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Explore Beautiful Margalla Hills Through These Hiking Trails In Islamabad

October 19, 2023

There are few capital cities in the world that are as close to nature and as beautiful as Islamabad. The federal capital of Pakistan is flanked on two sides by verdant hills, allowing residents to enjoy both urban life and environment in close proximity. The city authorities have made it exceedingly easy for citizens of the twin cities to securely visit the forest of Margalla Hills on their own utilizing hiking routes. This blog details all of the hiking paths available in Islamabad on any given day.

Hiking Trails in Islamabad

Margalla Hills are the continuation of the Himalayan Mountain Range and have fertile land. The mountains are covered with herbaceous plants and trees and provide shelter to various animals and birds. Every year, a lot of tourists and locals head to trails on Margalla Hills to take hikes as a healthy activity and to explore nature.

With the summer easing out and the weather becoming pleasant, the hiking season is upon us. Islamabad is gorgeous at this time of the year, and it is the perfect time to bring out your hiking boots and check out some of the most beautiful trails in the country. The best part is, if you live in Islamabad or Rawalpindi, you don’t even have to use up your vacation days for these hikes but if you are from adjacent cities, hiking any of these trails will be worth your time.


This is one of the most popular routes since it gives options for hikers of all skill levels. Trail 3 has a branch for everyone, whether you’re a first-time hiker or a seasoned trekker. Trail 3 begins on the right side of Margalla Road, opposite Sector-F, and is easily accessible using Google Maps. Trail 3 has a total elevation gain of 6.1 kilometers and takes less than 2 hours to complete depending on the number of pauses made along the way.

The trail leads to Pir Sohawa, which has magnificent views, and terminates at the famous Monal Restaurant, which is why people frequently use this trail at the end of their ascent for breakfast.

Nooran Di Galli & Talhaar Ridge Trail

This is a combination of two independent paths in the Margalla Hills and is not for the faint of heart. The Talhaar Ridge Trail will provide you with breathtaking views over Islamabad and Talhaar Valley. This route can be reached through Faisal Mosque route 4 and Monal Road. If you need a parking spot, start at Faisal Mosque.

On the way back, take Nooran di Galli, which descends to Islamabad via Kalinjer, a settlement in the Margalla Hills.


For a medium to difficult hike, check out the two variants of Trail 4, the main trail itself and Trail 4A. This trail passes by the Airblue crash site and memorial as well. Trail 4 also serves as a connection between Trail 3 and Trail 5 and offers stunning views of the Twin Cities as well as Monal Restaurant.

The trail is located in E-7 and is conveniently reachable via 9th Avenue, Margalla Road and Faisal Avenue.

Makhniyal Second Ridge Trail

Makhniyal Second Ridge Trail, one of Islamabad’s top paths, provides a unique view of the city’s two major lakes. This walk offers views of both Rawal Lake and Khanpur Lake and is surrounded by lush flora.

Makhniyal Second Ridge Trail is located behind Trail No. 1-6 Margalla Trails and can take up to five hours to complete. The trail has two separate starting places, Masta Gaon and Makhnial Village, each with its unique difficulty level, so you should consider your trekking ability as well as the weather conditions before you begin.

Ratta Hotar Murad Gali

Ratta Hotar Murad Gali, a lovely village in a valley encircled by the Margalla Hills, is one of Islamabad’s most underappreciated climbs. You can continue all the way up to the summit of the Margallas, where Trail 5 stops. You can combine the two trails to make a more difficult hike. This hike will take you about 4 hours in total, and you can park your car at the Trail 5 parking lot.

Pir Sohawa to Ghora Gali

One of the tougher trails of Islamabad, this is the perfect place to train for hiking in the North. It goes from Pir Sohawa Road all the way up to Ghora Gali and is one of the longest trails in Islamabad around 28 kilometres and can take up to 7-9 hours. The trail connects Margalla Hills of Islamabad with Murree Hills.

There is no return trail, so make arrangements to go back accordingly. The trail runs along the top of a ridge, so there will be astounding views on all sides. This is a challenging hike, so be prepared.


In August 2022, CDA Chairman Muhammad Usman inaugurated Trail 7 on Margalla Hills which starts from Sector C-12 and ends at Kanthala. The trail has been opened to the public to promote a healthy and energetic lifestyle among the residents of Islamabad.

The trail is five kilometres long and signboards along with resting points and waste bins will also be installed.

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