Markha Valley Trek

Markha Valley Trek

Ladakh 10 Days

Difficult

65 KM

MAX 15

MAX ALTITUDE

5200 mts.


Add Ons

Available Batches




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 Markha Valley 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 walk and is recommended for experienced trekkers. Gear up for a beautiful and culturally rich experience, and let the serenity of the Markha Valley's landscapes knock the stress out of your life. Scroll till the end for all information on Markha Valley Trek like - Markha Valley Route Map, Weather and temperature charts, photos, videos, and some amazing blogs.



Itinerary

localtion
Day 1

Arrive in Leh. Rest & Acclimatization.

Arrive in Leh by 12 PM. Today is for rest & acclimatization. Being outdoors is recommended as it helps in the acclimatization process. Explore the local market of Leh. Have the local cuisine and enjoy shopping for dry fruits and local handicrafts.


localtion
Day 2

Acclimatization in Leh

Explore the cultural and natural beauty of Leh. This will make you familiar with the town and also help in acclimatize to the weather. Leh is the center point of Ladakh and also a major town from where all expeditions begin. It is also a culturally rich place. There are dozens of monasteries and ancient temples that you can go around. They are located in and around the town. Enjoy the local cuisines which are a major attraction for travellers.


localtion
Day 3

Drive to Zingchen. (1 Hour). Trek to Ganda La base (3-4 hours)

In the early morning hours, we will go by jeep to Zingchen. The drive will begin along an old jeep road into a parched and exposed region, so water and sunscreen are absolutely vital! After plodding through the shattered land we will enter the lush Zingchen Valley, where the Rumbak River flows into the mighty Indus. Today we will enter Hemis National Park where we may be fortunate to glimpse wildlife. The National park homes Snow Leopard, Lynx, Ladakhi Urial (a type of goat), Arghali (great Tibetan sheep), Bharal (blue sheep), Red Fox, Tibetan Wolf, Dhole (wild dog), Marmot and Mountain Hare. After paying the entrance fee, we will climb gradually through a beautiful gorge before reaching the valley leading to the village of Rumbak. Here we will stop at a tented teahouse run by women from the village. After a cup of warm tea, we will continue past the house of Yuruche before reaching camp at the base of Ganda La (4545m). From the campsite, there are spectacular views of Stok Kangri and the whole Stok range.


localtion
Day 4

Ganda La base - Shingo via Ganda La 6-7 hours

After a light breakfast, we will begin our 2-hour ascent towards Ganda La (4900m). The usual chorten and prayer flags mark the top of the pass, where one may see Blue Sheep, Marmots and Arghali roaming the hills around. Views of the lofty Zanskar Range and the distant Himalaya Range are great as well. After a short rest, we will make a gradual descent to Shingo, where we will set camp for tonight


localtion
Day 5

Shingo – Sara (5 hours)

Today, we will start by descending through a spectacular gorge to Skiu (3300m). Within this idyllic village lies an old monastery and ruins of an old castle, once a rest stop for the Royal family on their way to Srinagar. Following the Markha River, we will hike through the lovely valley on a fairly level path. The trail crosses the river at various points and passes winter settlements that contain Lhatos (religious shrines for local deities) and Mani walls (stones inscribed with Buddhist prayers). We arrive at our campsite by the afternoon.


localtion
Day 6

Sara – Markha (4 hours)

During peak season a number of tented teahouses will be open for refreshment. Markha (3800m) is the largest village in the valley, consisting of around 20 houses, an old monastery, and a ruined fort. We arrive out campsite by afternoon.


localtion
Day 7

Markha - Thachungtse (5-6 hours)

The Markha valley trail continues pass old stone-mills, a ruined castle and the auspicious monastery of Techa, which proudly perches upon a cliff that looms above Markha. The path then intersects the river several times before cutting through the last hamlets in the valley. After leaving the village of Umlung, we will be afforded our first view of mighty Mt. Kang Yatse (6400m), which will stay in sight until we cross Kongmaru La. After we break for lunch in the village of Hangkar (the last one in the valley), we will continue onward to the lovely green pasture of Thachungste (4100m), where we will make camp.


localtion
Day 8

Thachungtse - Nimaling (4 hours)

Today the trail will lead us up to the beautiful plateau of Nimaling, where the people of the Markha Valley bring their herds to graze during the summer months. At 4700m, Nimaling is the highest camp (4600m) on the trek, giving us spectacular views of the huge peak of Kang Yatse to the right.


localtion
Day 9

Nimaling - Shangsumdo via Kongmaru La (7 hours). Drive to Leh

After a hearty breakfast, we will cross Kongmaru La (5200m), the highest pass on the trek, and from here we will have a wonderful view of the Indus Valley and Ladakh Range. The descent is quite steep, but will gradually level out as we enter Shang Gorge, with its fascinating rock formations. More river crossings bar our way before we arrive at the sour-spring of Chuskurmo (used in traditional medicine by the Amchi doctors). Camp overnight in Shang Sumdo. Drive from Sumdo to Leh takes about 2 hours. Reach Leh by evening. The trip ends here.


localtion
Day 10

Departure from Leh

You will be required to check out from the Hotel at 10:00 AM.



