Moderate | Level 3
TREK STARTS FROM
Khanjer, Himachal Pradesh
A Trek that takes you to the Heart of Lahaul
Very few people in our country have trekked in Lahaul. Hidden across the Rohtang Pass, which would remain closed through most of the year, the region was cut off for trekkers. But with the opening of the Atal Tunnel, came the possibility of trekking in Lahaul throughout the monsoons, when Lahaul is at its lushest best.
In this remote region of Lahaul, a valley filled with flowers hangs quietly, escaping the attention of trekkers. The route to this valley alternates between remote mountain valleys, quaint villages, and flower beds dominated by the overwhelming presence of Himalayan orchids. This valley is Miyar Valley.
The S-shaped Miyar Valley sits in between Zanskar and Chamba. It is nearly 75 km long. The Miyar glacier is nearly 36 km long to Kang La (17,600 ft pass to Zanskar).
At the snout of the glacier are seven crystal clear blue ponds, considered to be sacred by Buddhists. Trekking here is a rare opportunity for most trekkers. And doing so in isolation, with very few others on the trail is a godsend. If you get a chance to trek to Miyar Valley, consider yourself lucky.
Miyar Valley Videos
Watch these videos to plan and prepare for your trek.
A route map of the Miyar Valley trek
Drive from Manali to Shukto (Acclimatization Day)
Drive Distance: 110 km | Drive Duration: 3.5 hours | Pick up point for Indiahikes trekkers: Beas Bridge, Manali
Transport will be arranged at 8.30 AM. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of the cab – Rs 11,000 per Tempo Traveller (12 seaters), Rs 8,000 for a Tata Sumo (5-6 seater), shared among trekkers.
At Shukto, you will be staying at homestays. The cost of stay is Rs 400 per person and has to be borne by you.
Drive from Shukto to Khanjer. Trek to Tharang
Drive Distance: 22 km | Drive Duration: 50 minutes | Altitude Gain: 9,000 ft to 11,564 ft
Trek Distance: 7.2 km | Altitude Gain: 11,564 ft to 12,122 ft
Easy-Moderate. Gradual climb through a series of switchbacks till Tharang.
Trek from Tharang to Zardong
Trek Distance: 11.4 km | Altitude Gain: 12,122 ft to 12,667 ft
Goes through the village route with farmlands on the right. You cross a river bridge and also come across a cricket ground.
Trek from Zardong to Palpu
Trek Distance: 8 km | Altitude Gain: 12,667 ft to 12,782 ft
Start with a descent, followed by a steep section towards Stupa. After that the trail is gradual. Landscape frequently changes colour.
Trek from Palpu to Miyar Glacier and back to Palpu
Trek Distance: 8 km | Trek Duration: 3-4 hours | Altitude Gain and Loss: 12,782 ft to 13,202 ft and back to 12,782 ft
Trek from Palpu to Gompa
Trek Distance: 14 km | Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Altitude Loss: 12,782 ft to 12,665 ft
Trek from Gompa to Khanjer. Drive to Manali
Trek Distance: 11.2 km | Trek Duration: 6-7 hours | Altitude Loss: 12,665 ft to 11,564 ft
Drive Distance: 137 km | Drive Duration: 4 hours | Drop off point for Indiahikes trekkers: Beas Bridge, Manali
Transport will be arranged by Indiahikes. This cost has to be borne by trekkers and paid directly to the driver. Cost of the cab – Rs 11,000 per Tempo Traveller (12 seaters), Rs 8,000 for a Tata Sumo (5-6 seater), shared among trekkers. You will be reaching Manali by 7.00 pm
- It is mandatory for trekkers to carry a copy of their photo ID for entry at forest check posts on the trek.
- At the base camp in Shukto on Day 1, your stay will be arranged in homestays. However, this is not included in the trek fee. Charges will be Rs. 400 per head to be borne by the trekker.
A route map of the Miyar Valley trek
Book flexible flight tickets:
You are going on a Himalayan trek, where there are several unpredictable factors. It's best to book flexible flight tickets, which you can reschedule if required. These are available for a small added cost with most travel companies.
