Chadar Trek, Zanskar River, Ladakh, India

About the Chadar Trek 2017

Located in the surreal Leh and Ladakh region of the Himalayas, the Chadar trek Ladakh on the frozen Zanskar river is extremely famous across the world. Ladakh is a magnificently stark high-altitude desert kingdom in the Indian Himalayas and is the perfect setting for a winter trek. It is famed for its high passes, brackish water lakes, deep blue skies and a landscape that is larger than life.

Chadar trek experience

Over hundreds of years, the Zanskar river has carved a path for itself through the rocky gorges of Ladakh. The walls of the gorges can go up to 2000 feet tall in some places. During the summer, the river is a perfect location for rafting, and during the winters it transforms into a sheet of ice. The ice on the river forms such a thick layer that the locals use it as a road. Trekkers will walk over this frozen river, camp in caves and in tents on the ice and trek past towering waterfalls that are frozen in mid-flow. The trek is intense and is a great test of your endurance and will under freezing temperatures, and has the reward of an unforgettable experience. As you trek you’ll witness breath-taking views of the majestic snow-clad peaks, hanging icicles, surreal landscapes, bleached rock faces, and weather-blackened trees.

Why you should go on the Chadar trek 2017

The Chadar Trek in Ladakh is one of the most unique treks in India, and possibly in the world too. It offers a fascinating opportunity to experience a winter phenomenon in the legendary Zanskar Valley. This dangerously thrilling trek involves walking on the frozen Zanskar River, camping in this icy wonderland, and discovering the dramatic beauty of a winter landscape. Through much of the trek, steep canyons accompany you on both sides. Sometimes the canyon walls are the only support you have as you make your way across fast flowing icy cold river water. Thick snow covers much of the trail and at night, you camp in tents on ice or in ancient caves.

The trek is a unique journey that is on the bucket list of almost all trekkers. While it's a valley trek across flat ground that doesn't take a toll on your legs, it's the temperature that you need to get used to. You walk in sub-zero temperature during the day and sleep in temperatures that can reach -25 degrees. Although the Chadar trek has gained popularity in recent years, it is still an isolated place where you and your team might be the only people as far as your eye can see.

Best season for Chadar trek 2017: When to go on the Chadar trek Ladakh

Due to the extremely cold winters, the Zanskar river freezes and that's when trekking enthusiasts from around the world flock to this place. The Chadar trek 2017 will be open in the months of December to February, but is dependent on the arrival of winter. The road to Zanskar Valley closes due to the snow and the only way to access the valley is along the frozen river.

Chadar Trek 2017 Itineraries: You can choose from whirlwind itineraries of the legendary frozen Zanskar river trek that gives you a Chadar Trek experience, without taking too long. It's perfect for those who are not sure they'll be able to handle longer durations in the freezing weather, or for those who have time restrictions. There are longer itineraries too that gives you enough time to acclimatise before heading out to take your first steps on ice. Chadar Trek costs upwards of INR 18,000 for an 8 day trek to INR 42,000 for 13 days. All itineraries will include at least a day’s stay in Leh to make sure you are fully acclimatized before you start the trek.

Top Chadar treks

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days

5
Chadar Experience - 5 Day Itinerary
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹21,500
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Chadar Experience - 5 Day Itinerary
Leh, Ladakh
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5
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₹21,500
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Trip Description
This whirlwind itinerary of the legendary frozen Zanskar river trek. The shortened itinerary gives you a Chadar Trek experience, without taking too long. It's perfect for those who are not sure they'll be able to handle longer durations in the freezing weather, or for those who have time restrictions.

In this itinerary, you'll visit Tilat Sumdo and Shingra, and you'll camp out in a cave at night.

