Hampta Pass trek is the beginners delight in every way easy access, dense pine forest, beautiful meadows, adrenaline pumping river crossings and a high altitude mountain pass called Hampta pass. It got its name from the Hampta village and shepherds and villagers used this pass to enter in Lahaul Spiti valley of Himachal. This was traditional alternative route between Lahaul and Kullu Valley before the road was made over Rohtang Pass.
Hampta Pass is a moderate trek with a scope of mixing lot of other adventure activities to suit varying duration and interest of trekkers. It start from the Prini village and takes us to the majestic foothills of The Great Himalayas, the Pir Panjal Range which is the largest range of the lower Himalayas. Over this trek one will see different hues of nature as you gain altitude from thick green pine forest to awe inspiring view of Mt. Deo Tibba and Mt. Indrasan and their snaking down glaciers to the barren landscape of Lahaul and Spiti valley. As this trek connects two valley Kullu and Lahaul, so one can get different sort of landscapes.
FIXED DEPARTURE TREK SCHEDULE – 2019
Hampta Pass trek is quite interesting and moderately challenging in stages with the difficulty of the pass being governed by weather conditions. This trek is surely one of the best short treks available in the country. In this itinerary we dont cross over the pass and go to Lahaul region which poses a challenge early in the season as the road connecting Lahaul to Manali is still under heavy snow. Instead we retrace our steps and exit from Manali only. Unlike the traditional Hampta Pass trek route which opens up in late June this itinerary is possible in the months of May & early June also.
Kullu and Lahaul are two adjoining districts of Himachal Pradesh, separated by high mostly snowbound Rohtang Pass. These valleys are geographically quite different, the Kullu/Manali valleys are green, with excellent forest cover and heavy rains, where as Lahaul is in rain shade barren and arid area. A trail combining both these areas by crossing the Hampta Pass gives a spectacular walk into two different terrains. The trail also offers gorgeous views of Dhauladhar, Chandra Bhaga and Mulkila ranges and the high peaks of Indrasan, Deo TIbba, Shigri Parvat, Kullu Pumori etc. The trek has surprises of crossing turbulent streams, Snow Bridge and walking on glaciers and boulder zone. At the end of the trek, visiting the “Moon lake” Chandratal or Kunzum pass is a delight. Area is known for rich Himalayan flora and fauna and is a birder’s paradise.
The Himalayan range has always been a life changing mountain range for millions who have basked under its commanding beauty. Trek to Hampta Pass is one such trek that underlines the breathtaking scenery that enchants minds and hearts of the trekkers. The highlighting fact of this trek is indeed the thrill of scaling a Himalayan pass to enjoy the nature from the top. Hampta Pass offers an exquisite visual treat with lush green valleys of Kullu and Manali on one side, complimented by semi-arid region of the Lahaul valley on the other side. The beautiful rugged trails are a perfect setting for everyone including first timers or seasonal hikers. Hampta pass is comparatively easier than other high altitude passes in the Himalayas, but it cannot by any means be considered as a cakewalk.
The nearest station is Manali. Therefore, the trip starts from Manali to Chika via Jobra. From Jobra the trek is undertaken by walk. This route comprises the first day. Balu ka Ghera is reached on the second day. You would cross amazing boulders, Gendrame and Rani Nallah on this day. The third day destination is Shea Goru from Balu ka Ghera via Hampta Pass. You will come across mind boggling and stupendous glaciers, cornice formation and snows all the way along. The maximum altitude will be reached on this day i.e. 14, 100 ft. Day four will start from Shea Goru and end up in Chatru. It is a steady descent on this day. You will witness the valleys of Lahual and Spiti and also the mountain ranges of Pir panjal and Spiti. The final day of the trek's route is from Chandra tal to Manali. If the weather permits and the roads are devoid of turbulence, then you can hike up to the marvelous Chandratal lake; also known as the moon lake. The sheer blue color of the lake has an amazing effect to the surroundings. Chandratal Lake is 70 kms from Chatru camp site and few hours from Chandratal camp site. Vehicle can also be arranged from Manali to take you to Chandratal from Chatru and back to Manali. It will take seven hours to complete the journey and reach Manali.