There are two ways to reach your pick-up point -- fly to Chandigarh on Day 0, proceed to Sector 43 and take a bus to Manali, or fly to Delhi, and take an overnight bus to Manali from ISBT Kashmiri Gate.
The drive to the basecamp of Miyar Valley can also be seen as a highlight of the trek. “The roads are beautiful and smooth, almost straight. So you have the visibility of the whole valley as you drive towards it,” shares Slope Manager Ravi Ranjan.
On the left, if you are going towards Udaipur, just next to the Chandra river you see tiny villages. These remind you of a European setting. The houses are made tiny, diligently. They are not constructed haphazardly. It reminds you of Aru in Kashmir. It’s picture perfect, next to the valley.
The Chandra river also keeps changing its colour. When the flow is high, the water towns brown. But in late September, when the flow has reduced, you see the colour turning to green. Good thing is, at every point on one side of the road you see the river flowing with you, like a constant companion.
The valley of Lahaul, the villages have all exotic vegetables, fruits growing right next to the road!
While returning, you will reach Manali by 7.00 PM. Plan your travel any time after that from Manali.
Latest Photos | July 10, 2022
Miyar Valley trek is known for its remote, stunning landscape. The group of July 10, 2022 started their trek in the overcast skies. Even so, the landscape was breathtaking. During the night, when the clouds cleared, the group witnessed a brilliant sky studded with stars. See a glimpse of their trek in these photos shared by trekker Tuhin Rao
You'll see a unique combination of lush meadows and rugged mountains on this trek.
You come across such blue ponds close to the Miyar glacier. These ponds are considered sacred by the Buddhists.
The play of light is incredible during dawn and dusk.
Campsites at a Glance
At Indiahikes, we are very particular about choosing terrific campsites. For the Miyar Valley trek too, after a lot of back and forth, we have settled on these terrific campsites, which trekkers have come to love.
After walking through an S-shaped valley, you reach the ever expanding Zardong Campsite. You get to see castle peak from its base. You see tharang peaks 1,2 & 3 from the opposite side. A near-perfect campsite for sunrise and sunset.
The first campsite is the Tharang campsite. It's 2 cricket stadiums huge! All animal habitats are around you here and the sound of the river engulfs you.
Starry Night sky. You see these views from every campsite. Picture by Jothiranjan.
What I Like About the Miyar Valley Trek
What I Like About the Miyar Valley Trek
Just at the start of the trek, after half an hour's ascent, we get to witness this Stupa. It's surrounded by small junipers and bonsai-like trees. Do a parikrama here to mark the start of the trek.
Picture by: Jothiranjan
Stupa at the start of the trek
Know Your 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 superficial experience.
Use this section to learn about the Miyar Valley 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.
Day 1 (Pick-up and Acclimatization Day): Drive from Manali to Shukto
Duration: 3.5 hours | Drive Distance: 110 km
Altitude Gain: ⇗ 2,270 ft (6,730 ft to 9,000 ft)
Highlights: Watch out for the waterfall at Sissu. The confluence of Chandra and Bhaga rivers at Tunde.
The drive from Manali to Shukto goes through Atal Tunnel. Notice the drastic change in terrain, landscapes, and climate. Lahaul is a place of mystic beauty.
Watch out from the window and spot famous pilgrimages and sights such as Triloknath mandir (at Tunde), and Tandi (where the confluence of the rivers Chandra and Bhaga happens).
One can see the stark contrast between the Lahaul and Kullu regions of Himachal. Going through the Atal tunnel is like entering a wormhole where you enter two different worlds through this portal. The drive goes alongside the Chenab river going through loose sedimentary rocky sections and steep folded mountains, All around you are snow-capped mountains. The vegetation for the most part is coniferous trees and some shrubs.
Notice the fields in this region. The locals of Lahaul grow food crops, majorly iceberg lettuce.
