Fairy Meadows was my first ever backpacking/trekking trip to the North of Pakistan. Like me, many of the trekkers start their outdoor adventure life with it. Fairy Meadows is a beautiful plateau situated at the foot of Nanga Parbat(8126m) which is the ninth highest peak in the world and second in Pakistan after K-2. No where else in the world you can reach to the base camp of such a massive mountain by such a little effort.
One can take a NATCO bus heading towards Giligit to get dropped at the Raikot bridge on the KKH which takes around 12-14 hours. From Raikot bridge, jeeps operated by local villagers are available that can take you upto the Jail/Tatto village on a fixed rate. You can also tell the jeep driver the time you plan to be back so that he can come to pick you up from there.
From Tattoo, Fairy Meadows can be reached through a hike of around three hours. There was once a time when Fairy Meadows was not that popular specially among the local tourists and so not much facilities were available. Today however, there are multiple established campsites are available where you can get accommodation in camps/log cabins and get good food. Fairy Meadows Cottage run by Qari Rehmat and Raikot Sarai run by Rehmat Nabi are the most prominent among them. If you are not that experienced trekker, it is also recommended to get guides from here to take you to Nanga Parbat base camp and other trekking opportunities in the surroundings. One option to get a feel of the area is to do the trek up to Susar Bush a local 4000m+ peak.
Bayal, a summer shepherd settlement is a further couple of hours walk from Fairy Meadows where there is another established campsite. The path is a gentle walk that passes initially through the dense pine forest and then on a clearly defined trail along the stream. From Bayal, Nanga Parbat base camp (4200m) can be reached after a hike of 2-3 hours that also involves crossing the Raikot glacier. A monument has been erected at the base camp in memory of those who lost their lives attempting this mountain also known as Killer Mountain.
Another exciting option from Bayal is to do the trek to Juliper Peak (5500m) via Juliper Pass (4625m). You have to be in good stamina and with proper gear to attempt Juliper peak.