Spiti is a land of monasteries and wide-open landscapes preserved deep in the mighty Himalayas. Spiti and Pin Rivers make their way through the desert mountain valley that is positioned along the Indo-Tibet border, abutting the Zanskar mountain ranges of the Himalayas.
Spiti has entirely contrasting terrain compared to its sister valley, Lahaul. As you drive into the Lahaul valley from the Manali side, you might notice that this part of the Lahaul & Spiti district is inordinately greener than Spiti valley.
Culturally and geographically, Spiti is almost indistinguishable from Ladakh. If you never get a chance to visit Ladakh in your lifetime, you can experience similar cultures and landscapes by going on a road trip to Spiti valley.
Spiti Valley Road Trip Highlights
- Drive through one of the most treacherous terrains in the world, well-accompanied by wide landscapes and beautiful Himalayan lakes
- Camping, photography, and stargazing at Chandra Taal
- Tabo village and monastery. The 1000-year-old Buddhist monastery is famed for Bodhisattva Stucco sculptures, murals, and rock paintings.
- Watch the confluence of the Sutlej and Spiti River at Khab bridge.
- Catch a glimpse of the mighty snowy peaks of the Kinnaur Kailash mountain range while driving on Kalpa-Roghi road.
- Views of Reo Purgyil peak (the highest peak of Himachal) from Khab and Nako.
- Driving by the banks of the shallow Spiti river.
Lahaul, Kinnaur, and Spiti Valley of Himachal Pradesh
9 Nights/10 Days
Rs. 35,000/- per person
Spiti Valley Road Map
Spiti Valley Road Trip Itinerary
- Delhi/Chandigarh to Shimla to Kotgarh (410/210 km, 7-9 hrs)
- Kotgarh to Baga Sarahan (80 km, 4 hrs)
- Baga Sarahan to Sangla to Rakcham (155 km, 6 Hrs)
- Rakcham to Chitkul to Kalpa (70 km, 4 hrs)
- Kalpa to Nako to Tabo (150 km, 6 hrs)
- Tabo to Pin Valley to Kaza via Dhankar Monastery (110 km, 6-7 hrs)
- Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komic – Key – Kibber – Gete – Kaza (30 km, 4-5 hrs drive time)
- Kaza to Kunzum Pass to Chandratal Lake (90 km, 4-5 hrs)
- Chandra Taal to Atal Tunnel to Manali (134 km, 6 hrs)
- Manali to Chandigarh/Delhi (8-9 hrs)
The cultural and traditional heritage this place holds is over 1000 years old. Monasteries and stupas that have stood unmoved in their places for centuries are witnesses to the great turmoil that took place in the Greater Himalayas to give origin to this heavenly place.
Snow-capped peaks rise on both banks of the Spiti and Pin Rivers to spear the sky and protect its inhabitants from all uncalled-for travesties. The priceless gift of mother nature as a pure environment, crystal clear water, fertile land, picturesque landscapes, century-old glaciers, and snowfields make Spiti a must-visit place on earth.
High passes, lowlands, small and long flights of bridges connecting two ends of the open valley at places have been our companions for years on our journeys to this most beautiful land. We have been driving through these picture-perfect valleys and Himalayan villages for years.
To share one of our most memorable travel experiences with you, we have designed the Spiti Valley road trip in a way that you have time to explore Spiti inside out. From food to Spitian culture to extended natural landscapes, you will get a chance to live the life of a local.
An overland trip to Spiti Valley is one such unmatched experience that leads to craving another Spiti road trip.
The itinerary that we will follow is set up and customized considering the extreme weather and geographical conditions and to adapt well for driving on the most treacherous road in the world’ – National Highway 5.
We know people by their stories: their quirky ways, their habits, and their life journeys. The road trip to Spiti valley is a great opportunity to get to know not just the fellow road trippers but also the people of the Himalayas – their daily life, food, and cultural practices.
