The Hampta Pass Trek: A Landscape Crossover

Awash with beautiful, lush green meadows and enveloped in snow. Journey through blooming wildflowers, maple, fig and oak trees, cross the exquisite rivers and walk through the rocky terrains.
It’s a wholesome experience, irrefutably.
At a moderate elevation of 14,000 feet, the Hampta Pass is a small but strikingly mesmerising route between Lahaul's Chandra Valley and the Kullu Valley of Himachal Pradesh, India. The entire trail is dotted with natural beauty.

History: The Hampta Pass derives its name from the village of "Hampta", nestled in the laps of the Kullu Valley. It is said that the name was also derived from that of a Rishi’s, who meditated there.

According to the Mahabharata, the Pandavas took this route on their quest for heaven, and, in fact, the Hampta Pass to Chandratal trail is often referred to as the "staircase to heaven".

-------- What Is The Hampta Pass Famous For?
If your bucket list reads "an exhilarating date with the mountains and the scenic flora-fauna array interspersed with dramatic landscapes," then this is surely a do-not-miss trek for you!

The Hampta Pass offers its intrepid climbers crystal-clear, fast-flowing rivers, rugged terrains, rhododendron forests, and hanging glaciers, all amidst a valley of beautiful flowers.

The expedition-lover in you can rely on the Hampta Pass to witness picturesque alpines like the Chandratal and the unrivalled beauty of the Pir Panjal range, as you camp under the starry skies and soak yourself in its blissful solitude.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Hampta Pass?
One can take the Hampta Pass trek any time of the year, but June-July has its own charm; For those who seek off-the-grid adventure, the stunning white view of the snow-capped mountains is sure to impress.

The ideal time to visit Hampta Pass is June-August, when the temperature is likely to stay between 12 and 21°C during the day and drop to almost -10°C in the late evenings, but with the perfect winter gear and the spirit of a backpacker, there seems to be no profound requirement for any mountaineering experience to get through this one.

However, if you’re accustomed to the fluctuating weather conditions and the extreme cold and see the snow in its various pleasant hues, then post August-September shouldn’t be too tedious either.

What Is The Trek Distance?
The Hampta Pass trek height is around 4,200m, covering a distance of 35km.
Don’t despair! The novice hikers can, too, conquer the Hampta Pass trek. The trek is classified as easy-to-moderate in difficulty and will take you five days and four nights.

How Do We Reach The Hampta Pass?
The typical route looks something like this: you land in Manali, from where you take an hour’s drive to Jobra. The trek begins here, where you journey through maple and pine trees with the Rani Nallah stream gushing by your side, all the way to the base camp of Chika, resting at an altitude of 10,100 feet.

It’s all breezy till here! From here, you hike to the Balu Ka Ghera, a 12,000-feet high peak, which is a 4-5 hour, relatively easy ascent, through wildflower meadows and inclines, where the snow melts to meet the river and the day ends with a beautiful sunset behind the Hanuma Tibba Peak.

Now, the adventure starts. You trek 14,000 feet, cutting through loose rocks, glacier deposits and crossing over mountain streams, to finally reach Hampta village, where your eyes are rewarded with a paranormal Himalayan view and, if you’re lucky, the sky-high, snow-clad peaks too!

What Is The Difficulty Level Of The Hampta Pass Trek?
Like mentioned before, the Hampta Pass trek is thought of as one of the easier Himalayan treks to quell. This trek is for the first-timers and the seasoned trekkers, however, the difficulty level is more subjective and dependent on the weather conditions and basic survival skills such as endurance, preparation, and strength, irrespective of experience.

While the steep slopes and unfinished terrains may seem like a cumbersome task to complete, the unrivalled diversity and wilderness is sure to make up for any second thoughts or fatigue that can possibly take root.

How To Gear Up For The Trek
Traversing the lush green valley of Kullu to the arid, barren mountains of the Lahaul Valley can seem like a sweeping change, and for this, only the right winter gear can gear you up! To tackle the unpredictable weather, make sure to layer up, but with clothing that doesn’t create extra bulk to weigh you down.
You would require a moisture-wicking base layer, a fleece mid-layer and a waterproof, snowproof outer shell, preferably a Down Jacket or a Mountain Jacket.

To combat the rough terrains, make sure to carry sturdy trekking shoes that will not betray you. Look for waterproof, yet breathable shoes with a durable sole that provide the traction you would need. And, of course, your choice of socks is just as important. Pick out at least 4-5 pairs of hiking socks that are made of a comfortable fabric with the right amount of cushioning.

A good night’s rest is non-negotiable when it comes to week-long treks in the cold, for which we suggest you carry a sleeping bag with insulation padding and cushioned support, and an easily portable camping tent that is well-equipped with heat-insulating fabrication.

Most importantly,
Pack Less. Experience More.
From accessories to apparel and footwear, you would be carrying a lot of gear, for which you should ideally use ergonomically designed, spacious backpacks and rucksacks for maximum comfort when you hike.

After all, it’s the journey that matters.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Hampta pass a difficult trek?

The 35km Hampta Pass trek is of moderate difficulty level with an altitude of around 4,000m and can be undertaken by both beginners and experienced trekkers.

How do I prepare for a Hampta trek?

Good physical fitness is of utmost importance before going on a winter trek. If you don’t have access to a gym, you can start by climbing the stairs with suitable weights {probably 10kg}. Go on long, 10-15km walks, and morning jogs. Make sure you incorporate cardio workouts in your routine to build stamina.

What do I need for a Hampta pass trek?

Going all the way to the mountains calls for a good capacity rucksack full of fundamental items. You should essentially have all of these with you: An extra backpack, a rain jacket/coat, a good winter jacket – Down Jacket and Fleece Jacket, base layers like sweatshirts and sweaters, thick material trousers, a trekking pole, water bottle, and medicines.

What is the best time for Hampta pass trek?

The best time to take up the Hampta Pass trek is June to October when there are high chances of witnessing early snowfall, that settles down as ice covers on the mountains and the days are not too cold.