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Markha Valley Trek - 12 Days

Trip Highlights

Activity: Trekking Camp
Duration: 12 Days
Grade: Strenuous
Altitude: 5,290 meter
Best Season: June – July – August – mid September


The Markha Valley Trek is one of the most fascinating and renowned treks in the Ladakh region of India. It situates in the northwestern part of India. The Ladakh region is famed for its savagery and uneaten beauty. The trek leads a remarkable high valley with excellent views across the mountain region.
The Markha Valley trek goes along with the Markha River downstream taking in several high passes including Ganda La (15748 ft) and Kongmaru La (17,060 ft). From both passes, you get grand views across the landscape with the tall peaks of Kang Yissay and the Stok Kangri (20,086 ft) coming into sight. These trek insights you with an outlook of Ancient farming with many green irrigated fields and local villages being passed along the way. You will encounter several monasteries and meet the shiny dressed monks as they go about their daily lives. You will be open to several waist-deep river crossings, high rocky canyons, and tour many Buddhists villages en-route.
Markha is the largest valley of the Ladakh region. The trek initiates from Leh which is an added advantage to explore the Buddhist monuments here. You will be astonished to traverse through the tiny hamlets as you gain altitude. You will encounter with the Tacha monastery in here, which is a beautiful and heart catcher that situates between the mountains. In addition, as you pass through the trail, you will also encounter treasured fauna, mountain sheep, Argali, rabbits, snow leopards. Ganda La and Kongmaru La here are the two cardinal passes to be crossed en route. These passes are known for the panoramic views of infinite Karakoram and Ladakh ranges. Hence, this tour is best suited for all aged group that thrills you with the typical attractions along the trail with mesmerized valleys and mountains.


BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best and favorable time to visit Markha Valley trek is between June and mid-October. During this time, the weather in Ladakh is pleasant and the average temperature ranges between 20 – 30°C in the daytime. Also, July and August are the best months for Markha Valley trek.


Itinerary of Markha Valley Trek – 12 Days

Day 01: Meeting upon arrival at Delhi International airport by our representative, transfer to hotel
Day 02: Fly to Leh (3,500m), and by Drive transfer to hotel
Day 03: Sightseeing in Leh Visit to Buddhist monasteries at Shey and Thiksey
Day 04: Trek from Leh to Zingchen (3,530m), via Spituk. 3-4 hrs walks
Day 05: Trek from Zinchen to Yurutse (4,180m), walk-duration: 4-5 hrs.
Day 06: Trek from Yurutse to Skiu (3,380m), via Ganda La Pass (4,975m), walk-
Duration: 4-5 hrs
Day 07: Trek from Skiu to Markha (3,770m), walk-duration: 7-8 hrs
Day 08: Trek from Markham to Thochuntse (4,250m), walk-duration: 7-8 hrs
Day 09: Trek from Thochuntse to Nimaling (4,860m), walk-duration: 5-6 hrs
Day 10: Trek from Nimaling to Shang Sumdo via Kongmaru La Pass (5,290M) and Drive to Leh. Around 7 hrs
Day 11: Fly back to Delhi, transfer to Hotel
Day 12: Transfer to airport, departure onward destination
Join with as on a Markha Valley Trek in 2022 | 2023
Customize your Trek: the trek can be redesigned based on your requirements. This is just a general itinerary, which can always individually be tailored made. Tour package can be redesigned or as per your desire. For more detailed. Information feel free to
Email us a at ramalpinetrav@gmail.com


Note: Because of Road conditions, weather conditions, arbitrary authorities, difficulties with local means of transport and many other influencing factors, the specified itinerary cannot be guaranteed. However, mentioned above announcement only represents the planned itinerary without guaranteeing the exact sequence in detail.

Itinerary

Day 1
Meeting upon arrival at Delhi International airport by our representative, transfer to hotel

Meet at the group hotel in Delhi. Airport transfers are provided for all clients arriving on Day 1. KE Land Only package services begin with lunch. Afternoon at leisure, with the chance to enjoy the gardens and pool at our airport-accessible hotel. The tour guide will provide a briefing before the evening meal.

Day 2
Fly to Leh (3,500m), and by Drive transfer to hotel

After an early breakfast, we return to the airport (Domestic Terminal) for the early morning internal flight to Leh. This hour long spectacular flight provides close-up views of the 7000m massifs of Nun and Kun. Arriving at Leh (3500m), we drive by jeep to our hotel. The rest of the day is free to either rest in the shade of the hotel courtyard, or, for those not phased by their long air journey; there is other option to take a lazy walk into Leh’s colorful bazaar to check out the roadside stalls selling Tibetan artefacts. Flying straight into the high altitude of Leh can take your breath away and it is best to concentrate on acclimatising for the first few days.

