Manali - Hemis Trek

Trip Details

  • Trip Type: Trekking Holiday India

  • Region: Lahual Valley - Himachal / Khanak Valley - Ladakh

  • Grade: Challenging

  • Duration: 13 days

  • Max Altitude: 5300m

  • Batch Dates: Custom Dates Only

Manali - Hemis Trek Overview

The Manali - Hemis Trek starts from Sarchu in Himachal and goes to Hemis in Ladakh. The trip begins with a two-day drive on the Manali - Leh highway. We drive from the lush green Kullu valley across two high passes and further deep into the easternmost part of Ladakh.


The trek is an 11-day exploration through the heart of Rupshu, finally ending in the Indus valley near Leh. We walk through ancient villages that remain unseen by the bulk of tourists despite the trek's proximity to the busy Manali - Leh highway.


A possible extension to the above trek would be to follow the Markha valley downstream from Hankar and go across the Ganda La and Stok La to end at Stok village, which is located on the banks of the Indus across the valley from Leh. Another option is to cross Chakstang La (5310m) and Puze La (4900m) from Nimaling and continue to Lato on the Manali - Leh Highway.

Trip Cost

This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek. 

Trekking in India

Manali - Hemis Trek Detailed Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival in Manali

Arrive in Manali in the morning. Walk around town and orient yourself to your surroundings. The group meets for a trip orientation in the evening by the trip leader at the hotel. Overnight in a hotel - meals and stay not included in the trip cost.


Day 02: Manali - Jispa (3142m) by road
Duration: 8 hours

We start early in the day and drive through the Rohtang Pass to reach Jispa, a beautiful riverside town in Lahaul.


Day 03: Jispa - Sarchu (4253m) by road
Duration: 5 hours

Today we drive through a series of hairpin turns to get to the top of the Baralacha La and down to Sarchu. The Baralacha Pass at almost 5000m marks the geographical division division between Lahaul and Zanskar. We camp for the night at Sarchu.


Day 04: Sarchu - Takh - Base of Morang La (4600m)
Duration: 6 hours

The trek starts on the army trail for 2-3 km to Takh, a military camp. From here, the trail deviates from the Tsarap River and starts the gradual and long ascent to the base of the Morang La.


Day 05: Base of Morang La - Lun
Duration: 6 hours

A gradual climb takes you to the summit of Morang La (5300m), before you descend into a narrow and muddy valley. Go past a beautiful plateau into the Zara Chu valley. Turn right to follow the river along the left bank for an hour before you reach the village of Lun.


Day 06: Lun - Yabbu (4250m)
Duration: 6 hours

Follow the Zara Chu valley further to the village of Yabbu, which has some wonderful campsites and low stone walls to protect the village from the sheep and goats of the Tibetan nomads that live in this area.


Day 07: Yabbu - Lungmoche (4550m)
Duration: 6 hours

Follow the same valley past Yabbu from where you reach the summer settlement of Lungmoche. This nomad village of Yak-wool tents sometimes spreads over a large area and is very picturesque in the late evening with the smoke from the cooking fires floating above the tents.


Day 08: Lungmoche - Dat (4200m)
Duration: 7 hours

A gradual 2-hour ascent to the top of Yar La (4950m) reveals fantastic views of the Rupshu. The high plateau is clearly visible with range upon range of brown, barren hills and some snow-covered mountains in the far distance. Make a short descent from the pass to a water point, as the next few hours are very dry. A further descent takes you to the Dat Chu valley. Turn right to follow the valley up to Dango and further on to the village of Dat, which has a small Gompa.


