It is a 675 square kilometer expanse located in the ‘Cold Desert’ region of the Spiti Valley in Himachal Pradesh State of North India. Covering the regions of the Lahul and Spiti Districts of the state, the Pin Valley National Park was established as a protected area in the year 1987. The elevation of the Park ranges from 3,500 meters near Ka Dogri to more Than 6,000 meters at the highest point. Due to the high altitude and extreme temperatures, the vegetation in these areas is scant and which mostly consists of Alpine Trees and patches of Himalayan Cedar.
Dry alpine and dwarf juniper scrub are the major forest types found here along with major floral varieties like Betula Utilis, Juniperus Mecropoda, Populus Spp and Salix Spp. Rich in medicinal herbs and spices, this area witnesses heavy snowfall in winter and average rains. Untouched by the onslaughts of time, May to October is the only best time to visit the Pin Valley National Park.
The high altitudes of this National Park is the natural home to rare and endangered species like the Snow Leopard, Siberian Ibex, Tibetan Gazzle and the Wooly Hare. The other animals found here include the Himalayan Marmot, Bharal, Indian Porcupine, Wolf, Blue Sheep, Himalayan Black Bear, Himalayan Brown Bear, Mouse Hare and the Tibetan Wild Ass. Birds can be sighted mostly during the summer season and which mostly include the Himalayan Snowcock, Chukar, Snow Partridge, Snow Pigeon, Blue Rock Pigeon, Red-Billed Chough and Snow finch.
Normally there are two routes to get to this Park, the Summer Route which is via Manali – Rohtang Pass – Kunzum La, which is open from July to October. The other, known as the Winter Route is via Shimla – Tapri – Kaza is open from March to December. Bhunter in Kulu District is the closest Airport, and Shimla at a distance of 443 kilometers from the Park is the nearest Railway Station. Foreign tourists however, will need to obtain permits from the Park authorities at Kaza, or Rekong Peo in order to visit the Pin Valley National Park.