Siri Paye: The death road to heaven

by Tauqeer Abbas

Siri Paye is a high mountain lake at an elevation of 3.058m (10,032ft) above the sea level, located in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The average gradient is 11.2%, with some sections up to 15%.

The road to the summit is difficult. It’s a 4×4 gravel road, very narrow and steep. The route demands 100% concentration. This road has humbled many egos. It’s not for the sissies and shouldn’t be attempted by novice drivers. Siri Paye boasts scenic green mountains and snowcapped peaks, with a peaceful environment and natural beauty that is soul-soothing.


Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice. Moonsoon winds bring heavy rains with occasional hail storm.

Unexpected thunder storm and heavy rains keep environment cool and sometimes create difficulties for visitors to move around. It is subject to winter snowfalls with such a high summit altitude, and the road can be closed anytime when the access is not cleared of snow. Warm clothes are recommended for nights due to low temperature. Heavy snow keeps valley covered throughout the winter season.

Nestled in the Kaghan Valley, the road is not easy. Drive with care as this is a mountain road with hairpin curves and dangerous dropoffs. Some turns are enough to raise your hair.

The trail is pretty steep. Starting from Kiwai, at 1.502m above the sea level, the ascent is 13.8 km long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1.556 meters. The average gradient is 11.2%, with some sections up to 15%.



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