Markha Valley Trek

a comprehensive guide

Let us guide you towards the MARKHA VALLEY TREK, situated in the Leh-Ladakh region. Where you get to experience the mystical shades of both the Leh and Kashmir region. A call for wanderers and trekkers to explore those untouched villages enclosed within the mystical beauty of snowy and Rocky Mountains.

A JOURNEY TILL THE ROOF OF THE WORLD, WHERE THE SCORCHED YET ENCHANTING BEAUTY OF MARKHA VALLEY TREK WELCOMES YOU WITH OPEN ARMS.

Overview

A traveler’s journey is filled with mysticism and wonders, as one experiences the thrill and solitude that resides within these beautiful places. 

Such is the mystical beauty of Markha Valley, where one gets to experience such a vast diversity of Nature & Wildlife. The serenity of this river valley is simply breathtaking and is enclosed by the arid cold desert of Leh-Ladakh and the spellbinding ecstatic beauty of Kashmir. 

One can witness such ecstatic shades of Nature, from its Shimmering blue skies to those snow-laden Himalayan peaks. When one hears about a cold dessert, automatically we think of it as a dry place. You will be surprised and awestruck by the blooming flora and Fauna within this region. As some parts of those enchanting trails and pathways leading you towards your destination are enclosed within the Hemis National Park. Making the entire region covered in the wilderness and one can witness so many different species of animals and birds. 

The mystical beauty of Leh and Kashmir has been home to tourists and travelers from all over the globe. Markha Valley Trek is a well-known trail amongst trekkers and travelers but when you see the isolation within this region. It feels like a known destination like Markha Valley is yet to be discovered by so many. 

This trek begins from Ladakh, where the scenic beauty will mesmerize your mind and body. Along with that, one gets to experience the scorched yet mystical region of Kashmir. As you start walking along the trekking trail, soon you realize how every turn can change the whole scenery. Leaving you awestruck all over again as the essence of this region stops playing hide and seek. The enchanting beauty of Markha Valley has been named a little Tibet, where the picturesque landscapes are surrounded by wilderness and barren areas. 

A traveler’s journey is enclosed within the spellbinding beauty of numerous off-beat places that might just force you to go off your planned route. You can also read our blog on some of the finest Off-beat places in Leh-Ladakh.

The Markha Valley trek has been a destination for people who are willing to go the extra mile, where the thrill tests your limits. As the serene beauty of your destination not just tests you mentally and physically but also blesses your soul and mind with scenic Nature and Wildlife.

Key Highlights of Markha Valley Trek

  • A delightful treat for Nature enthusiasts and photographers, as one gets to witness various species like Tibetan Wolf, Lynx, Marmots, Wild Dogs, Blue Sheep, and even Arghali (Great Tibetan Sheep).
  • If you are lucky enough, you might just experience the rare sighting of the Ghost Cat (Snow Leopard).
  • As the trek covers a few of the isolated villages like the Rumbak culture, where you get to experience the richness of Indo-Tibetan primitive culture.
  • There are different yet so positive vibes even in the air, some believe it is the presence of those Buddhist monasteries and their historical significance.
  • The journey to Markha Valley Trek is enclosed within such scenic spots, where one gets to experience the ecstatic shades of the day when the colors treat your eyes with peace and calmness. 
  • While the night brings along a certain kind of magic when you lie down under those mystical start trials while a small bonfire keeps your body warm. 
  • This trek is surrounded by some of the remotest villages of North India, where one gets to experience the essence of the place by interacting with the community and you stay the night in their beautiful homestays.
  • One gets to satisfy their adventurous side as this trail to Markha Valley will make you cross river streams and broken bridges.
  • Experience the Majestic and mystical beauty of Kang Yatse Hill, which comes under the territory of the Hemis National Park. Where it is not just the wildlife but also some of the splendid views that surround your journey and destination as well.
  • Experience the breathtaking views from the Kongmaru La Pass loaded at an altitude of over 5000meters, that is like being on the roof of the world. 
  • As the journey towards the Markha Valley holds some of the most scenic and traditionally beautiful checkpoints like, 
    1. The SIKU Village, located within the territory of Hemis National park and surrounded by beautiful Rocky Mountains. 
    2. MARKHA Village, located on the banks of Markha River is the largest village in the entire region of Markha Valley. 
    3. Hankar Village, where the magical beauty of the monasteries will leave you awestruck

