Markha valley trek ( 6 DAYS )


Markha valley trek ( 6 DAYS )

Duration :   6 Days
Age Range :   18
Total Seats :  500/500

Edventure ladakh

For the conscious traveller


Considering the popularity of Markha Valley trek has with trekkers in Ladakh it is not difficult to understand why Markha valley trek is the most beautiful Trek in the Himalayan region.  You get an outstanding view of Ladakh and Zanskar ranges, the 21,000 ft Kang Yatsey and the 20,086 ft Stok Kangri peaks. The trek includes beautiful Hemis National Park and involves two pass crossings-  Gandala La (15748 ft) and Kongmaru La, (17,060 ft).  Some exciting waist-deep river crossing sections on Markha River to trails leading across interesting Buddhist villages and rocky canyons are some of the features that give this trek a unique feature.

Places You’ll See :

1Markha valley
2khardong la

Schedule Details

Day 1

Zingchen (11,090 feet) to Yurutse (13,520 feet),

Distance:-7 to 8 km

Duration:- 3 hours trek

 Day 1 Summary: Easy trek today.

The decision to camp at Yurutse and not head for the pass crossing of Kanda-la is to ensure that the team gets a rest day before a hard day 3 trek to Skiu where many trekkers complains of AMS symptoms and fatigue.


Day 1 Trek details: Start Walking ahead for a little and cross the bridge and it starts Hemis National Park. The trail is well made for the People of Rumbak. Sumdzom, there is an upstream walk and you cross the wooden bridge twice as you pass through a beautiful gorge (Zingchen Nala). The trail enters a valley which narrows down as you move ahead passing via two rocky canyons of sorts. In front of you is Kandala Nallah trail through meadows. On your left the trail moves eastwards up to Rumbak Village.

Overnight stay in camp or Home stay.


Day 2

Yurutse (13,520 feet), to Skiu (11,160 feet),

Pass of the Day:- Ganda La (15,748 feet)(4900mtr)

Distance:- 21 km (approx.)

Duration:- 7 to 8 hours trek

Day 2 Trek details: Start early in the day towards the Base camp of Ganda La which is a steep gradient involving an hour long hike. As you move up the valley to the base camp, look for the peak of Stok Kangri looming behind you. Look for the usual prayer flags as you reach the lower base camp of Ganda La at an altitude of 14,272 feet.  A further 30 minutes or 1 km will bring you to the high base camp of Ganda La. Enroute you may sight Blue Sheep, Marmot and Arghali roaming the land freely. The Ganda La Pass is a further 1 km up in the valley where the elusive Snow Leopard resides, though sighting one will be rare. At the top of Ganda la Col you get a grand view down to Zinchen Gorge and Stok Mountains and towards the Skiu side of the valley. The contrast in landscape on both sides is incredible. The trail is well defined, zig zags all the way up to the pass. Keep your ears well covered as it is extremely windy. As you descent down to Skiu, observe the terrain increasingly becomes rocky in nature. This pass crossing section can be hard for trekkers as one may experience headache, nausea etc. Ensure you do not hike too fast as the variance in height gained and lost is significant for the day. Carry plenty of water as the quality of water is not that good on way till Shingo. A water filter can help you here.

After two to three hours of hard descent you reach a settlement named Shingo (13,615 feet).  Keep a look out for Marmots on the route which is a good indication that you are not lost. At Shingo you will find tea shops and Parachute tents pitched for night stays. Another 400 meters ahead of the tea shop you find a nice home stay option. The last section of the trek for the day till Skiu takes around 3 to 4 hours. The dusty trail goes through a yellow colored valley. From Shingo look out for a trail heading south towards the village field from where you take a logical trail moving towards your left. This trail enters into a narrow gorge with an abundance of wild roses that bloom in the months of July-August.

The trail is well defined all the way till Skiu. Expect to cross Shingo Nallah three to four times on the way to Skiu. All this while, the trail is descending down crossing the stream on stepping stones. The bottom of the gorge is full of willow and Sea buck thorn providing much needed shade from the sun. A km and half before the end of the gorge, the stream disappears and you reach Skiu. You have just entered Markha Valley. Observe Markha River coming down from Chilling. This is the point from where Stok Valley merges with Markha Valley. As you enter Skiu village observe the old monasteries.

Overnight stay in Camp or Home stay.

