14 Mistakes People Commit on a Spiti Valley Trip

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In last few years, the tourist outburst has left no place untouched Leh – Ladakh. The raw nature in Leh – Ladakh used to offer peace, excitement, and adventure which travelers once cherished. The luxury resorts and high-end camps have started taking the charm out of the Leh – Ladakh trip nowadays. As a result, more and more people have started looking for the other options of travel including Spiti Valley trip.

Spiti Valley, also known as the middle land, has become a popular alternative as it offers the raw adventure and nature to those who are looking for such trips. There are a lot of common things between Spiti Valley and Ladakh but I will talk about it on some other day. In this article today, I will talk about some common mistakes people commit while considering a Spiti Valley trip. Enough stress has been put on the importance of acclimatization and AMS for making a memorable trip to Spiti Valley. BUT, still, many other factors drive people towards believing in its importance in real life. I will try to make you understand some of such common factors or mistakes for making a successful trip to Spiti Valley.

Barren beauty of Spiti Valley

Barren beauty of Spiti Valley

Top 14 Mistakes You May Commit on Your Spiti Valley Trip

I have already talked about the 9 Mistakes People Commit on a Ladakh Trip. If you haven’t read this article yet, I will first advice you to read it and then come to this article. Well, 8 out of 9 mistakes mentioned in the linked article is equally applicable for a Spiti Valley trip except the one of Khardung La pass. Hence, I am not going to repeat these common mistakes made for any high altitude place in this article again. I will rather continue on these mistakes in this article from number 9 and share with you those specifically related to a Spiti Valley trip.

9. Making a trip from Manali side

Well, it is OK to make a trip to Spiti Valley from Manali side and I have also outlined the 5 Reasons to Travel Spiti Valley from Manali Route. But, in my honest opinion, it is not the right way to do the trip to Spiti Valley. You tend to gain very high altitude too quickly by making a trip to Kaza from Manali side. In case, you are doing a full circuit from Manali – Kaza – Kinnaur – Shimla, it is always in best interest of your health to start from Shimla side and end at Manali side after covering both Kinnaur and Spiti Valley. It helps you adjust to the high altitude because of a gradual ascend.

10. Sleeping second night at Chandratal lake

It is pretty enticing to have such a wonder of nature called the Moonlake – Chandratal, just two days away from Delhi. I know anyone can get fooled into making such a three day trip to Chandratal from Delhi and in fact, I did the same mistake about 8 years ago. However, it was that mistake only which gave birth to Devil On Wheels Travel platform including this website so that I can help others not to make such mistakes. Chandratal lake is located at an altitude of 14000 feet which is termed as very high altitude and no human body can get acclimatized to such an altitude in one night. Sleeping at Manali does not help in acclimatization, so you are pretty much trying to sleep at Chandratal Lake at 14000 feet without any acclimatization at all. Many people get away with it, some get sleepless nights, some with headaches, some in Kaza hospital and some canceling their trips further. So, it is in your best interest to make a night stay at Chandratal lake while coming back to Manali after completing the Spiti Valley trip.

Everyone loves the charismatic Chandratal lake

Everyone loves the charismatic Chandratal lake

11. I have done Ladakh trip in my sedan, Spiti Valley will be breeze for me

Well, guys, you may have done Leh – Ladakh trip in your hatchback or sedan. However, the road from Manali to Kaza, especially between Gramphu to Battal or Chandratal, is altogether a different ballgame. The road from Gramphu to Battal is more like driving on a riverbed with multiple water crossings and some like Dorni nalla, chota dhara, bada dhara, etc.. which can be very nasty on a given day. There are big rocks beneath them as well which you need to negotiate in these water crossings. Be sure of the car you are taking and experience you have driving in such a terrain otherwise opt for a local taxi. You can get connected directly to some drivers in Himachal or Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These local drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of the pickup as well.

12. Missing on Langza, Hikkim and Komic Circuit

Majority of people who make the trip to Spiti Valley don’t know more than Tabo, Kaza, Ki, Kibber, and Chandratal. However, one of the most picturesque circuit in Spiti Valley, in my opinion, is Langza – Hikkim – Komic. This circuit very much resembles the views you are used to seeing in Leh – Ladakh. However, the valleys are a bit narrow and mountains may not be as daunting as they look in Ladakh. However, the views will not disappoint you a bit !! You can read more about them at: Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Local Sightseeing in Kaza

