Lamkhaga pass trek is a 90 km long trail passing through remotest valleys of Kinnaur(lower & upper Baspa) & Garhwal. The 5300m high altitude pass is a classic crossover curtailing a 480km road distance between Chitkul village of Kinnaur & Harsil village of Gangotri to just around 90kms. It was first crossed by Marco Pallis in 1933. The trek is also known as Chitkul to Gangotri or Harsil to Chitkul trek.
Lamkhaga Pass Trek
There are two entry routes from Chitkul in Baspa valley into the Kyarkoti valley of Harsil. One on the south-western side of Lamkhaga is Chotakhaga pass, which is slightly lower in altitude than Lamkhaga pass. It is called Chotakhaga – an acronym for a shorter pass. ‘Chota’ means shorter & ‘Khaga’ means pass. It offers a shorter(route cut short by around 10 km) but grueling climb & strenuous traverse to Harsil. The route from Chotakhaga meets the Lamkhaga trail at the upper Kyarkoti valley.
Lamkhaga, on the other hand, is a long traverse. Lamkhaga here is an acronym for a long route pass. Lam for long & Khaga for Pass. It’s a 5300m high altitude mountain pass with a corniced ridge & near-vertical slopes both sides.
The pass is surrounded by Cirques and vast snowfields of Baspa glacier & Jalandhari Gad glacier of Uttarakhand. Jalandhari Gad is a right-side tributary of the Bhagirathi river. Lamkhaga, Nela pass, and Chunsakhaga pass lie on the same ridge.
Lamkhaga, Chotakhaga(Nela pass) descend into Kyarkoti valley along the Jalandhri Gad river whereas Chunsakhaga pass descends into Nelang(also pronounced as Nelong) valley along Chor Gad river near Indo-Tibet border. Due to border proximity, a trekking permit is mandatory for all these passes.
Till the Spring months(April & early May), the valley of upper Baspa of Kinnaur & Kyarkoti of Harsil remains thickly carpeted with snow and traversing the Baspa & Jalandhri Gad snowfields & glaciers get notoriously difficult. The trek is doable from the 3rd or 4th week of May month. The beautiful route takes you through some of the most remote areas of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, like the Jalandhari Gad valley that is covered with flowers, post-monsoon.
Which Lamkhaga trek?
The trek leading up to the Harsil in Gangotri Valley is one of the most popular treks starting from Chitkul. It is known by various names, which can be a little confusing.
To be clear, these:
- Chitkul – Gangotri Trek
- Chitkul Trek
- Chitkul – Harsil trek
- Harsil – Chitkul trek
…are all the same trek!
How Difficult Is Lamkhaga Pass Trek?
Though the difficulty level is a relative attribute, the following factors qualify Lamkhaga Pass for the most difficult trek in Himachal Pradesh.
- Near vertical incline from Lamkhaga snowfields to the pass summit.
- Long stretches of the glaciated route.
- Boulder-strewn zones
- More than 90km long trail
- Crossing high flowing ice-cold waters of Baspa river.
The rains during monsoon season in Harsil & Kyarkoti valley often cause unwanted delays in reaching the next campsite. Harsil is famous for Wilson’s Cottage that was built in 1864. Gangotri is a short drive from Harsil, while Chitkul is the last village in the Sangla valley. The Lamkhaga pass trek offers a panorama of diverse landscape that includes
- Ranikanda meadows
- Boulder-strewn terrain
- Baspa glacier zone
- Baspa Glacier Snout
- Meadows and small glacial lakes of Kyarkoti in Harsil valley.
What does Lamkhaga Pass Trek Cost?
Cost estimation is based on the number of factors like the group size, pick-up place(Chandigarh/Shimla), and add-ons needed(like backpack offloading, accommodation before and after the trek & drop off point(Dehradun/Delhi). The price typically range between 25K to 35K/head in INR. Drop an email to avail group & early bird offers.
Our fixed departures for 2020 is scheduled for May 25th, September 1st, and September 15th. We can arrange a customized trek if the dates are not suiting your plan.
|Difficulty level:||Moderate to Challenging|
|Best Time To Trek:||May to September.|
|Trek Distance:||Around 90Kms|
Brief Itinerary of Lamkhaga Pass
- Day #1: Shimla – Chitkul village
- Day #2: Chitkul – Nagasthi –Rani Kanda
- Day #3: Acclimatization day
- Day #4: Rani Kanda – Dumti
- Day #5: Dumti – Gundar
- Day #6: Gundar – Lamkhaga Pass Base Camp
- Day #7: Lamkhaga Pass Base Camp – Basecamp II
- Day #8: Basecamp II – Lamkhaga Pass – Basecamp III
- Day #9: Basecamp III – Kyorkati
- Day #10: Kyorkati – Harsil
This 10-day Lamkhaga trek itinerary commences from the beautiful village of Chitkul in Sangla or Baspa valley of Kinnaur, Himachal & ends at Harsil (Gangotri region, Uttarakhand) through some of the remote regions, usually not accessible for the civilians.
