Best Season to Travel on Road to Spiti Valley

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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.

April – Mid – May

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.

Conclusion

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

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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 ...

1,158 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. DR PRITESH MAHESHWARI on

    Hi Dheeraj ,
    I have gone through your posts and it seems that you have traveled a lot in the spiti and himachal area. i m planning a trip to himachal . i m planning to leave delhi on 6th oct evening and need to come back on 16 oct night or 17th oct early morning. In this whole trip i have to spent 10th of october morning to noon at dalhousie for urgent work .I have seen dalhousie , khajiyar , shimla, dharamshala and chamba a few times , so i m not interested in those places but i need to be in dalhousie on 10th. Now can u plan me a trip which covers spiti / kinnaur/ lahual/ chandratal in between these days. I have gone through many posts but not able to decide how to plan it .As dalhousie is exactly opposite to spiti and i need to be there in middle of my trip that is on 4th day . Is it possible to plan out anything which can solve my purpose?
    It would be great if u can help me out.
    Thanks
    Regards
    Dr Pritesh

  3. Hi Dheeraj, very well explained n so much information collected from your post.But i need your final verdict on my spiti valley trip.We ppl will be traveling in the last week of feb 19 so what will be your opinion. Thank you in advance.

  4. Hello…
    I am planning to visit spiti in next week(14-19august)
    Is it ok..??means in terms of safety..coming from delhi

    • Nishu, the roads have just opened from Manali side, Kinnaur side the road is still closed. Please keep an eye on weather before planning to travel to Spiti Valley or Kinnaur Valley in monsoon.

  5. Hi Dheeraj
    I along with my 4 friends are planning to visit Spiti from September 15 to 24 doing circuit from shimla side.. my query is:-
    1. shall we be able to see the colors of autumn?
    2. Chances of overcast skies all through the journey?

    Thanks
    mps

  6. Hey. Great post this. Thanks for the detailed information.

    Just one question. I am planning to cross the Kunzum pass on the 22nd of September on the way from chandratal to Manali. Is there any possibility of the kunzum pass being closed during that time? Has it even happened in the recent years?

    • Akshay, very unlikely unless it snows heavily during that time which is rare in recent years. Last year the road was opened all the way up to December 😉

  7. udbhav chauhan on

    i am planning to visit spiti by the end of july around 22nd july.(9 days trip ) is it safe to travel during monsoon time.Also tell me an alternative plan instead of Kinnaur since you wrote that there are more chances of landslides at that region . (we are interested in doing a full circuit trip from delhi to spiti)
    thank you 😉

    • Well, you should read about 10 Tips for a Trip to Spiti Valley in Monsoons

      You can do below for Manali plan

      Day 01 : Reach Manali and stay overnight at Solang Valley as preferred for acclimatization
      Day 02 : Manali / Solang – Kaza
      Day 03 : Kaza – Pin Valley – Tabo
      Day 04 : Tabo – Dhangkar – Dhangkar Lake trek – Kaza
      Day 05 : Kaza – Ki – Kibber/Kaza
      Day 06 : Kibber/Kaza – Langza – Komic – Hikkim – Kaza
      Day 07 : Kaza – Chandratal
      Day 08 : Chandratal – Manali
      Day 09 : Manali – Delhi

  8. debaprateem on

    WE R PLANNING TO VISIT KAZA,MANALI ON FEB 1 CAN YOU GIVE ME THE TOUR PLAN

  9. Hi Dheeraj
    I am planning to travel spiti in the month of August.
    Please suggest me any precautions due to rains and landslides
    and which week should i prefer?

  10. Debaprateem Mal on

    we r plaining to visit spiti in mid dec 2018 can we see snow???

      • debaprateem on

        so in mid december which places of himachal Pradesh can we find thick snow???

        • There are very less places in mid December to find snow in Himachal Pradesh, Rohtang Pass is the best bet but December last year was almost dry and it started snowing in late December only

  11. Ashok Kumar Mishra on

    Hi we are planning to Spiti Valley in 9th June – 16th June or 7th July – 15th July this year. please which time will be best this year for bike trip. if we are going in june will there be snow view? or in july will there be chances of rain/land slide conditions.

