Hampta Pass

One of the Most Dramatic Crossover Treks in the Himalayas

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TREK DIFFICULTY

Moderate

TREK DURATION

6 days

HIGHEST ALTITUDE

14,065 ft

One of the Most Dramatic Crossover Treks in the Himalayas

At 14,000 feet Hampta Pass in Himachal Pradesh falls under those rare, dramatic pass crossings in the Himalayas. On one side is the lush green valley of Kullu — with forests, grasslands, and flowers blooming on the side of your trail. On the other is the almost arid, stark landscape of Lahaul, with barren mountains and almost no vegetation.

Standing on the top of the pass, what’s ahead and behind are two different worlds. It changes in a matter of minutes.

Simply put, the Hampta Pass is Himachal’s Valley of Flowers. The landscape is strikingly similar to that of Valley of Flowers – a green narrow valley protected by snow-covered mountains – but there’s a bonus here.

When you get onto the other side of the Hampta Pass, you’ll be in awe looking at the stark contrast from what you just left behind. The landscape that stretches in front of you is Spiti Valley, known for its barren stretches, rugged terrain and forget-me-not blue skies.

What makes the dramatic changes heightened, even more, is how thrilling the climb to Hampta Pass is. For trekkers, crossing the Hampta Pass (even without the scenery changes) is a great story of adventure. They will love the nervous excitement of climbing to the pass over many ledges, almost appearing to get to the pass, but never really sure until you get there.

On this trek, you move from one side to the other over 6 days, covering 25 km.

At 14,000 feet Hampta Pass in Himachal Pradesh falls under those rare, dramatic pass crossings in the Himalayas. On one side is the lush green valley of Kullu — with forests, grasslands, and flowers blooming on the side of your trail. On the other is the almost arid, stark landscape of Lahaul, with barren mountains and almost no vegetation.

Standing on the top of the pass, what’s ahead and behind are two different worlds. It changes in a matter of minutes.

Hampta Pass - Complete Trek Information

We have always wanted trekkers to be well-informed before they go on a Himalayan trek. Knowledge is the difference between a safe trek and a dangerous one. It’s also the difference between a wholesome experience and a superficial experience.

Use this section to learn about the Hampta Pass trek. It has in-depth information about each day of the trek, what to expect, and how you need to prepare for it. Many years of expertise have gone into this content. Trekkers find that extremely useful.

Hampta Pass Videos

Expert Speak

Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Here is Arjun Majumdar, Founder and CEO of Indiahikes talking about the Hampta Pass trek. Arjun is an entrepreneur by profession and a trekker by passion, Arjun started Indiahikes in 2008 with a vision to explore and document new trails, solve problems in the mountains and implement sustainable ways of trekking.

What I Like About Hampta Pass

Arjun Majumdar, Founder, CEO

Here is Arjun Majumdar, Founder and CEO of Indiahikes talking about the Hampta Pass trek. Arjun is an entrepreneur by profession and a trekker by passion, Arjun started Indiahikes in 2008 with a vision to explore and document new trails, solve problems in the mountains and implement sustainable ways of trekking.

1. The drive from Manali to Jobra

I find it hard to believe that most people never mention the drive from Manali to Jobra, the base camp of the trek. It is one of the nicest mountain drives I’ve done. I remember being glued to the window when we took the drive (tip: sit on the left). The dirt track just zips up the mountain face in a dizzying series of hairpin bends.

I loved how in an hour the forests changed, from apple orchards to deodar forests to oaks. From the heart of Manali, it became cooler and then really cold! I could never imagine such a road existed right behind Manali. I have passed Manali a hundred times and never spotted it!

The picturesque drive to Jobra from Manali is hard to forget. Picture by Jothiranjan

2. The small forest section

It is a small forest, but it is a rare one on the Hampta Pass trek. It comes right on the first day of the trek — it mesmerised me! For the first time, I saw oaks.

This small forest section leaves you spellbound on the very first day of your trek. Picture by Jothiranjan

3. The dramatic Pass crossing

 I like pass crossings, they are usually very exciting. But the Hampta Pass crossing was a different adventure. Everything was very dramatic. On the pass day, it was almost like walking through a gorge. It is a very narrow valley  — stark brown walls on either side, deep white snow below us. Ice columns trickled down on some caves on either side. Our voices almost echoed.

You get to the pass by climbing three ledges one after the other. What sticks with me is the sense of adventure that you get when you climb these ledges leading to the pass.

When I got to the pass, I thought I would see the other side immediately. Nothing like that.

The pass was a long wide passage veering to the left. It went on for some time and then suddenly, it just dropped off in an opening high up in the mountains — almost hanging out of the air. I am no mountaineer, but that day I felt like I was on an expedition! I guess every trekker on the Hampta trek feels like that.

Crossing Hampta Pass at 14,000 ft is a thrilling experience. Picture by Aditya Bodke

4. Stunning campsites of Balu Ka Ghera and Shea Goru

The first view of Lahaul stunned me. This has to be one of the big highlights of doing this trek. From the pass, many thousand feet below, to my left and right, stretched the entire Shea Goru valley, my first sight of Lahaul. Standing on top of a stark snow pass, this was a contrast I didn’t imagine.

Behind us was the Kullu valley with its dense trees, grasslands, tall cliffs and flowers. And in front was the desert-like Lahaul with its grassy boulder ridden valley floor. It was not chocolate barren like Ladakh, but it was a different greenish desert. Just for this contrast, it is worth doing this trek.      

