Best Season to Travel on Road to Spiti Valley


In this article of the series, “Comprehensive Travel Guide to Spiti Valley”, I will try to share my inputs on best time or season to travel the road to Spiti Valley. There are two routes that goes to Spiti Valley, one via Manali as Manali – Rohtang Pass – Gramphu – Chattru – Kunzum Pass – Kaza (Spiti Valley) AND then other one goes through via Shimla – Kinnaur Valley as Shimla – Kinnaur – Nako – Sumdo (Spiti Valley) – Tabo – Kaza, commonly known as Hindustan – Tibet Highway. The Hindustan – Tibet highway remains open all through out the year via Kinnaur Valley and you can make a journey to Kaza over it all round the year because there is no high mountain pass that comes on this route. It is said to be motorable all round the year, however, traveling to Spiti Valley especially in winter months is not that easy as it reads and conditions in winters on Hindustan – Tibet highway is quite challenging and tough.

Vistas worth dying for at Pin Valley…
Views between Kaza and Pin Valley

Going via Manali side by and large depends first upon opening of Rohtang Pass and then opening of route from Gramphu to Kunzum Pass and Kunzum Pass in itself. This generally takes time and remains closed for almost 7 months in an year. Rohtang Pass generally opens post Mid – May and further route to Kaza over Kunzum Pass almost opens by second week of June only. So, you have very little time in an year, in case you are interested in the entire circuit viz. Delhi – Shimla – Kinnaur – Kaza (Spiti Valley) – Kunzum Pass – Rohtang Pass – Manali – Delhi

Best Time to Travel on Road to Spiti Valley

In the following part of the article, let’s check in detail, how the whole year looks like in terms of traveling on the road to Spiti Valley and then you can evaluate which month shall be best for you to travel there.

Come April to Mid-May, snow starts to melt and some link roads starts to open up including the road to Losar from Kaza. Opening of Kunzum Pass and further road towards Manali from Kunzum Pass, takes more time and generally gets open in the month of June only. However, conditions in Spiti Valley become bearable and journey to spiti Valley is not that hard this period and in fact season starts to open in these two months only when adventurists from various parts of the country start planning their trip to Spiti Valley. Hotels just start to come out of hibernation and things starts to arrive in Spiti Valley on frequent basis. If you are interested in watching snow studded peaks, want to play in snow then this is the ideal time to be in Spiti Valley.

If you are one of those who want to feel the deserted roads, low tourist count, OK with basic facilities and OK to take a chance on giving up a place or two as that link road might not have opened then it is OK for you to travel in this window. But, keep in mind that you will not be able to do the complete circuit.

Heavenly View of Losar Village in May…
Heavenly View of Losar Village in May

Mid – May to Mid – July, is the actual main season in Spiti Valley when loads of tourist make their journey over here and season eventually takes rapid move as the road to Manali over Kunzum Pass also open by second week of June. Mostly all the link roads to various sightseeing places or remote villages in Spiti Valley are open in this period and you can plan your visit. Hotels are all open with full facilities, there is quite a lot of hustle bustle of tourists all around in Spiti Valley. Even Chandratal lake becomes accessible in the month of June soon after the Kunzum Pass opens. Well, it is one of the good time to be in Spiti Valley and a desperate retreat from the HEAT of northern cities of India. There are many water crossings active during this period as the snow melts, so it is always better to reach the destination well in afternoon to avoid getting stuck either in one of those water crossings or behind it. So, follow “Leave Early, Sleep Early” principle very strictly. In the recent past, June appears to have good pre-monsoon showers on the way to Spiti Valley especially in Kinnaur and even Spiti experience one or two spells of snow in June as well :shock:, not to forget the recent (June 2013) tragic flash floods in Kinnaur district. So, weather is somehow becoming un predictable now a days. However, this is considered one of the better times to travel over road to Spiti Valley that is Hindustan – Tibet Highway.

