There are pass crossing treks. And there are those few which are more dramatic than the others. Hampta Pass trek falls under those rare, dramatic ones. What makes a pass crossing dramatic? It is when the scenery on one side of the pass is absolutely different and unexpected from the other. That’s why the Hampta Pass is stunning. On one side is the lush green valley of Kullu — with forests, grasslands and flowers blooming on the side of your trail. On the other is the almost arid, stark landscape of Lahaul, with barren mountains and almost no vegetation. Standing on the top of the pass, what’s ahead and behind are two different worlds. It changes in a matter of minutes.
- Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 5 (Jobra to Chhatru). You will be camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
- Meals – All meals from lunch at Prini on day 1 to breakfast at Chhatru on Day 6 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
- Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
- Trekking equipment – You will stay in high-quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, microspikes, gaiters etc. as required.
- Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
- Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic/advanced mountaineering courses.
- Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well-trained guides, cooks, helpers, and porters.
- Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the drive to Jobra or return from Chhatru.
- Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs. 1,000 + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/trolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Jobra/Manali (Rs. 350 per day inclusive of tax).
- Transport – The transport from Manali to Jobra on day 1, Chathru to Chandrataal and back as well as Chhatru to Manali on day 6 is not included in the trek fee. Refer to Short itinerary for details.
- Stay at Manali on the last day
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Anything apart from inclusions
Day 1: Reach Jobra
The base camp for the Hampta Pass trek is Jobra. The picturesque drive from Manali, along with 42 hairpin turns, has panoramic views of Kullu valley. The Rani Nallah, which you will trek alongside till it disappears under the snow of Hampta Pass, starts accompanying you from here. From the road head at Jobra, the campsite is a 30-minute trek through a mixed forest of pine, bright green maple trees and luminescent silver birch.
Altitude: 9,379 ft (2,859 m)
Time taken: 2 hours drive from Manali to Jobra; 30-minute trek to Jobra campsite. Reach Prini (Keylinga Inn) by 11.30 am. The cab fare is Rs.2,500 per vehicle. This is not included in the trek fee. It is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cross the road where you get off from the vehicle and take the small path into the forest. The forest is mostly Pine with an occasional Maple tree with its new lush green leaves – a pleasant change in the vegetation. It’s an easy slope and after 20 minutes into the forest, you come to a bend with a huge rock which overlooks a meadow strewn with small rocks. Camp in the meadows for the night to acclimatise better.
Day 2: Jobra to Jwara
Altitude: 9,379 ft (2,859 m) to 11,194 ft (3,412 m)
Time taken: 5 hours, 5 km
Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Easy walk to Chika for about an hour followed by 2 hours of ascent through a boulder section. Descent for 1-1.5 hours easing off into a level walk.
Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Jobra. You can refill your water bottles from the river along the trail. The meadow near Jobra has the Rani Nallah or Rani river flowing in between and on either side, you will see hills with rock faces. Some cows and sheep graze in the meadow which is lined with Maple and Pine trees. Early in the season one may find some snow by the side of the river.
Day 3: Trek from Jwara to Balu Ka Ghera
Altitude: 11,194 ft (3,412 m) to 12,411 ft (3,783 m)
Time taken: 4-5 hours, 4.5 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. Short meadow walk followed by boulder section for a couple of hours, leading to a trail on loose rocks all the way. Very gradual incline through the day.
Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You will find streams along the trail to refill your water bottles. The river has snow flows melting and feeding it while numerous sheep and mules feed on the green grass. In front are snow-clad mountains beyond which lies the Hampta Pass. Walk along the Rani river heading into a rectangular valley. On your way, you will find a variety of tiny flowers – purple, yellow, pink etc. The trees are now left behind. You won’t find them anymore for quite some time. It takes about half an hour to cross the valley.
Day 4: Balu Ka Ghera to Shea Goru via Hampta Pass
Altitude: 12,411 ft (3,921 m) to 12,864 ft (3,735 m) via 14,065 ft (4,287 m)
Time taken: 9 hours, 5 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. An hour of gradual ascent after which the trail becomes steep uphill till the pass, interspersed with short descents. 2 hours of steep descent from the pass, easing off into a flat walk.
Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water from Balu ka Ghera. Late season streams likely once the snow melts. Today’s trek can be broken into two stages – the climb to Hampta Pass which is moderately steep followed by a steep descent to Shea Goru. You will want to take a small break at the top of the pass to make it your target to reach the pass by lunchtime, have lunch there and then start the descent.
You begin your day by heading towards the mountains from Balu Ka Ghera. You may get a pleasant surprise with lots of tiny pink and yellow flowers growing by the side of the river. Move along the river for an hour after which you will be above it. At some points, the trail may fade out so be careful not to get lost. Stay with your team.
Day 5: Shea Goru to Chhatru; drive to Chandratal* and back to Chhatru
Altitude: 12,864 ft (3,735 m) to 10,898 ft (3,322 m) to 14,100 ft (4,298 m)
Time taken: 4 – 4.5 hours; 6 km
Trek gradient: Moderate. 2-2.5 hours of walking on moraine and loose rocks on gentle inclines, followed by a descent to Chhatru across a couple of glacial flows.
Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Shea Goru. You will find a few sources on the way to refill your water bottles.
* depending on the condition of the roads and weather
As you move closer to the road, the descent gets a little tricky. You will need to traverse by the edges of rocks and sometimes it might just be easier to get down into the river/glacier bed below to skip the rocky section and get back up.
There are also a couple of places with slippery soil. So you need to be nimble and hop down them to prevent yourself from sliding.
Day 6: Drive from Chhatru to Manali
After an early morning debriefing, bid the Spiti valley goodbye and head back to Manali. The journey from Chhatru to Manali passes through Rohtang Pass and can take up to 4 hours. The scenery all through the route is a treat in itself.