Spiti Valley Cycle Tour
Trip Type: Cycling
Region: Kullu, Lahaul and Spiti
Duration: 10 days
Max Altitude: 4551m
Batch Dates: Custom Trips Only June - Oct
Spiti Valley Cycling Trip Overview
The Spiti valley cycling tour is unique in the sense that you get to experience some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world, witness remote cultures, explore 1000 year old monasteries and ride through some of the remotest and highest villages in the world. Who knows you may even run into a snow leopard along the way. Spiti valley is the last bastion of Buddhism that still feels like a place frozen in time.
We begin our Spiti valley cycling tour from Manali in the Kullu valley. We will cross Rohtang pass and descend into the Lahaul valley. We will ride to Chandratal lake and spend a day exploring around this awe inspiring lake and soak in the energy of the landscape. From here we will cross Kunzum pass and enter the Spiti Valley.
From our camp at Hansa we continue on a trail that very few riders or commercial operator explore or offer. Mostly because most operators who focus on commercial trails are rarely riders themselves or even care little to update their offerings when new roads come into existence. Anyways coming back to our trail of the day we will ride past the beautiful meadows of La darcha to reach the village of Chichum and then onwards we will ride past Kibber, the 1000 year old Key monastery and reach the highest motor able village in the world Komic. From Komic we will ride through the Lingthi and cross Demul to ride past another 1000 year old monastery of Dhankar and Reach Tabo which is also a 1000 year old monastery. From Tabo we will return to Kaza where we will end our Spiti valley cycle tour.
This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek.
Spiti Valley Cycle Tour Detailed Itinerary
Day 01: Manali.
The participants arrive in Manali. Take the day to get acclimatised with your bike and for last minute preparations.
Day 02: Manali - Marhi (3400m)
Duration: 5-7 hours
The journey starts from the smooth roads of Manali. We take a series of hairpin bends to leave the Pine and Deodar forests surrounding Manali, cycle through the villages of Palchan, Kothi and Gulaba to reach the alpine meadows at Marhi - the base of the Rohtang Pass. Camp here for the night.
Day 03: Marhi - Chatru (3400m)
Distance: 50 km
Duration: 6-7 hours
We start the day with a steep climb to the top of Rohtang Pass at nearly 4000m. The descent from the pass is the beginning of the mix of metalled and unmetalled roads that we go on for the rest of the trip. The road forks at Gramphu, one goes to Leh and the other leads to Spiti. We follow the Chandra river here on to reach the camping grounds at Chatru.
Day 04: Chatru - Chandratal (4110m)
Duration: 8-9 hours
We continue to ride along the Chandra river and pass numerous nallas on the way, including the infamous Pagal Nalla. The road today offers expansive views of the Chandrabhaga mountain range as we make our way to Batal. We leave the highway at Batal and start the journey to Chandratal. The lakes emerald waters are surrounded by gravelly mountains. On a still day, view the reflection of the surrounding mountains on its clear waters. Camping at the lake is not allowed. We camp a few kilometres away and spend the evening at the lake.
Day 05: Chandratal
Take the day to explore the area around Chandratal. There are a few smaller waterbodies around the bigger lake. Spend the day hiking around or relaxing in the sun by the lake.
Day 06: Chandratal - Kunzum La - Hansa (3700m)
Duration: 7-9 hours
Our hardest day on the trip. We start the day from Chandratal by making our way up to Kunzum Pass at 4551m. We spend some time at the pass soaking in the views of various glaciers and mountains from here. Kunzum Pass is the gateway to Spiti. Make our way downhill to Hansa village cycling along the Spiti River. Enroute we will pass Losar where there is a police checkpost and also there are a few shops and guesthouses in the village.
Day 07: Hansa - Chichum (4200m)
Distance: 50 km
Duration: 7-8 hours
We begin our day from our camp at Hansa and ride along the highway for 2 hrs. At some point we veer off the main road and get on a smaller road to reach the picturesque Chicham village.
Day 08: Chichum - Komik (4500m) via Kibber and Kee Monastery (3900m)
Distance: 38 km
Duration: 7-8 hours
Today we continue on to the highest village in the world, Komic. Overnight at Komic. The highlights of the day are – the highest bridge in Asia – the 120m long bridge that connects Chicham and Kibber villages. Kibber village is home to the iconic Kee Gompa. We stop for a visit and meet with the monks of the monastery. We descend from Kibber to the main highway and cycle on smooth road for a very short distance before leaving the road again to get onto the dirt trail going up to Hikkim village and onward to Komic. Komic at over 4500m is claimed to be the highest village connected with a motorable road.
Day 09: Komic - Tabo (3280m)
Distance: 65 km
Duration: 6-7 hours
Today we will ride via Demul and Lingthi villages to reach Tabo. Most of our riding will be downhill. Enroute we will also cross the 1000 year monastery of Dhankar. We will stop at Dhankar for a while to get some photos and then continue our ride to Tabo. Tabo is nestled in an idyllic setting – a calm little village with a great vibe, set amidst a beautiful and ancient monastery also 1000 years old.
Day 10: Tabo to Kaza (3800m).
Distance: 48 Kms
Duration: 6-7 hours
Today is the last day of our ride. We will head back to Kaza our ride today is mostly uphill along the highway. Once we get to Kaza you can check into your guest house. You can choose to spend a few days in Kaza exploring Spiti valley. Or you can drive back to Manali or Shimla.
- Camping Tents, Kitchen tents, Sleeping bags (Holofill) and Carry mats.
- Nutritious, high-calorie, vegetarian food.
- Guide, cook and camp helpers.
- Logistics Vehicle like tempo traveller to carry all our equipment.
- Participants are not expected to carry any loads other than your personal knapsack containing water bottle,camera and trail layers.
- Two people will be accommodated in one tent.
- Hotel accommodations in Manali on Day 1 in a budget hotel.
- All expenses of personal nature like drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
- Food in Manali and Kaza
- Medical and evacuation expenses, we strongly recommend purchasing a suitable insurance cover.
- Mountain bike. (You could get your own cycles or could also rent from us.)
- Accommodation in Kaza on Day 9
- Good quality waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Balaclava (thick fleece)
- Sun hat
- Cycle mitts
- Warm gloves - mountaineering gloves (waterproof outer, fleece inner) are good.
- Mid-weight fleece top
- Cycling tights (looser, "trackster" fit rather skin-tight lycra),
- Long sleeved shirt
- Travel trousers
- 2 wicking tee-shirts (synthetic or merino wool)
- Cotton tee-shirt for around town
- Long sleeved thermal top
- Thermal long johns
- 2-3 pairs underwear
- 2-3 pairs of standard socks
- 1 pair warm sock
- Cycling shoes, e.g. SPD's, if applicable (bring spare cleats)
- Trekking shoes and climbing shoes
- Flip-flops, Crocs or Sandals to wear around camp.
- Main bag - soft shell duffle bag to be kept in the logistics vehicle.
- Day Pack 15 - 20 lts - You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.
- A bike helmet
- Dark glasses (the sun is very strong),
- A couple of spare passport photos photocopies of key documents. e.g., passport (data and visa pages),
- travel insurance policy
- Toiletries - Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper
- Repair Kit (needle and thread).
- Headlamp/ Torch.
- Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottles 1 litre each.
- Plastic Packing covers.