On the Hampta Pass trek, if the scenery doesn't blow your mind, our campsites will. Picture by Jothiranjan

5. The descent to Lahaul

As much as I loved climbing the Hampta Pass, I loved getting down on the Lahaul side more. The landscape changed so much in those 6 hours!

First, it was the tall snow-capped mountains on either side, then the slides and plunges down a moraine-filled gully. Finally, they rush down to the grassy ledge overlooking the Chandrabhaga river. I sat there for a long time just taking in the experience. It was exhilarating!

The view of Lahaul valley from Hampta Pass looks like you are entering a different world. Picture by Jothiranjan

Indiahikes Features

You’re guarded with our trek again philosophy

If you are unable to complete a trek, or if you love a trek, you can repeat it with us anytime. You don’t have to pay us for it. See our thoughts behind this here.

Daily 3-time health checks keep you safe at any altitude

Our thrice-a-day oxi-metre checks keep altitude sickness at bay, never allowing you to reach a point where you need evacuation.

Join any group, they are all women-friendly groups 

With around 30% of our trekkers being women, all women, including those travelling solo are comfortable to join any of our groups.

Request Jain/Vegan-friendly food

Our kitchen teams understand your needs as a vegan (or a Jain). We will take special care of your food, even in the remote Himalayas. 

Be comfortable and sustainable with bio toilets

We have specially designed bio toilets to ensure you have no sight or smell in toilets, at the same time making sure the toilets cause no harm to the fragile ecosystem we trek in.

Fresh, nutritious food at every camp

We’ll admit it. Our love for food surpasses our love for minimalism. Expect freshly cooked, multi-cuisine food at all camps, designed to meet your nutritional requirements and keep your taste buds happy!

Trek Trivia

Things Nobody Tells You About Hampta Pass

Hampta Pass is often considered Himachal's Valley of Flowers in Monsoon

Not many people know this, but with monsoons, the meadows of Hampta Pass turn into a riot of colours!

There are several sections on the trek, where you see wildflowers spread out across the valley, so much so that you may not know where to step!

But to witness this, you have to time your trek right. Late July to late August would be the best time to see these flowers.

These are indeed the rainiest weeks, but it's worth every drop!

Hampta Pass turns into a Valley of Flowers in monsoon

Myth: Hampta Pass and Pin Bhaba Pass are Similar

Hampta Pass and Pin Bhaba Pass are often spoken about in the same breath. They are both crossover treks; both of them climbing from a lush side of Himachal to a barren side. Many people make the mistake of ignoring the Pin Bhaba Pass if they have done the Hampta Pass.

Yet, you cannot be more wrong.

Frankly, the Pin Bhaba Pass and Hampta Pass treks don’t compare. The grandeur of the Pin Bhaba Pass is much greater than the Hampta Pass.

You have more forests, more grasslands, more valleys, more rivers and streams and a lot more desert land to trek through on the Pin Bhaba Pass.

Yet, Hampta Pass is a shorter, quicker trek with terrific scenery changes. It is just one great scene after another in a very quick time! It also gives you the experience of climbing to high altitudes, with a terrific pass crossing.

So if you have done Hampta Pass, consider the Pin Bhaba Pass as a level-up!

5 Reasons Why Indiahikes

We are India’s safest trekking organisation

When we brought out new trails in Indian trekking, safety came with us. Back in 2012, we were the first to introduce microspikes, and two years later, pulse oximeters became standard thanks to us. Nobody does safe treks like Indiahikes. In the mountains, emergencies don't care who you're with – everyone knows that when trouble hits, you look for the yellow tents of Indiahikes.

We are pioneers of treks in India

We are pioneers in trekking. Since 2007, we have brought out treks that have become India's most famous treks: Roopkund, Rupin Pass, Buran Ghati, Kedarkantha, Kashmir Great Lakes, Tarsar Marsar, Brahmatal, Phulara Ridge—the list goes on. In 2023 alone, we brought out five new treks in Indian trekking. We know treks better than anyone. This comes directly from the reason why Indiahikes was born: to bring out trek information and enable trekkers to trek on their own.

We are India’s largest trekking organisation

More than 25,000 people trek with us every year. We are the largest trekking organisation in India. 24% of our trekkers come back to trek with us every year. Over 4,000 students from the top educational institutions trek with us every year. Aside from this, families with children choose to trek with Indiahikes knowing that our treks are the safest. We have taken over 8000 children trekking so far, and the number continues to grow.

Our treks are transformative

We focus on designing transformative experiences. Our trek leaders conduct thought-provoking exercises that help you reflect and contemplate. This impact stays with you for a long time. Trekkers return feeling energised, more confident, or developing abilities to deal with difficulties. Many have changed careers, rethought their core values, become more humble, shown gratitude to others, or started a new fitness journey.

We are India's most sustainable trekking organisation

Since 2012, we have pioneered sustainable practices that have become standard in trekking. Using eco-bags, our trekkers have cleared over 120 tonnes of litter from the mountains. We do not carry packaged foods; instead, we serve freshly made food. We do not light campfires; we carry coal to light angethis to keep you warm. Our bio-toilets not only keep our toilets odour-free but also enrich the soil. When you trek with us, you leave mountains better.