Markha Valley Trek
Trip Type: Trekking
Duration: 07 days
Max Altitude: 5200m
Batch Dates: Custom Trips only
Markha Valley Trek Overview
The Markha valley trek is one of the most popular treks in Ladakh. The trek takes you through enchanting villages with their ochre mud houses and Tibetan Buddhist heritage. The trek winds past the stark, vivid and stunningly beautiful landscapes of Ladakh - ranges of mountains and plateaus in different shades of red, brown and purple.
The popularity of the trek comes from the diversity in views that the trail offers - deep gorges, huge canyon walls, jagged peaks, richly coloured rocks - all punctuated with oasis like lush green barley fields, green willows and high alpine meadows.
Go through hours of nothing but sporadic tufts of trees, and shrubs and stumble onto the vivid greenery of the villages, spend hours without seeing a leaf move and then witness the heart warming smiles, hospitality and buzz of a Ladakhi village.
This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek.
Day 01: Arrival in Leh.
Get a flight to Leh town and transfer to the hotel. Relax and acclimatize. Visit Leh market in the evening. Overnight Hotel.
Day 02 : Acclimatization in Leh.
Optional visit to the Leh Palace and the Shey and Thikse gompas. Last minute shopping in the Leh market. Overnight hotel.
Day 03: Leh – Chilling – Skiu
Duration: Drive 1 hour; Trek 2 hours
The first part of the trek is by road to the village of Chilling. Here, we will cross the bridge over the Zanskar river. Once we pack our horses and head of, mountains, unearthly and jagged surround us, rising all around us. The sky is a stunning, deep cobalt and seems to stretch on endlessly. We camp at Skiu where you truly comprehend the meaning of ‘midnight blue’ and remember all those constellations from childhood.
Day 04: Skiu – Markha
Duration: 8 hours
It’s a long albeit easy walk today on the banks of the Markha river. We cross it at various points making the day quite exciting. Enormous rock formations tower over the sand-swept plains gradually rising to reach the village of Markha, the largest in the valley.
Day 05: Markha – Thachungtse
Duration: 6 hours
Past old stone mills, mani walls, an old castle and a hilltop monastery the trail winds past the last villages of the Markha valley before branching out towards Thachungtse. Wildflowers dot the landscape and the five-coloured prayer flags dance against the cerulean sky.
Day 06: Thachungtse – Nimaling (4878m)
Duration: 4 hours
Today is the easiest day of the trek with a gradual ascent to the open rolling meadows of Nimaling. The local nomadic shepherds bring their livestock of goats, sheep and yaks to these broad pastures. Lush green grass covers the hills here and we spot marmots and alpine choughs scrounging for possible edibles. Camp next to the gushing Nimaling Chu and watch the sun set over the towering Kang Yatze peaks.
Day 07: Nimaling – Shang Sumdo via Kongmarula (5200m)
Duration: 8 hours
On the last day of the trek, we will cross the highest pass of the trek. It is a gradual ascend to the top of Kongmarula from Nimaling. The descent on the other side is steep but will level out once we enter the Shang gorge. From there it is an easy walk with multiple river crossings to the village of Shang Sumdo from where a vehicle will pick us up and drop us to Leh. Trip Ends!
- Camping Tents, Kitchen tents, Sleeping bags (Holofill) and Carry mats.
- Nutritious, high-calorie vegetarian food will be served for the whole trek.
- Guide, cook and camp helpers.
- Porters/ Horses to carry loads on the whole route.
- Participants are not expected to carry any loads other than a small daypack with a camera, some trail layers and some trail food.
- Two people will be accommodated in one tent.
- Transport Leh hotel to Road Head and back.
- All expenses of personal nature like drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
- Food and stay in Leh
- Medical and evacuation expenses, we strongly recommend purchasing a suitable insurance cover.
- Backpack 40 - 50 Lts with rain cover.This you will need in case you choose to offload your larger pack onto a horse/porter
- Day Pack 15 - 20 lts - You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.
-Trekking Shoes: Please do not wear sports shoes as on most treks as we go higher it gets harder to use the sports shoes. We recommend shoes with a good hard sole and also ankle support preferable water proof. While we do not subscribe to any particular brand you can try the Quechua forclaz 100, 500 or 600.
- 2 -3 pairs of cotton socks.
- 2 pairs of woolen socks ( these are ideal to sleep in and best to use when in camp. We do not recommend them while trekking).
- Pants: 3 pairs (including the ones you wear) - Ideal are the quick dry light weight synthetic pants. Alternatively track pants are also comfortable to trek in. We do not recommend you get Denims or Jeans as they get hard to trek in.
- Tshirts 3 pairs (including the ones you are wearing) - Preferable cotton t-shirts that are full sleeves. You can also choose to get T-shirts with collars, they offer extra protection for the neck from sun burns.
- Synthetic Fleece Jacket - 1 pair.
- Wind proof/ Water proof Jacket - 1 pair.
- Down filled / Hollow fiber fill insulated Jacket - 1 -pair ( optional - get this if you want to stay extra warm at camps.)
- Thermal liners - 1 pair upper and lower (optional).
- Raincoat/ Poncho - what ever you get make sure it is something that will cover your daypack and camera too.
- Warm Beanie - make sure it is something that covers your ears. You can also use buffs, scarfs etc in addition to your beanie.
- Gloves - Lightweight synthetic gloves made of Fleece or you can also use woollen gloves.
- Sun Cap- 1 no
- Sun Glasses with good UV protection.
Other necessary things that we recommend you get:
- Toiletries - Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper.
- Repair Kit (needle and thread).
- Headlamp/ Torch.
- Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottle 1 litre each.
- Trekking Pole - Optional.
- Plastic Packing covers. (Please pack all your gear in waterproof plastic bags so that your clothes etc do not get wet while on horses or porters. Also carry extra plastic bags in case you need to pack wet clothes.)