Tilat Sumdo will be your first experience of the Chadar trek, and it'll be a day you'll never forget. 'Sumdo' means confluence, and this campsite is named after the views of the confluence of the Zanskar river and the Khurna river. Shingra Koma is one of the most scenic campsites on the trek, and you'll get to see a gorgeous stretch of the river curving through the stark landscape of Leh.
    Inclusions
  • 2 guides for the group of maximum 15 trekkers or 1 guide for 8 group members
  • Accommodation in ‘A’ category deluxe hotel on the first and last day in Leh
  • Fresh, clean sleeping bags
  • Camping mattress
  • Mess tent
  • Two toilet tents with portable toilet seats
  • All meals starting from lunch on day 2 till lunch on day 4
  • Large oxygen cylinder
  • Porter/mule for carrying equipment and rations
  • Forest entry charges and camping fees, if any
  • Service tax
    Exclusions
  • Airport transfers in Leh
  • Any meals in Leh
  • Personal porters for your own bags (can be arranged for INR 2200 for a bag under 10 kgs)
  • Any charges for video cameras, still cameras, etc.
  • Bottled water, 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, expenses incurred on account of sickness etc.
  • Wildlife & ALTOA Fees (Participants has to pay this fees directly in Ladakh)
  • Any meals/services not mentioned in inclusions
  • Insurance
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days

8
Chadar Trek
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹41,300
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Chadar Trek
Leh, Ladakh
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8
Price from:
₹41,300
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Trip Description
The Chadar Trek is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity where you can experience the thrill of walking across a frozen river. This trek offers stunning views of the river, changing from blue to golden yellow to milky white, as well as the rigid rock faces of the landscape.The Zanskar river meandering through narrow gorges freezes over in the winter months, resembling an unending blanket of snow; hence the name 'Chadar'.

This is a high intensity trek suitable for those with some trekking experience.
    Inclusions
  • 3 nights stay in a 4 star hotel in Leh with central heating
  • All breakfasts and dinners in Leh
  • Airport pick-up and drop in private cab
  • Transport to Chilling and back
  • All meals on trek from lunch on day 3 to lunch on day 7
  • Good quality private tents on twin sharing basis
  • Sleeping bag with liner, sleeping mats
  • Kitchen and dining tent
  • Toilet tent
  • Crampons
  • All required permits and wild life department fee
  • Experienced trek leader and guide
  • Porters to carry personal luggage
  • Support staff
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • ALTOA fee (will be between INR 1500-2500 per person
  • Lunch at the hotel stay in Leh
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Tips to the staff
  • Insurance
  • Any extra beverages or snacks ordered extra
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under inclusions
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days

9
Chadar-Frozen River Trek
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹25,700
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Chadar-Frozen River Trek
Leh, Ladakh
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9
Price from:
₹25,700
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Trip Description
The mighty Zanskar river turns to a sheet of ice during the winter, and intrepid adventurers from around the world flock to Ladakh to trek on ice. When you walk over bubbles trapped under the ice, or walk up to waterfalls that are frozen in mid-flow, you'll know that this is a trip of a lifetime.

The thickness of the ice varies across the stretch, with a fast-flowing, sub-zero water beneath, so it's extremely important to travel with an experienced guide. Laced with breathtaking views and risky stretches, the Chadar trek is a must-do adventure for thrill-seekers looking for their next buzz.
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation in Leh hotels on twin sharing basis on day 1 and day 8 of the trip
  • Accommodation in tents on triple sharing basis during the trek
  • All meals from lunch on day 2 to lunch on day 8
  • Transport from Leh to start point of the trek and return
  • Tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • Camping mattresses
  • Toilet tent
  • Kitchen and dining tent
  • Permits
  • First aid medical kits
  • Oxygen cylinder
  • Qualified and experienced trek leader, guide and support staff
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Cost of approximately INR 2500 for ALTOA fee (payable on the spot)
  • Food/meals in Leh
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Porter to carry personal luggage
  • Anything not specifically mentioned above
  • Airport transfers in Leh
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days

13
Explore Chadar Trek - 13 Day Itinerary
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹41,400
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Explore Chadar Trek - 13 Day Itinerary
Leh, Ladakh
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13
Price from:
₹41,400
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Trip Description
Did you ever think walking on a river was possible? The frozen Zanskar river in Ladakh presents this opportunity during winters. When the cold winter freezes the river over, it becomes a sheet (chadar) of ice, providing an access route for locals and tourists to the Zanskar valley during winters.

