Name: Hamta Pass and Chandratal Trek
Approx elevation: 14,200 ft
Starting Point: Manali
Hamta Dam to Chika | 2,700 mt to 3,000 mt | 2-3 hrs
The first day of the trek to Chika campsite starts from Jobri or Hamta dam. It’s a short 4 km trek through mixed forest of pine trees and birches.
Chika is a picture-perfect location with striking enraptured bridges, abundant grassland, enormous rocks, colorful flowers, swift streams and gorgeous waterfalls.
The trail is also rich with deodar, oak, maple trees alongside thick alpine forests. The region will encapsulate you with its delightful offerings.
The green valleys with a beautiful view of the Rani Nala offers an exquisite sight to experience. Various snow-lined ridges can be witnessed beyond the riverbeds en route Chika campsite.
The landscape with steep mountains covered with trees rising vertically up will present an overwhelming sight.
Surrounded by waterfalls on all the sides and with herds of sheep and horses grazing around, makes Chika an amazing camping location.
Chika – Balu ka Ghera| 3,000 mt to 3,600 mt | 5-6 hrs
Today’s ascent to Balu Ka Ghera – Known as ‘Heaps of Sand’ is of moderate difficulty level, but the views from campsite are spectacular and rejuvenating. Jwara campsite comes mid-way to Balu ka ghera campsite. The views on the trail from Jobri to Jwara camp will keep changing as you start ascending the valley. The valley itself changes from becoming narrow and wide in places. After a few hours of ascent, you will cross Rani Nala. The water will be bone chilling, but it’s a small stream and easily doable.
From the beginning of the trail itself you could see big mountains and vertical rocks standing on both sides. The views around are stunning and the trail would disappear into the clouds just a few hundred meters ahead of you.
Balu Ka Gera is the next halt after so many turns and twists and covering a lot of boulders and rough terrain. Rhododendron trees are one of the prime attractions of this route. But the main attraction of this stretch is the snow-clad Dhauladhar peaks that loom right over you during the course of the trek.
River and rivulets constantly run by your side during the course of the trek. At 11000 plus feet, the wonderful campsite in Balu Ka Gera is covered in flowers and lush greenery. This will be the base camp of your trek as this marks the stretch when you gander at the Hampta Pass.
It offers a great camping site with a river flowing on one side and a water stream rolling on the other end. With a vision of snow in the distance, the base camp of trek lays close to crystal clear waters.
Balu ka Ghera – Hamta Pass – Shia Goru
3,600 mt to 4,200 mt to 3,700 mt | 8-10 hours
Hampta Pass gets its name from the Hamta Village located in the Pir Panjal region. At 14000 feet, this place is mostly ventured by shepherds and a handful of trekkers. With moderate climb followed by steep uphill trek accounts for the most incredible journey during the whole trek.
Glaciers, rivulets, streams can be found during the course of the route and the trekker has to traverse Hampta Pass, at 14,000 feet.
Snow clad mountains enclosing on all sides makes you hypnotized in the lap of nature. Attractive landscapes and glacial valleys embellish the trail that leads to the Hampta Pass.
Hampta Pass – An extensive plateau on the end of the valley, stands at a majestic 4200 meters. With a sight of jagged mountains towards the East dropping down to Spiti on the West, you can view the beautiful Inderkila, Deo Tibba and Indrasan peaks from here.
As you descend from hamta pass an incredible twist in scenery unfolds before your eyes from the green and snowed valleys to an expense of desert mountains of Spiti.
The immediate descend is very steep so walk this part with extra caution because of the loose sand and small rocks scattered on this trail, which can get slippery. Trailing beyond the Hampta Pass, Shiagoru is a well- known camping destination for trekking enthusiasts.
Shia Goru – Chatru
3,700 mt to 3,300 mt | 6 km | 4 – 5 hrs
The first task of the day will be to cross the chilling stream water. Use the human chain technique to cross the stream.
Mountains with sharp edges, a river flowing by, and large boulder make this wonderful stretch of the Hampta Pass Trek.
The Chatru campsite falls in the middle of Hampta Pass, Rohtang Pass, and Spiti.
After some time of reaching Chattru, you will leave for Chandratal which is a major attraction in Spiti Region.
Chatru – Chandratal | 3,300 mt to 4,270 mt | one way drive 2.5 hrs
Chandratal is 70 km from Chatru, the end point of Hampta Pass and Chandratal Trek. The moon lake enveloped in exciting surroundings is 2.5 hrs of road journey from the campsite and you can’t miss it after getting so close to it but journey to Chandratal completely depends upon the weather conditions.
Chandratal – A pleasing and clandestine paradise that rests at 4300 meters is located in the Spiti Valley between a low ridge and the Kunzum Ranges. ‘The Moon Lake’ gets its name from its crescent shape with the magnificent mountains that sits beyond this exquisite lake. This amazing location is only accessible for 3 months in the year and remains frozen and cut off for the rest of the season. It changes color from blue to green depending upon the sky, which makes it extraordinary.