As soon as winter is here, I am sure the thought of making a trip to Kinnaur in winters should be coming to the adventurous mind like yours 🙂 🙂 … And I will say, why not? Kinnaur Valley is as beautiful in winters as in any other season of the year. However, along with this adventurous thought of planning a trip to Kinnaur in winters, other apprehensions accompany it as well.
The questions like whether the roads to Kinnaur Valley will be open in winters or not; if you will get the proper accommodation/hotels in Kinnaur in winters or not; or whether there will be food and water for the tourist survival or not. These questions are natural when considering a trip to a remote and tribal belt of Himachal Pradesh. And just for information Kinnaur Valley falls under such tribal belt of Himachal Pradesh.
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Let's quickly dive into the details:
How to plan a Kinnaur Valley winter trip?
In my last article, trip to Kinnaur Valley in Winters – Important Tips, I discussed what to expect and what not to expect on a trip to Kinnaur in winter. If you have already read it, I assume that you will have a fair idea of things like road conditions, road closures, open/closed hotels, or places to visit in Kinnaur in winters.
In this article today, I will be talking about the most common itinerary, which you can follow for a trip to Kinnaur in winters. Unlike planning a trip to Spiti in winters, there are fewer variables in comparison to a trip to Kinnaur in winters.
However, you should be aware of the itinerary as it shall be kept a bit flexible for any last-minute changes due to snow or snowfall. While planning an itinerary for a trip to Kinnaur in winters, you must know which places to avoid staying overnight as the roads can get closed for a long time due to snowfall.
Are the roads open in Kinnaur Valley in Winters?
When making a trip to Kinnaur in winters, you must be aware that most of the roads remain open all around the year within Kinnaur Valley except the Chitkul region. The roads to Chitkul remains closed from December to the middle of March.
However, you must keep in mind that roads around Narkanda and towards Sangla Valley from Karcham may close for a couple of days in case of heavy snowfall. Also, beware that the roads in Sangla Valley, especially, may close due to snowfall for many more days and hence should be avoided for an overnight stay in winters.
Keeping these things in mind will help you avoid getting stuck in snowbound roads of Kinnaur Valley in winters. If interested, you can know more at the wiki link about Kinnaur flora and fauna.
Itinerary for Kinnaur in Winters for 7-8 Days
This article talks about places accessible in Kinnaur in winters including Kalpa, Sarahan, Sangla Valley and other parts of Hindustan – Tibet Highway. The itinerary outlined below span over 7-8 days making the most use of each of these days in winters.
Day 1 | Delhi – Shimla / Narkanda
- Shimla sightseeing includes Famous Ridge, Mall Road, Lakkar Bazaar, Jakhu Temple
- Narkanda is about 60 KMs from Shimla takes about 2 Hrs
- About 8 Hrs drive to Shimla
- Overnight at Shimla or Narkanda, whichever suits your timings
- There may be snow on the road and you can expect closure due to heavy snowfall between Shimla – Narkanda
Day 2 | Shimla / Narkanda – Kalpa / Reckong Peo
- Leave early, if from Shimla and enjoy the vistas en route
- You can plan for lunch at Rampur
- About 8 – 9 Hrs of beautiful drive through Kinnaur Valley
- Overnight at Kalpa / Reckong Peo
- Road to Kalpa might be closed due to snow but the road to Reckong Peo remains open. The road to Kalpa remains closed only for a couple of days, so either you can stay at Reckong Peo or walk towards Kalpa 🙂
Pro Tip: If you are doing a self drive to Kinnaur Valley in winters, then make sure to read the article 40 Must Have Things to Carry on a Self Drive Trip to the Himalayas
Day 3 | Rest day at Kalpa
- Rest day at Kalpa
- You can also visit the Chandika Devi temple at Kothi Village about 3 KMs from Reckong Peo
- A walk or hike to the Roghi village from Kalpa
- Visit the suicide point or straight drop point and get clicked from an angle that works 😉
- Enjoy the beautiful sunrise and sunset on Kinner Kailash range from Kalpa
- Enjoy snow or snowfall at Kalpa
- Overnight at Kalpa
Day 4 | Day Trip to Sangla / Rakcham (Baspa Valley) or Reach Sarahan
- Leave for Sangla Valley / Baspa Valley after breakfast.
