Karakul Lake is located approximately 200km from Kashgar, Xinjiang province, China, in Kizilsu Kirgiz Autonomous Prefecture at the Karakoram Highway to Tashkurgan and Sost, Pakistan. At an altitude of 3600m, it is the highest lake of the Pamir plateau. Surrounded by mountains which remain snow-covered throughout the year, the three highest peaks visible from the lake are the Muztagata (7546m), Kongur Tagh (7649m) and Kongur Tiube (7530m). The lake is popular among travellers for its unreal scenery and the clarity of its reflection in the water, whose color ranges from a dark green to azure and light blue. There are two Kirgiz settlements at Karakul lake, a small number of yurts about 1km East from the bus drop-off point, and a village with stone houses located at the Western shores.
Best Time to Visit
May to late September are the best and often the only months as winters are cold and the road can be affected by snow. Even in the summer it is cool up here (the photo above was taken in mid-August - note the snow line!)
Best Reason to Visit
The lake is a stunning spot on its own but the journey getting there along the Karakorum Highway is as much the reason as the destination itself. A truely spectacular drive.