    I’m planning to complete the spiti circuit from shimla to manali with my Bike Honda Hornet CBS 160cc. should it be good bike option or should i go for some other bike?

    • Both time windows shall be fine, July will be better as crowd in lower towns will be less because vacation finishes. If you need some snow then June is better. Bike of 160cc should be fine.

  12. Rakesh Das on

    Hi,

    I am planning to do the Spiti circuit, in mid October. I will get festival holidays during mid October till first week of November. I have read your blog and your advise on the best season to travel to Spiti.

    As I wouldn’t get my leave (for 14-15 days at a stretch), I have no other alternative than mid October.
    Taking into consideration of my situation, what should be my itinerary? Enetering from Shimla or from Manali?

    Kindly suggest me an intinerary.

    Thanks in advance

    • I will suggest that you enter from Manali side so that risk is minimum towards the end of October and do not have to deal with situation of Kunzum Pass getting closed.

  13. Hello Dheeraj , 

    Your post is very helpful and thank you for guiding us all through. 

    I with 2 of my friends planning to start my trip on 23rd June from Shimla and end on 30th June at Manali on bike .

    Could you please recommend if the dates are fine , our main concern is the rains . If it would be heavy rainfall during this time then it would be difficult as there could be land slides . 

    Request your suggestion on our trip and dates. 

  14. Hey sir, i am planning spiti on a solo trip on 1st june right after my exams ends. Planning to complete the entire circuit. This would be my first solo trip of life and anticipatedly i am expecting it to completely chnge my life , free me out of tensions and motivate me to work for myself ahead in life.
    Can you tell me what kind of things i can expect during this 1june to 10th june? I mean i love little snow but the greenery medows in between the route is also so wonderful, would i be see both during the route? And where? Also, how much time do i need 9 days enough? And how much should i keep in my pocket, are homestays become costly during this time. It would be an extremely budget travel. Plz guide me sir you have a wonderful guide.thanks

  15. hii dhiraj,

    we are 4 friends planning for spiti vally around 15th june, 2018.
    is it right seascon ? can you share your valuable thoughts on this…

    thx

    amit desai

  16. Hi Dheeraj,

    Cheers for such a wonderful post.
    We are four friends looking to travel spiti valley in July 1st week.
    Can you please tell the how can we get the rohtang pass permit or is DL very necessary in those areas?
    FYI we will be travelling on rented bikes.

    Help Appreciated!

  17. Firstly thanks for your valuable information,
    I need your help
    Me and 3 friends are planning to go SPITI VALLEY in second week of may 18″,we can’t take other dates because of some personal reasons,so how can we reach SPITI in above mentioned dates
    We are from Kerala, we are planning a bike ride. How, where ll’ get bike

  18. Rishabh Kathuria on

    Hey Dheeraj,
    This was indeed useful! Just had a question. How risky is the drive here on an SUV and what should we keep in mind while driving ?

  19. Hi Dheeraj,

    Firstly, thanks a tonne for all the information you continue to provide. This is like an encyclopedia into Spiti. My question was, any info on the possible rumour that due to less snowfall this year around Kunzum, the Manali-Kaza road will be thrown open by April end possibly ? Even the HRTC FB page posted about this and so did the Spiti Valley travels on their FB page. Planning to go via Kinnaur into Spiti and back via Rohtang.

    Keep up the awesome work ! Regards.

    • Thank you Tristan, Manali – Kaza is surely expected to open early this season but personally, I have a feeling it will not open by mid-May to third week of May especially after the two spells of heavy snowfall recently. HRTC FB page is privately run and not govt. run, so I will not 100% rely on the authenticity as if it is coming from GOVT. order. I have talked to locals and they echo my feelings as well. But, BRO definitely is pretty close to Chatru

  20. Rajnish Singh on

    hi, i am planning to go spiti this season. I have some queries please ans this.