Day 3

Skiu (11,160 feet) to Markha (12,369 feet)

Distance:- 23 km

Duration:- 6 -7 hours trek

Day 3 Trek details:  Today is a moderate day for trekking with very less altitude gain/loss though there is a lot of distance to cover. From Skiu, head eastwards towards the Markha Valley. Walk alongside the Markha River with mountains on both sides. The trail for the day is a relatively level walk over the river bed, side trails along the river with few sections where you have to climb up and down due to broken down trails in few sections. Walk beside the river for 2 km till reach you to a bridge section. Do not cross over but stay on course along the river. The trail from here has few washout sections requiring you to climb few meters up and down to pass the broken section of the trail. The trail to Chalak village from here goes through a bridge crossing towards your left and a further 2 km trek to reach a clearing known as Narding followed with a 3km walk up the valley to a spot called Sara where there is ample space for camping.

Another one km and you reach a bridge crossing section. Cross the bridge and return back to the right side of the river. Observe cultivated Barley fields ahead. You have reached Chalak. This is a suitable place to have lunch. It takes 5 to 6 hours to reach Chalak from Skiu. From Chalak the trail ascends gradually as you pass by a trail marked with Bharal horn for directions. Observe chortens and mani walls set high above the river throughout the way. After 2 to 3 km the valley opens up and a river crossing takes you to Markha Village. Let the guide decide the best spot for the river crossing. You may find the level of water to be thigh high. The water is icy cold so better to take off your shoes and socks and pull up your pants. Once you cross over, trek for a couple of kilometres till you see a final bridge crossing. As you cross over the bridge you approach Markha -the biggest village of the area. This village has 25 houses. An old fort dated back to 1830’s can be seen here. Towards your north, look for a renovated Gompa.

Overnight in camp or homestay.

Day 4

Markha (12,369 feet) to Thochuntse (13,165 feet)

Distance:- 13 km

Duration:- 4 – 5 hours trek

Day 5 Trek details:  Today is another moderate day for trekking. Follow the trail from Markha village alongside Markha River, remaining at the right side. Ignore a wooden plank bridge. After 2 km you reach the intersection where a path from Zanskar meets up. Look for suitable spots to cross over Markha River. You will be required to cross over at least twice. Consult a local in Markha or leave it to the experience of your guide to make this decision. After the second river crossing it is a 2 hour hike up to Umlung.  Look out for the Umlung Gompa and cross over from its base to reach Umlung. You can get a breathtaking view of Mt. Kang Yatse as you climb up from Umlung towards Tacha and Hankar. After 2 hours, skirting up a gorge, you reach an old village named Hankar. A km beyond Hankar, the trail splits into two. One going to Thochuntse and the other to Zalung karpo La. Follow the trail going along the tributary takes you to Thochuntse which is another 1 km ahead. Pass a bridge made of stones and you enter a field area which is Thochuntse.

Overnight in camp or Home stay.

Day 5

Thochuntse (13,165 feet) to Nimaling (15,518 feet)

Distance:- 6 – 7 km

Duration:-3 to 4 hours trek

Day 6 Summary and details: Easy trek today.  It’s a shorter 6 kms trek to Nimaling.15 minutes from the Thotchuntse campsite, the trail forks. Take the trail to the left. After an hour’s climb, the terrain is smoother, curvier. The climb becomes gradual. One and a half hours into the climb, brings you to a pond where you can fill water. A long walk on a grassy meadow brings you to Nimaling. You see gushing streams on your left with a glacier behind the Kang Yatse and to the right is the Kang Yatse peak. The campsite of Nimaling is in a broad valley and is completely exposed to strong winds. When it snows, the green of the valley turns to a complete white carpet. Yak herders from Hankar Village have temporary stone settlements here in the summer months. Since it can snow at Nimaling any time.

Overnight in camp or home stay.


Day 6

Nimaling (15,518 feet), to Shang Sumdo  (12,237 feet)

Pass of the Day:- Kongmaru la pass (17,060 feet)

Distance:-18 to 20 km

Duration 6 – 7 hours trek

Day 6 Trek details:  Today is a difficult day due to the highest altitude pass crossing of the trek. From Nimaling look ahead towards Kongmaru la Pass. Cross a stream section and proceed towards the north climbing a long face of a ridge leading to Kongmaru la Pass. The hike from Nimaling to Kongmaru la pass takes around 2 hours and is a steep incline hike. At the top of the pass you will get a great view of Indus valley and Ladakh ranges. You can also see a wide array of wildflowers on the slope leading to the pass. You also get a mobile signal of BSNL network here. The downhill descent from the pass to Sumdo is brutal. The terrain is rocky and drops down steeply as you enter into a narrow canyon after trekking 2 to 3 km down.