Views on Kaza – Kunzum Pass – Battal – Manali Road in June…
Views on Kaza - Kunzum Pass - Battal - Manali Road in June

Mid – July to August, is the time when monsoon is in full flurry in Kinnaur and DO understand that Kinnaur is not a place to be at especially in rains with its history of massive landslides and the live landslide zone of Malling Nalla ahead of Nako. in this period, roads are almost in horrible state as compared to rest of the year especially in Kinnaur Valley. Having said all that, it does not mean that it is not a season for Spiti Valley. Spiti Valley falls under Trans Himalayan region which is generally rain shadowed but in recent past rains have started to reach even Spiti though not that much just frequent drizzles and overcast skies. So, generally this time shall be avoided, if possible and only chance shall be taken when you have enough number of buffer days in hand to face intermittent delays or even cancellation of the trip. Once, you reach Spiti Valley, things remain mostly OK but do not forget that you have to return via either Manali or Kinnaur again which DO experience good monsoon rains, especially Rohtang Pass will be in big mess. Also, keep in mind that it is also a time of Apple Season and crop transportation which creates good amount of traffic jams owing to high number of trucks that ply on Kinnaur Valley route. If you happen to be there, then do take one or two cartons of golden apples or red apples from Kinnaur 🙂

Dreaded Roads of Rohtang Pass in August…
Dreaded Roads of Rohtang Pass in August

September to mid-October, is the time which is my favourite when autumn colours of Spiti are blooming with oranges leaves on the trees enhancing the beauty of magnificent backdrops by many levels. The aqua colours of water in the river just adds jewels to the pristine beauty all around Spiti Valley. The conditions at night and morning is quite cold, at some parts, almost close to 2-3 degree Celsius, so do carry heavy woolens at this time of the year with you. You can also get your hands on super delicious Spiti Apples around Tabo or Hurling and even in Kaza at house of locals. DO NOT miss to taste them or buy them if possible, I am sure you would not have tasted such an apple before 😉 … If you are a snow lover then you will not like this month as almost all the peaks around you would be naked without any snow on them.

Regarding making the complete circuit, especially after mid of October, yes you can come from Kinnaur side and go via Manali side BUT do check the weather updates for few days before making the trip across Kunzum Pass when you are at Kaza or Losar. Kunzum Pass starts getting snowfall by September end and it can be very tricky and risky crossing over it in no mans land. Hence, you need to be very very sure of weather especially in October, when making a move from Kaza to Manali beyond Kunzum Pass. My frank and modest advice is always to avoid it.

Leading us to heaven – Spiti Valley…
Views at Road to Spiti Valley between Nako and Tabo

November to March, is generally winter months in Spiti Valley and while traveling you go through lots of hardships of ice on the roads, lack of electricity, extreme winter conditions with sub zero temperatures topped with basic facilities as most of the guest houses gets closed. Kunzum Pass gets closed by November for next 6-7 months, so one cannot complete the circuit from Shimla – Kinnaur to Manali during this period. It is to be noted that in this winter period, the water in the taps freeze and people depend upon hand pump water at certain places or boiled water in buckets. Kaza, especially suffer from shortage of water in these months and wash rooms are big nightmares without tap water. So, in all this period, the life is not that ease. In this period, the link roads to various places like Geyu Mummy, Pin Valley, Kibber, Gette, Komik, Langza, Losar ahead of Kaza etc. in Spiti Valley remain closed as well. Hence, you can only make a trip upto Kaza on this route and there is always a chance of closure of roads for few days if it continues to snow for a period of time during winters. So, if you are making a road trip in winters, be ready for extreme adventure and delays too!! Go Very well prepared in this time of the year with respect to mental levels, physical levels and food to carry along with buffer days.


Still confused?? Well, in the end, I can say if you love lovely vivid colors of nature or photographer, love less tourists around you at the cost of snow around then make a journey in the month of September. Otherwise, if you are one of those snow lovers then make the journey in the period of Mid-May to June.

Feel free to ask any queries or share your valuable inputs on your take on Season to Travel on Road to Spiti Valley either in the comments section below or help other travelers with your views in DoW – Himalayan Travel Community at the link here

If you found above article useful, then PLEASE stay connected with us on Facebook or Twitter or Email Subscription for any himalayan travel queries or travel updates / tips / news / guides on Traveling to Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Kashmir and other parts of Himalayas. Travel, off the road with us...


