Hampta Pass Trek – Vacations are so much necessary these days. Be it personal or professional life, we are so occupied with so many things that we do not get the time for ourselves. Mental peace and contentment is so much necessary for us to do carry out our work more effectively.
The whole experience can be challenging but can be equally fun. It helps us know our strengths and weakness. It bolsters confidence. We also get to meet new people, learn about the local culture and traditions.
Himachal Pradesh has a number of beautiful treks. The Hampta Pass trek is one such beautiful trek which is easy to moderate level trek that even beginners can take part in. It provides panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks and has lush green forests.
The Hampta Pass lying at an altitude of 4270 meters above sea level in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas, is a very popular trekking destination. This is located in between Lahaul and Kullu valleys in Himachal Pradesh.
It is not a very difficult trek and can be done even by beginners. Infact because of being an easy and convenient trek route, it is extremely popular among families. Even children can accompany on this trek.
Lush green forests, open meadows, slopping valleys and waterfalls dot this entire route. One can extend this trek a bit and can visit the beautiful Chandratal Lake which the local people consider as sacred.
A number of wild flowers and medicinal herbs can also be found in this stretch. Stunning views of other ranges like Dhauladhar, Mulkila and Chandra Bhaga can also be witnessed from here.
The Hampta Pass trek starts from Manali which is a base location for many treks in this region. From Manali we will head to Jobra and finally to a place called Chika. The river Rani flows by the side of this trekking route.
The Hampta Village also falls on the way where you can witness the local life of the villagers and soak in the local culture. You may also see herds of sheep with shepherds on the way who bring them here as the grass in these high altitudes is good for the sheep.
Walking across the mighty Hampta Pass which provides stunning views of the major Himalayan ranges, we will proceed towards Chandratal Lake. From here we will again descend back to Manali through the Rohtang Pass.
The whole trip would be covered in 4 nights and 5 days. You can witness various different types of unique sceneries and landscapes in one trip.
The trip starts through lush green forests of the Kullu Valley, then changes in arid yet beautiful surroundings typically seen in the Lahaul region and finally ends at Rohtang Pass, which is famous for its snow. This is a unique feature of this trek.
The Hampta Pass trek is one of the most scenic treks in the country. From crossing streams and rivers to witnessing a beautiful glacial lake set amidst rugged snow capped mountains, it offers a huge variety of sights and experiences together. Here is the full itinerary for this memorable trek journey
Day 1 – Manali-Jobra-Chika
We will arrive at Manali in the morning after travelling in an overnight bus from Delhi to Manali. We will have a quick breakfast and then start our drive towards Jobra. Jobra is the point from where the trek starts.
From Jobra we will trek to Chika. This is an easy ascent which will take us to a height of approximately 10,400 feet above sea level. The beautiful scenic views just add to the charm of this journey. The river Rani flows by the side of this trail. Once we reach Chika, we will be setting up our tents in the campsite here. We will have our dinner and then go off to sleep.
Day 2 – Chika to Balu ka Ghera
There are open alpine meadows and valley floors full of wildflowers in this stretch as well. It is a beautiful sight to witness the valley with the various flowers of different shades of colour blooming together against the backdrop of snowcapped mountains.
Once we reach Balu ka Ghera, we will have our lunch. The rest of the day will be marked for leisure. You can choose to rest or just explore the whole area clicking pictures. We will stay here for the night in our tents.
Day 3 – Balu ka Gera to Siagoru via Hampta Pass
We will start our day with some light breakfast and then start our journey. We will get to witness contrasting landscapes on today’s journey. The journey would start from lush green surroundings of Kullu Valley and then proceed to the Lahaul and Spiti valley which is known for its barren and arid landscape. The trekking will have a gradual ascent today without posing much difficulties.
We will cross the mighty Hampta Pass today on the journey. On the way, you might spot shepherds with their herds of sheep. The meadows in this high altitude have a special quality of grass which the sheep love having.
There is absolute calmness and serenity up here. We will also explore the Hampta village and learn about the local lifestyle and cultures of the villagers. We will then descend to our base camp at Siagoru. This entire journey should approximately take 8 hours today. We will stay at this base camp for the night.
Day 4 – Siagoru to Chatru and drive to Chandratal
We will a lot of things to see and activities on today’s journey. We will start our journey from Siagoru after some hearty breakfast heading towards Chatru.
The Pir Panjal ranges of the Himalayas can be witnessed from this point. On reaching the base camp at Chatru, we can slowly find a change in the landscapes. The barren yet beautiful region of Spiti Valley can be witnessed.
After witnessing the charming surroundings here at Chatru, we will drive to the Chandra Tal lake. This moon shaped lake is located at a height of 14,100 feet above sea level surrounded by snow capped peaks. It is one of the most beautiful glacial lakes in this region and attracts a huge amount of tourists.
Day 5 – Drive from Chandratal to Manali via Rohtang Pass.
It is the last day of our trip. The Hampta Pass trek comes to an end today. After breakfast, we will trek through the high altitude pass that connects the verdant Kullu Valley and the arid Lahaul and Spiti Valley.
Then we will drive all the way to Manali from Rohtang Pass. From Manali we will start our journey back to our home. An eventful trip comes to end with loads of good memories.
Location and how to reach
The Hampta Pass lying at an altitude of 4270 meters above sea level in the Pir Panjal range of the Himalayas. This is located in between Lahaul and Kullu valleys in Himachal Pradesh.The Hampta Pass trek starts from Manali.
Manali is easily connected by road, air and rail. The nearest railhead is at Joginder Nagar however it more convenient to take the option of travelling here by road or by air.