    I am travelling to Spiti on 1 week of may( is it open via manali?)
    Is it possible to go spiti form manali in 1 day
    Is it good itinerary for spiti from delhi via manali
    Day 1 Thursday 

    Board the volvo from delhi

    Day 2 Friday

    Reach manali and stay

    Day 3 Sat 

    head to spiti from manali on bike reach spiti and rest

    day 4 sun 

    back to manali and rest

    day 5 Mon 

    board the volvo to delhi

    • Spiti valley will not be open by first week of May from Manali – Kaza side. Also, in order to enjoy Spiti valley, you need about 78- days from Manali side and 10-11 days from Kinnaur – Shimla side.

  21. Hi Dheeraj.

    I found your blog lately. Appreciate your efforts for helping fellow travelers on their journey.

    I need a help planning whole Spiti and Leh-Ladakh itinerary. Have read your post on separate itinerary. I’m kinda clueless on how to plan both places with single itinerary. Since I’m planning to take hiatus from work after April so number of days and dates won’t be issue. But I want to explore whole beauty of Himachal and Leh-Ladakh. So can you please suggest me when will be good time and what is best mode of transport for whole journey. I will be traveling with my partner so I’m ok with self drive SUV or if it is good to hire bike in respect to road condition.
    Sorry for selfish request. I don’t want to get disappointed coming from South, this will my first trip to north. I have backpacked here and there but this is due for very long on bucket list. Thanks.

    • Hey Nagendran,

      The roads of Manali – Leh and Srinagar – Leh and Manali – Kaza will not be open in April. If you want the whole circuit with Spiti and Ladakh, the roads open in June only. In April you can make individual trips to these places like flying into Leh for Ladakh trip and going – coming back form Shimla – Kinnaur side for Spiti Valley trip.

      • Hi Dheeraj.

        Thanks for your comment. Sorry I didn’t mentioned I’ll be completely free for a year precisely. So when will best time of year to travel both together. I was thinking to land Chandigarh and start trip from there.

        • Really not concerned of number of days. But thinking 25-30 days as of now. If I’m flexible with days what are the places I can add along with your 16 days itinerary considering 30days max. Also can you suggest me best mode of transport for whole journey. I will be traveling with my partner so I’m thinking of taking rented self drive SUV or do you suggest to hire bike in respect to road condition.

        • Awesome, then, in that case, look no further and plan the trip as defined below to include Zanskar Valley too in the plan. You can take the rented self drive car but once you will reach Leh, you need to park it and cover Ladakh sightseeing places by local LAdakhi taxi or some places like Sham Valley and all can be covered by rented bike from Leh. You can even go to Nubra Valley on rented bike if you have experience with riding. Here is the one dream trip you can take 😀

          Day 1 | Delhi – Jammu / Patnitop
          — Overnight at Jammu or Patnitop

          Day 2 | Jammu / Patnitop – Srinagar
          — Enjoy walk around Dal lake and may be Shikara ride as well
          — If you have time then check out, floating market, Shalimar Garden.
          — Overnight at Srinagar

          Day 3 | Srinagar – Zozi La – Drass – Kargil
          — Enjoy the vistas enroute
          — Have late drunch meal at Drass is you are a vegetarian as sometimes it gets difficult to find veg. food at Kargil
          — Overnight at Kargil

          Day 4 | Kargil – Padum (Zanskar Valley)
          — Head straight to Padum

          Day 5 | Padum Local Sightseeing
          — Enjoy Zangla, Stongde, Karsha

          Day 6 | Padum – Zongkhul Monastery – Penzi La Pass – Rangdum
          — Start back and stay at Rangdum

          Day 7 | Rangdum – Panikhar – Sankoo – Kargil
          — Checkout rock carved statue at Khartse Khar