About Author

You can call me an Avid Traveler, a Day - Night Dreamer and a Passionate Lover of Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in Himalayas & sharing back those Himalayan Travel experiences with the other fellow Travelers... I am in love with Spreading Smiles in Himalayas through DoW Causes & currently enjoying life as Happy Traveling Soul at DoW Community. You can read more about me in detail at the link here ...


  1. Hi Dheeraj,

    Amazing storytelling!!

    I have a quick query.

    We’re a group of 5 and are planning to visit Spiti in April second week. We’ll be travelling on our own bikes.

    1. Is it a good time to visit? Would snow be melted from road by that time?

    2. Can we find lodge and hotels open in Spiti valley by that time?

    Please let me know if possible.

    Thanks in Advance

    • Hi Gaurav,

      1. April is a very tricky time when snow is melting and landslides, shootings stones are pretty common during those days. Also, Spiti itself is quite cold during April with many internal roads still blocked due to snow and of course you can only travel upto Kaza.
      2. You will be able to find home stays that just start to run but the toilets with water can be an issue.

  2. Amit Naskar on

    hi deeraj

    i am planing a bike trip to sangla,chitkul, spiti. can i go in this april, may or agust??????

  3. Hetal Dedhia on

    Hii dhiraj,
    M planning manali keylong n keylong to kaza n return this may . Aftr 15th may.. is rohtang kaza road conditions gud to travel.. we are 11 people.. need ur suggestions pls do reply.. wl b cumin frm mumbai .. also v had visited Kinnaur frm shimla route last year in same dates .

  4. vikram mody on

    hello I would like to know whether Honda shine is proper for spitti valley tour as well as leh ladakh tour. What is the minimum amount of CC for this tour. please specify with brand and model properly.

    • Vikram, Well though it is not required to have more powerful bike like Bullet/RE but always preferable. 100cc might be able to do it as I have read few accounts of it in the past but surely will struggle at some places where it might be required to push manually, especially I believe if you get stuck in some water crossing. DO NOT push the bike beyond its limit in case your stuck rather user your own physical power to get it out.

    • Most of us have daily commuting and 100cc bikes small cars. Still we have dreams to travel high on these beautiful and challenging roads. Its always preferable to travel on these roads using powerful, 4×4, SUV, high ground clearance kind of vehicles. But very few fortunate traveller could afford it. So what about our dreams? But the impressions changes as you see the local people defying all these norms for travel vehicles and still commute daily and comfortably on these roads.
      You may travel on 100cc bike, although it doesn’t sound so comfortable. I have done it on the Langza-tashigong – Gete and on Demul roads, using 100cc bike (star city). I did it with pillion riding, but I had to ask my friend to get down at one point (my bike got breathless while attempting a short-cut) near Gete. Apart from this, there was no problem. If you are still keen on it, my only suggestions are:
      1. Ride solo but in a group of at least 2 to 3 and with minimum/essential luggage.
      2. Try to avoid short-cuts/bypass created by local vehicles, unless you have a more powerful vehicle.
      3. Don’t do dangerous and gushing/water-crossings, but wait for some pickups passing by to carry you. It is quiet easy and handy in comparison to taking risk. Do the known and anticipated water-crossings (eg. Mulling Nala) in the morning hours.
      4. Clean the air filters/carburetors, if they are choked before going to above >4000 meters stretch. The roads here are very dusty.

  5. Pratik Mallick on

    Hello Dheeraj,

    I am planning for a vacation to Spiti valley end of May 2017 with family. When I say family its all adult group with age ranging to 60+. My question is, is it okay to travel with such a family end of May? When should be the best time?

  6. Himanshu Kohli on


    We are group of 4 friends traveling to Spiti Valley from Delhi on 1st December.

    I have seen that way through Hindustan-Tibet Highway is open throughout the year.

    What would be the best way to reach there? We can easily reach Shimla, i need you help to know that how can we go further. Where can we get buses? Do we need to change the bus or there is a direct bus?

    Thanks in Advance!!

  7. Hi dheeraj,
    I am planning with 9 freinds to visit rohtnag paas via spiti velly on 31st december.
    We have have a car qualis can we do this jurney.