The road from Gramphu to Battal

The road from Gramphu to Battal

13. Assuming Lahaul Valley same as Spiti Valley

Lahaul Valley is altogether a different region with different views than what Spiti Valley has to offer. Both Lahaul & Spiti Valley often termed together and most people get confused between them. Technically speaking, Kunzum Pass connects Lahaul Valley with Spiti Valley and by jurisdiction wise, if I remember correctly, Spiti Valley is up to Chatru beyond which Lahaul administration starts. Both are tribal circuits but Lahaul Valley can be distinguished by names like Keylong, Udaipur, Jispa, Baralacha La Pass, Surajtal Lake, Darcha, etc.. Majority of these places falls on Manali – Leh Highway and hence, anyone who has made a trip to Manali – Leh Highway would have experienced them. The scenic beauty perspective is also different between Lahaul and Spiti where Lahaul Valley is more green and living while Spiti Valley is more barren and a cold desert.

14. Running through Spiti Valley trip with just 4-5 days plan

Well, there are so many places in Spiti Valley that it deserve more than 4-5 days. Hence, it is best to make a trip to Spiti Valley when you have at least 9-12 days to make some sense of it. Otherwise, it is nothing by ticking off a place from your bucket list rather than actually experiencing what Spiti Valley has to offer.

Roads leading to Langza Village

Roads leading to Langza Village

Conclusion

I hope this article will prove helpful to you in making your upcoming trip to Spiti Valley as a memorable one. I am sure, now that you know about these commons mistakes people make on trips to trans – Himalayas, you won’t be repeating them again.

In case you have any further doubts or questions, feel free to share it under the comments section of this article or as a travel question in our Travel Q & A section. We can always discuss more on your upcoming trip to Spiti Valley and other regions of the Himalayas 🙂

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11 Comments

  1. Hello, what about doing spiti circle with two people on bike In September? Thunderbird 350. Our weight is 70+ 110 kg of both.

  2. Hi Dheeraj,

    Firstly thank you for this useful information 🙂

    I am planning to go to Spiti with my 2 friends is Honda Amaze Diesel on 24th August 2017

    Route will be:
    Delhi- Shimla- Sarahan- Sangla- Chitkul- Nako- Tabo- Kaza- Chandrataal- Spiti- Hikkim- Langza- Kunzum La Pass- Rohatang Pass- Manali- Delhi.

    Just need to ask, are the road conditions fine during this period?

    thank you in advance for your response.

  3. Imran Pathan on

    Thanks Dheeraj,

    I am planning to go on Spiti Valley trip next month (2nd week), my major concern are – is the climb very steep for i20 petrol (82bhp with 115NM) ? (I don’t want to be in a position where I am unable to climb up due to low power). we would also have Fortuner, Abarth and Creta for this trip

    our current schedule is below

    Day 1 : Mumbai – Jaipur
    Day 2 : Jaipur – Narkanda
    Day 3 : Narkanda – Sangla – Chitkul – Sangla
    Day 4 : Sangla – Nako – Tabo
    Day 5: Tabo – Dhankar – Mud
    Explore the Pin Valley
    Day 6 : Mud – Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komic – Hikkim – Langza – Ki – Kibber
    Day 7 : Kibber – Gete – Trashigang – Losar – Chandratal
    Day 8 : Chandratal – Batal – Manali
    Day 9 : Manali – Rewari
    Day 10 : Rewari – Vadodara
    Day 11 : Vadodara – Pune

    Regards
    Imran

    • Imran, you will not feel powerless but you will wish you had higher ground clearance for sure. So, in case you have an option of higher ground clearance vehicle better take it for the trip.

    • hi Imran
      me and my husband are planning spiti trip starting from chandigarh from 7th august 16 th august. we are hiring a scorpio and looking for travel partners. plz msg us on watsapp on 9449055771.its my husbands number.

    • Grand i10 on

      Hi Imran,
      It’s highly recommended that you should not travel in sedan or hatchback in spiti valley. Upto Kaza you can drive easily but from Kaza to Manali surely underbelly going to hit in sedan or hatchback. I was complete my trip from Jaipur- delhi- shimla- kaza- manali- delhi- Jaipur in Grand i10, but I was lucky escaped b/w Kaza and Manali (while passing through water stream my radiator carrier badly hit from bottom and broke but luckily it stay at her place and I am able to drive my vehicle safely to Jaipur, thanks to God I not stuck) Hence its my advice you should leave your i20 at Delhi or Chandigarh and hire Innova/ scorpio etc for your trip.

  4. Paintmytrip OTA on

    Thanks Dheeraj,

    I was exactly looking for a guide like this. Now it will be easy for me to satisfy my client needs.

    Again, Thanks for the Great Guide 🙂

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