The Markha Valley embraces you with its snow-capped mountains, clear skies, Buddhist gompas, karst landforms, and numerous charming countrysides. Nonetheless, trekking is the primary reason visitors come to this region. Markha Valley trek is one of the most popular activities in Leh Ladakh. The trek is so fascinating that it transports you on a lovely excursion through a region dotted with flying devotional flags, majestic walls, steep slopes, rare fauna, and sharp gorges.
On your way, you would pass through unique settlements, which will introduce you to the authentic Ladakhi lifestyle. Once you visit the valley, you will be mesmerized by the vibrant rocky outcrops of the tracks and the picturesque vistas of the Stok and Zanskar range. If you happen to be an experienced trekker, then this journey would turn out to be perfect for you as it's a difficult and challenging excursion with several river intersections.
If you happen to be an experienced trekker, then this is the perfect excursion for you as the Markha Valley trek is a challenging journey with several river intersections, high elevation changes, and downhills from two high peaks, and a lengthy day trek.
Prepare yourself for a stunning and fascinating adventure, and allow the tranquility of the Markha Valley's beautiful scenery to relieve your anxiety. Now, as the valley aligns with the Indus, it creates a serene and heavenly backdrop. It turns out to be a perfect getaway for any ardent hiker or wildlife adventure fan.
The Markha Valley Trek is also known as the Tea House Trek because you get to spend the entire journey in canopies or parachutes there.
Maximum altitude- 17,100 ft.
Duration- 9 Days.
Trekking distance- 65 km.
Trail type- Cross over Trail
Rail head- Accessible via Manali-Leh or Srinagar-Leh Highway.
Airport- Leh Airport (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport).
Snow Season- October to March
Service from- Leh to Leh (with transport).
Base camp- Leh
Best season- Monsoon Treks (July, August), Autumn Treks (September, October, November)
Who can participate- Since this trek is fairly easy to moderate, the Markha trek is recommended to all age groups. Anyone with a passion for wildlife, picturesque backdrop, and of course, tea houses, can participate in this trek.
Day 1 - Your Markha Valley trek begins as you arrive in Leh where you have to check in the hotel and relax for the day and prepare for the healthy and adventurous trek ahead.
Day 2 - Spend your next day unwinding the beauty and heritage of Ladakh by visiting museums, palaces, and monasteries. Spend your evenings by hiking to the Leh palace and unwind in leisure.
Day 3 - The Trek begins on your 3rd day as you drive through Spikut Village to arrive at Zingchen and hike all the way to the Rumbak village to arrive at Yurutse.
Day 4 - Begin your day 4 by trekking to Ganda La, the Zanskar Range, the Shingo Village, and Siku.
Day 5 - The day begins with an adventurous hike all the way through many rivers and reach the Markha Village.
Day 6 - This day of your Markha Valley trek begins as you explore the Kangyatze Peak and Hankar as you camp through the night.
Day 7 - Spend your 7th day walking towards the Nimalaing campsite and soak in the absolute unhindered grounds with a backdrop of Kangyatze Peak.
Day 8 - It will going to be the most prominent day of your trek as you get on the highest pass on your trek- Kongmaru La, savor the marvelous sights of attractions like Nun Kun and Saser Kangri.
Day 9 - Stay for the night and then depart from Leh on your 9th day with a bucket full of good memories of the trek.
Arrival at Leh
Arrive in Leh and check in to your hotel after you meet your friendly and professional guide who is there to assist you with everything you need.
Spend your first day relaxing and conforming with the surroundings, eating around, and walking nearby your hotel as you prepare for your trek ahead.
Have dinner at night and spend the night in the hotel.
Spend a day in Leh
Spend your second day in Leh exploring the city's historic monasteries, palaces, and museums. Take photos and videos to remember your welcome in Leh.
After your healthy breakfast, spend some time touring Stok Gompa as well as Shey and Thiksey Gompa. You can get used to the high elevation of the walk by taking this day trip to these destinations.
