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Kaza to Karzok
Parang La trek is an ancient trade route between the Spiti in Himachal, Tibet & Changthang in Ladakh region. Parang La trek can be started from either Karzok village in Leh or from Chicham / Kibber village in Spiti. The trail takes you to a maximum altitude of around 5600 meters to Parang La & follows the Pare Chu river which goes to Tibet & re-enters India. The main attraction of the trail is the old yet dynamic mountain features which resemble a unique pattern of being under the sea for a long time & houses some of the unique fossils. The trail has vast meadows which were a grazing ground for horses from Spiti Valley. The most amazing part of the trek is the walk along the Tso Moriri Lake for complete 2 days where the lake offers different shades of blue with many unclimbed peaks in the background. The endpoint is Karzok village which houses one of the old & powerful monasteries in Leh. Stay on this page for more information like - Parang la trek itinerary, route map, weather and temperature conditions, photos, videos, and reviews. Scroll to the end to read some amazing Parang La trek blogs.
Arrival in Kaza from Manali (Driving Distance 202 Kms)
It is advised to reach Manali a day before departing for Kaza as it will help you prepare for the upcoming days in remote civilization. This day can be used to fine-tune your packing list & buying necessary items as Manali will be the last major town/city where you can get in all the essentials. From acclimatization point of view also it is advisable to spend at least one night in Manali. Start early on Day 1 to reach Kaza latest by 03:00 to 4:00 PM. The major highlight for the day will be Rohtang Pass & Kunzum La which has a famous Kunzum mata mandir. The drive from Kunzum La to Kaza is a beautiful one along the Spiti river & one can view Key monastery in the background welcoming to this beautiful place called Kaza. Reaching early has certain benefits, one can stroll in the local market of Kaza & is always buzzing with tourist from June till late October. Overnight stay will be in hotel in Kaza.
Rest & Acclimatization Day at Chicham (Driving Distance : 18 Kms)
Today & tomorrow are for acclimatization. We will start with a small hill walk in the morning. The days are planned in a way that one remains physically active which includes a walk along the Spiti river bank after breakfast & visit to the local Key monasteries & gompa in the afternoon. After visiting monastery we will head towards Chicham village through its famous trolley bridge. Overnight will be in a homestay in Chicham which is our starting point of the trek & at an altitude of 4270 M.
Rest & Acclimatization Day at Chicham
Rest & Acclimatization Day at Chicham.
Chicham to Thaltak Altitude : 4270 M to 4693 M Distance Covered : 8 KM
The initial trek starting from Chicham is on a well paved metallic road which takes you out of the village with almost zero ascents & after walking on it for around 45 minutes one can see the Dumla campsite on their right in the valley below. Dumla campsite is ideal for those who are starting their trek from Kibber as it takes around 2-3 Hours to reach this campsite. The campsite has a stream of water flowing through the middle of it and agricultural fields of Chicham village on both sides of it. Dumla campsite is at an altitude of 3890 M. The real test of stamina & your acclimatization starts from Dumla when there is a steep ascent for the next 3 hours with giving the view of typical Spiti mountains. The trail is of loose soil & gravel with only prominent vegetation of Thama, a typical grass or bush during the entire trail. The steep ascent of 2- 3 hours is followed by a zig-zag dusty flat trail with views of the mountain ranges more opening up. While approaching Thaltak the Kanamo peak is visible on the right side surrounded by mountains devoid of any snow or vegetation post monsoon. It takes around 6-6.6 hours of trekking to reach the Thaltak campsite. Total ascent during the day is of 636 M & descent of 144 M.This campsites is an oasis in the middle of the barren land & offers an amazing view of the Kanamo Peak. One can find typical grass in this meadow with Thama bush on the periphery of the campsite to accompany it. Overnight stay in camps
Thaltak to Borochin Altitude : 4693 M to 5100 M Distance Covered : 12 KM
The trail from Thaltak starts descending in a deep gorge with trail made of loose rocks, gravels & one need to be very careful while descending as it is a prominent rockfall zone as well. The trail goes to the bottom of constricted valley devoid of any kind of sunshine. It takes an hour and a half of continuous descent to reach the bottom of the valley where you are welcome by the gushing river locally called Rong Nala. The trail is along the upstream & the river is on your right-hand side. After crossing the landmark Rong Nala bridge the river turns on your left & goes along till you leave it for the ascent of Juktha, another beautiful campsite. The trail along the riverside is typical of any other mountainous river bed with big & small rocks & pebbles making your way forward. The ascent to Jukhta is on scree and quite demanding. The trail from Jukhta is gradually ascending with an open view of signature style ever eroding mountain faces of Spiti valley. The relentless climb over barren & rocky terrain takes you to Borochen, the campsite of the day which has few water streams ideal for small group campings. Borochen campsite is on the foot of Parang La & is devoid of any kind of vegetation at an altitude of 5100 M. Total trekking distance of 12 KM took nearly 8 hours with the ascent of 857 m & descent during the day at 455 M.
