Spiti Valley in May 2017 - Please advise on itinerary

#1 Apr 25th, 2017, 17:26
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  • vs.harsh is offline
#1
Hi Indiamikers,

I am planning a trip to HP - Kinnaur and Spiti areas on May 2017, from 4th - 13th May. I will be accompanied with my wife, and we want this trip to be a combination of road trip, and some sightseeing. Below is the itinerary, would be great to get some feedback:

Day 1: Chandigarh - Narkanda (Overnight stay at Narkanda)
Day 2: Narkanda - Chitkul
Day 3: Hang around in Chitkul
Day 4: Chitkul - Nako (Overnight stay at Nako)
Day 5: Nako - Mud
Day 6: Hang around in Kaza, may be visit Losar, Kibber, Komic, etc.
Day 7: Kaza - Kalpa (Overnight stay at Kalpa)
Day 8: Kalpa - Narkanda
Day 9: Narkanda - Chandigarh

It seems Kaza-Manali route might not be open early May, hence the plan is to retrace route to Chandigarh.

I plan take a Ford Ecosport self drive from Chandigarh. I haven't had experience of driving by myself on Himalayan roads before, hence will of course play cautious for our safety.

1. Are the stops along the trip structured reasonably? I have not factored road conditions, though from my experience in Ladakh, have kept daily distance to less than 200 kms each day. Is there a certain stretch in the itinerary, which might be difficult for a day?

2. Is Ecosport a good enough vehicle to scale these roads? I read about necessity of 4WD on some blogs, not sure if Ecosport might make the cut.

3. Considering the dates from 4th - 13th May, are there chances of encountering snow on the route?

4. Except for Chitkul and Mud, where we plan to camp, the rest overnight stays are in hotels. Some recommendations for good, non-ripoff hotels would be extremely appreciated. Homestays are even appreciated.

5. I've been spooked by certain travelogues on road conditions. In case someone recently completed the trip, any updates on conditions of Karcham-Sangla road and Malling Nullah? Are there folks I can contact to check on road status? Any pointers would be extremely helpful.

6. Anyone had experience of taking a Zoomcar on this circuit, or perhaps Ladakh? Do there generally maintain vehicles well enough for there extreme roads?

Awaiting responses, thanks !
Sometimes, it's better to travel than to arrive.
#2 May 5th, 2017, 21:18
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  • 8thFrog is offline
#2
Did you choose to skip Chandrataal on purpose?

Ford Ecosport can take a good beating in this journey from Day 2 to Day 7, if not in good condition. Go for something more rugged like scorpio. The road at some places is nonexistent.

The night stops are reasonable. However, due to road conditions, you will not be able to cover more than 100 - 120 km per day, which is what you will be doing per plan. After visiting Spiti, Ladakh roads will seem like 8 lane smooth highway.

The Nullahs start appearing on the last leg of the journey, and if you know the tactics to cross, you will not have much trouble. Remember that Nullahs take might as the day approaches towards dusk so plan accordingly. Also, again ecosport might not be a good option if you keep nullahs in mind.

Reaching Kaza and visiting Key, Kibber in the same day will not be possible. So keep an extra day if you want to visit Key, Kibber. Also, Losar is en route to Kaza and Kalpa comes first in the circuit.

Hope this helps.
#3 May 5th, 2017, 21:40
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  • snotty is offline
#3
Well the OP is already on the trip if he has stuck to his schedule.. Let us see if he can relate to what you say when he returns..
Sar Pass Trek , Rohtang, Munnar, Badrinath Kedarnath, Vaishnodevi, Goa
#4 May 5th, 2017, 22:10
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  • 8thFrog is offline
#4
Whoops missed out on the dates. Why do i feel on the wrong end of the gun all of a sudden.

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