A Dramatic Crossover Trek 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 an added 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 a period of 6 days, covering 25 km.
What I Like About the Hampta Pass Trek
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 basecamp 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 hair pin bends.
I loved how in an hour the forests changed, from apple orchards to deodar forests to oaks. From the heat 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!
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 totally mesmerised me! For the first time I saw oaks, birch and maple trees together — I had not seen such continuous interplay between these trees on my other treks. It was unique and it stays in my memory even now.
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 actually 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.
4. The contrast between Kullu and Lahaul valleys
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.
5. Stunning campsites of Balu Ka Ghera and Shea Goru
Give me the campsites of Shea Goru and Balu Ka Gera on this trek and I’ll compare them with any of the top campsites of other treks. Trekkers prefer Shea Goru on the Lahaul side. I can understand why — with its green settings, stream in front, mountains rising all around you.
But my favourite will always be Balu Ka Ghera. The campsite on the edges of the river delta, the Hampta Pass looming right in front, an adventure beckoning, and an open valley behind me. I don’t think I could ask for more from a setting.
6. 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, the 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!
What I don’t like about Hampta Pass trek
I have a few bones to pick here. It is a much-loved trek by everyone, but I’ll say it anyway.
1. The trek days are short
I think the days on the trek are too short. The trek days could be longer. Also, the trek has too much to offer for it to get over quickly in 4 days. I wish the trek was a nice 6-dayer.
2. The rough road to Chandratal
I just didn’t like the bumpy ride to Chandratal. While Chandratal was great, the ride to Chandratal rattled my bones to the core. It is supposed to be a national highway. There isn’t any highway. It is just boulders. The return journey via Rohtang Pass made up for everything though.
3. The feel of Manali after the trek
I know Manali is a favourite hill station of India. But after the trek I hated Manali. You just don’t like the hustle and bustle after such a great trek experience. Do all your sightseeing of Manali before you start the trek. After the trek, just head home as soon as you can. You don’t want to see another honeymoon couple.
Hampta Pass is a great trek. Trekkers love it. Hampta Pass was the first trek that we explored outside our big ones in Uttarakhand. This was in 2010.
Having run this trek so long, we’ve got a treasure of knowledge on Hampta Pass. So, one of the first questions trekkers ask us is “When is the best time to do Hampta Pass?”
Hampta Pass Is Best Discovered Through Pictures
DAY 1: Manali to Jobra
Arrive early in the morning at Manali (Best way to reach Manali: Fly to Chandigarh. Take a bus from Chandigarh to Manali)
Get to Keylinga Inn, Prini, by 11.30 am. Start for Jobra immediately after lunch (2 hours drive). The cab fare is Rs.2,500 per vehicle. This is not included in the trek fee. It is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver.
Trek duration: 30 minutes
DAY 2: Jobra to Jwara
Trek distance: 4.5 km | Duration: 4 hours
Altitude gain: 9,379 ft to 11,194 ft
Trek type: Easy-moderate. Easy walk to Chika for about an hour followed by 2 hours of ascent through a boulder section. Descent for 1-1.15 hours easing off into level walk.
DAY 3: Jwara to Balu ka Ghera
Trek distance: 5 km | Duration: 4 hours
Altitude gain: 11,194 ft to 12,411 ft
Trek gradient: Moderate. Short meadow walk followed by boulder section for couple of hours, leading to a trail on loose rocks all the way. Very gradual incline through the day.
DAY 4: Balu Ka Ghera to Shea Goru via Hampta Pass (longest day of the trek)
Trek distance: 5 km | Duration: 9 hours
Altitude gain: 12,411 ft to 14,065 ft to 12,864 ft. (12,411 ft)
Trek type: Moderate. An hour of gradual ascent after which the trail becomes steep uphill till the pass, interspersed with short decsents 2 hours of steep descent from the pass, easing off into a flat walk.
DAY 5: Shea Goru to Chhatru
Trek distance: 6 km | Duration: 4.5 hours
Altitude loss: 12,864 ft to 10,898 ft
Trek type: Moderate. 2-2.5 hours of walking on moraine and loose rocks on gentle inclines, followed by a descent to Chhatru across couple of glacial flows.
Visit Chandrataal and return to Chhatru camp Note: The cost of transport from Chhatru to Chandrataal and return and Chhatru to Manali is not included in the trek fee. This will be INR 9000 per vehicle (This includes the visit to Chandratal).
DAY 6: Chhatru to Manali
4-5 hours drive. You are expected to reach Manali around 4.00 pm.
Please note that you will be staying in tents on all days of the trek.
You can leave extra luggage at the cloakroom in Hotel Keylinga before your trek begins.
It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo id for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
Know Your Hampta Pass Trek
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 surficial 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. Don’t miss the ‘Frequently Asked Questions' section. Trekkers find that extremely useful.
How Does Each Day Look Like
Day 1: Reach Jobra
The base camp for the Hampta Pass trek is Jobra. The picturesque drive from Manali, along with 42 hairpin turns, has panoramic views of Kullu valley. The Rani Nallah, which you will trek alongside till it disappears under the snow of Hampta Pass, starts accompanying you from here. From the road head at Jobra, the campsite is a 30-minute trek through a mixed forest of pine, bright green maple trees and luminescent silver birch.
- Altitude: 9,379 ft (2,859 m)
- Time taken: 2 hours drive from Manali to Jobra; 30-minute trek to Jobra campsite. Reach Prini (Keylinga Inn) by 11.30 am. The cab fare is Rs.2,500 per vehicle. This is not included in the trek fee. It is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver.
Cross the road where you get off from the vehicle and take the small path into the forest. The forest is mostly Pine with an occasional Maple tree with its new lush green leaves - a pleasant change in the vegetation. It's an easy slope and after 20 minutes into the forest, you come to a bend with a huge rock which overlooks a meadow strewn with small rocks.
Camp in the meadows for the night to acclimatise better.
Day 2: Jobra to Jwara
- Altitude: 9,379 ft (2,859 m) to 11,194 ft (3,412 m)
- Time taken: 5 hours, 5 km
- Trek gradient: Easy-moderate. Easy walk to Chika for about an hour followed by 2 hours of ascent through a boulder section. Descent for 1-1.5 hours easing off into a level walk.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Jobra. You can refill your water bottles from the river along the trail.
The meadow near Jobra has the Rani Nallah or Rani river flowing in between and on either side, you will see hills with rock faces. Some cows and sheep graze in the meadow which is lined with Maple and Pine trees. Early in the season one may find some snow by the side of the river.
You can traverse on the meadow or climb up the left hill. The climb makes the path slightly shorter. The river flows right in the middle and water is no issue. You can take a break here - Chika.
Jwara is to the right of Chikha, and can be identified by a couple of waterfalls in the distance. Head right but stay on the left bank of the river throughout. The initial climb is mainly through stones and boulders. The going is never too difficult. The right bank of the river is laced with dwarf Rhododendrons in the lower and middle region of the mountain and Birch trees grow at the upper end.
Look back and you will see the Dhauladhar range with its snow-clad peaks. It makes a pretty picture. You will find a waterfall on to your left. Relax and replenish your water supplies at this spot.
After the waterfall, you move towards your right, heading towards the river, which has a lot of boulders around it. Take off your shoes if you wish and jump across the rocks on the Rani Nallah. The water is icy cold as one would expect.
You are now about halfway through your trek as you enter a walled valley. On one side of the valley are the rock faces and on the other end is the river below. Once you cross the river, you are at Jwara where nature is at her dramatic best.
