Guide to Kumrat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

A quick guide to visiting Kumrat Valley, one of the top places to visit in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Pakistan. Includes information on getting to Kumrat Valley in KPK using public or private transportation, and gives tips on where to stay once in Kumrat Valley.


Friends described Kumrat Valley as a “heaven on earth.” The remote valley is relatively popular with local tourists from KPK, but is mostly a secret from other Pakistani tourists. Few foreigners ever visit Kumrat.

I recently ventured to Kumrat from Kalam in Swat Valley, though for a far shorter time than planned (read on to learn why). In the name of helping out future travelers, here’s a guide on traveling to Kumrat Valley. The guide includes info on how to get to Kumrat Valley and where to stay in Kumrat Valley.

A bit about Kumrat Valley

Kumrat Valley is located in the Upper Dir district of KPK. The nearest town to the valley is Thall. Thall is around 45 km from Kumrat Valley and is used as the launching point for trips to Kumrat Valley. Thall is perhaps one of the most conservative places in Pakistan, so make sure to behave appropriately when you visit.

The Panjkora river, which originates in the Hindu Kush mountains, runs through Kumrat Valley, and the valley is incredibly lush and green.

Kumrat Valley is mostly known for its beautiful deodar forest. The large deodars give Kumrat a fairytale-like ambiance. Unfortunately, many of the large deodar trees in Kumrat Valley and the surrounding areas are quickly disappearing, as their wood is used for warmth and cooking by locals.

Below you can find more information on getting to Kumrat Valley.

How to get from Kalam to Kumrat Valley

The village at the entrance to Kumrat Valley is named Thall. It’s a small village with very basic amenities.

Mountains and farms in Thall in Upper Dir, Pakistan

Thall, Pakistan

To reach Thall from Kalam in Swat Valley, you must first go to Utrar, a village about one hour from Kalam. You can take a shared taxi from Kalam’s main bazaar to Utrar. They leave when full. I aimed to leave early, and our taxi left around 7:30 in the morning. The shared taxi costs 150 -200 Rs per person, depending on how many people they manage to squeeze in the car.

From Utrar bazaar, shared Jeeps to Thall leave when full (10 passengers), and cost 500 – 700 Rs per person. If there is limited demand, the driver will ask if you want to go anyway, but you’ll have to pay a higher price. The driver charged 1,000 Rs each with three people.

Men loading up shared taxis with supplies in Utrar, Pakistan

The Jeep stand in Utrar

The driver from Utrar to Thall is bumpy but gorgeous. You’ll cross a 3,000m+ mountain pass dividing Swat Valley from Upper Dir district before descending into forested mountains and hills. The drive takes roughly four hours, and if you make the drive during the travel season, there will be a few small shops and makeshift tea houses along the way.

A small vilalges in the mountains of Upper Dir district in Pakistan

One of several pretty villages en route to Thall

Where to stay in Thall

When you arrive in Thall, it’s best to stay there for the day to organize onward travel and supplies. However, it’s possible to make it into Kumrat Valley on the same day. There’s one official hotel, Hotel Green Hills, off of the main road running through Thall Bazaar.

A driver standing next to his Jeep enroute to Kumrat Valley in Pakistan

Jeep ride into Kumrat Valley

How to get from Thall to Kumrat

To get from Thall to Kumrat, you need to hire a Jeep with a driver. Prepare for a bumpy ride. Depending on how far into the valley you want to be brought, a Jeep should cost 2000 – 4000 Rs.

It will be more if you want the driver to pick you up a few days later. It will take an hour or two to drive through the narrow valley to the point where the mountains open wide again. You’ll pass an army checkpoint along the way. Make sure to bargain, and be clear as to where you want to be dropped off and picked up.

Deodar trees in Kumrat Valley in Pakistan

Hello, paradise.

Where to stay in Kumrat Valley

There are plentiful tent camps in Kumrat during season, and generally, offer similar facilities at similar rates. When I visited in late September (the offseason), the tent camps were still standing. Not all of them were manned, though. I was quoted 200 Rs per night for a tent. However, a bunch of local boys were charged 800 Rs for their tent. Bargain hard.

Small tent camp in Kumrat Valley in Pakistan

Simple tent camps in Kumrat Valley

Basic food amenities are available at the tent camps, and there are small convenience stores every once in a while. Options are limited (and costly, of course), so bring your own food and snacks if you can.

Getting from Thall to Dir and Chitral

If you want to head out towards Dir from Kumrat—ideal if Chitral and the Kalash Valleys are next on your itinerary—shared taxis leave for Dir from the main Thall bazaar, close to where the turnoff for Kumrat is. The ride should take 6 to 8 hours depending on the driver, and seats are around 300 Rs per person.

