The tourist season in Spiti valley is at its peak right now. July is half gone and Monsoon has arrived throughout the Himalayan region. There are already news of landslides at several places; and one of the most frequent questions I am getting asked is whether it is safe to go now; or would it be better to plan a trip to Spiti valley in September. Spiti presents a different color in each month, each season; and while there is really no optimum time to plan a trip here, September by many is considered to be a favorable month. In this article, I will provide details on what can you expect while traveling to Spiti valley in September, things you should take care of; and overall, how to plan your trip.
This by far is the biggest advantage that visiting Spiti valley in September has if you are traveling towards early or middle part of the month. During this time, all roads to and within Spiti remain open. In winter, the only way to get to Spiti valley is from Shimla to Kaza as Manali to Kaza road opens sometime by late May or early June. During Monsoon, landslides again can cause a roadblock as well as a safety risk. With September however, this risk is minimal and you can rest assured that you will be able to complete the circuit. Both the Shimla and Manali route are open in this month; as well as internal roads within Spiti; like to Kibber, Komik or Chandratal.
Spiti is notorious for bad roads, nightmarish if I may call them so. I won’t really say that road conditions are good in September because they are never that; but its comparatively better towards September. The entire circuit is open for vehicular traffic from June till September. If you go in the month of June, you will be facing numerous water streams caused by melting snow and even the nallahs will be at full flow. Come Monsoon and the situation even worsens in July and August. This risk to some level is reduced in September. As the weather starts to get cold, the flow of water in nallahs will be less. Road conditions between Shimla to Kaza too are also considerably better in September.
Get ready to be spell-bounded by unreal vistas all around; a thousand shades of so many colors. As monsoon departs, valleys are on full blossom. Witness the green of Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul valleys and be humbled by the beauty of brown in deserts of Spiti. Its start of the autumn and you are in for a treat. Snow starts to settle at top of the peaks, blanketing them and giving life to the barren brown landscape; and thus offering a unique contrast of desert and snow.
June, July and August see an influx of tourism in Spiti valley. September however, more or less, marks the end of Tourist season. Most of the people who had Spiti as part of their yearly plan have already visited here. You won’t find many people once you cross Kinnaur and start moving towards Kaza. If you want to be away from the crowd, spend some time in solitude while traveling through Spiti; then September is the month you should opt for.
Spiti Valley in September
The only word of caution that I would advise about traveling to Spiti valley in September is that you should try to plan it either towards or mid of September. Avoid traveling by late September as far as you can. By September end, it can snow at Kunzum top anytime in which case, you will be stuck with the pass temporarily closes. Also, carry an additional layer of warm clothes than what you would have packed for July and August. For more details, read Clothes for Spiti Trip: What to Pack
I hope the information above related to Spiti valley in September was helpful. If you have any further questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum and I will be glad to answer.