Day 3: Trek from Jwara to Balu Ka Ghera
- Altitude: 11,194 ft (3,412 m) to 12,411 ft (3,783 m)
- Time taken: 4-5 hours, 4.5 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. Short meadow walk followed by boulder section for a couple of hours, leading to a trail on loose rocks all the way. Very gradual incline through the day.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water. You will find streams along the trail to refill your water bottles.
The river has snow flows melting and feeding it while numerous sheep and mules feed on the green grass. In front are snow-clad mountains beyond which lies the Hampta Pass.
Walk along the Rani river heading into a rectangular valley. On your way, you will find a variety of tiny flowers - purple, yellow, pink etc. The trees are now left behind. You won’t find them anymore for quite some time. It takes about half an hour to cross the valley.
After you come out of Jwara, you need to walk further along. The terrain flattens as you reach Chota Balu ka Ghera where you can rest for a bit and have a quick snack. Then continue further along the river, crossing small snow flows and jumping across rocks.
Towards the end, the rocks are quite far apart and jumping across gets tricky. Soon after, you will reach the destination for the day – Balu Ka Ghera or the bed of sand. The ground is formed mainly by the sand and dust brought down by the river.
It is level ground and behind you are the mountains you will traverse the next day to cross the Hampta Pass. Pitch your tent and enjoy a beautiful sunset behind the Hanuman Tibba peak. You are now close to 12,500 ft above sea level.
Day 4: Balu Ka Ghera to Shea Goru via Hampta Pass
- Altitude: 12,411 ft (3,921 m) to 12,864 ft (3,735 m) via 14,065 ft (4,287 m)
- Time taken: 9 hours, 5 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. An hour of gradual ascent after which the trail becomes steep uphill till the pass, interspersed with short descents. 2 hours of steep descent from the pass, easing off into a flat walk.
- Water sources: None. Carry 2 litres of water from Balu ka Ghera. Late season streams likely once the snow melts.
Today’s trek can be broken into two stages - the climb to Hampta Pass which is moderately steep followed by a steep descent to Shea Goru. You will want to take a small break at the top of the pass to make it your target to reach the pass by lunchtime, have lunch there and then start the descent.
You begin your day by heading towards the mountains from Balu Ka Ghera. You may get a pleasant surprise with lots of tiny pink and yellow flowers growing by the side of the river. Move along the river for an hour after which you will be above it. At some points, the trail may fade out so be careful not to get lost. Stay with your team.
After an hour of a gentle gradient in a rock fall prone area, the climb picks up. This is the first serious incline you will encounter. Half an hour into the climb, you will reach the first plateau. Here you get to see the Deo Tibba peak right in front of you.
If you are here during early summer, there is a good chance that this entire section is filled with snow. At other times, you may get only some patches of snow.
Take a breath, wait for your team to catch up and begin the next ascent. This is another inclined part which has two stages to it and finally ends at the ridge. The climb will take you 20-30 minutes. From the top of the ridge, you will see another parallel one, which is your next destination. Hampta Pass is a bend away from the top of the second ridge.
Before descending down to the side of the second ridge, continue walking on the first ridge for a small distance to get a 360-degree view of the intriguing mountain peaks like Peak 5260 surrounding you. This is a good spot for a panoramic shot.
After descending down and 15 minutes of going by the side, you begin the vertical climb which gets over in 20 minutes. You may be panting at the end of it but you are almost there at 14,000 ft, atop the Hampta Pass.
The descent is slightly trickier than the ascent. It can vary slightly depending on the snow condition too. Sliding down may be an option if there is snow. From the pass, take a turn towards the right. You can see the Lahaul side of the pass below.
Go down in a zig-zag route and then stick to the right flank of the mountain. You will have to walk over slippery soil and stones too. In half an hour the first downhill run is done.
A u-turn brings you right below the pass. From here it is a straight downhill trek on snow; you could also follow the zig-zag path down until you hit the valley below. In an hour and a half, you will be at the base of the valley. Tall snow-clad mountains surround you from three sides and the open side leads you to Shea Goru.
Shea Goru is an almost level walk from here. It should be an easy walk though some may find it tiring after the long day traversing the pass. You will find the river again, flowing to your right. Choose a nice camp site close to the river and retire happily for the day after crossing the Hampta Pass.
Day 5: Shea Goru to Chhatru; drive to Chandratal* and back to Chhatru
- Altitude: 12,864 ft (3,735 m) to 10,898 ft (3,322 m) to 14,100 ft (4,298 m)
- Time taken: 4 – 4.5 hours; 6 km
- Trek gradient: Moderate. 2-2.5 hours of walking on moraine and loose rocks on gentle inclines, followed by a descent to Chhatru across a couple of glacial flows.
- Water sources: Carry sufficient water from Shea Goru. You will find a few sources on the way to refill your water bottles.
* depending on the condition of the roads and weather
As you move closer to the road, the descent gets a little tricky. You will need to traverse by the edges of rocks and sometimes it might just be easier to get down into the river/glacier bed below to skip the rocky section and get back up.
There are also a couple of places with slippery soil. So you need to be nimble and hop down them to prevent yourself from sliding.
This section would take 2½ – 3 hours when you are out of the mountains. You are still at a height but you have the road right across and the Chandra river separating you from the road.
Two to three huge glacial flows come down from the mountains on the side to the Chandra river.
You will need to cross these streams to reach a camping spot which has water.
Choose a camping spot close to one of the numerous streams that join the river. Chhatru is a lovely camping site. You get lovely views of the different mountain ranges. The Chandra river flows in speed right below.
If the roads are clear and devoid of snow, a visit to Chandratal, the moon lake is a must when you are in Spiti. Chhatru is about 70 km away from Chandratal. You will take a vehicle to Chandratal from Chhatru.
The journey takes about 3 hours and the road is quite bumpy, so it is advised that you start well before 3:00 PM. Those who have motion sickness, don't forget to take Avomine tablets.
Please note that the road to Chandratal is extremely dusty and can lead to a problem if you are asthmatic.
If you have some energy to spare, walk up the hill next to Chandratal. From the top, apart from being able to identify the moon shape of the lake, you'll be able to see a second lake out in the distance surrounded with scenic peaks like the CB-13.
Since Chandratal is at an altitude of 14,100 ft there are good chances of being hit by Acute Mountain Sickness if you're not well hydrated. Head to the Safety section to find out more.
Remember, the excursion to Chandrataal and back (if accessible) is completely optional. But we do recommend to visit the lake if the weather & road condition permit.
In late summers, the road opens up to Chhatru and beyond. If you are early or late in the season, Chandratal may be ruled out and you may have to walk on the road to a place where the road has been cleared off its snow flows.
Please note that as a part of the Hampta Pass trek, you'll not be camping at Chandrataal. After a late afternoon-early evening visit to Chandratal, you'll come back to Chattru and camp there for the night before heading to Manali the next day
Day 6: Drive from Chhatru to Manali
After an early morning debriefing, bid the Spiti valley goodbye and head back to Manali. The journey from Chhatru to Manali passes through Rohtang Pass and can take up to 4 hours. The scenery all through the route is a treat in itself. Don't forget to ask our trek leaders to teach you some group games like Hand Uno and Lateral Situations, to play on the way back!
Banner image by Chirag Sadhnani
How to Plan Your Travel
It is great to see you going on the Hampta Pass Trek, one of the most dramatic crossover treks in the Himalayas. While it is a great trek to do, you need to get your travel plan worked out perfectly.
Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do next. Use this guide and nothing else to plan your travel.
- A quick view of your travel plan (Skip to section)
- Planning your onward air/train booking (Skip to section)
- Planning your return air/train booking (Skip to section)
- Planning your hotel booking (Skip to section)
- How to reach Manali on your own (Skip to section)
Here’s a quick view on how to plan your travel
Day zero (the day before Day 1): Book your air ticket to Chandigarh or Delhi. If Chandigarh, proceed to Sector 43 and take a bus to Manali. If Delhi, book an overnight bus to Manali.
Day 1: Manali to Jobra (9,379 ft) drive and then trek for 30 mins. It is a 2-3 hour drive from Manali. Jobra is the basecamp for your trek.
You need to report to Keylinga Inn at 11.00 am. There is a registration process followed by lunch. You will then proceed to Jobra. The cab fare is Rs.2,500 per vehicle. This is not included in the trek fee. It is to be shared by trekkers and paid directly to the driver.
Day 2 to Day 5: Trek the Hampta Pass trail
Day 6: Chhatru to Manali; 4-5 hours drive. You are expected to reach Manali around 4.00 pm. Due to the monsoon conditions, we advise you to book your return from Manali only after 8 pm.
Day 7: Book return flight/train ticket from Chandigarh or Delhi or Bhuntar. Do not book plane tickets to your hometown from Delhi/Chandigarh/Bhuntar on Day 6.
| Important points to note:
1. While getting to Manali, we recommend you arrive a day earlier and stay in Prini area. Staying at Manali gives you a well deserved rest for the night. Plus you avoid the traffic snarls in the morning.
2. On your return, your trek ends at Chhatru. Chhatru is a small village next to the highway. We again arrange for the transport for the return to Manali on the same day. You reach Manali by 4 pm.
It costs Rs 9000 per vehicle for Chhatru to Chandrataal, back to Chhatru and Manali on the next day. There is no part charges applicable. In case you want visit Chandrataal or any other place in Spiti on your own, you can depart on Day 5 itself. You get share cabs or buses to Spiti from Chhatru.
3. During peak monsoon, the roads in and around Himachal are prone to landslides. They get cleared within a few hours, however there are delays and slow traffic. We recommend you reach Manali a day early and return a day after your trek to mitigate any delays due to the rains.
Your travel route to the Jobra basecamp is a picturesque drive from Manal along 42 hairpin turns. It has panoramic views of Kullu valley. The Rain Nallah, which you will trek alongside till it disappears under Hampta Pass, starts accompanying you from here. See map
2. Planning your onward flight/train booking
If you are travelling from Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune, Mumbai or any other city, book your air tickets for Day Zero, which is the day before Day 1 on the itinerary.
Example: If your trek start day is 25 September, then book your air tickets for 24 September to either Chandigarh or Delhi.
There are two options for your flight tickets.
Option 1: Fly directly to Chandigarh.
We recommend this. It gives you an added rest day at Manali. It also makes your travel time less. However, if the cost of the flight ticket to Chandigarh is too high, book to Delhi and travel to Manali by bus.
| Tip: Land at the Chandigarh airport and directly head to Sector 43 (which is the main Interstate bus terminal of Chandigarh). You get AC airport buses to Sector 43, from just outside the arrivals. It is about 10 kms and the buses run every half hour or so. A ticket costs Rs 60 for these buses.
Always target to reach Chandigarh by around 7.30 pm. It takes an hour or so to get out of the airport and get to ISBT in Sector 43. Getting a bus connection to Manali may take about half an hour or so. It is usually an 9-10 hour bus journey to Manali (294 kms on mountain roads).
Avoid reaching Chandigarh post 7.30 pm, unless really pushed to it. Use HRTC or Himachal Tourism buses. They usually run on time.
Tip: Avoid taking buses that are expected to reach Manali after 9 am. The route is prone to very bad traffic jams. Often with 3-4 hour delay.
Pro Tip: If you are in a group of 3-4, then it may make sense to take a taxi from Chandigarh airport to Manali directly. A taxi charges about Rs 3,200 for the trip. You can book a taxi from Goibibo or Ola in advance. We use this system often.
Option 2: Flying to Delhi
Flying to Delhi may be a lot cheaper than getting to Chandigarh. Make sure to book a flight that reaches Delhi by 4.00 pm. You must arrive in Delhi on Day Minus One and not on Day 1.
| Note: If you notice the difference in air ticket prices between Delhi and Chandigarh less than Rs 1,000 then book directly to Chandigarh. The rest and shorter travel time is worth the difference.
Bus to Manali: Take the bus before 6pm from ISBT Kashmiri Gate to the Manali Bus Stand. It is a 13-14 hour bus journey from Delhi to Manali. Take a bus that leaves Delhi at around 5.30 pm. Use HRTC or Himachal Tourism buses. They usually run on time.
| Pro Tip: Avoid taking buses that are expected to reach Manali after 9am. The route is prone to very bad traffic jams. Often with 3-4 hour delay.
Option 3: Flying to Bhuntar
Flying to the Kullu Airport is a risky and expensive option as it is a small airport and flights can get cancelled easily if the weather is bad. Make sure to book a flight that reaches before 9.00 am. You must arrive in Delhi/Chandigarh on Day Minus One and not on Day 1.
Cab to Manali: There are cabs available right outside the airport. They will charge around Rs. 2500 from Bhutar to Prini (Manali).
Tip: Keylinga Inn, your pickup point, comes before you enter Manali. So give your driver the hotel location and not Manali.
3. Planning your return flight/train booking
Booking your return tickets require some thought. First, always book your return ticket keeping in mind the monsoons. It generally causes delays in the mountain roads with slower moving traffic.
Option 1: Flying out from Chandigarh
Assuming you have stayed at Manali the day before, take a bus to Chandigarh. Book a flight that flies out of Chandigarh post 8pm. It takes about 10 hours to travel from Manali to Chandigarh by bus. And a further one hour from Chandigarh ISBT at Sector 43 to Airport by bus.
You get buses at Manali bus stand from 8.30 am onward.
Tip: You can also choose to share a cab with 3-4 fellow trekkers from Manali to Chandigarh.
Option 2: Flying out of Delhi
Assuming you are not staying overnight at Manali, you get buses to Delhi starting in the evening at 5 pm from Manali Bus stand. The travel time to reach Delhi ISBT is around 14-15 hrs. If you are booking a flight from Delhi and taking a bus, then book a late morning flight post 9 am.
Tip: Experience the different cafes in Manali and take a night bus after 9pm to Delhi. Then onward flight to your cities on the evening from Delhi.
Option 3: Flying from Bhuntar (Kullu Airport)
Book return flight from here on Day 7. Again, this is an expensive and risky option due to the monsoon season. Flights can get delayed or cancelled.
Cab to Bhuntar: Pre-book your cab to the airport. They will charge around Rs. 2500 from Prini (Manali) to Bhuntar. Your hotel can help you arrange for the cab.
4. Planning your hotel/stay
Booking stay at Manali is fairly easy. There are quite a few hostel options available around Old Manali.
| Tip: Book around Prini area if you arrive a day before your trek date. And for after the trek, book stay around Old Manali.
Hotel options at Manali
Your pickup and drop point has rooms that you can stay at. A decent hotel to spend a night in Manali. The cost is around Rs 1100 for a double bedroom.
Pro-Tip: You can rent a room here for a few hours to freshen up for Rs. 250 per head. It is best if you share a room with a few others from your batch.
