Kinnaur lies to the north of Shimla in Himachal Pradesh. A national highway runs through Kinnaur to Spiti. Visitors can enter the area west of the road without any permits. There are spectacular trekking routes in the Ropa Valley, Sorang Valley and Hangrang Valley. Around the eastern valleys of Baspa, Tirung and Shatul rises Leo Purgiyal (6,791m). There are many other peaks above 6,000m here. Kinnaur’s architecture, people and customs attract tourists and trekkers.


Spiti is the most barren of the trans-Himalayan areas. In the east, the highest peak is the defiant Gya (6,794m). The Shilla (6,132m) stands proudly above this valley. The deep gorges of Ratang, Gyundi and Khamengar valleys lie in the west. No permits are required for trekking here as all approaches to Spiti from the north are free of restrictions.


The lovely dales of Kullu have historically been a trekker’s paradise. The region is a major attraction for those who prefer to climb difficult but low peaks. The Dhauladhar and Bara Bhangal ranges tower above the valleys. The passes in these ranges allow for challenging treks at high altitudes. The Manimahesh Lake, located at the foot of the Chamba Kailash, is a famous pilgrimage destination. The Great Himalayan National Park near Kullu offers a wide variety of trails and is home to unique flora and fauna. For those who want to embark on inter-valley treks, the Pin-Parvati trek is an excellent option. The trail goes from the Parvati Valley in Kullu to the Pin Valley in Spiti over a high pass. The crowning glory is not only the strikingly different culture, but several peaks such as Papsura, Dibibokri Pyramid and Indrasan. Kullu has a lot to offer to the casual trekker as well as the serious climber.


The area north of the famous Rohtang Pass is known as Lahaul. It has been open to trekkers and mountaineers for many years now. The Manali-Leh Highway passes almost through the centre of Lahaul. Other roads lead to the eastern valleys (across Kunzum La to Spiti) and western valleys (to Udaipur and Pangi Valley). These roads have reduced the approach time, making Lahaul a more accesible destination. The Karcha Nala trek has trails leading to Spiti over passes; Chandra Tal is a spectacular lake that some consider to be the highlight of Lahaul. Treks across Tempo La or visits to Kulti can be very rewarding.

The best area to trek in Lahaul is perhaps Pangi. Its three valleys—Sersank, Sainchu and Miyarare home to several trails. Moreover, apart from Miyar, the valleys have not seen many trekkers.

Trekkers in the Great Himalayan NP
Trekkers in the Great Himalayan NP

Around the Bara Shigri Glacier are peaks such as Kullu Pumori (6,553m) and Shigri Parvat (6,626m). Towards its north, the Chandra Bhaga group has peaks like Minar (6,172m) and Akela Killa (6,005m). There are other peaks here that are of roughly the same height. Phabrang (6,172m) and Mulkilla (6,517m) are the chief draws on the western side of the glacier.


This is the area west of Lahaul along the Chandrabhaga river (see p275). It is known as Chenab after it enters Kishtwar. The region has deep valleys such as Dharlang, Umasi La and Warwan. To climbers, it offers treats like Brammah I (6,416m), Brammah II (6,425m), Sickle Moon (6,574m) and Hagshu (6,300m). It is a highly chal-lenging but interesting area. Political turmoil had once made the region quite unsafe, though the situation has improved in recent years.