For around 6 to 7 months, Spiti is almost cut off from the rest of the country due to thick snowfall.The entire area is extremely isolated in the harsh winter months. However these are the months when you can spot the extremely elusive snow leopard and the wild Ibex of Spiti.
The best time to visit it is from late May to September. There are two routes to reach this beautiful cold desert, one is the longer one from Shimla via the Kinnaur valley, and while it takes more time, it will also help your body acclimatize to the higher altitudes.
If you opt for this route, you can spend the night at either Kalpa or Reckong Peo, and the journey will take around 2 days.
The other route is from Manali which will take around 13-14 hours, depending on the road conditions. You do not need any extra documents if you are an Indian national, however having a photocopy of your passport or Aadhar card is recommended. If you are a foreign national, you will have to get a permit from the DC’s office.
If you are an adventure lover and plan to go during Winters, only the route via Shimla is open.
The weather at Spiti is slightly unpredictable, hot during the afternoons and can turn cold later. It is advisable to carry woolens or warm clothes for the night and proper sun-protective gear, sunglasses and sunscreens for the afternoon. Comfy walking shoes are a must.