If you think about it, there can never really be a direct answer to the question of the best time to visit Kalpa. Why? Because it will always depend on several factors like your preference, mode of travel, budget, and weather conditions. Not just Kalpa, but it actually applies to every tourist destination there is. When to go will always depend on what you seek.
With that being said, the months from April to June are considered to be the best time to visit Kalpa Kinnaur. But will this time suit you as well? Read on to find out.
Please note that in this article, I am only going to talk about the best time to visit Kalpa. For more details like how to reach, what to see, where to stay, and other necessary tips, please take a look at How to Plan a Trip to Kalpa – A Complete Travel Guide.
Kalpa is a quaint little hamlet in the Kinnaur Valley of Himachal Pradesh. It is located at a distance of 220 kilometers from Shimla and about 3 kilometers ahead of Reckong Peo, the headquarters of Kinnaur Valley. At an altitude of 2,960 meters (9,710 ft), the place is best known for its stunning natural beauty and an amazing view of the imposing Kinner Kailash peaks.
Apples are a major cash-crop for the region. The apples grown here, known as Kinnauri apples, are considered among the best in the world. The entire town in fact is surrounded by dense forest and apple orchards. Tourism in recent years has also been on the rise and every year, the number of people visiting Kalpa increases significantly.
Weather of Kalpa
Due to its high altitude, the weather of Kalpa remains pleasant throughout the year. It is never hot here and even in the months of May and June, you will need blankets in the night and light woolens during the day. Winters here are long and summers very short. The entire region receives a significant amount of both rain and snow each year and you will surely have to look at the weather forecast before planning your trip.
Kalpa in January
January is when Kinnaur Valley gets buried under a thick sheet of snow and turns into a winter wonderland. Places like Sarahan, Chitkul, Sangla, and Kalpa receive a lot of snow each year and become a favored destination for people wanting to see snow.
With that being said, this is when the temperature here is at its lowest. The average temperature in January remains around 0°C maximum and -10°C minimum.
It is a good time to go for people wanting to see a live snowfall. You will have to bring heavy woolens, warmers, a windproof jacket, gloves and boots for a trip in January. If the weather turned extreme, all the snow may even block the roads for a few days.
Kalpa in February
The average temperature in Kalpa in February will range between 2°C maximum and -10°C minimum. It is another good month to plan a trip if you wanted to see snow. Chances of a snowfall remain throughout the month. The weather will remain cloudy and foggy and you may not be able to get a clear view of Kinner Kailash at all. If there was a lot of snow, the road between Peo and Kalpa may even get closed.
Kalpa in March
All the snow starts to melt during early March and is mostly all gone by the end of the month. The average temperature will rise up a little to 7°C maximum and -5°C minimum. It snows in Kalpa even in March but both the frequency and intensity will reduce by each passing day. Chitkul also may open by March-end so it is a good time to plan a winter trip. Even if you did not find snow in Kalpa, you will surely find it in Chitkul if the road opened.
For a trip in both February and March, you will need to bring your winter gear including heavy woolens, warmers, a heavy windproof jacket, gloves, caps, etc. Another thing to note is that the hotel availability in winter months also decreases so it would be wise to book your stay in advance.
Kalpa in April
April marks the beginning of the Spring season. The average temperature will go up to 10°C maximum and 0°C minimum. It will still be cold but chances of snowfall in April are extremely rare. The entire region starts to open and prepare for the tourist season ahead. It is a good time to visit if you just want to enjoy the pleasant weather. All of the tourist places in Kinnaur Valley will become accessible in April. You will need to bring heavy woolens for a trip in April as well.
Kalpa in May
The average temperature in Kalpa in May ranges between 15°C maximum and 5°C minimum. It is one of the best months to visit Kalpa. The weather will be very pleasant, with moderately warm days and pleasantly cool nights. You will get a clear view of the Kinner Kailash peaks and the roads will be all open. It is a good time to go if you were planning a family trip. In terms of clothes, regular cottons, a few light woolens, and a heavy jacket will do.
Kalpa in June
The weather will continue to get warmer with the average temperature in June rising up to 18°C maximum and 8°C minimum. The weather will be very enjoyable, making it another great month to visit the place with your family.
Please note though that May and June is the time when Kalpa receives the majority of its share of tourists in the year. With summer vacations on in the school, you will find a lot of families not just in Kalpa but also in nearby places like Narkanda, Shimla, and Sangla Valley. The hotel prices in these months will definitely shoot up and make things difficult for a budget trip.
