Siri Paye Meadows is one of the most beautiful and picturesque places in Northern Pakistan where nature can be found blushing everywhere. In spring season, the flowers bloom and these colorful creatures look awe-inspiring with the white backdrop of the Makra Peak. This place is simply the best for a weekend adventure or even a full-fledge tour away from your stressful routine. This small hamlet provides the excursion which simply makes your day full of joy and excitement. Visiting the place in the summer months allows one to experience the fresh and cool weather amidst the friendly local people. The splendor and the charm of this place will remain embedded in your memory for long. You will simply find yourself in another world as soon as you will get into this enchanting and vibrant hideout that features bountiful thrills and fabulous treks to the visitors. There is a lot to explore about this beautiful haven of Pakistan and words won’t be enough to express the real beauty of this marvel of nature.
Geography of Siri Paye
Siri Paye meadows are located 6 km away from Shogran, 10 km away from Kiwai and almost 34 km away from Balakot. Getting there is easy through a 212 km metalled road from the capital city of Islamabad. Once you are in Shogran, a jeep ride, hike or horse ride can take you to the beautiful meadow located at an elevation of 3000 meters or 10,000 feet. The meadow also has a famous lake called the Payee Lake which is located in the center of a valley created by the peaks of Makra, the mighty and majestic Malika Parbat and the Moosa ka Musalla Peak. The lake itself is located at an elevation 9500 feet equating to roughly 2895 meters, but the mountain peaks surrounding the lakes are much, much higher.
Best Time To Visit Siri Paye Meadows
The Siri Paye meadows and the surrounding mountains will come under snow cover during the winter months. Therefore, the summer months are the best time to visit the place. However, there are two times to visit them in summer depending on the choice of the trip.
Siri Paye Meadows Early Summer
This is the time when there will be snow left over from the winter season; there will be snow not only on the lake but also on the mountains and the passes. This is the time recommended for trips who want to see snow and snow covered lakes and meadows. There will be some greenery but it will not be that lush.
Siri Paye Meadows Mid-Summer
This is the time when most of the snow will have melted except on the tops. The greenery will be lush and this is the time when most of the normal trips are conducted.
So depending on what the members want to see, the trip can be arranged accordingly. However, during the end of the summer, much of the vegetation will grow rough and there will be harsh sun. So it is not recommended to travel to these lakes during the last part of summer.
Siri Paye Trekking Guidance
The trails that are done by the trekkers are done via jeep or on foot. If the trail is going to be done on foot it is better to camp at the meadows for one day. Here is a simple trekking guide to the meadows and the Paye lakes for a round trip on foot.
The trip arrives at Shogran Valley and then stays at the accommodation in the valley for the night.
The trip leaves for the Siri Paye meadows on foot and it takes almost 3-4 hours to reach there for novice hikers. The trip then stays for the night there.
The trip reaches the Paye lake in the early morning and then stays at the Paye lake during the night.
The trip can either return to the base or they can do the Moosa Ka musalla or the Makra peak treks during the fourth day and then return to base the next day.
If using the jeep track, a trip can reach the Siri Paye meadows and the small lake on the same day, and can then camp at the lake for the night and return the second day. Alternately, they can start very early in the morning, enjoy the beautiful views during the day and return at night.
Equipment and Kits for Siri Paye Meadows Trek
If the trip is going to be a simple trekking trip with stays at only housed accommodation, then the trip needs to only take with them personal items like warm clothing, hiking boots, sun creams, hats and others simple stuff. However, if the trip is going to be a camping trip then the group will have to bring full camping equipment with them as there will be no accommodation at either the meadows or the Paye Lake. This equipment will include tents, fly sheets, pegs, precooked food, walking sticks, weatherproof rucksacks, carrying bags and other hiking equipment.
Precautions And Survival Tips
There are some simple tips which should be kept in mind when undertaking this trip.
- When traveling on jeeps, make sure that the driver is someone who has experience of driving in the mountains. If no such driver is available then hire a jeep from the locals.
- Always make sure that the trip is undertaken by people who are in good physical shape and not injured.
- Make sure that all equipment has been kept in good condition so that there are no break downs.
- Make sure that when staying at the lakes, the members of the group do not engage in any activity that destroys the natural habitat of animals.
Siri Paye Nature Reserves
The flora and fauna of the Siri Paye meadows is very diverse and there are various phases throughout the year when many migrating animals and birds also appear there.
The main mammals that are found in the location of the meadows are the marmots, other small rodents and various verities of wild sheep, although, many of the wild sheep have since been domesticated. There have been various sightings of leopards but these have not been recurring and it is thought that human expansion has driven away the leopards from the area.
The birds in the area are the various birds of prey such as hawks, ospreys, eagles and vultures. The small birds such as snow pigeons and blue jays wood cocks are also seen. There are also various verities of migrating birds that come to nest during the summer months.
The flora of the area is made up from the many hardwood trees such as the deciduous and conifer species that make up the vast forests of the area. Also there are the herbs and bushes which have been used as remedies by the local population during the past centuries. The local wild flowers and shrubs of berries are also present in this area, but all trekkers must take care not to consume any of these plants without making sure what they actually are as some plants may be slightly poisonous to eat. So, proper care should be taken while on the trip as it will help in avoiding any problems.