Set out on a hike to Leh Palace as the day draws to a close and examine the monument.
Enjoy the rest of the evening with pleasure. During this period, you are free to engage in any activity.
After your delicious dinner, spend the night in your hotel.
Leh to Zingchen (3400 m)- Yurutse (4150 m)
Trekking time- 4 hours
You are starting your Markha Valley trekking today, so get ready for an exciting experience. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before traveling via Spikut Village to Zingchen.
This is where your short, moderately incline hike starts, so make sure you keep only essentials in your backpack.
Enjoy the walk across the Rumbak Village on your way to Yurutse as you traverse through a number of streams.
Walk through the Rumbak Village as you get closer to setting up camp, and if you have some free time, relax here with your pals.
Take pictures because it is a stunning and charming location with barley fields all around.
After eating dinner, you should go to bed and think about your next day's adventure.
Yurutse ( 4150 m) to Ganda La (4800 m) to Skiu (3400 m)
Trekking time- 7 to 8 hours
Rise up to Ganda La, which is located at an elevation of 4900 m, to start your second warm day of the Markha Valley journey.
Towards the end, you can anticipate a steep ascent and fierce gusts.
Enjoy the picturesque vistas of the valleys on either side, the stunning range, and a few far-off Himalayan Range peaks from the crossing.
Start your descent to Shingo Village. From there, the trail enters a tight ravine and leads to Skiu, where the rivers from Markha Valley and Shingo converge.
After your delicious meal, spend the night in a tent.
Skiu (3400 m) to Markha (3800 m)
Trekking time- 6 to 7 hours
On the fifth day of your Markha Valley trip, you go on a lengthy but manageable journey that leads you to the lovely Markha Village, crossing multiple waterways along the route.
Get to the settlement in the center of this chilly, parched desert, which is a wonderful collection.
Lush pastures, willow trees, and an abandoned palace are all throughout the area.
You can relax with your buddies while camping next to a bubbling creek.
After your meals, spend the night in the campgrounds.
Markha (3800 m) to Thochuntse (4150 m)
Trekking time - 4 to 5 hours
On the sixth day of your walk, you can take in the alluring sights that surround you and encounter numerous rivers and waterway crossings. As you stroll around the lovely communities, you can graze here and there.
As you make your way to Hankar, take in the breathtaking views of the 6400-meter-high Kangyatze Peak.
Allow your knowledgeable guide to select the ideal location for your overnight camping trip and assist you in erecting a tent there.
Enjoy your delicious lunch and spend the night in your campgrounds.
Thochuntse (4150 m) to Nimaling (4700 m)
Trekking time - 4 hours
On the seventh day of your climb, take a quick stroll to the Nimalaing campground.
The area is alluring, including a wide-open meadow with unrestricted livestock areas and Kangyatze Peak as a foreground.
Be aware that there is a persistent breeze in the area that makes things a little uncomfortably windy.
Today, you can also choose to take a detour to Kangyatse's campsite, if you so choose.
After your great meals, spend the night in your camp.
Nimaling (4700 m) to Kongmaru La (5150 m) to Sumdo (3800 m) to Leh (3500 m)
Trekking time - 7 hours
Have your hearty breakfast before beginning the ascent to Kongmaru La, the trail's tallest summit, which stands tall at a height of 5200 meters.
Explore Nun Kun in the west and Saser Kangri in the north for fantastic views.
Prior to descending to Sukarmo, where your route is a level stroll along the river until you reach the highway head at Sumdo, savor these sights.
While you're here, get in a car and head back to Leh.
Dinner is served; stay the night in a motel.
Departure from Leh
Trekking shoes: Bring hiking boots, not running shoes. You must have a comfy and sturdy pair of hiking boots because you'll be trekking a lot of miles. The likelihood of snow on the trail is relatively low, thus waterproof hiking shoes are not necessary.
Backpack: It is essential to have a backpack with strong straps and a durable frame. Since this is a teahouse hike, you don't need to bring any camping gear. Your backpack should not exceed the limit of 40-60 liters.
