking expedition on your list…

#1. K2 Base Camp Trek vs Everest Base Camp

k2 base camp trek cost
Our team was one of only two expeditions at Concordia in July 2021.

Before Covid hit, Everest Base Camp saw no fewer than 100,000 trekkers pour in every year. When you start talking about those sorts of numbers, you are also talking about the associated trash, human waste, and environmental impacts that go along with it. You are also just talking about a lot of people being around all the time.

K2 Base Camp on average sees less than 1000 trekkers a year INCLUDING mountaineering expeditions.

The K2 Base Camp Trek provides the incredible grandeur of the Everest region, without the associated circus, and crowds that go with it.

#2. The K2 Base Camp Trek is an Expedition Style Trek

k2 base camp trek cost
All of the group gear is portered in, some of it on mule back.

Unlike other big mountain treks in Nepal and elsewhere, the K2 Base Camp Trek is a true expedition-style trek. There are no tea houses, proper shops, permanent settlements, restaurants, or gear shops to be found once you leave the jeep required to access the national park and begin the start of the trek.

Trekkers sleep in comfortable tents, not in hotel beds. Meals are prepared by camp chefs, not in a restaurant kitchen.

The point is, if you are looking for a truly wild experience among the world’s biggest peaks, the K2 Base Camp Trek delivers that in spades.

#3. The Campsite at Concorida

k2 base camp trek
Our 2021 camp at Concordia with K2 and Broad Peak looming at the far end of the valley.

The last established campsite before Broad Peak and K2 Base Camps is the famous glacial campsite known as Concordia. Concordia camp sits at the confluence of the Baltoro and Godwin-Austen Glacier – and delivers some of the most insane mountain views you’ll find anywhere.

I can’t think of another campsite where multiple 8000 and 7000-meter peaks (including K2) are so in your face visible. On a dark clear night, the stars overhead are enough to make your head spin,

#4. There are Multiple Routes That Offer Even More Adventure

Gondogoro La K2 Base Camp
Descending the Gondogoro La pass at dawn.

Most trekking groups opt for the standard out and back trek along the Baltoro Glacier. HOWEVER – a much more exciting option is to cross Gondogoro La pass (5585 meters). The views from the pass make it all worth it, as is the view on the Hushe Valley side, which trekking parties descend into on fixed ropes from Gondogoro La.

There is no technical climbing experience required to take this route, but typically are clipped in with a harness, etc.

#5. Balti Culture

k2 base camp trek
Balti dance party at K2 Base Camp.

Expedition teams employ local Balti guides, porters, cooks, mulemen to help run the expedition. Without these guys, the trip is not possible for a large group. Balti people are among the most genuine, kind, and hard-working people you will find anywhere – plus they like to break out drums, traditional songs, and dance at a moment’s notice when they have downtime at the camps – I mean who does not want to have a dance party at 5000 meters right?

#6. The Camraderie is Real

k2 base camp trek cost
Our 2021 K2 Base Camp Trek team at Concordia.

Due to the fact that trekkers must join an organized group to enter the restricted area that is Central Karakoram National Park – if you plan on doing the K2 Base Camp Trek, then you will be doing so with a fellow group of adventurous souls like yourself.

Over the 12-14 days it takes to complete the trek strong friendships, bonds, and even romantic relationships are formed as each team member endures the highs, lows, and splendor of all that the trek entails. The laughs, the tears, the jokes, the pain; it’s all part of the collective shared experience that brings humans together.

#7. You Get to Trek on a Glacier for 120+ Kilometers

k2 base camp trek
The mighty Baltoro Glacier from above, around the Goro 2 camp site.

After day 2 of the trek, you are either trekking on or very near the famous Baltoro Glacier all the way to Concordia. Otherworldy ice formations the size of a 3 three-story building, glacier rivers, rocks, rocks, and more rocks, crevasses, and other glacial features dominate the landscape. Don’t worry, this section of the glacier is totally safe and no crampons are required.

The best part, when you go to re-fill your water bottle the glacial streams are ice cold.

#8. There is ZERO Light Pollution

k2 base camp map
Stars. Stars. Stars.

Have you ever seen the night sky when you are hundreds of miles away from any city lights? It’s incredible. The deeper you go into Central Karakoram National Park, the more the skies explode with stars once the sun goes down.