Foreigners and women in Kumrat Valley

And so I arrive at the problematic part of the journey to Kumrat Valley.

Kumrat Valley sees very few foreigners (if any), let alone foreign girls. I was told I could only stay the night if I slept in the army guest house ($25/2,500 Rs per night) or had a local companion.

The army and our driver said it was not safe for me to be in the valley. Apparently, local men can’t control themselves when they see a girl not completely covered in a black veil, and because it was off-season, it was “dangerous” for me to sleep in an otherwise unoccupied tent camp. Typical mentality about female travel in Pakistan, I’m afraid.

I wasn’t allowed to stay in Kumrat Valley in the end.

If you’re a boy, a group of boys, or are traveling to Kumrat during high season, you should be allowed to sleep in the valley. Otherwise, prepare to argue with the army about what you are and aren’t allowed to do. If you are a couple or a group of girls, bringing a guide can save you a lot of hassle.

Guides for Kumrat and other valleys

If you’re looking for a guide, I recommend Aslam. I enlisted his services when we trekked to Kandol and Spinkhor lakes in Swat Valley. He lives near Kalam, speaks good English, and has a lot of love for Kumrat Valley. His number is 03139473399, and he can show you around Kalam as well. He charges 1500 – 2000 Rs a day, more for overnight stays.

Although I couldn’t see much of Kumrat Valley, what I did see was gorgeous. If you’re hoping to go off the beaten track, this is a great place to do it. If you’ve been to Kumrat Valley, do share your experience in the comments. The more information, the merrier!


Don’t miss our post on safe travel in Pakistan for more info on the current security situation!

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Alex Reynolds

American by birth, British by passport, Filipina by appearance. Addicted to ice cream. Enjoys climbing trees, dislikes falling out. Has great fondness for goats which is usually not reciprocated.

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28 thoughts on “Guide to Kumrat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

    Kausar Bangash says:

    I am Pashtoon Bangash from Kohat. Kumrat valley is one of the beautiful valley of Pakistan. I have visited many valleys of Pakistan but have not seen other valley much beautiful than Kumrat. Its open for visitors only from July to September. March April journey is not possible for the outsiders. Local people use horses for travels in snowy seasons.

    Gui says:

    There is also a beautiful 10 days trekking from kalam to Chitral by Kumrat.I definitely Recomand it
    You Pakistanese guide is very good too!

    Shahbaz says:


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    Umer Riaz says:

    Our group of 7 boys are going to kumrat valley on Friday 31_08_2018. I hope it will be a good and positive memorable trip for us. Thank you alex for this important information.

    Mubasher Pasha says:

    My wife and I do one or two camping trips every year, and last year we pitched our tent in Kumrat. We used the camping grounds of a hotel which was a fair bit off the main trek and on Panjkora river. So we had complete privacy as there was no one else camping there, yet we were close to the makeshift hotel as well. With my wife and two kids, camping by ourselves, we felt quite safe. And the fact is, these places actually are very safe. However since these places don’t get many foreign tourists, the levies at the check posts do get fidgety and overly cautious when they see a foreigner. I guess their best of intentions for your safety does become bit of hassle for the tourists because the only way they know how to deal with an unforeseen incident is by taking the foreigner out of the equation :-p Let’s hope with more tourists visiting the mountains of Pakistan, they will start getting a bit less jittery about it.

    farhan says:

    Hi Alex,
    Nice reading the post. So how long did the whole trip (from Kalam to Kumrat) took? Will it take the same time when we have our own ride?

    Shams uz Zaman says:

    Hi! Sebastiaan!
    I am planning to visit Kumrat Valley and your trip guide was a great help. Though I felt sorry for Alex missing the end part of valley. However, the reason given by some stupid guy of “loosing control on sight of a lady” is absolutely absurd and concocted. At time people with little authority would try to project themselves in an extraordinary manner. I am sure he must have some other reasons to stop Alex, not the one stated because that area is quite safe.

    Hassan Bilal says:

    Those who are going for kumrat just check out Jahaz Banda as well its lake on the top called Katora lake …worth a shot

    Abbas says:

    Kumrat Valley is the most scenic true gem of nature, words cannot truly describe the breathtaking beauty of this area, its gushing streams and splendid mountains. So the valley is now re surging as another one of Pakistan’s tourist spots. Kumrat is a valley in the Upper Dir District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pakistan almost 400km, 9 hours drive from the capital territory of Pakistan. Just opposite to the Gabral a Swat Kohistan area.

    Kumrat Valley says:

    What a lovely and beautiful place , i visited in August 2019 for Kumrat Festival

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