The canyon has a typical landscape one is accustomed to seeing in Ladakh. The brown and reddish rocks on both side allow not more than 2 to 3 people to pass at a time. After 2 hours of hiking, the canyon widens up till you reach chukarmo where you can find Parachute tents pitched. The hike from chuskurmo to chokdo and the car will be waiting there for you. And transfer straight back to leh hotel.



This is not a definitive list but we suggest that all students carry at least these items while traveling to Ladakh.

- Sunblock or sunscreen with SPF 50+*

- 2 t-shirts (preferably fast drying) *

- 1 thin fleece *

- 1 long sleeved t- shirt *

- 1 fleece jacket *

- 1 light water proof / windproof jacket

- 1 pair of long trousers *

- 1 pair sturdy trainers *

- 1 pair of flip – flops *

- Several pairs of thin and thick socks *

- Warm cap, scarf and gloves

- First aid kit ( medicines are not easy to get on the trail )

- Water bottle *

- Torch light / head lamp with spare batteries

- Camera with extra battery

- Minimal wash kit including biodegradable soap,

tooth-brush and toothpaste *

- Bag for putting garbage *

- Sunglasses and sun-hat

- Sanitary item for women *

- Lip balm and small water bottle *

- A down jacket and wind proof trousers

- A book to read is not a bad idea *

How does Edventure ladakh facilitate my travel experience?

Our local guides and experts are trained specifically to help you on your personal learning journey. We understand the value of mentorship and we always have our team on board to help you with acclimatization, learning the basics of getting along with your peers and hosts in a new environment.

We also promote dialogues and discussions through active engagement and hosting group events with the help of our local host families and communities. We take the responsibility of facilitating your personal growth on the journey you undertake with us by providing you a safe space to experience the world anew.

What is the average age-group of the participants?

There is no specific age-group- our travelers could be anywhere between 12-70. We host student groups so some of our travelers are also remarkably young. 

We only ask that our travelers come with a healthy body and a mindset open to reflection and cross-cultural immersion.

What differentiates Edventure ladakh?

Our vision is to facilitate transformative travel experiences. We do so by carefully curating each experience we offer. 

The travel plans are designed with small cohesive groups and trained experts and professional artists who conduct workshops and learning camps. No two programs are alike in the elements that they offer, each trip is designed around a specific theme and allows for an unparalleled immersion. 

What is included in the cost of the program?

Accomodation on MAP basis which includes breakfast, dinner and sleeping arrangements, permit fee to the governed areas, transportation costs while on the trip, guide and porters fee, facilitators fee, food while traveling, 

What is not included in the cost of the program?

Flight tickets (but we can help you with booking if requested beforehand), travel insurance, entrance fee in some places where applicable e.g. in some monasteries, medical expenses if any encountered on the trip 

What happens if we fall sick or get injured?

The group leaders and guides are trained in basic first aid and emergency healthcare providence. In cases of higher emergency, we facilitate swift and immediate response to transfer the person to the nearest hospital/healthcare provider. 

What is a typical travel day like with Edventure Ladakh?

You could be engaged with anything from working on the farms to taking the cows for grazing on the mountains on your trip. Since learning by immersion is an important part of our trips, you could even be attending a kayaking workshop with our expert facilitators. 

On some days, you can expect training in local handicrafts or intensive courses in language or philosophy. All experiences are designed keeping in mind our travel audience and we believe in allowing them to immerse and learn from their environment.

What's Included

  • Airport to and fro.
  • English speaking cultural Guide
  • First add kit for emergency
  • Homestay accommodation
  • Hotel Accommodation
  • Oxygen tank in emergency
  • Permit for the restricted area.
  • Swiss deluxe camp accommodation
  • Transportation

What's Excluded

  • Air ticket
  • Laundry
  • Medical expenses
  • Monastery ticket
  • Travel Insurance


  • Camping
  • Hiking
  • Trekking

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