3 Layers of Warm Clothing- Nimaling has a significant amount of wind and can get rather chilly at night. A minimum of two warm layers- One lightweight layer made of faux fur or wool and another- are required, while three are preferred.
3 Trek trousers- For this trek, make sure you pack at least two pairs of trousers. Wear one pair and keep a spare pair with you as you might need one if it rains during this protracted walk. Shorts and denim/jeans are inappropriate for trekking.
3 T-shirts- Bring lightweight, long-sleeved t-shirts to protect your arms and neck from sunlight. Even just two might suffice, but never carry over three. Anyhow, you won't require them.
Rain Jacket- Not necessary, but it might rain any time in this region. So, it’s best to keep a rain jacket all the time to protect you on this trek.
Thermals- Keep a pair of both top and bottom thermals to provide you with warmth at night in the camps. Do not wear thermals while trekking, but only at night.
Due to the high altitude, it is crucial that you allow yourself a few days to adapt after arriving in Leh and then before beginning a journey.
Make sure you always keep a first aid kit on hand for yourself. Consult a doctor before making plans for this trek.
Before beginning a walk, make sure your professional travel guide is beside you all the time, so that you do not get lost.
Feel free to stop frequently enough to drink water along your trip to stay hydrated.
Pack plenty of dry snacks, such as dried fruits, to help you maintain the pace.
Bring a reliable pair of hiking boots that you feel at ease donning.
Bring an additional set of underwear and socks.
Bring additional batteries and power banks, in case your phone's battery dries out.
By Air- Markha Valley is one of the most well-known and beautiful Ladakh treks, and as it is located in the eastern Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, it is much simpler to get to by air. It is most likely the quickest way to get to Leh Ladakh. Air travel to Leh is available from all significant Indian airports.
By Road- If you travel to Leh by road, then you should know that the route is quite longer and more time consuming, that can be taken from Manali or Srinagar. Although steeper, the Manali-Leh route is perhaps more picturesque than the Srinagar-Leh route. Both of these routes are served by buses and shared cabs or taxis. The least expensive route from Manali to Leh is through HRTC bus. It stops at Keylong for the night and takes around two days, costing roughly Rs. 800.
There are a lot of privatized shared buses and cabs as well, but make sure to ask about the route. If you decide to take a pooled cab, make sure it makes overnight stops, ideally at Jispa. Resist the straight taxis that go from Manali to Leh; they are agonizingly painful.
By train- If you want to visit Leh via Trains, then the best option is the Jammu Tawi Railway Station. Although this station is one of the largest and busiest stations in Jammu, the JTR station has a good number of trains interconnected to neighboring towns and cities. After disembarking in Jammu, continue your journey by flying to Leh, where you will need to take a cab to your hotel.
The months of June and September are the ideal times to visit Markha Valley Trek. In Ladakh, these months make up the summer season, which is the best time to visit. The weather is temperate and the topography is primarily smooth throughout these months. Additionally, it is the ideal season to travel the Manali-Leh road as well as the Srinagar-Leh route. After September, heavy snowfall causes the roads to become obstructed, and the majority of peaks are blocked. You can also avoid the impacts of the blustery winter winds by visiting between June and September.
To sum it up, the region continues to experience comfortable weather with the sun beating down through, which is complemented by quiet, cool nights that put you to slumber after arduous excursions during the day. It is recommended against traveling through the area after September because the region suffers severe snowfall after then, which could make a trip on foot hazardous and challenging.
Base Camp - Your base camp for Markha Valley trek is Leh as you will be arriving here first and greeting your professional guide. You will unwind for the day.
You will spend your second day exploring the nearby attractions in Leh and become accustomed with the locals and explore monasteries, museums, palaces and Thiksey, Shey, and Stok Gompa.
Your first stop will be at Zingchen, which takes a 4 hours drive from your base camp. This route then takes you through the Rumbak Village and leads to Yurutse.
Your third stop is at Ganda La before making your way to Skiu, where you can observe the rivers coming through Markha Valley and Shingo.