  8. hey,

    hello,i am planing to visit in himachal pradesh for 8 to 9 days…i want to cover places like shimla,manali,kasol -kheerganga,dharmshala and kaza…can we cover all the places???????would you advice against planning such atrip???and yess whats the best route????planning this trip from kolkata…plzs suggest…

    thanks in advance

  9. Hi bro,

    can u tel me which month iz best for visit in leh & which route

    I am from Mumbai & planing to visit leh wid my fortuner

  10. Hi Dheeraj,

    we are 2 couple planning to ride Bullet from Chandigarh to Spiti via Simla from 4th Nov to 14 Nov, what are you suggestions on this, we did not get any other time hence we chose this and we were initially planned for Ladakh but realized that roads will be closed for Ladakh, please advise.


  11. hi dheeraj.
    we want to travel between 21st and 28th october and we choose to drive scorpio from zoom car
    We want to take the manali way because we want to reach earlier and spend more time in kaza.
    >>can you list the kind of challenges we would be facing.?
    >> what all things we should carry to be prepared.?
    >> can we also find some drivers (not taxi only drivers) for the car in case we feel its quiet hard for us.

  12. Dwibesh Nath on

    Hi Sir.
    We are 5 friends planning (28th Oct – 1st Nov ) from Gurgaon to Kaza and then back, through Shimla route only.
    We will stay at Kinnaur (in Home stay) and travel Kazza in the early morning and then back to Kinnaur within the same day. Will this plan be feasible? Please suggest the risk and road condition too? We will cover the distance in a Fortuner.


    • Kalpa (kinnaur) to Kaza is a good 9 Hrs of drive so doing this in one day takes lot from your body. Now, if you want do come back the same day, it will be too too risky and not recommended at all. From Shimla side, it takes 3 days to reach Spiti Valley if you plan to drive 8-9 Hrs each day and three days to come back. Even if you stretch and take the risks of AMS at least 5 days will be required for a very hectic trip.

    • narwalshekhar on

      Hello Dwibesh!
      We are 4 friends, doing the same route from Nov. 1 to 6 in a rented Scorpio. If you want to tag along, do let us know.
      PS- You can also join us in our vehicle at roughly around 10,000/- per head including stay in rented tents+sleeping bags and basic food (3 times a day). Contact me at 9717911270.

  13. Dear Dheeraj,

    Wonderful and informative piece of writing as always!

    We are planning do spiti to and fro via Shimla from 21st October till 2nd November. We have been there earlier but in June. Now, my concern is whether the roads will be already blocked by then owing to snow? We aim to cover Nako, Tabo, Dhankar, Langza, Komic, Hikkim and Mud. The catch is my parents and parents in law will be with us and hence i want to be sure that they don’t get the shock of their lives looking at the roads. World wait for your advice.


    • Sayonee, you can make the trip to Spiti Valley but I will suggest to make the trip from Shimla – Kinnaur and come back from the same route. You should not take Manali – Kaza route for sure. Also, since your parents will be traveling, it will be tricky as it starts getting cold up there and conditions might not be too favourable for someone not used to travel raw.

  14. Parteek Singh Thind on

    Hi devil,
    We are planning a road trip from 8th to 12th October, 2016. Here is a brief itinerary:
    8th) Chandigarh to Solang Valley
    9th) Solang valley to batal (3 hrs for Chandartal lake) to kaza
    10th) Kaza to (Kibber Village) to Dhankar to Tabo to nako to khas to kalpa
    11th) Kalpa to Narkanda
    12th) Narkanda to Chandigarh
    we are frequent riders but never been to spiti b4. So, be true and tell us is it do able? And please give ur personal suggestions. And m in doubt of completing Chandartal lake while solang to kaza: do u think it could be done?
    thanx for ur time

    • Parteek, it is only like being on road and doing nothing. Kaza to Kibber and Dhangkar and then to Tabo – Nako – Kalpa will be a bit too much. You should be able to do Kaza – Kalpa. All these days will be long long days, so be ready for some fun on dirt roads for long long days. If I were you, I will try to add couple of days and ease out the journey to some extent.