Day 3
Sightseeing in Leh Visit to Buddhist monasteries at Shey and Thiksey

A full day’ sightseeing tour. Today we will visit the impressive monasteries at Shey and Thiksey and have the opportunity to meet the monks who live there. These monasteries occupy elevated sites and offer remarkable views across the Indus Valley. Visiting Leh monasteries always involves climbing up and down long flights of stairs which is all good for our acclimatization.

Day 4
Trek from Leh to Zingchen (3,530m), via Spituk. 3-4 hrs walk

The Markha Valley trek starts from Spituk. Continue on the dirt road from Spituk, along the Indus River, all the way up to Zingchen. It takes about two hours to reach Zingchen on foot from Spituk. Drive from Leh to Spituk and reach Spituk early in the morning as it gets very hot in the day time en route to Zinchen. Carry extra water as it may take several hours to find a source of drinking water. At Spituk look for the set of the first Gelukpa Gompa in Ladakh. Go past the village and cross the bridge over the Indus River. After crossing the bridge look out for the guards of Hemis National Park. Walk by the trail until you notice a small village on your right. All this while the Indus is on your right.
The green scenery now gives way to dry grounds. There are a series of dry gullies to cross for about 2 km. The trail then splits into two. One is the jeep trail which remains in the lofty grounds while the other is the mule trail which is shorter. After a 4 km Markha Valley on the mule trail you reach a vantage point from where you get an impressive view of the Indus Gorge below. Look out for some prayer flags. Leaving behind the Indus River, walk towards Zinchen gorge ahead which is another 7 km far away from the junction of Indus and Zinchen Rivers. As you cross over, the trail heads towards the south as you cross another road bridge next to a gorge. An additional 3 to 4 km walk and you will reach Zinchen.

Day 5
Trek from Zinchen to Yurutse (4,180m), walk-duration: 4-5 hrs.

The trail crisscrosses a stream flowing through a gorge. Take the wooden bridge to cover the stream and go to the left of the gorge. Further up move to the right and cross the stream. This trail heads to Rumbak from Zinchen. It takes about 3 hrs to reach Rumbak. From there start to your right side to reach Yurutse. Take the small wooden bridge over the stream which takes you to the valley on the right. A 984 ft climb from there, brings you to Yurutse village.
Walk ahead for an hour and cross the bridge past a forest check post of Hemis National Park. The trail is well placed by Forest Officials and proceeds till Sumdzom. Register and obtain permits to enter the park. From Sumdzom there is an upstream walk and you come across the wooden bridge two times as you pass through an alluring gorge (Zingchen Nala). The trail enters a valley that narrows down as you move ahead passing via two rocky canyons of sorts. In front of you is Kandala Nallah trail through fields. On the left side, the trail proceeds eastwards up to Rumbak Village. The rocks are rounded so tread carefully. There is an easy stream crossing that will appear to your west after which you get a grand view of the snow-clad peaks of the Stok Mountains as you cross over a fenced plantation area. Rumbak is at a height of 12,470 feet. Notice a route moving further down ahead to Stok La where you can go climbing the Stok Mountains, namely Stok Kangri. Rumak takes the turn towards Yurutse which is a slow climb and can be hard as the effects of high altitude sink in. The landscape is barren and the mountain brightens with a yellow glow and green pastures. Overnight stay in Yurutse.

Day 6
Trek from Yurutse to Skiu (3,380m), via Ganda La Pass (4,975m), walk-duration: 4-5 hrs

Start early in the day towards the Base camp of Ganda La which is a steep gradient involving an hour-long hike. As you move up the valley to the base camp, look for the peak of Stok Kangri looming behind you. Look for the usual prayer flags as you reach the lower base camp of Ganda La at an altitude of 14,272 feet. A further 30 minutes or 1 km will bring you to the high base camp of Ganda La. Enroute you may sight Blue Sheep, Marmot, and Argali roaming the land freely. The Ganda La Pass is a further 1 km up in the valley where the elusive Snow Leopard resides, though sighting one will be rare. At the top of Ganda la pass, you get a grand view down to Zinchen Gorge and Stok Mountains and towards the Skiu side of the valley. The contrast in the landscape on both sides is incredible. The trail is well defined; zig-zags all the way up to the pass. Keep your ears well protected as it is extremely windy. As you pitch down to Skiu, observe the terrain intensifies becomes rocky in nature. This pass crossing section can be hard for trekkers as one may experience headaches, nausea, etc. Ensure you do not hike too fast as the variance in height gained and lost is significant for the day. Carry plenty of water as the quality of water is not that good on way till Shingo. A water filter can help you here.
After two hours of difficult descent, you will reach a settlement named Shingo. The last section of the Markha Valley for the day until Skiu takes around 3 to 4 hours. The dusty trail undergoes a yellow-colored valley. From Shingo lookout for a trail heading south towards the village field from where you take a logical trail moving towards your left. This trail enters into a narrow gorge with an abundance of wild roses that bloom in the months of July-August.
The trail is well established all the way till Skiu. Expect to cross Shingo Nallah three to four times on the way to Skiu. All this while, the trail is descending down crossing the stream on stepping stones. The bottom of the gorge is full of willow and Sea buckthorn providing much-needed shade from the sun. 1.5 km before the end of the gorge, the stream disappears and you reach Skiu. You have just entered Markha Valley. Observe Markha River coming down from Chilling. This is the point from where Stok Valley blends with Markha Valley. We camp overnight at Skiu.