Be it standing at the world’s highest village – Komik (or Komic)’ or driving through the world’s most treacherous road, you will experience it all firsthand and take home lovely memories and myriad adventure tales you lived in real-time.
Just imagine how watching an extended landscape of multiple layers of misty mountains in front of your eyes and clear blue sky above your head would feel. If this is the place you have been planning to be for so long, come join us and let’s make fresh memories that will remain etched in your mind forever.
Detailed Spiti Valley Road Trip Itinerary
Day 1: Delhi/Chandigarh to Shimla to Kotgarh (410/210 km, 7-9 hrs drive time)
We will start our journey from Delhi/Chandigarh in the morning. Through the Himalayan Express Highway and NH5, we would be reaching Kotgarh by the evening—into the heart of the lesser Himalayas.
All through the drive, we would be gradually gaining altitude — from 656m at Kalka to 2276m at Shimla. This will continue till we reach Narkanda which is located at 2700m.
From Narkanda, there is a 15km long gradual descent to Kotgarh (altitude 1900m).
Beautiful roads snaking through forests of pine, deodar, and oak trees offer glimpses of small beautiful villages on the way. We will stop at Shimla and Kufri for a while and then move ahead to reach Kotgarh by evening, which is our halt for the night.
The overnight stay is at a cottage amidst apple and cherry orchards.
Day 2: Kotgarh to Baga Sarahan (80 km, 4 hrs drive time)
On day 2, we take a connecting road that will take us down to Bithal on National Highway 5. From Bithal, we head towards Rampur Bushahr. At Duttnagar (a place on NH5), we take a left turn and take Duttnagar-Nirmand connecting road.
This road will take us to the mountain meadows of Baga Sarahan. Baga Sarahan is around a 45km drive away from Duttnagar.
Baga Sarahan is a beautiful plain grassland spreading up to miles. Baga Sarahan is about 160 km from Shimla. The open meadow reveals itself to travelers as they traverse through small bridges and narrow, vista roads uphill to finally discover this beautiful gem of nature.
Baga Sarahan is still a hidden Himalayan gem yet to be explored by nature lovers. The place is surrounded by mountains and water streams on all sides. A small village and apple orchards in the periphery of the pasture add another dimension to the beauty of this place. The place receives heavy snow during winters that paint everything from meadows to tall deodar trees to the ancient temple built in traditional white architecture.
Mother nature reveals its first marvel as soon as we reach Taranda to see a deep gorge on the left-hand side of the road. The road roofed by multiple rock tunnels ushers you into Kinnaur Valley. Rakcham is a beautiful village at an altitude of 3050 m. This place has a charm of its own. The green forested mountain beautifies the landscape on either side of the glacial waters of the Baspa River.
Dinner and overnight stay at a camp/cottage in Baga Sarahan.
Day 3: Baga Sarahan to Sangla; Sangla to Rakcham (155 km, 6 Hrs drivetime)
On day 3 of the Spiti valley road trip expedition, we take the same serpentine road to reach National Highway 5. As we reach the Baga Sarahan connecting road-NH5 road junction, we take a left turn and head towards Rampur Bushahr.
At Rampur Bushahr, we may take a halt to visit Padam palace.
The standout of the day’s drive will be traversing the Tranda Dhank (cliff) road span. This tunnel-shaped road stretch is a part of the old Hindustan-Tibet road that was constructed in Viceroy Dalhausie’s time (in the 1850s). You will remember the drive by the huge gorge on the river-side will be remembered by you for each meter driven.
From Tranda, we will continue the drive on NH5 till Karcham. Karcham bridge is the gateway to the Baspa (or Sangla valley). An 18km long connecting road will take us to the town of Sangla.
Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Rakcham.
Day 4: Rakcham to Chitkul; Return to Sangla & Drive to Kalpa (70 km, 4 hrs)
After breakfast, we will drive to the last village of India on the Indo-Tibetan border – Chitkul. The village is at an elevation of 3450m from mean sea level. Don’t be surprised if you see big snowflakes falling from the sky even in the month of May. This place is the starting point for some popular treks like Borasu, Nalgan valley, and Lamkhaga Pass.