Day 09: Dat - Sura via Jalung Karpo La (4800m)
Duration: 7 hours

Follow the very broad valley of Dat, which is inhabited throughout the year, past Mani walls and chortens into a narrowing valley. The stream meets the Sura Chu to form the Chamg Cho of Khurna, a major tributary of the Zanskar river. Follow the Sura Chu into a valley with wonderful forested gorges up to the summer village of Sura. Leaving the lush green pastures of Sura, a 3-4 hour walk leads over the Rubering La to Zangla, the ancient capital of Zanskar. Leaving the valley floor, a steep climb takes you to the west ridge of the Jalung Karpo La (5200m), which affords some great views. Descend into the valley to Sura.


Day 10: Sura - Nimaling (4878m) via Kongo Gompa-La (5200m)
Duration: 6 hours

From Sura, it's an easy walk before a steep ascent to Kongo Gompa-La. Descend on the other side of the pass to the Nimaling plain. The Nimaling plain is a broad, undulating meadow, which slopes up to the base of the ice-clad Kang Yatse, which dominates the area. Nimaling, with its tiny ponds and rivulets flowing all over the meadow, provides pasturage in the summer for an astonishing number of animals - yaks, dzos, sheep, goats, horses - not only from the Markha but from the villages all around. Himalayan marmots and white-tailed hares are seen in plenty and it is not unusual to sight an occasional blue-s heep or Wolf.


Day 11: A day at leisure at Nimaling.

An alternative is a walk to the base of Kang Yatse.


Day 12: Nimaling - Shang Sumdo via Kangmaru La (5274m)
Duration: 8 hours

Crossing to the north of the Markha, begin the climb to Kangmaru La (5274m). From the pass, the trail descends steeply to the head of the Martselang valley, past the sulphur springs of Chuskirmo and follows the Martselang stream to the village of Sumdo or Shang-Sumdo, at the confluence of the Shang and Martselang Nullahs, where camp is set for the night.


Day 13: Shang Sumdo - Hemis Gompa (3300m) - Leh
Duration: 5 hours

A jeep will pick us up at Shang Sumdo. After a visit to the ancient monastery at Hemis, drive to Leh. Trip Ends!

  1. Accommodation on twin sharing basis in tents.
  2. Camping Tents, Kitchen tents, Dining Tents, Western Style Toilet Tents.
  3. Sleeping bags (Down Feather/ Primaloft). 
  4. Insulated sleeping pads.
  5. All meals as detailed in the itinerary and safe drinking water.
  6. Guides, Cook and camp staff.
  7. Pack animals (Horses/Mules) to carry loads on the route with personal portage up to 10kg/person 
  8. All HP & J&K state Forest Permits where applicable
  9. All transport Manali to Sarchu and Shang Sumdo to Leh.
  1. All hotel stays
  2. Any food in hotels. 
  3. All expenses of personal nature like bottled water, drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
  4. Personal Clothing.
  5. Medical and evacuation expenses, we strongly recommend purchasing a suitable insurance cover - asc360 provides adventure insurance in the Indian Himalayas.
  6. Any transport outside of mentioned inclusions.
  7. Any expense incurred due to force majeure such as landslide, bad weather or reasons beyond our control.

- Backpack 40 - 50 Lt with rain cover - Goes on the horse/porter
- Day Pack 15 - 20 lt with rain cover-  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 sports shoes. 
- 2 -3 pairs of trekking socks.
- 2 pairs of woolen socks - 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 trekking pants. Alternatively, track pants are also comfortable to trek in. 
- T-shirts 3 pairs (including the ones you are wearing) - Preferably quick dry, full sleeve t-shirts  You can also choose to get T-shirts with collars, they offer extra protection for the neck from sunburns.
- Fleece Jacket 
- Rain & Wind Protection
- Down filled / Hollow fiber fill insulated Jacket
- Thermal liners - 1 pair upper and lower (optional).
- Warm Cap
- Gloves 
- Sun Cap
- Sunglasses with UV protection.
Other recommended necessities:
- Toiletries - sunscreen SPF 40+, moisturiser, lip balm, soap, toilet paper.
- Repair Kit (needle and thread).
- Headlamp/ Torch.
- Camera.
- Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottles 1 liter 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.)