Duration :-8 Days/7 Night
Grade :- Difficult
Max Altitude :- 1,500 Ft
Approx Trekking Km :-75km
A rather sought-after trek in the Ladakh region, the Markha Valley trek route does not disappoint anyone! It spills the chance to ascend the top of two very high passes, Gandala La (4800 m) & Kongmaru La (5150 m) and lets you feast your eyes on stunning sights from the summit. You also come across the charming Markha Village that is a trove in this cold semi-arid terrain of Ladakh. Other delights include witnessing the way of life of the region, crossing several streams and rivers and enjoying a trail through remote gorges and unbridled grazing grounds.
Your initial two days of the Markha Valley trekking will be spent for acclimatisation as it is vital for a healthy trip ahead. In the meanwhile unravel monasteries, museum, fort, the local market place and Leh Palace. Cross over Ganda La (4800 m) and arrive at the winsome Markha Village that is laced with green fields and willow trees and has barren mountains in the backdrop. Other thrills include camping beside a gurgling stream, getting the stunning view of Kangyatze Peak and more. Till the final day, there is something to revel in every step of the way.
Day 01: Arrive at Leh (3500m)
Day Details: Meet at Leh and check in to the hotel. This day is reserved for relaxation and acclimatisation as it is vital for a healthy trip ahead.
Day 02: Day at Leh
Day Details: Spend one more day at Leh. Unravel the ancient monasteries, palaces and museums that the place is famous for. Visit Shey and Thiksey Gompa and also Stok Gompa. Being in the same destination will assist in getting acclimatised well for high altitude. Towards the evening, enjoy a hike to Leh palace. The remaining evening will be spent at leisure.
Day 03: Leh – Zingchen (3400m) – Yurutse (4150m) (Trek/4hrs)
Day Details: Today; on the first day of the Markha Valley trekking, indulge in an early breakfast and drive through Spikut Village to reach Zingchen. This is where your hike of short stage and moderate gradient begins. Enjoy the trail through Rumbak Village to reach Yurutse and come across several stream crossings. Pass the village before setting up camp. The site is a winsome one with barley fields all around.
Day 04: Yurutse (4150m) – Ganda La (4800m) – Skiu (3400m) (Trek 7/8hrs)
Day Details: This balmy day, in the initial stretch of the trek, ascend to Ganda La (4900 m). Expect a steep climb and strong winds towards the latter half. From the pass, enjoy views of valleys on both side, Zanskar range and some distant summits of the Himalayan range. Commence descending to Shingo Village, after which, the trail makes its way into a narrow gorge leading towards Skiu, where a confluence of the rivers come from Markha Valley and Shingo.
Day 05: Skiu (3400m) – Markha (3800m (Trek 6/7hrs)
Day Details: Brace yourself for a long and moderate hike till the charming Markha Village. Cross several streams along the way. Reach the hamlet that is a trove in the middle of this cold and arid desert. The place is laced with green fields, willow trees and a deserted palace. Camp beside a gurgling stream.
Day 06: Markha (3800m) – Thochuntse (4150m, Trek /4-5hrs)
Day Details: Today lap up fetching views all around and come across many stream and river crossings. Make way through settlements and grazing ground. Take in the stunning view of Kangyatze Peak (6400m) when walking towards Hankar. We will select a great camping ground and set tent there.
Day 07: Thochuntse (4150m) – Nimaling (4700 m) (Trek/ 4hrs)
Day Details: Wallow in a short walk to arrive at the Nimalaing campsite. The place is a beguiling one with wide open valley with unbridled grazing grounds, and the backdrop of Kangyatze Peak. Do note that there is constant wind blowing in the area making situation slightly uncomfortable. If you wish, you can also avail of a side trip today towards the base camp of Kangyatse.
Day 08: Nimaling (4700m) – Kongmaru La (5150m) – Sumdo (3800m) – Leh 3500m (Trek 7hrs) (Drive 2hrs)
Day Details: Dig into an early breakfast and take on a steep climb to reach the top of the highest pass on the trail – Kongmaru La (5200m). Take in the great sights of Nun Kun in the West and Saser Kangri to the North. Cherish some moments here before climbing down to Sukarmo, from where your trail is a flat walk along the river till you come to the road head at Sumdo. From here, hop on to a vehicle to drive back to Leh.
Day 09: Departure from Leh