The highlight of any trek that involves crossing over a pass into the Lahaul & Spiti valley is the amazing divergence in the landscape and Hampta Pass Trek provides that contrast in the landscape. The Hampta Pass trek starts from thick forests to an open lush green valley covered with green grass. The tree line stops when one crosses to Hampta Pass and enters the barren landscape of Lahaul & Spiti.
This trek is for everyone including first-timers and seasoned trekkers. The pass itself is very alluring and has fewer challenges in comparison to other treks but the trek is no piece of cake. The Hampta Pass difficulty level is mostly independent and are merely referential because even the most challenging trek in other low altitude regions does not have a close comparison with any of the easier treks in the Himalayan region.
The major reason for this is the altitude and atmospheric pressure that changes with higher sea level and mountainous rough terrain. Hampta Pass Trek difficulty level is thought of as one of the easier Himalayan treks with a difficulty level of easy to moderate. However, the difficulty level of the trek is subjective and dependent on the weather conditions. In the winter season, the trek is moderately difficult to trek due to snow but it becomes easier to walk on as the snow melts in summers.
But this is not the only difficult part of the trek as one is required to cross the sensibly high Hampta pass at a height of 4400m, cross a few rivers, set camps in the wilderness and walk lengthy trails. The trek to the Hampta pass has unparalleled diversity and enthusiasm right from the start of the trail in order to make up for any fatigue that can possibly take root.
Hampta Pass Trek links two beautiful valleys of Spiti and Kullu, the Hampta Pass trek is one the most popular treks among trekking fanatics. The Hampta Pass Trek cost can vary from INR 8000 to INR 15000 depending on various factors. The cost depends on the route you’re taking and your necessities like guides, food, and luxury. The cost highly depends upon the service provider as well and the time you’re choosing for the trek. It also depends on what time in June you are trekking and when the monsoon season starts, how the conditions will be like.
Hampta Pass Trek Cost depends of various factors listed below
No of Days : The number of days: Quite clearly the cost will depend on the number of days you take to complete the trek.
Cost for trekking gear: The cost of equipment depends on how much you spend on renting or buying yourself or if you already own it. The basic gear you require is a sleeping bag, trekking boots and poles and a waterproof jacket with a backpack.
Group Size: The cost is a lot less if your group is bigger as the costs of the trek guide can be shared, making the total cost a lot cheaper, and some trekking companies give discounts for larger groups.
Hampta Pass Permit Fee: Tourist visas and trek permits are easily obtainable in case you are not from India and this can be done before leaving your own country. A trekking permit is a big requirement if you want to trek in any part of the Himalaya and each trekking destination needs an individual permit. Every permit entails specific details for the route and area
Cost for camps and dining: The cost food depends on the quality and the company itself, normally not by much. The cost of your hotel or lodge depends on your preference.
Transport Cost: This is biggest head as the Taxi Cost for Hampta is very high. Taxi Cost from Manali to Chatru with 2 day return is around Rs 10,000 and Rs Taxi Cost from Manali to Jobri is Rs 2500
Best Time for Hamta Pass Trek Mid June to Mid October
Several trekkers choose to trek Hampta because of plenty snowfall even in the month of June in the Hampta Pass valley but not many people take the risk of trekking Hampta Pass in the month of December due to the high risk and danger. Mid-June to Mid-October is the finest time to trek to Hampta Pass.
The special thing about the mid-June trek in the Hampta Pass the greenery with the right amount of snow on the trails that become a hindrance in the winter season when there is slippery snow throughout. It has primarily got to do with the terrain of the valley. Most winter treks that are conducted in India are open but the Hampta Pass, in contrast, is a trip that begins in a constricted valley and stays narrow throughout the trek. The constriction and narrowness of the valley increase the amount of the snow that collects there. In December, the trails of the valley are too steep and sharp to trek which can be dangerous to trek on and is highly risky.
In mid-June, you will find a few patches of snow in the green meadows– they are ubiquitous and almost found all through the trek. In a nutshell, mid-June to mid-October is the best time to trek the Hampta Pass if you want to experience snowfall and green meadows at the same time. After the mid-June trek fever ends in July, the snow melts down and the valley turns into green heaven.
Manali Snow Trekking in December
Though Hampta Pass Trek in December is closed but we have opened a new trekking route in Manali to enjoy the snow and if you are lucky then famous Manali Snowfall.
Chatru is a small village on the way to Kaza. It serves as a tea/refreshment stop for vehicles going to/ coming from Kaza side in Spiti valley. It’s also the place where people end the Hampta Pass trek. Chatru Altitude is around 3560 m and it is a small village in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India which is also a resting point for few treks in the valley.