➤ Hotel Peak View
This is right opposite your picku point Keylinga Inn. The cost is Rs 800-900 for a one-night stay.
Contact Number: 0124 398 6193
➤ Hotel Rock Sea
This is a moderate priced hotel close to the bus stand. You can book this is you are taking a morning bus. The cost ranges from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 for a double bedroom. The cost varies according to the seasons.
It is a moderate priced hotel close to the bus stand. You can book this is you are taking a morning bus. The cost ranges from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200 for a double bedroom. The cost varies according to the seasons.
You can also look up Hostel World for good budget options in Old Manali. The price varies from Rs. 200 to Rs. 350 per head for a dorm room.
There is no network connectivity on this trek.On your return, you will get network near Rohtang Pass and Manali only.
How Difficult is Hampta Pass Trek
At Indiahikes, while rating a trek difficulty we consider a number of factors. These include, altitude gained every day, length of trek everyday, highest altitude, nature of the terrain, weather etc. Base on this we rate a trek as easy or difficult or somewhere in between.
Hampta Pass Trek is a moderate trek on a difficulty level ranging from easy to difficult.
You start from Manali which is at an altitude of 6,725 ft and reach an altitude of 14,000 ft in a matter of 4 days.
For the most part though, it is an easy hike through the valley.
However, the terrain becomes difficult as you get closer to the pass. The pass crossing day is a long walk of almost 9 hours.
This makes the trek a moderate one. It is a good trek for fit first timers.
You will need at least 4 weeks of solid preparation for this trek. You can begin preparation by going for brisk walks and then do brisk jogs to improve your cardio. Your target should be to cover 5 km in 37 minutes comfortably by the start of the trek. Here's how you can get fit for the Hampta Pass Trek
Is Hampta Pass trek Safe?
Yes. Hampta Pass is a safe trek to do. Provided you have done your research, prepared well and are well-equipped and carrying the necessary trekking gear.
Having said that, there are multiple factors that impact your safety on a trek like Hampta Pass. We, at Indiahikes, have listed those factors and described them in great detail.
Safety on Hampta Pass Trek - Terrain wise
The good news is that the terrain at Hampta Pass trek does not have many sections that pose a major safety challenge. Amongst our very high altitude treks (treks that go over 14,000 feet), Hampta Pass poses the least risk.
The only few risky sections are stream crossings and the descent from the pass down to Shea Goru campsite.
1. Stream crossings on the way to Jwara:
You will cross two streams on the second day of your trek, before reaching Jwara campsite. Only two wooden logs form the narrow bridge across these streams.
We recommend that you cross the bridge one trekker at a time here. A slight imbalance will cause you to slip and fall in the stream. Chances of taking a fellow trekker along with you into the stream are more when you slip. At Indiahikes, you will see that our Trek leader will follow the same process.
2. Descending from the pass:
You have to descend down the pass, until you get to the section where the slope starts to become gradual. This trail is very steep and has a lot of switchbacks. It has a lot of snow too, in the month of June.
If you are trekking in June, you will need microspikes for this section. You can wear it wherever you start to see hard snow. On your way down the pass, also ensure that you do not throw any hard objects or stones from the pass, as you may end up injuring your fellow trekkers.
3. Stream crossings before reaching Chhatru:
Your final day has multiple stream crossings depending on the month of your trek. In the months of June and July, there will be glaciers on which you can walk across the streams. In August and September, these glaciers would melt and flow as ice cold streams.
Here, we strongly recommend that you form a human chain wherein you lock one of your elbows with a fellow trekker and you cross together. Do not stop till the stream is crossed because of the chill you experience. The only way to warm your feet is to make it to the other side quickly by following a rhythm.
Safety of Hampta Pass Trek - Altitude wise
The Hampta pass trek starts rather high at 9,000 ft and climbs taking you to 14,000 ft by the third day itself. This high start makes you susceptible to altitude sickness in the first couple of days itself.
Keeping that in mind, we at Indiahikes have planned the route in a way that helps mitigate the risk of AMS:
- The night spent at 9,300 ft at Jobra (with a very short trek) instead of Manali 6,700 ft helps you acclimatize quite a bit.
- The hike from Jwara to Balu Ka Ghera is a shorter altitude gain - roughly 500 ft. This gives you ample opportunity to rest and acclimatize before the long summit day.
- Overall, the campsites are placed well within a normal altitude gain for each day. With a steady pace, the chances of getting AMS are lesser.
However, there are still chances of getting hit by AMS.
Over the last 8 years that we’ve been running this trek, we’ve noticed that trekkers usually start displaying symptoms of AMS at Balu Ka Ghera.
Trekkers usually complain of a headache or tiredness mixed with perhaps lack of appetite or sleep.
If you are trekking with Indiahikes, at any point in the trek, especially around Balu Ka Ghera, inform your trek leader about your condition immediately if you feel any symptom of AMS. All Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to take care of your health and safety during medical emergencies of any sort.
In case of AMS, early detection and treatment can ensure your successful trek completion.
If you are trekking on your own, the immediate step to take would be to start on a curative course of Diamox which is 250mgs every 12 hours followed by ample rest. The earlier you treat these symptoms, the higher the chances of recovering and completing the trek.
If the symptoms don’t alleviate after treatment, it is best to head down to Jobra immediately. (if you haven’t crossed the pass). Do not continue the trek if any of the symptoms persist.
You might also notice its symptoms while descending from the pass on the other side if your body hasn’t adjusted to the altitude. In such a case, descend to Chattru immediately.
Here’s a Complete Guide to Acute Mountains Sickness
• What Is Acute Mountain Sickness? A Quick Look At AMS, HAPE And HACE
• How To Treat Altitude Sickness – AMS, HAPE, & HACE
• How To Prevent Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), HAPE and HACE
• 3 Life Saving Drugs You MUST Have To Tackle Altitude Sickness – AMS, HAPE and HACE
Safety of Hampta Pass Trek - Weatherwise
The trek is safe for all the 4 months of the year it is open - from June to September.
However there are a few times where you need to be careful.
First is early in the season in June, when there is a lot of snow on the trail starting from Balu Ka Ghera, the trail can get slippery. However, this can be managed with the right gear - microspikes, gaiters, etc.
Second, in the months of July and August, the rain is a common occurrence. The rain too makes the trail slippery and tricky. Moreover the force of water at river crossings can increase too making it challenging to cross them.
In both cases make sure to get a firm footing before you take the next step. Follow the instruction of your trek leaders.
Protip Place your foot firmly on the ground and make sure your feet are not slipping and you’ve got a good grip before you take the next step. Do not be in a hurry to ascend or descend but take a second to be mindful of your steps.
The trek can get extremely cold resulting in cold-related injuries. But this can be tackled with the right winter gear, right technique of layering and good insulation techniques.
Exit points on the Hampta Pass Trek
Hampta Pass being a pass crossing trek has limited exit points. If you haven’t crossed the pass then head down Jobra before moving on to Manali . While after crossing the pass you’ll have to make it Chatru before heading to Manali (~130 km ) via Rohtang Pass.
Closest Hospital To Hampta Pass
Mission Hospital in Manali is the closest one to Hampta Pass, in case of a medical emergency during the trek.
Address: Model Town, Siyal, Manali, Himachal Pradesh - 175131
Manu Diagnostics Center and Hospital is another option.
