Markha Valley Trek – Overview

If you had to choose just one trek to do in Ladakh, it must be the Markha Valley Trek. It’s not “the most popular trek” in Ladakh without reason. Right from ease of access, remoteness of valley, wilderness experience and just the feel of trekking in Ladakh – it is all there on this trail. The long hours of walking in wind swept arid landscape with green villages suddenly appearing as a welcoming Oasis, is exactly how trekking in Markha valley is. Right in between the valley is the quaint Tacha Gompa perched high up on a cliff adding some mystic to this trek. What really adds to the experience is the presence of little hamlets along the way affording a high degree of interaction with the hardy natives. This is the first valley where the concept of home stays was pioneered in the 2000s and later replicated across other trekking valleys in Ladakh. The high altitude grazing grounds at Nimaling with splendid views of snow capped Kang Yatse is yet another highlight.
The Markha Valley was connected to the mainland via a steel bridge across the Zanskar river in Feb,2016. This bridge was sadly washed off later that year from the Tsarap Chu floods. A new bridge has been proposed here and will soon see the light of day. It gives the trekkers the last few years to enjoy trekking in this fabulous valley sans vehicles! Make the most of it, when you can.



  • The most popular and scenic trek of Ladakh
  • Nimaling grasslands and views of Mt. Kang Yatse
  • Ladakhi Village life and local experiences
  • Ancient monasteries and palaces around Leh



Markha Valley Trek: 9 Days Itinerary – INR 54600/USD 815 + 5% GST
Day 01:Arrive Leh(3500m). Rest & Acclimatization
Day 02:Sightseeing and Acclimatization
Day 03:Drive to Kaya Do(3150m). Trek to Skui(3350m)
Day 04:Trek to Markha(3800m)
Day 05:Trek to Thachungtse(4200m)
Day 06:Trek to Nimaling(4700m)
Day 07:Trek to Chu Skyurmo(4000m)
Day 08:Trek to Shang Sumdo(3670m). Drive to Leh
Day 09:Depart


Markha Valley Trek: 12 Days Itinerary – INR 72800/USD 1150 + 5% GST
Day 01:Arrive Leh(3500m). Rest & Acclimatization
Day 02:Sightseeing and Acclimatization
Day 03:Sham Valley sightseeing and back
Day 04:Drive to Zingchen.Trek to Rumbak(4050m)
Day 05:Trek to Ganda la Base(4540m)
Day 06:Cross Ganda La(4900m) and descend to Skui(3350m)
Day 07:Trek to Markha(3800m)
Day 08:Trek to Thachungtse(4200m)
Day 09:Trek to Nimaling(4700m)
Day 10:Trek to Chu Skyurmo(4000m) over Kongmaru La(5200m)
Day 11:Trek to roadhead. Drive to Leh
Day 12:Depart

Cost Inclusions

Markha Valley Trek – Cost Details


09 Days – INR 54600/USD 815
12 Days – INR 72800/USD 1150
+ 5% GST


  • Entire Accommodation during the trek
  • Experienced Trek Crew: Qualified Trip Leader, Local Guide, Cook, Kitchen Helpers and Horsemen
  • Food:
    • All Meals on the trip except lunches at Leh
    • 3 meals per day – Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and beverages
  • Porterage – 15 Kg/person
  • Road Transportation: All Transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Permits and Taxes:
    • ALTOA Fee and trekking permits


  • Personal equipment and sleeping bags
  • Airfares to and out of Leh
  • Any additional transport or activities apart from the trip itinerary
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses rising through unforeseen conditions like bad weather, natural calamities, flight cancellations, etc
  • Rescue and evacuation services
  • Expenses of any personal nature like phone calls, drinks, cigarettes, souvenirs, laundry, etc
  • Tips
  • Anything not explicitly mentioned in Cost Includes
  • 5% GST


Markha Valley Trek – Itinerary

Day 01:Arrive Leh(3500m). Rest & Acclimatization
Fly into one of the world’s highest airports in the World – Kushok Bakula Rinpoche Airport. Our representative will receive you at the airport and will escort you to our hotel in Leh. Since Leh is very high, it is paramount to let your body get used to the high altitude and the rarefied oxygen levels. It takes about 2 days to acclimatize to this altitude and only then would we be properly ready for our action.The trip leader will meet you at the hotel and give a comprehensive briefing at noon.
A short market walk in the evening.
Meals: BL, Overnight Hotel.