One of the most challenging and unique treks in India, the Chadar trek has waterfalls that are frozen in mid-flow,cliffs that stretch up to 600 mts high, and might also have some thin or broken ice stretches.

This trek is a challenging one; it has no inclines or tough climbing as it goes along the river, but it can get very cold, and involves camping during the nights.

This itinerary is longer than most, but allows you time to experience the Chadar trek completely, and at your own pace. It counts in rest days and plenty of time in Leh. In addition, there are two porters provided per person. This means you won't have to carry a thing, and will always have someone by your side to guide you.
    Inclusions
  • Pick-up and drop to Leh airport
  • Accommodation in Leh in a decent, centrally heated hotel on twin sharing
  • Accommodation in tents (2 men tents) during trekking days
  • All meals in Leh and during trek
  • Sightseeing in Leh
  • Experienced guide
  • Personal porters (2 porters per person
  • Supporting staff (cooks, helpers)
  • Basic medical and first aid kit
  • Safety equipment
  • Expedition equipment
    Exclusions
  • Airfare to and from Leh
  • Personal expenses like mineral water, beverages, snacks
  • Travel insurance
  • Any runtime expenses due to natural calamities, accidents, bad weather or any other unforeseen circumstances
  • Evacuation or any other expenses on medical emergency
  • Tips
  • Anything not mentioned in inclusions
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days

8
Eight Day Trek to Chadar
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹20,400
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Eight Day Trek to Chadar
Leh, Ladakh
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days

8
Price from:
₹20,400
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Trip Description
This dangerously thrilling trek involves walking on the frozen Zanskar River, camping in this icy wonderland, and discovering the dramatic beauty of a winter landscape, where the trees are bare and you are surrounded with ice, snow and cold.

You'll see bubbles trapped in the ice beneath your feet, stand in awe in front of tall waterfalls that are frozen in mid-fall, and in some cases, see the river flowing under the ice beneath your feet. These 8 days will be amongst the most memorable in your life.
    Inclusions
  • 2 nights accommodation in a hotel in Leh on triple sharing basis
  • Accommodation in tents on triple sharing basis
  • All means from lunch on day 2 to lunch on day 7
  • Transport from Leh-Chilling-Leh
  • Skilled guide with ample knowledge of the route
  • Qualified instructor from operator
  • Cook/helper and other requisite staff
  • Porters and mules for carrying common luggage like ration, tents, utensils etc.
  • Sleeping bags with liners
  • Camping mattresses
  • First-aid kit
  • Forest permits and camping charges
  • Portable oxygen
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Government fees of approx. INR 2500 per head (applicable for all Chadar treks)
  • Airport transfers in Leh
  • All meals in Leh
  • Personal porters to carry individual backpacks (can be arranged at INR 700-1500 per day, per bag)
  • Insurance
  • Cost incurred in case of emergency evacuation
  • Individual/personal expenses (mineral water/beverages/snacks etc.)
  • Expenses incurred from change in schedule due to weather conditions or personal health issues will be borne by participants
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days

9
Frozen River Chadar Trek - 9 Days
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹24,250
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Frozen River Chadar Trek - 9 Days
Leh, Ladakh
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days

