The Markha Valley trek is one of the most fascinating treks in Ladakh. The trek takes you on a beautiful journey in the land of fluttering colorful prayer flags, mane walls, high passes, exotic wildlife and unusual shear canyons. Not to forget the authentic villages you walk past, bringing you closer to the Ladakhi culture. Markha Valley trek which has another nick name, tea house trek because here one can expect parachute tents accommodation at most of the villages on the way. An arid cold desert trekking area which offers the best views of Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges have admirers worldwide. You will come to see the 21000 feet Kang Yissay and 20086 feet Stok Kangri peaks also while you embark on this trek. Hemis National Park and Gandala La and Kongmaru La are the promising attractions one gets while taking Markha Valley trek route. Another factor that makes this trek amusing is the waist deep river crossing which helps us to cross Markha River to reach the trails to Buddhist villages and rock structures. The highest point of Markha valley trek is 17,060 feet at Kongmaru la and it has two pass crossing- Gandala La(15,748 ft) and Kongmaru la(17,060 ft).
Arrive at Leh and check into the homestay and take complete rest for acclimatization. Overnight stay in homestay at Leh.
Leh is situated at an altitude of 11,480 ft. The entire day is for you to relax and acclimatize to the high altitude of Leh. Today, you can get familiar with the town and enjoy the cultural and natural beauty of Leh. Today, you can explore Leh local market and monasteries situated near the Leh town. Overnight stay in homestay at Leh.
We will drive to the Spituk village, which is a long stretch of barren desert. From here, you have to hike at a short and moderate gradient to reach Zingchen. Zingchen is a beautiful, green valley, and it is here where the Rumbak River mixes with the Indus River. Enjoy the trail through Rumbak Village to reach Yurutse and come across several stream crossings. Pass the village before setting up camp. The site is a winsome one with barley fields all around.
After breakfast, we will head towards Gandala La which is steep ascent. Expect a steep climb and strong winds towards the latter half. From the pass, enjoy views of valleys on both side, Zanskar range and some distant summits of the Himalayan range. Commence descending to Shingo Village, after which, the trail makes its way into a narrow gorge leading towards Skiu, where a confluence of the rivers come from Markha Valley and Shingo.x`
After breakfast, Brace yourself for a long and moderate hike till the charming Markha Village. Cross several streams along the way. Reach the hamlet that is a trove in the middle of this cold and arid desert. The place is laced with green fields, willow trees and a deserted palace.
Past old stone-mills, a fort and monastery, the Markha Valley trek intersects the river several times before passing through the last villages of this valley. After crossing Umlung, Kang Yatse and Hangskar (the last hamlet in the valley), you will finally reach Thachungtse. On your arrival in Thachungtse, head towards your lodging and rest overnight.
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.
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). Drive from Sumdo to Leh takes about 2 hours. Reach Leh by evening. Overnight stay in Leh.
Fly back from LEH.
As we gain higher altitude, the air becomes thinner. To overcome this we need to develop our aerobic fitness. The more fitter you are, you will enjoy more during the trek.
Difficulty Level- Moderate- Difficult
1: For cardiovascular endurance, begin jogging atleast 2 month before the trek.
2: For strength do squats, push ups.
Fitness Bechmark: Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 30 mins. Remember always start your training program with stretching and warm up exercises.
Things to carry durring trek
Ladakh in summer is a great tourist destination for adventure junkies and leisure travelers. This is the best time to go to Ladakh when the weather is pleasant. During summers the main Manali – Leh Highway and the Leh -Srinagar highway is open.
Reaching Leh by Flights
Leh Airport is situated in Leh. All flights to Leh in the Summer are in the morning.
Reaching Leh by Road
There are two ways Leh can be reached by road.
1) Manali-Leh Highway
This is a picturesque highway which connects Himachal and Ladakh with some of the worlds highest passes. It takes 2 days to reach Leh from Manali with a break in Jispa or Sarchu.
2) Srinagar-Leh Highway
This is a better road then the Manali -Leh highway. This journey can be easily completed in a day but you can also stop over at Kargil for the night and continue to Leh the next d