Address: Snowdrop Hotel building, Gompa Road, opposite Buddhist Monastery, Manali, Himachal Pradesh - 175131
| Note: As India’s safest trekking organization, we ingrain safety aspects in the people we work with, in the processes that we follow and in the equipment we carry. Here’s how we at Indiahikes are ensuring that we make you trek the safest
Best Time to do Hampta Pass trek
Even though Hampta Pass is a high altitude trek, it can be done for almost 6 months in the year. The very best time would be between June and September. You can extend it to the end of October.
Some attempt the trek from the middle of May, but the snow is too high for a comfortable pass crossing. Even in the best months between June and September the trek is not the same every month.
Hampta Pass in June
In June expect a lot of snow from Balu Ka Ghera onward. You will find good snow slightly after Balu Ka Ghera camp right until the pass. You’ll get snow even until you get down on the Lahaul side. The depth of snow on both sides is quite high. The flats leading to the grassy camp of Shea Goru could have some patches of snow too.
Hampta Pass in July and August
In July the snow starts to melt rapidly but stays in good patches on the higher reaches of the pass. But a different magic starts to unfold mid July onward.
The valley starts to get its first monsoon showers. Wildflowers begin to sprout in the entire green belt on the Kullu side. Sometimes trekkers have to wade through a bed of wildflowers on either side of the trail.
If there is a favourite time to do the trek, then mid-July to the end of August is the best time to do the Hampta Pass trek. The grasslands are a vibrant green. The slopes are alive with swaying wildflowers. On the other hand, the skies are generally cloudy though. Be game for good showers on the trek. The rains last until the mid of September.
Hampta Pass in September
Post mid-September, the skies start to clear up and the early autumn colours strike the slopes. The Hampta Pass is at its most colourful. The sunrises and sunsets are gorgeous, the snow-clad mountains stand tall against the deep blue skies. The trek is at its most perfect.
At Indiahikes we wind up the Hampta Pass season at the end of September.
By the end of the first week of October, the air is definitely nippier. The early winter chill is clearly felt. Night temperatures will fall below zero in most camps. At the higher camps it could be icy cold. The streams dry up and water sources become increasingly difficult. The earth is browner. The boulders starker.
While it is possible to do the trek in October it is not as much fun.
| Note: The Hampta Pass crossing is very much dependent on how long the motorable Rohtang pass stays open. The Rohtang Pass is your only exit once you complete your trek at Chhatru. Before starting on the Hampta pass trek always check whether the Rohtang pass is open. You can get this information from the taxi stand at Manali.
Weather And Temperature On Hampta Pass
The weather on Hampta pass changes as you progress from late summer/early monsoon (June) to autumn (end of September) . Take a look at this video to know what to expect in terms of snow, rain and temperatures on the trail as the months progress:
When the trek opens up for the summer in June, it is a very short season. And despite it being summers, expect snow patches on the ground. Especially close to Balu Ka Ghera and above it is still snow bound.
Expect cold nights at your higher camps. Temperature during the night can drop to around zero but generally will hover around 1-5° C. The day temperatures are usually very pleasant on the trek at an average of 15-20° C. If the sun goes behind the clouds and there is a bout of rain, then the temperature can fall to around 10° C.
July and August
As we head into July, monsoons arrive. Prepare yourself for some rain while on the trail or at the campsites. Keep your ponchos easily accessible as it can rain anytime and mostly it does.
You will also have to pack differently for a monsoon trek. You can find more information on this here.
However, once you cross the pass you’re in the rain shadow region. There’s a very slim chance of it raining on the Lahaul valley side of the trek.
Temperatures more or less remain the same as in July, with cloud cover bringing the temperatures down to 10° C.
But as we move closer to September the weather improves. The weather is pleasantly sunnier and the days are warmer too.
By early to mid September the monsoon season is over. The skies are at their clearest blue with a very little chance of rain.
Having said that, expect a 3-5° C drop in temperature every couple of weeks as we head closer to winter months of October and onward.
What To Take
What to take on the Hampta Pass Trek
Hampta Pass is a high altitude trek In winter, the temperatures drop to negative temperatures. You'll need enough warm layers and accessories to keep you warm and help you trek comfortably. So pay careful attention to this entire section.
- A list of everything you need for the trek (Skip to section)
- A list of medicines for your trek (Skip to section)
- A list of mandatory documents (Skip to section)
First, The Essentials. You cannot do the trek without these.
1. Trekking Shoes
Hampta Pass requires trekking shoes that are sturdy, have good grip, have ankle support and can handle snow. Here is a quick video on how to choose your trekking shoes.
| Buying Tip: The Trek series and MH series are good options by Decathlon. They are tried and tested. There really isn’t any necessity to buy the higher priced models. Here is a list of other budget shoes that trekkers are using.
| Rental: We have the Trek series and the MH series by Decathlon available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are already broken into and in good condition. Rental shoes are not dirty or unhygienic. This is how they are kept clean. Rent here.
For a trek like Hampta Pass, you need a 50-60 litre backpack. Make sure your backpack has good hip support, shoulder support and quick access pockets. Here is a guide on how to choose a backpack.
| Buying Tip: Wildcraft, Decathlon and Adventure Worx usually make good backpacks. While Wildcraft has more expensive ones, the other two brands have budget-friendly backpacks to choose from.
| Rental: The 48 litre backpack by Adventure Worx is available on rent from the Indiahikes store. They are custom-made for our Himalayan treks. Rent them if you don’t have a backpack. Rent here.
Wearing layers is the mantra in the mountains. Layers give you maximum protection from all elements. And when the weather changes in the mountains (as it happens every few hours), you take take off or put on layers as required.
Base Layer: 3 T-Shirts
Wear one T-shirt and carry two. Carry full sleeve dry-fit T-shirts (preferably collared). These prevent your arms and neck from getting sunburnt. In the rarified air on the trek, especially at high altitudes, UV rays can burn you in no time.
Dry-fit T-shirts quickly dry your sweat, they are easy to wash and in case of a rainy day, they dry quicker. Round neck T-shirts are ok, but collared ones are better.
| Cotton or Synthetic? As Indians, we love cotton. Down in the plains when the heat is a blistering 40°C it makes sense to wear cotton. But it takes a long time to dry when it gets wet. In the mountains, where it is cooler, synthetic is what you wear. They wick sweat rapidly and keep you dry. (But they do tend to smell quickly, so carry a roll-on deodorant with you.)
| Buying Tip: You can get dry-fit T-shirts from Decathlon. Also, stores like Reliance Trends, Max have dry-fit T-shirts. They don’t usually cost much.
| Pro Tip: If you are extra susceptible to cold, you could get a set of thermal inners. In our experience, wearing two T-shirts over another works as a better thermal. And they save you weight and space, since you’re already carrying them.
3 Insulation Layers
The highest altitude you reach on this trek is 14,065 ft. At these altitudes it can get freezing cold even in the middle of summer. You will need at least 2 insulation layers for this trek.
You will need 1 pair of inner thermals, 2 light fleece layers or 1 thick fleece layer. Do not get your grandma stitched sweaters, which can be very heavy. You need sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.
1 Outer Layer: For your outer later, a padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t really need a water resistant material. But you need an outer padded jacket that keeps the wind and cold out. Ensure your padded jacket has a hood as well.
| Do you need a down/feather jacket? Not really. A regular padded/shell jacket will do. This video here will help you to learn more about the difference.
| Note: Down/feather jackets are really not available these days. Many jackets masquerade as down/feather jackets. They are essentially fine polyester-filled jackets. They mimic the function of a down jacket but are usually expensive.
| Rental: Padded jackets made by Fort Collins are available on rent at the Indiahikes store. They are custom made for Indiahikes and trekkers find them terrific, even in winter. Rent here.
