Fairy Meadows National Park, in Pakistan, is a famous grassland near one of the base camp sites of the Nanga Parbat, the ninth-highest mountain on Earth standing at 26,660 feet (8,126 m) above sea level. Established in 1995 as a national park and located in Gilgit-Baltistan, Fairy Meadows is approachable by a 7.5 mile-long (12 km) jeepable trek starting from Raikhot bridge on the Karakoram Highway to the village Tato; further from Tato, it takes about 4 hours hiking by a 3-mile (5 km) trail; the grassland sits in the Raikhot valley, where locals have operated camping sites since the 1990’s. Because of its remoteness, the skies at Fairy Meadows remain pristine—approaching class 1 on the Bortle Dark-Sky Scale—and a stargazer told EarthSky the following: “It is 3,300 meters high, near Nanga Parbat. Easy for photographing the Milky Way at night.”
Chelynne Campion is a Production/ Sales Assistant for EarthSky. Her family just purchased a telescope, and she's now learning to be a stargazer!