Much of Khunjerab National Park in Gilgit-Baltistan tops 4,500m (15,000 ft) and is known for its elusive and endangered snow leopards.
As in much of Pakistan, the military is complicit in profiting from the trade in endangered species.
The Khunjerab National Park encompasses about 2270 km2 of the Pakistani side of the border, including the Khunjerab pass. The National Park itself has little in the way of infrastructure, and the vast majority of visitors head straight for the pass. The stark rocky canyons of this stretch of the KKH are impressive, and the ruins of some of the camps used by the workers who built the KKH can be seen along the route.
The Khunjerab Pass allows the international border between Pakistan and China to be crossed. At 15,397 feet above sea level, the Khunjerab Pass is the highest paved international border crossing in the world and the highest point of the dramatic Karakoram Highway, which some call an "Eighth Wonder of the World".
The pass has been used for centuries as one branch of the Silk Road. The park was established in the 1970s.
Flora and fauna
Via the Karakoram Highway is the only way in to the park: there is an entry gate around 35 km from Sost.
Fees and permits
$10 per person (foreigner) for 1 day. 100 Rs per person (Pakistani).