Stashed away disguised in the boundless expanses of the bumpy Himalayas, a miniature hamlet Chatru emerges like an oasis in between the high altitude and cold desert of Spiti in Himachal Pradesh. It lies further in Spiti valley which is about 85 km from Manali. Chatru has a population of about 120 and is at a height of 11,100ft.It is a stopover for people going to Kaza in Spiti Valley. This small village only has three dhabas and Chandra’s Dhaba is the place for climbers. The temperature would drop to about 2 – 3 degree Celsius in the night, but mornings were cool and bearable.
Bouldering in Chatru
The surrounding area of Chatru Village is full of boulders which offers perfect bouldering options. One can drive to Chatra with the climbing gear and spend a quality time bouldering and camping beside the Chandra River. If you want more options then Chota Dara and Bara Shigri Glaciers offers much variety in of boulders in terms of difficulty level.
Although Chandratal Lake is smaller than other high altitude lakes like Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri, Chandratal Lake is no less than others, it is a beautiful campsite and an all-night camp at the bank of this lake is one of the key attractions of the journey to Hampta Pass.
Chandratal (4300m) is one of the few trekking spots in the Himalayan region that is reachable only certain months of year. All through winters when Rohtang pass is shut making Batal – Chandratal road unapproachable. Also Chandratal Lake cannot be accessed from Kunzum La through Shimla – Pooh – Kaza road as Kunzum La closes during winter due to snow. Shimla Kaza Chandratal Lake road is more difficult than the Manali Chandratal route. But if one is traveling from Delhi, the best way to reach to Chandratal is through Manali. From Manali, one can ride and cross Rohtang Pass and Chatru to reach the lake.
While planning a trip to Chandratal Lake Camp, you can start your trip from Manali. From Manali, you can take the Manali-Leh highway to cross Rohtang Pass. Road conditions are not so bad until Rohtang top post, after which it is a mixture of good and bad until Gramphoo. This entire route is a narrow road full with many water crossings, misplaced stones and is in a bad shape. After you reach Batal, continue in the direction of Kunzum Pass top. On your way to the Kunzum top you can find a narrow road which will lead to Chandratal Lake.
Situated at an altitude of 4277.86 meters above sea level, the Hampta Pass is an essential part of Manali’s landscape, which is definitely India’s much loved adventure spot, this trek is certainly amongst the easiest of treks and most accessible to beginners. An electrifying experience, trekking around Hampta Pass unlocks the door to a whole new beautiful world.
While the whole of India is enjoying spring with cool pleasant weather all around, Hampta Pass in February is still a cold desert with harsh weather and unpredictable snowstorms. Though the Hampta Pass trek is not that difficult, it is nearly impossible to complete in the month of February.
Hampta Pass in February is closed due to Snow
Hampta Pass in February is covered with a thick blanket of snow and the weather is unpredictable. The narrowing and constriction of the valley increases the amount of the snow that collects there. The temperature gets as low as 5°C even during the day and there is snowfall. In February, the track to the valley is too steep and sharp to trek which can be risky to walk on and is highly unsafe. But if you plan to attempt Hampta Pass, you should be experienced with other treks in the Himalayan region in order to complete the trek. But it is not advisable to attempt Hampta Pass in February.
But if you want to enjoy Hampta Pass, you should do this trek in mid-June. In mid-June, you will find a beautiful green valley with a few patches of snow – they are abundantly present and found all through the trek. In a nutshell, Hampta Pass in February is not a good idea unless you have a lot of experience. Mid-June to mid-October is the best time to trek the Hampta Pass. After the mid-June, trek fever ends in July and the snow melts down and the valley turns intoa green paradise.
If you want to know more about Hampta Pass, click here.
If you’re an adventure seeker and you love mountains and trekking in the Himalayas, then attempting Hampta Pass trek can turn out to be a perfect week for you to experience the beauty of nature from up close. The best thing about Hampta Pass trek is its moderate level of difficulty and not so high altitude that makes it ideal for amateur mountaineers and inexperienced trekkers. As the maximum altitude to be scaled is around 14000 feet, no pre-requisite preparation is compulsory and altitude sickness is not much of a concern. This trek will give you tons of knowledge in treks and will bring you a step closer to attempting harder treks in the Himalayan Region.
Mid-June to Mid-October is the finest time to trek to Hampta Pass. Several trekkers opt to trek Hampta Pass because of heavy snowfall even in the month of June in the Hampta Pass but the same wonderland changes into a dangerous valley that not many people take the risk of trekking in the month of January due to the high risk and danger.
