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Written by Manasvy Nagar
01 Jul, 2022
Snuggled cozily in the Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas, lies the Hampta Pass, at an altitude of 4370 meters above sea level. The pass derives its name from the quaint little village of “Hampta”, tucked in just below Sethan Village, Manali. The Hampta Pass Trek is one of the most fascinating treks, that you will embark on. It is one of those rare treks that changes scenery with every nook and corner. Here is a complete Hampta Pass Trek Guide, to help you prepare.
The Hampta Pass Trek Route, begins from Manali, Himachal Pradesh. The basecamp for Hampta Pass is Jobra which is located at an altitude of 9,379 ft. The drive from Manali to Jobra takes almost 45 mins after which you can start your Hampta Pass Trek. Manali is a popular destination and is well-connected by train, road and air.
You can take a flight to Bhuntar Airport, which is located just 52 kilometres from Manali. Bhuntar is well-connected to all major cities like, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Kolkalta etc. There are regular taxi services ferrying passengers to Manali.
One of the most picture-perfect road trips, the journey to Manali will leave you in awe, with views of the Himalayas and pine laden forest gently seeping in. It is located just 536 kilometres from Delhi, via NH 44, and the roads are well paved, making your journey smooth as well.
Various Volvo buses run on these routes regularly and take around 12-14 hours to reach the Manali Bus Stand.
The nearest Railway Station is Joginder Nagar Station, located 166 kilometers away from Manali. Local buses and taxis operate here regularly too.
Hampta Pass is a beautiful crossover trek spreading across the lush green Valleys of Kullu-Manali to the arid, barren terrains of Chandra Valley in Lahaul.
Jobra, which is the basecamp of the Hampta Pass Trek is accessible via car from Manali. It takes only 2 hours by car to reach Jobra, which is only 17 kilometers away from Manali. The drive through the lush green Kullu valley and hairpin bend on the mountains is a perfect trailer to what lies ahead. Jobra, resting at 9800 ft, is a good place to acclimatize before starting the trek.
This is a High-Altitude trek, and you will need a certain amount of fitness to traverse through a few formidable mountain barriers. But, don’t worry, this Hampta Pass Trek Guide will help you prepare properly.
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After getting acclimatized at Jobra, the next day begins with trekking to Chika, which takes you to an altitude of 10,100 ft. This is an easy trek day and doesn’t test your endurance much. The trek to Chika takes about 2 hours to complete and is the first campsite on the Hampta Pass Trek.
The sight that you get to witness while trekking to Chika is serene and refreshing. From lush green forests consisting of maple, oak, and deodar trees to the stream of Rani Nallah flowing through meadows, the landscape that the trekking trail provides is breathtaking, to say the least.
The trail has enough water resources and is speckled with sparkling silver birch trees making the landscape extremely rich.
After crossing the icy-cold streams, the next day of the trek is going to be a little strenuous one. Awash with vast green endless meadows, the enchanting Balu Ka Ghera, is the most beautiful campsite of the Hampta Pass Trek route.
Balu translates to sand and the trail lives up to the name with boulders and loose rocks comprising the majority of this trail making it fall into the moderate category.
There is a riot of colors, seen in the grasslands besprinkled with blooming wildflowers, at a height of 11,900 ft. The trail through this region is majestic, with boulders, small and big casually strewn around in the meadows. At night, this campsite transforms into an unearthly wonder, with a bright starlit sky, and the peace of the pure mountain air. The trek to Balu ka Ghera takes about 6 hours of steadily walking uphill, for 8.5 kilometers..
Another patch of a long trekking day begins as soon as you start trekking towards Hampta Pass. It is here that the landscapes begin to change. The mesmerizing Rhododendron forests and the snow-clad Dhauladhar mountains are left behind and snow patches start appearing.
The highest altitude is achieved on this day, which is Hampta Pass, at a mighty 14,400 ft. A rivulet flows along the steady, steep ascent to the pass, which comes into view after crossing two sharp ridges. The panoramic view of the Pir Panjal Range, from Hampta Pass, will leave you speechless. No words can describe the beauty that this gap in the high rugged terrain of the mountains displays.
Mount Indrasen, can also be seen from the pass, standing tall and proud.
The hardest part of the trek route starts while descending from Hampta Pass to reach Siagoru, at 12000 ft. The descent is extremely tricky, made so with the presence of slippery snow patches.
It is very important to be cautious while descending the almost vertical side of the mountain, bringing you to the base of the valley. Once on flat ground, the trek to Siagoru is a fair and easy one.
Sia Goru with its lush green landscape and river streams is one of the best high-altitude campsites in this Hampta pass trek itinerary. It is also the coldest campsite on the trek route. The temperatures here fall below 0 degrees at night.
During your descent to Chhatru, you’d be traversing on sedimentation of rocks that transform into ridges as they keep getting carried down from the glaciers and deposit on the trail over the years.
The trail to Chhatru consists of inclines and loose rocks making this part of the trek moderate. After being so mesmerized by the green canopies that you previously witnessed, the lack of vegetation might astonish you but the beauty of the Hampta pass trek lies in its ability to keep surprising you with its ever-changing landscape.
It takes around 2 hours to descend the trail, which also has a few tricky parts, where the snow is slippery.
Chattru is a tranquil campsite and is between a consensus of three passes, Hampta, Rohtang, and Spiti. The lovely Chandra River flows just below the Campsite.
A visit to the Chandratal lake is a must, while coming back from Hampta Pass trek. However, it is only possible if the roads are clear and weather conditions favourable.
Chandratal, at 13, 950 ft, is a magical pristine lake, surrounded by mountain peaks, glistening in the sun. The lake is in the shape of a crescent, which is how it got its name, ’Chandratal’ – Moonlake.
After witnessing the beauty of Chandratal, you will come back to Chattru campsite, before heading back to Manali the next day.
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Hampta Pass, is an alluringly charming cross-over trek, amidst the high mountain ranges of the Himalayas. The best season to visit Hampta is during the monsoon months. The weather conditions from June to September are the most suitable for High-Altitude trekking with warmer days and bearable nights.
A lot of snow can be expected from ‘Balu ka Ghera onwards in June. This is because, the valley that leads up to the pass, is narrow and does not receive much sunlight.
The temperature hovers around 15 °C in the daytime and falls to around 4 °C at night.
This is the perfect time to go the trek, as the snow starts to melt and exotic wildflowers start blooming around the valley. The river flow increases, and the first bouts of monsoon showers start emerging. The grasslands are vibrantly green, and the skies thick with clouds.
The temperature remains around 15 °C in the daytime and drops to 6 °C at the night.
Around mid-September, the hues of Autumn start appearing in the valley. The skies clear up, and sunlight hits differently on the slopes. The sunrises and sunsets are captivating, and the valley comes alive with a myriad of colors.
The temperature is around 12 °C in the daytime and 1 °C at the night.
Hampta Pass is a moderate-level trek, tipping slightly towards being a little difficult. This is because of the various changes in altitudes that trekkers encounter each day.
Starting from Manali, at an altitude of 6730 ft, the trek route navigates to reach a maximum of 14,100 ft and then declines rapidly to the last campsite.
Although the trails are fairly easy through long patches, the terrain gradually becomes challenging as you move forward.
There is an average distance of 6.5 kilometres being covered on all days.
Although it can be pursued by first-time trekkers, you will need at least 30 days to prepare yourself for the trek, and get good leg and core movement balance.
Lastly, We hope that our Hampta Pass Trek guide, has given you valuable insights.
Also Read: Trek Essentials – Things you should carry
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