Itinerary for
Markha Valley Trek

The trek to the Markha Valley is a perfect getaway from not just your monotonous lifestyles but also from the current world scenario. Where everyone is now forced to just go along with time, making it even more worthwhile to visit places like these whenever one gets an opportunity. 

Firstly, you need to know that there can be various itineraries made for the Markha Valley trek. Depending on how and when you are traveling, this trek is known amongst the Solo Travelers as well.

Following is one of the itineraries for Markha Valley Trek, your journey will begin from Leh. 

Various transport options will take you to Leh, like Airways and Roadways. 

You can also travel via personal vehicle but to do that you will have to be an experienced driver.

Day 01: LEH – CHILING (Drive – 60kms) – SKIU (Trek – 7kms)

  • Your journey begins with the rising sun, where you experience the sunrise beauty of Leh.
  • After breakfast, you hop into your booked cabs that will drop you at Chiling.
  • After 1-2 hours of a drive within the scenic beauty of this region, you enter Chiling.
  • This is where the hiking journey begins, as you will hike for 3-4hours today. 
  • During this journey, where you cross the Zanskar River and enter the Hemis National park.
  • From there Skiu is not extremely far and there are homestays for you to spend the night.
  • One can spend the night in their tents as well.

Day 02: SIKU – MARKHA VILLAGE (Trek – 20kms)

  1. Your day begins early with the sunrise. 
  2. After a little breakfast, we continue the journey.
  3. Today you will hike for nearly 7-8hours, it will be a long yet mesmerizing trek to the Markha Village.
  4. As you walk alongside the river, you can feel the freshness in the air. 
  5. Experience the scenic beauty of small villages that you will cross before reaching today’s destination.
  6. The moment you enter Markha Village, the beauty of this valley only enhances. 
  7. Once you are settled, you can visit a monastery and an old fort which is just a little walk up from Markha.
  8. Overnight in Markha Village!

Day 03: MARKHA – HANKAR (Trek – 12kms)

  1. Today’s journey will not be long like the previous day.
  2. After breakfast, you start trekking towards the Hankar Village.
  3. Today’s walk consists of riverside hiking and some of the finest views of this region.
  4. You will cross a village called Umlung, where you get to visit the Techa Gompa.
  5. Make sure to savor every moment of your journey.
  6. You can either stay in a cultural homestay or your tents.
  7. Overnight at Hankar village.

Day 04: HANKAR – NIMALING (Trek – 11kms)

  • Rise and Shine, as the sun is out the skies look enchanting.
  • After breakfast, we continue with our journey.
  • Like today, you will trek for nearly 6hours before you reach Nimaling.
  • Today’s hike will take you through some grasslands where the Shepherds are guiding their cattle during the summers. 
  • Witness the spellbinding views of the Majestic Kang Yatse Peak.
  • Overnight in Nimaling where you get to sleep in your tents, under a mystical Night Sky where the milky way and the star trails will take you to another universe. 

Day 05: NIMALING – KONGMARU LA – SHANG SUMDO (18kms)

  • Today’s journey will be a steep ascend to the Kongmaru La Pass.
  • You begin your journey early with the rising sun, as you walk for nearly 8hours today.
  • The walk will be a mesmerizing one, as the splendid views of the Snow-Capped Himalayas will take your breath away.
  • Once you reach the pass, you are standing on the roof of the world. 
  • From here, the walk is a steep descent to the Shang Sumdo Village.
  • As you cross several rivers streams, the views simply get better and better.
  • Overnight at Shang Sumdo village.