Hampta Pass in January is Closed due to Snow
Hampta Pass in January is not a recommended time to do this trek as Hampta Pass in January will experience deep snow. The valley gets covered in snow making the trail even narrower and making the ascent sharper. This adventurous trek can be a risky business in winter months due to drop in temperature. The temperature during the month of January can vary from 5°C to 22°C with chilly days and even colder nights. Crossing over the Hampta pass gets to be nearly impossible due to slippery snow and harsh unpredictable weather. The roads from across the pass get closed due to heavy snowstorms and cloudy skies. Hampta Pass in January is not a good idea and not possible to even attempt. The best time to do the Hampta Pass trek is definitely mid-June and post-monsoon.
To know more about Hampta Pass and the best time to visit Hampta Pass, click here.
Baralacha Pass is a high mountain pass in the Zanskar Range and connects Lahaul district in Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh in Jammu and Kashmir. Baralacha La means “a pass where many roads meet.” It is situated at 4890 m ( 16, 040 ft ). It is a high plateau with three different mountain ranges- the Great Himalayas, Pir Panjal and Zanskar, which meet at an altitude of over 16, 000 feet. This pass is one of the highest passes in Ladakh and is situated around 73 km from Keylong on the Manali – Leh road. The Bhaga river, a tributary of the Chandrabhaga river, is located a few kilometers away from the pass and originated from the Surya Taal. Chandra, another tributary of Chandrabagha, also originated from a glacier in the region. The pass acts as a natural divide between the rivers Yunam and Bhaga.
Legend has it, that there were two lovers- Chandra, the daughter of the moon and Bhaga, the son of the Sun God. They decided to climb the Baralacha La to perform their marriage, from which they ran in opposite directions. Chandra reached Tandi with ease, whereas Bhaga reached there with a lot of difficulties after struggling through the narrow gorges. The two finally met at Tandi, forming the Chandrabhaga, and their celestial marriage took place here.
Trekking and Adventure at Baralacha Pass
This Baralacha Pass is the starting point for many treks, including the famous Suraj Taal and Baralacha Chandratal trek. One will also have to cross this pass if one is traveling by road from Manali to Leh. While trekking, one can stay in tents at campsites or with the locals. Now it’s becoming famous among skiers because of the lofty slopes and amount of snow at Baralacha Pass.
What is the best time to visit Baralcha Pass?
The best time to visit the Baralacha Pass is between June-October, as the snow melts, which makes the road open for travelers. The pass is closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall.
The Hampta Pass trek is ideal for first-time trekkers as it packs in everything from dark pine forests, open meadows, glacial valleys and an adventurous of a lifetime. The last time I read about them was in dreary textbooks in school, not quite properly assessing the sheer enormity of their presence. It was only recently that everything fell into perspective.
So off we went, into the wilderness of one of the most intimidating yet calming mountain ranges of all time, to witness for ourselves what it would be to be in a place of absolute calm and peace. Our journey commenced from Manali to Prini by road. Then onwards, by foot to Chikha.
As anticipated, the conditions, even for a fit person, were hard-hitting. Sleeping in tents, crossing ice cold rivers and navigating the dense forests were just the beginning of the adventure that lay ahead. When one night, while trying to catch some sleep, I heard a wolf call out, I knew we were in a place where to panic only meant pain. I felt threatened but when there is no other option, it is better to send up a quick prayer and hit the sack. Here is my Hampta Pass Trek blog for Renok Adventures
Hampta Pass Trek Blog – The Trek Route:
Day 1: Manali and Manali Adventure Camp stay in Prini
We were asked to report at Manali Adventure Camp at Prini. Volvo journey was long and tiring we reached Manali at around 11 AM and took an auto rickshaw to Manali Adventure Camp. We had good basic lunch at Renok Camp in Manali and were briefed about the trek then we drove for one hour to reach Jobri which is trek starting point.
The trek starts with stepping into a forest of deodar, toss, oak and maple trees. The beauty is breathtaking. Soon, we cross a makeshift wooden bridge over the Rani Nalla. On one side are tall deodars that rise to 150 feet. They are so dense that it is difficult for light to reach us. On the way, we cross numerous streams but they are not obstacles in the trek. Soon, the Rani Nalla spreads out into a wide valley. We soon find ourselves in Chikha and start climbing over the grassy ridge. After all the trekking, wholesome and nourishing dinner is served.
