Manali to Chandrataal Lake Road Trip With Camping

BySoul Mountain Expeditions

Manali to Chandrataal Lake Road Trip With Camping

INTRODUCTION  Chandrataal lake hiking camping trip

Chandrataal Lake is a popular hiking and camping destination in Spiti region It’s altitude is 4300 meters and is one of the highest wetlands anywhere in the world. The lake is within a day or 2 days trek (depending upon the route) from Samudri Tapu, source of Chandra river which flows through Spiti Valley and is a major tributary of Chenab river.The lake itself is an important site for locals and is source of many myths and folktales of the region. The crystal clear waters of the lake attract people as well as some rare birds and animals at different seasons. The expansive grasslands near Chandrataal lake are home to numerous types of wild flowers as well as source of food for many wild animals as well as flocks of local Gaddi shepherds.

To protect the sensitive ecology of the place, xamping or any other human activity like construction is not allowed within 3 kms of the lake. Our guests have the option of either driving all the way through or hike the last 9 km via hiking route starting from Kunzum La ( 4659 meters) towards campsite. This is a good option for an extended weekend trip from Delhi NCR and full of fun and adventure.

BEST FOR:  An extended weekend getaway from Delhi NCR with exciting scenery on a small budget.

Trip Summary:

Day 1: Manali to Chandrataal Lake. 128 km
Day 2: Night stay at camp. Visit lake.
Day 3: Back to Manali
DURATION: 3 days, 2 nights.
BEST SEASON: May to October
MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 4300 m. 4590 if going via Kunzum La.
WEATHER: Afternoons can be a bit warm during summer. Cold otherwise with strong winds.
EQUIPMENT: Hiking shoes and stick if hiking.


Day 1: Pickup from Manali early morning. Drive of about 8 hours towards Chandrataal. Rest stops for refreshments and sightseeing in places like Rohtang Pass, Chatru, Chota Darra and Batal. Option of hiking towards camp for last 9 km.
Day 2: Morning walk(3 km) or drive towards lake. Take a walk around the lake, spend some time roaming there and exploring nearby mountains and grassland. Night stay at camp.
Day 3: Packup and drive towards Manali before noon. Drop back at evening. Option of an extra day at camp site or trek to Samudri Tapu.


  • Small backpack to hold the day walk necessities.
  • Luggage in rucksack/soft bags suitable to be carried by self or porters.
  • Warm clothes, wind-cheater, scarf, hat, sun-glasses, sunscreen, comfortable walking shoes.
  • Personal medical kit, water bottle, snacks.
  • Toilet paper, wet wipes.
  • A bag to collect own trash.


  • Travel itineraries in the mountains  don not necessarily run exactly as scheduled. Keep a buffer for delays due to weather, road conditions etc.
  • Any additional expenses caused by delays, medical condition, road blocks and other causes will be borne by the guests.
  • We recommend a comprehensive  travel insurance and a medical checkup before the visit.
  • This tour covers some remote destinations in Spiti which have very limited phone coverage, unpredictable weather and high altitude.


  • Pickup and drop from Manali in a private or shared taxi.
  • Accommodation in Chandrataal campsite.
  • Meals, tea and non-bottled water in campsite, Bottled water available for purchase.


  • Delhi-Manali-Delhi bus fare.
  • Hotel stay at Manali before and after the trip.
  • Personal expenses, refreshments during road journey, alcohol.
  • Anything not mentioned explicitly in the above program.

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