Leh Ladakh Treks

Treks to take in Ladakh!

Chetna Khetawat
Written by Chetna Khetawat

Ladakh is a magical land which holds many mysteries and secrets in its womb! From the extraordinarily blue skies to sparkling blue lakes located in the vicinity of brown naked and barren mountains; Ladakh doesn’t fail to cast a spell on you; and the best way to experience this magic is on foot!

Here’s a list of some of the most amazing and breathtaking treks to take in this land-

  1. Chadar Trek :


Difficulty: Challenging

Maximum Altitude: 3,400m

Approximate Duration: 7-10 Days

Best Time to Visit: January- Early March

One of the most exhilarating and sought after treks in India, The Chadar Trek is one of the most challenging treks in the world. Giving a sense of pride and victory, many wish to take this trek and witness the extraordinarily gorgeous beauty as they walk on the frozen Zanskar River, but only a few dare to take this trek. Highly recommended for seasoned trekkers who love to live on the edge.

  1. Sham Valley Trek:

Difficulty: Easy

Maximum Altitude: 4,500m

Approximate Duration: 4-5 Days

Best Time to Visit: June- October

Also known as the “Baby Trek”, Sham Valley is perfect for those who have little trekking experience (Not beginners) and have decent fitness levels. Although there are a few steep climbs one should be careful about; it’s called a Baby, only in comparison to the other treks of Ladakh. One can be spell bound by the beautiful monasteries, the barren yet mesmerizing landscape and the small villages one would cross while on this trek. The best part is, if planned well, you can get to stay at a village home-stay after every day’s trek, meaning you needn’t carry your tents or pay for a porter. However, you can see the asphalt roads a number of times during the trek which might be a turn off!

  1. Nubra Valley Trek:

Difficulty: Moderate

Maximum Altitude: 5,400m

Approximate Duration: 7-9 Days

Best Time to Visit: June-September

Perched across the World’s Highest Motorable Pass, “Khardung La”, Nubra Valley is one of the most desired places to visit for all mountain lovers, trekkers or not. The trek not only gives a glimpse to the life of the locals in these villages, but you also get to visit the gigantic and extra ordinary beautiful Thiksey and Hemis Monasteries, the exorbitantly beautiful landscapes and a magical colorful bloom of flowers amidst bareness on all sides if visited in the season. Ride the double humped Bactrian camels, Camp under full moon on silver sands and a chance to rediscover self in the barren topography of the region.

  1. Snow Leopard Trek:

Difficulty: Moderate

Maximum Altitude: 4,000m

Approximate Duration: 8-10 Days

Best Time to Visit: November-March

Lying in the Hemis National Park, this Winter Trek covers almost entire Rumbak Valley. As the name suggests, the trek is a trail around the home of the majestic snow leopards which if you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of! The Hemis National Park is a wide 600sq KM area which aims on preserving the rare and unique Flora and Fauna of this region. Blue Sheep, Brown Bear, Horned Sheep, Tibetan Hare, Mountain Goats etc are some royal descendents of this region. Be prepared for both the harsh climate and the bewitching views you of the snow covered Himalayas you get on this trek!

  1. Stok Kangri Trek:

Difficulty: Difficult

Maximum Altitude: 6,150m

Approximate Duration: 7-9 Days

Best Time to Visit: July- September

One of the popular treks in the Ladakh region, Stok Kangri Trek isn’t for the faint hearted. If you’re willing to go beyond the usual and witness extreme dramatic changes in the landscape, the Stok Kangri Trek is what you should be planning. Winds, Slippery slopes, Steep Climbs, AMS, Changing weathers: it all seems worth once you start enjoying the views. Getting a chance to drool over and awe at the sights of the gorgeous Mt. Karakoram (Mount K2) and the Zanskar region, this trek for sure truly deserves the respect and popularity amongst Himalayan trekkers.

  1. Markha Valley Trek:

Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult

Maximum Altitude: 4,600m

Approximate Duration: 8-10 Days

Best Time to Visit: June- October

Markha Valley trek offers some of the most stunning views of the Ladakh and Zankar regions and a chance to explore the nomadic life of locals here. The trek offers you to a taste of Buddhist monasteries, Hemis National park, Gandala la Kongmaru La etc. The barrenness of the region and the absence of much human activity make the trek slightly challenging giving you a major adrenaline rush.

  1. Kang Yatse Trek:

Difficulty: Difficult

Maximum Altitude: 6,250m

Approximate Duration: 12-14 Days

Best Time to Visit: June- September

An extension of the Markha Valley Trek, Kang Yatse is every adventurous trek lover’s Mecca. The trek starts after the Markha Valley Trek and one can witness views of the Sasses Massif, Mt. Karakoram, Stok Kangri region, Nun Nun and even Zanskar range while taking this difficult but enthralling trek. If lucky, one might be able to spot the rare wildlife like the Blue Sheep, Marmont, Ibex etc. Appearing like the shape of a King’s throne, the Kang Yatse Trek is apt for experienced trekkers for their first 6000+ m trek as the Makhra Valley provides enough acclimatization.

  1. Zanskar Valley (Padum-Darcha) Trek:

Difficulty: Moderate-Difficult

Maximum Altitude: 4,300 m

Approximate Duration: 10-12 Days Best Time to Visit: June- Early October

Lying in the vicinity of Jammu and Kashmir State of India, closely connected to the Ladakh region, Zanskar Valley is extremely beautiful and almost untouched by tourism influx. Only the rarest of the travelers visit the Zanskar region and a very few dare to take on this trek. Often termed as the Lost Valley trek, it starts from the enchanting Lungak Valley in Zanskar and ends at the Lahaul Valley in Himachal Pradesh running through secluded monasteries, extra ordinary passes, numerous villages, changing landscapes and green pastures giving you memories for life.

I urge you take this trek soon, as there is a motor-able road under construction for this circuit, and once made it will start losing its charm.

So pick up the route which suits you best and start booking your trip to Leh, for a Lifetime Adventure!

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Chetna Khetawat

Chetna Khetawat

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