A minimum of one pair and maximum of two pairs of trek pants should suffice for this trek. Wear one pair and carry one just in case it rains/snows. Trek pants with zippered cut offs at the thighs are very suitable for treks. Also, choose quick-dry pants over cotton. They dry up soon even in the cold climate.
| Buying Tip: Go for pants with zippered pockets. They come in handy to keep your phone, handkerchief or pocket snacks.
| Track pants or Trek pants? Stretchable track pants make a good backup and can double up as your thermal bottoms. But track pants are not trek pants -- so don’t use them as your main outerwear. Keep them only as a backup.
Mandatory Accessories, without these too you won’t be able to do the trek.
These accessories are mandatory. Don’t go to Hampta Pass without them. Trekkers generally put off purchasing / borrowing the accessories for the last minute. We suggest the opposite. Start gathering these accessories first.
Sunglasses are to prevent snow blindness. A small overexposure to direct sunlight on snow can lead to snow blindness (about a half hour’s exposure). That’s because fallen snow is like thousands of mirrors that reflect direct UV rays. So you need sunglasses with UV protection.
| Wearing Tip: Wear sunglasses if the trekking day is bright and sunny (on open sections, meadows). On a snowy section you must absolutely never take off your sunglasses until the section has been fully crossed.
| Buying Tip: Try getting sunglasses that wrap around instead of those that have openings on the side. Even peripheral UV ray exposure is not a good idea.
| If you wear spectacles: If you wear spectacles, you can get oversized sunglasses that you wear over your regular glasses (available at Decathlon). If that is cumbersome, photochromic lenses work equally well. Here’s a quick guide on managing sunglasses with spectacles.
| Contact lens users: If you use contact lenses, you can use them on the trek too. The lens solution will not freeze. You will also not face any problems in changing your lens in your tent. Just carry enough cleaning solution with you to clean your fingers well. Wear your sunglasses over your contact lens. Read this article for more guidance on managing contact lenses on treks.
A sun cap is mandatory. Trekking without a sun cap can lead to headaches, sun strokes, quick dehydration and a sharp drop in trekking performance.
| Tip: In the mountains, the general rule is to keep your head covered at all times. During the day a sun cap protects you from the harsh rays of the sun (it is doubly stronger with naked UV rays). A sun cap keeps your body temperature in balance. In the evening/early morning, the reverse is true. Your head loses your body heat quickly. A woolen cap prevents heat from dissipating from your head.
| Pro Tip: Sun caps with flaps are a blessing for trekkers. They cut out almost all UV leaks. They prevent sun burns in every possible way. They are a lot more effective than sunscreen lotion. A wide-brimmed sports hat also helps to prevent sunburn in a big way.
3. Synthetic Hand Gloves
On a trek like Hampta Pass, you’ll need gloves to grip something or to steady yourself. You also want the gloves to keep you warm. Get synthetic hand gloves that have waterproofing on the outside and a padded lining on the inside. If you find the combination difficult to get (not likely), wear a tight fitting fleece hand glove inside a synthetic hand glove. Hand gloves are mandatory on this trek.
4. Woollen Cap or Balaclava
Ensure these cover your head. In the cold mountains, you lose maximum heat from your head, not from your hands, feet or the rest of your body. Which is why you need to keep your head protected, especially when the sun is down. Early mornings, late evenings, a cold trekking day are when you must use your woollen cap.
Your ears are sensitive too, so a woollen head cap that covers your ears is absolutely essential. A balaclava is a modern version of the woolen cap. It covers your ears, neck and parts of your face as well. If you get woollen cap that only covers your head, you will need a neck warmer or a woolen scarf.
5. Socks (4 Pairs)
Apart from three to four pairs of sports socks, take a pair of woollen socks. Sports socks give you cushioning plus warmth. Again the mantra is to wear synthetic socks or at least a synthetic blend. Cotton socks soak in water and sweat. They are very hard to dry.
As for woollen socks, they help you to keep warm and snug in the night. If you cannot get woolen socks, wearing two sports socks serves the purpose as well.
Trekkers are often confused about whether they need to get a headlamp or a handheld torch. You need to get a headlamp because it leaves your hands free to do other activities. On the Hampta Pass trek you’ll need your hands free to wash dishes, pitch tents and hold your trek poles.
| Buying tip: Ensure your headlamp covers a wider area and is not too focused as a single beam. On a trek, your headlamp must help you see around you as much as ahead of you.
| Rental: Headlamps are available on rent on the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
7. Trekking Pole (A Pair)
Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Hampta Pass trek there are steep ascents and descents. A pair of trekking poles will make the difference between a comfortable and a strenuous trek. In India we tend to use a single trekking pole. However, two trekking poles give you greater stability and balance. They also increase your walking pace.
| Rental: Imported side-locking trekking poles are available on rent on the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
On a trek, the weather can change quickly. A bright sunny day can turn into a downpour in a matter of minutes. Carry a poncho or a rain jacket to tackle this. A poncho is a big rain cover with openings for your arms and your head. It is extremely effective because it covers both you and (partially) your backpack. It is extremely light and weighs next to nothing.
| Pro Tip: Rain jackets are more streamlined and less cumbersome but weigh more. Rain pants are really not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.
| Rental: High grade ponchos are available on rent on the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
9. Rain Cover for your Backpack
Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes, your warm gear in your backpack. It is important that your backpack stays dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built in rain-covers. If your back pack does not have a rain-cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover (b) or cutting a large plastic sheet to the size of your backpack. You can roll the plastic sheet around your backpack and keep it in place with a string or elastic.
| Pro tip: It's good practice to compartmentalise your clothes, accessories and other things in plastic covers inside your backpack. That way, even if it rains and your backpack gets wet, your things are water-proof inside the backpack.
10. Daypack (20-30 litre, optional)
Some trekkers opt to offload their bags to a mule on the Hampta Pass trek. While we do not encourage this practice, in case you opt for offloading, then carrying a daypack is mandatory. In your daypack you carry essentials like water bottles, rainwear, emergency medicines, headlamp, some snacks and a warm layer. Your main backpack that carries most of your equipment is accessible only at the campsites.
A daypack is a smaller backpack that is usually of 20-30 ltr capacity. Laptop bags are not daypacks. Do not get them.
Other Mandatory Requirements
1. A Toilet Kit
Keep your toilet kit light. Carry just the basics -- toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturiser, lip balm, and a roll-on deodorant. You will not be able to have a bath on the trek, so don’t overload on soaps and shampoos.
| Pro Tip: Carry miniature-sized items. You will not need more than that. If you’re travelling in a group, share one toothpaste for all.
| Pro Tip: Avoid getting large toilet rolls. The smallest size roll is more than enough for a trek like Hampta Pass.
| For Women: If you are likely to have your periods on your trek date, don’t worry about it. You can use your pads, tampons or menstrual cups on the trek. There will be toilet tents where you can get changed. Make sure you carry ziplock bags to bring back your menstrual waste. Don’t leave behind any waste in the mountains. Watch this video to learn how to dispose your sanitary waste.
Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leak proof. You are expected to wash your own cutlery. Trekkers often expect Indiahikes to wash their cutlery. When you allow Indiahikes to wash your cutlery, your cutlery becomes part of a mass washing system. You immediately invite germs, bacteria to settle on your cutlery. Incidence of stomach disorders rises exponentially.
| Pro Tip: Carry stainless steel cutlery. Avoid fancy high grade plastic cutlery. Stainless steel cutlery is infinitely easier to wash in cold water. Grease is easier to remove and hygiene is at the highest.
| Two 1 litre bottles or a 2 litre hydration pack: Hampta Pass has many hours of trekking everyday (approximately 6 hours). You need to carry two one litre water bottles to keep yourself hydrated over the distance. If you are used to a hydration pack, then that is ok too. If one among the two bottles is a lightweight thermos, then that helps you to store warm water on a really cold day or for late evenings and early mornings.
| Rental: You could rent lightweight thermos flasks from the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
3. Plastic Covers
Carry 3-4 old plastic covers to keep your used clothes. You could use them even for wet clothes. Re-use old plastic bags for this and do not buy new ones.
Personal Medical Kit
Carry these medicines with you, easily accessible at all times. Do not take any medicine unless you have consulted your trek leader.
- Diamox (1 Strip): Be on a course of a half tablet Diamox starting from Delhi every 12 hours (125 mg). Carry on the medication until you descend down to Yamunotri. Being on a preventive course of Diamox greatly reduces the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Hampta Pass trek.
- Dolo 650 (5 tablets): This is a paracetamol. It helps to tackle fever, mild pain
- Avomine (4 tablets): Carry this especially if you are prone to motion sickness. Pop one half hour before the start of your road journey.
- Combiflam (5 tablets): Take a combiflam if you get a sudden twist of the leg or a muscle strain. It is a pain reliever. It also contains paracetamol.
- Digene (4 tablets): Take it if you feel the food that you’ve taken is undigested. Alert your trek leader immediately. It could be a sign of AMS.
- ORS (6 packs): Consume a pack of ORS water at least once a day, usually mid day when you are in the middle of your trek. It replenishes essential salts lost while trekking. Tip: It also makes cold water easier to drink.
- Knee Brace (optional): Carry this if you are prone to knee injury or have known issues of knee pain.
Our trek leaders carry a high altitude medical kit with them which also consist of Life Saving Drugs. If there is an emergency our trek leaders know how to tackle it. Meanwhile, contact your trek leader before consuming any of these medicines listed here.
| Pro Tip: We find that these medicines by trekkers are rarely used. But you cannot do away with them. At the end of the trek please donate unused medicines to your trek leader. Some of these medicines get distributed to villages on the trek and some are added to the Indiahikes medical kit.
Mandatory Documents to Carry
These are documents required for legal purposes by Indiahikes and the forest department. Without any of these, you will not be allowed to trek.
- Original and photocopy of government photo identity card. Anything such as a driver’s license, Aadhar card, passport will do. This is required by the forest department for your identification.
- Disclaimer certificate. This is a legal requirement. Download the PDF, read carefully and sign it. This must be handed over to your Trek Leader during registration at the base camp - Download PDF
- Medical certificate. There are two sections in this. The first part must be filled by a practising doctor. The second part must be filled by you. Without the medical certificate the forest department will not issue permissions for your trek. It is also a requirement by Indiahikes - Download PDF
| Pro tip: Keep important documents in a clear plastic cover and slide them into the inner pocket at the back of your backpack. This keeps them from getting wet.
How to Get Fit For the Hampta Pass trek
The Hampta Pass trek is classified as a moderate trek . You trek up to an altitude of over 14, 380 ft. You start from an altitude of 9,800 feet at Jobra and reach the highest point of 14,035 feet at Hampta Pass. Your first day of trekking- Jobra to Jwara sees a lot of altitude gain (9,800 ft to 11,000 ft). You have to make sure your lungs are strong for this.
ATTENTION: There will be a fitness screening after you reach the basecamp. If your fitness is not up to the mark, your Trek Leader can take the call to not take you forward on the trek.
This trek requires a good amount of cardiovascular endurance. You can begin by jogging everyday. Start jogging at a slow pace and then keep increasing your pace day by day. In order to be prepared for high altitude trek, you should have a combination of distance and speed targets.
Here’s a fitness routine that works:
Here's a guide to help you get fit for the trek.
Working out indoors
If you can't go out and jog because of time and space constraints, here's a video you can use to work out indoors.
Indiahikes Special Covid Cancellation Policy
We understand the pain of canceling a trek. As trekkers, we always look forward to treks, and after months of training and planning, if we have to cancel our trek, there’s no greater disappointment than that.
This is why we have one of the most trekker-friendly cancellation policies.
This policy is effective for registrations starting January 5, 2021.
| Face no cancellation charges any time before the trek date
– Cancellation upto 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a complete cash refund (minus 4% transaction fee). The money is refunded to the same bank account, credit or debit card from where payment was made.
– Cancellation during the last 6 days before the start date of the trek, and not counting the day of the trek — Full refund with 100% of the trek fee in the form of an Indiahikes Trek Voucher. Valid for 1 year from date of issue. Can be used on any Indiahikes trek.
– Cancellation on the start day of the trek, or no show on the start day of the trek — Unfortunately, no refund.
Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable.
| In the rare event that we cancel a trek, this is the policy we follow:
We almost never cancel our treks. But in case we cancel a trek because of natural calamities (snowstorms, thunderstorms, floods, landslides, earthquakes) or unexpected political unrest, curfews, local riots, or government orders, Indiahikes will issue a voucher for the full amount of your trek fee (minus the trek insurance). You can redeem the Trek Voucher on any of our treks over the next one year.
Important note: The Trek Insurance amount is not refundable.
| The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” Policy (trekkers love this!)
There are some thoughts and ideologies that we hold close to our hearts.
- As trekkers, there are times when we have to let go of a trek midway. Sometimes we fall ill, or get hit by AMS or at times simply fatigue pulls us down. At other times bad weather plays spoilsport, or the trail is blocked. It can happen that your Trek Leader sends you down due to a safety or health issue.
At Indiahikes we feel terrible when such an event happens.
Should such a situation occur that you have to drop out from this trek, we want you to know that we feel as bad as you do. You can always come back another time and finish your adventure. For this you do not have to pay Indiahikes any money.
- On the other hand, there are times when you fall in love with a trek. So much so that you want to do it again, perhaps see it in another season. If you ever desire to do a trek again, please do so. You don’t have to pay Indiahikes any money for repeating this trek. Just inform your Experience Coordinator who will guide you through a special internal process.
Our only request: Just register for your trek in advance – you know how it is with our groups – they get booked in advance.
Note: The Indiahikes “Repeat My Trek” policy does not apply to our international treks.
If you cancel any rental gear from our store:
- Cancellation of rental gear 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a full refund minus 4% transaction charges.
- Cancellation of rental gear less than 7 days before the start date of the trek — Get a voucher for the whole amount. This voucher is applicable on all our future treks.
If you cancel the offloading of your backpack:
The offloading fee will be refunded to your account with a 4% transaction charge.
If you choose to cancel your backpack offloading AFTER reaching the base camp, you will get a voucher of the offloading fee.
| Special Cases That Could Occur:
There are some special cases that could occur when you’re on a trek.
- You may not be able to complete the trek because of bad weather, high snow conditions, or any natural calamity.
- You may have to leave your trek abruptly (could be due to altitude sickness, abnormal BP, unpreparedness for the trek, any emergencies at home)
In the above two cases, you’re welcome to come back and repeat the same trek any time in future. You do not have to pay us for this. If you’d like to repeat your trek, get in touch with your Trek Coordinator and they’ll help you sign up for the trek without paying any fee.
