Area covered: 675 sq. kms
Declared a National Park in 1987, Pin Valley is located in the cold desert region of the Spiti valley. With its snow laden unexplored higher reaches and slopes, the Park forms a natural habitat for a number of endangered animals including the Snow Leopard and Siberian Ibex. Spreading south of Dhankar in the Spiti district near the Tibetan border, the Park marks the Lahaul and Spiti divisions of the State. The elevation of the Park ranges from about 3,500 mts near Ka Dogri to more than 6,000 mts at its highest point.
Because of its high altitude and extreme temperatures, the vegetation in thearea is scant and mostly dominated by alpine trees, patches of Himalayan cedar and smatterings of several medicinal plants. In summer, flowers decorate the valley with startling hues. Along with animals, rare birds like the Himalayan Snowcock, Chukor, Snow Partridge and the Tibet Snow Finch also flourish in the area.
Steeped in history, the influence of Tibetan culture is prevalent in the surrounding areas of the Park, visible in the Buddhist lamas, shrines, monasteries and culture of its residents.
Reaching There (Pin Valley National Park):
The Park can be approached only on foot from the nearest road terminus at Mikkim. One route to Pin Valley is via Manali, Rohtang Pass and Kumzum La, while another is more commonly used via Shimla, Tapri and Kaza.