Hamta Pass to Chandra Taal Lake Trek (7 Days)
This trekking route will take you over a wide variety of terrain from Hampta Pass in Kullu valley to Chandra Taal Lake in Spiti. During this journey, the trekkers cross such varied terrain like green pine forests, glaciers, deep valleys, open meadows and high altitude deserts. This trek should be attempted by people already familiar with at least basic trekking.
Day 1. Manali – Jobra – Chika
First day will begin by transport to Jobra village in a car from Manali or nearby. Jobra is a beautiful small village at an altitude of 3200 m covered by lush green pine forests. We’ll rest there for a while taking in the sights and hopefully a cup of hot tea. We’ll then walk through the forest in to a meadow with Rani Nala (stream) passing through it. We’ll reach Chika by evening and set up our camp for the night.
Day 2. Chika – Jwara – Balu Ka Gera
Next morning after breakfast, we’ll pack up our things and start walking alongside the small river/stream. We’ll need to cross it after a while which is quite easy without getting wet. After a couple of hours, we’ll reach Jwara a valley sheltered by tall mountains all around it. We can see Dhualadhar mountain range from here for first time. As we keep walking from this point onwards, we’ll keep gaining altitude. Our next stop will be Balu-ka-Gera which literally means “bed of sand” due to sand and rock brought by the river. We’ll camp there for the night.
Day 3. Balu-Ka-Gera – Shea Goru – Hampta Pass
Next day, we’ll keep following the river and face our first major incline of the trekking expedition. But it takes only 35-40 minutes to cross it before we reach somewhat level ground. It’s a good point for taking photographs of the scenery in front of us. After resting and taking photographs, we’ll keep walking up the ridge till we reach Hampta Pass (altitude 4600 meters). If we’re lucky, there will be snow which we can use to slide down quickly. If now, we’ll have to walk down slowly. This descent is our first step in to Spiti region and we’ll meet the river again. Our camp site for the night will be in a place called Shea Goru.
Day 4. Shea Goru – Chatru
Walk of next day will again be alongside the river. The terrain will be mostly barren with sparse vegetation consisting of small shrubs and patches of grass here and there. After a walk of around 3-4 hours, we’ll reach a flat area and leave the mountains behind us. Along the way, we may have to cross some glacial flows which may be time consuming. We’ll laso have to cross a few small stream on our way before reaching Chatru to set up our camps for the night.
Day 5. Chatru – Chota Darra
Walk from now on will be upstream long the river and we’ll pass a few settlements on our way. Villagers here depend upon agriculture, livestock and gathering herbs for survival. Some people leave the place during winter months to some place warm and come back after snow melts. The terrain will be rocky with occasional land slides here and there. Our last stop for the day will be Chota Darra.
Day 6. Chota Darra – Batal
After breakfast next morning, we’ll keep walking in the same direction and the terrain will not change much. Our first stop for the day will be Batal, which is a major resting point for vehicles passing through the area. One route from Batal leads to Kaza via Kunzum La and other leads to Chandra Taal Lake. We’ll have a late lunch or dinner in one of the dhabas there. We can also sleep in any of dhabas or shelters.
Day 7. Batal – Chandra Taal Lake
After breakfast, we’ll take the route to Chandra Taal lake. There will be a bit of incline as we move forward but it eases up after 2-3 kilometers. After a walk of 4-5 hours, we’ll finally reach our campsite near Chandra Taal Lake. Due to it’s sensitive eco-system, no camping or human activity is allowed within a km of the lake. We’ll set up our camp and walk to the lake to enjoy the sights and beauty.
From this point, we can either go back via car next day or spend another day or two. Many trekkers also chose to visit Samudri Taapu nearby.
- TRANSPORT : On foot, In private car or SUV with driver.
- ACCOMMODATION: Campsites.
- ENDURANCE LEVEL: Medium to Expert.
- ACTIVITIES: Trekking, Camping, Mountain climbing, Bird watching, Hiking
- DURATION: 7 days
- MEALS: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
- COST: Variable