Important note: Your offloading and rental fee will not be refunded in the above two cases.
3. You may not be able to report at the base camp at all (could be due to blocked roads / cancelled flights/curfews), we will try to accommodate you in the next day’s team (if we have one).
In the third case, if we cannot accommodate you in the next day’s trek, we will give you a Trek Voucher of the entire trek fee (including your offloading and rental fee), which you can use on any Indiahikes trek within the next one year.
| How to cancel your trek:
In case, you wish to cancel your trek, follow these steps.
- Login to your Indiahikes Trek Dashboard using this link.
- Find your upcoming trek on your home page.
- Click on “Cancel Trek”
- Mention why you’re cancelling your trek on the form that appears.
- Choose either a voucher or a refund (where applicable).
- Click on “Cancel Booking”
How long does the refund process take?
After you have cancelled your trek, if you have opted for a refund, the refund amount will land in the same account that you have made the payment from. It will take 4-5 working days.
If you have chosen a trek voucher, it will land in your inbox within an hour. You will also be able to see it on your Trek Dashboard.
What is a Trek Voucher?
Trek Vouchers are credit amounts added to your Indiahikes account. You can redeem these on any of your future treks with Indiahikes. Every Trek Voucher has a validity of one year.
Important note: Indiahikes Trek Vouchers are non-refundable, not transferable to others or extendable.
How to use an Indiahikes Trek Voucher?
If you have received an Indiahikes Trek Voucher, you will automatically see it when you are making a payment for your next trek.
Once you click on the voucher and apply it, the system will deduct the voucher amount from your payable amount.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Experience Coordinator.
Inclusions and Exclusions
Here is what the trek fee includes:
- Accommodation – Stay is included from Day 1 to Day 5 (Jobra to Chhatru). You will be camping on all days of the trek (3 per tent).
- Transport – We will arrange for transport in shared cabs from Manali to Jobra on Day 1.
- Meals – All meals from lunch at Prini on day 1 to breakfast at Chhatru on Day 6 are included. We provide simple, nutritious vegetarian food on all days of the trek.
- Camping charges – All trekking permits and forest camping charges are included.
- Trekking equipment – You will stay in high-quality tents and sleeping bags in all the camps. Our high altitude sleeping bags can withstand temperatures as low as -10 ºC. We provide ice axes, roped, microspikes, gaiters etc. as required.
- Safety equipment – First aid, medical kit, oxygen cylinders, stretchers etc. will be available at all campsites to deal with emergencies.
- Services of an expert Trek Leader – All our trek leaders are qualified in basic/advanced mountaineering courses.
- Services of an expert Trek Team – The mountain staff on this trek consists of well-trained guides, cooks, helpers, and porters.
Here is what the trek fee excludes:
- Food during transit to and from the base camp – The trek fee does not include meals purchased during the drive to Jobra or return from Chhatru.
- Backpack offloading charges – If you wish to offload your backpack, there will be an additional charge of Rs. 1,000 + 5% GST. The backpack cannot weigh more than 9 kg. Suitcases/trolleys/duffel bags will not be allowed. Please note that charges will vary for last minute offloading in case you decide to offload your bag after reaching Jobra/Manali (Rs. 350 per day inclusive of tax).
- Transport - The cab from Chathru to Chandrataal and back, and Chhatru to Manali on day 6 is not included in the trek fee. It will be Rs. 8500 per vehicle (5-6 seater vehicle).
- Stay at Manali on the last day
- Personal expenses of any kind
- Anything apart from inclusions
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, we have an option of leaving behind extra luggage you do not need on the trek, at Keylinga Inn. Ensure you leave no valuables (laptops, cash, electronics) in this luggage. There is no extra charge to leaving this luggage at the base camp, and you do not have to pre-book it anywhere.
There is no network connectivity on this trek. Network will stop right after you climb up from Prini. Prini is the last place you will get network on the way forward.
On your return, you will get a network near Rohtang Pass and Manali only.
Before leaving Manali, call your family and friends and know that you won’t be available for them until you get back to Manali on Day 6.
Unlike other treks there is no base village for Hampta pass. The trek starts at a place called Jobra where the taxi will drop you.
There are multiple ATMs at Prini en route to the base camp. If you need some cash handy this is the place to make a withdrawal.
There are no ATMs after the pass crossing too until you get back to Manali.
There is not electricity throughout the trek. The only place you’ll find a plug to charge your phone or camera batteries will be Manali before and after the trek.
Therefore use your electronic equipment wisely. Fully charge your batteries before leaving your hotel and use your electronic equipment minimally.
Another thing to note the cold temperatures drain the batteries faster. Having extra batteries or a power banks helps.
Hampta Pass is at a height of 14,065 feet/4287 meters above sea level.
Starting at Jobra (9379 ft/ 2858 m) you climb to Hampta pass(14065 ft/4287 m) over two and half days of trekking. That’s an average of 2000 ft/600 m of height giant everyday.
The trail climbs steadily until Balu Ka Ghera followed by a steep climb to the pass. The descent from the pass is steep to Shea Goru beyond which is a gentler descent.
To get to Chandratal requires a 45 km/2-3 hour drive from Chattru (the last campsite on Hampta Pass trek).
If you’re trekking with Indiahikes, then on day 5 after reaching Chatru campsite and having lunch, trekkers go to Chandratal and return to Chatru for the night.
The road conditions are generally bad irrespective of the months of the season. Mostly it’ll be a rocky and muddy drive to Chandratal and back. An SUV with a 4×4 drive is a must.
What we have noticed is that the accessibility to Chandratal is easier some months than the other.
In June, the snow enroute to Chandratal hasn’t melted yet. There are huge blocks of snow making it impossible to drive.
While at some other places snow melts from the mountain tops gives birth to a number of ‘nallahs’, especially after Batal. Some of these might be huge and uncrossable. It is advisable to turn around and make your way to Manali.
It is usually late June onwards Chandratal is more accessible. However, in spite of the lake being in a rain shadow, the odd time it rains or a sudden landslide making it to Chandratal might get challenging.
We recommend that you assess the conditions carefully before pushing on further to the lake.
From Chandratal, Manali is 130 km approximately and will take 4-5 hours by a private car. There is no public transport from Chandratal to Manali (or the other way round).
For all Indiahikes trekkers, we have made an RT-PCR test mandatory. This RT-PCR test must not be older than 72 hours before your trek. Only those who have two doses of vaccination, or have been affected by Covid in the past three months are exempt from this rule. (We’ll require proof of both of these.)
This rule is irrespective of the state government rules in Himachal, J&K and Uttarakhand. We want our trekkers to ensure they are not carrying any infections to the mountains, where medical care is practically non-existent.
If trekkers are found without RT-PCR tests, they will not be allowed on the trek.
Face no cancellation charges any time before the trek date
At Indiahikes we follow a 31-Point Safety Protocol to ensure that you remain safe even as you trek during the Covid times.
Having said that, we are also aware that travel rules are dynamic and lockdowns are not always predictable.
To address this, we have a very trekker-friendly Cancellation Policy. This cancellation policy allows you to cancel or reschedule your trek till the last day without losing any money.
- What the colours mean
Available:Registration is on.
Waitlist:The group is full, but cancellations are likely to happen. We have 5 waitlist slots for every group. You may register for the group. Waitlist slots confirmation chances are high if booked more than 30 days in advance.
Last 'x' slots:Indicates the number of slots available in a group.
Full:Indicates the group is full. No further slots are likely.