Hamta Pass to Chandra Taal Lake Trek (7 Days)
This trekking route will take you through wide varieties of terrain as we pass from Hamta Pass in Kullu valley to Chandra Taal Lake in Spiti. The trekkers cross different terrain like green pine forests, glaciers, deep valleys, open meadows and high altitude deserts. This trek should be attempted by people already familiar with at least basic trekking.
TRANSPORT: On foot, in private car or SUV with driver.
ENDURANCE LEVEL: Medium to Expert.
ACTIVITIES: Trekking, Camping, Mountain climbing, Bird watching, Hiking
DURATION: 7 days normal. May vary in different seasons.
MEALS: Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Day 1. Drive to Manali – Jobra – Chika
The first day begins by going to Jobra in a car. Jobra village is a small, quaint settlement at an altitude of 3200 m .It has green pine trees, forests, around the area. Rest done in the village, we sometimes partake some tea. Afterwards we trek in the forest and reach a meadow. From the meadow we go along side Rani Nala, which is a little rivulet which passes through it. Reaching Chika in the evening, we end the trek for today. We then set up our camp and prepare ourselves for the night.
Day 2. Chika – Jwara – Balu Ka Gera trek
After partaking of breakfast, we need to get our things from the camp site, pack up and walk along the little rivulet or stream. After walking awhile besides it, we will have to cross the stream. This is not a very tough task and we can easily accomplish it. We might not even get wet. The Dhauladhar range is seen from here. We see this mountain range for the first time in this trek. Walking from this point on, we keep to gain more and more altitude. Next we stop at Balu-Ka- Gera, which means a bed of sand in the local Himalayan dialect. Camp is set up there and we rest and relax.
Day 3. Balu-Ka-Gera – Shea Goru – Hampta Pass trek
Today is the day for trekking along with the river by our side. We also encounter our first major incline. A trek of 30-40 mins will take us to some ground level. A good point for photography, as the scene is very picturesque. We rest, take some pictures and then we continue to walk through the ridge till we reach Hampta Pass at an altitude of 4600 m. If luck is with you , we may see snow around and slide down steadily through the slope. But if not, we have to be really careful as the slope is steep. This brings us to Spit region. We meet the river again. Our camp site is a place called Shea Goru.
Day 4. Trek: Shea Goru – Chatru
The next day we will go along the river. The terrain will be barren as you do not see any vegetation around. There are some grassy patches around and some shrubbery. Walking along the trail for 4 hours or so and reaching the flat land, we say goodbye to the mountains. Some glacial flows may hinder our path, and delay us. We will have to cross some streams to reach our next camp site in Chatru.
Day 5. Chatru – Chota Darra trek
Here we walk upstream the river and then we pass villages on the way. The villagers here mainly depend on farming and gathering some herds for their livelihood. Sometimes, they also rear some live stock. Some villagers leave the place to come back in summer and go to warmer places in winter. The terrain remains rocky and there are also chances of landslides. That is the reason we need to be careful as we trek in this area. The last destination for today is Chota Darra where we will camp and spend the night.
Day 6. Chota Darra – Batal trek
We take breakfast in the morning and as we walk on the same trail as yesterday; the terrain pretty much remains the same. Our first stop today will be Batal. This is a major resting point for all the vehicles that pass through this area. One trail from Batal leads to Kaza via Kunzum La. The other trail leads to Chandra Taal Lake. Depending on the time we reach, we can have an early dinner in one of the dhabas. Sometimes, we may also have a late lunch. There is a facility for resting at night in the dhabas.