Frequently Asked Questions

Pick your question

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

Before going for Markha Valley trek you should have at least 7-10 trek days in the Himalayas in their kitty. For the trek’s achieving more than 5000 meters, a person must have prior experience of trekking at altitudes of 3700 meters.

Eligibility: Fitness benchmark

  1. Jog/Run for 5 Kms in 25-30 mins or Walk continuously for 10 kms (with 3-4 small breaks) on plain terrain (slight incline is better) - You would be required to produce a screenshot from a fitness app testifying the same
  2. Hold your breath for 30-35 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

  • Know campsite basics like how to use a sleeping bag, sleeping tent, toilet tent.
  • Ascending & Descending technique for mountain trails
  • Basics mountain mannerisms
  • Ascending & descending technique 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?

The best season to do the Markha valley trek is from the months of June to early September.

Packing List: What to pack



Click here for 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?

Eligibility: Is this trek good for me?

Markha Valley Trek is a difficult trek. It is a high altitude trek in Ladakh region which requires climbing to the height of 5,200 meters. You also need to make sure that your body is well acclimated before the start. Therefore, it is recommended that you first gain experience of trekking to altitudes of 4000 meters, and then move up a notch with Markha Valley Trek. On Bikat rating scale Markha Valley trek difficulty level is 5. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale

Mandatory documents: What are the mandatory documents required for the expedition?

ID Proof (Soft Copy to be sent to us in Advance & original to be carried), Medical Certificate (Soft Copy to be sent to us & original to be carried) and Photocopy of ID Proof are the mandatory documents required for the expedition.

About the Trek: Why should I go for this trek?

Markha Valley Trek

Since the Markha valley trek is one of the most different and unique treks in the Ladakh region, it finds a place on the list of many trekkers. Markha Valley trek takes you through the quaint villages of Leh and Ladakh giving you a chance to peek into the lifestyle and the culture of the locals. The visit to the local tea houses is one of the major highlights of the trek. The Markha valley trek is a challenging trek and gives the experienced trekkers a chance to test their skills and push their limits.


Why Bikat

Learning Experience
  • We are an Adventure Learning Organisation first.
  • We want you to not just complete a trek safely but also pick up some basic trekking knowledge and skills along the way.
  • To achieve this we have integrated learning modules into our itineraries.
  • These modules will help you build the necessary skills to progress from trekking to mountaineering over time.
Loyality Programs

Our community is an integral part of us and we take pride in our trekkers and climbers. When you complete at least three days on any trek or expedition with us, you become eligible for our membership and referral programs.

  • Currently we have three levels:
  • Basic Membership
  • Summiteer Membership
  • Leader Membership
Personalized Attention
  • Our group sizes on treks don’t exceed 15 members in order to maintain a healthy Participants : Leader Ratio of 8:1.
  • Over time we have found this number to be optimum when it comes to ensuring personalised attention to every member of our group.
  • On mountaineering expeditions this number is even smaller. Our group sizes are capped at 12 members ensuring a Participants : HAP Ratio of 2:1.
Best Expedition Leaders
  • Our Expedition 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.
Eco-friendly Practices
  • Group sizes are capped at 15 people.
  • Batch sizes are capped at 250 people per trail per season.
  • We follow a rolling campsite model.
  • We are constantly exploring and introducing new trails to reduce the burden on existing ones.
Safety

For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.

  • To ensure this:
  • Every region of ours is mapped with an emergency evacuation plan.
  • The equipment we use is UIAA certified.
  • Our trek leaders are AMC certified with specialisation in rescue procedures.
  • Our support staffs are trained in first aid as well.

Reviews


What's Included

Whats Included

  • Camping/Homestay during the trek
  • Trek Meals (Starting Lunch on Day 3 till Dinner on Day 9)
  • Gaiter, Micro-spikes, and Helmet as required
  • Trek Permissions Fee, if any (Upto the amount charged for Indian nationals)
  • First aid medical kit including oxygen cylinder
  • Experienced Guide and Support staff
  • Transport from Leh to Road head and return
  • Hotel/Guest House Stays in Leh (Day 1,2 & 9)
  • Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with First Aid certification

Whats 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

Cancellation Policy

Cash Refund

Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
5% Deduction

Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
50% deduction

Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund

Voucher Refund

Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
No Deduction

Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure
No Refund

Please note
  • Cash refund is applicable only in case of bookings made without using any promotional offer code or vouchers.
  • This is only a brief of cancellation terms. For finer details please refer Detailed Cancellation Policy.

Blog Posts

Certifications