Spiti valley bike trip itinerary should be planned and implemented methodically for anybody who likes to explore the mountains on two wheels. Nothing will feel better than venturing deep into the Himalayas on your own.
Biking to Spiti is a magical feeling. It will stay with you for a really long period of time. However, to make the most of your journey to this part of the world, try creating an all-inclusive Spiti Valley bike trip itinerary.
I say this because biking in the mountains especially the Himalayas is very different from riding in the plains. It is utmost important that you understand the terrain before planning a trip here. In fact, do a lot of research before planning your trip.
In the current Spiti valley bike trip blog, I will share my itinerary. It will serve as a reference for all fellow riders who plan to explore Spiti in the near future. Also, my adventurous travel experiences to the Indo-Tibet’s middle land – Spiti will be shared with you.
Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
Undertaking a biking trip to Spiti had always been my long lasting wish. So when it finally became a reality, I was thrilled. The first thing I did was understand the terrain and the route. It turned out that pursuing a good Spiti Valley bike trip itinerary was possible via the Manali route.
Now, there are bikers who take the Shimla route as well. But that is not what I wanted to take. However, as a biker you can decide the best route for yourself between Shimla and Manali after knowing both these paths well.
My Biking Trip from Manali to Spiti
“Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations” is the quote that perfectly fits my voyage from Manali to the land of serenity – Spiti. The bike ride to Spiti from Manali is definitely not for the faint-hearted but for adrenaline junkies.
The thoroughfare is narrow and steep. It forges through the frozen streams and small rivers, spreads of asphalts rocks, snow and loose soil. Therefore, the Spiti valley bike trip itinerary should be prepared to keep in mind the terrain and weather conditions.
Before you begin planning your biking itinerary till Spiti, it is important that you understand additional travel information that will assist you as a biker. Therefore, as a way of introducing you the region and helping you with additional tips, let me spell out the following details for you –
Location of Spiti
Spiti is located at an altitude of 3600 metres in the North Eastern part of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh.
Weather conditions of Spiti
Spiti is a cold desert and hence its weather remains chilly throughout the year. It even snows heavily during winters.
Best time for bikers to visit Spiti
If you’re following the Manali route to visit Spiti on a bike, make sure to ride during any time between end of June and beginning of October. This route is shut for the remaining months. If you’re following the Shimla route, again the same time will deem fit for your visit. In the remaining months, it snows heavily and you won’t be able to ride a bike on snow.
Best bike to ride for Spiti
Royal Enfield (350cc and 500cc) or the Himalaya bike (popular as an off-road bike) are good choices for riding with safety till Spiti
Renting bikes till Spiti
There are many shops in Manali renting out bikes. The tariff ranges anywhere between 1500 INR to 2000 INR per day. A token amount of 5000 INR is taken as a security deposit.
Get a carrier attached to the bike to keep your bag pack. Carry at least 3 liters of extra petrol along as the next petrol station after Manali is at Kaza which (200 kilometers from Manali). Also, make sure to cover your backpack with a plastic cover in case it rains.
My Day Wise Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
Now that I’ve spelled all introductory details as a biker, it is time that I share my itinerary with you. It needs to be mentioned here that my complete trip took a good 7 days. Those 7 days were magical. You surely will understand the feeling once you take a biking trip to Spiti from Manali yourself.
Find below the complete list of places that were covered by me on a day-wise basis. I hope that my itinerary helps you immensely in preparing and planning for your own Spiti valley bike trip –
Biking from Manali – my starting point and riding till Rohtang Pass.
Stopping by at Rohtang Pass to enjoy the scenic beauty and grab a bite of Maggie.
Riding further till Batal and stopping by at the Chandra Dhaba.
Camping overnight at Chandrataal Lake after riding 14 Kms from Batal.
Riding back from Chandratal Lake to Batal.
Biking forward from Batal till Kunzum Pass.
Riding past Kunzum Pass and Reaching Kaza.
Sightseeing at Key Monastery by biking till there from Kaza.
Sightseeing at Kibber Village by biking till there from Key Monastery.
Riding back to Kaza by evening.
Exploring the local market at Kaza
Riding a bike till Komic – the Fossil Village.
Riding back to Kaza from Komic Village.
Riding early morning to Pin valley from Kaza.
Exploring Pin Valley National Park.
Visiting Kungri Monastery on a bike.
