Cold Desert, Skardu
|Cold Desert, Skardu|
|or Katpana Desert|
Sand dunes in the high-altitude desert are occasionally covered in snow
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.
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.
Temperatures range from a maximum of 27 °C (81 °F) and a minimum (in October) 8 °C (46 °F), which can drop further to below −17 °C (1 °F) in December and January. The temperature occasionally drops as low as −25 °C (−13 °F). 
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