- Duration 9 Days
- Altitute 3800m
- Stay Rooms/Tents
- Difficulty Moderate
Markha Valley Trek
The Markha Valley trek has been the most popular trek in Ladakh for many years now, and rightly so. Some of the reasons that contribute to its popularity are:
(a) one gets to climb on top of two very high passes, Gandala la (4800 m) & Kongmaru La (5150 m) offering stunning views from the top (b) the quaint hamlet of Markha which is nothing less than an oasis in this cold semi arid terrain of Ladakh (c) One gets to hike through remote gorges and vast undulating grazing grounds, cross several streams & rivers, and (d) get a very up close and personal experience of the Ladakhi culture and way of life.
This trail is good for fit first timers also, but before we head for trekking in Ladakh - GIO Adventures advices you to spend some time at lower altitudes and get acclimatized properly.
For the Markha trek we spend the first 2 days in Leh to get acclimatized to the thin air conditions. This is the most important factor in this trek as one is required to hike to altitudes above 5000 m. While in Leh we will get an opportunity to soak in the local culture as we visit the nearby monasteries, museum, fort & the local market place. We start the Markha trek from Zingchen and then cross over the Ganda La (4800 m) the next day to reach the valley on the other side having playing host to the beautiful Markha village.
This village is a real paradise with picture perfect setting; there is a beautiful river, Markha flowing by the village, big jagged and dry mountains and gorges in the background and totally contrasting green field and willow & popular trees all around the village. To top it all the people of the village, that you will come across during the Markha Valley trek, are inviting and very forthcoming of local information. Having seen this jewel in the mountains we start moving towards the next big pass of Kongmaru La (5150 m) which we need to cross over to get on the valley on the other side.This is a wonderful stage with the top highlight being the views from top of the pass and walking through big grazing fields having a network of streams. Due to the recent work on constructing roads in Ladakh we will be able to reach the road head the same day we do the Kongmarula pass when we reach sumdo. From sumdo Leh is just a couple of hours drive.
Day 01: Arrive in Leh (3500m)
Day 02: Leh Sightseeing/Acclimatization (3500m)
Day 03: Leh (3500m) - Zingchen (3400m) - Drive Yurutse (4150 m) Trek/4 hrs
Day 04: Yurutse (4150m) - Ganda La (4800 m) - Skiu (3400m, Trek 7/8 hrs)
Day 05: Skiu (3400m) - Markha (3800m, Trek 6/7 hrs)
Day 06: Markha (3800m) - Thochuntse (4150m, Trek /4-5 hrs)
Day 07: Thochuntse (4150m) - Nimaling (4700m, Trek/4 hrs)
Day 08: Nimaling (4700m) - Kongmaru La (5150m) - Sumdo(3800m, Trek 7 hrs.) - Leh (3500m, Drive 2 hrs.)
Day 09: Departure from Leh
We will all meet at the hotel in Leh for breakfast. One can reach Leh by road via Manali or Srinagar or reach directly by air (1 hour) from Delhi. Today we will check into the hotel and relax. We will not exert ourselves in anyway and try to get acclimatized fast. This is paramount for this trip. We will be staying in a good quality, neat and clean hotel with all basic amenities in Leh on the first 2 nights. Overnight at the hotel.
Today will be at leisure and one can choose to go on a sightseeing trip, check out the local markets or just relax at the hotel. If required we can make arrangement for the sightseeing trips. Please get in touch with the trek leader for the same. Overnight at the hotel.
We will depart for Zingchen after an early breakfast we drive till Zingchen driving past the Spikut village. From zingchen we start our hike for the day. It’s a short stage with moderate gradient. We will hike through Rumbak village to reach our destination for the day, Yurutse. We cross the village before setting up our camp for the day. There are very pretty barley fields all around. It’s a good warm up hike today and you are sure to like the several stream crossings along the way. Overnight in tents
In the first stage of the trek we climb up to the Ganda La (4900 m). It’s a steep climb towards the latter part and strong winds around the pass add to the difficulty. From the pass there are great views of unserlying valleys on both side and the Zanskar range also visible are many distant summits of the Himalayan range. From the pass we start descending and walk down to Shingo village after a long descent. From Shingo the trail heads into a narrow gorge leading towards Skiu. At Skiu there is a confluence of the rivers coming from Markha valley and Shingo. Overnight in tents
It's a long but moderate hike today till the scenic village of Markha. You are sure to love the hike today as you walk along and cross several streams. Markha village is a true oasis in the middle of this cold/arid desert. There are about 25-30 families/houses here and plenty of green fields and popular & willow trees. There is a deserted palace too. To best enjoy the village catch hold of a local and get to know more of the way of life is this beautiful part of the world. We will camp along the side of a beautiful stream. Overnight in tents
Another stage of moderate hiking with pleasant views all around. There are yet again several interesting stream/river crossings. Also highlight of the day would be views of the impressive Kangyatze peak (6400m) when walking towards Hankar. We also cross a few settlements/grazing grounds today. There are plenty of good camping sites and we select one to spend the night here. Overnight in tents
It's a short walk today to reach the campsite at Nimalaing. Nimaling is a vast open valley with unending grazing grounds and Kangyatze peak in the background. Almost always there is constant wind blowing in this region which makes conditions slightly uncomfortable. One can do a side trip today towards the base camp of Kangyatse. Overnight in tents
After an early breakfast we set out on a steep climb to reach the top of the highest pass on the trail - Kongmaru La (5200m). From the pass one can see Nun Kun in the west and Saser kangri to the north. We spend some time at the pass to soak in and capture the fabulous views all around before descending to Sukarmo from where it’s a flat walk along the river to reach the road head at Sumdo. Here we board the waiting vehicles and drive back to Leh. Overnight at the hotel
Early morning depart from Leh. Trip ends here!!
- Transport from & back to Leh as per the itinerary in Tempo Traveller / Toyota Innova / Mahindra Scorpio
- Accommodation in standard rooms in a family-run guesthouse in Leh on single/double occupancy
Good Quality Camping Arrangements
- Good Quality Camping Arrangements
- 3/4 season imported alpine tents
- Fresh and clean sleeping bags of very good quality
- Good quality Camping Mattresses
- Camping stools
- Mess Tent
- Meal plan on the first 2 days in Leh breakfast will be provided as part of your package. From day 3 all meals will be provided till lunch on day 08. A lot of emphasis is given to nutritional needs and a menu of vegetarian dishes is prepared accordingly.
- Professional guide(s) to ensure high safety and more information and personal attention which are necessary to appreciate a trek. All our guides are professionally trained and have many years of relevant experience in guiding treks.
- Porter/mule charges for carrying camping equipment & rations
- Forest entry charges, permits & camping fee (if any)
- Permits & camping fee (if any)
- First aid kit (our guides are certified in handling first aid situations)
- Any sightseeing in and around Leh (Can be arrange on request at an extra cost)
- Any meals/services not mentioned above. Dinner & lunch in Leh is not part of the package
- Porter/mule charges to carry your personal bag
- Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
- Alcohol, soft drinks, beverages, etc.
- Personal expenses like tips, telephone calls, laundry, etc.
- Any costs arising out of unforeseen circumstances like landslides, road blocks, bad weather, etc.
- Service Tax
- 5% GST
Rs. 23,500Departure Dates
Recognised by Ministry of Tourism, Government of India as an Approved Adventure Tour Operator