Best Time to Visit Hampta Pass Trek
The best time to trek to Hampta Pass is from mid-June to mid-October. There are chances to witness some snow on the high passes in the early days of the season and then it melts down completely by August. Rain is expected during the monsoons in Kullu-Manali valley but in Spiti, the sun will be bright as usual. The temperature is likely to stay between 12 and 20 °C during the day, while at night, temperature at the highest campsite would be between -2 to 6 °C. In the latter part of the trekking season (Sep – mid-Oct) a bit of snowfall is a possibility. The temperatures during the day will be between 12-18 °C and the evenings will start getting cold with temperature dropping down from 4 to -6°C.
Day 1: Drive from Manali (6,000 ft) – Jobra (9, 800 ft) then trek to Chika (10,100 ft).
- Drive: 22-25 km
- Altitude: 10,100 ft
- Time taken: 1 hour drive + 2 hour trek. Pick up from Manali at 10.00 AM
- Stay: Overnight stay in tents
Jobra (9, 800 ft)
Report at Manali bus stand at 9 AM. After freshening up & breakfast in Manali, board Taxi for Jobra. Get down from the vehicle at the project site & across the main road. Take the narrow trail that leads to the forest of pine trees. Here you will be briefed about dos and don’ts by your respective trek leader and be prepared by them to gear up for trek with easy ascents of 10,400 ft to chika. You will hardly realize the climb as the lopography of Himachal is completely mesmerizing we will soon encounter rani river and big rocky hills on the other side of it. The trek trails passes through such spectacular landscapes. A variety of trees like maple, deodar, toss and oak can also be spotted on this trail. The sight is very refreshing. The gradient of today’s trail is easy and ideal for a first day hike. You can spot the horses grazing in this meadow which make a perfect setting for some beautiful photographs. Chika camp site is a huge, flat & spacious green patch. With Rani Nallah flowing by the side makes it a perfect spot for setting up the tents.
Day 2: Trek from Chika (10,100 ft) – Balu ka Gera (11,900 ft) (7-8 km / 5-6 hrs)
- Altitude: 11,900 ft
- Trek: 7-8 Km / 5-6 Hrs
- Trek gradient: Moderate
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Chika as there are very limited/No source (depending on the season)
- Stay: Overnight stay in tents
The next destination is Balu ka Gera which is not visible from the Chika camp site, but you can make an idea as it falls to the right. Follow the left bank of the river that will appear at your right hand side. The trail leads the way to a slope of boulders and rough terrain. The path is an easy one and can be accomplished without any difficulty..Walk along the Rani river into a valley dotted with tiny multi-coloured flowers which can give a tough competition to Valley of flowers in the post monsoon months. The green trail turn brown & rock strewed as we near Balu Ka Gera. Balu ka gera is the point from where the steep climb to Hampta pass begins. This place is named balu ka Ghera as it is famous for brown bears walk along the rectangular valley where you will find multicolored tiny flowers. Balu ka Gera campsite is a flat ground amidst the mountains that you will cross the next day to reach the pass. Balu ka Gera is at an elevation of 11, 900 ft.
River Crossing between Balu ka Gera and Chika
Day 3: Trek from Balu ka Gera (11,900 ft) – Siagoru (12,900 ft) Crossing Hampta Pass (14,100 ft) (12-14 km / 8-10 hrs)
- Altitude: 14,100 ft
- Trek: 12-14 Km / 8-10 Hrs
- Trek gradient: Moderate
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water from Balu ka Ghera. Late season streams likely once the snow melts.
- Stay: Overnight stay in tents
Start very early to have the advantage of time. This pass is one of the nasty one & weather can be very unpredictable. You can split the journey in two halves, a steady ascent on moderate steep slope to Hampta Pass, thence a sharp descent to Sia Goru. The highest altitude will be achieved on this day at Hampta Pass (14, 100 ft). The day starts by heading towards the mountains you spotted the previous day. The trail is along the river side. The view is amazing, tiny yellow and orange flowers give a pleasant picture to the river. The river side trails takes you further to the base and then the actual climb to the Hampta pass takes place. It will take an hour to reach here. Another hour of walk will take you to the first plateau. In summer, the place is completely covered with thick fresh snow. Otherwise, it is just patches of snow everywhere. The Deo Tibet peak will fall right in front of you.
Be extra careful while descending. After some walking you will be able to spot the campsite of Shea Goru far in the distance in the direction of river flow. The last km to the site is mostly flat. Shea Goru in local means “Cold Street”. It is indeed very cold here owing to the winds. Camp & overnight stay in Shea Goru.
