“Is it safe to visit Spiti” will be a definite question on your mind, if you are planning to visit anytime soon. Spiti valley is one of the most sought-after trips in India thanks to some extremely scenic landscapes.
But owing to the harsh climate and remoteness of the region, a lot of people visiting Spiti will be skeptical about the safety aspect of visiting a high altitude remote place like Spiti.
So, the straightforward answer is YES Spiti valley is very safe for travelers. But I’ll be addressing all the safety related concerns while traveling to Spiti valley in detail. And it will hopefully clear all the doubts relating to safety.
Is It Safe to Visit Spiti – Everything You Need To Know As A Traveler
YES ! As I said earlier, Spiti is extremely safe Solo Travelers, Backpackers, Women, couples. The people of Spiti are very warm-hearted and will make sure that you have one of the best experiences of your life.
But owing to the extreme climate, high altitude, and difficult terrain you have to be careful about certain things. So, I’ll be discussing about the safety aspects while traveling to Spiti. And in case you are first time visitor to Spiti these 27 practical travel tips will help you.
|Is Spiti Safe to Visit for Solo Travelers|
|How Safe is Spiti for Backpackers ?|
|Safety of Women in Spiti Valley|
|How Safe is it to Drive in Spiti ?|
|How Safe Is It To Visit Spiti in Winters|
|Safety while hiking and trekking in Spiti|
|Is there a danger from wildlife in Spiti ?|
|Safety in Spiti during Natural Calamities|
|Is it safe to stay in homestays in Spiti ?|
|AMS a threat during Spiti Trip ?|
Is Spiti Valley Safe for Solo Travelers ?
Yes Spiti valley is extremely safe for solo travelers. As a matter of fact, you’ll find a lot solo travelers taking that epic trip. Reason being, Spiti is one of the safest places in our country.
|Owing to extreme conditions in Spiti valley, the locals folks are very down to earth and welcoming. Such hospitality and safety in Spiti valley is what attracts the solo travelers from across the globe.|
In fact, Himachal in general attracts a lot of Solo travelers, I have listed 13 reasons for the same in my blog.
Mine was a road trip to Spiti valley, and it remains a dream to travel solo to Spiti. On my trip we met so many travelers who were traveling alone domestic and international travelers alike. And they seem to have no complaints whatsoever.
How Safe is Spiti for Backpackers ?
Spiti valley is completely safe backpackers. In fact, you’ll find a lot of people backpacking in Spiti. Grand vistas coupled with trip being light on the pocket, what else could a backpacker ask for.
|There are a lot of budget homestays along with hostels (only in Kaza), plus the robust HRTC for commuting makes for quite a safe trip to Spiti.
To ensure your complete safety as a backpacker make sure to stay in homestays, travel by HRTC and you’ll face no issues in my opinion.
On a personal level after backpacking to Lahaul and Seraj valley, Spiti valley is one such place I really want to go backpacking. And if you have similar question related to safety of Lahaul, I have written a detailed blog about it.
Safety Of Women In Spiti Valley
Spiti is probably the safest place in India when it comes to women’s safety. As a women, if you are traveling solo or in an all girls group safety will be the least of your concern.
|Locals of Spiti are very amiable and welcoming people and I don’t think you’ll face any problems as a women.|
Just stay in homestays and travel by HRTC and should be absolutely safe. In fact a lot of female travelers visit Spiti even solo.
How Safe Is It to Drive in Spiti ?
Spiti valley is usually associated with dangerous roads. To be honest a lot of it is very hyped. Over the years the roads in Spiti have improved a lot. Most of the roads to villages in Spiti are completely metalled.
Now there are two ways you can reach Spiti one from Shimla via Kinnaur and the other one from Manali via Upper Chandra valley in Lahaul.
|If we talk about the road conditions on Shimla-Kaza route, it is quite safe to drive on these roads of course, considering you are a good driver and have driven in mountains before. Most of the road is metalled with only a few bad stretches.
On the other hand, the Kaza-Manali road is in complete shambles especially after Losar. From Losar you will be driving on the dirt track with huge stones and several dangerous water-crossings beyond Batal towards Gramphu. These roads are truly dangerous I will agree.
