By jeep, car or on motorcycle, you can explore the enormous variety Himachal has on offer. By jeep, the Trans Himalayan tracts can steadily unfold their natural and manmade wonders. Along one of the highest highways in the world, you can drive out of Manali, cross the Rohtang Pass (3,980 m), and move through arid Lahaul to Leh and Ladakh. From Shimla, through picturesque Kinnaur, you drive through the haunting landscapes of Spiti and over the Kunzam Pass (4551 m), enter Lahaul. Himachal has an extensive network of roads and tracks.
The choice of both route, season and vehicle are important. Cars may not be able to handle the rougher tracks but in no way does this curtail the range of possible experiences. SUVs remain the easiest vehicles to tackle roads that are smooth and rough.
Motorcycle drives through Himachal are becoming increasingly popular with a variety of domestic and international tourists. Often enough, these are coupled with camping, trekking and a spot of dirt-riding and these two wheelers have an edge in able to negotiate difficult terrain and narrow paths.
Himachal is also the venue for several short and some lengthier rallies and motor-sport competitions. Since 1999, the 'Raid de Himalaya' has been a significant event on a national and international level. Himachal hosts a major segment of the Raid.
Travelling to Kinnaur, Lahaul and Spiti?
Drink plenty of fluids and eat regularly to avoid dehydration and altitude sickness. Petrol pumps on the route are at Shimla, Theog, Narkanda, Rampur, Powari, Recong Peo, Kaza, Keylong, Sarchu and Manali. If driving, essential spares and extra fuel are recommended, a sturdy vehicle is suggested. Government hospitals are at Recong Peo, Kaza and Keylong. Dispensaries are available elsewhere. Prescription medicines and sun screen lotion should be carried along. If crossing the high passes, good health is essential. The best time to travel to these areas is between April and October. While planning your trip, it is suggested that you check on general road conditions and confirm if the high passes are open to traffic. Foreigners visiting the upper reaches of Kinnaur and Spiti require a permit. For details regarding this, please contact any office of Himachal Tourism.