Sopona Lake Trek – A Hidden Gem in Spiti Valley

Google+ Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

Sopona Lake does not sound like a familiar name to most people traveling to Spiti Valley. When I suggest this place to friends & families, I get looks like “Where is it, is it real, never heard of it, you are kidding, etc..”

Well, I know Chandratal Lake outshines most places in Spiti Valley and is among one of the most visited places in Spiti Valley. Apart from Chandratal, most travelers fairly limit themselves to places like Kaza, Tabo, Ki, Kibber, and Dhangkar in Spiti Valley.

However, Spiti Valley offers many other hidden gems of the places such as Sopona Lake, Langza, Hikkim, Komic, etc.. as well. In this article today, I will talk about one such offbeat places in Spiti Valley called Sopona Lake and try to outline a detailed travel guide for it.

About Sopona Lake Trek

Sopona lake itself can sometimes be disappointing especially when it is dried during the start of winters or early summers when snow is not melted enough. However, the trek to Sopona lake offers some jaw-dropping views of the Spiti valley and the high handsome Manirang range.

The Manirang Himalayan range comes among the highest mountains ranges in the Himachal Pradesh, lying on the border between Kinnaur and Lahaul – Spiti districts. Manirang pass, at a staggering altitude of 21,631 feet or 6,593 Mtrs, was one of the early trade routes between Spiti and Kinnaur, before the motorable road was built.

Sopona lake and Mane villages are one of the very few places which can completely disconnect you from the outer world and put you right in the lap of nature with your “self”. These are such places that take you back in time where you can easily retrospect or be lost in yourself. So step out and experience the magic of this place where solitude & nature is experienced at their best 🙂 🙂

Sopona Lake - The First look
Sopona Lake – The First look
Sopona Lake - The Deserted Look
Sopona Lake – The Deserted Look

How to reach Sopona Lake & its location

Sopona lake is located at an altitude of 13500 feet (4122 Mtrs) above the remote twin villages of Mane viz. Manegogma (lower village) and Maneyogma (upper village). When you travel from Tabo towards Dhankar, you get to a small Schichiling bridge before Dhangkar village diversion point from where you have to take left across the Spiti river.

Manygogma & Maneyogma Villages

You keep driving for about 5-6 km to reach Manegogma village first and then a drive of a couple of km ahead, you finally reach Maneyogma. It will take about 2.5 – 3 hrs (approx 6 km) of trekking from Maneyogma to reach Sopona lake on a decent pace. The whole trek to Sopona lake will take you about 6-7 Hrs up, down and spending some time up at the lake. The most part of the trek is a bit difficult for novices and moderate for regular trekkers due to its steep gradient.

Best time to visit Sopona Lake

It is a seasonal lake formed by the glacial melts and is mainly fed from the snow of Manirang range. Hence, the best time to visit Sopona lake is summers when roads to Spiti Valley are also open. In the early summers and early winters, the lake is barren because the glacial snow melts either does not start or dries up by the start of winters.

However, the journey to this high altitude lake is always as beautiful in any season as you can imagine it to be. You can read a travel tale in DoW Community Sopona Trek – A beautiful Disappointment.

All the pictures in this article are credited to Preet Kamal, our core devil, who was with us on DoW Mega Meet 2014. A sincere thanks to him.

Sopona Lake - Location & How to reach
Sopona Lake – Location & How to reach
Sopona Lake Route Map
Sopona Lake Route Map
Manegogma and Maneyogma - Twin Villages of Mane
Manegogma and Maneyogma – Twin Villages of Mane
The trek route to Sopona lake
The trek route to Sopona lake
Manegogma village as seen from trek to Sopona lake
Manegogma village as seen from trek to Sopona lake
Another Deserted Look of Sopona
Another Deserted Look of Sopona

Suggested plan to reach Sopona lake from Delhi

You can refer the most common itineraries for Spiti Valley from Kinnaur or Manali in the Spiti Valley section of the website for an end to end plans. For the brevity of this article, I will only limit myself to suggest how you can fit Sopona lake into your Spiti Valley trip plan that makes the most sense and also helps you not get hit by acute mountain sickness.

