Overview

The Markha Valley Trek is a popular trekking route in Ladakh, a region in the Northernmost part of India. The trek takes you through the heart of Ladakh region, offering stunning views of snow-capped mountains, barren landscapes, and traditional Ladakhi villages.

The trek usually starts from the town of Stok, which is about 15 kilometers from the city of Leh, the capital of Ladakh. From there, trekkers follow the Markha River, passing through a number of small villages such as Skiu, Markha, and Hankar.

The trek usually takes around 6-7 days to complete and covers a distance of approximately 75 kilometers. Trekkers will be required to cross several high-altitude passes, including the Gongmaru La Pass, which is the highest point on the trek at an altitude of 5,270 meters.

One of the highlights of the trek is the chance to interact with the locals and experience their unique way of life. Trekkers will also have the opportunity to visit several ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples along the way.

8 Nights 9 Days 01 Aug and 21 Sep Leh
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  1. Breathtaking scenery: The trek offers stunning views of snow-capped peaks, high-altitude desert landscapes, lush green meadows, and picturesque Ladakhi villages.

  2. High-altitude passes: This trek includes several high-altitude passes, including the Gongmaru La Pass, which offers panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

  3. Ancient monasteries: This trek takes you past several ancient Buddhist monasteries and temples such as Hemis Monastery, Thiksey Monastery, and Stok Monastery.

  4. Traditional Ladakhi villages: The trek takes you through several small villages, allowing you to experience the unique culture and way of life of the Ladakhi people.

  5. Wildlife: The Markha Valley is home to a variety of wildlife, including ibex, blue sheep, and even snow leopards.

  6. Camping: The trek involves camping in some of the most scenic locations, giving you the opportunity to experience the wilderness and beauty of Ladakh region.

Dates and Rates
date & duration price
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  • Itinerary

    Day 1 - Arrival at Leh

    Arrival at Leh. Our representative will meet, greet, assist and transfer you to the hotel in Leh. Rest of the day free to acclimatize to the high altitude of Ladakh. In the evening, take a walk to the local bazaar in Leh. 

    Day 2 - Acclimatization at Leh

    Early morning drive to Lamayuru. Lamayuru is famous for its ancient monastery and the surrounding landscape, which closely resembles the surface of moon. This is where Ladakh gets its name - ‘The Moonland’. 

    Confluence of the Zanskar & Indus: On the way to Sham Valley before Nimu village one can have this magnificent view of two rivers in wed-lock! In seasons they have different colors and flow and wildness.

    MAGNETIC HILL: Defying the law of gravity. This place is close to the Gurudwara Shri Patthar Sahib. It has been noticed that when a vehicle is parked on neutral gear on this metallic road, the vehicle slides up-hill. This is indeed a miracle in Ladakh!

    Alchi monastery: Alchi Monastery or Alchi Gompa is a Buddhist monastery, known more as a monastic complex (chos-'khor) of temples in Alchi village. Traditionally, the creation of the Alchi complex is attributed to the famous scholar-translator Rinchen Zangpo (958–1055) in the 10th century.

    Lamayuru monastery: The Drikung history states that the Indian scholar Naropa (956-1041 CE) allegedly caused a lake which filled the valley to dry up and founded Lamayuru Monastery. The oldest surviving building at Lamayuru is a temple called Seng-ge-sgang at the southern end of the Lamayuru rock, which is attributed to the famous builder-monk Rinchen Zangpo (958-1055 CE). Rinchen Zangpo was charged by the king of Ladakh to build 108 gompas in Ladakh, Spiti Valley, and the surrounding regions.

    Day 3 - Leh to Chilling and trek to Skiu

    Today we start in Chilling. The bridge to cross the river is broken by the recent floods and hence you get to cross the river in an interesting rope trolley. 

    All your trek stuff and equipments will be transferred in the similar fashion. Once you cross the river, the horses are loaded and then we are set to start our trek to Markha Valley. Today, we camp at Skiu – A three hour easy trek on mostly flat trail with occasional short ascents and descend.

    The trek route is very interesting and the landscape is very fascinating and unique. Sudden appearance of a few green patches on the otherwise barren, creamy mountain adds a unique contrast to the scenery. Sightings of a few wild animals and locals enhance the day. Our campsite is defined and after some 3- 4 hours, we reach our campsite.

    Day 4 - Skiu to Markha

    Waking up to a wonderful morning in Skiu, we trek to the village of Markha. An easy trek with almost flat walks on most parts of the trail with occasional short ascents and descends like Day 3.

    The views throughout are breathtaking. Watch out for different and unique rockscapes and structures of the mountains formed by wind and water erosion. With our previous experiences, we tried to tickle our imagination with the illusions created by these unique structures and strongly supported our conclusions of what they looked like -  ‘trunks of elephant’, ‘doorway to a very old tomb’, 'dinosaurs', etc. Its an interesting game to play which keeps us engaged with the mountains continuously and it goes unrealized when we reach our campsite.

    Markha is a very beautiful campsite. The campsite is designated on a flat meadow with the stream flowing by. We visit an old monastery in the evening during the free time.

    Day 5 - Markha to Thochungtse

    The trek to Thochungtse goes via Hankar from Markha. It is a beautiful trek and takes about 4 - 5 hours. The route to Hankar is mostly flat with occasional ups and downs. Soon, we get a glimpse of Kang Yatse which fills us with excitement. After about 3 hours of trek, we reach the beautiful village of Hankar with few houses, lots of greenery and the massif of Kang Yatse in the backdrop. It’s a perfect picturesque setting. It’s a good idea to spend some time here and have our lunch here. After leaving Hankar behind, the terrain changes immediately with no mentionable greens to be seen further. The route is jaw-dropping with unique structures of the mountains and the rocks. Here it’s very easy to spot blue sheep, ibex, and snow leopards too! A walk of some 2 - 3 hours brings us to a small grassy plains which is the designated campsite of Thochungtse. 

