Brief Description

The Markha Valley trek is one of the most fascinating treks in Ladakh. The trek takes you on a beautiful journey in the land of fluttering colorful prayer flags, mane walls, high passes, exotic wildlife and unusual shear canyons. Not to forget the authentic villages you walk past, bringing you closer to the Ladakhi culture. The colourful rock formations found on the trail, along with the views of Stok and Zanskar mountains often leave people awe-struck. The best time to do this trek is between the months of June and September. It is a challenging trek, with loads of stream crossings, steep ascents and descents from two high passes and long day walks, and is recommended for experienced trekkers. Gear up for a beautiful and culturally rich experience, and let the serenity of the landscapes knock the stress out of your life.

Why Bikat?

  • Learning Experience: We do not just focus on completing the trek but also help you develop basic trekking skills like:
    • Packing a rucksack
    • Morning Yoga & Evening stretching
    • How to pitch and dismantle a camping tent and properly use a sleeping bag
    • Ascend and Descend on a mountain trail
    • How to ensure camp safety and hygiene
    • Identify trail signs and signals
  • Loyalty Programs: Join Bikat community and enjoy benefits of our vouchers and referral programs.
  • Personalized attention: We have small batch size (max. 15) and we maintain a healthy ratio of 8:1 (Participants: Leader) on all our batches to enable individual focus and monitoring.
  • Best Expedition Leaders: Our leaders are advanced mountaineering course qualified, specially trained in rescue procedures from NIM and certified first-aid responders. Even our local guides are certified first-aid responders.
  • Safety norms: We have mapped every region with an emergency evacuation plan and safety protocols maintaining a zero accident record so far. We carry an extensive first-aid kit including oxygen cylinders and high altitude medicines.
  • Safety equipment: Our trek leaders carry UIAA certified rescue equipment like static rope, ice ax, harness, carabiners, jumar, pulley, short and long slings.

 

Itinerary

Show detailed itinerary
1 Day 1
Arrive in Leh. Rest & Acclimatization.
2 Day 2
Acclimatization in Leh
3 Day 3
Drive to Zingchen. (1 Hour). Trek to Ganda La base (3-4 hours)
4 Day 4
Ganda La base - Skiu via Ganda La 6-7 hours
5 Day 5
Skiu – Sara (4 hours)
6 Day 6
Sara – Markha (4 hours)
7 Day 7
Markha - Thachungtse (5-6 hours)
8 Day 8
Thachungtse - Nimaling (4 hours)
9 Day 9
Nimaling - Shangsumdo via Kongmaru La (7 hours). Drive to Leh

Big Questions

Eligibility: Is this trek good for me?

Markha Valley Trek is a moderate level trek i.e. it requires more strength than easy level treks. It is a high altitude trek in Ladakh region which requires climbing to the height of 5,200 metres. You also need to make sure that your body is well acclimated before the start. Therefore, it is recommended that you first gain an experience of trekking to altitudes of 3000 metres, and then move up a notch with Markha Valley Trek. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale

Eligibility: Experience required

You must have done a small trek of 3-5 days before and hiked to an altitude of more than 3000 metres

Eligibility: Requisite Skills

1. Know campsite basics like how to use a sleeping bag, sleeping tet, toilet tent.
2. Ascending & Descending technique for mountain trails.
3. Basic mountain mannerisms.

Eligibility: Fitness benchmark

1. Jog/Run for 4 Kms in 35-40 mins or walk continuously for 8 Kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better).
2. Hold your breath for 25-30 seconds.
If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.

Connectivity: How to Reach the base of the trek & how to go back from the end point?

The trek begins from Leh region in Ladakh. The best travel option around Leh is by air.
By air: Jet Airways, GoAir, and Air India provide daily flights from New Delhi to Leh. It is recommended that you make your flight bookings well in advance not only to save on the price but also for a confirmed seat.
You can also take an alternate flight route to Srinagar. Fly to srinagar from Delhi and then drive to Leh from Srinagar. The 10-hour road journey from Srinagar to Leh can be covered by hiring a shared taxi which will cost you around INR 3000-4000. The drive route from Srinagar to Leh is scenic.
For coming back, you can either take a direct flight from Leh to New Delhi. Or take the same route via Srinagar. Flights from Srinagar to Delhi are cheaper than Leh-Delhi.
By road: You can take the route from Manali to Leh.
There is a bus from New Delhi to Leh (Via Manali) with one side fare of INR 1365. The bus journey begins at 2:30 pm from Delhi ISBT reaching Keylong next day at 1:30 pm. After an overnight halt at Keylong, it reaches Leh the next day.
Another route to Leh can be taken through Srinagar. There are shared taxis from Srinagar to Leh available at cost of INR 3000-4000.
If you are an ardent biker, you wouldn’t mind taking a bike trip from Delhi to Leh and back.

