Are you planning a trip to Manali Leh Highway in October and confused about the status of it? Is it open or closed in October? Is it risky to travel on Manali Leh Highway in October? Or How are the road conditions on Manali Leh Highway in October?
These are some of the common questions I get on this blog about Manali Leh Highway as soon as the Ladakh seasons starts to come to an end in October. I am going to address these questions in the article and help you plan a trip to Manali Leh Highway in October.
Let's quickly dive into the details:
Planning a trip to Manali Leh Highway in October?
Everyone loves traveling on Manali Leh Highway and why not, it offers you the most mesmerizing views. It is the shortest path to travel to Ladakh by road and, of course, offers the adventure of its extreme adventure.
However, as the Ladakh season comes to an end in October, you should think at least once before venturing the journey on Manali Leh Highway in October. It could easily get very risky and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere for a couple of days.
I enlist my thoughts or risks in this article which you must consider before starting any journey on Manali Leh Highway in October.
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1. Being Stranded & Likely Snowfall
Firstly, by late September winter season starts to set in Trans Himalayas and all high passes in the Himalayas start receiving snowfall at frequent intervals. The chances of road closure due to the snowfall in October starts increasing.
Although the BRO tries to maintain and keep the Manali Leh road open up to the end of October, you can surely get stuck or delayed for a day or two or maybe more due snowfall. So, it depends upon the weather altogether and if lucky you may get through without any single blockage.
The point is there is a risk of 2-3 days delay which must be kept in mind before planning any journey to Manali Leh Highway in late September or October.
2. Lack of Accommodation or Stay options
Secondly, the tented accommodation options or food joints and
This leaves you with a very limited choice of bargaining as well as the options to stay on Manali Leh Highway in October. These are some strategic places where you may be required to stop in case there is a sudden snowfall on some adjoining mountain passes or other reasons
The point here is that there is a risk of running out of the limited accommodation options on Manali Leh Highway in case you get stuck at some unplanned place.
Hence, it is advisable that you prepare yourself for it and you should better carry your tent and camping kit. Mental preparation will help you in case you are stranded in the middle of nowhere without a place to stay on Manali Leh Highway in October.
You should always carry your own water bottle and refill it as many times as you need water. It will not only keep you hydrated always, but you will also help in saving the Himalayas from plastic garbage. Remember, every tiny step counts and your step in this direction can help save the Himalayas too !! 🙂 🙂
3. Buses on Manali Leh Highway Stops in October
Thirdly, the public transport on Manali Leh Highway in October gets limited to local shared taxis or jeeps only. Both HRTC and HPTDC stops the bus services on Manali Leh Highway by
The HPTDC Manali Leh luxury bus service stops running by 15th September, refer to the Manali Leh bus schedule is published by HPTDC every year. HRTC buses running between Manali to Leh directly and Manali – Keylong, Keylong to Leh also stops as soon as HRTC departments feel that the road conditions are risky due to ice/frost on the roads, especially early morning.
Sometimes HRTC may run or resume the bus services till the roads are open and safe as suggested by Vistet here. But, again although they are definite options for travel but not as comfortable as HPTDC buses which are for tourists and also do sightseeing on the way too. HRTC buses do not stop for sightseeing on Manali Leh Highway.
Even Delhi to Leh HRTC bus running daily is also stopped to travel over Manali Leh Highway in October, in fact along with other bus services.
Hence, if you are looking for public transport then only shared taxis comes as the other option which does the cannonball run from Manali to Leh in one day.
On any day I will avoid going in a shared taxi which does cannonball run of about 16-18 Hrs from Manali to Leh trip.
4. Motor Rallies
Fourthly, October (generally first or second week) is when the Raid De Himalayas Rally is carried out in the Himalayas. Mostly, Manali Leh Highway is one of the sections, due to which you may find various road sections to be closed for their smooth run.
Moreover, finding an accommodation among the limited open options on Manali Leh Highway in October also becomes a challenge at times. Most of the hotels/stay options on Manali Leh are pre-booked for the participants. This further means trouble, hassles, and delays in your travel plans.
5. Cold Conditions
Finally, you will need to bear some icy conditions when traveling on Manali Leh Highway in October. At nights and mornings, the temperatures will be sub-zero temperatures as almost 250+ km (beyond the Darcha) section of Manali Leh Highway runs above 4000 Mtrs in altitude. Rohtang Pass can be tricky.
In the daytime, it could feel a bit warmer than expected but cold winds will always leave you numb especially when biking and if there are overcast conditions.
So, travel to Ladakh with proper clothing and be prepared with proper biking or travel gears to beat the cold conditions when traveling Manali Leh in October.
Manali Leh in October – FAQs
Let’s look at some of the most common questions about planning a trip to Ladakh or Manali Leh Highway in October.
The short answer is, yes, Manali Leh Highway is open in the month of October. However, you must consider the risks or factors defined in this article before planning such a trip to Ladakh in October.
In general, in October, Manali Leh Highway remains open nowadays (2018) but there are certain caveats as discussed in this article before planning your trip to travel.
I will say that there is a risk associated to travel in October on Manali Leh road. There is a reason that HRTC and HPTDC buses stop plying on this route in mid-September. It is better to keep an eye on
The road conditions on Manali Leh Highway are OK with morning having some black ice/frost on the roads that
Finally, I will suggest that you should only consider traveling to Manali Leh Highway in October or late September if:
- You are OK with getting stuck for a day or two in case of snowfall or road closure in on Manali Leh October
- You can manage the cold conditions and carrying proper
clothing/gearon your trip to fight with cold.
Personally speaking, I will STRONGLY suggest NOT TO attempt any travel on Manali Leh Highway after the mid of October or be ready to either get stuck for a much longer time or sell/leave your vehicle then & there itself to bear a huge loss.
“Weather changes both gradually and suddenly and September can mean real problems as well. In 2009 the road was out two or three times before mid -September and mid-September 2008 meant among other things eight people killed in an avalanche on the road. More examples could be mentioned. The practical approach: keep track of updates on the road conditions, always plan at least a buffer day before
I completely understand it has not happened since 2015, but as I update this in 2020, there are already a couple of snow spells that happened 2019 September (17th). HRTC/HPTDC buses have already stopped plying on Manali Leh due to ice/frost on roads. So, the quote above from Vistet is ten years old. The weather condition has changed a bit now, and hence, I am not warning you to travel in September but changed this article to call out the similar things for October. Sane suggestions are still the same.
I hope you will take these considerations, rather risks, seriously before planning your journey on Manali Leh Highway in October. There is a thin line between Adventure and Insanity, you must always know when not to cross that line.
In the end…
I will look forward to your questions in the comments section of the article or on my Instagram page direct message. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram. If you or your family, friends are planning a trip to Manali Leh Highway in October, please share this article with them too.