The most beautiful part of the road trip would be to witness waterfalls on your left at Sissu. Tandi is where the road diverts to two places - one on Leh Manali highway and the other toward Udaipur. Tandi is also the place where two rivers confluence namely Chandra and Bhaga.
Udaipur before the year 1695 was known as Margul. It is the sub-divisional headquarters of Lahaul and gets its name from Raja Udai Singh of Chamba. Udaipur is famously known for Triloknath and Margul Devi Temple.
Day 2: Drive from Shukto to Khanjar. Trek to Tharang
Drive Duration: 1 hour | Drive Duration: 28 km
Trek Distance: 7.2 km
Altitude Gain: ⇗ 3,122 ft (9,000 ft to 12,122 ft)
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate. Gradual climb through a series of switchbacks till Tharang.
Highlights: The farmlands grow a variety of crops. Pretty villages and a cricket ground.
The road ends at Khanjar. You cross a suspension bridge that hangs over Miyar Nala to enter Kanjer village. This is the last village on the route. It is 31 km from Shukto. There are 13 villages inside this valley.
This region has three distinct types of soils: Alluvial, Hill-type and Meadow type. The region supports cultivation only from June to September. The villagers mainly grow iceberg lettuce, seed potatoes, apples, sea buckthorns, cauliflowers, barley, asafoetida, and medicinal plants such as Kuth (Saucerrea Lappa), mannu (Innu Racemosa).
From here the trail starts in a series of switchbacks while farms accompany you to the first campsite, Tharang. The place has a beautiful water stream nearby. Also, the flat meadow is used by locals to play cricket on occasions.
You also find many steep rockfaces around this region which have attracted the attention of rock-climbers.
The best part of the Tharang campsite is that you get to view Lahaul’s second-highest and most beautiful peak, Menthosa. It is known as the crown of Miyar Valley.
Day 3: Trek from Tharang to Zardong
Trek Distance: 11.4 km
Altitude Gain: ⇗ 545 ft (12,122 ft to 12,667 ft)
Highlights: The rocky mountain massif of Tharang. The pretty campsite of Zardong.
In the course of the whole trek, this is a slightly more challenging day. The trek initially is a flat walk and then there is a 10-15 minute descent to the bridge. From the bridge, there is a 20-minute steep climb towards Gompa and to the right is Gompa Nala. A little ahead you will find a shepherd's hut and around is a small water body which is also known as Gompa lake.
From the shepherd’s hut, for 30 minutes the route gradually descends towards a flat meadow patch. From here a stretch of boulder section comes which again takes you up and down, the section gets slightly tricky because you will be walking over the edges at certain points. Also, the ups and downs across boulder sections can get slightly tiring. But the steep pyramidical mountains surround you all around.
Eventually, the route descends to a flat region alongside the river. Here, the best part is to feel the beach-type walks and the constant gushing water.
As you move more inwards the valley, the valley after every Nala gets wider and grander. Everywhere you look around there are valley openings. The trail is covered with multiple types of flowers.
Day 4: Trek from Zardong to Palpu
Trek Distance: 8 km
Altitude Gain: ⇗ 115 ft (12,667 ft to 12,782 ft)
The route walks alongside the river. The major portion involves flat walks. You'll come across the region by the name Chhudong.
Chhudong is a huge meadow patch which is located right next to the river. The river here is very soothing and wider than anywhere else along the trek. The murky water on your right goes all the way to the snout. Since the valley has an active river running in between, by just walking alongside the river the trail is well marked and easily noticeable. It's hard for anyone to get confused about the route.
Palpu is located near Castle Peak which again is a very beautiful campsite which offers a good view of the valley and Tharang peaks. From here if the weather is clear the chances of viewing Menthosa are also high.
Day 5: Trek from Palpu to Miyar Glacier back to Palpu
Trek Distance: 8 km
Altitude Gain and Loss: ⇗ 420 ft ; ⇘420 ft (12,782 ft to 12,782 ft via 13,202 ft)
On this day we will go to the snout of the glacier which comes after going through a boulder section and a stream. Eventually, you reach a place which is the last small meadow patch located near seven icy ponds, this place is known as Kesar Yon Chu. From here on the actual glacier starts. The snout of the glacier is just 30 minutes from the ponds.
