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The Cold Desert, also known as the Katpana Desert or Biama Nakpo, is a high-altitude desert located near Skardu, in Pakistan's northern Gilgit-Baltistan region. The desert contains expanses of large sand dunes that are sometimes covered in snow during winter. Situated at an elevation of 2,226 metres (7,303 feet) above sea level, the Katpana Desert is one of the highest deserts in the world.[1]

Cold Desert, Skardu
or Katpana Desert
Unexpected Snow in Katpana Skardu.jpg
Sand dunes in the high-altitude desert are occasionally covered in snow
Country  Pakistan
Region Gilgit Baltistan
District Skardu District
Coordinates 35°18′38″N 75°35′27″E / 35.310522°N 75.590747°E / 35.310522; 75.590747
Biome Desert
Cold Desert, Skardu is located in Pakistan
Cold Desert, Skardu

The desert technically stretches from the Khaplu Valley to Zanskar in Ladakh, but the largest desert area is found in Skardu and Shigar Valley. The portion most visited is located near Skardu Airport.[2]


Its temperature ranges from a maximum of 27 °C (81 °F) and a minimum (in October) 8 °C (46 °F), which further drop to below −10 °C (14 °F) in the December-to-January, while the lowest temperature that can reach −25 °C (−13 °F). At this high altitude and cold region, this desert holds a strange attraction.[3]



  1. ^ "Katpana Desert, Skardu". 
  2. ^ "". 
  3. ^ "Temperature".