    Day 6 - Thochungtse to Nimaling

    • Altitude:- 4,800m/15,800ft

    Starting the trek from Thochungtse to Nimaling , we climb a mountain hump straight ahead of us. At that altitude, it does take some time, but once done, we enjoy breathtaking views of Kang Yatse, a huge massif overwhelming us with its presence. Also, the very thought that we will be approaching to the base of it further adds to our excitement.

    Day 7 - Nimaling to Chokdo via Kongmaru La to Leh

    • Altitude:- Kongmaru la 5,200m/17,100ft, Chokdo 3,700m/12,100ft

    This day will be nostalgic and exciting, as this is the last day of the trek landing to the highest pass of the trek. Also, this day will be filled with surprises. After a strenuous climb of 2 hours to Kongmaru La pass, you will be pleasantly welcomed by the Karakoram Range mountains and the excellent array of peaks. Hold your breath for the mind-blowing sight of the huge K2 Mountain, the second highest peak in the world. There are prayer flags moving along the wind. To your surprise, there is a good network connection from the pass.

    The trail then gradually descends, coinciding with villages to say goodbye. The immediate trail from pass has steep and narrow descend which later opens to Chikirmo village. Throughout the route, you can get indulged into the scenery of Indus valley and Ladakh range. After a gradual climb down and rocky terrain, you will reach Chokdo. This is the last stop of the entire trek, that also has many home stays. Get into the pickup vehicles that will take you to Leh.

    Day 8 - Departure from Leh

     

     

    Inclusions/Exclusions

    What is included in the tour

    • Transport support from Leh to Leh.
    • All meals starting on the trek.
    • Professional Mountainfit trek leader plus local guide.
    • Accommodation on twin / triple sharing basis.
    • Hotel / Guest House in Leh.
    • Home stay during the trek.
    • Forest entry charges for Indian nationals. For non-Indian passport holders, there will be an additional charge.
    • Airport pickup and drop.

    What is NOT included in the tour

    • Personal expenses like tips, personal medicines, phone calls etc.
    • Any insurance.
    • Any transport support during the trek apart from what is included above.
    • Any cost or services not mentioned in the inclusions.
    • Cost of sightseeing, shopping, etc.
    • Cost arising due to unforeseen incidents like bad weather, medical evacuation, road blocks etc.
    • Mule charges to carry personal luggage can be arranged at an additional cost of INR 450 per day. (1 soft bag per person < 12 kg)
    Pickup point
    Directions.
    Leh Ladakh - लेह लदाख, Ladakh, India, Leh View on Map
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    Things to carry

    Basic Gear :

    Back pack & rain cover

    (40 - 50 ltr) with comfortable shoulder straps) (can be rented from Mountainfit)

    Day pack + rain cover

    10 - 20 ltr (If you hire a mule or porter and also for Summit day)

    Walking stick

    Advisable (At least one) ) (can be rented from Mountainfit)

    Head torch

    1 Nos. ) (can be rented from Mountainfit)

    Water bottle/Hydration pack

    2 bottles of one litre each

       

    Snacks

    Energy bars, dry fruits, electral/ORS

    Personal Medical Kit

    Consult your doctor

     

    Clothing :

    T-shirts

    2 to 3 (Dry Fit Preferred)

    Full T-shirts

    1 Nos.

    Fleece jacket

    1 Nos. (Alternative: a woolen sweater)

    Down feather / Hollofil jacket

    1 Nos.  (can be rented from Mountainfit)

    Wind & waterproof (jacket & pant)

    1 Pair

    Thermal inners (upper and lower)

    1 Pair

    Trek pants

    2 Synthetic (avoid shorts, fitting denims, capris)

    Poncho (Rain Protection)

    1 Nos. ) (can be rented from Mountainfit)

    Personal Utilities :

    Sunscreen cream

    Hand sanitizer

    Moisturizer

    Antibacterial powder

    Toilet Paper & wipes

    Toothbrush and toothpaste

    Lip balm

    Quick dry towel

    Sun cap

    1 Nos.

    Woolen cap

    1 Nos.

    Buff / Bandana

    1 Nos.

    Sunglasses

    U/V protected advisable.

    Protect your feet :

    Trekking shoes

    1 Pair (Waterproof, high ankle with good grip)

    Floaters/flip-flops

    1 Pair (Very useful to roam around camp).

    Cotton socks

    4 pairs

    Woolen socks

    2 pairs

    Gaiters and Crampons

    1 Pair (MountainFit team will notify you if required)

     

    Protect your hands :

    Waterproof gloves

    1 Pair

    Fleece/woolen gloves

    1 Pair

     

    Few Important Tips:

    • Dress in layers: Carry at least 3 layers for the trek.  Weather is quite unpredictable so we need to keep ourselves warm. Keep it simple, but warm enough. Pack your backpack as per provided trek essential list.
    • Thermos Flask (1ltr):  This is very important on winter trek as water in normal bottle freezes due to severe temperature.
    • Do not carry any precious items like jewellery at the trek. Mountainfit Team will not be responsible for loss or damage of such items.
    • Carry extra plastic bags for wet clothes/garbage/etc. “DO NOT LITTER THE TRAIL, KEEP IT CLEAN”
    • Drone and satellite phone is not allowed, so please don’t bring them.