OT Itinerary: Your Guide To The Hampta Pass Trek

With maple trees, pines, rhododendrons and silver birches for company, this is a trek you won't forget in a hurry
Landscapes of Hampta Pass Trek, Himachal Pradesh
Landscapes of Hampta Pass Trek, Himachal PradeshShutterstock

The Hampta Pass is Himachal Pradesh’s answer to Uttarakhand’s Valley of Flowers. Lying over 4,267m above sea level, the pass offers a study in contrasts when you reach its highest point. The lush landscape of the Kullu Valley teems with flowers and forests while the barren and sparse landscape of the Lahaul Valley beckons just a few steps away. These two different ecosystems sit side-by-side and offer a riveting spectacle for visitors.

The 26km trek is best undertaken from June to October. This is a moderately difficult trek so ensure that you are fit and able to do it. The route involves steep ascends so carry a first-aid kit with medicine for acute mountain sickness.

This is what you can expect from hiking the Hampta Pass.

Day 1: Manali – Jobra – Chika

Trekking from Jobra to Chika
Trekking from Jobra to ChikaDebraj S Das/Shutterstock.com

Drive the 15km from Manali to Jobra, the base camp for the Hampta Pass. Your vehicle will have to negotiate 30-40 hairpin bends along the way with beautiful views of the Kullu Valley.

Then, trek the 1.5km to Chika and set up camp near the Rani River, a tributary of the Beas. You will see pine, maple and silver birch trees on your way.

Day 2: Chika To Balu Ka Ghera

The Balu ka Ghera campsite
The Balu ka Ghera campsitesumankyal/Shutterstock.com

Your 8.5km trek will pass through rough terrain and your ascent will increase from 3,078m to 3,627m in approximately six hours. You will come across rhododendrons, meadows and rivers as you make your way to Balu ka Ghera.

You will know when you have arrived by stepping onto flatter terrain. The site has beautiful views of Hanuman Tibba peak in the Dhauladhar mountain range. Sit back to eat dinner and feast your eyes on the sunset.

Day 3: Balu Ka Ghera – Hampta Pass – Shea Goru

The view from the Hampta Pass
The view from the Hampta PassDilchaspiyaan/Shutterstock.com

Today you will reach your goal. The trek from Balu ka Ghera to the Hampta Pass ascends along moderately steep slopes and the altitude increases from 3,627m to 4,298m. Once there, pause to take in your accomplishment and the spectacular sights of the grasslands and forests of the Kullu Valley, including the peak of Deo Tibba, on one side, and the arid and dry landscape of the Lahaul Valley on the other.

Continue on your journey to Shea Goru which lies at an altitude of 3,932m. Step carefully and make camp next to the riverside. The whole trek from Balu ka Ghera to Shea Goru will take around 10 hours.

Day 4: Shea Goru To Chhatru

The crystal clear waters of Chandra Taal
The crystal clear waters of Chandra Taalchris piason/Shutterstock.com

You will descend further today and come across the Chandra River after crossing two glaciers. Soak in the beauty of the landscape and make your way to the Chhatru campsite, which is situated next to the Chenab River, at 3,353m.

Once you’ve rested for a bit and if road and weather conditions permit, drive to Chandra Taal, a pristine lake in the Spiti Valley. This “Lake of the Moon” is a favourite spot for tourists and trekkers. It is at an altitude of about 4,300m and reflects the blue sky in shades of turquoise. You can also visit the lake the next morning instead if time is short when you arrive at Chhatru.

Day 5: Chhatru To Manali

The Atal Tunnel takes drivers under the Rohtang Pass
The Atal Tunnel takes drivers under the Rohtang PassAmit kg/Shutterstock.com

Commence the 64-67km drive from Chhatru to Manali via the Rohtang Pass. Gaze in wonder at the mountain scenery passing you by for one last time.

Getting There

The nearest railway station to Manali is Joginder Nagar (JDNX), 162km away. There are regular bus and taxi services to Manali from New Delhi and Chandigarh. The closest airport is Bhuntar Airport (49km) but due to irregular flights it is best to land at Chandigarh Airport (IXC), 276km away.

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