Kalpa in July
Kinnaur Valley starts to receive pre-monsoon showers towards the end of June and the following months of July and August belong to the monsoon season. It rains a lot here; enough to cause landslides and block roads. Sometimes the rain can continue at regular intervals for days, trapping you indoors and ruining any sightseeing plans.
Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Shimla
Both the intensity and frequency of the rain increases as July progresses. You must think twice before planning a trip this month and if you must, do it in the early part of the month.
July is also the warmest time of the year. The average temperature will range between 22°C maximum and 10°C minimum.
Kalpa in August
The rains continue throughout August, making it another bad month to visit. The temperature will range between 20°C maximum and 10°C minimum. Since the number of tourists in the valley is limited at this time, the hotel prices will also be a little low which makes it a good time for a budget trip. But with that being said, please take a look at the weather forecast and road conditions before you leave home.
On a positive side, Monsoon is the time when you will get the best of the views anywhere in the Himalayas. The mountains will look as if they have just been washed clean and covered with a carpet of green. The landscape will turn heavenly and if photography was on your mind, this is the time to go.
Also Read: How to Plan a Trip to Thanedaar
Kalpa in September
September is my favorite month to visit Kalpa. Monsoon will be all gone but will leave plenty of greenery behind. You will get really amazing views in the entire Kinnaur Valley. It may still rain at the beginning of the month but not that much.
The temperature will drop down a little to 18°C maximum and 8°C minimum. For a trip in summer and monsoon season, you can bring your regular cotton clothes, a few light woolens, a heavy jacket and that will suffice. Make sure that your jacket has a hood to protect your head and face. If not, you should also wear a cap and muffler.
Kalpa in October
October marks the arrival of the autumn season. All that was green in September will now turn orange, giving a magical golden touch to the valley. September and October are great months for photography. If you were into trekking, the October and the following month of November is the best time for you.
The weather will mostly remain dry with temperatures ranging between 12°C maximum and 3°C minimum. Winter starts to settle in by end of the month and it will start to snow in the upper reaches of the valley.
Kalpa in November
November is overall a bad month to visit unless you were into trekking. The scenery at this time is very dull and dry. The temperature will drop further down to 5°C maximum and -2°C minimum. So yes, it will be terribly cold and there won’t even be any snow around.
Also Read: How to Plan a Winter Trip to Kinnaur
Kalpa in December
It can snow anytime in December in Kalpa but it mostly does after the 15th of the month. The temperature will range between 3°C maximum and -8°C minimum at an average. A lot of people plan their winter trip to Kalpa in December, to celebrate both the Christmas and New year here in the valley. Since it is the winter season, you will have to pack all heavy woolens and thermals for the trip.
Best time to visit Kalpa
Now based on the information above, I believe it is safe to say that the months of May, June, and September are the best months to visit Kalpa. The weather will be pleasant and stable and will suit the majority of the tourists. This is also the best time for a family trip.
But if you wanted to see snow, then a trip in January and February will be best. You can find snow in March as well but the chances will be very less.
For photography, September is the best time to visit. If you were on a strict budget, plan a trip in July, August, or November but only if you are ready to risk the rain. Otherwise, plan only in November.
For a bike ride, you should plan in April to June or in September and October. You must avoid both the monsoon and winter season if on a motorcycle.
If the budget was not a problem and you wanted to visit an offbeat destination, you can visit Kalpa any time of the year; except for the monsoon season.
Best time to visit Sangla Kalpa Chitkul
If you wanted to include Sangla and Chitkul as well in your trip, you will have to avoid the winter season. Chitkul remains inaccessible between December to March. You may be able to reach Sangla but definitely not Chitkul.
Best time to visit Kaza Kalpa
If you wanted to also cover Kaza, then a trip should be planned between April to June and September to November. Monsoon should be avoided and the winters in Spiti Valley are even colder than Kinnaur. For more details, please take a look at How to Plan a Winter trip to Spiti Valley.
Best season to visit Kalpa
Summers are definitely the best season to visit Kalpa.
Kalpa in Winter
Winters in Kalpa are harsh and extremely cold. As you can imagine from the information above, you will really need to prepare yourself well for surviving the trip. Pack well and also keep a few buffer days in your itinerary so that in case you got stuck, you will be able to afford it. You must always look at the weather forecast. You should also call in advance at the hotels to inquire about the stay, road stats, and weather conditions.
I hope the information above on the best time to visit Kalpa was of help. If you have any questions or need any other details, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be glad to answer.