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Hampta Pass trek is the best example of how contrast can enhance the beauty of a place in the best possible way. As one proceeds, the greenery starts to turn into the raw beauty of glaciers and barren lands. Located in Himachal Pradesh, a state distinctly known for its lush green forests and soothing environs, Hampta Pass trek is amongst those treks that are both easy and replete with the gems of nature. The trail offers you some stupendous views of the Pir Panjal ranges and Spiti valley accompanied by the gigantic Dhauladhar and Indrasan peaks.
Manali, Himachal Pradesh (however the pickup point can be changed as per the requirements)
This trek comes with a whole package. Manali being the base camp, you can explore the wildly popular hill-station if you have some extra days in hand. Moreover, be sure to find snow, cross rivers, walk alongside the river, gaze at the colossal snow-draped mountains, be amazed by the colourful vistas created by the rhododendrons and other flowers, experience your heart skip a beat while craning over a ridge, get a glimpse of Spiti and some glaciers, camp alongside the river, and spend the nights stargazing. You will also visit Chandrataal, a gem of a high-altitude lake, and Rohtang Pass, an extremely popular shooting destination for various Bollywood movies.
The trek is easy and gradual throughout the trail except for some particular spots where you may need to put in some extra efforts. The thing that makes this trek the most memorable is that it is a long yet a fairly easy trek which makes it one of the favourites amongst the trekking enthusiasts.
Nestled at an elevation of 6,700 ft., Manali serves as the base camp for Hampta Pass trek. So, reach the beautiful hill-station beforehand and then join your group mates as well as the trek lead, get familiar with them, and begin the drive towards Jobra. It takes around 2 hours to reach Jobra and from there, the trek starts from the Allain Guhugal Hydel Project junction. Trek to Chika is an easy 2 hours gradual ascent and the views start getting more spectacular as you proceed. You can find cattle grazing on the slopes and the forest cover also treasures a variety of trees like oaks, deodars, toss, and maple. The babbling Rani Nallah adds to the aesthetic charms of the meadow and as you reach Chika, your destination for day 1, Rani Nallah also enhances the surroundings of your overnight campsite for the day. So, have dinner and then enjoys a calm good night’s sleep in the camps.
Start your day early with a hearty breakfast as this day brings in an exciting part of the Hampta Pass trek and as you proceed towards Balu ka Gera, you will be startled by the views of Dhauladhar ranges and Indrasan peak. The trail is easy and is accompanied by the soothing environ and rhododendron trees. On your way, you will come across a waterfall which provides as a source to fill up your water bottles. Then, the gradient of the trail increases and you will also be thrilled when you have to cross the rivulet by actually getting into the water to reach Jwara, a picturesque valley. This counts as one of the best moments of this trek. The next part of the trail comes as you reach your campsite for the day i.e. Balu ka Gera. It is located at an elevation of 11,900 ft. and is surrounded by mountains. Rest overnight at the beautiful campsite.
Third day is when you will feel the maximum adrenaline rush as you will be crossing the Hampta Pass. So, make sure to have a nice filling breakfast at the campsite. The trail from Balu ka Gera starts by treading along the river side and you will witness beautiful flowers and mountain peaks. Hampta Pass perches up to an elevation of 14,100 ft. and the climb to the pass is a trickier one and requires a bit more efforts. As you reach the pass, the views will surely leave you amazed and you will also be bewildered as the enchanting Spiti valley unfolds before your eyes. Then starts the journey towards Sheagoru, situated at an elevation of 12,900 ft., and as it is a very steep descend, you will have to watch your steps as you tread forward. Further, you will cross a valley and then you will march forward to your way to the Sheagoru campsite which is also equally beautiful as it is also blessed with a river streaming alongside.
So, let go of the day’s fatigue by absorbing the serene vibes of the place and after having dinner, you can spend some time with your trek mates and then go to sleep.
The day usually begins with a nice view and you are required to get ready on time and eat breakfast. The descent from Sheagoru is an easy one and it takes around 5 hours of downhill trek to reach Chatru. Chatru is located at an altitude of 11,000 ft. and as you approach the place, the greenery of the locale starts to fade and you will begin to feel the rawness of Spiti valley. You will come across glaciers which you will have to cross in order to reach Chatru. The trail can be challenging at certain spots but it will surely be fun as a whole. You will also get to see the contrast that is presented by the ranges of Pir Panjal and Spiti.
Moreover, this day also has in store a drive to the famous Chandrataal, a picture-perfect lake whose name literally translates as ‘Moon-Lake’. It is a high-altitude glacial lake perched at an elevation of 13,940 ft. and is around 40 kms drive from Chatru. You can spend some time by the lake, soak-in all the beauty, and take some amazing pictures.
Then, return to Chatru campsite and make sure to camp alongside the river to add icing to the cake.
So, this is where the adventure comes to an end as on the last day of the trek, you will be taken back to Manali via Rohtang Pass and it will be a drive full of many pleasing sights later turning into beautiful memories. So, after having breakfast at the Chatru campsite, get ready for the experience that awaits you. You can enjoy your time at Rohtang Pass for a short while and then finally reach the Hampta Pass base i.e. Manali.
If you plan to travel by road, then you can book from a variety of AC /Non-AC buses to reach Manali from Chandigarh or Delhi. These buses are very frequent and take around 8-10 hours from Chandigarh and 12-14 hours from Delhi to reach Manali. You can also hire a taxi for the same.
In case you are planning to cover a significant part of your journey via air, then the nearest airport to Manali is the Bhuntar airport. It is located at a distance of around 50 kms and is an hour drive to Manali. There are sufficient flights options for Bhuntar available from both Delhi and Chandigarh.