Even if you are not a photographer trying to shoot the milky way, the sheer volume and brightness of the starry landscape is enough to leave you slack-jawed.

#9. The K2 Base Camp Trek Cost is Lower Than You Think

k2 base camp trek
Views Like this = priceless.

Compared to many other guided multi-day treks, the K2 Base Camp Trek is far more affordable.

A 21 day guided trip where all the permits, food, porters, equipment, internal flights, and everything else is included is not something you will find in other countries for under $4000.

The big mountain expedition experiences value versus the cost

#10. Pakistan is One of The Last True Adventure Destinations

k2 base cmap trek
Some curious, wild, and hilarious Balti children.

Pakistan is many things, but one thing it is not is developed for mass international tourism. So much about this country and the K2 Base Camp trekking region, in particular, remains relatively untouched by western influences, tourism, and culture. Many of the local people in the mountains live as they have lived for centuries (ok there is the internet and smartphones now).

Maybe in 20 years, Pakistan will have more in the way of tourism infrastructure, but for now, Pakistan remains the “wild west”, in the sense that it delivers that feeling of “I wish I could have seen Nepal 50 years ago”.

If you are looking for a real adventure destination, Pakistan is king, and the K2 Base Camp is the jewel in the adventure crown.

Join Epic Backpacker Tours for the K2 Base Camp Trek

Interested in joining us for the K2 Base Camp Trek in Pakistan this year?

You can put down a deposit to secure your place on our trip page if you are keen to get signed up.

Contact us for any trip-related questions. Hope to see you at the foot of K2 sometime soon!

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Welcome to our Journal!

Here at Epic Backpacker Tours, adventure is constantly on our minds. 

Our blog – or Journal as we like to call it – contains epic trip stories, photo diaries, and news about new tours. 

Thanks for checking it out! 

What's new in the journal?

The trip we're most stoked about

PAKISTAN
K2 BASE CAMP TREK

Next trip: July 4th – 24th, 2023

Fairy Meadows

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Our Favorite Experiences

#1 Sunrise from Reflection Lake

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#2 Hiking to Nanga Parbat Base Camp

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#3 Playing cricket with the locals

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Trips Where We Visit Fairy Meadows

Our flagship Pakistani adventure tour.  Road trip with some  hiking and cultural immersion.

A trekking-style tour that features some very remote locations, inlcuding a K2 viewpoint.

Adventure Guide

João has born in the mountains of Madeira Islands in Portugal. Nature lover, writer, musician, guide, for him, a day without contact with outdoor vibes is a nightmare.

With a degree in Cultural Studies in Portugal and a Master of Arts in Global Cultures and Creativity in the U.K.

João found out what really matters in life can be found on the trails, and in the contact with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Guiding, crazy trekking missions, sharing observations about the natural world, – these are some of João’s passions.

After his trek to K2 Base Camp and other adventures in the north of Pakistan, the love of the country and the local people resulted in his desire to share these feelings with world.

When not in Pakistan, João is  guiding and exploring in the Madeira Islands trails –  discovering some of the hidden treasures on his Portuguese Island.

João I can not thank you enough for the off the beaten paths and views you keep giving. Definitely one of the most challenging and amazing hikes we did 1200m meters all the way up to Fanal forest and circling back to the hidden village. Wow!

– Jeffery 

travel hunza valley

Adventure Guide

Sohail is the newest addition to the Epic Backpacker Tours team and we are beyond stoked to have him on board. As a veteran of the Karakoram and a native of Karimabad in Hunza, there is not much Sohail can’t do in the mountains. 

Besides having the ability to speak more languages than we can count, Sohail has explored every corner of Gilgit Baltistan and logs more trekking miles 

in a year than most people will do in a lifetime. As of the summer of 2022, Sohail has summited Gasherbrum 1, Gasherbrum 2, and K2 – three of Pakistan’s five 8000-meter peaks. Sohail guides several trips including our annual bespoke expeditions but specializes in Hunza Valley tours.

Chris and Sohail, and the team at Epic are FANTASTIC! Highly recommend anyone to do a tour with ‘Epic’. They have the perfect balance of fun, excitement and wild adventures, tied in with being super professional and ensuring your safety/health in a foreign environment. Don’t waste a moment and book a tour with these guys as the value for money is UNREAL!

