The current Zojila Pass Road status is CLOSED. The road was declared closed after heavy snowfall at Zojila in October and November. For now, you cannot travel across Zojila until May next year. The road may get open in early April, depending on the weather, but to be on the safer side, you should only plan your trip either in late April or early May at the earliest.
After the road opens, in the early days, the traffic is controlled and allowed from one side only on alternate days. What it means is that if the traffic was allowed from Sonamarg on Monday, vehicles from Kargil will be allowed on Tuesday. Then Sonamarg on Wednesday, Kargil on Thursday, and so on.
The pass remains closed on Fridays for all kinds of vehicles for maintenance work. So if you are traveling to Leh or Kargil anytime soon, please plan your itinerary accordingly.
To organize your trip to Ladakh, book a taxi, rent a bike, or get the best hotel rates, you can contact Kunal @ 9910402252. From luxurious hotels to budget stays, he can help get you the best rates possible. Take a look at the video below to see the road condition at Zojila Pass and for more information.
Zojila Pass Current Status = CLOSED
From Srinagar to Sonamarg is a smooth drive. After Sonamarg, the ascent for Zojila starts and the first 10 kilometers are on a good road. As you start climbing up and get closer to the top, the road starts to deteriorate. It will be badly broken with several water streams on the way and a lot of heavy traffic.
Until Zero Point, which is about 2 kilometers from the top, the road will remain to be bad. After Zero Point, it is in excellent condition all the way to Dras and Kargil.
What makes the drive across Zojila a little difficult is not actually the bad road but the heavy traffic. The road is in fact quite wide. It is bad but wide enough. It is the traffic and the long line of trucks that make the drive tougher.
How to Plan a Trip to Zojila Pass
There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind while planning to visit Zojila. The first is the Friday rule and the second is Zojila Timings.
Zojila on Friday
Zojila remains closed on Friday for road construction and maintenance work. But this rule is mostly applied to bigger vehicles like trucks and buses.
If you were traveling on a bike or in a car, you would be allowed to go even on a Friday. You will be stopped by the cops and they will refuse to let you go. But you will have to talk to them a bit, request and after a few refusals, you will be allowed to proceed.
The benefit of crossing Zojila on Friday is that the traffic is next to none. You will not find any trucks and the drive becomes much easier, taking you less time to complete.
I always plan my trip in a way that I cross Zojila on Friday. It is just that you will have to be a little persuasive and talk to the cops. They usually let the bikes and the cars go. Trucks and Buses are not allowed until the latter part of the day, after 2 pm.
In the early days, after the pass has been declared open, traffic from Sonamarg is allowed after 7 am, and traffic from Dras is allowed after 10 am. So if you were driving from the Sonamarg side, try to start at 7 am.
This way, you will cross the pass before the traffic from the other side is released. If you were coming from Dras, reach the check-post by 11 am. By that time, the traffic from Sonamarg would stop.
Srinagar to Sonamarg Road Status = OPEN
The road between Srinagar to Sonamarg is currently OPEN and the hotels in the valley are also open to tourists. For more details, take a look at the Best time to visit Sonamarg.
When will Zojila Pass Open?
The opening of Zojila Pass entirely depends on the weather and how fast BRO can clear the snow. But historically, it is the month of April when the pass is freed of snow and declared open for civilian traffic. There have been instances when the pass was opened in March as well but chances of that happening are extremely rare.
To be on the safer side, do not plan a trip to Zoji La Pass before April 15th. If the weather does not favor it, the opening of the pass can sometimes even get delayed to May 1st week.
When will Srinagar to Sonamarg Road open?
The road between Srinagar and Sonamarg remains closed during the peak winter season. In the months from December to March, the road is only open till Gagangir. The stretch between Gagangir to Sonamarg remains completely snowed out.
Historically, Sonamarg is declared open for tourists sometimes towards late March to early April. First, the Sonamarg road is freed of snow and then Zojila Pass is declared open. To be on the safer side, do not plan a trip to Sonamarg any earlier than late March.
The name Zoji La literally means the “mountain pass of blizzards” and quite rightly so. It is the most difficult stretch on the entire Srinagar Leh highway and it is because of Zoji La that the Leh route remains closed during the winter season.
The pass sits at an altitude of 3,528 meters (11,575 ft) and is a popular tourist attraction. You can find snow at the top of the pass even during the months of summer due to which a lot of people visiting Sonamarg also take a trip to Zoji La Pass.
In all my years of traveling, I have been on numerous passes. But one pass that still makes me a little nervous while crossing is Zojila. I think it is because other than being a high-altitude pass, it is also a very crowded road that sees heavy traffic.
When the pass is open, the road remains busy with tourist vehicles, trucks, buses, and ongoing construction work. I think this also is the reason that among all the high passes that I know of, Zojila sees the highest number of accidents and fatalities.
Best time to visit Zoji La
The best time to visit Zoji La will be anytime between May to October. However, even in these months, you should avoid visiting between late June to August because of the monsoon season and Amarnath Yatra time.
Zojila Pass Permit
There is no permit required to visit Zojila Pass. When can you travel entirely depends on Zojila Pass Road status and the weather.
When does Zojila Pass Open?
Below is a month-by-month breakdown listing months when the pass is open or closed.
- Zojila Pass in January = CLOSED; cannot be reached by road.
- Zojila Pass in February = CLOSED; cannot be reached by road.
- Zojila Pass in March = CLOSED; cannot be reached by road.
- Zojila Pass in April = Closed in the first half of the month but open in the latter half.
- Zojila Pass in May = Open but terrible road conditions. It will also be crowded because of people traveling to Leh Ladakh.
- Zojila Pass in June = Open but the region starts to experience pre-monsoon showers by the end of the month. It will also start to get crowded due to the Amarnath Yatra pilgrimage.
- Zojila Pass in July = Open but a bad time to visit because of the monsoon. Extremely bad road conditions at the top of the pass.
- Zojila Pass in August = Open but a bad time to visit because of the monsoon. Extremely bad road conditions at the top of the pass.
- Zojila Pass in September = Open; and a good time to visit
- Zojila Pass in October = Open but the pass starts to receive snow towards the end of the month.
- Zojila Pass in November = Open but a bad time to visit. It can snow anytime causing the roads to get blocked.
- Zojila Pass in December = CLOSED
Sonamarg to Zojila Pass Distance
The distance between Sonamarg and Zojila Pass is 23 kilometers.
Sonamarg to Zero Point Distance
Zero-point is actually located a few kilometers from Zojila top, towards Kargil. Coming from Srinagar, the total distance to the zero point will be about 105 kilometers. From Sonamarg, the distance is about 27 kilometers.
Sonmarg to Zojila Pass Taxi Fare
A private taxi from Sonamarg to Zojila Pass will cost you Rs. 5000 for a route trip. There are no shared cabs available though.
Zojila Pass Road Status – Conclusion
I hope the information above on Zojila Pass Road Status was of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below. You can also contact me on Instagram to chat with me live or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.