9
Price from:
₹24,250
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Trip Description
The Chadar trek is one of the most thrilling and adventurous treks in India. In the local language 'chadar' means blanket. During the summer, this river is a perfect location for rafting, and during the winters it transforms into an ice sheet on which the famous Chadar trek is done. You'll camp in caves and in tents on the ice, trek past towering waterfalls that are frozen in mid-flow, and over thick sheets of ice with the river beneath you. This 9-day, intense trek is a great test of your endurance and will, and with the reward of an unforgettable experience.
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation - camping during the trek and guesthouse stay when in Leh (day 1 and 8)
  • Meals during the trek
  • Trek equipment
  • Permits
  • First aid support
  • Transport to the start point of the trek and back
    Exclusions
  • Personal utensils
  • Meals in Leh
  • Any personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Portage of personal luggage
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under 'Includes'
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days

9
Chadar Frozen River Trek (9 days)
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹23,600
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Chadar Frozen River Trek (9 days)
Leh, Ladakh
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days

9
Price from:
₹23,600
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Trip Description
In winter, when the temperatures drop to sub-zero, the stark landscape of Leh turns into an icy paradise. The raging Zanskar river turns into a sheet of ice, forming the only connecting route between villages when the roads are snowed in.

This nine-day itinerary gives you a complete experience of the Chadar trek. You'll spend a day to acclimatise in Leh, before heading out to take your first steps on ice. As you trek, you'll pass frozen waterfalls, cliffs, rockfaces, and weather-blackened trees with bare branches. At night, you'll camp in tents, or, on one or two nights, spend the night in the famous Dibb Cave.

Listen carefully to the sounds around you: if you're lucky, you can hear the sheet of ice creaking and groaning under you as it breaks and reforms. It's a scary sound, but it's incredibly thrilling.
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation (tourist lodge and camping) on triple sharing basis.
  • Veg meals during the trek
  • All necessary permits and entry fees
  • Transport from Leh to Chilling and back
  • Staff insurance
    Exclusions
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Food during the stay in Leh
  • Airport Transfers in Leh
  • Insurance
  • Mules or porter to carry personal luggage (can be arranged at an extra cost)
  • Anything not specifically mentioned in the inclusions
  • Any additional permits levied by local authorities
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days

9
Chadar 9 Day Trek
Leh, Ladakh
Price from:₹19,700
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Chadar 9 Day Trek
Leh, Ladakh
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days

9
Price from:
₹19,700
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Trip Description
In the cold of winter, when the Zanskar river freezes over, it looks like a sheet of ice. The ice is so thick that it forms a trekking trail for locals who are otherwise cut off from civilization by the snow. You’ll be trekking on the glassy surface of this river, passing waterfalls that are frozen in mid-flow, hot springs that bubble up from the earth’s hot core and melt the ice, and sleeping in tents and caves.

On moonlit nights, the ice turns a ghostly milk-white, weaving through the dark walls of the gorge formed by decades of the river’s changing course. While you sleep, the Chadar cracks and re-freezes in new patterns, creating different landscapes every day. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear this at night. Watch out for the perfect photo-opp – a picture of your boots on a sheet of glass-like ice, with the bubbles of the river frozen in place below! It’s going to be an unforgettable experience!
    Inclusions
  • Accommodation in twin/triple-sharing tents
  • Stay in hotel with central heating and hot water showers on day 1 and day 8 of the trek
  • Meals from lunch on day 2 to lunch on day 8 (veg.)
  • Kitchen and dining tents with utensils
  • Toilet tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • Camping mattresses
  • First aid medical kits and oxygen cylinder
  • Qualified and experienced trek leader, guide and support staff to help trekkers
  • Transport from Leh to road head and return
  • All applicable taxes
    Exclusions
  • Additional ALTOA fee (will be approximately INR 2500, to be paid in cash)
  • Meals in Leh (available at the hotel for INR Rs.250/- per meal)
  • Pick up and drop from Leh Airport (can be pre-booked for approximately INR 500 one way, to be paid on the spot)
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Insurance
  • Porters to carry personal luggage (can be arranged for INR 650 per day for up to 9 kgs)
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under inclusions
  • Crampons
  • Upgrade to single occupancy for hotel and tent stay at a cost of INR 8500
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