Spiti Valley Roads – Opening and Closing Times

by Vargis.Khan

When planning a trip to Spiti Valley, one of the foremost questions that gets asked is whether or not the roads will be open. For the months of Summer, between June till September, everyone knows that all roads are accessible but it becomes a great confusion when planning a trip either in peak winter, or months like October, March or April. Can a trip be planned or not; and if yes then what all areas can be covered; which ones of Spiti Valley roads will be open; these are some of the queries that I would like to answer in the article below. I will list down the roads leading to and within Spiti and provide a timeline on when you can travel on these roads. If you were planning a trip to Spiti then hopefully this explanation should help you decide on the best time to be there.

spiti valley roadsSpiti Valley Roads

There are two roads that you can take to reach Spiti Valley. First one is from Shimla which is also the longer route. Traveling this way will take you at least 2 days to reach Kaza but it remains open throughout the year. Shorter route is from Manali which can see you in Kaza within 7-8 hours but this one remains opens just for a few months in the entire year. Apart from these two, I will also include in the article below some other roads in Spiti or nearby region that get traveled upon often by visiting tourists.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Lahaul Spiti – Complete Travel Guide

Shimla to Kaza Road

This is a total of about 420 kilometers from Shimla to Kaza which takes you from the majestic hills of Shimla, through the lush green of Kinnaur, along the banks of Sutluj to the beautiful barren of Spiti. This road as I mentioned previously in the article remains open throughout the year. In winters, the area around Shimla, Kufri and Narkanda; then towards Nako and until Kaza is the one that receive majority of the snow. There could be a temporary block on the road in the months of January till March but authorities clear it just as soon as they are able to. From April till December, you can travel on this route as per your plan but if going between January and March, it will always be best to find out in advance of any possible extreme weather or road closure due to snow.

Even though the distance is only 420 odd kilometers, it will be extremely hard to complete this stretch in one day, thanks to extremely condition of the roads. In its best condition, it will take you a minimum of 2 days to complete the entire journey; will definitely take longer in the months of winter.

Also read: How to Travel to Spiti Valley from Shimla

Manali to Kaza Road

This is the short and quickest road to reach Spiti valley. Total distance is merely 200 kilometers but the route is the worst one that you would have encountered in your entire life. It will easily take you a minimum of 8 to 9 hours to complete the journey. This road closes sometime in October after it starts to snow at Rohtang and Kunzum Pass. From November till May, the road remains completely blocked and inaccessible. BRO begins snow clearing operation in March and it is only by late May or early June that the road is declared open. So in short, you can travel on this route only from June till early October.

Also read: How to reach Spiti via Manali

Road to Sarahan

This is a small stretch of 18 kilometers that you will turn on if Sarahan was a part of your itinerary. The road bifurcates at Jeori and then it is all the way uphill and a steep climb to Sarahan. Usually this road remains open throughout the year but Sarahan receives quite a lot of snow in winter season. So it is possible that if you were visiting in winter; then the last few kilometers near Sarahan will not be open for vehicles. From March till December the route remains open completely. In January and February, it may be temporarily blocked until authorities are able to clear the snow.

Road to Kalpa

This is another 10 odd kilometers of stretch that you will bifurcate on near Reckong Peo. Leaving the main highway, you will first drive up to Reckong Peo and then continue uphill until Kalpa. Peo is the headquarters of Kinnaur district and thus, this entire stretch remains open throughout the year.

Also read: Spiti Circuit Route Guide and Road Map

Road to Chitkul

In order to reach Chitkul, you will leave the main highway at Karcham; cross over the dam to its other side; and drive about 43 kilometers while crossing Sangla on the way. Road conditions are mostly bad throughout and while the road till Sangla remains open throughout the year, the last few kilometers until Chitkul get completely blocked by snow in winter season. Between April and December, you can visit Chitkul anytime but cannot reach here from January till March.

Pin Valley Route

Another 35 kilometers long road that bifurcates from Shimla – Kaza route near Attargo bridge. This road remains open throughout the year unless heavy snow causes a temporary road block in winters. After your cross the bridge over at Attargo, it is all a dirt trail until Mud Village. The road however is not too badly broken. As a matter of fact, you can easily cover Kaza to Mud and back to Kaza in a single day.

