Ziarat Juniper Forest


Exploring the Evergreen Beauty of Ziarat Juniper Forest

Treasured as the World’s Second Largest Biospheric Sanctuary, Ziarat Juniper Forest is Home to Oldest Trees. 

The Ziarat Juniper Forest situated in Ziarat Valley of Balochistan is quite famous because it’s the second-largest biosphere reserve and juniper forest globally, just after California in the United States. It is unique in Pakistan because it has trees over a thousand years old with many estimated between 5,000 and 7,000 years old, winning it the name of ‘living fossils’. 

Back in 1971, about 372.47 square kilometers of the forest became a wildlife sanctuary. Then, in 2013, the whole forest officially became a biosphere reserve. In 2016, the Ziarat Juniper Forest was proposed as a World Heritage Site by the Government of Pakistan. It was similar to earning a crown for being an amazing marvel of nature.

Geographical Features of Ziarat Juniper Forest 

The Juniper Forests stretches to the hilly areas of Ziarat and Mount Zarghoon. It expands to almost 110,000 hectares, making it the greatest juniper forest in Pakistan. The mountains are elevated between 3,000 feet to 11,500 feet. The temperature of Ziarat Juniper Forest remains moderate and slightly dry with summers being the hottest in July and winters being extremely chilly in January. A peak in rainfall is observed annually in July. Humidity rises from 35% in January to 60% in September. From November to April, snowfall is witnessed, and in February reaching a max of 68 cm.

Flora and Fauna 

The trees of the Ziarat Juniper Forest create a giant shady umbrella. People utilize them for making special oils and improving the flavors of their dishes with their richness in taste. This forest is home to a family of diverse plant species, more than 50 in number. 

Some of the plants are used for making herbal medicines that help to cure certain diseases and health problems. Some prominent plant species of Ziarat Juniper Forest include Wild Pistachio, Wild Ash, Danda Thor Cactus, Zig Zag Plant, and Wild Almond. It’s a green gem with mysteries beckoning for discovery.

Ziarat Juniper Forest provides shelter to some unguarded animals including Asian black bears, Urials, and the Suleiman Markhor. Some of the other animals that reside in this forest are foxes, wolves, Afghan Pika, and jackals. Bird species including Chukar Partridges, Mistle Thrush, Bar-tailed Tree Creeper, Rufous-Naped Tit, Streaked Laughing Thrush, and the Black-Throated Thrush migrate to the trees of Ziarat Juniper Forest during the breeding season. 

Preservation Challenges

The juniper forests in Ziarat thrive in a semi-arid climate, growing gradually and living a long life. For ages, locals have depended on them for firewood, timber, and medicinal plants. But since the mid-1900s, these forests have been shrinking, and they are not bouncing back. They face several threats due to overpopulation, hungry livestock eating too much, illegal cutting of trees, taking too much firewood and juniper seeds, occasional droughts, tree-harming fungi, mistletoe trouble, and the fluctuating climate. 

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Ziarat Juniper Forest is during the late spring to early autumn months, from April to October. During this period, the weather is generally mild and pleasant, offering comfortable temperatures for exploration. Spring brings blooming flowers, while autumn showcases vibrant colors. It’s an ideal time for nature enthusiasts, hikers, and those seeking to experience the beauty of the forest without extreme weather conditions.

Nearby Attractions 

If you are planning a tour of Ziarat Juniper Forest, then you must experience the enchantment of the beautiful destinations that lie close to it. Some of the eminent places that you can enjoy traveling to include Quaid-e-Azam Residency, Kharwari Baba, Bolan Pass, Gwadar Port, Kund Malir Beach, Wali Tangi Dam, Hinglaj Mata Temple, and Kach Solo Valley. Add these amazing spots to your adventure list for a fulfilling travel journey.

How to Reach Ziarat Juniper Forest 

To reach Ziarat Juniper Forest by road and car, begin your journey from Quetta, the capital of Balochistan. Take the well-maintained Quetta-Ziarat Road, covering a distance of approximately 130 kilometers. The drive typically takes 3 to 4 hours, offering scenic views along the way. 

If you want to bid farewell to the tensions of self-traveling, then Guide to Pakistan can prove to be your best travel companion. GTP provides economical and nicely organized getaways to Ziarat Juniper Forest. By taking advantage of these cost-effective packages, you may have a relaxed and exciting trip without worrying about planning and preparation.


As you discover the glory of this lush oasis, be fascinated by the diverse flora and fauna, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and relish the calmness that envelopes every corner. Whether you seek adventure on scenic trails, wish to marvel at millennia-old trees, or simply desire a retreat into nature’s embrace, Ziarat Juniper Forest offers an unforgettable and worthwhile experience.

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