Manali Leh Highways Opens: After a lot of speculations and confusion; Manali to Leh Highway was finally declared open for year 2018. The road as a matter of fact was already in use by locals and a few tourists as well since last week; ever since BRO managed to free Baralacha La of snow. An official announcement however was not yet made as restoration work was still going on. Putting an end to all speculations, the news finally became official after HRTC declared to resume their Delhi to Leh service effective 23rd May. Usually this bus service starts sometime after 15th June but this year, 23rd May will be the earliest date ever.
There are however a few things that you must keep in mind before planning your journey. The road as of now will be narrow and slippery due to snow and water present specially at Rohtang and Baralacha La. It will take BRO some time before they finally stabilize the road. Temporary closure of the road in early part of June is not all the uncommon and can happen anytime either due to an avalanche or ongoing restoration work.
Also read: How to Plan a Journey on Manali Leh Highway
A better way to do the journey for now will be to reach Leh via Srinagar and return via Manali. This way, you will give a few more days before you travel on Manali Leh route. Another added benefit of going via Srinagar is that it helps you acclimatize better and you will not feel symptoms of AMS like you would on Manali Leh route.
Manali Leh Highway Opens
With all said and done, and even though there are already tourists in Ladakh, the opening of Manali Leh highway usually marks the beginning of tourist season here. With both the highways now open, you can complete the entire Ladakh circuit now. Most of the hotels and guest houses in Ladakh are already operational; but do keep in mind that you may face a little bit of challenge on Manali Leh route in terms of accommodation in early June.
I hope the information above was of help. 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.