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, which ever suits your timings

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

Day 3 | Kalpa / Reckong Peo – Nako – Nako Lake – Geyu Mummy – Tabo

  • Start your day early and watch the vistas en route over Hindustan Tibet Highway
  • Check Out Khab, Confluence of Spiti and Satluj Rivers
  • See the Leo Purygal Peak from Khab Bridge
  • Have your lunch at Nako
  • Meet the dreaded Malling Nalla ahead of Nako, not so dreaded anymore and after Chango – Sumdo you will enter Spiti Valley
  • After Sumdo police registration, the detour towards Geyu Village to visit the 500 Year old Mummy. After visiting it, keep moving towards Tabo.
  • About 8 – 9 Hrs drive, depending upon the breaks you take in between
  • Overnight at Tabo

Day 4 | Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake – Mane Village (Maneyogma)

  • Start early in the day and visit Dhangkar Monastery
  • You can also trek to the Dhangkar lake (about 1.5 Hrs of trekking)
  • Have lunch at Dhangkar monastery restaurant and track your way back to Schichiling bridge to go over to Mane villages. I have deliberately back tracked you here because this will help you acclimatize well for the trek on Day 5
  • About 2 Hrs of drive in the day
  • Overnight at Mane Village (Maneyogma)

Day 5 | Mane Village (Maneyogma) – Sopona Lake – Manegogma – Attargu – Pin Valley

  • Start the trek early in the day about 5-6 AM and reach Sopona lake
  • Take packed breakfast. You will be back in 6-7 hrs at maximum to Maneyogma village
  • Have lunch after reaching back Maneyogma village and start towards Pin Valley
  • About 2 Hrs of drive in the day
  • Overnight at Pin Valley
Sopona Lake - The dried version
Sopona Lake – The dried version
Sopona Lake - The dried version
Sopona Lake – The dried version
Sopona Lake - The dried version
Sopona Lake – The dried version

Stay options near Sopona lake at Mane Villages

Considering the fact that both of the Mane villages are more or less tiny hamlets of Spiti Valley, there are no hotels or guest houses available as such in these villages.

But, there are relaxing home stays available in Maneyogma village where we stayed in DoW Mega Meet 2014. You will get amazed by the hospitality of the locals in the Mane villages, no matter what :)…

Sonam Homestay – Maneyogma Village

We stayed at Sonam homestay at Mane village. It is fairly newly built and has 5-6 rooms, a couple of dry pit local toilets, a big dining hall where food is served. You will feel all the comfort. There is a big camping ground outside it where you can pitch your own tents.

It is the last home in the Maneyogma village and from here only the trek to Sopona lake starts. You can reach Sonam Ji at +91-9418503966 or +91-9459481431. Your phone may be picked up by Lobsang Ji, you can refer about Sonam Ji from Mane village, he will recognize and take care of your bookings.

Other Homestays in Mane Villages

There are other homestays available as well in the Maneyogma village where you can stay or feel free to put up your camps. Unfortunately, I do not have contacts of any other homestays.

You can also get in touch with Tsering Bhai ([email protected] or +91-9418208987) in case you need a few things pre-booked or pre-arranged/organised. Sonam Ji is in the family of in-laws of Tsering Bhai, so he should be able to help you in any possible way.

Houses at Maneyogma
Houses at Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay - Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay – Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay - Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay – Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay - Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay – Maneyogma
Our camps at Maneyogma village
Our camps at Maneyogma village
Farming fields at Maneyogma
Farming fields at Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay - Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay – Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay - Maneyogma
Sonam Homestay – Maneyogma

