State: Spiti, Himachal Pradesh to Ladakh.
Rated as high on adventure, Parang la is the most famous trek route of Spiti. This remote trail follows the traditional trade route between the people of Spiti, Changthang, and Tibet. Parang la is a connection between the Spiti valleys to parts of Ladakh. At the Spitian side of Parang la, the river Parilungbi flows. You encounter a variety of landscapes, changing every day. Right from Spiti’s steep gorges and stark desert environs, the landscape opens to become the high Tibetan plateau which makes up Ladakh. After days of trekking over the mountains, the journey ends at the breathtaking Tsomoriri Lake – truly a photographer’s paradise.
Trek Months – June to October
Day 1: Kaza — Dumla (22km/4hrs)
This day you will start with a drive to the Kibber Village at 4205m from Manali (18km). Kibber village is one of the highest inhabited settlements in India. Before the trek, don’t forget to visit the famous Ki gompa which is just 10 km. The trek starts from Kibber to Dumla which is an easy walk. The Gorges of Spiti are known for being surprisingly difficult and hard – going. Slowly cross these gorges to approach your first campsite at Dumla.
Day 2: Dumla — Thaltak Meadow 4875m (7kms/5hrs)
This day you will be approaching the green beds of Thaltak through a descend to the gorge bed followed by a steep climb towards the pass. The Thaltak campsite has not only the wild scenery but erratic temperature in store for you. With deep gorges reflecting sunlight from the walls of the gorge, the temperature rises up quite a bit.
Day 3: Thaltak — Jagtha — Bonrojen 5180m (14kms/7hrs)
With long strenuous trek through Jagtha, you will gain considerable altitude at Bonrojen, the day 3 campsite. From Thaltak, you approach Jagtha, 8kms away at 15,700ft. Take a short break here and have yours on route lunch. From here, you proceed towards 6kms further to Bongrojen at 17,000ft.
Day 4: Bongrojen — Dak Karzong 4940M (10 kms/5hrs)
Time to cross The Parang La. Start early in the day. This day you are in store for spectacular views of Spiti valley and Changthang Valley from the pass. Parilungi, the conical peak, is the first Ladakhi peak visible from Spiti. The final 4 km is a steep 2-hour climb to Parang La at 18,300 ft. You get to experience and pass through the traditional trade route between Ladakh and the Spiti valley. From the pass, you descend to the source of the Pare Chu river. Once you have crossed the pass, you encounter dramatic landscape change from steep gorges to broad plains.
You camp at Dak Karzong @ 4940m.
Day 5: Dak Karzong — Datang Yongma 4725M (12kms/5hrs)
Get ready for Open valleys for the coming 3 days. The trail to the next camp is fairly well-marked along the left bank of the Pare Chu. You will be trekking to Datang Yongma @ 4725m. It’s a 12km long trek.
Day 6: Datang Yongma — Chumik Shilde (16kms/5-6 hrs)
Plan and start early today to avoid the strong winds post afternoon. Follow the trail to Racholemo (14000 ft.) further to Norbu Sumdo (14400 ft.) to Chumik Shilde; your campsite for the day. You will be covering a distance of 16kms throughout the day.
Day 7: Chumik Shilde — Tso Moriri 4510M (14kms/5hrs)
Long walks across the plains to the southern edge of the oval-shaped Tso Moriri at Kiangdom. You will encounter kiangs (wild Tibetan asses) roaming around freely. Here, the lake breaks into several channels creating a vast wetland which makes for an excellent breeding ground for several rare species of birds. Wildlife Photographers, you are in for a treat here! Camp at Tso Moriri – 4510m. For more adventure, try a dip in the lake!
Day 8: Tso Moriri — Karzog 4527M (15 kms/6-7hrs)
Continue walking along the shore of Tso Moriri. One of the best views of the trek is in store for you today. Tso Moriri lake with Lungser Kangri (6666m/21,871ft.) in the background is a treat for the soul. Do not underestimate the 15km long walk to Karzog with a post afternoon wind attack. Keep up the energy levels with the much-needed energy bars for the tiring day ahead. At Karzog, you can visit the ancient monastery, where the Changpas roam the pastures with their flocks of pashmina goats and still live in yak-skin yurts.
Day 9: Karzog — Leh (213 kms/8-9 hrs)
Long Drive to Leh through the Mahe Bridge with memories of a lifetime in the heart.
Altitude: 4950m, over 18300ft.
Temperature: From late August the temperatures start falling slightly every day. Late June to mid-August the temperature is warm, snow line has receded uncovering ice near the passes, green grass is at every campsite and also in between, flowers bloom.
Trek Duration: 9 days
Trek Season : June to October
Base Camp: Kaza
How to reach Basecamp:
Kaza is the capital of Spiti Valley. From Manali, Drive for 7-8 hrs over Rohtang La (3975 M) and Kunzum La (4590 M) and reach Kaza. On route, you will witness the variety of landscapes. From lush green forest, you will open to meadows and move on to encounter barren moonscape as you approach the cold deserts of Spiti.
Stay overnight at Kaza for acclimatization. At Kaza, you can visit Langza, Komic & Hikkim villages- you must take small walks around these villages for a rural experience and to aid your acclimatization.
Nearest Airport / Rail line / road connectivity:
If approaching through Manali, Delhi is the nearest airport.
If approaching through Ladakh, Leh is the nearest airport.
From Delhi or Leh, buses and shared vehicles are available to Manali. Drive down to Kaza (Basecamp) from Manali.