Destinations: Leh – Stok – Yurutse – Gandala – Skiu – Markha – Tchatchutse – Nimaling – Knogmarula – Shang – Hemis – Leh
The Markha Valley Trek is certainly one of the most varied and beautiful treks in the world. It ventures high into the Himalayas crossing two passes over 15,000 ft. as it circles from the edges of the Indus Valley, down into parts of Zanskar, and passes through terrain that changes from incredibly narrow valleys to wide open vast expanses. It is made all the more interesting by the ancient form of Buddhism that flourishes in the many monasteries that dot the landscape perched high atop hills. As we trek to the upper end of the Markha Valley we are rewarded with spectacular views of jagged snow capped peaks before cross the 16500 ft. Gongmarlu Pass and descending to the famous Hemis monastery, where we end our trek. The trek has alternative route from Spituk also.
Day 01 : Leh – Stok (drive) – Foot of Stokla (4900M) 3 Hrs. Trek
Leave Leh early morning by Jeeps and reaches at Stok. Start trek from Stok, after passing off Stok village and following left bank of the river for two hours, climb gently leaving a small pass on the left, continue onto a small valley, It is the foot of Stokla. Overnight in Tents.
Day 02 : Foot of Stokla – Stokla – Yurutse 6/7 Hrs. Trek
After by passing this beautiful stopping valley, ascent upto Stokla 4900 Mtrs. by very steep zigzag, difficult footpath, by now it is 3 Hrs. Now steep descent to summer pastures of Stok and follow the river which comes from Stok – Kangri massif. Overnight in Tents.
Day 03 : Yurutse – Gandala – Skiu 6/7 Hrs. Trek
Yurutse follow path along the mountainside, then cross a small valley and follow zig zag steep path. Thereafter cross Gandala. Then long descent towards Shingo. After 2 Hrs. descent arrive in the valley of Markha and then after few hundred meters further will reach Skiu. Overnight in Tents.
Day 04 : Skiu – Markha 7 Hrs. Trek
From Skiu, follow a good path on the right bank of Markha where one can find great vegetation. Then cross right bank of river and cross through barren plain and arrive at Chaluk. Thereafter walk along the left bank of river and after another crossing climb towards Markha village. Good camp site beyond the village and near river. Overnight in Tents.
Day 05 : Markha – Tchatchutse 6/7 Hrs. Trek
Start trek towards the main valley on the right bank. The path is sometimes difficult in the river bed and pass the monastery of Humlung. Then carry on trek along the right bank and arrive in Hankar where there are several houses. The path improves and cross a broad valley on the right side. The valley becomes narrow and higher and cross bridges on to the left bank and then reaches Tchatchuste. Overnight in Tents.
Day 06 :Tchatchutse – Nimaling (4700 M) 3 Hrs. Trek
Trek starts on good path and several small inclines. The river is rather far to the other side and walk near a small lake, then cross pasture to Nimaling. This is one of most beautiful high valleys in Ladakh dominated by the Kang Yaze. Trek ascent towards other side and gradually reach Nimaling. Overnight in Tents.
Day 07 : Nimaling – Knogmarula (5150 M) – Shang 8 Hrs. Trek
Cross the Markha valley and follow long climb along the mountain side, then zig zag road leads towards Kongmarula. Follow steep descent into gorges and then keep walking on the left bank to Chukirmo. Thereafter crossing right and left bank and arrive Shang, a beautiful camp in groves and there is a monastery an hour away from the village. Overnight in tents.
Day 08 : Shang – Hemis 4 Hrs. Trek – Leh 1 ½ Hrs. drive.
Trek starts from the riverbed, then follow a good path through large blocks and then go left bank. You reach a dusty trail suitable for motor vehicles and then pass a small house and series of Chortens. Leave Martsellang on the right and follow a gently rising trail towards Hemis. Visit Hemis monastery after that drive towards to Leh via Shey and Thiksey monastery.