Riding till Tabo Village and staying there overnight.
Riding from Tabo Village till Sangla Village.
Checking in a hotel at Sangla Village and local sightseeing.
Biking a long way till Shoja Village.
Checking in a home stay and local sightseeing.
Back to Manali after crossing Tirthan Valley and spending the entire day biking.
The above Spiti valley bike trip itinerary was quite a comfortable one. I made my halts wherever needed and went sightseeing as well. The whole point of riding a bike in Spiti is accessibility to places. Therefore, breaking your journey is extremely important.
If you don’t halt at places, not only will you end up being tired but also miss out on some of the most beautiful places in the region. Trust me, you don’t want to skip anything. So, follow a good itinerary and travel plan, make your halts, go sightseeing and even get to know the locals better.
Most places lie on the mainstream route. Others are slightly off grid. But make sure to cover them as well. Do not get bothered by the travel time taken to visit these places because when you ride in the mountains, it does take time. Best thing is to ride consistently and enjoy the magnificent view.
The following map and route describes my journey in and around Spiti from Manali and back perfectly. All the following places were covered by me within 7 days. Have a look –
I will now elaborate on the day wise Spiti valley bike trip itinerary. All the places covered, accommodations bunked in and activities undertaken will be highlighted.
DAY 1 of My Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
I started my voyage early morning at 5:30 a.m in the month of October to avoid any traffic jams. The exhilaration of riding the Royal Enfield through the narrow roads and beautiful landscapes cannot be put in words.
In about 1 and half hour’s time, I reached my first halt i.e. Rohtang Pass. It also goes by the name of Rohtang La in the local language. Rohtang Pass is a beautiful spot with a mesmerizing view, snow-clad mountains and wide blocks of ice.
Besides the scenic beauty, Rohtang Pass also holds strategic importance as it is an ancient trade route between the people of either side of the Pir Panjal range. I stopped there to admire the beautiful scenery and to grab some hot tea along with a plate full of Maggi.
Since I had started off early on an empty stomach, I was quite hungry by the time I reached Rohtang. You too should stop by here and eat something because it will be a while till you find an eating place.
Biking from Rohtang Pass till Batal
After spending about an hour at Rohtang Pass, I continued further on my voyage. There was a slight drizzle as soon as I left. But I was enjoying the ride through the roads in midst of the drizzle.
The drizzle soon came to a halt but the roads got steeper. I rode through the steep loose soils forging the freezing streams and rocks at about 4 degree Celsius. Tired and exhausted I reached Batal and that is where I found this gem of a place the Chandra Dhaba (A Dhaba is a small roadside eating place in India).
The Chandra Dhaba – a small eatery is run by Dorje Bodh and his wife Hishe Chhomo. They are fondly known as Chacha Chachi (Father’s younger brother and his wife are known by this connotation in India) and have been running this place for the past 44 years. They do it just out of love for the travelers. I was lucky enough to meet them personally.
I spent some time at the Dhaba hogging on to some hot rice and dal (lentils) prepared by Chachi. I also had a hearty conversation about their experiences of helping travelers who get stuck during landslides and heavy snowfall.
A visit to Chandra Dhaba is a must just to meet the lovely owners who have acquired legendary status. Listening to them while they share their experience while hogging on to some food is a delightful feeling.
Riding again from Batal to the surreal Chandrataal Lake
After spending some quality time with Chacha and Chachi, I finally left for the surreal wonder of Chandratal Lake. I could have skipped visiting Chandrataal Lake and rode right past to my next stop. But only a fool will skip Chandrataal Lake.
I mean I was just 14 km away from Chandrtaal Lake (Batal is located at a distance of 14 Kms from Chandrataal Lake). So I could possibly not skip it. Hence, I decided to camp here overnight. The road continued to be challenging and uneven but I continued my journey. Finally, I reached Chandrataal at around 4:30 pm.
|Camping options at Chandrataal Lake
There are no villages or people staying around the Chandratal Lake area. So you have to stay at one of the campsites at some distance from the lake. There are around 10 different campsites available near Chandrataal lake whose starting cost is around 1500 INR per head per night. You can book them after even reaching there.
You can check out a few campsites and pick the one that you like as I did. Make sure that the tents are comfortable, well maintained and comprise of hygienic thick blankets enough to counter the freezing cold. You will be served good food in all of the camps and later in the evening, they will light a huge bonfire to warm yourself up.
