Snow Leopard Trek Overview

Trekking through snow is a beautiful thing but meeting the animals of the snow is one of the most exciting and rare things to witness in life. The snow leopard trek is a once-in-a-lifetime experience where your heart will be filled with fun, thrill, and adventure amidst the whole world of winters. Staying true to the name, this trek takes you closer to the fauna of winter and snow, in the mountains of Leh. At an altitude of 4130 meters, you will be exploring the mountains of Ladakh in the valleys of Markha and Rumbak. The Hemis National Park is a significant part of the trek, where you will witness the snow beings moving in their natural habitat. You will catch the sight of snow leopards, snow cock, snow partridge, Tibetian wolf, blue sheep, Eurasian brown bear, horned lark, red-billed chough, ibex, marmot, shapo, Tibetian hare, antelope, and argali sheep. Besides animals, you will witness several Himalayan birds like the golden eagle, vultures, and migratory birds with the insects of the snow flying around. Each turn of the trail will showcase a different being. You can spot animals between the rugged mountains, stretches of greenery, and on the snow. Animals and their association with the folklore of Rumbak valley in the middle of the cold desert with a freezing breeze is bliss to an adventure seeker’s soul.

Quick Facts of Snow Leopard Trek

Quick Facts of Snow Leopard Trek

Altitude: 13500 ft

Duration - 8 Days

Temperature: Daytime; –24°C to +5°C, Nighttime; -11°C to - 24°C

Snow Leopard Trek Difficulty Level: Difficult

Starting and ending point: Leh Airport

Nearest Airport - Leh Airport

Base Camp: Zingchen

Region : Ladakh

Snow Leopard Trek Best Season : November to March

Short Itinerary for Snow Leopard Trek

Day 1- Arrive in Leh and explore nearby places.

Day 2- Leh Local Sightseeing including Chilling.

Day 3- Travel from Leh to Zingchen and start Snow Leopard Trek to Rumbak Valley.

Day 4- Trek from Rumbak Valley to Stok La.

Day 5- Explore Rumbak valley and nearby villages.

Day 6- Explore Rumbak Valley.

Day 7- Descend to Zingchen and move to the hotel in Leh.

Day 8- Depart Leh.

Snow Leopard Trek Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 1

Arrival in Leh

  • Arrive at Leh airport and transfer to the hotel.

  • Rest in the hotel for some time and enjoy lunch served with warm beverages.

  • Visit Shanti Stupa and watch the sunset.

  • Explore Leh palace on a quick tour.

  • Spend time in the local markets of Leh.

  • Arrive back in the hotel and rest for the night.

What to Pack for Snow Leopard Trek?

Food Essentials
Medical kit
  • Winter weather prompts wearing winter coats.

  • The best clothing for this kind of climate is thermal wear which includes inners, sweaters, and jackets.

  • Wearing several layers of T-shirts will help you stay warm on your trek because you can add or remove them as the weather changes at various points.

  • If there is ever an emergency, rain gear should be carried.

  • Since cold waves cause you to lose the most body heat from your head, scarves, hats, and woolen ear covers are essential.

  • The head should be completely covered as a result.

  • Carry several pairs of gloves and socks.

  • Trekking-appropriate pants with zippers are advised to bring two pairs.

  • Thermal layers are necessary to stay warm because the chilly winds can cause discomfort.

  • Trekking shoes that are suitable for any kind of terrain, especially for snow.

Know Before You Go to Snow Leopard Trek

Tips for Snow Leopard Trek
Trekking Routes
How to Reach
Best Time to Go
Tips for Snow Leopard Trek
  • Don’t harm snow leopards or any other animals.

  • Keep yourself safe from all the animals by following the instructions of the tour guide.

  • Don’t go near snow leopards.

  • Don’t tease or follow snow leopards.

  • Visit a doctor before the trek to know about your fitness level and have other mandatory checkups.

  • Keep cash with yourself as there is no ATM or UPI facility in the entire trekking route from base camp to the top.

  • There would be no mobile phone network after Zingchen. Hence, you should inform your family about snow leopard trekking.

  • Headaches, hypoxic conditions, vomiting, and many other health problems can happen due to sudden loss of oxygen.

  • Carry medicines and take necessary measures to avoid any health combination.

  • Wear thermal layers or multiple layers of warm clothes to protect yourself from cold.

  • Cover your head with woolen clothes and wearables as cold waves hit your head and face causing your body temperature to drop.

  • Wear sunglasses to protect yourself from the UV reflection of the snow.

  • The sleep 7-9 hours during the days of your trek as moving restlessly would hinder your journey keeping you uncomfortable.

  • Carry a 50-60 liter backpack for keeping all the necessary items.

General Trivia About Snow Leopard Trek

General Trivia About Snow Leopard Trek
  • Snow leopards are called ‘Ghost of the Mountains’ because of their shy and reserved behavior.

  • Snow leopards cover their skin with colored fur which makes them difficult to spot in the snow.

  • Rumbak Valley is sometimes addressed as the land of ‘Grey Ghost’, meaning the land of snow leopards.

  • There is a monastery in Rumbak valley where 80 monks live.

Why to Go for Snow Leopard Trek?

You should choose Snow leopard trek because it will present you with the sight of the rarest snow leopard moving freely in the environment. As you explore the Rumbak Valley and Hemis National park, you will witness Blue sheep, Eurasian brown bear, horned lark, red-billed chough, ibex, marmot, shapo, Tibetan hare, antelope, argali sheep, etc. Along with animals, you will see a variety of Himalayan birds, including the golden eagle, vultures, and migratory birds, as well as flying insects. The trail will reveal a different being at every corner as animals can be seen on the snow, between the rocky mountains, and along stretches of greenery.

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FAQs of Snow Leopard Trek

How Difficult is the Snow Leopard trek?

    Snow leopard trek ranges from moderate to difficult as you will travel up to 4100 meters at Rumbak Valley. The trek starts from Zingchen at 3380 meters to Rumbak Valley, taking 2-3 hours to complete. The trail is simple with a range of moderate treks as you have to move through the snow. Once you reach the valley, you will have to stay at the campsite for the next 2-3 days and explore the place. The idea of living in such harsh cold climatic conditions makes this trek a bit difficult. Moreover, the temperatures fall up to -20 degrees Celsius, making the weather extremely cold and frosty to survive. You will have to stay in the tents and stay safe all the time from snow leopards and other beings.

Will I find snow during the Snow Leopard trek?

Is the mobile network present on the Snow Leopard trek?

What kind of places will the trekkers rest in during Snow Leopard Trek?

Will I experience altitude sickness at such altitudes? If so, how do I protect myself?

What will I see at Hemis National Park?

What fitness levels are required for the Snow Leopard Trek?

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