The Markha Valley Trek is the most serene and one of the famous treks of Ladakh Region. It is an amazing trip to get introduced with magical and remote Buddhist Kingdom of Ladakh. While trekking on through this trek, we visit beautiful Buddhist Monasteries, remote Mountain Villages and High altitude pastures like Nimaling. there are the ruins of many forts and castles, some built in some pretty unlikely places!
It is a fairly long trek, crossing Kongmaru La at 5200m and has the fine objective of visiting the base camp of the highest peak in the Zanskar range, Mt Kang Yatse, 6400m.
What’s included in the Package?
- All road transport by private ac cars (airport transfers/ from Leh to base camp and back).
- Arrival/ departure 2 nights Hotel accommodation in Leh (full board), unless specified.
- 7 nights tented accommodation (full-board) mountain camps.
- All trekking gear including tents, sleeping bags, mats, blankets, trekking poles.
- English Speaking Local Guide and a Cook.
- All cooking utensils including cooking LPG stove.
- Horses to carry backpack (except day sack), group equipment (tents/ stoves/ fuel) to the higher camps.
- Meal plan: All meals included (vegetarian meals including eggs and cheese, unless specified.
- Trek/ Wildlife Permits.
- First Aid.
What’s not included in the Package?
- International or domestic flights
- Travel insurance.
- Personal clothing and equipment.
- Any medical costs incurred by you, or costs associated with a medical incident, such as your evacuation from the mountain and/ or hospitalization (for which you should have travel insurance).
- Optional trips or excursions.
- Tips for local staff and guides.
Day 1: Arrival reception at Leh Airport.
On arrival at Leh airport , you will be met by our representative who will transfer you to the hotel. Overnight stay.
Day 2: Leh- Zingchen- Rumbak 4000 m (5 hours trek): We drive from Leh to Spituk and continue on a dirt jeep road into a parched and exposed region. After about an hour drive, we will enter the Zingchen Valley where the Rumbak River flows into the Indus which makes its way down a mighty canyon. Further into the valley lies a beautiful village of Rumbak, inhabited by 15 families.
Day 3 : Rumbak – Ganda La Base 4500 m (3-4 hours): From Rumbak it’s a short walk to our next camp, but very important one in terms of acclimatization, as we will camp very high tonight and cross the high pass the next day. So, we will not hurry and take our time to reach the camp at the Base of Ganda La. After a short walk from the camp, we will come across the village of Yuruche, inhabited by only 1 family. From our campsite there are spectacular views of Stok Kangri and the whole Stok range.
Day 4 : Ganda La base – Skiu via Ganda La 6-7 hours: After a light breakfast, we will begin our 2-hour ascent towards Ganda La (4900m). The usual chorten and prayer flags mark the top of the pass, where one may see blue sheep, marmots and arghali roaming the hills around. Views of the lofty Zanskar Range and the distant Himalaya Range are great as well. After a short rest, we will make a gradual descent to Shingo and break for lunch. We will finish the day by hiking for 2-hours through a spectacular gorge before making camp at Skiu (3300m). Within this idyllic village lies an old monastery and ruins of an old castle, once a rest stop for the Royal family on their way to Srinagar.
Day 5 : Skiu – Markha (8 hours trek): Following the Markha River, we will hike through the lovely valley on a fairly level path. The trail crosses the river at various points, and passes winter settlements that contain Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers). During peak season a number of tented teahouses will be open for refreshment. Markha (3800m) is the largest village in the valley, consisting of around 20 houses, an old monastery and a ruined fort.
Day 6 : Markha – Thachungtse (6 hours trek): The Markha valley trail continues pass old stone-mills, a ruined castle and the auspicious monastery of Techa, which proudly perches upon a cliff that looms above Markha. The path then intersects the river several times before cutting through the last hamlets in the valley. After leaving the village of Umlung, we will be afforded our first view of mighty Mt. Kang Yatse (6400m), which will stay in sight until we cross Kongmaru La. After we break for lunch in the village of Hangkar (the last one in the valley), we will continue onward to the lovely green pasture of Thachungste (4100m), where we will make camp.
Day 7: Thachungtse – Nimaling (4 hours trek): Today the trail will lead us up to the beautiful plateau of Nimaling, where the people of the Markha Valley bring their herds to graze during the summer months. At 4700m, Nimaling is the highest camp (4600m) on the trek, giving us spectacular views of the huge peak of Kang Yatse to the right.
Day 8 : Nimaling – Shangsumdo via Kongmaru La (7 hours trek): After a hearty breakfast, we will cross Kongmaru La (5200m), the highest pass on the trek, and from here we will have a wonderful view of the Indus Valley and Ladakh Range. The descent is quite steep, but will gradually level out as we enter Shang Gorge, with its fascinating rock formations. More river crossings bar our way before we arrive at the sour-spring of Chuskurmo (used in traditional medicine by the Amchi doctors). Camp overnight in Shang Sumdo.
Day 9: Shangsumdo – Leh via Martselang: We will enjoy a pleasant 2-hour walk along a jeep road to Martselang, where the jeep will pick us up. On the way to Leh, it will be possible to visit some of the great monasteries of Ladakh such as Thikse, Hemis and Shey.
Day 10: Departure. Drop at airport.
Our representative will drop you at Leh airport for departure.
What To Carry?
The trek is supported by horses. You will need to carry only a light sack, weighing about 4-6kg for your personal items like passport, money and camera gear. The following is a list of the items you should carry on the trek. If you have items which can not be used on the trek, you can store them at our houseboat or at our office and take them back after returning from the trek.
Kashmir Treks are achievable by anyone with a healthy lifestyle and a good level of general fitness. Team members should be willing to be part of a team working together to achieve the goal of the expedition. As a team member, you should have an adventurous and robust spirit. The biggest challenge on this expedition will be the many consecutive days of challenging trekking across alpine terrain, much of which at altitudes of above 3000m.
Minimum fitness requirements
- Trek: up to 16km per day.
- Daily activity: up to 6 hours trekking per day.
- Carry: up to 5kg in a day sack.
- Terrain: remote, uneven, snowy, icy, rocky, sometimes exposed terrain at up to 4000m.
- Climate: Can be sunny in valleys and cold and windy at altitude. Averages are 3400m, 5 to 20C.
- Swim: not required though there will be stream crossings to make.
Plan Your Trek
While planning your trek, as a beginner keep the following points in consideration:-
- you feel fit enough to trek for hours.
- you walk two or three kilometers daily.
- you don’t have any breathing problem.
- you are not scared of heights.
- get advice from your doctor.
- or chose trekking for few days instead.
Join Our Short Trekking Courses
The aim of our trekking courses is to make you familiar with the basics of trekking, adjust yourself with the climate and prepare you to ascend the altitude. We offer three different courses. Each course is designed in levels so that the best can suite you, instructed by our experienced trekking staff.
- 5 days trekking course at Gulmarg..
- 10 days trekking course at Nubra.
- 15 days trekking course at Sonamarg.