Once you have reached the snout, Spend a good amount of time. Then return from here on the same route. There are two more river crossings on the way back.
Day 6: Trek from Palpu to Gompa
Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Trek Distance: 14 km
Altitude Gain and Loss: ⇘ 117 ft (12,782 ft to 12,665 ft)
The route walks alongside the river, Major portion involves flat walks. We come across the region by the name Chhudong. Chhudong is a huge meadow patch which is located right next to the river. The river here is very soothing and wider than anywhere else along the trek. The murky water on your right goes all the way to the snout. Since the valley has an active river running in between the valley, by just walking along-side the river it is well marked and easily noticeable, it's hard for anyone to get confused about the route.
After the flat meadows of Chhudong, the valley squeezes with boulder patches. Then comes the cold stream from a valley right to you. Here the Stream comes from the same valley which also has Never Seen Tower and Castle Peak. Again the trail gets flatter and you walk next to the river. After a while again the boulder patches with few water streams need to be negotiated.
Palpu is located near Castle peak which again is a very beautiful campsite which offers a good view of the valley and Tharang peaks. From here if the weather is clear the chances of viewing Menthosa is also high.
Day 7: Trek from Gompa to Khanjer. Drive to Manali
Trek Duration: 7-8 hours | Trek Duration: 11.2 km
Drive Duration: 1 hour | Drive Distance: 28 km
Altitude Loss: ⇘ 1,101 ft (12,665 ft to 11,564 ft)
Difficulty: Easy, almost flat walk till Thareng.
Highlights: The flat walks in the valley.
Walking toward the Thanpattan region is beautiful and looks like Clint Eastwood's movie scenes. For kilometres, it's flat walks. It's quite dramatic to walk back.
Moderate | Level 3
Suitable for Fit Beginners
At Indiahikes, while rating a trek difficulty we consider a number of factors. These include altitude gained every day, length of trek every day, highest altitude, nature of the terrain, weather etc. Based on this we rate a trek as easy or difficult or somewhere in between.
Miyar Valley Trek is a Moderate level 3 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 13,202 ft in a matter of 7 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 doing brisk jogs to improve your cardio. Your target should be to cover 5 km in 35 minutes comfortably by the start of the trek.
The good news is that the terrain at Miyar Valley trek does not have many sections that pose a major safety challenge.
There are a couple of risky sections stream crossings and a steep boulder section between Zardong and Gompa.
River crossings on the way to Gompa
You will cross three streams on the fifth day of your trek. This is the longest day when you are going from Palpu to Miyar Glacier. One river crossing is while you are going to the glacier.
The Miyar Valley trek starts rather high at 11,564 ft. During the trek, you climb to 13,202 feet. This high start makes you susceptible to altitude sickness in the first couple of days.
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 Manali at 6,730 feet.
- The hike from Doksa to Yoling is a shorter altitude gain - roughly 300 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.
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 Palpu/Gompa, inform your Trek Leader about your condition immediately if you feel any symptoms of AMS. All Indiahikes trek leaders are trained to take care of your health and safety during medical emergencies of any sort.
In the 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 250 mg 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 Shukto 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 of your body that hasn’t adjusted to the altitude. In such a case, descend to Manali immediately.
Here’s a Complete Guide to Acute Mountains Sickness, HAPE and HACE:
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 when you need to be careful.
The first is early in the season in June when there is a lot of snow on the trail. It can get slippery. However, this can be managed with the right gear - microspikes, gaiters, etc.
Second, in July and August, rain is a common occurrence. The rain too makes the trail slippery and tricky. Moreover, the force of water at river crossings can increase 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.
Pro Tip: 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, the right technique of layering and good insulation techniques.
Emergency Exits: Miyar Valley trek being a pass-crossing trek has limited exit points. You need to come down to Udaipur which is 31 km from Khanjer, the last village on the trek.