  15. Aditya Krishnan on

    Hey I am planning a trip do to the shimla – kunzum- shimla in last week of october, please suggest is it the right time to travel what do i need to pack, Will i need special tyres, essentials, also will I be able to see the kinnaur, pin valley etc Please hep out we are planning to go in skoda rapid , ground clearance 175 mm

  16. Hi Dheeraj ,

    First , let me thanks for answering my queries regarding my maiden Ladakh Trip this June on my Bike with my spouse. It was real fun of a trip. Kudos to you for helping travelers like me.

    Come Dussehra holidays and again I am planning a Spiti Valley Trip with my Spouse on a self drive rental (Ford EcoSport) from Chandigarh. However, I just have 5 days i.e depart from Chandigarh @ 11/Oct noon and return Delhi by 16 Nov 6 PM.

    Considering This constraint, I propose the following itinerary. I understand it might be a bit tight schedule but do let me know your thoughts on same.

    11/Oct : Reach Narkanda/Rampur (Leave Chandigarh by 12 noon) & Stay Overnight
    12/Oct : Reach Rakchham/Sangla (Explore Chitkul somewhat)
    13/Oct : Reach Kaza (Explore Khab/Dhankar)
    14/Oct : Explore Kaza (Key Monastery & Kibber & Komick & Langza)
    15/Oct : Leave Kaza and Arrive @ Manali
    16/Oct : Leave Manali By 4 AM to reach Delhi by 6PM


  17. Ankit Gupta on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip to spiti via shimla in the first week of November by a self driven Ecosport? How are the road conditions during this part of the year?

    • Ankit, firstly keep in mind that roads will be frozen with black ice on the road especially when you enter the region of Nako and then further. You have to be very careful while driving and one brake you may end up in a crash or in gorge. So, only take the ride if you are experienced enough to drive in such regions during freezing conditions. Secondly, everything will be shut in Spiti Valley and only handful of guest houses or home stays will be operational. The food will be basic and there will be no water in the taps and bathrooms will be locked. Only options will be dry pits. If you are game for these, well, you are good to go 🙂

    • narwalshekhar on

      We are 4 friends, doing the same route from Nov. 1 to 6 in a rented Scorpio. If you want to tag along, do let us know.
      PS- You can also join us in our vehicle at roughly around 10,000/- per head including stay in rented tents+sleeping bags and basic food (3 times a day). Contact me at 9717911270.

  18. Hi Dheeraj,
    We are planning to go from manali to spiti valley and return manali on 7th to 11th oct. Is it safe drive bike at that time and where can we find hotel for night stay?

    • Sharan, well, it is doable and roads will be devoid of water crossings but the route will be less frequented during that time and most of the stay options pack up between Manali – Kaza. In case the weather predictions are not good, then please avoid to travel between Kaza – Manali as getting stuck there means getting stuck in no man’s land.

  19. HI DOW !! I Will be great thankful to you please suggest me…….

    We are 4 ppl from Delhi and we are so excited to see extreme snow of SPITI valley as we have seen in HIMALAYAN ROADS videos….we have 10 days…… Please suggest the best month in which we can go and see that extreme snow and roads will be open or not through Kinnaur side obviously.

    We have 3 months to choose from ……..OCT , NOV , DEC
    Desire ……… Extreme Snow
    Vehicle ……… Bullets but if you say its not good than we will hier a JEEP

    According to mee there will be huge amount of snow everywhere in the month of december….But is it possible to go there in december from delhi ? Also tell for November …… weather that amount of snow we can see in november as well ? and also tell the status of roads for both november and december month.


  20. Jaydeep Mistry on

    Hi DOW – I’m planning a trip last week of Oct and first week Nov to Spiti. Can you suggest the best driving route? Also do you think weather will be ok considering it will be the beginning of winter?

    I’m going to use my Jetta, so what day about the road condition?


    • Jaydeep, I will not recommend the travel over Manali – Kaza road. So, you will be left with the option of travel to Spiti Valley from Kinnaur side and come back from Kinnaur side only. These are the night halts you should make: Narkanda, Kalpa, Tabo, Kaza (spend few days based on time on hand), Sangla, Sarahan, Delhi

  21. Krishnakumar Bhavsar on

    Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning a trip to Himachal in the second week of November on my bike(All the way from Maharashtra). Now I would really love to do the full circuit. Would you advice against planning such a trip?

