Markha Valley Trek

14 Days | Trekking 07 Days

Perched high in the mountains on the remote northern edge of India, Ladakh is a truly inspirational destination for a trekking holiday. This classic trek takes you through a spectacular high-altitude world with breathtaking vistas, entrancing scenery and the chance to see wildlife - this is the realm of elusive snow leopard, mountain goats, marmots and vultures. You’ll also experience Buddhist culture with visits to remote monasteries, and cross high passes marked by colourful prayer flags.

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Tour Highlights

  • Trek through the Ladakh landscape, visiting remote villages and ancient Buddhist monasteries
  • Stunning view of Kang Yatze peak (6400m) from Kongmaru La (5200m), the highest point
  • Hemis Monastery, the richest and the most famous monastery in Ladakh
  • The beautiful pastures and camp site at Nimaling, dominated by impressive Kang Yatze peak (6400m)
  • Walking alongside the picturesque Markha river
  • Flexible tailor-made booking options

Best Season

  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep

Tour Details

After a few days in and around Leh to acclimatize and take in the local sights, including some spectacular monasteries, our itinerary sets out from picturesque Spituk village on the banks of Indus. The long climb up the Ganda La (4900m) (‘La’ means pass in Tibetan) is rewarded with truly breathtaking views across the Zanskar and Stok ranges and the snowcapped Karakoram, before the trail descends into a willow and wild rose-filled gorge to enter the picturesque Markha Valley.

The route then follows the Markha River, passing through lush farmland and traditional villages. The head of the valley is dominated by the glaciated Kang Yatze peak (6400m) rising high above the pastures of Nimaling - an idyllic camp site for one night.

Kongmaru La (5200m) marks the highest point of our trek, with excellent views of Kang Yatze, the distant Nun-Kun peaks and northwards to the shimmering peaks that mark the Tibetan border. After a day’s descent we’ll return by road to Leh for some much deserved down-time, before flying back to Delhi.

View Itinerary

  • Flexibility Guaranteed

    Please note: You can use this itinerary as a guide to fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have.

  • DAY 01 - Delhi

    Arrive Delhi and transfer to hotel for check-in, afternoon and evening free

    Arrive at the international airport of Delhi. After a traditional 'Swagat' (Welcome) our KVT’s representative would assist you at the airport and transfer you to the hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free to relax at the hotel or can explore the nearby area.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 02 - Leh

    Early morning fly to Leh, arrive and transfer to hotel. Afternoon rest and evening stroll around the local market area

    Early morning we will be transferred to the Airport to board the internal flight to Leh, which passes over the Himalayan Ranges with breathtaking views and it will brings us to a fertile valley just to the north of the mighty Indus River (this flight is subject to weather). After such a highly spectacular flight over the Himalayas, we arrive in Leh airport. Upon arrival, we will be transferred to the hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free for you to relax and acclimatize to the high altitude weather. Late afternoon there will be a gentle orientation walk of Leh and its local market.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 03 - Leh

    Local exploration in Leh visiting bazaars, Shanti stupa and Leh Palace

    Today we do the local exploration, visiting the bazaar (local market) of Leh. Then, we visit Shanti Stupa which is a Buddhist white-domed stupa (chorten) on a hilltop in Chanspa, in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. This was built by Japanese monks to promote world peace. The Shanti Stupa holds the relics of the Buddha at its base, enshrined by the 14th Dalai Lama himself. Later we visit Leh Palace, nine storey palace built in 1553. One can have the beautiful view of Leh city and surrounding mountains. After that come back to hotel and relax.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 04 - Leh

    Sightseeing tour of Leh

    This morning after breakfast we proceed for the sightseeing tour of Leh city, we head towards Thiksey Monastery located on top of the hill which holds the resemblance of Potala Palace in Lhasa (Tibet). Thiksey Monastery houses a large statue of Buddha and this is one of the most frequently visited monasteries in Ladakh region. After that we visit Shey Palace on the way to Leh. The monastery is noted for its giant copper with gilded gold statue of a seated Shakyamuni Buddha. It is said to be the second largest such statue in Ladakh then after the visit we return back to the hotel and relax.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 05 - Rumbak

    Drive to Spituk monastery then drive to Zingchen and start trekking to Rumbak (Trek begins)

    This day a short transfer to Spituk from Leh, reach Spituk where we can visit Spituk Monastery. From the monastery one can have the panoramic view of the mountains and the valley. From here a new road takes us across the Indus towards Zingchen. We will drive as far as the road conditions allow and to where our ponies will be waiting. Once they are loaded up, we start our trek into the Zingchen Gorge at the foot of the Stok Mountains. The trail is straightforward as we follow the Zingchen Nala upstream. An ever-changing panorama of fantastic colored mountains surrounds us as we ascend the valley. We may have to cross the river as the stream forces the path, closer to the side of the valley. Suddenly the valley widens and reveals the snowcapped peaks of the Stok Mountains. Prayer flags on a wide pasture mark the junction with the trail leading to Rumbak Village, which is our campsite with the stunning views all around. (Trek begins | 3870m | 3hrs trek).

