Markha Valley Trek

If you're looking for dramatic landscapes and a unique adventure, the Markha valley trek is the one for you. The trail takes you through enchanting villages with ochre mud houses and Tibetan Buddhist heritage, all located in the stark Ladakhi desert.

The ranges of mountains and plateaus in different shades of red, brown and purple are dotted with sporadic tufts of shrubbery, but the warmth of the Ladakh villages proves to be the highlight.

Destination

In many ways, Ladakh is a shock to the senses. Some of the villages feel like they've been forgotten by the rest of the world, and are as pure and untouched by technology as they were decades ago. The landscape too, is dramatically different from many mountain treks, with deep gorges, huge canyon walls, jagged peaks and earthy colours. The relief comes in the form of the lush green barley fields and high alpine meadows that you'll cross as you progress along the trail.

Destination highlights

Ascend to an incredible 17000 feet with a climb that is challenging but not difficult | Interact with locals in quaint villages | Trek alongside the Markha river and the Zanskar river | Camp in locations so far from civilization that even the skies seem untouched

14268

17056

11480

55 km

27 hrs

10-14 km

Lamayuru Restaurant on Fort Road

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Lamayuru Restaurant on Fort Road

Shared SUV / Tempo Traveller

Chilling, Leh

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09:00

16:00

The first part of the trek is by road to the village of Chilling, where you cross the bridge over the Zanskar river. From here, the horses are loaded, and the group heads out into the wilderness. You'll witness the changing landscape as surreal jagged peaks rise up around you. At night, the team sets up camp at Skiu, where the deep blue of the skies serves as a perfect backdrop for all those constellations.

Camp in the Himalayan wilderness.

Sleep in clean and comfortable tents on triple sharing basis.

Food

Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 1 Milestone

Leh

Skiu

09:00 AM

Today's trail is a long easy walk along the Markha river. The trail criss-crosses over the river at various points, making it quite exciting. The browns and greys of enormous rock formations tower over you, set off by the blue skies above. The day's trek ends in the village of Markha, which is the largest in the valley.

Camp in the Himalayan wilderness.

Sleep in clean and comfortable tents on triple sharing basis.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 2 Milestone

Skiu

Markha

06:30 AM

The trail today leads you past old stone mills, mani walls, an old castle and a hilltop monastery, and soon you leave behind the last villages of Markha valley. The landscape becomes more barren, with wildflowers and colourful prayer flags providing pops of colour in the midst of nothingness. You'll find peace and stillness during this section of the trek. Camp at night in Thachungtse.

Camp in the Himalayan wilderness.

Sleep in clean and comfortable tents on triple sharing basis.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 3 Milestone

Markha

Thachungtse

06:30 AM

Today is the easiest day of the trek with a gradual ascent to the open rolling meadows of Nimaling. The local nomadic shepherds bring their livestock of goats, sheep and yaks to these broad pastures. Lush green grass covers the hills here and you'll spot small animals scrounging around for possible edibles. Camp next to the gushing Nimaling Chu and watch the sun set over the towering Kang Yatze peaks.

Camp in the Himalayan wilderness.

Sleep in clean and comfortable tents on triple sharing basis.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

Veg

Day 4 Milestone

Thachungtse

Nimaling

06:30 AM

You'll end your trek with a feeling of victory as you hit the highest point of elevation, 17000 feet. It is a gradual ascend to the top of Kongmarula from Nimaling. The descent on the other side is steep but the trail levels out once you enter the Shang gorge. From there, it is an easy walk with multiple river crossings to the village of Shang Sumdo, where a vehicle will pick you up and drop you off to Leh.

Trip ends before nightfall.

Participants reach Leh before nigtfall.

Food

Breakfast | Lunch

Veg

Day 5 Milestone

Nimaling

Leh

06:30 AM

Includes / Excludes

Includes

  • Camping tents
  • Kitchen tent and dining tent
  • Sleeping bags (Hollofil) and karimats
  • Meals as specified
  • Guide, cook and camp helpers
  • Transport to and from the road head - Leh to Chilling and return from Shang Sumdo to Leh
  • Horses/porters to carry all camping gear on the route. (Participants are expected to carry their own packs with their personal belongings for the whole trek)

Excludes

  • Any expenses of a personal nature like phone calls etc.
  • Any hotel accommodations
  • Accommodation or any other expenses on the first day and last day of the trek
  • In case you wish to have your personal pack carried on a horse/porter, an extra charge of is INR 1000 per pack (8 kg limit per pack) will be levied.
  • Any services or cost not mentioned in the inclusions