Borochin to Kharsa Yongma via Parang La (5580 M) Altitude : 5100 M to 4850 M Distance Covered : 14 KM
The pass day in any trek is always demanding & especially when you are at an altitude of 5100 M it demands another level of fitness. After a steep climb of 1.5 hours through moraines one reaches another campsite ideal for camping of a very small group. This campsite has a stream of water coming out of rock face & is locally called Thakchu campsite. The climb towards the pass is through a zig-zag trail which is well marked out by marks of mules & horses. It takes 3.5 to 5 hours of the relentless climb to reach the highest point of the Parang la trek. The pass offers great views of the Spiti and the Changthang valleys along with the view of Parilungi peak . After crossing the pass the way forward is descent on the Parang La glacier. You can hear the sound of gushing water beneath your feet. The glacier boast of few crevasses as well so one needs to be extremely careful while negotiating the same. It takes around 2 hours of non stop descent on the glacier to reach the Lakku campsite. The trail follows the glacier river downstream with vast dry river bed on your right. Kharsa Yongma campsite is around 1.5 hours down to the snout of the Parang La glacier. Total ascent during the day is of 548 M & descent of 750 M. The visibility here is extremely good & one can see the next campsite with bare naked eyes. This campsite is on the left bank of the river bed & boast of a stream of potable water.
Kharsa Yongma to Kapapuche Altitude : 4850 M to 4700 M Distance Covered : 20 KM
The vast river bed of Datang Nala downstream offers freedom to choose your own trail & after walking for almost 3 hours on the vast river bed & crossing numerous streams & some with shoes removed, we crossed campsites of Datang Yongma & Datang Kongma both an hour distance apart. Tsoma Nala flows along the left side of Datang Yongma campsite. Lasoma or Takli La nala joins the Datang nala beyond Yongma campsite. Total ascent during the trail is 290 M & descent of 396 M.
Kapapuche to Kitpodansa Altitude : 4700 M to 4550 M Disctance Covered : 20 KM
The trail from Kapapuche to Kitpodansa is similar to the previous day with a very minor change in the altitude. The trail is mostly on the river bed of Pare river. There are several river streams/Nala joining the mail Pare Chu river & one of them is Falangbado Nala. Phalum Phada campsite which is first to come has some huge rock structure, small shallow caves which acted as a natural shelter for the traders in an earlier time. The Racholamo campsite is at the intersection of 2 valleys after Falangbado Nala joins the main river. Lakuk Nala is another major tributary to this river which follows the Racholamo campsite. The trail is entirely on the river bed.
Kitpodansa to Chumik Shilde Altitude : 4550 M to 4704 M Distance Covered : 18 KM
The trail after following the downstream course of Parechu river takes a sudden left turn towards Norbu Sumdo. The major hurdle or attraction of the day is crossing or traversing the strong current of Parechu river where water level can go up to waist level. The level of water rises during noon time & one has to cross the same making a human chain. The Parechu river leaves us on its course towards Tibet & after taking a left turn landscape changed from the barren river bed to lush green meadows, small yellow flowers & few streams of water. This is Norbu Sumdo, the gateway to Ladakh & a border between Spiti & Ladakh. The changed vegetation was full of life with quick appearances of mammals like Kiang (wild ass), a black wolf & Marmot. After an hour of the walk, we reach the campsite of Chumik Shilde which boasts of lush green meadows with spring water in plenty.
Chumik Shilde to Kiangdom Altitude : 4704 M to 4588 M Distance Covered : 14 KM
The trail ahead is flat land with meadows left behind after a couple of hours walk. One can see some of the snow-covered peaks of Mentok series. The trail takes us to the southernmost tip of Tso Moriri Lake where one starts getting the glimpse of this pristine lake. There is no source of water between Chmik Shilde & Kinagdom, the campsite is known for its wild asses. total ascent for the day is 121 M & descent is 76 M.
