Leh TrekkingJust like a kaleidoscope, the mixed landscape of Leh-Ladakh brings abundant opportunities for adventures, one such is trekking in Leh. Filled with slopey, rugged, forested and mountainous trails, a new excursion is just around the corner in this high-altitude region.
Among the most renowned and rush inducing is the whimsical winter trek of Chadar that lets you trudge on and along the frozen Zanskar River. Another compelling winter Leh trekking venture is ‘the Snow Leopard’ that not only offers mesmerizing views of snow-covered mountains and meadows but also actual ‘snow leopards’ that inhabit here.
But that's not the end of the treks in Leh. There are many beautiful trails across the Indian Union Territory that will leave you awe-struck. Ripchar, Markha, Sham Valley Trek are to be named a few that one can attempt during summers and with both experience and inexperience alike. Furthermore, all the treks have a duration of 5 days and above, letting you stay and set camp amidst verdant plains, villages, lakeside etc. and be able to admire the naturalness fully.
People Also Ask About Trekking in Leh
Which are the best treks to Leh?
Chadar Trek: This Leh trekking adventure is not for the faint-hearted and is strictly for the more experienced trekkers. Perched at an elevation of 3850 metres, the trek goes on for about 9 days with sometimes minus 30 degrees temperatures. The Zanskar River, a part of the trek trail, gets frozen and one has to walk patiently and skillfully over the icy layer. Besides this, there are many other challengings yet astounding parts that make the effort worthwhile
Snow Leopard Trek: String and ending in Leh, the Snow Leopard Trek is one of the tough winter Trekking in Leh adventures. Starting at the base camp in Zingchen, the treacherous trudge lasts around 8 days and lets you walk past frozen paths and exceptional high altitude flora and fauna. The highlight of the Trek and the reason behind its name is the spotting of Snow Leopards, as well as the metaphoric snowy sceneries.
Ripchar Valley Trek: Starting at Lamayuru monastery at an elevation of 4500 metres, the Ripchar Valley Trek is one of the most exhilarating Leh trekking experiences. Covering a duration of 8 to 9 days, this lengthy and demanding trek repays the effort with the splendid vistas and views of many alpine villages, pasture-lands and meadows, along with the Zanskar and Karakoram Range.
Markha Valley Trek: Starting at around 3500 metres above sea level, the Markha Valley Trek is of moderate difficulty that spans over 7 to 8 days. Covering and ascending to reach an elevation of 50000 metres. Throughout the way, you are pleasantly surprised by regional and unique biodiversity, the Kongmaru La pass, Hemis National Park, among others.
Lamayuru to Chilling Trek: A striking blend of sightseeing and adventure, the Lamayuru to Chilling Trek does just that. Starting from the 11th-century Lamayuru Monastery, over 7 days you go through the bounteous Sham Valley, Wanla, Hinju, Sumda Chenmo and Dudunchen La before finally reaching Chilling.
Spituk to Matho Trek: At an altitude of 4850 metres above sea level. The Spituk and Matho Trail is among the top Treks in Leh that present an insight into the regional wildlife like no other. Prominently revolving around the Hemis National Park, over the five days, one would be charmed by the alpine flora and fauna, views of majestic snow-covered mountains and other natural formations.
Sham Valley Trek: Counted as one of the Treks in Leh, the Sham Valley trail is comfortable and over-pouring with the natural beauty of Leh-Ladakh region. The best kind of introduction for amateur trekkers, this course lasts around 7 days starting at Likir and taking you through a mix of local culture and unforgettable sceneries along Phobe La, Mental La, Tsermangchen La Passes before finally ending the adventure at Nurla.
How difficult is Chadar trek?
Having moderate to difficult grading, the Chadar Trek in Leh-Ladakh is among the best winter treks in the country. Ascending towards 13,00 feet above sea level, the trek requires one to be physically fit. Like with all high altitude regions, one would have to get acclimatized to the low oxygen levels and thin air. There is also a mandatory health check-up before joining the Chadar Trek trip.
What is the best time for Chadar trek?
Chadar Trek in Leh-Ladakh is dubbed as one of the best winter treks in the country. Hence the perfect time to walk on the frozen Zanskar River is during the chilling months of January and February.
Can beginners go for Stok Kangri trek?
No. It is not advised for amateurs and first-time trekkers to opt for the Stok Kangri Trek as it is one of the high altitude trails in India. To be able to handle and get comfortable with ever-changing temperatures, air-pressure one can show symptoms of AMS and ill-health by not getting acclimated to the surroundings. Thus, people with fit physique and prior trekking experience are best-suited.
How difficult is Markha Valley trek?
Marked as moderate to difficult, the Markha Valley Trek commences at an elevation of 10,490 feet at Chilling and ascends to the highest point of 17,060 feet at Kongmaru La.
When is the best time to visit Leh for trekking?
For most trekking trips in Leh, it is best to visit between June and September due to the pleasant temperatures and favourable weather conditions. Apart from that, to partake in winter treks like Chadar and Snow Leopard Treks, you should consider January and February.
How can I reach Leh? How far is it from Delhi?
The fastest and most convenient way to reach Leh from other metropolitan cities in India is by taking a flight. Leh has its own airport (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee) that has a well-connected air route.
Meanwhile, the nearest Railway Station is in Tawi, at a distance of 700 kilometres. From the station, you can board a taxi or get on a public or private bus to complete the remaining journey.
Apart from that, travellers in Manali and Srinagar can also opt for buses, cars and bikes as a means to reach Leh. The distance between Leh and Delhi is 961 kilometres via Leh Manali Highway route.
Is it safe to do trekking in Leh?
Trekking in Leh is safe as most trips are conducted in groups that are headed by experts and skilled guides. Also, it is best to research the types of treks and the requirements to best prepare for the excursion. The more difficult and high-level treks are to be attempted after adequate medical consultation and clearance.
What all things I must carry while going for trekking in Leh?
Here is a list of the things to carry along on the trekking adventure in Leh:
- Body Thermals
- Warm Pants
- Full Sleeves T-shirts
- Down Jacket
- Fleece Jacket
- Warm Socks
- Trekking shoes (water-resistant)
- Crocs/Open-toed Sandals and Slippers
- Rain Coat
- Woollen Gloves
- Woolen Cap that covers the ears
- More warm clothing (especially for winter treks)
- Lip balm
- Toothbrush and Paste
- Trek Equipments
- UV Protection Sunglasses
- Head Torch
- Daypack with Raincover
- Rucksack (50-60 L)
- Medicine kit
- Fire-starter Kit
- Hot Water Bag
- Hot Water Bottle
- Insulated water bottle or thermos flask
- Snacks and Eatables
- Ziplock bags
- Polybags to throw garbage