Day 01: Shimla – Chitkul
Reception at Shimla, have breakfast and drive to Chitkul via Kufri and Narkanda. Reach Sangla village by late afternoon. Explore the Baspa valley and have dinner at Chitkul. Overnight stay in Chitkul in guest house/ village homestay.
Day 02: Chitkul – Nagasthi – Rani Kanda
Chitkul is the last village in Baspa valley and is located on the true right bank of the river. The valley of Sangla is 26 km from Chitkul and is very beautiful and one of the best in Kinnaur. We start the trek from Chitkul and trek up to Rani Kanda. Dinner and overnight stay in tents in Rani Kanda.
Day 03: Acclimatization day
Today we take rest in Rani Kanda and acclimatize ourselves. We can relax and explore the surroundings.
Day 04: Rani Kanda – Dumti
Today we trek through and cascading waterfalls and flowery meadows to reach Dumti. Dinner and overnight stay in tents in Dumti.
Day 05: Dumti – Gundar
Start the day from Dumti and trek up to Gundar. We follow the Baspa River all along and cross several small streams along the way to reach Gundar.
Day 06: Gundar – Lamkhaga Pass Base Camp
It could be a tough day depending upon the snow conditions and so an early start is recommended. The climb is steep and may require some technical gear. Dinner and overnight stay in tents at the base camp.
Day 07: Lamkhaga Pass Base Camp – Base camp II (Kinnaur)
Today we trek from the base camp to the base camp II on the Kinnaur side. The climb is steep and on snow. We start early because at times it might take longer than expected.
Day 08: Base camp II (Kinnaur) – Lamkhaga Pass – Base camp III (Gangotri)
Today we start our final ascent to the Lamkhaga Pass and we cross the mountain pass and get over to the base camp on the Gangotri side. The climb is steep and might require technical gear.
Day 09: Base camp III (Gangotri) – Kyorkati
Today we descend down from the base camp to Kyorkati at the mouth of the glacier which is a meadow. We pitch our tents here and camp for the night.
Day 10: Kyorkati – Harsil
The final leg of the trek is through very beautiful and through thick forests, numerous waterfalls, and unnamed streams. We finally reach Harsil and rest for the night in the village homestays or tents. The next morning we depart for Uttarkashi.
- All arrangements for overnight stays during the trip.
- Camping & Climbing gear.
- All food expenses.
- Food will usually consist of morning breakfast, lunch, evening high tea, and dinner.
- All food will be vegetarian.
- Trained & certified guides who have long experience in handling emergency situations.
- Local guides and workers with in-depth knowledge about the local area.
- One luggage per person will be transported by us.
- Inner line permits and arrangements en route will be arranged by the operator.
- All stays and lodging on a twin sharing basis shall be provided.
Lamkhaga Pass Intermediate Camp-site (4650 Mtr) – Kinnaur (Himachal Pradesh)
Lamkhaga Pass Intermediate camp-site is a very high altitude camp-site with views of 3 passes of Jalandhari Gad Valley – Chhotkhaga Pass, Dudhiyan Pass & Lamkhaga Pass, Huge snowfields & Extremely scenic snow slopes of Kinnaur valley.
This campsite is a new camp-site altogether because Raacho Trekkers never camped in this campsite before, either they camp at Lamkhaga Pass Base or Advanced camp-sites before attempting Pass. Since our team is full of energy & able to trek at a good pace on the 4th day, we went a little ahead of 2 Kms. from Lamkhaga Pass Base camp-site where we supposed to camp. This camp-site comes between Lamkhaga Pass Base & Advanced camp-site from the Kinnaur side.
As per the trek crew, Chhotkhaga & Dudhiyan Pass were almost impossible to cross since it’s difficult terrain.
Lamkhaga Pass Trek Route Maps
FAQs About Lamkhaga Pass Trek
By Road: A few ordinary (non-AC) Himachal State Transport (HRTC)buses depart late at night from the ISBT Kashmiri Gate. You can take a straight bus from Delhi to Sangla that leaves at 10 p.m. from Kashmiri Gate and drops you off at Sangla the next day at around 3:30 p.m.
The last bus from Sangla to Chitkul departs at 4:30 p.m. and takes almost an hour to cover a distance of 18 kilometers between Sangla and Chitkul. You can also hitchhike quite effortlessly on this route, or you can also get a taxi. You can also take a more comfortable route by taking a Volvo or AC bus to Shimla and taking a 7 or 8 AM ordinary bus from ISBT Tutikandi Shimla to Sangla.
By Air: Nearest Airport is Jubbarhatti, Shimla. Air India’s weekly flight departs from Delhi airport at 7:50 AM.
By Train: The nearest railway station is Shimla. The following is the departure schedule from Kalka.
|Train Name & Number||Departure from Kalka||Duration||Arrival at Shimla|
|Kalka Shimla Special/52445||07:00||5h 55m||12:55|
|Kalka Shimla Passenger/52457||03:30||5h 25m||08:55|
|Himalayan Queen/52455||12:10||5h 20m||17:30|
|Kalka Simla Express/52453||06:20||5h 15m||11:35|
|Shivalik DLX Express/52451||05:45||4h 50m||10:35|
|Him Darshan Express/52459||07:00||5h 55m||12:55|