- You can visit Kamru Fort, there is a trout hatchery region across the river in Sangla.
- Visit, Hike or Walk around in Sangla Valley up to the point roads are open.
- About 3 Hrs of drive in the day.
- You have two options here. One makes a day trip to Sangla Valley and returns to Kalpa or Reckong Peo for an overnight stay. Else if you have fewer days at hand, continue the trip to Sarahan after visiting Sangla Valley for some time and stay overnight at Sarahan.
- Overnight at Kalpa or Sarahan
Interesting Fact: Did you know that there is a difference between NH-22 and Hindustan – Tibet Highway?
Day 5 | Kalpa – Sarahan
- Relax at Sarahan and visit the Bhimakali Temple
- Visit Annapurna dhabha for a meal
- About 4 – 5 Hrs of a beautiful drive
- Overnight at Sarahan
Day 6 | Sarahan – Narkanda – Chail/Delhi
- Leave early and enjoy the vistas en route
- You can plan for lunch at Narkanda, Negi Dhabha, check review in DoW Community
- This time instead of staying at Narkanda or Shimla stay at Chail by taking the different inner beautiful route to Chail from Kufri, in case open. That route sometimes gets closed due to snow.
- About 6 – 14 Hrs of beautiful drive through Shimla – Kinnaur Valley depending upon where are you planning to halt the day
- Overnight at Chail/Delhi
Day 7 | Chail – Delhi
- In case, you have this extra day past the whole week, well, you can relax in Chail
- Roam around in Chail and leave for Delhi by afternoon
- About 8 Hrs drive to Delhi
- Overnight at Delhi / sweet home
Day 8-9 | Buffer Days
Buffer days to be kept in case of road closure due to landslides or snowfall or perhaps you want to enjoy more in frozen beauty of Kinnaur Valley 🙂
Petrol Pumps in Kinnaur Valley
There will not be any issue for petrol in Kinnaur Valley as the route to Kinnaur via Shimla – Reckong Peo has multiple options. Apart from it, you can also fill the petrol at the Reckong Peo petrol pump as well as the Tapri petrol pump. Still, I will recommend doing a top-up at Narkanda, Rampur and Reckong Peo or Tapri to be on the safer side.
- Narkanda Do Top Up Here
- Rampur After crossing the town, the last one on the right side is pretty reliable
- Rekong Peo
If you are planning a trip to Kinnaur Valley in summers, you can also check this common itinerary for Kinnaur Valley
Can I make a trip to Kinnaur from Manali in winters?
The road from Manali to Kaza to Kinnaur remains closed during the winter months. Hence, you cannot make a trip to Kinnaur Valley from Manali – Kaza route. During this time both Rohtang Pass and Kunzum Pass or Manali to Kaza road remains closed for about six months.
Similarly, in January, the Jalori Pass also starts getting heavy snowfall and gets closed. So, Manali to Kalpa route via Jalori Pass also gets closed during wintertime.
However, if you want to travel from Manali to Kinnaur during winter, you can take the route from Manali to Mandi to Rohanda to Karsog to Rampur. This route does not have any high mountain passes and remains open all around the year.
Why make a trip to Kinnaur Valley in winter?
Well, you can expect less crowd on a trip to Kinnaur Valley in winter, and some breathtaking views of snowbound Kinner Kailash range. Most hotels will offer you discounts, and that means you save good money as well while enjoying the beautiful villages of Kalpa and the Sangla region. If you happen to experience the snowfall, the views will triple-fold the original beauty giving you a feeling of a winter wonderland.
Hence, a road trip to Kinnaur in winters will not disappoint you at all and everyone should at least make a trip up there in winters in a lifetime.
You can also check this short video on DevilOnWheels YouTube Channel about some practical tips for making a winter trip to Kinnaur. If you like my video, please do not forget to SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel.
I hope this itinerary will help you in planning your upcoming trip to Kinnaur in winters. Do you have any questions or suggestions or need any help in planning your trip to Kinnaur Valley? If yes, please feel free to post them either in the comments section of this article below or DM me over my Instagram account.
In the end, feel free to share this article with any of your friends or families who are planning to make a trip to Kinnaur in winter. We have now talked about what or what not to expect and also how to plan a trip to Kinnaur in winter. In the last article of this series, I will talk about options available for food and stay in winters in Kinnaur Valley.