Camp & overnight stay in Shea Goru
View from Tent
Day 4: Trek from Siagoru (12,900 ft) – Chatru (11,000 ft)(7-8 km / 4-5 hrs) & Drive to Chandra Tal ( If weather permits ) & Return to Chatru.
- Altitude: 12,900 ft
- Trek: 7-8 Km / 4-5 Hrs
- Trek gradient: Easy
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Shea Goru. You will find a few sources on the way to refill your water bottles.
- Stay: Overnight stay in tents
Break camps early in the morning. Trek begins with the crossing of river which is flowing by the campsite. You will cover Sia goru to Chatru by foot and it will take approx 5 hours of easy downhill trek. Sia Goru is placed at an altitude of 12, 900 ft and Chatru at 11, 000 ft. It is a gentle trek downhill from Shea goru. The trail here again is by the side of the river valley between mountain ranges. Chatru can be located at a distance. No vegetations can be seen in the barren mountains.
After descending you will see the large valley of river Chandra. Reach Chhatru which is the road head. From Chatru ,board taxi for a road journey to Chandratal. Reach Chandratal by late afternoon. After spending some time at Chandratal return to Chhatru by the evening. Camp in Chhatru .Please note that the road to chandratal is closed at times due to landslides or snow. In case the road is found closed the Chandrataal drive will not be done.
Day 5: Drive from Chatru to Manali via the Rohtang Pass. Drop in Manali by 3 PM Approx.
After an early morning debriefing, bid the Spiti valley goodbye and head back to Manali. A final goodbye and move to your homeward journey with a bag full of memories, snaps and advanture stories The journey from Chhatru to Manali passes through Rohtang Pass and can take upto 4-5 hours. The scenery all through the route is a treat in itself. Reach Manali by 3-4 PM Approx.
The Trip Cost Includes
- Food all along the Trek(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a cup of coffee or tea)
- Meals while on trek Day 1st Lunch – Day 5th Breakfast.
- Car pick up from Manali to the trek starting point Jobri on Day 1
- Transportation from trek end point Chhatru to Manali along with sightseeing of Chandratal (Day 5)
- Food as per menu on the trek
- Forest Permits/Camping Charges , if any
- Tents, Sleeping bags, mats,Technical equipment
- Safety Equipments.
- First Aid Medical Kit(Your Trek Leader will carry the Medical Kit but we also advise to bring yourself for your own use, as far as possible)
- Trek guide, cook, helpers, porters & mules for carrying common luggage.
- Services of a Mountaineering qualified & professional Trek Leader.
The Trip Cost Excludes
- Accommodation and meals in Manali.
- Meals during road Journeys.
- Porter/Mull to carry personal luggage.
- Any expense of personal nature.
- Any expense not specified in the inclusion list.
- A rucksack with rain cover
- A water bottle or a hydration pack
- A Hand/Head Torch with spare batteries
- UV Protection Sunglasses
- A trekking pole
Since it is a high altitude trek, at least 3 layers of clothing is mandatory. A full sleeve shirt, a fleece jacket, and a padded jacket are imperative. An additional layer (Thermal bodywarmers) for the evenings in the high altitude campsites are strongly recommended
- Quick Dry Warm lower or Track Pants - 2
- Full sleeves T-shirts - 2
- Thermal Bodywarmer Upper & Lower - 1
- Fleece Jacket - 1
- Padded Jacket -1 (Goose down or feather is preferable)
- Full sleeves sweater - 1 (Needed if you feel cold at high altitudes despite 4 layers)
- Rainwear (Jacket & Pants) - 1
- Thick woolen socks - 1 pair
- Cotton socks - at least 2-3 pairs
- Undergarments - 1 for every day of trekking
- Pair of Warm Gloves - 1
- Woolen cap - 1
- Hiking shoes (Preferably ankle high) -1
- Pair of lightweight Slipper/Sandals - 1 pair.
- Sunscreen lotion, lip balm, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, toilet roll, cold cream, small towel.
- Anti-fungal cream: Carry an antifungal cream if you are sensitive to sweating and prone to skin irritations around genitals or groin area due to lack of bathing.
- For women:
- Tampons or sanitary napkins,
- 2-3 zip pouches to dispose off non-biodegradable waste
- Vaginal wash to avoid any irritation due to lack of bathing.
