One of the most popular treks in Ladakh, the proximity to Leh brings a lot of people to this valley. Beautiful landscape and good chances to spot some high altitude wildlife.
Markha Valley Trek
Day 01: Fly Delhi – Leh (3500m)
Transfer to hotel. Relax and acclimatise. Visit Leh market in the evening. Overnight Hotel.
Day 02: In Leh (3500m)
Visit Leh palace, the Shey / Thikse / Hemis gompas. Overnight Hotel
Day 03: Drive Leh to Spituk and trek to Zingchan (3380m) 4-5hrs
The trail goes through a flat and desolate plain along the river Indus and swings into the mountains along the pretty, willow-lined Zingchan gorge.
Day04: Trek Zingchan to Ganda La Base Camp (4380m) 6-7hrs
We enter the Hemis National Park and the valley soon narrows and widens just before Rumbak (3800m) revealing the snow-topped peaks of the Stok Mountains. Carry on walking upstream past the settlement of Yurutse. Camp just at the base of the Ganda La
Day 05: Trek Ganda La to Skiu (3400m) over the Ganda La (4850m) 6-7hrs
The walk up to the pass has some good views of the Stok La and Stok Kangri dominates skyline as we climb. Wide open views of the Zanskar and the Stok range from the pass. Keep an eye out for marmots. On the descend we go through a spectacular gorge with beautifully coloured and eroded rocks before we enter the tiny village of Skiu. Camp.
Day06: Trek Skiu to Markha (3700m) 5-6hrs
The trail to Markha is not too strenuous, rising about 300m over the 22km,crossing the Markha river a couple of times .There are a few ancient chortens along the trail, and a number of wolf pits used to trap wolves when they roam the valley during the winter months. Markha is a substantial village, complete with a derelict fort on the hillside and a small village monastery. Camp.
Day 07: Trek Markha to Thachungtse (4150m) 5-6hrs
KangYatze (6400m), a magnificent snow clad mountain commands the views for the next two days. On the walk there are sights of some fascinating geological creations of large boulders balanced precariously on top of consolidated earth spikes. Continue down over a bridge to Thachungtse, a lovely valley to camp in. A popular place to spot herds of blue sheep slide up and down the steep cliffs with incredible agility. Camp.
Day 08: Trek Thachungtse to Nimaling (4720m) 3-4hrs
You pass several mani walls and suddenly come across a small lake. The view is wonderful from here – both of KangYatze, whose bulk gets reflected in the still waters of the lake, and also of the Markha Valley which we are now well above. We descend slowly to the flat-bottomed valley of Nimaling which has a semi-permanent population of villagers who come from the Markha Valley to graze their live stock on the summer pastures.
Day 09: Rest day at Nimaling.
It is a beautiful and remote place to camp and one could easily spend a day or two relaxing or exploring the surrounding ridges and valleys. Optional walk up to the base of the KangYatze.
Day10: Trek Nimaling to Shang Sumdo(3660m) over the Kongmaru La (5130m) 6-7hrs
As we climb the last short but steep slope to the top there are good views over the Zanskar Range and of the vertical ice walls on the north face of Kang Yaze. Its about a 3hrs climb to the top. The descent initially is quite steep and then eases out to reach the river bed at Shang Sumdo.
Day11: Trek Shang Sumdo to Martselang (3450m) 2-3hrs & drive 2 hrs to Leh.
Leave Shang Sumdo by walking down stream to a bridge and follow the jeep track to Martselang. A little beyond get into vehicles to go to Hemis (optional) or continue directly to Leh. Overnight Leh Hotel.
Day 12: In Leh (3500m)
Day 13: Fly Leh – Delhi
Early morning transfer to Airport for Leh – Delhi flight.