– Borgan

iran travel tour

Adventure Guide

Pedro’s been traveling all around the globe since 2009. His keen interests in documentary photography, rural life, and local people from different ethnic groups have been the focus of many of his professional projects.

Since 2012, he has developed his passion for travel and awesome shared experiences into a full-time adventure photography tour leader position.

Pedro has found himself continuously going back to the Middle East, with his likely favorite destination being Iran. Pedro will be leading his 11th tour in Iran with EBT this coming spring 2020

When Pedro’s not traveling the world with Epic Backpacker Tours, you’ll find him based in the western south of Portugal planning he’s next adventure missions, logistics and working out his photos in local exhibitions.

 I loved the combination of hiking, camping around breathtaking scenery mixed with the cultural aspects. The guide (Pedro) is knowledgeable and work very hard to make the trip as memorable as possible. All in all an epic adventure with some extremely epic individuals! Go for it, you won’t regret it!

– Saisun

Touring Iran with EBT in May 2022 was way above our expectation: itineraries well planned and carefully executed, perfect mix of sights and trekking, delicious food, nice accommodation, great guides and wonderful fellow travellers. Trekking can be handled by anyone physically fit. Highly recommended for those who want to experience the real Iran.

– Sumera

Diane Bouvet

Adventure Admin / Marketing

After fleeing from the corporate fashion world in Paris towards the start of 2020, Diane has been working as a web developer and graphic designer remotely from various bases across the globe

She brings all of her incredible design and organizational power to Epic Backpacker Tours and is responsible for many of the beautiful behind-the-scenes design elements. 

Diane has been to Iran and to Pakistan twice including all over Gilgit Baltistan and KPK.

k2 base camp trek guide

Head of Operations | Guide

A veteran of Pakistan travel, Ralph is an experienced guide, photographer and writer who specializes in documenting remote locations. 

Not one to simply go where everyone else does, he insists on exploring new and lesser-known areas.

Together with Epic Backpacker Tours, he shows people parts of Pakistan that most other operators don’t even know about. He is particularly fond of the village of Barah, which he believes will become just as famous as Hunza one day.

Just got back from EBT’s Trekking Amongst Giants 15 day tour. The experience was first class. Ralph, our head guide, ensured that the entire trip ran smoothly and relatively on time (a bonus for anyone travelling in Pakistan). We had so many unforgettable days on the tour and the trekking was well-planned, safe but also a rewarding challenge. 

– Calvin


Traveling to a non-tourist destination can be a little intimidating but EBT takes all of the worry and trepidation away. From the pre-trip call to meeting the wonderful staff in person you can tell that you are dealing with a company that has a passion for what they do each and every day. Ralph, Zahid, and Khan were supportive, kind, and always willing to go the extra mile to make sure that everyone on the trip was getting what they wanted out of the experience.

– Katrina 

adventure tours pakistan

Founder | Adventure Guide | Director

For the last eleven years, Chris has been seeking out every shade of adventure in various parts of the globe and had visited more than 65 countries along the way. 

Since 2011, Chris has logged more than 6300 trail miles across five continents and climbed multiple 6000 + 7000 meter peaks in Pakistan and Nepal.

In 2017, a distant dream and a deep passion for the mountains and people of Pakistan led Chris to found Epic Backpacker Tours at a time when foreign adventure tourism in Pakistan was almost nonexistent. Since then, Chris has guided more than 15 expeditions to various parts of Northern Pakistan.

Chris believes in using photography and powerful adventure experiences to dismantle negative stereotypes regarding what mainstream media considers “dangerous” countries while facilitating unique and meaningful memories in the mountains for countless people from around the globe. 

Long-distance hiking, learning languages, meaningful conversations, all things Turkish food, mountaineering, and making tasty coffee above 6,000 meters rank among his favorite things in life. 

For him, an ideal start to the day begins with a steaming cup of good coffee, the beam of a headlamp, alpine boots, and a camera in hand.

When he is not leading or planning tours, Chris works as a writer and photographer on his blog Off the Atlas – an adventure travel blog all about Pakistan. 

 

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Will De Villers

Chris believes in Pakistan and its people, and he believes in the value of journeys shared with others and family cultivated on the road. Honesty and integrity are at the heart of what he does, and this really shines through in his work as a guide. He also makes great coffee – whether at 5am in an empty guesthouse or half way up a Himalayan peak.”

– Alicia Anne Bjerkseth