    • Yes, I will not recommend at all going from Manali – Kaza road during that time of the year. You can make a trip from Shimla – Kinnaur side and come back from the same route in case you are OK to battle the mildly harsh winters

  22. Hi Dheeraj,

    We are planning to do Spiti valley but only have 7 days.. Can we cover a major part of Spiti in a week ? If Yes, whats the best route ? We are open to self drive.

    Thanks in advance !!

    • Neha, you can do the below plan:

      Day 1 : Reach Manali by overnight volvo of 28 and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 2 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 3 : Kaza – Dhangkar – Tabo – Kaza OR Kaza – Langza – Komik – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 4 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber – Chandratal
      Day 5 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 6 : Chill around Manali and take evening Volvo
      Day 7 : Reach Delhi by overnight Volvo from Manali

  23. hi dheeraj,

    im planning to spiti in my vw polo tdi in mid sept, should we go with polo?
    And we have 4-5 only…


  24. Hello Dheeraj jii,

    We (Me and my husband) are from mumbai and are planning a road trip to Spiti (10 days) to and from Chandigarh 24th sep to 3rd nov. We need your advice about the road condition and driving difficulties.
    We have a choice of renting Zoomcar for self drive or hiring a taxi with a driver. Definitely we are more interested in self drive but my husband would be the sole driver and he had never driven on Himalayas. We are planning to take Ecosport for the journey. What would be your advice. If you suggest us to hire a taxi then can be please help us with some details of Spiti Tour Package providers. We would be following the common itinerary. If car breaks in between will we get support in the route is our major concern.


    • Hi Rashmi,

      Roads are best in the whole season in September, definitely not saying they are still easy but comparatively in while season they are in best shape towards end of September. I will not advice you to self drive if you guys have never driven in Himalayas.

      You can get connected directly to some drivers in Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley at the link: List of Taxi Drivers for Spiti Valley & Kinnaur Valley. These drivers can come and pick you up from Manali / Shimla / Delhi / Chandigarh too, of course with a price of pickup as well.

      The rates of the taxis are about Rs 3000-3500 per day depending upon the number of days you plan to travel, more the days, less the price.

      Otherwise, taxis in general are also available on the spot from Shimla or Manali from respective taxi stands

      For stay options in Kinnaur and Spiti, check the link: Some Good Options of Stays in Spiti Valley / Kinnaur Valley.

  25. Hi Dheeraj
    Would 2nd -3rd week of Oct be too late to plan a trip to Spiti ? Considering the weather !

    • Sumit, it has started snowing a bit in higher himalayas. Though it is not that late if you can bear cold conditions but be ready and prepared in case of snow you may get stuck for a day or two. Do Manali – Kaza early in the trip and there will not be any issues while coming back from Kinnaur side.

  26. Dear Sir,

    We are planning to visit Spiti in september end in XUV5OO. We will start on 24th night. we have total 6-7 days in hand to complete the circuit of Delhi-Narkanda-kaza-Rohtang-Manali-Delhi. As you mentioned above September is good to travel in that area. I have to questions
    1) Can we hire bikes in Kaza for local travelling?
    2) Can we carry small LPG cylinder for cooking our own meals.
    Please Advice


    • Siingh, well, there are no bike rental shops in Kaza. Regarding carrying cylinder, AFAIK, it is not allowed to carry fuel in passenger vehicles. Above all, when everything will be available why to risk your life by carrying an inflammable material in the car. You can cook in the kitchen of locals in case you want where you will be staying.

Leave A Reply

Love Traveling to Himalayas?

YES - Let's Stay Connected !!

Get free bi-monthly travel updates, news, guides, tips, itineraries, stories, hotel & restaurant reviews, etc.. focused totally on travelling to Himalayas right in to your mailbox.

Don't worry, we will neither SELL nor SPAM your mail :)

Love Traveling to Himalayas?

YES - Let's Stay Connected !!

Get free bi-monthly travel updates, news, guides, tips, itineraries, stories, hotel & restaurant reviews, etc.. focused totally on travelling to Himalayas right in to your mailbox.

Don't worry, we will neither SELL nor SPAM your mail :)

Send this to friend