With its sub-zero temperatures and semi-frozen rivers, Pin Valley is the only cold desert National Park located in Himachal Pradesh. The park lies in the valley of the Pin river, from where it derives its name. Spreading south of Dhankar in the Spiti district near the Tibetan border, the reserve forms a natural interface between the Lahaul and Spiti divisions of the state. It was set up to protect and preserve the rare and unique Himalayan flora and fauna. Vast and sparsely populated, Pin Valley is home to 'the grey ghost of the Himalayas', the snow leopard, and its prey, the ibex. Set against a back-drop of awe-inspiring icy mountain ranges, Pin Valley is snowed in for a good part of the year and a trek to this fascinating country should only be attempted by the spirited, adventurous and fit. The region is also under strong religious influence with some very famous Buddhist monasteries or gompas located here.