Day 06: SHANG SUMDO – HEMIS (11kms)

  • Rise and Shine with the rising sun, make sure to savor every moment you spend on this journey.
  • Today on the last day of this journey, you will trek for nearly 4hours before you reach Hemis. 
  • Visit the Famous Hemis Monastery before you hop into your cabs.
  • From here you will drive for nearly 1 hour, to reach Leh.
  • From Leh, you head back home, either tomorrow or today.
  • Depending on your flight bookings or Bus tickets.

How To ReachBase Camp for Markha Valley Trek?

A small Hamlet called Chiling, situated at an altitude of 3346meters and enclosed within the beauty of the cold desert of Leh – Ladakh. Once you reach Chiling, you are trekking, and hiking journey begins.

Via Airways

As you know there are no direct flights to your destination but if you are coming from a faraway state, you can easily book your tickets to Leh Airport from New Delhi. Once you reach Leh, you will have to continue your journey via roadways.

Via Roadways

If you are coming from Delhi, you can easily book that will take you to Leh and from there you can either hire a cap till Chiling that will cost you like Rs1500. There is also the option of booking a bus ticket from Leh to Chilling and you will cover 65-70kms.

Best time to visit Markha Valley

The mystical beauty of the Markha Valley trek is not accessible throughout the year. 

As both the routes taking you to Leh-Ladakh get blocked because of the heavy snowfall, the entire region faces heavy snowfall during October, November, December, January, February, and March. While the roads remain closed until April ends. Although, during this time some special tours are organized for Snow-Leopard’s spotting

Then comes a time of the year when the snow starts to melt and the roads start to open, as the enchanting beauty of Markha Valley Trek Starts to attract tourists and travelers.

With the arrival of Summers, the entire region begins to bloom with the ecstatic colors of nature. During this time of the year, the Srinagar-Leh route opens, along with the Manali-Leh route. As the temperature and the weather in this region become pleasant and charming. It is not just Nature but also the traditional beauty of the region that is booming with tourists and locals as well. 

When the enchanting beauty of snow-laden Himalayan peaks is shimmering with the sun shining, making the entire region into a scenic painting. As July and August bring along the crowd as the entire region is booming with tourists. 

June and September are the time when the place gets enclosed within solitude. Along with the blissful weather that welcomes you with open arms, the entire region begins to bloom with wilderness.

The best time to visit Markha Valley Trek would be these months of June and September when the entire region is surrounded by new life in the form of rivers streams and the Himalayan peaks. This time of the year brings a special treat for photographers and birdwatchers when the spellbinding beauty of Nature and Wildlife might just leave you awestruck.

Why Markha Valley Trek Should Be on Everyone’s Bucket List

Markha Valley Trek is a destination that offers something for every kind of traveler from tourists, wanderers, trekkers, and people visiting with families.

A place where you experience the true Ladakh Culture and try to be one with the essence of the place. When traveling to Markha valley, you will experience staying in homestays that are so rich in their culture and tradition. Along with the thrilling experience of crossing rivers streams that are tributaries of the Zanskar River. Where the wilderness comes to greet you with love, as you cross through the beautiful Hemis National park. 

A journey where you find an escape from civilization and enter the land of remoteness and solitude. As you hike through some rocky trails, the majestic Stok kangri and Kang Yatze Peaks are shining under the mystical shades of the sky. 

Once you enter this wonderland, you might not want to leave soon. Such is the diverse beauty of Markha Valley Trek, that shows you enchanting sights of Nature within the Leh and Kashmir Region.

We hope that the moments you spend on this journey will be some delightful memories someday, that you will cherish for your whole life.

Finally,

 Make sure you clean up after yourself and do not leave your garbage behind, to maintain the sanctity of the place. 

As that all Nature asks in return for everything that it offers us travelers and wanderers.