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Connecting the mesmerizing valleys of Lahaul and Kullu, the Hampta Pass trekking expedition is an admired trail amidst trekking enthusiasts. Making your way from Manali through various secluded hamlets, this trek offers breath-taking landscapes that fascinate travelers in abundance. The extremely divine beauty of nature along with the sights of rare Himalayan birds and flora such as orchids makes this trek faithfully spellbinding. Beginning from Manali’s gob smacking elevation of 14100 feet, this trek will take you through exquisite alpine forests and glaciers leading towards the Hampta Pass and the mystical Chandratal Lake. This enraptured trekking experience gives you a stupendous sight of birds, flowers and scenic landscapes alongside rock-strewn territories, pine forests, glacial valleys, waterways and sweeping paddocks.
Day 1: Manali to Vashist to Chhika
In the morning, we drive to the dam site at Jobra and from here walk through a very pleasant landscape. The walk initially will take us through a mixed forest having pines, spruce, deodar, chestnut and maple trees. We cross a beautiful meadow having a gaddi shepherd camp there. We will need to cross the river at a vantage point if the gaddis haven’t made a makeshift bridge somewhere along the river. We cross the river and climb to a beautiful meadow called Chhikha along a side stream. Today’s hike is a gentle one and will take about 2 hrs. Having rested for some time one will be advised to walk up a short distance to a nearby waterfall which also plays host to a number of white capped redstarts. Overnight in tents.
Day 2: Chhika to Balu ka Ghera
It’s an interesting day’s hike today. We cross the stream immediately after the campsite and start gaining height and moving towards a gorge section towards the right side moving along the river. We will walk through boulder sections, meadows filled with wildflowers, cross a waterfall and a side river which might require careful handling to reach our campsite for the day, Balu‐ka‐Gheera. This hike will take about 3.5 to 4 hrs with a few breaks in between. This campsite is along a network of river channels and has big mountains guarding it on all sides. Our guides might also take the decision to walk for an additional hour and reach an upper campsite also called by the same name. This will make next day’s climb a bit shorter. We rest and relax at the campsite and get charged for the next day’s climb to Hampta pass. Overnight in tents.
Day 3: Balu ka Ghera to Sia Goru via Hampta Pass
Today weather and trail conditions will decide what time we leave but it’s going to be an early morning departure for sure, between 5‐6:00 a.m. The walk is in all probability going to be partially/completely on snow depending upon season and weather conditions. From the camp, we start with a steep climb on scree slopes to reach a ridge and from here we continue climbing towards another ridge which leads to the pass. This climb will take about 4‐5 hrs and one will be rewarded with absolutely out of the world views all around. Indrasan and Deotibba peaks completely dominate the landscape and the ranges towards Lahaul look quite majestic. We spend some time at the top taking pictures and to have lunch and having regained our energy start climbing down carefully towards our destination for the day, Sia Gahru campsite, which is set beautifully between the mountains. This descent will take about 2‐3 hrs. Overnight in tents.
Day 4: Sia Goru to Chhatru to Chandratal
Hike today is completely downhill and in a completely contrasting landscape typical of Lahaul & Spiti regions. There are a couple of tricky sections in between involving careful traverse and river crossings so we let our guides carefully guide us through these sections. We move through a long scree and boulder section which overlooks the road leading to Spiti. We finish at Chatru and from here board the waiting vehicles to take us to Chandratal. This ride will take about 2 – 2.5 hrs. Chandratal is a complete delight to senses and lazing around the lake can be a surreal experience. Overnight in tents.
Day 5: Chandratal to Manali
After breakfast, we start on our hike from the lake to the top of the Kunzum pass at 4600m. This is an easy hike and one moves along the landscape getting a very good feel of this semi‐ arid terrain. We finish at Kunzum pass where we board the waiting vehicle and from here drive to Manali via the Rohtang pass. TRIP ENDS HERE.