- Water bottle
- Camera (optional)
- Personal medicine kit. Though our trek leaders carry a fully equipped first-aid kit, make sure you consult your doctor before the trek in case you have any special ailment.
- Dry fruits, energy bars
The Hampta Pass trek is classified as a moderate trek . You trek up to an altitude of over 14, 380 ft. You start from an altitude of 9,800 feet at Jobra and reach the highest point of 14,035 feet at Hampta Pass. This means you gain around 4,235 ft over just two days of trekking. You have to make sure your lungs are strong for this.
Another aspect that will help you trek comfortably is flexibility. For this, you can do some stretching exercises – stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower back muscles and shoulders regularly. On your trek, it is important that you arrive on the slopes with your muscles relaxed. Carrying a backpack, however light, can become a strain after a while. These exercises will help you to be in good shape before the trek.
If you’re trekking to Hampta Pass trek in Snow, note that the temperature drops to around -3 to 5 degree Celcius at night. During the day, the temperature will be at around 10 to 12 degrees. This extreme temperature could make breathing slightly difficult. Doing breathing exercises before the trek will help. Expand your lungs and learn to breathe deep. This will help you inhale more oxygen and help you breathe comfortably.
- Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins or Walk continuously for 10 km (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better)
- Hold your breath for 40 seconds
- 3 sets of Climbing 30 – 40 steps in one stretch
- Push Ups – 10
- Lunges & Squats – 15 X 2 sets
Monitoring health on a trek
Any abnormal reading will be paid special attention to and action will be taken immediately.
On the trek, your Trek Leader will be monitoring two aspects a day.
- Oxygen Level
- Pulse Rate
High Altitude Medical Kit
Your trek leader will also be carrying a full-fledged high altitude medical kit. This will include basic medicines and specific medicines catering to altitude sickness – Diamox, Dexamethasone . Your Trek Leader will also be carrying a portable oxygen cylinder throughout the trek. In addition to that, there are oxygen cylinders installed at all high campsites for any emergency situations.
Acclimatisation in high altitude
This is one of the most important aspects of travelling in the high Himalayas and cannot be ignored or set aside. Acclimatisation basically means our body adjusting to lower levels of oxygen (rarefied air) & reduced air pressure as me move up. In case one does not acclimatise properly there are chances of the person facing extreme discomfort and this can be fatal in extreme cases. While there is no set route to getting properly acclimatised there are a general precautions and steps that one can take to initiate good acclimatisation.
Manali is the base location for our Hampta Pass trek. Our meeting point in Manali is the Government bus stand opposite the mall road. We will pick you up at 10:00 AM in the morning and start the drive to jobri. The entire drive from Manali to Jobri takes around 1 Hour.
Reaching Manali by Road (Bus)
Manali is well connected with comfortable Volvo buses run by government and private operators. You can catch luxury and normal buses to Manali which are available from ISBT Kashmiri Gate in delhi. The journey takes around 12-14 hours.
Reaching Manali by Air
Bhuntar, which is 52 km away from Manali, is the nearest airport. Taxi services are available from Bhuntar to Manali, which costs about Rs. 700- Rs1000. Bhuntar is well connected to Delhi by air. The airliners that take you to this Airport are Indian Airlines, Kingfisher airlines, MDLR Airlines and Jagson Airlines, operating flights from Delhi and Chandigarh to Kullu.
To reach by train, take a direct train from Delhi to Pathankot. Some of the trains that run on this route are Delhi-Pathankot Express, Jammu Tawi Express, Delhi-Dhauladhar Express. You can then take a bus from Pathankot to Manali. Or you can take a connecting train from Pathankot to Joginder Nagar which is the nearest station to Manali. There are buses running frequently between Joginder Nagar and Manali.
Manali is the gateway to Solang Valley where you can participate in adventure activities like paragliding, and zorbing in the summer months when the snow melts. This famous tourist hill station has so many places to visit in Manali. Visit the ancient Hadimba Devi Temple which has an interesting mythological tale associated with it. Walk through the charming lanes of Old Manali. Visit the bazaar to buy some souvenirs. Jogini Fall and Vashisht Temple are other famous attractions in Manali. You can also visit Rohtang pass while you are in Manali.
One can expect cellular connectivity till Manali and few kilometers ahead of Manali. There might be no signals available by the time you reach Jobra.