          Day 8 | Kargil – Lamayuru – Leh
          — Cover Mulbekh Maitrey, Lamayuru Moanstery, Lunar Landscapes
          — On the way you can also see Gurudwara Pather Sahib, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 9 | Leh Local Sightseeing + Inner Line Permits
          — To know the about the places to visit check the link: Travel Guide for Local Sightseeing of Leh Town in Ladakh
          — For more details on inner line permits process and to download application form read the link here
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 10 | Leh – Khardung La – Diskit – Hunder – Turtuk
          — Head for Nubra Valley and stay overnight at Turtuk
          — On the way enjoy a cup of soup at Highest Motorable Pass (as claimed) Khardung La
          — enjoy the culture in the Turtuk Village
          — do mention Turtuk on the permits

          Day 11 | Turtuk – Hunder
          — Spend whole day at Turtuk and reach Hunder by evening
          — Overnight at Hunder

          Day 12 | Hunder – Deskit – Sumur – Panamik – Sumur
          — Diskit has monasteries with tallest lord Buddha statue and Hunder has sand dunes and bacterian camel safari
          — Enjoy drive upto Panamik, visit Yarab Tso Lake and back to overnight stay at Kyagar or Tiger or Sumur
          — Enjoy walks in Hunder, Deskit, Sumur villages for the last 3 days

          Day 13 | Sumur/Kyagar – Panamik – Sumur – Khardung La – Leh
          — Sumur has a famous monastery to check out and Panamik has hot water springs
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 14 | Rest day at Leh to enjoy local culture and some shopping OR Monastery tour
          — Monastery tour may include Hemis, Thicksey, Stakna and Shey monasteries. They come on the route of Pangong Tso but as you will be doing day trip, it will be a bit hectic to include them on that day only.
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 15 | Leh – Sham Valley – Leh
          — Sham Valley include Alchi, Likir, Basgo Palace, Magnetic Hills, Confluence at Nimmu, Gurudwara Pather Sahib
          — Overnight at Leh

          Day 16 | Leh – Hemis Monastery – Pangong Tso Lake
          — Cover either of Hemis, Thicksey and Shey on the go towards Pangong Tso
          — Overnight at Pangong Tso (Spangmik)

          Day 17 | Pangong Tso Lake – Shey – Thicksey – Leh
          — Mention all the places of this route as mentioned above on the permits and Nyoma as well
          — Overnight at Hanle

          Day 18 | Leh – Chumathang – Mahe – Nyoma – Loma – Hanle
          — Overnight at Hanle

          Day 19 | Hanle – Loma – Nyoma – Mahe – Korzok / Tso Moriri Lake OR Hanle – Salsal La – Tso Moriri Lake
          — Overnight at Tso Moriri lake

          Day 20 | Tso Moriri – Tso Kar – Debring (Manali – Leh Highway starts) – Moore Plains – Pang / Sarchu
          — Try to start early in the day so that you reach Sarchu where the accommodation options are better than Pang
          — Overnight at Sarchu or Pang

          Day 21 | Pang / Sarchu – Baralacha La – Jispa
          — On the way cover Suraj Tal, Deepak Tal which are on the road sides only
          — Overnight at Jispa

          Day 22 | Jispa – Chandratal
          Day 23 | Chandratal – Kaza
          Day 24 | Kaza (Ki, Kibber, Gette)
          Day 25 | Kaza/Langza Homestay (Hikkim, Koumik, Langza)
          Day 26 | Kaza – Dhankar – Pin Valley
          Day 27 | Pin Valley – Tabo – Nako
          Day 28 | Nako – Kalpa
          Day 29 | Kalpa – Sangla/Chitkul (if you cannot extend, skip)
          Day 30 | Sangla/Chitkul (if you cannot extend, skip)
          Day 31 | Sangla/Chitkul – Narkanda
          Day 32 | Narkanda – Chail / Shimla – Delhi

        • Hi Dheeraj.