Day 02:Sightseeing and Acclimatization
We spend a relaxed day doing a half day sightseeing of the palace at Shey and Thiksey monastery. Shey used to be the erstwhile capital of Leh. Thiksey, modeled after the Potala palace of Tibet houses a 15 m mega statue of Maitreya and is the main attraction at the temple. The scenery from its rooftop is simply breathtaking. We are back to Leh for lunch and spend the evening finishing any last minute shopping if any before the trek.
Meals: BD, Overnight Hotel.

Day 03:Drive to Kaya Do(3150m). Trek to Skui(3350m)
Starting by about 8am, we drive for about 2 hrs to Kaya Do beyond Chilling village, the start point of the trek. The starting is pretty dramatic since we have to get across the Zanskar river, onto the other side to begin our trek. And this is done with the help of a trolley attached to a cable suspension across the river, the trolley manuall pulled by ropes on either side. It’s a pretty hair-raising experience and kickstarts our trek in style. The act of getting all the trekkers, crew and the equipment across takes sometime. Our pack animals wait on the other side. The walk to Skui campsite takes about 3 hours past Kaya village. Kaya and Skui are twin hamlets adjacent to each other on the true right of the Markha river.
Trekking time: 3 hrs
Meals: BLD, Overnight Camp.

Day 04:Trek to Markha(3800m)
The walk to Markha is the longest day on this trek. We are well rested and acclimatized for 3 nights before taking on the walk to Markha. The valley opens up with arid scenery and sediment rich Markha river. The little green on the trail which is mostly along the river is provided by willow trees and wild rose plants called Sia. Almost midpoint of the trail is Sara village, beyond which we pass a few shepherd settlements. We walk through multiple high platforms on the trail, which are great view points to sit and admire the Valley.There are multiple short river crossings as we reach Markha and small wooden bridges pass over a few of them. Markha village is spread across 2 parts with the Markha Khar and monastery in between. Most of the beautiful campsites and homestays are as we approach Markha village. It also has a school and a health centre.
Trekking time: 8 – 9 hrs
Meals: BLD, Overnight Camp.

Day 05:Trek to Thachungtse(4200m)
We cross over the little hump over Markha to get onto the other side and walk a little further and get to a river crossing. A little past that, the famed Markha spires come into view. The valley just next to the spire leads to another trek. Tacha Gompa, an old monastery in built on a sheer cliff is the next attraction. We stop by to visit this ancient monastery and continue our trail to Umlung village. We get our first views of snowbound Mt. Kang Yatse(6200m) just after Umlung. A little beyond that is Hankar, with massive farming fields. Hankar is the last village, after which there are only campsites. We walk further to our campsite at Thachungtse situated at 4200m.
Trekking time: 6 – 7 hrs
Meals: BLD, Overnight Camp.

Day 06:Trek to Nimaling(4700m)
A short walk takes us to the grazing grounds of Markha Valley – Nimaling. Along the way there is a small lake, with Kang Yatse towering on the right. The valley is the widest at this place. All the cattle, sheep, goat, horses, mules and donkeys of Markha Valley, are bundled off to this location for the entire summer. It is almost a mini zoo of domesticated animals. A great place to go find some fresh milk and cheese among the shepherd settlements. In the evening it is a sight to watch when all the returning flocks of sheep and goat invade our campsites with non-stop bleating, with the little ones even peeping inside our tents. Magnificent views of Kang Yatse from Camp.
Trekking time: 3 hrs
Meals: BLD, Overnight Camp.

Day 07:Trek to Chu Skyurmo(4000m)
Another long day as we ascend to the highest point of the trek, Kongmaru La(5267m) and descend forever through a narrow gorge to our little campsite at Chu Skyurmo. Amazing all round views from Kongmaru La … esp of Kang Yatse and Dzo Jongo peaks. Great chances of spotting blue sheep during the descent.
Trekking time: 6 hrs
Meals: BLD, Overnight Camp.

Day 08:Trek to Shang Sumdo. Drive to Leh
We trek the last mile to the roadhead beyond Chokdo village to reach our waiting cars. We load the equipment and drive to Leh(1.5 hrs). A most inviting hot shower awaits us at Leh to wash of the dust and tiredness from the trek. Evening free for souvenir shopping and checking out some world cuisine in some of the vibrant restaurants in Leh.
Trekking time: 2-3 hrs
Meals: BL, Overnight Camp.

Day 09:Depart
Transfer to the Leh airport early in the morning after breakfast for departure. Trip Ends.
Meals: B


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