Also read: How to Plan a a Trip to Pin Valley

Kibber – Komik – Langza – Hikkim

The road towards these small villages from Kaza gets completely blocked during peak winter. From April till December, it remains open but receives heavy snowfall in the months of Jan and Feb. If you were planning a winter trip to Spiti, then it is best to not drive on this route on your own. You can hire a 4×4 cab from Kaza to cover these villages.

Road to Chandratal

This stretch is only open when Manali to Kaza road is open. From November till May, this road remains completely closed. You can only plan a trip to Chandratal between June and October.

Also read: How to Plan a Trip to Chandratal

Conclusion

I hope the information above on Spiti valley Roads 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.

Related Articles

42 comments

Avatar
Sarthak Mittal August 23, 2019 - 3:39 am

Hey Varghis,
Awesome work on the site man. Being the one stop shop for himalayan travel. Thanks a lot.

With the recent increase in landslides and cloudburst, do you have any update on the road statuses?
Would self drive be too risky in Sept first week? We would want to be safe, even if we need to postpone a couple of weeks. What do you suggest?
Really welcome genuine advice.

Thanks,
Sarthak Mittal

Reply
Avatar
Siji Krishnan August 8, 2019 - 8:10 am

Dear Vargis

Can you help us for getting the update about manali to kaza road access we are planning for trip in August 13 2019 for a trip to himachal

Aritsar-Kullu-Manali-Solang-Kaza-Tabo-Nako-Kalpa-Sarahan-Rampur Bushahr-Narkand-Shimla-Chail-Barog-Chandigarh

Please help us and provide your valuable suggestion

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan August 8, 2019 - 12:54 pm

It is open Siji. You are OK to go.

Reply
Avatar
aniket kalra July 25, 2019 - 11:27 am

So i can travel to spiti in the month of December by road from delhi on my car roads are open right ?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan July 25, 2019 - 6:22 pm

Yes you can.

Reply
Avatar
Satheesh Kumar B July 15, 2019 - 5:47 am

We are visiting Kaza from Manali on 27th August for 6 days, including Chandrataal. All transportation and stay arranged by Mr. Jamaica. He asked me to pay some advace. Is he reliable?

Reply
Avatar
SUMIT SINGH May 29, 2019 - 2:45 pm

Hello Vargis Bhai, first of all thanks for all the details you have provided to plan an trip to spiti valley.

I would like to ask few questions:-

1.) Is Manali – Spiti road is open now ?,because we are planning to visit Spiti via Manali on 2nd or 3rd of June

2.) If i choose to visit spiti via shimla then can i rent bike from pooh or any intermediate stop between Shimla and Kaza ?

3.) If we rent an Bike then does we need to take permit to reach Spiti valley via Manali or Shimla (any path)?

4.) And if Manali – Kaza road is closed, can we visit chandratal lake via Shimla ?

Thank you in Advance.

Reply
Avatar
Anshul June 1, 2019 - 4:49 pm

My question is some what same. I am planning to Visit Spiti on 15th June’19. I will start my Journey from Manali by rented bike, the Circuit is Manali-Narkanda-Sarhan-Kaza-Chandratal- back to Manali. But I have read on internet Kaza-Manali will open probably 15-20th June. Due to this I am in doubt and confusion about my itinerary and route. Also availability of camps at Chandratal.

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan June 1, 2019 - 7:52 pm

When are you crossing Kaza-Manali stretch? If after 15th then it will probably be open by then.

Reply
Avatar
Ravi Sharma May 25, 2019 - 8:21 pm

Sir Ji Hindi Mai bta Sakte ho ?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan May 26, 2019 - 7:04 am

Bilkul bata sakta hoon Bhai .. puchhiye kya puchhna hai

Reply
Avatar
Amit Singh March 29, 2019 - 9:29 am

Hello Vargis,
I was planning to visit Spiti valley on bike from Delhi in May end or June starting. I want to cover the complete trip within 7-8 days. Please suggest an itinerary.

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan March 29, 2019 - 12:39 pm Reply
Avatar
S Singh August 31, 2018 - 11:05 am

Hi ! I am planning a budget trip to Kaza. I am planning on leaving Delhi on Oct 16, 2018 evening. Will I be able to visit Chandrataal and camp there? Planning to go via Manali. Also, is public transport reliable during this season? I shall not be hiring any vehicle. I am backpacking with a friend, so is it okay if we do not pre-book stays and negotiate while we halt impromptu?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan August 31, 2018 - 2:00 pm

It all depends on the weather but camping at Chandratal will not be possible by mid October. Bus service from Manali to Kaza too would definitely have stopped. If the road remains open then you can look for shared cabs from Manali.