Day 7
Trek from Skiu to Markha (3,770m), walk-duration: 7-8 hrs

Today is a moderate day for trekking with very little altitude gain/loss though. There is a lot of distance to cover. From Skiu, start eastwards towards the Markha Valley. Walk along with the Markha River with mountains on both sides. The trail for the day is a comparatively level walk over the river bed, side trails along the river with few parts where you have to climb up and down due to broken down trails in few sections. Walk beside the river for 2 km till you reach a bridge section. Do not cross over but stay on the route along the river. The trail from here has few washout sections requiring you to climb, few meters up and down to pass the broken section of the trail. The trail to Chalak village from here goes through a bridge crossing towards your left and a further 2 km Markha Valley to reach a clearing known as Narding go around with a 3km walk up the valley to a spot called Sara.
Another one km and you reach a bridge crossing section. Cross the bridge and return back to the right side of the river. Observe cultivated Barley fields ahead. You have reached Chalak. We rest at Chalak village and have lunch. It takes around 4 hours to reach Chalak from Skiu. From Chalak the trail ascends slowly as you pass by a trail marked with Bharal horn for directions. Observe chortens and mani walls set high above the river throughout the way. After 2 to 3 km the valley comes up and a river junction takes you to Markha Village. Let the guide decide the best spot for the river crossing. You may find the height of water to be femur high. The water is icy cold so better to take off your shoes and socks and pull up your pants. Once you cross over, Markha Valley for a couple of kilometers till you see a final bridge crossing. As you cross over the bridge you approach Markha -the biggest village in the area, where we camp for the night.

Day 8
Trek from Markha to Thochuntse (4,250m), walk-duration: 7-8 hrs

Today is another moderate day for trekking. Follow the trail from Markha village alongside Markha River, remaining at the right side. Ignore a wooden plank bridge. After 2 km you reach the intersection where a path from Zanskar meets up. Look for suitable spots to cross over Markha River. You will be required to cross over at least twice. Consult a local in Markha or leave it to the experience of your guide to making this decision. After the second river crossing, it is a 2-hour hike up to Umlung. Look out for the Umlung Gompa and cross over from its base to reach Umlung. You can get a breathtaking view of Mt. Kang Yisay as you climb up from Umlung towards Tacha and Hankar. After 2 hours, skirting up a gorge, you reach an old village named Hankar. A km past Hankar the trail breaks into two. One going to Thochuntse and the other to Zalung karpo La. Continue on the trail going along the branch takes you to Thochuntse which is another 1 km ahead. Proceed to a bridge made of stones and you enter a field area which is Thochuntse. Camp overnight at Thochuntse.

Day 9
Trek from Thochuntse to Nimaling (4,860m), walk-duration: 5-6 hrs

It’s a shorter 6 km trek to Nimaling. 15 minutes from the Thotchuntse campsite, the trail forks. Take the trail to the left. After 1 hour climb, the landscape is smoother, curvier. The climb becomes gradual. After one hour into the climb, leads you to a pond where you can fill water. A distant walk on a grassy meadow leads you to Nimaling. You see effusive streams on your left with a glacier backing the Kang Yatse and to the right is the Kang Yatse peak. The campsite of Nimaling is in a broad valley and is completely exposed to strong winds. When it snows, the green of the valley turns to an absolute white carpet glittering with snow. Camp overnight at Nimaling.

