Spiti Valley Camping
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Spiti Valley Himachal Pradesh

A paradise for trekking and camping lovers, Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh welcomes you with long winding roads and stunning views of the cold desert and snow-clad mountains. Enclosed by the Himalayas, Spiti Valley is at an altitude of 12,500 feet above sea level and is mostly covered in a thick layer of snow in most parts of the year. This makes the valley only accessible for mostly six months or less and enhances the adrenaline rush amongst the trekkers who like the adventure.

The term ‘Spiti’ means ‘middle land’ as the valley separated India from Tibet. Spiti Valley is very scarcely populated which makes it an ideal spot for exploring the rough yet exquisite terrain trough several trekking trails and to camp amidst the natural beauty. All the treks start from Kaza, Spiti’s capital, where you can set up your basecamp and enjoy the stunning view of the Himalayan ranges. While exploring the valley, witness the Buddhist monasteries, glimmering lakes and streams, temples, and chat with the village people to have an experience of a lifetime.

Camping in Spiti Valley

If the idea of travelling while indulging in adventurous experiences and spending the night under the starry sky sounds thrilling to you, then Spiti Valley might just be the place for you. The idea of staying inside the tents in the middle of a breathtaking valley surrounded by perching hillocks, rocky terrains, and clear skies is one of the best experiences you can have. You can choose from several camping spots in the valley from where the sight of snow-capped Himalayan ranges is breathtaking along with the sprawling valley in front of you with streams, lakes, and crisp air.

There are many small towns and villages in the ever peaceful Lahaul-Spiti Valley for camping or you can camp in the secluded areas if you need some tranquility. But if you are traveling alone, then it is advisable to camp out near small settlements that are safe but also away from tourist crowds. There are some permanent camping sites like Palla Ecotourism Camping Site and Juniper Valley Camps that offer you with their own tents and equipment and engage the visitors in activities like trekking, river crossing, rock climbing, and group games like tug-of-war, treasure hunt, etc. You can also get your own equipment and build your tent in the remote areas of the valley, saving yourself a big chunk of money.

Spiti Valley is one of the most favored destinations for camping among the daring trekkers and tourists because of the stunning landscape and the challenges the terrain offers. The weather can be very harsh so make sure you get acclimatized for higher altitudes and then head up for higher camping.

Camping Spots in Spiti Valley

  • Narkanda: If you are carrying your own tent gear, Narkanda is a great place to camp as it has a large meadow which serves as a ski area during winters. You will have to walk a few meters to get there, at some distance from the settlement. There are no existing campsites here, so you will have to take your own things.
  • Sangla: Sangla has some existing campsites if you are not carrying your own tent. It is an inhabited area so you might have to make sure you are camping on someone else’s property. You can set up a camp near the Baspa River here.
  • Chitkul: This is a small village where you can find many secluded places to camp and has a stunning location. You can get your own tent or book with the existing camp sites.
  • Nako: This village appears to be in the middle of nowhere and has plenty of space to set up a camp. Because the villages do not allow to set up camps nearby, you will have to find a spot to pitch your tent at a distance. There is also a campsite in Nako near the lake where you can book your slot as well.
  • Chandratal: One of the best and famous places to camp in Spiti Valley, Chandratal is a wetland reserve and camping on its bank is prohibited. All the campsites are at a distance but totally worth it. You can also set up your own camp here and enjoy the stunning view of the lofty mountains and the sprawling barren land.
  • Batal: Batal has two kinds of campsites available – first is a popularly Dhaba which offers dormitory type accommodation and the second is the tent set up by the Dhaba owner near the Chandrabhaga River. Camping here is a thrilling and fun experience and there is also a Dhaba nearby for you to buy snacks.
  • Chhatru: Chhatru is another popular campsite which offers Chadar tent/ Dhaba where you can get a bed for the night.

Things to Do While Camping in Spiti Valley

Camping in the nearly uninhabited area of Spiti Valley is a soul-searching activity where you can be one with the nature and unravel the secrets of your heart. While camping here, you can indulge in trekking to various lofty peaks which might last for days and you will get a chance to sleep under the starry sky every night. The largest camping ground in Spiti Valley is Chandra Tal where you can get camps with facilities of hot water, meals, doctor, and a professional guide.

Other activities in which you can indulge while camping are:

  • Mountain biking
  • Trekking
  • Bird Watching
  • Wildlife Safari the wildlife park
  • Exploring the Buddhist culture and monasteries
  • River Rafting

Places to Visit in Spiti Valley

  • Chandratal Lake: A crescent shaped lake which is one of the two hgh-altitude wetlands of India designated as Ramsar sites.
  • Key Monastery: A Buddhist monastery housing Buddha idols in the Dhyana position along with a collection of murals and ancient books. It is also an education centre for Lamas.
  • Kunzum Pass: One of the highest motorable mountain passes in India and offers a 360-tdegree view of the Bara-Shigri Glacier (second longest glacier in the world).
  • Pin Valley National Park: A wildlife park home to several rare species of Himalayan snow leopards and their prey, the Ibex.
  • Suraj Tal: A lake below the Baralacha Pass with a dream-like and photogenic view.
  • Dhankar Monastery and Lake: A Buddhist monastery nestled on a cliff between Kaza and Tabo and the lake is 5km from the monastery which offers a serene view.
  • Kibber: A small village surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and barren landscapes and is known amongst the mountain bikers.
  • Baralacha Pass: The pass serves a joining point between Ladakh and Lahaul and looks over three valleys which meet at a height of over 16,000 feet.

Best Time to Visit Spiti Valley for Camping

Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh remains frozen with very harsh winters for nearly six months. The summer months from May to October is the best time to visit, although the two months of monsoons are advisable to avoid as safety precautions.

How to Reach

  • By Air: The nearest airport to Spiti Valley is Kullu’s Bhuntar Airport at 54km away. The airport does not connect all cities of India so you might have to book a flight from Shimla Airport as well.
  • By Rail: Shimla is the nearest train station to reach Spiti Valley and Chandigarh railway junction is the most preferred railhead at 330km away.
  • By Road: You will have to take the road to ultimately reach Spiti Valley and buses or personal vehicle are the only way. Buses are available from Manali, and you can take your own vehicle as well.
Spiti Valley Camping

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Why is Spiti Valley so famous?

Spiti Valley is known for its natural beauty and cultural heritage which manly comprises of the Buddhist culture. It is known for its monasteries, stunning landscape and views, and for adventure experiences such as trekking, river rafting, and camping.

Is there oxygen problem in Spiti?

The oxygen is indeed thin in Spiti Valley, especially during the night. But if you keep yourself hydrated with small sips of water, it should not bother you much and maintain your health before planning a trip to Spiti Valley.

Does internet work in Spiti?

Some networks such as Jio work in Kaza and some nearby villages and have internet connection. However, the speed of the internet might be very slow and not like that in cities.

Is permission needed to camp in Spiti Valley?

No, there is no permission required to camp or trek in Spiti valley for Indian nationals but foreigners need to have a permit.

Can we take small cars in Spiti?

Yes, small cars can also be driven around in the area if you drive carefully because some areas or roads can be rough.

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