Closest Hospital: Udaipur CHC: Tandi-Kishtwar Rd, Jahalma, Udaipur, Himachal Pradesh - 175142
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
There are two distinct seasons for the Miyar Valley trek – June-July (Summer) and August-September (Monsoon).
Miyar Valley in Summer (June-July)
Day time: Between 18 °C and 20 °C | Night time: Will drop to temperatures between 10 °C and 5 °C.
Presence of snow: You may find snow patches on the trail, with an increased chance of hard snow closer to Miyar Glacier.
No. of warm layers required: 3 warm layers
In Summer, although you will find patches of hard snow at higher altitudes, the temperature during the day will be slightly warmer than that in Monsoon, when there won’t be any snow on the trek.
Even the air is different. While Summer is dry and crisp, Monsoon is moist.
It’s that time of the year when winter has left the slopes. But, you will still find snow patches on the ground above 10,000 feet.
In Summer, expect pleasant daytime temperatures around 20 °C. But at night it dips to almost zero levels.
During the day if the sun goes behind the clouds and there is about of rain, then the temperature can fall to around 15 °C.
Miyar Valley in Monsoon (August - September)
Day time: Between 15 °C and 18 °C | Night time: Will drop to temperatures between 5 °C and 0 °C.
Presence of snow: You will not find snow, except for the Miyar Glacier in Monsoon.
No. of warm layers required: 3 warm layers
Monsoon is slightly like winter. Colder than Summer, although you won’t find patches of snow.
Nights in Monsoon get chilly. In September the temperature dips to 0° C.
During the day, you will experience temperatures around 15° C. But any rain or slight drizzle brings down the temperature by a few degrees. So keep a jacket handy with you always.
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 timeless. 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 km 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 a 9-10 hour bus journey to Manali (294 km on mountain roads).
Avoid reaching Chandigarh post 7.30 pm, unless 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 a 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 is less than Rs 1,000 then book directly to Chandigarh. The rest and shorter travel time are worth the difference.
Bus to Manali: Take the bus before 6 pm 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 9 am. The route is prone to very bad traffic jams. Often with a 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.
Planning your return flight/train booking
Booking your return tickets requires some thought. First, always book your return ticket keeping in mind the monsoons. It generally causes delays on 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 8 pm. 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 the Manali bus stand from 8.30 am onward.
Tip: You can also choose to share a cab with 3-to 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 at 5 pm from the 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 9 pm to Delhi. Then onward flight to your cities on the evening from Delhi.
Option 3: Flying from Bhuntar (Kullu Airport)
Book a 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.
Planning your hotel/stay
Booking stays in Manali is fairly easy. There are quite a few hotel options available.
Tip: Book a hotel nearby the pick-up point.
Important points to note
1. While getting to Manali, we recommend you arrive a day earlier and stay in the 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 Shukto. Shukto is a small village where the road ends. We again arrange for the transport for the return to Manali on the same day. You reach Manali by 2 pm.
The cost per vehicle for Manali to Shukto is Rs 8000 for Tempo Traveller andRs 6500 for a Sumo, back to Manali on the next day. There are no part charges applicable.
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.
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 identity card. In Nepal, only passports or Voter IDs are accepted as valid ID proof.
- 1 passport size photograph. This is required to obtain the trekking permits
- Medical and Disclaimer certificate. There are two sections to this. One is to be filled by a practicing doctor and the second is filled by you. The disclaimer certificate is a legal requirement.
Download the PDF, read carefully, print it back to back, and sign it. This must be handed over to your Trek Leader during the registration at the base camp. This is a requirement by both the forest department and Indiahikes – Download the PDF
Note: Please carry the above document with you. The document needs to be downloaded (PDF), filled in, signed, and handed over to the trek leader at the base camp. Please print these back-to-back on two sheets. Do not print separately and help in reducing paper usage.
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.
1. Trekking Shoes
Miyar Valley requires sturdy trekking shoes, has good grip, has 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 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 for 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 Miyar Valley, 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 for 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 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 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 and 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.