Chandrataal Lake as a travel destination is gorgeous. Nestled high up in the Himalayas, this natural wonder is fed directly by the glaciers. No wonder, it’s water is so fresh. By the way, the water here changes colour during different times of the day.
Even if you are not a biker, make sure to trek your way up to Chandrataal Lake. I can vouch for the fact that as a traveler, Chandrataal Lake will leave a deep impression on your mind.
|Total distance covered on day 1
Manali to Rohtang Pass – 52.3 Kms
Rohtang Pass to Batal – 61.8 Kms
Batal to Chandrataal Lake – 14 Kms
DAY 2 of My Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
After waking up early and spending some time by the Chandrataal Lake, I hiked back till my camp (that was situated 3 Kms away) and started my journey till Kaza – my next destination. But first, I rode till Batal and from there I biked my way to Kunzum Pass.
Once I reached Kunzum Pass, I was happy that I was getting closer to my destination. However, that was not the case. because it took me around two and a half hours to cover a distance of only 75 km. After, all I was amidst the rugged Himalayan terrain.
I kept riding my bike and finally reached Kaza – the commercial Hub of Spiti and also its headquarter. There are many budget hotels and homestays available around. I checked into this place known as the Nyingma House located in the main market of Kaza. It was a cosy and comfortable room with clean washroom and cordial staff.
I knew for a fact that there were many places to visit near Kaza. Two important ones were Key Monastery and Kibber. Hence, I regained my energy and drove to both these places.
Riding till Key Monastery from Kaza
Riding from Kaza till Key Monastery is a beautiful experience. The terrain is breathtaking. On seeing Key Monastery from a distance, I felt awe-inspired. It looked like built deep into a cliff. In actuality, Key Monastery is located on top of a hill at 4166 meters above sea level. It is the biggest monastery of Spiti Valley and a religious training centre for the Lamas.
Key Monastery is a place where faith meets expedition for travelers. This place will give a very soothing and sedate feeling. You’d want to just sit back, close your eyes and feel the positive vibe around. If you’re interested, you can even stay at Key Monastery and get to know the Buddhist monks’ way of life. I plan to do so next time.
Riding from Key Monastery till Kibber Village
Next stop after Key Monastery was Kibber Village. I kept riding and upon reaching there, the locals told me that Kibber was the highest motorable village in the world. This sounded fascinating since I had reached this highest place.
The infrastructure of the Kibber village is strongly influenced by Tibetan architecture. The houses here are made out of stones instead of mud and bricks. I spent some time strolling down the streets and interacting with the locals and exploring the beautiful village of Kibber.
I rode back to Kaza in the evening.
|Total distance covered on day 2
Chandrataal Lake to Batal – 14 Kms
Batal to Kunzum Pass – 12 Kms
Kunzum Pass to Kaza – 75.1 Kms
Kaza to Key Monastery – 14.6 Kms
Key Monastery to Kibber – 6.6 Kms
Back to Kaza from Kibber – 18.9 Kms
DAY 3 of My Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
I got up a bit late in the morning after too much of beer the last night and decided to explore the local market. You get a wide variety of immaculate quality of shawls and woollen garments. The quality of the products is unmatched. If you manage to bargain correctly, you will get a great deal for a reasonable price.
Riding from Kaza till Komic – the Fossil Village
After exploring the local market, I rode my bike till Komic Village. It was past noon by this time. The place is more like a small hamlet and has a small beautiful monastery. The things that really fascinated me here were the fossils. This place is also known as the village of fossils, by the way.
The villagers tempt you to buy fossils but don’t fall for it as it is illegal to carry them back. I then came back to my place of stay at Kaza, ate dinner and slept.
|Total distance covered on day 3
Kaza to Komic – 18.6 Kms
Back from Komic to Kaza – 18.6 Kms
DAY 4 of My Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
Day four began with me riding straight till Pin Valley early morning. A village by the name of Mud is the last village in Pin Valley accessible by motorable road. Therefore, in order to reach Pin Valley, you first need to reach Mud Village.
Spending time at Pin Valley National Park
Pin Valley National Park is a beautiful Himalayan wildlife reserve. The place has been recognized by UNESCO as well. It’s famous for snow leopards and Alpine Ibex. If lucky you might spot one. I didn’t (since I was here for just over an hour) but you never know you just might if you visit this beautiful place. If you have the time, please stay overnight here.