According to some new reports, BRO has fixed Kaza-Manali road, but we will know for sure only in the next summer.
So soak in the grand vistas of Lahaul while driving on this amazing roads. Be careful and remain extra cautious on Kaza-Manali road and you’ll be safe.
How Safe Is It To Visit Spiti in Winters ?
Owing to the extreme winter temperatures you might think that traveling to Spiti in winters is a preposterous idea, but it is actually quite common these days to be honest.
|As Shimla-Kaza route remains open throughout the year, this makes it feasible to visit spiti in winters. The road is only closed barring a few days when there is heavy snowfall. But do remember, that temperatures during winter can plummet as low as -25 degrees in Kaza.|
So you need to have multiple warm layering’s to keep yourself warm. Well Spiti is brutally cold, but I have a winter guide to Kasol to get started with winters in Himalayas.
Also do note that only a select homestays are operational during winter months. So to ensure your complete safety book you stay in advance, travel by 4×4 vehicle only. And be wary of the avalanches. They are not uncommon during winters.
Safety while Hiking and Trekking in Spiti
So unless you are extremely fit and properly acclimatized, trekking in Spiti can take a toll on your body. So unless you are following all the rules of trekking in high-altitude area, it might well turn into a nightmare.
|While a lot of travelers like to trek solo, but I would not really recommend hiking solo here. The terrain though beautiful can be dangerous if don’t know the area in and out. So to ensure complete safety trekking with a guide is a must.|
And as I said pointed out earlier absolute beginners should probably avoid trekking in Spiti owing to the crazy altitude and difficult terrain. Most of the treks in Spiti are moderate to difficult. Crossover treks Pin Bhabha, Pin Parvati etc are surely not for novices.
Is There A Danger From Wild Life in Spiti ?
|So, to answer the question NO. The wildlife you usually get in Spiti are animals like Ibex, Red Fox, Himalayan blue sheep, Snow Leopard. None of these animals are known to harm humans. But they might come to down to villages during winters.|
In fact a Himalayan Serow which is thought to be near extinction was found in Spiti valley near Hurling village.
But personally speaking, I did not spot any wild life, but my friend was lucky enough to spot a red fox near Demul. Usually the wildlife wanders in the altitudes higher than even villages. But some times they do venture near the villages especially snow leopard during winters.
The snow leopard is elusive and is not known to harm humans. And the other animals as well. But in case you are camping alone be extremely careful.
Safety in Spiti During Natural Calamities
Generally, Spiti itself is not so much dangerous, but the routes leading Spiti can certainly become unsafe during the natural calamities.
|But the being said, dangers of avalanches and landslides always looms large in Spiti in case of any extreme weather events like heavy snowfall. And the weather in the mountains is quite capricious so that risk is always involved.|
For instance, in 2018 incessant snowfall in the month of September had lead to a lot of landslides and road blockages leading to Spiti. A lot of travelers were stranded on different areas of Kaza- Manali road.
Is It Safe To Stay in Homestays in Spiti ?
Absolutely YES ! It is actually very safe to in the homestays in Spiti. In fact, homestay is the safest accommodation option you can have while traveling to Spiti for that matter.
Locals of Spiti are known for their amazing hospitality and they will certainly make you feel at home.
And this is the reason why I personally believe, that in places like Spiti you should ditch the hostels or hotels and stay in homestays instead for Authentic experience.
Is AMS A Threat During Spiti Trip ?
So AMS stands for Altitude mountain sickness. Owing to high average altitude of Spiti AMS is one of the biggest problems that travelers face during their Spiti trip. It doesn’t matter how many times you have visited he high-altitude areas before.
|So the only way prevent AMS is to get acclimatized properly. Sudden elevation gain will be a catalyst to AMS threat and so arriving in Spiti via Shimla route is much more advisable rather than Manali-Kaza route.|
And some of the villages in Spiti are around 14,000 ft. So only stay there if are properly acclimatized, otherwise it could well turn into a nightmare.
To conclude, I hope that I have addressed the question “Is It safe to visit” properly. Personally speaking, Spiti is one of the safest places you can visit in the world while enjoying the unique vistas and learning about culture of tribal people.
In case you have any doubts, please reach out to me in comments below and I’ll be happy to help you out.