Connectivity: What is the cellular network connectivity for this trek?

BSNL has the best connectivity in Leh-Ladakh region followed by Airtel. However, all the mobile networks like Idea and Vodafone also work in Leh. Please note that only postpaid numbers work in J&K state, prepaid connections will cease to work as soon as you enter Ladakh region

Nearby attraction: What are the nearby attractions that I can explore?

There are so many enchanting places to visit in Leh-Ladakh. During your acclimatization period, you can roam around the town and visit the monasteries; Diskit Gompa, and Lamayuru Monastery. Drive up to the Magnetic Hill and experience the crazy magnetic phenomenon on the hill. The picturesque Nubra Valley will take your breath away. The green oasis villages, the monasteries, the ruined palaces- Turtuk and Bordang; there is a whole different culture in this place. It is 150 km away from Leh. You can take a shared taxi to this route. How can you leave Ladakh without seeing Pangong Lake, the sapphire blue lake? Also, visit Gurdwara Pathar Sahib and Leh Royal Palace.

Packing List: What to pack

Click here for packing list.

Eligibility: Experience required

Should have at least 5-7 trek days in the Himalayas in their kitty. For the trek’s achieving more than 5000 meters, a person must have a prior experience of trekking at altitudes of or more than 3700 meters

Eligibility: Fitness benchmark

  1. Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins or Walk continuously for 8 Kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better)
  2. Hold your breath for 30 seconds

If you are not meeting these benchmarks, please use the preparation schedule to improve your fitness till you achieve the above benchmarks.

Eligibility: Requisite skills

One should be familiar with the following:

  • Know campsite basics like how to use a sleeping bag, sleeping tent, toilet tent
  • Ascending & Descending technique for mountain trails
  • Basic mountain mannerisms
  • Ascending & Descending on snow
  • Basics of Mountain Sickness
  • Basics of Mountain Hazards
  • How to cross small water streams

Best Season: What are the best months to visit this trek?

June to early September

Packing List: What to pack



Click here for text packing list.

Connectivity: How to Reach the base of the trek & how to go back from the end point?

The start point of the Markha Valley trek is Leh.
By Road: By Bus - The Delhi to Leh has many stops. There are direct HRTC (Himachal Road Transport Corporation) state run buses from Delhi to Ladakh via Manali. The distance is covered in a span of 35 hours. The bus departs in the afternoon from Delhi, passes Chandigarh in the late evening, crosses Kullu early in the morning and Keylong a little later. After an overnight stay at Keylong the bus starts early from Keylong to reach Leh by the evening. By Car/Cab – Delhi to Leh by road is considered as an adventure. The road trip to Leh by motorcycle, bikes, Jeep and SUV is a lifetime experience for the travellers. The distance of Delhi to Leh Ladakh by road via Leh Manali Highway is around 1011 km and the total travel time is approximately 24 hours.
By Rail: There is no direct train from Delhi to Leh, as Leh does not have a railway station. Travellers can either catch a train to Tawi, Jammu or Chandigarh and board a bus or take a cab to Leh.
By Air: Leh has a military airport and there are regular flights from Delhi to Leh. It is also connected to a few other major cities in India. Early flight booking can be economical.
The options for the return journey remain the same.

Connectivity: What is the cellular network connectivity for this trek?

Only postpaid connections work in Ladakh region. BSNL and Airtel get the best network. You get full network at the base and end point of the trek.

Nearby attraction: What are the nearby attractions that I can explore?

Markha Valley is in Ladakh region. Leh-Ladakh holds within themselves some soul-stirring attractions which are accessible through shared or privates taxis. The blue saphire famous Pangong Lake is a jaw dropping beauty which one can visit. Nubra Valley which is an alluring landscape carpeted with vibrant flowers. Magnetic Hills which have magnetic property offers breathtaking view. Hemis Monastery, Leh Royal Palace, Khardung La Pass, Tso Moriri Lake are few places that you cannot miss.

Age limit: What is the minimum & maximum age limit?

The minimum age limit is 13 years. However, minors aged between 13 to 17 should be accompanied with their parents or guardians. If you are above the age of 60, kindly carry a medical certificate from your doctor that deem you fit for adventure activities like trekking.

Accommodation type: What will be the accommodation type in this trek?

When you arrive in Leh, your stay will be made at local hotel/guest house stay. The rooms will be provided on twin or triple sharing basis. You will receive the details of your accommodation through email few days prior the trek. On trekking days, all the trekkers will be accommodated in twin or triple sharing tents. Along with this, there will be also be a toilet tent and a dining tent installed at every campsite as we roll.

Equipment and facilities: What kind of tents and sleeping bags will be provided to us?