Reply
Avatar
puran choudhary August 24, 2018 - 10:19 am

Hello Vargis bhai, thanks for your valuable comments and advised for my BaralAcha La Paps trip last year, thanks a lot. This time we are going to Spiti Valley on 31st AUG 2018 via road with our EcoSport with 4 friends including me. Please suggest, itineary and best route and any suggestions for carefully drive and things to remember. We will go through shimla – rampur – tarp road. Please do suggest – Thanks every body is waiting for your valuable reply.

Reply
Avatar
Arnab Koley August 5, 2018 - 6:25 pm

Hi Mr. Khan,
We are planning to go simla-manali-kaza-kalpa-sangla-simla in mid of March 2019.

How we could go Manali to Kaza in that time?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan August 6, 2018 - 12:48 am

Hello Mr. Koley – You cannot do Manali to Kaza in March. That road will remain closed until May.

Reply
Avatar
Arnab Koley August 6, 2018 - 3:11 am

simla-manali-kaza-kalpa-sangla-simla
We are planning for this route.
Please suggest how we can plan this route..!!!

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan August 6, 2018 - 3:19 pm

You cannot do Manali to Kaza. You will have to plan it like Manali – Shimla – Sangla – Kalpa – Kaza – Shimla.

Reply
Avatar
Lalit Nahata July 23, 2018 - 12:06 pm

Hi
Can u please recommend or make iternary for 6 night 7 days Himachal Tour starting from 12/10/2018.
From & To New Delhi only.

Reply
Avatar
Lalit Nahata July 23, 2018 - 12:31 pm

I want for Himachal diff places which can be covered in 6 nights 7 days…. & not specific Spiti as i m a first time traveller to Himachal

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan July 23, 2018 - 12:52 pm

Himachal is huge. Which part of Himachal do you want to cover?

Reply
Avatar
Lalit Nahata July 23, 2018 - 1:30 pm

Hilly areas…… Wanna explore scenic beauty

Avatar
Avanthika July 11, 2018 - 4:52 pm

Hi Varghis,

This is such a good work and it all seems to be so informative and useful 🙂 Keep it up.

I’m Avanthika basically from Chennai and currently working in Bangalore.
I’m planning to travel from Sep1 to Sep9. I want to utilize this ten days at fullest. I thought of taking up a solo trip but due to safety issues I’m planning to travel with my younger brother. If you don’t mind, can you give your contact number to discuss further as I want to frame an entire plan by seeking your advise else you can give me an itinerary on how to cover these places.

Regards,
Avanthika

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan July 12, 2018 - 2:05 pm

Hi Avanthika – Thank you for your kind words. How will you be traveling to Spiti and from where? Not sure if you have or not but for a 10 days trip, do take a look at this article please.

https://vargiskhan.com/log/spiti-valley-in-10-days/

Reply
Avatar
Shubhranshu Mishra June 17, 2018 - 5:30 pm

Also I plan to this bike trip alone?….Is it possible or should I have another travel person with me?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan June 18, 2018 - 2:02 pm

You can do it alone.

Reply
Avatar
Shubhranshu Mishra June 17, 2018 - 5:28 pm

Hi Vargis,

I plan to to travel from Manali to Kaza and back to Manali in 4 days

My plan is:

June 26: Manali to Kaza
June 27: Sight seeing
June 28: Sight seeing
June 29: Kaza to Manali

Few queries I had:

1) I will travel from Kasol to Manali on June 26, how do I find a good rented 350cc bullet?
2) What will be approx. security deposit, bike rental per day, fuel cost per day?
3) What will be the approx living expsense in Kaza for 3 nights?
4) What kind of medicines should I carry?
5) What locations would you recommend in 2 days around Kaza?
6) Can I do Chandrataal on June 29 while coming back to Manali?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan June 18, 2018 - 2:01 pm

Hi Shubhranshu,

1. Call Parvez in Manali at 9318646559. He rents motorcycles in Manali and will provide you with one.
2. Talk to Parvez. Give my reference and he will provide you with reasonable rates.
3. Hotel rent will be about Rs. 1000 per day. Rest depends on you.
4. Nothing
5. Visit Kibber, Komik, Langza, Hikkim on Day 1 and Pin Valley on Day 2
6. Yes

