Manali - Leh Cycling
Trip Type: Cycling
Region: Kullu, Lahaul and Ladakh
Duration: 11 days
Max Altitude: 5200m
Batch Dates: Custom Trips Only
Manali Leh Cycling Overview
The Manali - Leh cycling route is one of the most scenic, challenging and popular mountain biking routes. You cover 475 km over 10 days going past many high passes - Rohtang (3900m), Baralacha La (4800m), Nakee La (4850m), Lachung La (4800m) and Tanglang La (5200m and the world's second highest motorable road). The route is a mix of tarmac and unmetalled roads. Once you cross into Lahaul valley from Manali, you go past picturesque villages. However, after Darcha, it's all wild country with no permanent villages till you cross Tanglang La closer to Leh. The only settlements you will come across are doksas or make-shift bed-and-breakfasts and off late, fixed campsites that have come up for the season. From alpine forests and meadows in Manali through deep valleys in Lahaul, and vast plains in Sarchu, you enter Ladakh - a land that offers every hue of orange, red, brown and ochre. Along the way your challenges include searing hot days, freezing nights and most importantly, high altitude.
This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek.
Day 01: Manali
The participants arrive in Manali. Take the day to get acclimatised with your bike and for last minute preparations.
Day 02: Manali - Marhi (3400m)
Duration: 5-7 hours
The journey starts from the smooth roads of Manali. We take a series of hairpin bends to leave the Pine and Deodar forests surrounding Manali, cycle through the villages of Palchan, Kothi and Gulaba to reach the alpine meadows at Marhi - the base of the Rohtang Pass. Camp here for the night.
Day 03: Marhi - Sissu (3200m)
Distance: 50 km
Duration: 5-6 hours
We start the day with a steep climb to the top of Rohtang Pass at nearly 4000m, our first pass on the trip. We cycle downhill to reach Koksar and then cycle along the Chandra river to reach Sissu.
Day 04: Sissu - Jispa (3900m)
Duration: 6-7 hours
Today we cycle through Keylong - the biggest city in Lahaul and Tandi - the confluence of the Chandra and Bhaga rivers to form Chandrabhaga river which later becomes the Chenab. The gradient is low most of the day today. Camp at Jispa on the banks of the river.
Day 05: Jispa - Padseo/ Zing Zing Bar (4300m)
Distance: 35 km
Duration: 6-7 hours
We leave the inhabited parts of Lahaul behind to cycle through Darcha and start the climb to Patseo. Option to camp at Padseo or continue onward to Zing Zing Bar at the base of the Baralalcha La.
Day 06: Zing Zing Bar - Sarchu (4350m)
Duration: 7-8 hours
A long day today at high altitude. We start the day with a steep ascent to the top of Baralalchala at 5000m while crossing the emerald waters of Suraj Tal Lake on the way to the top. The path down is a welcome physical respite going through the dhabas at Bharatpur and then onward to the windy campsite of Sarchu for the night.
Day 07: Sarchu - Pang (4400m)
Duration: 8-9 hours
We leave the vast camping site of Sarchu and begin the hairpin turns of the Gatta Loops to reach the Nakeela Pass at 5150m. Pang, our destination for the day is on the other side of the pass.
Day 08: Pang - Tso-Kar (4400m)
Duration: 6-7 hours
A short ascent from Pang takes us to the extensive More Plains flatlands. The only sign of life in this Martian landscapes are the occasional nomadic Changpas tending to their herds of Yaks. One can also occasionally spot wild Tibetan asses - the Kiangs on the plains. We take a short deviation form the main highway and camp on the Tso Kar Lake for the night.
Day 09: Tso-Kar - Lato (3200m)
Duration: 6-8 hours
We start from our camp at Tso-Kar to the top of our highest pass on the trip - the Tanglang La at 5260m. On a clear day, the views from the top are expansive and overwhelming. We descend to get to the village of Rumtse and sort of back to civilisation. Our camp for the day is the village of Lato which is 10 Kms ahead of Rumtse.
Day 10: Lato - Leh (3400m)
Duration: 6-7 hours
Today is the easiest day of the trip. We cycle the rest of the way to Leh town through mostly flat land. We cross several villages and Thiksey Monastery on our way to the town. Spend the night in a hotel in Leh.
Day 11: Leh (3400m)
Prepare for departure. Trip Ends.
- Camping Tents, Kitchen tents, Sleeping bags (Holofill) and Carry mats.
- Nutritious, high-calorie, vegetarian food.
- Guide, cook and camp helpers.
- Logistics Vehicle like tempo traveller to carry all our equipment.
- Participants are not expected to carry any loads other than your personal knapsack containing water bottle,camera and trail layers.
- Two people will be accommodated in one tent.
- Hotel accommodations in Manali and Leh as per the itinerary in Budget hotels.
- All expenses of personal nature like drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
- Food in Manali and Leh
- Medical and evacuation expenses, we strongly recommend purchasing a suitable insurance cover.
- Mountain bike. (You could get your own cycles or could also rent from us.)
- Any return transport from Leh.
- Good quality waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Balaclava (thick fleece)
- Sun hat
- Cycle mitts
- Warm gloves - mountaineering gloves (waterproof outer, fleece inner) are good.
- Mid-weight fleece top
- Cycling tights (looser, "trackster" fit rather skin-tight lycra),
- Long sleeved shirt
- Travel trousers
- 2 wicking tee-shirts (synthetic or merino wool)
- Cotton tee-shirt for around town
- Long sleeved thermal top
- Thermal long johns
- 2-3 pairs underwear
- 2-3 pairs of standard socks
- 1 pair warm sock
- Cycling shoes, e.g. SPD's, if applicable (bring spare cleats)
- Trekking shoes and climbing shoes
- Flip-flops, Crocs or Sandals to wear around camp.
- Main bag - soft shell duffle bag to be kept in the logistics vehicle.
- Day Pack 15 - 20 lts - You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.
- A bike helmet
- Dark glasses (the sun is very strong),
- A couple of spare passport photos photocopies of key documents. e.g., passport (data and visa pages),
- travel insurance policy
- airline tickets
- Toiletries - Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper
- Repair Kit (needle and thread).
- Headlamp/ Torch.
- Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottles 1 litre each.
- Plastic Packing covers.