In the remote part of Lahaul region in Himachal Pradesh lies the Miyar Valley. Sandwiched between the Pir Panjal ranges and the Zanskar ranges, this broad valley is also known as the Yosemite of India because of the number of climbing possibilities the area has. The Miyar Valley trek is yet not so popular among the trekkers because of its remote and fairly inaccessible location of the valley, but the trek is definitely a beautiful one with the trek route altering between remote mountain valleys, quaint villages and flower beds dominated by the overwhelming presence of Himalayan orchids. No wonder, the trek is also given the name of Valley of Flowers.
The trek is a gateway into a terrain none like the other. And you will definitely be awed with the change in landscape. From the lush green meadows of the Himalayas to the stark brown rocks of the Zanskar, the change in scenery will leave you speechless. The Miyar Nala is the lifeline of the valley and forms as a support system for the villages around this region.
Manali – Urgos
Urgos is the base camp of the trek. You have to hire a jeep from Manali to reach Urgos. It is a long, albeit beautiful 10 hours road journey through the mountainous roads of Himachal Pradesh. There are buses also, but time taken will be much longer. Homestays are available at Urgos for overnight stay.
Urgos – Khanjar – Gompa
Take a Jeep ride to Khanjar, approximately 7 km away. It is a 45 minutes bumpy ride beside the beautiful Miyar River.
Once you reach Khanjar village, you will find that it is a small village comprising of a not more that five houses and a shop. The trail starts from just near the village school. Take the trail and follow the descent towards the first bridge. From the bridge, there is a zig-zag ascent for about an hour. This trail is quite dusty and gravelly until you reach a small and beautiful meadow known as Dhoksar. After you pass through the meadow, you will found yourself to small patch of land that can be described as a depression. Here, any sound amplifies and you can hear the delightful sound of the Dhoksar Nala. From here, you have to cross a second bridge and take an ascending path till you reach a lone small hut. After that there is a descent that you have to take.
You will see a Buddhist Stupa in front and from there, you have to take a downhill path to reach a stream towards your right. Here you will see beautiful pink flowers on your way as well as Himalayan orchids.
Another walk for ten minutes and you will see another Stupa situated at the base of a small hill. There is also a stream at the base of the hill. Cross the stream and then start your ascent towards the Stupa. After another 40 minutes walk, you will reach Yoling – a meadow with fragrant and beautiful red orchids. From here, walk for an hour of walk amidst the meadows and then a descent towards the stream will bring you to your campsite – Gompa.
Gompa to Base camp
The day starts with a small descent and then a flat walk beside the Miyar River. The Castle Peak and Neverseen Tower can be seen from the campsite. In the beginning, you will see flowers of pink and red amidst green patches. But as you proceed and gain altitude, you will find peaks with little or no vegetation. The change in landscape is stark. Gradually the trail gets rocky and you can also see horses grazing on the grassland.
Next you will cross a stream to reach a rocky patch after which you can seehuge boulders. This place is perfect for people who are into bouldering.
The best part of this trek is that you can get a full view of the Castle Peak at 16240 ft. There are a number of ways in which you can reach the base camp and there is no well-marked path. So, it is better to stick to your route and follow your guide.
After another two hours of trek, you will come across a bridge. You will also cross ten mountain streams on your way to the base camp. It will take about 45 minutes to cross all the streams. It might looks easier to cross the from the top of the stream where you have to cross only one stream. But the force of water here is so great that a single misstep might lead to major accident.
After crossing the stream, walk for another half an hour to reach the base camp. The trek to base camp is not very tough, but is a long one.
Base Camp – Rock Glacier – Base Camp
This trek to the Chodung Glacier can be done only if the conditions are conducive. Just near the base camp, you will see a spot covered with moraine and boulders. You have to cross this path carefully till you find a small lake on the right. Continue hiking in the trail until you reach the lower part of the glacier. There are so many snow-covered and unconquered peaks around the glacier all looking formidable, yet beautiful.
After your visit to the Chodung glacier, return back to the base camp for overnight stay.
Base Camp – Gompa
From the base camp, retrace the same trail towards Gompa.
Trek from Gompa to Khanjar and Drive to Urgos
From Gompa, similarly, trek back taking the same trail to Khanjar. From there, drive back to Urgos.
Urgos – Manali
Drive back to Manali after the Miyar Valley Trek.
Miyar Valley Trek is a moderate trek where you can see the best of Himachal Pradesh and the Zanskar region. It is one of the rare Himalayan treks that can be categorized as a trail that is predominantly a flat walk.
Some important facts:
Duration: 7 days
Base Camp: Urgos
Best Season: June to October
How to Reach:
The nearest road head is Manali. You can reach Manali by overnight buses from either New Delhi or Chandigarh. From Manali, it is better to hire a vehicle for going to Urgos. If you want to travel by local transportation, then take a bus to Keylong from Manali. Stay for the night at Manali and then take another bus the next morning to Urgos.