Markha Valley Trek & Rafting in Zanskar

Brief Description

Dry yet inviting, arid yet rich, cold yet very warm, Ladakh is the land of contradictions! Even the average photographer can gain serious Pic Credits here because the grand brown mountains look literally unreal and are extremely picturesque. The best way to explore Ladakh is by entering in the remoteness and feeling it on your own. Markha valley trek is one such trail that offers you the real Ladakh, be it in term of Flora, Fauna, Culture, Traditions, or Serenity (may also be read as remoteness).Bikat Adventures has now crafted an all new, extremely exciting itinerary to explore Ladakh. This one not just take you through the amazingly serene and picturesque landscapes of Ladakh through the Markha Valley but also indulges you in the thrills of White water rafting on Zanskar. Rafting on Zanskar is a completely unique experience. The river is mostly muddy and has a strong flow. One of the few rivers in India to have its roots in Karakoram Range and the gorge through which it flows, is almost dramatic. Huge walls on either side would escort you, as you raft over the rapids one by one on the river till it merges existence with Indus in Nimmu.

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 and rest in Leh
2 Day 2
Acclimatization in Leh
3 Day 3
Leh to Zingchen (3734 M) - 28 Kms drive; Trek to Ganda La lower base (4363 M) via Yurutse (4172 M) - 10 Kms, 6 to 8 hours
4 Day 4
Ganda La lower base to Shingo Campsite (4376 M) via Ganda La (4971 M) - 8 km
5 Day 5
Shingo Campsite to Chilling (3189 Mts) using Ropeway/Zipline - 16 km
6 Day 6
Rafting from Chilling (3189 Mts) to Nimmu (3140 Mts) - 28 km; Drive to Leh - 38 km
7 Day 7
Departure from Leh

Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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 we reach 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.

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.

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.

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: 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: 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

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.

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.

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.

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 & Rafting in Zanskar 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.

Packing List: What to pack



Click here for packing list.

Packing List: How should I pack my rucksack?

Packing List: How should I select my trekking shoe?

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.

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

Markha Valley Trek & Rafting in Zanskar

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. The added advantage of this is the unique experience of rafting in the roaring river of Zanskar which will undoubtedly be a once in a life time experience true for all adventure enthusiasts.

Eligibility: Is this trek good for me?

Markha Valley Trek is a moderate trek. It is a high altitude trek in Ladakh region which requires climbing to the height of 5000 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 4. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale

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: 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

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.

Participant Reviews

Terms & Conditions

What's Included

  • Camping/Homestay during the trek
  • Veg Meals as per menu on all trek days
  • 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
  • Equipments needed for rafting
  • Hotel/Guest House Stays in Leh (Day 1,2 & 6)
  • Mountaineering course certified Trek Leader with First Aid certification

What's not Included

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

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