Riding from Pin Valley National Park to Kungri Monastery
The place I visited after Pin valley National Park was the Kungri Monastery. The monastery is right in between the middle of the desert landscape and behind the monastery flows the Pin river. I spend some positive time here meditating and contemplating life.
Biking from Kungri Monastery till Tabo Village
My last destination of the day was Tabo Village. I decided to visit the Tabo village to just lay back and relax. I stayed at a local small hotel and tried out the local traditional Tibetan butter tea and also the native food. It was amazing. You cannot visit Tabo Village and miss Tabo Monastery. It’s beautiful.
|Total distance covered on day 4
Kaza to Pin Valley – 57 Kms
Pin Valley to Kungri – 23 Kms
Kungri to Tabo – 50.3 Kms
DAY 5 of Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
Day 5 was going to be a long and tedious one because I had to ride all the way till Sangla Village. This village isn’t in Spiti but in the adjoining Kinnaur district.
The journey from Tabo to Sangla village was long and finally, after riding for almost 5 hours, I reached Sangla village and checked into a small hotel known as the Praksh Regency. It was nominal as compared to others and quite comforting.
I then spend the rest of my day visiting the alluring Badri Temple, Mata Devi Temple and Bearing Nag Temples. I also visited the magnificent Kamru Fort which has been embellished out of wooden carving. If you have the time, please visit nearby Batseri Village as well. It’s really beautiful.
|Total distance covered on Day 5
Tabo to Sangla -177 Kms
DAY 6 of My Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
I woke up early the next morning and rode till Shoja Village – my first destination of day six. Shoja lied on the way back to Manali. I checked into a homestay there. This halt was there to take a break and rest my body after hours and hours of long bike rides.
Shoja village is an alluring place with verdant greenery and the chairs and tables around here are made out of tree trunks. I spent the first half of the day relaxing at my homestay. In the evening I just strolled around the village enjoying the lush greenery, fresh air and the calm and composed atmosphere.
|Total distance covered on day 6
Sangla to Shoja – 184 Kms
DAY 7 of My Spiti Valley Bike Trip Itinerary
The next morning was the last day of my trip. I left for Manali passing through the beautiful Tirthan Valley. The ride almost felt like a dream with mountains kissing the clouds, verdant greenery consisting of a long stretch of pine trees.
This was definitely a very difficult goodbye, memories of which will be cherished and relished throughout my life.
|Total distance covered on day 7
Shoja to Tirthan Valley – 23.5 Kms
Tirthan Valley to Manali – 98 Kms
If motorbiking is your passion and adventure is what you crave for then a bike trip to the magical land of Spiti is a mandate. The virgin beauty, great hospitality and a picturesque landscape will leave you craving for more and you will take a part of Spiti along with you and treasure it in your memories till the end.
Now that I’ve shared my Spiti Valley bike trip itinerary and detailed route with you, let me throw some light on the must-carry documents for your journey.
Must Carry Documents Needed for a Legit Spiti Valley Bike Trip
If you need your Spiti biking trip to go smoothly, please make sure to carry the following documents with you at all times.
Required to rent a bike.
Required to get the permit to enter Rohtang pass, the permit is usually easily available but you need to take the permit a day in advance which is available online.
The place you renting your bike from will help you get the permit.
If you’re a foreign national, ensure to carry a valid ID proof with your nationality printed on it.
Permits for Indian nationals
For foreign nationals
Foreign Nationals are required to get the inner line permit (ILP) for visiting places such as Khab, Samdo, Dhankar, Tabo, Gompa, Kaza, Morang and Dubling.
Must Carry Clothes for your Spiti Biking Trip
What you wear is important on this route to avoid you being affected by hypothermia. Therefore, keep yourself warm at all times during the trip.
On the Bike
Leather jackets, knee and elbow pads, round helmets, gloves, comfortable and tough shoes.
During the Stay
Woollen clothes, thermals, gloves and round woollen caps.
In addition to all the above things, do carry medication for treating AMS in case you suffer from it. AMS stands for Acute Mountain Sickness. Dealing with it is important.
The seven days spent on a bike amidst the snow-clad mountains, rugged terrain and gorgeous landscape will always be memorable for me. Spiti is such a serene place that I would surely want to re-visit here again in the future.
Happy wayfaring 🙂
About the Author