Himachal Pradesh Treks
Treks near Manali and Kullu Valley
This is a beautiful area to trek in and there are some outstanding mountain peaks and great views. The altitude goes between 2000m and 3500m and treks in this area are a good way to get acclimatized for higher altitude treks in Lahaul or Zanskar.
Manali is a good place to use as a base, as there are many travel agencies that organize treks. It is easy enough to arrange your own trek and many guides and porters work out of Manali. The tourist office and the Mountaineering Institute are good sources of information on treks in the area. For longer treks, guides are essential because none of the maps are totally reliable.
The best season to trek is from mid-September to mid-October, when the weather is good and the sky is clear. May and mid-October to mid-November are also good, but by the end of November it is very cold. From mid-June to the beginning of September there is the risk of freezing rain or snow, which can be potentially fatal. One girl told me that she and her friend almost died during a freezing rainstorm in this area when their tent filled up with water while they were sleeping. Afterwards they had an enjoyable two-week trek.
You can take a bus up to Rohtang Pass, 31km from Manali, and then walk down (off the road) in a few hours.
Trek to Beas Kund
There are some good views of 6000m high mountains along this trek. It begins in the village of Palchan, which is a half-hour bus ride from Manali. You then walk to Solang, which has a guesthouse, and then continue on to Dhundi. On Day 2 the path is harder to see and walk on. It takes around 5 or 6 hours to get to Beas Kund, where you camp out. You can then take a one-day hike to Tentu La Pass (4900m) and back. It takes one day to descend back to Manali.
Jagatsukh to Deo Tibba
This is a fairly hard trek to the base of Deo Tibba (6000m) that takes four or five days. The trek begins in Jagatsukh, 12km south of Manali. On Day 1 you walk to Chika. On Day 2 you walk to Serai. From there you can go to a ridge where you can get a good view of Deo Tibba. You can also go to Chandra Tal Lake. From Serai it takes around a day to return to Jagatsukh.
Naggar to Jari via Malana
This is a nice trek that has some good scenery. It can be done quickly in three days. You need a guide, because the path to Malana is not easy to follow and he can also help in Malana because of the strict social customs there. Ponies can not make the descent to Parvati Valley because it is too steep. Porters can be hired in Naggar through the Sheetal and Alliance guesthouses or in Manali.
On Day 1 you first walk to Rumsli and then you camp there. On Day 2 you go over Chandrakani Pass (3650m), from where there are some great views. From the pass it is a 7km walk down to the village of Malana. On Day 3 it is a steep walk down to the bottom of Parvati Valley to Rashol. From here you can follow the river to Manikaran or walk 3km to the village of Jari.
Manali to Lahaul over Hampta Pass
Day 1 begins at Prini, 5km south of Manali and goes to Sethen (5 hr). Day 2 goes to Chikha (5 hr). You may want to stay here for a day to acclimatize. On Day 3 you go over Hampta Pass (4300m), which is a really hard walk. From the pass there are great views of Lahaul in the north and the peaks of Deo Tibba and Indrasan. On Day 4 it is another hard walk to the bottom of the Chandra Valley to reach Chatru. From there you can head towards Rohtang Pass or head towards Bara Shigri, the world’s largest glacier.
Dharamsala Area Trekking
There are several treks to take in the Dharamsala area mainly going over the Dhauladhar Range. Some passes are over 4500m. To do treks in this area you need a guide and porters. The Mountaineering Institute on Dharamkot Rd rents equipment and can arrange a guide. You need to bring your own food with you, and it is best to bring your own tent. The best time to trek is from late August to late October. During the monsoon it can rain, which makes it hard to get around, but the area and the meadows look nice.
Dharamsala to Chamba via Indrahar Pass
This trek takes about five days and can be tough in places. It is the most popular route between Dharamsala and Chamba. Day 1 begins at Dharamkot and goes 10km to Triund. There is a forest guest house there that should be reserved in advance at the Forest Office in Dharamsala. On Day 2 you go either to Illaqa Got or to Lahesh Cave. On Day 3, it is a fairly difficult ascent to Indrahar Pass (4360m), from where there are great views north to the peaks of Pir Panjal and the Kangra Valley. You then descend past waterfalls to the village of Kuarsi. Day 4 is a six-hour walk to the village of Macchetar, from where you can catch a ride to Chamba or Brahmaur.
Routes over the Dhauladhar Range
Several other routes go over the Dhauladhar Range from Dharamsala to Chamba. One route begins in Tang Narwana (10km from Dharamsala), and goes over the Taral Pass (4570m). Another route takes four or five days to go over the Bleni Pass (3700m). The hardest route goes over the Bhimghasutri Pass and takes five or six days.
Bashleo Pass Trek
This is a four or five-day trek beginning in Rampur and going to Banjar via the Bashleo Pass. It is a fairly gentle path, and there are forest guest houses along the route, so a tent is not necessary. The trek goes through several villages, including Sarahan, Bathad, and Bandal.
Palampur District Treks
This is a scenic area for trekking. There are no trekking companies in Palampur, so you should organize guides, porters, and necessities in Dharamsala.