The Markha Valley trek is an outstanding medium length trek in breathtaking scenery in Ladakh.
Access to this least populated region (Ladakh) of India takes just 90 mins from Delhi by domestic flight. Be aware that Leh is one of the highest commercial airports in the world (3500m) and we take time to acclimatise here on arrival.
It is a short drive to Spituk to begin this adventure and it isn’t long before you are crossing the impressive 4731m Ganda La Pass offering extensive views across the Karakoram. Once down into the delightful village of Skiu, the route follows the glacial Markha river up to the valley towards its source, steadily acclimatising as we go and admiring the sheer scale and variety of geology (as well as colours). The snow leopard genuinely still roams these parts and their tracks can often be seen. The iconic makeshift white parachute cafes are a welcomed sight along this route selling all sorts of goodies.
Having acclimatised, you will be ready to clear the 5100m Kongmaru La; take the time to look around you, it is an impressive view! From here it is a straight forward descent to Marteslang where you will be picked up and transferred back to Leh. Enjoy your 2 nights here; it’s a chilled out place to relax.
Transiting Delhi on the return opens up a huge array of opportunities whether its an overnight trip to see the iconic Taj Mahal, more time to explore Delhi, Rajasthan or indeed other parts of India. Might as well make use of that visa!
- Great route in a remote, lightly trekked region
- Two high passes offering extensive views across the Karakoram
- Overnight hotel in Delhi on the way in
- Numerous extension options post trek (Taj Mahal, Jaipur, etc…)
- Exciting ‘travellers’ trip with lots of different experiences
Clothing and Equipment – No specialist equipment is required. Please refer to our Kit List webpage.
Land Only clients – we collect you on arrival at Leh’s airport in Ladakh.
Day 1 – Depart UK
Fly from London, bound for New Dehli.
Day 2 – Arrive Delhi
On arrival you will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel. You are then free to explore Delhi itself or rest in preparation for your early morning departure.
Day 3 – Fly Delhi – Leh
Early morning transfer to the domestic terminal for your flight to Leh. On arrival in Leh, you will be collected and transferred to your hotel. Leh lies at an altitude of 3500m and you are therefore strongly advised to rest as much as you can to avoid the effects. BLD
Day 4 – Free Day (acclimatisation)
Enjoy the sights and sounds of Leh on this combined acclimatisation and sightseeing day. BLD
Day 5 – Drive to Spituk, trek to Zinchen (3200m)
The trek begins at Spituk by crossing a bridge and walking west of the River Indus. We follow the trail for 3 hours until the Indus enters a narrow gorge and joins the Zinchen river. From here it’s a gradual ascent through the Zinchen Valley, before we reach the small village of Zinchen. BLD
Day 6 – Trek to Yurutse (4150m)
The trail from Zinchen ascends gradually all the way along the Rumbak Nala until you reach Rumbak, the largest village in the Zingchen Valley. You then follow a trail passing cultivated fields and scattered houses until you reach the village of Yurutse. BLD
Day 7 – Trek To Skiu (3018m)
A gradual ascent followed by a steep climb gets you to the Ganda La (4971m). From the Pass we are treated to fine views of snow capped mountains merging into the distant ranges of the Karakoram. The trail descends steadily to Shingo, the head of the Skiu Valley and continues down into Skiu village. You enter the village confronted by towering rock faces. BLD
Day 8 – Trek To Markha Village (3793m)
This is a very pleasant walk as you go against the down flowing glacial Markha river, crossing it several times. En-route you will pass several settlements and monasteries perched high on the hillsides above. The path is dotted with Chortens and prayer walls. 5-6 hrs, BLD
Day 9 – Trek to Hankar (4000m)
From Markha the country changes and the warm, relatively heavily wooded section of the lower Markha is left behind. The camp below the twin villages of Lower and Upper Hankar is distinctly cooler than at Markha Village. 2 – 4 hrs, BLD
Day 10 – Trek To Nimaling (4840m)
From Hankar the trail climbs steadily up the narrow valley. The Nimaling plain is a broad meadow, reaching upwards to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse (6553m). The Nimaling meadows provide pastures in the summer for yaks, sheep, goats and horses from villages further down the valley. It is not unusual to see the occasional wild sheep or wolf. You may also see the impressive Lammergeier’s; the largest of the Himalayan raptors. BLD
Day 11 – Rest day and to explore the base camp of Kangytse
A time to relax at Nimaling and enjoy the wonderful scenery. It’s possible that you’ll rest the day before at Hankar. For the more energetic, we would recommend a walk to the base camp of Kang Yatze, the highest peak in the Zanskar range. BLD
Day 12 – Trek to Chogdo (4000m), via the Kongmaru La (5100m)
Today you cross to the north of the Markha, on a well marked trail, climbing to the top of the highest Pass in the area; the 5100m Konmaru La. To the north there are spectacular views of the eastern Karakorum. The trail descends steeply to the head of the Martselang valley past the sulphur springs of Chyushkarmo before reaching our campsite at Chogdo. BLD
Day 13 – Trek to Martselang
After an easy decent along the left bank of the Martselang river, we reach Martselang village where transport will be waiting to take us back to Leh. Overnight Hotel. BLD
Day 14 – Free Day in Leh
This is a free day in Leh for you to enjoy post trek. BLD
Day 15 – Depart
You will be transferred back to Leh’s airport for your domestic flight back to Delhi.
On arrival, there are numerous options:
- Transfer to the international terminal for your flight home
- Transfer to our ‘day hotel’ facility if you have an evening flight
- Continue with the additional arrangments if you have arranged to stay on. B
Day 16 – Arrive UK