Yippee…. you are planning a trip to the stunning Spiti Valley. You won’t be disappointed. Incredible scenery of Spiti is going to mesmerize you. Spiti is not only the home to mind-blowing nature but also includes Tibetan culture, historic stone villages and ancient monasteries.
Most people travel to Spiti in winters due to their passion for adventure and snow drive. The best time to visit Spiti valley is May to September.
Can one visit Spiti in March?
March is the best time to travel for endless snowbound vistas in Spiti Valley. You should be well prepared well for the ice age like climate. The trip to Spiti during this time period can turn out to be a nightmare.
Important facts while being in Spiti in March
Temperature & Cold Conditions
Spiti is called cold dessert, the temperature in March in Spiti Valley varies from 0 to -10 or -15 degree Celsius. The wind chill will make it feel even lesser.
Limited Staying options
During winter, most of the hotels are closed in Spiti Valley. You will find traditional homestays and small open guest houses for stay. You should carry your sleeping bag and camps in case there is any emergency. Sleeping bags are also useful while staying at homestays you don’t like or not provided the bedding by the hosts.
Limited eating options
Eating options during this period are less in Spiti as many places remain shut down in winters. Fresh raw vegetables and fruits are not available in shops. Restaurants and ‘dhabhas’ remain closed. You will be able to get basic simple food cooked at the homestays. A few local eating joints may remain open in the main town like Kaza. You should carry some packed food with you while travelling to Spiti and the places around.
Clothes to Carry
Because of hard winter conditions in Spiti Valley, it is important to carry many layers of heavy woolen clothes to get comfortable in that chilling atmosphere.
Here is a list of clothes one should carry while travelling Spiti.
- Heavy woolen, windproof jacket and clothing
- fleece jacket, heavy woolen
- Woolen monkey cap
- Inner thermals
- Woolen socks and warm hand gloves
- Warm insulated shoes or trekking shoes
Water and toilet Availabilities
Due to freezing cold conditions the water is frozen everywhere in Spiti in This period. You will not find any running water in pipes and hence, in the toilets. You will have to use dry pit toilets.
Be mentally prepared for Roadblocks
While planning a road trip to Spiti in winters, have some buffer days in hand several places might be closed due to heavy snowfall. You should be ready with extra clothes, eatables and money for such conditions. Some of the roads to nearby high altitude villages will be closed during winters which you could visit in summer season.
vehicles skid on the roads due to ice, so It is advised to start the day as the sun comes out and you face less ice on roads.
No complete Spiti circuit in March
Road from Manali to Kaza will be closed due to heavy snow at Kunzum & Rohtang Pass. So it would not be to make a complete Spiti circuit in March. This road remains closed in the winter months from November to May.
Lakes are frozen
Do not include the lakes in Spiti Valley like Chandratal, Dhangkar and Sopona as they will be frozen and not reachable. You should visit these lakes only in the summer season.
Buses will be available from Shimla to Reckong Peo, Kaza and Kibber. Sometimes the roads are blocked, but the buses run regularly.You may need more days if you plann a trip to Spiti Valley by public transport.
Challenges with Cars & Bikes
Due to hard icy conditions your vehicles will not perform optimally in Spiti during winters. The diesel in the supply pipes & even in the tanks might freeze. In case of emergency there will not be any mechanic easily available for your vehicle, so make sure you have some basic knowledge of repairs.
Diesel or Petrol availability might be limited during this time. It is advised to carry the spare fuel on a trip to Spiti Valley in the winter season.
Snow Leopards and other wildlife
Be ready to spot Snow Leopard and many other wild animals even on the road sides and valleys in winters in Spiti Valley.
Breathtaking Snowy views
Amazing snowy vistas of Spiti in March will make you feel out of the world. All the pain and struggle to reach this valley will vanish with its first sight.
You will experience great joy and excitement in the lap of nature that you will remember and cherish forever.
The trip to Spiti Valley in March requires both physical and mental strength. It’s certainly one of the most adventurous journeys that you will ever take to the Himalayas.