We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accomodate 3 people at once with a vestibule to place the backpacks. Our sleeping bags are made up of Heatseeker Pro synthetic insulation that can provide you comfort in -10 degrees celsius. We also use additional fleece liners to have thermal efficiency even in the extreme temperatures of -17 degrees Celsius. If you carry your own sleeping bag, you will get a cashback reward provided that you inform us as soon as you have booked your trek.

Equipment and facilities: Are there any washroom/toilet facilities on the trek?

Toilet tents will be provided to you on the trek.These are portable toilets tents where a deep pit will be dug. A shovel will be provided inside the tent to cover the waste after you have made your business. You can take a toilet roll inside. Make sure you dig used toilet paper along with the waste. Though water is recommended in place of toilet paper. Please refrain from using wet wipes as they are non-biodegradable. There will be no facility for bathing on the trek. Go through our blog section for tips on how to maintain personal hygiene on treks.

Equipment and facilities: If we trek in snow, what equipment will you provide?

You will be provided with good quality of gaiters and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice axe.

Equipment and facilities: What kind of food will be provided for the trek?

Vegetarian food will be served throughout the trek. The only non-vegetarian item served on our treks are eggs. Our kitchen staff follows a proper menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner which has been designed in order to fulfil the nutritional requirements of the participants. There will be milk, poha, eggs, muesli/corn flakes, bread and butter served for breakfast. Rice or simple roti sabzi will be packed for lunch. In dinner, you will have dal, egg curry or any other vegetarian dish along with rice, roti, and a dessert item. Packed lunch will be provided to you on the days you are trekking. You are requested to carry your own tiffin box and a mug to consume food. The meals consumed on journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.

Equipment and facilities: What equipment can I rent from you?

You can rent following items from us- Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket

Weather conditions: What will the temperatures be like during this trek?

During the day, the temperature will range from 24-31 degrees celsius. The nights will get cold dropping the temperature to 11-20 degrees celsius. Higher the altitude you gain, the colder it gets.

Weather conditions: When will there be snow on this trek?

The Markha Valley trek opens in the month of June and extends upto September. You will find no snow during this period.

Miscellaneous : Is there an option to offload my backpack?

If you want to offload your rucksack, you will have to make a request for offloading a few days prior the trek through an email so that arrangement can be made in advance. You will be charged per day for offloading your rucksack. In case you decide to offload on the spot, you may have to pay a higher price than usual. However offloading your rucksack is not recommended since it is not a safe practice.

Miscellaneous : Who will lead us on the trek?

A team of participant will be led by a course certified trek leader and a local guide. All participants are requested to abide by what their leader says. There will also be a team of kitchen staff and porters on the trek. We maintain 1:8 ratio of trek leader and participants. All our trek leaders and staff have a certified training in first-aid and rescue operation.

Miscellaneous : Is the trekking pole necessary?

Yes, trekking pole is necessary. If you don’t want to buy one, you can rent it from us on minimal daily basis charges. You can request the renting link from us.

Miscellaneous : Are there any local stores/shops from where I can shop trekking necessities?

Yes, there are stores and shops in Leh from where you can buy necessary stuff. Though it is recommended that you come prepared with all the stuff. Please do not leave anything for last minute buying.

Miscellaneous : Is it safe for solo woman traveller to trek in Fixed departures?

Yes, it is absolutely safe for solo woman to travel in fix departures. Women on the trek will be sharing tent with each other. In case you are the only woman on the trek, you will be given a separate tent.

Miscellaneous : Will you give certificates on completion of trek?

Yes, e-certificates will be given at the end of each trek provided that you completed it. It will bear your name, the trek, and the maximum altitude you achieved on the trek.

Transport: In case we opt for the transport with you, where will you pick us from and where will you drop?

The hotel at Leh is the pick up point from which we drive to Zingchen in a jeep. The drop point remain the same.

Transport: What time will you drop us at the end point on last day of the trek?

Expect to reach Leh late in the evening, post 1700 - 1800 Hrs. Make sure your bookings from this point to your respective destinations are late in the night or for the next day.

Packing List: How should I pack my rucksack?

Packing List: How should I select my trekking shoe?

Participant Reviews

Terms & Conditions

What's Included

  • Camping/Homestay during the trek
  • Trek Meals (Starting Lunch on Day 2). 4 meals during Trek
  • Technical equipment, if required
  • Trek Permissions Fee, if any (Upto the amount charged for Indian nationals)
  • First aid medical kit
  • Qualified & experienced trek Leader, Guide and Support staff
  • Transport from Leh to Road head and return
  • Hotel/Guest House Stays in Leh (Day 1,2 & 9)

What's not Included

  • Meals in Leh
  • Meals during road Journeys
  • Any kind of personal expenses
  • Any kind of Insurance
  • Mules or porter to carry personal luggage
  • Anything not specifically mentioned under the head Inclusions

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