We spend the morning hiking along the river and enjoying a blissful day in solitude by the river banks of Baspa.
After Lunch drive towards the village of Kalpa. Kalpa is more famous for the views it offers of the snow-covered Kinner Kailash Ranges. This is the place for an overnight stay in a hotel.
Day 5: Kalpa to Nako; Drive to Tabo Monastery (150 km, 6 hrs drive time)
Finally, on day 5 of the road trip, we would be driving on lunar terrains of Spiti valley. In the first leg of the trip, we drive along the Sutlej river until we reach a place called Khab.
Khab is the place where Sutlej and Spiti River meet. From here the road ascends till you reach an elevation of 12000 ft to a place called Nako.
Nako is a picturesque village with amazing views of snow-covered Manerang Ranges. There is also a lake located on the valley side of the village. This place is the base camp for climbing Reo Purgyil – the highest peak in Himachal Pradesh. Then we proceed further to reach Tabo village by evening for an overnight stay in a homestay/guest house.
Day 6: Tabo to Dhankar Monastery to Pin Valley; Drive to Kaza (110 km, 6-7 hrs drive time)
Our first destination on day 5 will be the Dhankar (sometimes spelled as Dankhar or Dhangkar) monastery. It is a 900-year-old monastery built on a valley spur. The word literally translates to Fort (Kar) built on a mountain (Dhang).
A 23km long drive on NH505 will take us to a point from where we take a right turn and continue the drive on a serpentine road connecting road (Sichling-Dhankhar Gompa).
The Dhankar monastery offers vantage views of the valley and the confluence of the Pin and Spiti Rivers. After spending some time at the monastery, we descend down to reach NH505, take a left turn, and continue driving on the highway.
At Attargo, we drive over the Attargo bridge and start our road journey into the Pin valley.
Instagrammable places in Pin valley
- Kungri monastery
- Sagnam village
- Mud village (the last village of the Pin valley).
- Pin river terraces.
By the evening, we head back to Attargo and reach Kaza — the administrative center of Spiti valley.
Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Kaza.
Day 7: Kaza – Langza – Hikkim – Komic – Key – Kibber – Kaza (30 km, 4-5 hrs drive time)
Today we drive to the 4400 m high Langza village. After Langza, we head further to the village of Komic, following the route that offers a mesmerizing view of a handful of peaks (all above 6000 m).
Situated at an elevation of 4513m, Komic is one of the highest villages in Asia and literally means the eye of a snowcock.
From Komic, we’ll make a return trip to Kaza and drive to Key Monastery. After visiting the monastery we head to Kibber village.
In the evening, we would drive back to Kaza for dinner and an overnight stay.
Day 8: Kaza to Kunzum Pass to Chandra Taal Lake (90 km, 4-5 hrs)
We start the day early as the weather at the 4550 m (15,060 feet) high Kunzum Pass can turn from bright sunshine into snow showers in a minute.
Kunzum Pass acts as a crossover between Spiti Valley and Lahaul Valley. When in Lahaul, you might notice that this valley is a lot greener than Spiti.
Kunzum Pass offers amazing views of the Chandrabhaga Ranges. It has a Hindu temple and a Buddhist Chorten dedicated to the eponymous Goddess Kunzum Mata.
After a short descent from the pass, we take a detour on a narrow road to Chandratal Lake. Chandra Taal – the name that translates to moon lake – is a beautiful lake at an altitude of 14,100 feet.
Nestled between the mountain ranges of Chandra Bhaga and Kunzum top, Chandra Taal is acclaimed and admired by travelers as one of the most beautiful lakes in the entire Himalayan region.
After enjoying beautiful views, we will settle for a lakeside overnight stay in camps at Chandra Taal.
