There is no hiding the fact that Hampta Pass Trek is among the most popular treks in the entire Indian Himalaya, if not the most sought after. I won’t say that it wasn’t on my list for trekking but the affinity of instagram travellers to sign up for the trek with one of the hordes of trekking agencies meant it had long ago dropped from my radar. While I have nothing against the trekking agencies – the possibility of coming across hundreds of noisy hikers is surely a major turn off. On a hike, I am keen on marvelling at the landscapes and admiring the solitude of nature. Therefore, Hampta Pass had steadily declined on my list of prospective hikes until I started living in Kullu Valley in 2021. When a friend joined us from Delhi, a fine day in the monsoon season resulted in us driving to Sethan and doing a day hike to Chikka and back.

We left early from our home and were at the Allain Duhangan Power Project barrier gate after taking the diversion from Prini at about 930 am. There was an entry charge even for local vehicles, and I filled an online form for the same and paid. We also gave a ride to a local who was headed to Sethan. She confirmed that it was a nice and easy day hike to Chikka from the last point till where the vehicles went. We had a heavy breakfast at home and also carried some apples to enjoy on the hike.

Here are a few phone photographs of a stunning day hike from Sethan to Chikka in August :

Monsoon skies are something else : This is the view from our balcony in Kullu Valley.

First bridge at the start of the hike to Chikka.
The alluring shade of green is a life changer.
Chairs for a dhaba eatery.
It was a most magical hike in the monsoon.

Ferns growing in the wild.
Thankfully the rain stayed away.

How’s that for a open air eatery!
Fun to walk along the river.
The Chikka campsite was a bit ahead of this spot.
Collection of colourful wildflowers.
Cows grazing in lush greenery.
Aunty dressed in a Kullvi pattu came on the hike with her relatives.
It started drizzling as we were near the Chikka campsite and had to turn back.
Hampta pass is a picturesque trek for sure.

We would have wanted to spend more time on the hike but the drizzle meant that we started hiking back and got back to the place where the car was parked at about 3 pm. So the time taken to reach Chikka was about 2 hours and we hardly took an hour to return.

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