Day 2: The morning is brilliant with the sparkling warmth of the sun. By 7 o’clock the camp comes alive. After breakfast, we move from Chikha to Balu-ka-Gera. We cross a stream and start an upward climb towards the closed end of the Kullu Valley. The scenery changes rapidly. Below us, snow patches on the valley increases in frequency. Ahead, the snow-covered slopes of the Hampta Pass reveal themselves. Everything is dazzlingly white. The snow looks magnificent. On the way, a dancing stream welcomes us. I take off my shoes and step into the freezing water. The chill freezes my bones but a sense of adventure beckons.
Day 3: No sun, only a light drizzle. We move to Shiagoru via Hampta Pass. The serious climb starts now. It is clear that no one has ever been here before. There are no footprints. The snow is soft and virginal. The pass is a wide plateau. On its eastern flanks are the towering cliffs of the mountain side. On the west, it curves to the left and drops down to Spiti Valley. There is celebration in the air but we make it short because of the rains. We walk down and soon find ourselves in Spiti Valley. We halt and camp in Shiagoru.
Day 4: The fourth day is a Himalayan blessing. There is no drizzle and the sky is clear. Today is the last trek of our trip. We move towards Chatru and then drive to Chandrataal. It is again a steep climb up to the main trail. The scenery is different. I was expecting it to be barren, but surprisingly the slopes are green—but they are boulder strewn. Another surprise is Chatru itself. There are only five-six houses. I was expecting it to be bigger.
Our plans for Chandratal Lake proves to be a flop, thanks to a sudden landslide on the way to the lake. Instead, we decide to go ahead to the Kunzum Pass. It is one of the highest motorable passes across the Kunzum range at an altitude of 4,551 m. It serves as an entrance pass to the Spiti Valley from Lahaul. Goddess Kunjum (Durga/Parvati) resides in a temple on the Kunzum top and keeps guard over the pass and wards off the evil. Visitors normally do a round of the temple to seek her blessings. We then come down to Batal and set up our camps. It is a village that lies at the foot of the Kunzum Pass and serves as the resting point for tourists. Moreover, the Bara Shigri Glacier and the triangular peaks in the south can be seen from Batal.
Day 5: It is a lazy morning as we’ve partied all night. We start only by 9 am for Manali—and back to civilization.
1)One month prior to a wildlife trek, you should build up stamina, muscle strength and flexibility. Running, skipping, pushups and other forms of exercise help.
3)Carry healthy food like dry fruits, and energy bars.
4)Essentials like a torch, extra batteries, first-aid kit will come in handy.
Linking the beautiful valleys of Lahaul and Kullu, the Hampta Pass hiking trip is a well-liked trek amidst trekkers. Making your way from Manali through various isolated villages and towns, this trek offers gorgeous landscapes that charm plenty of travelers every year.
Starting from Manali’s altitude of 14,100 ft., this trek will take you through beautiful high-altitude woodlands and glaciers on the way to the Hampta Pass and the magical Chandratal Lake. This mesmerizing trek offers you an amazing sight of flowers, birds and picturesque landscapes together with rocky terrains, pine woodlands, glacial valleys, and streams.
The approach to crossing the Hampta Pass is not difficult but a tiring one. Climbing the sharp climb to reach Hampta Pass is a long haul. With fluctuating weather and wobbly and rough climb, one needs to be smart enough to attempt this trek during trek season.
Best Time for Hampta Pass Trek – Mid June to Mid October
The best time to do Hampta pass is from mid-June to mid-October. Hampta Pass in October is a great time to do this trek but only until the second week. October marks the beginning of Winters and there are chances of snowfall as well, you have clear weather and clear views of high peaks and mountains. No rains, bright sun and cold nights you will get to face when doing Hampta Pass Trek in October. But in the second half of October, Hampta Pass is a dicey terrain there are chances of snowfall and getting struck due to road closure at Rohtang Pass. There is not really heavy snowfall but there is a high chance of snowfall and the weather turns unpredictable.
Temperatures during Hamtpa Pass Trek in October
The temperature in the first half of October is approximately 15°C but the temperature gets as low as – 2°C in the second half of the October. The snow starts coming back and it gets harder to trek due to constriction and narrowing of treks due to the accumulation of snow.
There is much less greenery in Hampta Pass Trek in October and you find more snow patches. In conclusion, October is a dicey time to attempt Hampta Pass trek. If there is no hefty snowfall, you may be able to complete it, but it is sensible to avoid any high Himalayan pass at that time. Most people who try to attempt the Hampta Pass in October will come back from the top instead of descending down to Lahaul, as Rohtang Pass may get shut.
But if you are still adamant and plan to attempt Hampta Pass, make sure you have enough experience in the Himalayan region and local guides.
To know more about Hampta Pass and see available dates for Hampta Pass in October, click here.