    Overnight Camp

  • DAY 06 - Yurutse

    Trek from Rumbak to Yurutse

    Today we start trekking towards our next campsite Yurutse village. We walk along the main trail, keep walking for about an hour; you’ll reach a place called Yurutse. While trekking one gets the opportunity to view the snowcapped Stok Mountains. The landscape here is barren and the mountains brighten with yellow glow and green pastures. Yurutse village is a small settlement where home stays are also available and it will be our next campsite for the night. (3900m | 3-4hrs trek)

    Overnight Camp

  • DAY 07 - Skiu

    Trek from Yurutse to Skiu en-route crossing Ganda La (4900m)

    This morning after breakfast we continue the trek towards Skiu from Yurutse village, the trail gets steeper with every step. We ascend towards the Ganda La (4900m) (‘La’ means pass in Tibetan) leaving the fields behind, the trail is clear as it zigzags towards the pass. As we climb up the views become more and more spectacular. After crossing the pass we descend towards Shingo village. From Shingo the trail heads into a narrow gorge leading towards Skiu. Then we will reach the Markha River at the village of Skiu. Here wheat and vegetables are cultivated by villagers, who also harvest wild seabuckthorn berries. There is a monastery in Skiu which was constructed in the 11th century. (3400m | 6-7hrs trek)

    Overnight Camp

  • DAY 08 - Markha

    Trek to Markha

    Today the trek is long but it is an easy walk along the valley towards Markha. The terrain along the valley is not demanding, so there is plenty of opportunity to admire the magnificent scenery. The colors of the barren mountains of Ladakh are truly spectacular and the mountains change colors dramatically as the sun rises and sets. We follow the river and will have to cross the river sometimes. We will have lunch in Sara, where there is usually some welcome shade in a tea tent. Beyond the settlement of Chalak there is an impressive line of chortens and a huge mound of goat horns, which are placed on the chortens to ward off any evil spirits trying to enter the valley. Climbing up to a small pass, we descend again to the river and a mediaeval fort, silhouetted on the hillside, tells us that we have almost reached Markha. Markha is a small village and there will be time to explore the small monastery in the afternoon. Our camp will be on the grazing flats near the village. (3850m | 5-6hrs trek)

    Overnight Camp

  • DAY 09 - Thachungtse

    Visit Markha Monastery, then trek towards Thachungtse

    Morning after breakfast we visit the Markha Monastery and start trekking towards our next campsite. Just beyond Markha valley the trail meets the Chacham Valley. Here is the Umlung Gompa, set away above us on the cliff. We will visit the monastery, which is the most important in the valley and is affiliated to Hemis Monastery. We continue up to the valley and walk through Umlung Village to Hankar which has more impressive fort ruins and a small gompa. From Hankar the trail turns off from the main valley and now follows the Nimaling stream to Thachungtse where we camp for the night. We may be blessed with luck to watch wild sheep grazing on the high up areas. (4300m | 6-7hrs trek)

    Overnight Camp

  • DAY 10 - Nimaling

    Trek from Markha to Nimaling

    Today will be a short walk to reach our next camping site, Nimaling. Ahead on the trail one can have the spectacular views of Kang Yatze peak (6400m), the highest peak in the valley. In this area, there is no permanent habitation but during the summer months the shepherds bring their flocks of sheep, goats and dzos to graze on the high altitude pasture. The shepherds stay in stone shelters close to the grazing area for the whole summer and we can often buy yoghurt or local cheese from them. We should get to Nimaling by lunch time and in the afternoon there is an optional walk behind camp towards Kang Yatze. This is worth doing and highly recommended for an impressive close up view of Kang Yatze, which at 6400m is the highest peak in Markha Valley. (4800 m | 3-4hrs trek)

    Overnight Camp

  • DAY 11 - Shang Sumdo

    Trek from Nimaling to Shang Sumdo en-route crossing Kongmaru La (5200m) (Trek ends)

    We will start our day by climbing up to the Kongmaru La. The ascent to reach the top of the pass at 5200m is zigzag, long and steep, but the view from the top is worth the effort. Ahead there are views across the Stok Range and down to the Indus valley. The descent is steep at first and then we enter into a spectacular gorge and follow a gradual descend. Passing through Chuskurmo and Chokdo, we continue our long descent to the village of Shang Sumdo. Today is a hard day due to the crossing of the high pass and long descent. (Trek ends | 3810m | 7-8hrs trek)

    Overnight Camp

  • DAY 12 - Leh

    Drive to Leh en-route visit Hemis monastery and museum

    Our transport should arrive in the morning and we drive to Hemis Monastery. (Occasionally the road gets blocked in which case we walk down following the jeep track to Hemis). The trek descends all the way to Hemis en route passing Martselang village. Later we reach and visit Hemis Monastery; it is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery (gompa) of the Drukpa Lineage. It holds the distinction of being the biggest as well as the wealthiest monastery of Ladakh. The annual Hemis festival honoring Padmasambhava is held here in early June. From here we board the vehicle and drive back to Leh. Check-in to the hotel and rest of the day is free for us to explore the surrounding area.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 13 - Delhi

    Early morning flight to Delhi, reach Delhi and check-in to the hotel

    Today early morning we will be transferred to the Leh Airport to board the internal flight to Delhi after the breakfast. Later Arrive in Delhi airport and transfer to the hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is free to relax at the hotel.

    Overnight Hotel

  • DAY 14 - Delhi

    Departure to the International airport of Delhi

    Now today you will be assisted by our KVT’s representative while checking out at the hotel then you will be transferred to the International Airport of Delhi to board the flight for back home.

Tour Map (Only key areas marked)

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Flexibility Guaranteed! Using the above itinerary as a guide you can fully customise this tour as per your budget and requirements. Flexible options include travel dates and duration, places, activities and experiences, hotel category (star/rating) and any specific requirements that you may have. On receiving your enquiry we will respond with prices and work with you to create a truly personalised holiday experience that is in your budget and personal style.

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Enjoy complete flexibility in planning and booking our tours for a truly personalised India holiday that is in your budget and personal style.

  • Flexible travel dates and duration
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