In the 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 making a Spiti Valley trip.
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Let's quickly dive into the details:
Top 14 Mistakes You May Commit on Your 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.
Mistakes #1 to #8
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.
As a brief reminder in Spiti valley context, here are these 8 tips to consider before you plan the Spiti valley trip.
- I am very fit and have a good body, I do not need acclimatization
- I have done many high altitude trips, I do not need acclimatization now
- I have clocked 100,000 Miles, I will breeze through the roads in Spiti Valley
- I never plan my trips and I will not plan for my Spiti valley trip too
- I can follow his WRONG plan because he had no issues on his Spiti trip
- I have done 800 KMs drive in a day, so, 400 KMs in a day in Spiti is nothing in for me
- I can take my infant baby because I have seen many pictures where people took theirs too
- I can drink alcohol because there have never been issues
I am not going to repeat the details of these common mistakes made for any high altitude place in this article again. You can refer them in the linked article with a context of Spiti Valley instead of Leh Ladakh. 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. Planning a trip to Spiti 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 increase in altitude. This will help you enjoy your road trip to Spiti Valley in a much-relaxed manner.
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 10 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. So, learn from the mistakes I did and enjoy your trips in a better manner.
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.
11. I have done Ladakh trip in my sedan, Spiti Valley will be breeze for me
Well, guys, you may have done a Kashmir trip or Leh Ladakh trip in your hatchback or sedan. However, the road from Manali to Kaza, especially between Gramphu to Batal or Chandratal, is altogether a different ballgame.
The road from Gramphu to Batal 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
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 they deserve more than 4-5 days. Hence, it is best to make a trip to Spiti Valley when you have at least 9-10 days to make some sense of it. Otherwise, it is nothing more than ticking off a place from your bucket list rather than actually experiencing what Spiti Valley has to offer.
IF you are still short on time and want to make a trip to Spiti Valley in less number of days, you can refer my article on how to plan a Spiti valley trip in 5-6 days.
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.
Have a travel question?? You can follow me on Instagram and ask your travel questions in a direct message on Instagram too. I also conduct a weekly Q&A session every Saturday evening on Instagram, so see you there.
In case you have any further doubts or questions, feel free to share it under the comments section of this article or reach me out on my Instagram account. We can always discuss more on your upcoming trip to Spiti Valley and other regions of the Himalayas 🙂
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