8 Trekking Destinations in Ladakh for an Out of the World Experience

Trekking assumes a whole new dimension in the serene and picturesque Ladakh, located in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Not only do your eyes sparkle at the rich array of natural delights of high passes, turquoise streams, and famous lakes (Tsomoriri, Tsokar, Pangong), your snoozing senses also awaken as you stumble into ancient villages and tapestry monasteries, majestically representing the steadfast pillars of Tibetan Buddhism. However, before getting lost amidst its countless uneven terrains, take a good look at the following trekking routes.

Trekking in Ladakh

Markha Valley

Ladakh Trekking Markha Valley

Beginning from Spitok, this alpine trek is loaded with fascinating attractions such as ravishing views of the enigmatic Kang Yatse and Stok Kangri peaks, adventurous parachute climbing as well as visits to Buddhist villages and steep canyons. Moreover, there’s the tempting opportunity of wading through waist-deep water to reach exotic places like Zingchen, Skiu and Kaya through the Gandala pass. Preserve in your memory the arresting image of Hemis monastery, as you mount it, crossing the Kongmaru pass on the final day.

Difficulty: Moderately challenging

Duration: 9 to 11 days

Best time to visit:

June to October

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Ladakh Trekking Tours Markha ValleyTrekking Ladakh Markha Valley

Spituk – Stok Trek

Ladakh Trekking Tour Spituk‑Stok

If you are on the lookout for a trekking expedition for the whole family, look no further than this relatively easy trek. Frequently moving up and down through the stunning Zanskar range and the breathtaking Rumbak Valley, it allows you to camp at the base of Kang Yatse Massif peak and catch memorable glimpses of the Indus Valley as well as of the Stok La pass, also called Namlung La. Other fascinating destinations include the Hemis National Park and the distant mountains and villages of Rupsho.

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 6 Days

Best time to visit:

May to October

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Ladakh Trekking Spituk‑Stok Ladakh Trekking Tours Spituk‑Stok

Ripchar Valley Trek

Ladakh Trekking Tours Ripchar Valley

For those desirous of satiating their adrenaline rush by traversing unusual rock formations, as well as lazing about amidst extensive potato and barley fields, this short trek is an ideal one. Beginning from Lamayuru, it is noteworthy for the two parallel ranges, Zanskar and Karakoram. Plan an early trip.

Difficulty: Moderately challenging

Duration: 5 Days

Best time to visit:

July to September

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Trekking in Ladakh Ripchar ValleyLadakh Trekking Tour Ripchar Valley

Hemis to Padum Trek

Ladakh Trekking Hemis‑Padum
Put your physical stamina and spirit to test by opting for this adventurous trek. Starting at Shang Sumdo, it consists of several charms; walk along the lofty mountain pass, Kongmaru La, the winding river, Lanthang Chu and stop by villages like Dhungri, Phay and Hamuling on your way to Padum. Imbibe the thrill of wandering across isolated routes as you vouch for this wild escapade.

Difficulty: Challenging

Duration: 14 Days

Best time to visit:


August to September

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Ladakh Trekking Tour Hemis‑PadumLadakh Trekking Tours Hemis‑Padum

Frozen River/Chadar Trek

Trekking Ladakh Frozen River
Unanimously hailed as one of the best winter treks, Frozen River is also reminiscent of the arduous task undertaken by brave locals to commute during the chilling months of December when the temperature drops -10 degree Celsius. However, the trekking itself is not so formidable. Located in the Zanskar Valley at the height of 3,850m above sea level, gliding over such a massive blanket of ice is delightful, more so if correct trekking techniques are known. Equally ravishing are the varied places encountered on the way, such as Zaribago, Deepyokma, Nyarak Village, Nyarakpulu, Lingshed and finally Tso Mopoaldar via Nyarakpulu.

Difficulty: Challenging

Duration: 13 to 22 Days

Best time to visit:

Mid January to Mid March

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Ladakh Trekking Frozen River
Ladakh Trekking Tour Frozen River

Sham Valley Trek

Ladakh Trekking Tours Sham Valley

This easy trek has two commendable benefits; bewitching villages of Ladakh along with well-known Tibetan monasteries are visually appealing, while the apricot orchards, scattered randomly throughout the region provide solace to a raging bowel. Known variously as Baby Trek, and Apricot Valley, it passes through Yangthang via Chagatse La (3,630m), and Phobe La (3,580m), and Hemis Shukpachan via Tsermangchan La (3,750m).

Difficulty: Easy

Duration: 5 to 7 Days

Best time to visit:

May to October

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Trekking in Ladakh Sham ValleyLadakh Trekking Tour Sham Valley

Zanskar Valley Trek

Ladakh Zanskar Trekking

You reach Rotang Pass via Manali, and after that through Keylong, you arrive at Darcha, the starting point of this trek. Gear up to cross a number of interesting locations such as Palahmo, Zanskar Sumdo, Chumik Nakpo, Lakhang via Shingo La (4060m), Kargil, Phutkal, Purni, Pipula, Raru before stopping at the final terminal, Padum. And most importantly, do not forget to take arresting pictures of the frozen Zanskar River.

Difficulty: Challenging

Duration: 16 to 28days

Best time to visit:

June to September

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Ladakh Trekking Zanskar ValleyLadakh Trekking Tours Zanskar Valley

Nubra Valley Trek

Leh Ladakh Trekking Nubra Valley

Lying north of Leh, this quaint valley is bound to entice you with its unspoiled alluvial plains, soothing sights of roaming camels on the grainy banks of Shayok River and obviously the ravishing views of the Karakoram ranges as well as the cold desert of Hunder. Beginning from Sabu Village, the trek covers Digar La pass, continuing through Agyam and Khalsar village, it finally ends by descending into Diskit village. A stimulating trekking route in one of the most remote corners of the Himalayan belt, it is ideal for an experienced trekker on a solo trip, exposing them to a challenging climate together with an astounding topography.

Difficulty: Challenging

Duration:  10 to 12 Days

Best time to visit:

June to Late September

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Ladakh Trekking Nubra ValleyLadakh Trekking Tours Nubra Valley

The best time for trekking in Ladakh is from July to August, since in early September, there rests a chance of sudden storms and in November-December, a majority of roads become inaccessible due to severe snowfall. Now, if you are a new trekker, you may opt for baby treks or home stay treks that are provided with efficient rural home stays to cater to the diverse needs of aspiring trekkers. Available at a cost of INR.400, they serve equipment, supplies and camping gear to make the quest comfortable.

Trekking constitutes a passionate recreation and Ladakh with its unmatched beauty undoubtedly proves to be the best destination to be explored on foot. So, get your sturdy boots and move out – some cherishable moments are waiting for you.

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