Day 9: Chandra Taal to Atal Tunnel to Manali (134 km, 6 hrs)
After savoring the pristine views of Chandra Taal Lake and surrounding mountain ranges, we would head for Manali. After a short halt at Batal, we drive along the Chandra River to a place called Gramphu.
From Gramphu we can take one of the two routes to Manali:
- Gramphu – Rohtang pass – Kothi – Palchan – Manali
- Gramhpu – Koksar – Chandra Bridge – Atal Tunnel – Solang Valley – Manali
We’ll reach Manali by evening. Overnight stay at a hotel.
Day 10: Manali to Chandigarh/Delhi (8-9 hrs)
Time to bid farewell. Drive through Chandigarh to Delhi.
FAQs about Spiti Valley Road Trip
Q: Is this trip for me?
A: If you are crazily in love with the Himalayas, then Spiti Valley Itinerary, Spiti valley road trip is meant for you. If you have never felt how driving through the world’s most treacherous road and standing on the world’s highest inhabited village feels like, then this road trip is for you. Ear-deafening noise coming from furious Sutlej and Spiti Rivers and the calmness and beauty of Chandra Taal will make your trip worth it.
Q: How is the weather out there?
A: Temperatures might be as low as -2 °C or even lower while crossing Kunzum Pass and Rohtang Pass. And, the only mantra to enjoy this road journey is to be well equipped. It’s perfectly fine if the maximum space of your bag is eaten up by an extra pair of woolen socks, cap, warm jacket, and thermals.
Q: Can I bring my spouse/friend with me?
A: Of course, you can. We will be visiting many beautiful villages, lakes, and monasteries during the course of our journey; which implies, we will be having a good time during the trip.
Q: Is there any trekking involved in the trip?
A: No. This is a road journey. All the destinations you are visiting are accessible by vehicle. At a couple of places, you might have to take short walks, but they cannot be categorized as treks. Anyone with a reasonable fitness level can do most of the activities during the trip.
Q: What is the maximum altitude we will hit?
A: 15,059 feet (4,590 m) at Kunzum Pass
Q: What about the level of physical fitness?
A: A person with reasonable fitness can join the group because there is no trekking involved throughout the trip. Still, it is always good to be fit when going to high altitudes.
Q: Does physical fitness protect against altitude sickness?
A: As suggested it’s always good to be physically fit when you plan to go to high altitudes. But there is no evidence that people with high physical fitness levels don’t fall prey to AMS (acute mountain sickness or altitude sickness). Rather, they might challenge themselves to exert more, hence increasing the probability of becoming an AMS victim.
Q: Can I drink alcohol at a high altitude?
A: Drinking alcohol at high altitudes is a practice you should avoid in all possibilities, because alcohol can obstruct your breathing, directly hampering the acclimatization process of your body. Furthermore, alcohol may cause dehydration.
Q: Should I take Diamox when going to high altitude?
A: There is no need to take Diamox until or unless your body has enough time for acclimatization. We have planned the trip in stages to offer your body sufficient time for acclimatization during the ascent. Hence taking drugs in the mountains needs to be avoided. You should consider taking Diamox only if you are gaining altitude very quickly (flying to high altitude locations), that too only if you have no history of allergies to the drug.
In the event of cancellation of tour/trek/adventure activity/services due to any avoidable/unavoidable reasons, we must be notified of the same in writing. Cancellation charges will be effective from the date we receive the information in writing (email), and cancellation charges will be as follows:
- 30 days or more prior to the departure date: 90% of the total package fee refundable.
- Between 21-30 days prior to the departure date: 60% of the total package fee refundable
- Between 20-11 days prior to the departure date: 30% of the total package fee refundable
- Less than 10 days prior to the departure date: No refund
- No show: No refund
- No refund will be made if a participant is unable to complete the tour/trek/adventure activity owing to medical conditions or any other reasons, after starting the tour/trek/adventure activity