What to Wear

What to Wear

  • Trekking shoes (with a thick, hard sole)
  • Cotton socks -3 pairs
  • Pants (the quick dry light weight synthetic pants/track pants are ideal) - 3 pairs
  • T-shirts (preferably full sleeved cotton t-shirts. T-shirts with collars offer extra protection for the neck from sun burn) - 3 pairs
  • Synthetic fleece jacket
  • Wind proof/water proof jacket
  • Thermal liners - upper and lower (optional)
  • Down-filled/hollow fiber-filled insulated jacket – 1 pair (get this if you want to stay extra warm at camps)
  • Raincoat/poncho - make sure it is something that will cover your daypack and camera too.
  • Warm beanie – make sure it is something that covers your ears
  • Gloves - lightweight synthetic fleece/woolen gloves
  • Not to wear - Jeans/denims
  • Sports shoes
  • Woollen socks
  • Brightly coloured clothing
  • Do not carry suitcases/strolleys or duffel bags

What not to Wear

  • Loose clothing that will tangle around you while swimming
  • Restrictive clothing
  • Flip-flops

Equipment / Gear

We Provide

  • Camping tents
  • Kitchen tents
  • Dining tent
  • Sleeping bags (Hollofil)
  • Karimats
  • Technical equipment needed for the trek, if any.

You need to get

  • Backpack 40-50 lts with rain cover
  • Day pack 15-20 lts – You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, trail layers, trail food etc. You will need this in case you choose to offload your larger pack onto a horse/porter
  • Woollen socks (these are ideal to sleep in and best to use when in camp, but are not recommended while trekking) – 1 pair
  • Toiletries – Sunscreen SPF 40+, moisturizer, lip balm, soap, toilet paper
  • Repair kit (needle and thread)
  • Headlamp/torch
  • Camera
  • Water bottle – Ideally keep two bottles of 1 litre each
  • Trekking pole – optional
  • Plastic packing covers. (Please pack all your gear in waterproof plastic bags so that your clothes etc do not get wet while on horses or porters. Also carry extra plastic bags in case you need to pack wet clothes.)
  • Sun cap – 1 no
  • Sunglasses with good UV protection

Medical Kit

  • Diamox – 10 tablets (to prevent AMS)
  • Crocin – 6 tablets (fever)
  • Avomine – 4 tablets (motion sickness)
  • Avil 25mg – 4 tablets (allergies)
  • Combiflam – 4 tablets (pain killer)
  • Disprin – 6 tablets (headache)
  • Norflox TZ and Lomofen – 6 tablets each (diarrhea)
  • Digene – 10 tablets (acidity)
  • Omez/ranitidine – 10 tablets (antacids)
  • Crepe bandage – 3 to 5 meters
  • Gauze – 1 small roll
  • Cotton – 1 small roll
  • ORS – 10 packets
  • Betadine or any antiseptic cream
  • Pain relief spray/gel (aches, and sprains)

Cancellation policy

Refund and cancellation:

If you cancel 45 days before the trip begins, 30% of the trip cost will be charged

If you cancel 30 days before the trip begins, 50% of the trip cost will be charged

If you cancel less than 30 days before the trip begins, or, are not present when the trip begins, no amount shall be refunded.

Rules on trip

Participants are advised to come a day earlier in order to acclimatize themselves perfectly.

The trip leader's decision is final.

Participants must respect local culture and should not litter or deface natural structures/monuments.

In case you wish to have your personal pack carried on a horse/ porter, the extra cost is INR 1000 per pack and there is a 8 kg limit per pack. This must be communicated to the operator before the trek begins. Partial offloading of the pack is not allowed. If you decide during the trek to avail of the horse or personal porter services, separate charges will apply. No suitcases/strolleys/duffel bags will be allowed.

Additional instructions, booking policies, terms and conditions

The operator will accept no liability for any damage, losses and expenses suffered by any client as a result of sickness, quarantine, weather conditions, war, strikes, riots or any other cause outside our control.

Any damage, other than that attributable to fair wear and tear, to the equipment by the participants will be billed to the participant.

In the event of any dispute, all matters will be subject to the sole jurisdiction of the courts of Himachal and the prevailing laws of India shall prevail.

While maximum efforts are made to ensure the safety of the participant, the supplier, their management or employees will not be responsible for injuries of any nature, mental or physical, whether caused directly or indirectly due to any adventures or their allied activities.