The next stop is from Shiu to Markha Valley, which is a moderate hike at 3800 m elevation.
Stop next at Thochuntse and soak in the breathtaking views of Kangyatze Peak while walking towards Hankar.
Stop next at Nimaling Campsite and explore the backdrop of Kang Yatze Peak.
Your last stop is Sumdo that you reach via Nimaling and Kongmaru La, before returning back to Leh with tons of memories.
The Markha valley is renowned for its expansive landscapes, rural regions, and Tibetan Buddhist temples, but that's not exactly why you must visit it. Due to the valley's easy access from Leh, it is a great favorite with trekkers. Among both Rumbak and Nimaling, near the town of Markha, there is a magnificent, long-forsaken fort that you must explore. You'll find such exquisite remains of castles and forts that provide several examples of Ladakh's ancient culture in the Markha valley. Indulge in a once-in-a-lifetime adventure while trudging for hours in the chilly steppe while traversing via streams and rivers. There used to be several wolves and snow leopards in the area. Wolves and snow leopards are currently becoming less common. The main draw of Kang Yatse is the beauty of the mountain, which is located in Markha Valley at the summit of the Nimaling Plateau.
How difficult is the Markha Valley trek?
Due to the elevation and topography, the majority of treks in Ladakh are more challenging. For the Markha Valley trek, your base camp, Leh, is located at 11,560 feet. Nearly every treks in Ladakh entail traversing passes higher than 15,000 feet. After all, that is where the term Ladakh, which means "country of high passes," originates. This trek has few challenging sections because the route generally is moderate to follow.Although thankfully brief, the ascent to Kongmaru La is fairly challenging and rocky. Furthermore , the descent is drawn out. Scree makes for a difficult drop that is hard on your legs, which of course, is excruciating.
As far as your fitness for this trek is concerned, you have to make sure that your legs and lungs are working just fine. This trek needs a substantial deal of stamina due to the lengthy and exhausting trail as well as the significant elevation increases. Here is the fitness regime that would work for you- If you're just getting started with a regular workout regimen, scale out your mileage goals according to these targets-
When you start, set a goal of covering 5 km in 30 minutes.- Jog four times a week at a faster pace until you can complete 5 kilometers in under 30 minutes.- If your age is above 45 years old but you can walk briskly, then you can aim to complete 10 kilometers in at least 70 to 75 minutes. - You can go cycling as well and cover 25 kms in over 60 hours.
Flexibility- Versatility is yet another factor that will make your trek more comfortable. You can help yourself with this by frequently stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, lower spine muscles, and neck. It's crucial that your muscles are rested when you reach the hills after your trip. Even a small bag might eventually become tiresome to carry. You can get in fitness for the trek using these activities.
Can we camp in Markha valley?
Yes, you are permitted to camp at Markha Valley. The Markha Valley hiking package includes a nighttime tent camping trip within the breathtakingly beautiful open landscape.
Who can participate in the Markha Valley trek?
People above the age of 15, experienced trekkers with a fitness level to cover a distance of 6 km in 30 minutes or less, and people who can endure the weight of a 12-14 kg backpack can participate in this trek. Make sure you are not suffering from any heart disease, asthma, epilepsy, and high blood pressure
What is the minimum and maximum duration for the Markha Valley Trek?
The minimum duration for this trek is around 7 days and the maximum duration is about 8 or 9 days.
What should I keep in mind before taking the Markha Valley Trek?
It is advisable to begin your fitness training as quickly as feasible for this moderate to challenging trek. To prevent being tired throughout the walk, exercise your body regularly, focusing on your legs, and maintain a healthy eating plan. Additionally, please remember to pack all the necessities you'll need to bring on the expedition. Torches, Swiss knives, backpacks, water bottles, protein bars, first aid kits, and other gear are examples of these. Keep a backpack on hand for unexpected situations, along with sunblock and a cap should it get very hot. Bring some elevational nausea medicine if you are vulnerable to it.