Other Tips and Suggestions for trek to Sopona Lake

  • Food availability is fairly limited to the local homestays and your packed food. Hence, you must rely on either the food you are carrying OR eat at the local homestay where you will be staying in the village.
  • Do take a local villager or guide with you on the trek to Sopona lake from Maneyogma. He can help you in many ways and morale boost is on such an important aspect of trekking in the high Himalayas.
  • Kaza is the nearest place where petrol pump is available, so do not forget to top up in Kaza.
  • No mobile signals work in the Mane villages or on the trek to Sopona lake. You are mostly disconnected from the outer world 🙂 🙂 … The article 11 Tips on Mobile Phone Connectivity in Spiti Valley will help you with your entire trip of Spiti on mobile connectivity coverage.
  • ATM is available in Kaza only, so don’t forget to carry enough cash for the homestay payments or guide payments in Mane villages.
  • Nearest to Mane, a major hospital is located at Kaza, about an hrs drive from Mane villages. The village has a small local dispensary for basic medical needs.
  • You can also check our suggested list of things to carry on a trip including a medical kit
Devils at Sopona lake
Devils at Sopona lake
The pugmarks of wildlife
The pugmarks of wildlife

Conclusion

Sopona Lake and Mane villages are quite unexplored and offbeat destinations in Spiti Valley, Himachal Pradesh. These places have a lot of potentials to entice travelers around the world due to it’s desolate, lost in nature and picturesque location.

But again, such places are better off without any commercialization or tourist activities that most certainly spoil the beauty of such unusually tranquil places. So, whenever you travel to such places in the Himalayas, we request you to travel responsibly. You can also read our tips in DoW Community about Responsible Travel in the Himalayas.

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 the end, feel free to post any queries here in the comments section or in Itinerary Advice Forum – Lahaul, Spiti & Kinnaur Valley of DoW Community. If you have been to Sopona lake and would love to share inputs to help other fellow travelers, please leave a comment and I will make sure to merge your inputs into the article.

Are you looking for the CUSTOMIZED TOURS?? Get in touch with our our handpicked & trusted Destination Specialists from the Himalayas who offer SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES to all the readers/followers of the Devil On Wheels website.


Share.

About Author

You can call me an avid traveler, a day-night dreamer and a passionate lover of the Himalayas who has a high zest for driving whilst exploring new places in the 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 ...

14 Comments

  1. Comments section gets closed in 90 days. 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 !!

  2. abhiyantam on

    Can I plan a motorbike trip on 20.09.2017 to spiti valley from shimla side including langza, hikkim, komic, chandrapal etc. and return through kunjum pass to manali side.
    An early response will be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

  3. arunima goswami on

    Hello Dheeraj,,
    I want to ask you few things:

    1. Is going to kaza from Manali is a good idea during 22-27th June. ? if so what are the public transport and timing of it , as Himachal transportation is not showing any online.

    2. Who all to conatct for the camping permission at chandrataal.

    3. Apart from kaza, tabo and Nako do you suggest any place worth visiting ?

    thanks is advance

    • Hello Arunima,

      1. The road from Kaza to Manali will be open by that time of the year and HRTC buses from Kullu – Manali – Kaza will be operational else shared taxis from Manali taxi stand will also be running during that time. There are two HRTC buses which runs between Manali and Kaza every morning, as soon as road to Spiti Valley via Manali get open in the season, mostly in June. These buses run from Kullu to Kaza via Manali and it reaches Manali around 4.45 AM and leaves at 5.00 AM. Ticket to Kaza will cost you only about INR 250.
      2. You cannot camp at Chandratal, it is against the laws and disrespect to the environment. Please camp at the camping sites dedicated near parking lot for camps to save it for future.
      3. Well, you can refer: Spiti Valley from Manali – Most Common Itinerary

  4. I have been to this lake. It is really beautiful. Mane does not have home stays like other villages in Spiti. In lower Mane, a woman named Lobzang and her husband are open to tourists staying with them. Else, it might be difficult to find accommodation.

    • Chinar, now few things have changed. You can stay at Sonam guest house/home stay as well in upper mane village. It is the last house almost.

  5. We missed this opportunity to visit this lake..Next time for sure..Thanks DHEERAJ for sharing

Follow us on Instagram & Ask any travel questions in DM there

Are you looking for the CUSTOMIZED TOURS?? Get in touch with our our handpicked & trusted Destination Specialists from the Himalayas who offer SPECIAL DISCOUNTED RATES to all the readers/followers of the Devil On Wheels website.


Send this to a friend