5 Insulation Layers in Winter
The Miyar Valley trek is primarily a winter trek. If you’re going any time between December and March, you will need at least 5 warm layers.
You will need 1 pair of inner thermals, 2 light fleece layers, 1 light sweater and 1 padded jacket. Do not get your grandma stitched sweaters, which can be very heavy. You need sweaters and fleece jackets that can fold into compact rolls.
For your outer layer, a padded jacket serves the purpose here. You don’t 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 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 for 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 a 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 trekking 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 Miyar Valley 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. On a winter trek like Miyar Valley, expect to walk on long stretches of snow. 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 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, sunstrokes, 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 woollen 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 sunburns 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 Miyar Valley, you are going to be handling snow quite a bit. You’ll need gloves to grip something or to steady yourself in snow. 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. This is why you need to keep your head protected, especially when the sun is down. Early mornings, late evenings, and 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 essential. A balaclava is a modern version of the woollen cap. It covers your ears, neck and parts of your face as well. If you get a woollen cap that only covers your head, you will need a neck warmer or a woollen 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 at the night. If you cannot get woollen 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 Miyar Valley 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 for rent at the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
7. Trekking Poles (a pair)
Trekking poles give you stability and balance. They reduce your energy consumption by almost 40%. On the Miyar Valley 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 for rent at 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 not required. Dry fit trek pants dry quickly even if soaking wet.
| Rental: High-grade ponchos are available for rent at the Indiahikes store. Rent here.
9. Rain cover for your backpack
Backpacks are your life. You carry all your dry clothes and your warm gear in your backpack. Your backpack must stay dry at all times. Modern backpacks usually come with built-in rain-covers. If your backpack does not have a rain cover, ensure you get a rain cover by either (a) buying a rain cover or (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 ltrs, optional)
In your daypack, you carry essentials like water bottles, rainwear, emergency medicines, a 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 litre 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 Miyar Valley.
| 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 of your sanitary waste.
Carry a lunch box, a mug and a spoon. Your lunch box must be leakproof. You are expected to wash your 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, and bacteria to settle on your cutlery. The 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 its highest.
| Two 1 litre bottles or a 2-litre hydration pack: Miyar Valley has many hours of trekking every day (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.
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 of Diamox starting from Delhi every 12 hours (125 mg). Carry on the medication until you descend on the last day. Being on a preventive course of Diamox greatly reduces the chances of Acute Mountain Sickness on the Miyar Valley trek.
- Dexamethasone (1 Strip): This is part of the Live Saving Drugs kit. Do not take this on your own. Your trek leader will inform you in case the need arises.
- Nifedipine (5 tablets): Again part of the Live Saving Drugs kit. Do not take this on your own. Your trek leader will inform you in case the need arises.
- 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 the 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.
There are overnight buses from Delhi and Chandigarh to Manali. It takes 12 to 14 hours for the bus from Delhi to reach Manali. The journey from Chandigarh is shorter by a couple of hours.
So the best way to get there would be to fly to Chandigarh / Delhi and take a bus to Manali.
Yes, Manali is a safe hill station to be in because it is a popular tourist destination, buzzing with people from various nationalities almost throughout the year. You will find a range of hotels (for all budgets), cafes, and eateries popping up at every turn.
A Himalayan trek like Miyar Valley requires a good fitness level. The trek has long walks daily. As a measure of your fitness, we need you to:
Run at least 5 km in 35 minutes before your trek.
Consistency of your workout also matters, so aim to jog 20 km a week or 80 km in a month. It's a minimum mandatory requirement if you wish to trek with us
Once you get confirmed for your trek, we will diligently follow up on your fitness routine. Our team will also assist in putting you through a fitness plan. It will ultimately help you have a safe trek experience.
Yes you can!
If you are above the age of 58 years, you’ll need to submit a Treadmill Test (not older than 12 months) within a week of completing your trek registration. Apart from this, you should also be able to jog 5 km in 45 minutes.