Reply
Avatar
Saikat Bhattacharya June 12, 2018 - 9:26 am

Hi Vargis,
We were planning to visit Chandrataal from Manali on 18.10.2018 (i know its late but due to holiday constraints)..will it be feasible to stay at the camping sites at that time? What are chances that we may not be able reach Chandrtaal at all at that particular time?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan June 12, 2018 - 1:29 pm

It all depends on the weather. It can snow anytime in October so there is a high chance that the road may get blocked completely, hard to predict right now. Camp sites usually remain operational around mid October but check before you go.

Reply
Avatar
Paramvir Singh May 25, 2018 - 8:20 am

Hi dear Vargiz, please advise as regards camping, if we take our own camp gear, along the road from shimla till kaza?
we would be leaving by 26th May, your early reply would be helpful to us

Reply
Avatar
Sunil Sharma May 18, 2018 - 9:48 am

Hi Vargis,

We’re group of 7 people and planning to visit spiti via manali-rohtang-kunzum by our own SUV (Delhi Registration) on 25th of may. We’ve contacted SDM office manali and they are saying the road is still closed. Can you please guide us if we should take the shimla route or manali route would be open by that time?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan May 18, 2018 - 1:15 pm

Hi Sunil – Yes the road is still closed for tourists. I will recommend that you reach Kaza from Shimla. Hopefully by then the Manali Kaza road will open and you can take it for journey back home. If not, then you can just turn around and head back to Shimla.

Reply
Avatar
Adil Randeria May 12, 2018 - 5:24 pm

Vargis ur information seems to be very useful. We r Intrested in Lahaul spiti tour by our own car. Is it possible from 3rd of June 18 onwards.

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan May 12, 2018 - 8:57 pm

Hi Adil, Thank you and Yes it is definitely possible.

Reply
Avatar
Kathan Gandhi May 4, 2018 - 3:09 am

Then would you recommend pre-booking the hotels and the car for the tour, if eventually upon reaching the road is found to be closed?

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan May 4, 2018 - 5:01 am

Do not prebook anywhere. Just reach your destination, find a hotel per your liking and check in. Plenty of options available en route. You are also going early in the season so there will not be much tourist rush too so you will easily find a place to stay.

Reply
Avatar
Kathan Gandhi May 3, 2018 - 11:03 am

Hello Vargis,
I have been attempting to get your opinion since past 4 days, but I could not find a way to do so. I have already emailed you and also applied to be a part of your community forum. We are a family of 3 adults and one child aged 12 years, whereas one child and one adult have motion sickness, but we are willing to travel to spiti, I want to seek your opinion about the below mentioned itinerary that I have prepared after due research.

22/5- Day 1: Delhi to Narkanda: 420 kms (9 Hours)
23/5- Day 2: Narkanda and Hatu Peak
24/5- Day 3: Narkanda to Chitkul: 184 km (5.5 Hours)
25/5- Day 4: Chitkul Sangla Kalpa 65 kms (2 Hours)
26/5- Day 5: Kalpa-Nako-Tabo 160 kms (4.5 Hours)
27/5- Day 6: Tabo-Dhankar-Pin Valley 65 kms (2 hours)
28/5- Day 7: Pin Valley- Kaza (3 Hours)
29/5- Day 8: Kaza and around
30/5: Day 9: Kaza and Around
31/5: Day 10: Kaza to Chandra Taal ( 105 km ) 3 hours Over night in a camp nearby
1/6: Day 11: Batal to Manali 6 Hours
2/6: Manali
3/6: Manali Overnight drive to Delhi

Furthermore, one ambiguity that is arising herein is the fact that, would the route to chandratal as well as the camps there be open during the the dates I plan to visit that place? Very short time is left hence your prompt reply would be appreciated.

Thank You

Reply
Avatar
Vargis.Khan May 3, 2018 - 6:49 pm

Hello Kathan,

Your itinerary is all good except for Narkanda to Chitkul. That is a bit too long a journey because of bad roads. I will recommend doing it in two days. Narkanda to Sarahan and Sarahan to Chitkul. Rest is all good.

Kunzum and Chandratal should be open by May end but considering the bad weather at Rohtang these days, it is really hard to predict right now.

Reply

Leave a Comment