Day 10
Trek from Nimaling to Shang Sumdo via Kongmaru La Pass (5,290M) and Drive to Leh. Around 7 hrs

Today is a difficult day due to the highest altitude pass crossing of the Markha Valley. From Nimaling look ahead towards Kongmaru la Pass. Cross a stream part and continue towards the north climbing a long face of a ridge leading to Kongmaru la Pass. The hike from Nimaling to Kongmaru la pass takes around 2 hours and is a steep incline hike. At the top of the pass, you will get a great view of Indus valley and Ladakh ranges. You can also see a wide array of wildflowers on the slope leading to the pass. You also get a mobile signal of the BSNL network here. The downhill descent from the pass to Sumdo is brutal. The terrain is rocky and drops down steeply as you enter into a narrow canyon after trekking down 2 to 3 km.
The canyon has a typical landscape one is accustomed to seeing in Ladakh. The brown and reddish rocks on both sides allow not more than 2 to 3 people to pass at a time. After 2 hours of hiking the canyon widens up till you reach Sukarno. The hike from Sukarmo to Shang Sumdo is a long one with a major part on a dry river bed. After an hour of walking on the river bed, you come to a section running along a small hill. The trail here is descending consistently. The last section involves an hour of level walks to reach Sumdo along the same river. Sumdo is a small village with tea shops and parachute tents. Take a cab from Sumdo to Leh which is 8 km on the highway road. You can also head from Markha Valley to Hemis to visit the Hemis Monasteries. This is a 2 hour distant from Sumdo. From Sumdo, it takes about 2-3 hours to reach Leh.

Day 11
Fly back to Delhi, transfer to Hotel

From Leh we travel for 1hours and return back to Delhi from in the morning and move back to the Hotel. Rest of the day we can relax.

Day 12
Transfer to airport, departure onward destination

Today, our airport representative will drop you to the airport and then you will depart from Delhi

Price Adult Status*
$ 3,975 Trip is Available

Date can be made flexible based on your desire.
Contact us for individual dates.


Markha Valley Trek Cost Includes:

  • Airport pick up and drop off, upon arrival and departure in Delhi (International and Domestic both)
  • Meals Full board service and Hotel accommodation (On Delhi and Leh both)
  • Delhi – Leh – Delhi Flight tickets and all airport taxes including of guide
  • Sightseeing at Leh, Shey and Thiksey monasteries (For all entrance fees)
  • Experienced guide, helpful and friendly 1 Cook / kitchen staff along their salary and Insurance
  • Tented Camp accommodations with 2 person sharing basis during trek
  • Camping Equipment (Tents, Dining tent, Kitchen tent, Mattresses, Tables, Chairs, Shower tent and Kitchen utensils etc…
  • Necessary number of donkeys to carry loads, their meal, equipments
  • Meals Full board service Tea/Coffee/Hot & Cold filter water and seasonal fresh fruits), during Camp
  • All ground transportation by Private Vehicle (depending on group size)
  • In unfavorable condition, assist with all rescue and evacuation arrangements
  • Provides first aid kits to check pulse, heart rate and oxygen saturation at higher altitude

Extra & Personal:

  • International airfare / Airport Taxes
  • India visa fee (payable at airport upon arrival)
  • Items expenses of personal nature
  • Personal trekking gears
  • Hard & Soft Drinks
  • Any cost which arise due to a change of the itinerary because of natural calamities Political disturbance.
  • Any other costs whatsoever, that is not mentioned in the cost included
  • Emergency evacuation for the Rescue
  • Donation or tips for Staff

TREKKING GEAR LISTS:

Clothing: Warm jacket (down jacket, if possible) Water and windproof jacket alternatively bring a poncho or umbrella) Long sleeved synthetic fleece (windproof) material, if possible) Thermal underwear Hat or Cap, pair of gloves and scarf Comfortable hiking trousers (loose fitting) Shorts and trousers, or skirt 2 pairs of warm wool-blend socks, 2 pairs of running socks or liner socks, Proper hiking boots Running shoes and flip-flops 2-3 t-shirts, Underwear Light and expedition weight thermal bottom
Fleece or wool pants Waterproof (preferably breathable fabric) shell pants Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals) Sun Glasses.


During winter season, additional clothing’s may include:
The outer jacket should be warm, down jacket is highly recommended during winter season Bring a pair of warm winter trousers, in addition to the hiking trousers Bring at least one windproof layer of clothes, helping to reduce any chill factor influence. Snow gaiters.


Trekking Gears:
Pair of polarizing sun-glasses (to be comfortable and to avoid potential snow-blindness)
Backpack and backpack cover (against rain and dust) Head torch, or small torch, plus spare batteries Sleeping bag and silk liner Miscellaneous.


Toiletries:
A small light weight and quick drying towel Bar of soap Sunscreen (SPF +20) Earplugs
Insect repellants (for lower elevations)


First aid kid:
Water purification tables or a water filter Some Diamox pills against potential altitude sickness (if going beyond 4,000 m elevations) Toilet paper.


Optional:
Camera, battery etc Books/magazines Trekking poles GPS unit Padlocks for guest house rooms and bags Large plastic bags – for keeping items dry inside trek bag Day pack (approximately 2500 to 3000 cubic inches) Water bottles (2 bottles recommended) Sewing/repair kit Pocket knife Dairy or notebook plus pencil/pen.
We hope the above was useful. If not, please do not hesitate to Contact Us.

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Markha Valley Trek