The Bhuntar Airport is located 52 kilometers away from Manali. Taxis and cabs are easily available from the airport from Manali. There are regular buses including Volvo’s that ply between Delhi and Manali. It takes around 12-14 hours by a bus to reach Manali from Delhi.
Things to carry
It is an easy to medium difficulty trek but surely tests endurance. Thus it is advisable to carry good amount of water and dry fruits during the ascent. The valley is at a high altitude and therefore has low levels of oxygen and low temperatures.
Make sure you carry sufficient amount of warm and comfortable clothes. Camphor also helps in breathing at such high altitudes. Some basic trekking gear like sleeping bags and walking stick is also required.
Along with this gloves, goggles and a good pair of trekking shoes is a must on this path. Frost bites and shoe bites can be avoided by wearing the right footwear and right socks. The right type of socks also helps in blood circulation that is really helpful on an enduring trek like this.
Also do not forget to carry your camera to capture the beautiful sights and landscapes on the trek. It is also a must to carry umbrella and raincoats to protect yourself from the rain. Your identification cards, passport photo, medical fitness certificate and voluntary declaration advocating your participation in this trek are compulsory.
These are required for the various permits and permissions required on the way. Carry a basic first aid kit with basic medicines like antiseptics, antipathetic and analgesics. Since this a long enduring trek, do carry crepe bandages and pain reliever creams also.
If you are having any ailments, make sure you carry your prescription and the prescribed drugs. Carry your mobile power backups as you will trek the whole day.
The Hampta Pass trek is an easy trek which families and beginners can easily do. The level of difficulty is easy to medium but is surely endurance testing. People who love adventure and are up for new thrills and challenges will surely love this experience. Sights on the trek are absolutely stunning.
It has a well defined and wide walking trail and is not a risky one. However it does test your endurance and patience at times but at same time fills you up with adrenaline rush and vigour . Most of the portions have a gradual ascent.
If you are leading a rather sedentary life, then make sure you workout or make yourself physically fit a month prior to this in order to do this trek. Making yourself mentally prepared for this will also help. You can use a walking stick during the trek. The trek passes through some high altitudes and there might be low levels of oxygen.
Some people might experience difficulties with that, so they should come prepared. Also the temperatures high up there might be very low, proper woolen clothes and gear should be carried.
ATM and Connectivity
There are no ATMs nearby and also on the trekking route. The nearest ATM is at Ukhimath which is located 13 kilometres away. It is advisable to withdraw money from here before you start you trek.
Make sure you withdraw sufficient amount of cash for the entire journey and carry it with you.None of the cellphone networks also work up there properly, however, you might get limited network at times. Major networks work properly till Sari only.
Make sure you complete all your important calls and let your family members know about this connectivity issue before you start trek.
People doing the Hampta Pass trek need to have a permission from the forest check post. This is easily available and the original and xeroxed copies of identification cards are required.
Identification cards such as driving license or voter ID along with a passport size photo are compulsory and would be required while obtaining the permit for the trek.There are no other permissions or permits required. Camping charges are separate and may vary.
My experience about Hampta Pass Trek
It was an extended weekend of around 4 days and I and my friends decided to go on this trek to Hampta Pass. Accordingly we booked our tickets on a Volvo bus from Delhi that would take us to Manali.
This was an overnight journey of around 12-14 hours. We reached Manali early in the morning and after some quick breakfast, headed towards Jobra in a hired taxi. Jobra is a one hour drive from Manali and is the place from where the Hampta Pass trek starts.
From Jobra we started our trek towards to Chika. The whole trail was beautiful with lush green forests, streams and green meadows all along.
The forests here are full of pine and rhododendrons. We reached Chika by the evening and then set up our tents at the campsite here. We stayed here for the night. Staying in tents was a wonderful experience. We even cooked our food in the bonfire.
The next day we woke up early as we had a lot of distance to cover today. We covered the distance from Chika to Balu ka Ghera in around 8 hours. The route has best views of the Dhauladhar range. The river Rani flows by the side of the trail as well. We reached the campsite at Balu ka Ghera in the afternoon.
The whole place in the vicinity of this campsite is full of wild flowers and lush greenery. Balu ka Ghera is situated at a height of about 11000 feet above sea level. There are also a number of waterfalls in and around this place.
The next day we covered the stretch between Balu ka Ghera and Siagoru. We were to cross the Hampta Pass today on our journey. This stretch provides beautiful clear panoramic views of the prominent Himalayan peaks. The stretch has a gradual ascent and provides beautiful views of nature. We stayed at our campsite at Siagoru for the night.
Next day, we started our journey towards Chatru. The landscape undergoes a transition here with barren mountain slopes and less vegetation on the way. The campsite at Chatru lies in between the Spiti, Rohtang and Hampta Pass.
Finally on our last day of our trip we proceeded towards Chandratal. This glacial lake can be accessed only by a car ride. So we boarded a vehicle and reached Chandratal. This moon shaped lake is situated against a backdrop of huge snow capped mountains.
We clicked loads of pictures here. From here, we again descended towards Manali in the same vehicle. We had our bus from Manali in the evening for Delhi. This trek was surely memorable and we had loads of fun being part of it.
The best time to do the Hampta Pass trek is from June to October. The weather is pleasant during this time and temperatures remain remain just perfect. The temperatures range between 12-20 degrees Celsius during the day.
There are also chances of witnessing snow here on the way if you arrive here before August. The snow melts totally after August.
However after October, once winter starts setting in, this place is covered with snow. The Chandratal Lake gets frozen. Though trekking is still allowed, proper winter trekking gear is required.
The trekking becomes difficult with low temperatures and the snowy terrain. Trekking during monsoons is also possible but you might face some difficulty in parts as the terrain becomes slippery.
Hotel/ Guesthouse, organized Campsite.