          I’m finding short of words to thank you on helping me with the detailed itinerary. Having read multiple detailed post of you and your selfless comment on repeated questions, initially I bit hesitated to post a question regarding itinerary. But yet whole heartedly you replied with lengthy detailed information. Thanks once again for your generosity. If you plan to come down to South (Tamilnadu), please do call me I’ll be happy to host you. 🙂

        • My pleasure buddy !! Happy to help with the Himalayas. Thank you for sharing the contact details, will surely let you know whenever in future I will plan a trip. Much appreciated…

  22. Hi Dhiraj,
    Last year we completed a superb trip to Ladakh,doing the entire circuit from Srinagar to Manali starting in early June and finishing by mid June. This year we were planning a trip to Spiti valley…Also a full circuit going in via shimla and exiting via Manali….In early June. I am setting aside 15 days for the same. Would it be feasible if we start somewhere around 25thmay from Chandigarh thru kinnaur and exit via kunzum pass somewhere around 8th to 10th june. Also, is it true that the weather is cloudy in Spiti in early June?

    • Mayoor, it is wonderful to see you back here !! If possible postpone the trip by a week so that there is even higher chance of having the Manali – Kaza road open. Otherwise, it becomes difficult sometimes and the road from Manali – Kaza opens around mid June. Weather wise it shall be fine and like Ladakh Spiti Valley is also a rain shadow region, so it does not rain much there.

      • Actually due to early school reopening in Mumbai, the latest that i can postpone is by 3-4 days, maybe we can do the Kunzum crossing by 12th june…..should that be ok? I was just going thru the historical data regarding opening of Kunzum Pass. Since last 2 years, it has opened by 2nd June. I am not sure about the state of the road though. I will mostly try to keep a buffer day so that if by chance the pass is closed, I will have to return via Shimla. Is Chandrataal lake journey possible at that time?

        • The max you can delay, the better. Go ahead with whatever maximum delay you can extend. The state of the road remains bad and it is not just the Kunzum Pass that matters, actually the main problem lies beyond Kunzum Pass between Chatru and Batal where they BRO has to cut off the big giant walls of glaciers. Chandratal lake will most certainly be possible towards mid of June unless there is heavy snowfall this year and the diversion road is still blocked and PWD hasn’t cleaned it yet.

        • Thanks Dhiraj for your suggestion. I will try to rework & delay as much as possible. Also, wanted to know if there is any Gallery section where we can post some really awesome Photographs along with Captions.

        • Hi Dhiraj. Sorry for the extremely long Post. I have prepared a tentative Itinerary for Spiti. Pl let me know if any changes or improvement is required

          Day 1 : 5th June : Mumbai to Chandigarh via Air. Leave Chandigarh at 12 noon and go to Narkanda via Chail (Is a short visit to Chail Palace possible?). O/n Narkanda.

          Day 2 : 6th June : Late sleep-in. Narkanda sightseeing…Hatu Peak, Thanedar, Tanijubbar lake, Ski ground. O/n Narkanda

          Day 3 : 7th June : Leave Narkanda early by 8:00 am. Reach Chitkul in evening (Want to avoid staying in Sangla or Kalpa as have already visited both previously) O/n Chitkul. Is this journey possible in a day or is it too long?

          Day 4 : 8th June : Relax & then local sightseeing like Batesari village, ITBP camp, walk along Baspa river. O/n Chitkul. How is Samaa Resorts for stay?

          Day 5 : 9th June : Leave early…Chitkul to Khab, Nako, Sumdo, Geu, Tabo. O/n Tabo

          Day 6 : 10th June : Tabo monastery in morning. Then leave for Pin valley..Kungri, Sangnam, Tailing, Mud village. O/n Mud village. How is Tara Guest house? Does it have an attached toilet?

          Day 7 : 11th June : Mud to Laalung to Dhankar to Dhankar lake to Kaza. O/n Kaza

          Day 8 : 12th June : Kaza day trip to Langza, Hikkim, Komic & back. O/n Kaza

          Day 9 : 13th June : Kaza to Ki, Gette, Tashigong, Kibber & then to Losar. Is it advisable to return back to Kaza or can we stay overnight at Losar to save time the following day.