Kiangdom to Karzok Altitude : 4588 M to 4615 M Distance Covered : 21.5 KM
The trek is along the shores of Tsomoriri lake & lake is always on your right side. This trail is one of the beautiful ones with the views of Chamsher Kangri peak & Lungser Kangri peak in the background. The trail to Korzok village is the last & only ascent one has experienced in a few days. The trail for the day covers a distance of 21.5 Kms in 8 hours & 22 min. The ascent for the day is 226 M & descent is marked at 179 M.
Karzok to Leh : 240 Kms drive
Board the shared vehicle in the morning to Leh. It should take around 5-6 hours to reach Leh. You can ask our representatives to arrange the transport from Karzok to Leh and additional stay in Leh (if required). The same can be arranged at an additional cost.
The best time to do Parang La trek is June end to mid-September.
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The trek begins from Kibber or Chicham which is around 182 Kms from Manali or 430 Kms from Shimla via Reckongpeo. There are shared vehicles available from Manali for Kaza which takes around 8-9 hours & around INR 1300-1500 per person. From Kaza you have to hire a deidcated taxi for Chicham or Kibber.
Here is how you can reach Kaza :
By Road via Manali
Cheaper option that involves a lot of road journey but is more or less streamlined. Volvo buses are easily available till Manali & if your reach early morning in Manali then sharing or reserve taxis can be hired easily.The shared taxi rates from Manali in a Tempo Traveller or Bolero can vary between INR 1000 to 1500 per seat. The journey should take around 7-8 hours in a taxi. HRTC bus is another option which starts at around 05:00 AM from Bhuntar & reaches Kaza in the evening. It takes good 10 hours for the journey.
By Air & Road via Manali
Costliest option that off course saves time. The peak season is between June and September, sooner you book the cheaper the rates. The flight to Bhuntar ranges from INR 7-14K, so one needs to plan early for this. Shared or reserved taxi options are available from Bhuntar & Kullu for Kaza .
The trek ends at Karzok, from where Leh is a 5 hour drive. From Leh, you can take one of several daily flights to Delhi or Srinagar, or go back via road in shared or private taxis. A seat in a shared Tempo Traveler to Manali can cost anything between INR 1500 - INR 3500, depending on the season. From Manali, there are several overnight Volvo buses and HRTC buses to Delhi.
Parang La is made only for experienced trekkers who want to test their limits. The challenges faced in the trek should not be underestimated. You should attempt Parang la only If you have already done a trek that climbs to 4700-5000 meters. It is recommended not to opt this trek if you cannot get acclimatized in the mountains of Ladakh. Besides you need to have a strong physical endurance to complete this trek. On Bikat rating scale Parang la trek difficulty level is 6. For details on trek difficulty level, please read on Bikat Rating Scale
Should have an experience of at least 10 – 15 trek days in the Himalayas, At least one Moderate Plus category trek, Experience of trekking at altitudes higher than 4700 - 5000 mts, Medical fitness certificate from CMO of a recognized hospital.
How to use an Ice Axe
How to use Climbing boots & Crampons
How to rope up & follow queued climbing/descending
How to self-arrest using an ice axe
Knowledge of Basic First aid
There is no network after crossing Rohtang Pass on the road journey from Manali to Kaza. There are satellite phones available at Chhatru and Batal on the route. There is no connectivity once we cross Batal till we reach Leh at the end of the trek. All postpaid connections or prepaid J&K connections work in Leh. Some spots also have coverage for BSNL 3G.
There are so many enchanting places to visit in Leh-Ladakh during your Parang La trek. 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. For more read Places that you must visit in Leh Ladakh
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.
We provide 4 seasons tents by Gipfel for higher altitudes which can easily withstand heavy snowfall and storms. They are spacious enough to accommodate 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.
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.
You will be provided with the good quality of gaiters, crampons, and microspikes from us depending upon the situation of the snow. Our trek leaders will also be carrying ropes and ice ax.
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 fulfill 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 the journey and arrival day are not included in our cost.
You can rent the following items from us: Trekking Pole, Trekking Shoes, Fleece Jacket, Rucksack.
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.
For us, a successful summit is not about reaching the highest point of a mountain but about making it safely back to base.
Cancellations up to 30 days prior to departure date
Between 30 days to 15 days prior to departure
Less than 15 days of departure
No Cash Refund
Cancellations up to 5 days prior to departure date
Cancellations less than 5 days prior to departure