The trail descends the Kibber gorge and then climbs over the Parang la (5600 m), the source of the Pare Chu River, the only one of its kind that emanates from India, flows into Tibet and re-enters India again in Spiti. Across the pass, we witness an incredible change of scenery as we walk towards the Rupshu plains of Changthang plateau (the eastern-most tip of the Tibetan Plateau), known for the a very high population of Kiangs (Tibetan Wild Ass).For the last two days, we camp by the breathtaking campsites, one of them being located on the southern edge of the Tso Moriri Lake at 15,000ft.msl which is 27 km long and nearly 8 km wide. The lake hosts nesting grounds for a variety of birds like Brahminy ducks, black-necked cranes and the bar-headed geese.
A fairly demanding trek across harsh terrain, this trip offers a variety of landscape from the narrow reddened gorges of Spiti to the massive open spaces of Changthang, to expansive lakes set in the high plateaus with views of mountains far into Tibet.
HP tourism runs overnight Volvo buses from Delhi to Manali. Board the bus from Himachal Bhavan around 7:00pm to arrive Manali early in the morning after a long overnight journey.
Day 02: Arrive Manali (1900m) and rest day
Arrive in Manali by 10am. You’ll be met by our guide who’ll transfer you to the Hotel. Post lunch, you can occupy yourself with local sightseeing or some last minute shopping.
Overnight Hotel in Manali.
Day 03: Drive to Kaza (120 km; 3600 m): 9/10 hrs
The drive takes us into the Trans-Himalayan terrain after crossing the Rohtang Pass (4000m). The pass is a busy place flocked by all the tourists from Manali. We descend to the Chandra River from the pass and drive upstream along it till we reach Chhatru. From here we drive further north into the mountains gaining a lot more height. We stop regularly along the way for chai (tea) and plenty of photo opportunities. We are taking it slowly as it aids in acclimatizing to the relatively rapid gain in altitude.
Day 04: Rest day at Kaza
Spend a rest day, walking around the small town of Kaza. We could also make an optional visit to Dhankar and Tabo monasteries.
Day 05: Drive to Kibber and trek to Dumla (4200m)
We drive for about 45 mins to reach Kye Monastery. Visit the monastery and offer prayers for a good trek ahead. We continue on to Kibber village the start point of our trek. Kibber(4270m) is a scenic village and the roadhead for this trek. It used to be the highest inhabited village in Asia but now Hikkim in the vicinity has that distinction. Mt. Kanamo towers over this village. The pack animals are loaded here and we trek a short distance to our first campsite at Dumla with just 2 houses and farm fields all around. (2 hrs)
Day 06: Trek to Thaltak (4600m)
We gain over 400 meters throughout the day today. The landscape is amazing as we walk through the cold desert with snow capped peaks and grassy meadows. We ascend gradually till we reach a flat ground and then descend slightly to the campsite at Thaltak. The campsite is multi tiered and depending on the group size we could choose our camping grounds. The campsite at Thaltak meadow offers great views overlooking a deep canyon. (3 hrs)
Day 07: Trek to Bongrojen (5000m)
A relatively longer day today, as we first descend steeply into the Paralungbi Gorge which we then follow upstream, cross a river and climb a stony path through a remarkable rocky landscape to Bongrojen at close to 5000 metres. (7 hrs)
Day 08: Trek to Datang Yongma (4640m) via crossing Parang La (5580m)
We make an early start to reach the pass. It is relatively easy to begin with but the last four km to the pass are quite steep. The pass is an old trade route joining Spiti and Ladakh. From the pass one gets mesmerizing views of the Changthang valleys in Spiti and Parilungi, a first visible and a distinctive Ladakhi peak. After soaking up the views we trek down to the source of the Pare Chu River. As we cross over the pass, there is a dramatic shift in the landscape from deep plunging gorges of Spiti to the broad flatlands of Ladakh. A few river crossings before we reach our camp. . (8 hrs)
Day 09: Trek to Rachalamo (4260m)
We walk for another day on similar terrain reaching Racholamo in mid afternoon. There is not much variation in altitude. The days get easier as we lose altitude. The campsite is at the intersection of 2 valleys. (7 hrs)
Day 10: Trek to Chumik Shilde (4390m)
We continue on to Chumik Shilde passing through Norbu Sumdo. There is a big river crossing at this place and we have to be careful since the river is swift, deep and carries a lot of silt. Norbu Sumdo was also the legendary meeting ground of kings from both sides- Ladakh and Spiti. If we follow the river we go towards the border with Tibet. Instead we cross the river and trek on till we reach one of the most beautiful campsites on this trail with spring water and meadows with plenty of grass for the horses. (5/6 hrs)
Day 11: Trek to Kiangdam (4510m)
Today we walk across the plains to the southern edge of the oval-shaped Tso Moriri Lake at Kiangdom, named after the kiangs (wild Tibetan asses) that roam uninhibitedly here. The lake is a nesting ground for many rare migratory birds. (3 hrs)
Day 12: Rest day
A great place to rest and rejuvenate. We can go exploring the lake and the bold can try swimming in the icy, brackish water. Photographers will have a field day clicking away at all the migratory birds that visit the place. A great opportunity to visit any nomad tents if they have not moved on from Kiangdam.
Day 13: Trek to Korzok (4570m)
We start early and walk on the shores of Tso Moriri. With the twin peaks of Chamsher(6622m) and Lungser Kangri (6666 m) acting as backdrop to the lake, it makes an amazing sight. We try to reach Korzok as early as possible to avoid the strong winds that are common in the afternoon. Korzok which is visited by a lot of tourists has an ancient monastery which overlooks the Tso Moriri Lake and the twin peaks. (7 hrs)
Day 14: Drive to Leh via Mahe
We take the long picturesque drive to Leh. (8 hrs)
Day 15: Sightseeing around Leh
Spend the day exploring Leh’s fine markets for gifts. The Tibetan markets are especially interesting. Also visit Shey, Thiksey and Hemis Monasteries. Enjoy the great views including Stok Range perched on the other side of the valley.
Day 16: Fly Leh to Delhi
An incredible one hour flight over the greater Himalayas with spectacular views of K2 (8611 m) among others. Arrive Delhi.Trip ends.
- AC Volvo bus from New Delhi to Manali
- All transport by non-AC SUV cars.
- 5 hotel nights (Manali hotel on bed & breakfast basis)
- All accommodation on twin sharing basis in Hotel and tents.
- All meals from breakfast on Day 3 till breakfast on Day 16
- 1 Professional guide
- All fees, camping fee, sanctuary fee.
- Tents, mattress and all group camping gear.
- All trekking arrangements with guiding team, camp staff, cook etc.
- Lunch & Dinner at Manali
- Sleeping bag & Personal Trekking Gear
- Flight tickets from Leh to Delhi
- Items of personal clothing
- Any arrangements in Delhi
- Expenses of personal nature like laundry, phone calls, alcohol, cigarettes, camera fee
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances such as bad weather, landslides, road conditions and any other circumstances beyond our control.