          Day 10 : 14th June : Losar to Chandrataal lake via Kunzum Pass (if Kunzum is open). Can we return to Losar for the night (Is it possible?) or should we stay in the camps there. I have heard that the camps are very basic there.

          Day 11 : 15th June : Chandrataal to Manali. O/n Manali

          Day 12 : 16th June : Manali local sightseeing

          Day 13 : 17th June : Manali to Chandigarh for evening flight to Mumbai

        • Sorry Dhiraj, but I couldn’t locate your answer. Should I post the question again in the Q & A section

        • The only problem sleeping at Chitkul will be AMS as your body may not be acclimatized to sleep at high altitude that early in the trip. I will recommend to sleep at Sangla only.

          Try to get a room at Sagnam PWD Rest House, if he does not provide you then go to Tara Guest House for stay. The guest house is more like a home stay with basic amenities. As you plan to stay at Chandratal, I will suggest keeping it simple and stay either at Langza or Kibber. If you stay at Kibber then you can travel to Chichcham and further to Chandratal directly and explore a new route too.

          Rest looks good to me.

          PS: Sorry I guess I mistook your query with someone else.

        • Thanks Dhiraj for your reply. Actually I have read rave reviews from people who have stayed at Samaa resorts, Chitkul about the resort and the verdant surroundings. But, I guess you are right about AMS as day 3 would be too early to spend at Chitkul. I can stay at Sangla on Day 3. Can I spend Day 4 night at Chitkul or would you recommend a day trip only to Chitkul and go over to Kalpa to spend the night

        • Yes Mayoor, I will go with Chitkul on Day 4 but then again it depends if you are really interested to ease out, go for it and skip Kalpa altogether and move on further towards upper Kinnaur and Spiti. Nako will be better than spending night at Kalpa if you are already spending two nights in Sangla and Chitkul.

  23. Hello sir, is it possible to take lancer cedia for the trip. We are planning for September 2018. Group of 3 people. Consider the fact that that cedia gives a mileage of 10kmpl, are there enough fuel stations to complete the circuit. Your help will be highly appreciated.

  24. Hello Dheeraj,
    We 5 persons all boys are planning a trip to spiti in 2nd week of December with Fortuner 4*4… Is this possible & also plz suggest where to visit in December..we have been to Leh this June but via Srinagar.

  25. Hi Brother,

    When should we travel if we want to avoid more water crossings or bad roads on India-Tibet highway? Especially Malling Nala 😀
    Thanks.

      • By the way, can we do it with a pillion? They say the Roads to spiti are worse than those to Leh

        • Yes, the roads especially Manali – Kaza is worse than Ladakh roads. Rest mostly similar to Manali – Leh Highway and at places good to average. Regarding riding with pillion, lots of people do it. I do not think there should be any issue besides walking few times specially around Kunzum Pass and Manali – Kaza road.

    • Hey Brother.. A last question…
      I’ve seen a news that due to frequent landslides at malling nala, a new road has been built which connects Nako and Chango other than NH5.. Is that true? Or it’s the same road which I see in those youtube vidoes 😀

      • AFAIK Yuvraj, there is no new road. What they do is they cut the mountain further deeper and make road from it. The road is same but I can confirm from the locals and update. There was a major landslide this year which washed away the road so they had to cut the mountain more to to make the road again.

  26. Sir , i am planning to travel spiti this october from 10 to 17 .which route should be taken by us ? Manali to shimla ,? And can u tell me kunzum pass will be open or not ?

    • Hi Himanshu,

      You can enter from Manali side and come back from Shimla side. Route will be open through Kunzum Pass now adays up to mid of October. But, a snowfall can block it for a day or two.

  27. Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and and my friends planning for a bike trip to Spiti on 16 oct ,I want to know it will be at that time?

  28. Joel John Philip on

    I wanted to know if I had 4 days to visit spiti, will it be better if I visit only the Shimla side or only the Manali side?
    30th September to 3rd October!

    • In such a case, it will be better to visit from Manali side only. 4 days from Shimla or Manali? Or you want to have travel to Shimla and Manali also included in these 4 days?