On the Miyar Valley trek, we usually take around 20- 23 trekkers in total.
The Miyar Valley trek is suitable for anyone above the age of 12 years. However, you need to ensure that your child is physically fit for the trek.
Miyar Valley has a short trekking window of 3 months. You should be booking this trek at least 2-3 months in advance.
Manali and Shukto (in Himachal Pradesh) are the last places where you’ll get a mobile network and internet connection. You won’t find any network on the Miyar Valley Trek.
As per electricity, There is no electricity throughout the trek. The only place you’ll find a plug to charge your phone or camera batteries will be Shukto (in Himachal Pradesh) 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.
Note: the cold temperatures drain the batteries faster. Having extra batteries or power banks helps.
Having more footprint through porters or mules on any trail isn’t good for the ecosystem. This is why, at Indiahikes, we do not encourage offloading. A trekker carries his/her own backpack in the true spirit of trekking.
But if — due to a medical condition — you are unable to carry your own backpack, you may offload your backpack.
The cost of offloading at Miyar Valley is Rs 1,575 for the trek.
We recommend jogging as the best routine to get fit for a trek. It works on the same muscles that you use while trekking — your calves, glutes and hamstrings. It helps increase your stamina day by day. It is also an easy routine that does not require any equipment or tools.
To do this trek comfortably, you must be able to cover 5 km in under 35 minutes. This is the minimum fitness required for this trek.
How to achieve this fitness?
- Start jogging at least 4 days a week
- If you cannot run 5 km immediately, start with 2 km and increase to 5 km over 2-3 weeks.
- Once you’re able to run 5 km, increase your pace day by day.
- Gradually increase your pace and bring it down to 5 km in less than 35 mins.
- You must be able to run 5 km in 35 mins consistently for at least 2 weeks before the trek.
This trek requires at least 6-8 weeks of preparation. The longer, the better. So plan your trek soon and start preparing.
Strength training tips:
How to get Fitness Approval from the Indiahikes team:
Every trekker needs fitness approval from the Indiahikes team 20 days before the trek date. Without this, you will not be allowed on the trek.
What to upload?
- A minimum of 3 screenshots of your runs/jogs/walks/cycling
- Monthly summary of your routine
Why fitness matters:
Every high-altitude trek comes with a set of challenges. Steep ascents and descents, uneven terrain, snow walks, stream crossings, pass crossings, and summit climb. Even the easiest of treks have some of these challenges if not all of them. Without fitness, trekkers struggle, get injured easily, lag behind, or simply fail to complete the trek.
At Indiahikes, we take pride in the fact that our trekkers are among the fittest in the country. Those who do not meet the fitness requirements are often sent back. Our philosophy is that trekking and fitness go hand in hand. Without fitness, there’s no trekking.
Why fitness matters on the Miyar Valley Trek
On Moderate treks, you walk for about 6-8 km each day. The ascents and descents could get steep. The maximum altitude will range between 13,000 ft to 14,000 ft. You’ll come across tricky patches frequently (like snow or scree), which require you to navigate with a certain amount of caution. There might also be small stream/river crossings.
Your goal is to 5 km with an intention to finish within 35 minutes.
Note: If you are above the age of 58 years, you'll also need to submit your Treadmill Test within 7 days of registration.
Why I Believe Everyone Must Trek: A Note from the Founder
Trekking transforms lives. It has completely changed my life. When I see my colleagues at Indiahikes, all of them have been impacted greatly. The transformations have been profound and irreversible.
I see it in our trekkers too. I have seen them change professions, careers or start a new life. I have seen them get in and out of relationships, and start new projects. These are life-changing experiences.
I have seen children building resilience. I have seen families come together. When I see those above 55, I see them rediscover passion and a sense of purpose. These are not small gains.
In the mountains new professions, new economies and new businesses have opened up. Our staff no longer go to cities to earn their living. Their income has increased. Above all, they are happiest working in this world. Trekking has been truly transformative.
Everyone must trek. It transforms lives far more than you imagine.
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