Markha Valley

Ladakh's Markha Valley Trek is one of those life-impacting experiences. This is a pictorial trip in the Himalayans that is in fact an extension of the Tibetan plateau and Tibetan Buddhism.

Duration: 11 Days
Places Covered:

  • Spituk
  • Jingchan
  • Rumbak
  • Shingo
  • Hemis


Day1 Leh Spituk Transport by jeep to Spituk for the start of your trek. Camp at Spituk, with the opportunity to visit Spituk Gompa (Monastery). Please, be aware to take an extra day if necessary to aid acclimatization.
Day2 Spituk Jingchan Beginning of the trek. Take the day slowly as it will be valuable for acclimatization. Cross the bridge over the Indus River and continue along an undulating path following the left hand bank of the Indus until it meets the confluence with the Jingchan River.
Day3 Jingchan Rumbak Initially follow the river which flows from Stok Kangri (6121m) then trek gradually up to camp just between Rumbak an Yurutse. Rumbak is situated about 1km below Namlung La (Pass) (4820m).
Day4 Rumbak Rest day to aid acclimatization before tackling the Ganda La (4800m) tomorrow.
Day5 Rumbak Shingo (via Ganda La base camp) Follow a good path along the right hand side of the valley, through Yurutse (4180m) then take the right hand fork in the path and ascend up to yak pastures where there are Buddhist chortens (shrines). Trek steeply up to Ganda La. There is then a long, easy descent down to Shingo where you will camp for the night. Approx. 4 - 5 hrs trekking.
Day6 Shingo Skiu Trek south through a narrow gorge. You will have to cross the same river several times for about 2 hrs until you reach the Markha River. This confluence is marked by Skiu Gompa (3380m). Start heading east along the river for about 1km until you reach Skiu village where you will camp for the night. Approx. 6 - 7 hrs trekking.
Day7 Skiu Markha Continue to follow the river along the stunning valley to Markha. You will pass through the little settlement of Chaluk (3620m) before descending into the valley floor. Ascend briefly up the pretty town of Markha where there is an impressive Gompa and derelict fort. Camp near the river. Approx. 7 - 8 hrs trekking.
Day8 Markha Tchatchutse Leave the campsite at Markha and head up to the main valley. You will cross the river a number of times. Pass the monastery of Humlung (3850m) which you could stop to visit and also look out for Kangyaze Peak (6400m). Pass through Hankar settlement (3980m) which is one of the highest settlements in the Markha Valley. The valley will start to narrow and increase in altitude before one final river crossing taking you to the pastures at Tchatchutse where you spend the night.
Day9 Tchatchutse Rest day to aid acclimatization before crossing the second pass.
Day10 Tchatchutse Chukimo (via Gongmaru La) Trek over Gongmaru La at 5100m. The pass will be marked by numerous prayer flags and you will be able to look onto the spectacular views of the Ladakh and Zanskar Ranges to the north and south and down into the Indus Valley. Approx. 6 hrs trekking.
Day11 Chukimo Hemis/Leh There is a motorable track which you can follow along the valley and over a bridge into Martselang village (3450m). Continue west towards Hemis village. Make sure that you visit Hemis Gompa before you will be picked up for traveling back to Leh.

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