        • Day 1 : Reach Manali 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 – Gette – Chandratal
          Day 5 : Losar – Chandratal – Manali
          Day 6 : Manali – Delhi

          Assuming 4 days does not include travel to Manali

  29. Hi Dheeraj,
    I have been following DoW for a few years now. You are doing a wonderful job! I consulted your blogs in detail for my maiden Ladakh trip last year. Though Ladakh was done in end of August, this year I want to do Spiti but I can make it only in September end. Can you please help me with my planning.
    We are two people who will be travelling in a Scorpio, but only one of us can drive. Can you please let me know if a full circuit (i.e.Chandigarh-Shimla-Kinnaur-Spiti-Manali-Chandigarh route) can be done realistically in this time of the year. And we want to mix home stays and camping along the way. Can you suggest places which will be ideal for homestays and which places to pitch our own tent?
    Dates: 28th September to 7th October (+1 Day buffer) i.e. 9 days+1 day buffer.

    Cheers!

  30. Hi Dheeraj,

    I am planning to go to spiti from 30th sep-7th Oct in i20 car. Is it a good time to go ? Will i 20 be suitable for the trip ?
    I want to do the complete circuit…Can you please suggest the itinerary

  31. Hello and thanks for a wonderful article!

    I am planning on a bike trip going from manali to Key gompa and back during end of september – beginning of october. From Google Maps it says it is about 5 hours each way so I guess this whole trip could take around 4 days including some visits in Spiti valley.

    Is the Kunzum pass usually open at these times?
    Is it usually passable without too many problems?

    Thanks in advance!

    • I should also add that I can start this trip earlier, around 20 September, if it makes conitions more favorable.

    • DEan, Google maps and the roads in the Himalayas do not go hand in hand. It will take about 10-11 Hrs to reach Kaza, Key monastery from Manali. Kunzum Pass will be open during that time. With just 4 days, it is possible but like

      Manali – Kaza
      Kaza/Key
      Kaza and around, Langza, Hikkim, Komic
      Kaza – Manali

  32. Hi Dheeraj,

    We, five couple with children, wants to visit spiti valley during next May, 2018. We want to start our journey via shimla route and return via manali route. We have spared 8 days for same from chandigarh. So please kindly provide us itinerary for same. We have not visited Leh-Ladakh yet, instead we are visiting spiti valley first. Is it good thing ? We want to book tempo-traveller for our journey. Is the road of rohtang pass remain open during end of May. Please kindly provide me your opinion.

    • Hi Himanshu,

      It should be OK to travel in May but the problem is that you cannot do a full circuit of Spiti Valley in May because the road from Manali to Kaza opens in mid-June types.

      Regards
      Dheeraj

  33. Hi Dheeraj
    We are 4 friends from chandigarh planning to go spiti around 22nd of august via shimla by vw polo so what do suggest is safe to go at this time of year and is polo compatible according to the route? Please reply asap becouse its urgent

    • Hi Sahil,

      The road at Nako is closed due to a massive landslide at Malling Nala. It is expected to open in weeks time but nothing certain.

  34. Hi Dheeraj,

    Me and my husband are planning to visit spiti in 3rd week of september via manali. Could you please suggest whether it is good time to visit spiti

  35. Harish chander on

    Hi Dheeraj
    We me and my wife 50 and 47 years of age are planning to go Jalandhar-Simla-kaza-kunjum-Rohtang -Manali -jalandhar from 6 October to 13 oct. 2017 by Pajero sports. Is it fine as these are earliest dates we have. We are only couple. Never been to this route however covered Srinagar Leh Manali thrice by this car. Pl suggest with regard to climate and weather on those days.
    Regards

    • Harish sir, It starts to get cold during that time of the year in Spiti valley and there can be occasional snowfall as well. Since you are versed with terrains, it should not be an issue but just don’t any unnecessary risks. Once you reach Kaza, check the weather and then make a call to drive from Kaza to Manali because getting stuck in between Kaza and Manali due to weather will not be pleasant

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