Trek Itineraries

The treks in Ladakh are some of the most interesting in the Himalayas. Most of them are long, difficult, and cross high-elevation passes. Trekking can be done in Ladakh from the end of June until about the middle of October, It is best to spend a few days in Leh to acclimatize to the high elevation.

Travel agencies in Leh can arrange full facilities for about $50 per day. You can hire packhorses at Spituk and Lamayuru for about Rs 200 to Rs 250 per day. It is best to bring your own sleeping bag and tent.

Even on a package tour, equipment is often substandard, so you may want to check the equipment before you set off and hire your own if necessary. I have heard some bad stories of what can happen if you have a bad tent in the rain. Food should be carried, as some places have virtually no supplies.
Equipment can be rented .from the J&KTDC Tourist Office or at Himalayan Adventures in the Hotel Ibex.

Likir to Temisgan

You start at Likir Gompa and then go over a pass to the village of Yantang (5 hr), near the Rizdong Gompa. You go through the village of Hem is (3 hr) and walk to the road head at Tamisgan (4 hr). It is possible to do this trek in one day if you walk fast or it is a leisure two-day trek. Guides and ponies can be hired in Likir or Temisgan and both places have basic guesthouses.

Spituk to Markha Valley and Hemis via the Kongmaru La Pass

The Markha Valley runs parallel with the Indus Valley. Because it is close to Leh and is shorter than the other treks, it is the most popular one done in Ladakh. You should have proper clothing in case of rain. It can get very cold going over the passes, even in July. The trek takes from six to eight days.

On Day 1 you go from Spiruk Gompa to either the village of Jingchen or Rumbak (7 hr). It is a good idea to spend a day to acclimatize at Rumbak. Day 3 you go• to the base of the Gunda La Pass (4910m). On Day 4 you go over Gunda La and there are great views of the Zanskar Range from the pass. You then descend to the Markha Valley and the village of Skiu where you stay for the night. It takes about 6 hours for this leg. You could also stay in the village of Shingo for the night.

Day 5 you go to the village of Markha. From there you go to the meadow of Nimaling, which has the Kangyaze (6400) towering oyer it or to Hankar village. Day 6 you go over the Kongmaru La Pass (51 OOm), from where there are great views of the Ladakh Range and the Indus Valley. You stay in Shogdo for the night or in the village of Sumda. The next day it is a 5- hour walk to Hernis Gompa or you can go to the village of Karu, from where. you can get a bus to Leh,

Lamayuru to Chiling or Alchi

This treks goes via the Kondze La and Dung Dung La passes and is fairly strenuous. There are some great views along the way. The path is very difficult to follow, so you have to have a good guide.

The trek begins in Lamayuru and then goes over the Prinkiti La Pass (3600m) to Wanlah (4 hr). From there it is a 4 or 5 hour walk to Hinju. You need to stay a day there to acclimatize. Day 3 you then go over Kondze La (4900m) from where there are great views and then to the village of Sumdo Chunmu (6 hr). From there it is a three hour walk to Sumdo Choon at the base of Dung Dung La. Day 4 you go over the Dung Dung La Pass (5150m) from where there are great views of the Zanskar Range and then descend to the village of Chiling. On Day 4 you could go instead to the base of Stakspi La Pass (5150m) and then on Day 5 cross the pass and descend 1000m to Alchi.

From Chiling you can take a bus back to Leh or continue the trek to the Markha Valley and the Hernis Gompa.