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Ladakh
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Home   »   Ladakh  »   Ladakh Treks

Ladakh Treks
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Trekking Ladakh is the remote high altitude plateau cradled by the Karakoram and the great Himalayan ranges. To get to this desolate and hauntingly beautiful land, one has to either take a flight or after a point drive through treacherous passes along some of the highest motorable roads in the world. Snow crested peaks, acres of mountainous desert land, high altitude lakes, gorgeous monasteries and an amazing culture are the other attractions in Ladakh besides its dominating landscape. Ladakh is full of trails that connect remote villages spread across ancient trade routes, and there is no better way to absorb this fascinating land than to trek through it. Leh, the capital city of Ladakh and also its largest has for centuries been an important trade link on the legendary silk route, even today it is the epicenter of all commercial and cultural activity that takes place in the province. It is also the starting point from where most treks begin. But remember even the so called 'easy' treks of Ladakh and Zanskar are difficult as all of them start at over 4,800 m, and many have passes over 3,000m. A successful Trek in Ladakh requires you to acclimatise well as the rarefied air contains a lesser degree of oxygen. To acclimatise, spend a few days in Leh, go for gentle walks and get used to the altitude before you set out on your trek.

Many areas in Ladakh are so far removed from civilisation that you may walk for a whole day without coming across another human being, with no road signs on the mostly indiscernible trails it is easy to get lost and the best thing to do is to hire a guide. A good guide can also point out flowers, birds and plants that you may miss out on and enlighten you on local legend and lore to make your trip more interesting.

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Popular Treks In Ladakh
Spituk to Stok
Trekking A trek that takes 4 to 5 days it starts from Spituk from where a 4-6 hour walk will take you to Zingchan, midway you will also come across the Hemis National Park. From here walk along the Indus, through valleys and bridges, chortens marked with prayer flags and groves of willows and wild roses to reach Rumbak. From Rumbak the next cam site is Stok La, a steep climb but worth the effort for the gorgeous views it affords. The last day of the trek is an easy downhill walk to Stok. Explore the ancient Stok Palace at Stok, once the residence of the King of Ladakh. On route rest at tea stalls on the way and pitch your tents at the many comfortable campsites here.

Likir to Temisgam
One of the easiest treks in Ladakh it takes about four days and is best undertaken in summer, between the months of May and September. Likir is an hour and a half from Leh, from Likir at a distance of 9 km and a 4-5 hours walk will take you through Phobe La, a small settlement called sumdo to the charming village called Yangthang. Pitch your tent here and start out the next day for Hemis Shukpachen, one of the most beautiful villages in Ladakh. An easy 2-3 hour walk through sparkling streams and barley fields will bring you here. From Shukpachen you need to cover a distance of 10 km to get to Mebtak La-Ang, a charming village with apricot orchards. The last day walk downhill to the main road to reach Temisgam.
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Lamayuru to Alchi
A 5-6 day long trek it is moderate on the scale of difficulty. Lamayuru is 120 kms west of Leh and also houses Yung-drung, the oldest monastery of Ladakh. From Lamayuru a 4-5 hour trek will bring you to the Pritikingi La pass and east of here lies the village of Wanla, pitch a tent here. From Wanla a 5-6 hour walk besides the Wanla river and later the Ripchar stream will bring you to Hinju, the stop for the night. From Hinju walk through summer pastures to reach Sumdha Chenmo in about 4-5 hours. The trail moves south east from here and an easy 5-6 hour walk brings one to Sumdha Chun. The last day and the last leg of this trek is perhaps its toughest, from Sumdha Chun one has to make the rocky climb to the pass of Stakspi La and walk down for 3 hours to reach Alchi.

Markha Valley
Markha Vally The Markha valley trek is hugely popular and also one of the most thrilling, set in the Hemis National Park this trek includes two passes at heights of 4,800 and 5,000 meters that need to be crossed. An adventurers delight this trek also involves wading through waist-deep rivers and pitching camps amidst aromatic shrubs and wilderness. A 6-8 day long trek it begins at Spituk, from where a 4-6 hour trek along the Indus river will take you to the Zingchan Village. The next day includes a brisk walk up to the Kandala base camp. Shallow streams and exotic little hamlets, crumbling monasteries, colourful prayer flags and charming wooden tea shops are what you'll find en route to Skiu. Head north and explore the Markha valley set around the cold swift Markha river, explore the old fort and monastery here as well. From Marakha the trek to Tsigu is a tough one, it takes about 7-8 hours and entails crossing the river twice,

Climate
Ladakh falls under the rain shadow area of the Himalayas due to which it receives very little rainfall, this area is also known as the cold desert. The climate in Ladakh is extremely cold in winter and the sun's effect is harsher due to the rarefied air. You could therefore suffer from conditions as diverse as frostbite and sunburn at the same time, if you're not well protected. Temperatures in Ladakh, range from -3 to 30 degrees Celsius in the summer and from -40 to 15 degrees Celsius in the winter. The summer months from June to September are the best time to visit here.

Trekking Essentials
Essentials that you should carry with you to cope with the climate in Ladakh are wind cheaters, woollen clothing, thick socks, gloves, scarves, a hat or woollen cap, sturdy boots or walking shoes, sunscreen, lip balm and goggles.

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