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Hidden Valleys

The Hidden Valleys of Ladakh trek is graded moderate. This is primarily due to the altitude as we commence the trek from 3500 meters. While the stages are not unduly demanding the trail is ill defined in places and both pass crossing – the Ganda La (4920 meters) and the Zalung La 5,050 meters will test your resolve – for even in July they may be under snow. In order to complete a moderate trek we advise that you undertake regular exercise – one hour of swimming, cycling, jogging, three or four times a week and extended periods of exercise during the weekend will accustom you to regular exercise for at least three months prior to your departure. These adventures involve trekking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and be in good health. The majority of our moderately graded treks involve the carrying of a day pack only, though some may involve carrying a full pack. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions.

18 Days
18+ Age
  • Destination

  • Departure

    Leh, Ldakh
  • Departure Time

    Please arrive by 9:15 AM for a departure at 9:30 AM.
  • Return Time

    Approximately 8:30 PM.
  • Dress Code

    Casual, comfortable athletic clothing, hat and light jacket.
  • Included

    All taxes and official expenses
    Basic guesthouse accommodation
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    City tour
    Departure Taxes
    Local staff and porters
    Permits and TIMS permit
    Personal Guide
  • Not Included

    Alcohol and cold drinks
    Domestic flights
    Entry visa
    Hotel
    International flights
    Mandatory travel insurance
    Personal trekking equipment
    Tips for trekking staff and driver
1

Day 1: Arrive in Leh 3,500 m.

Arrival Leh by morning flight and transfer to the hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax and acclimatize to the altitude 3,500 m. In the morning we rest and catch up on some sleep and in the afternoon there will be a gentle orientation walk of Leh and its bazaars.
2

Day 2: Leh City tour

We include a sightseeing trip to Shey Palace, before visiting Tikse monastery. Shey Palace originally housed the Ladakh royal family before they moved to Leh in the 17th century. A few km up the Indus valley is the spectacular setting of Tikse monastery perched on the summit of a sugarloaf mountain. On return to Leh we have the opportunity to visit to the Shanti Stupa at Chanspa, as well as visiting the Ladakh Ecological Centre to appreciate how the Ladakhi people have been able to incorporate new technology into their traditional lifestyles.
3

Day 3-4: Attend Hemis Festival

The two-day festival at Hemis commemorates the Indian sage Padmasambhava who introduced Tantric Buddhism to this region of the Himalaya in the 8th century. The festival consists of an elaborate series of masked dances depicting the life of Padmasambhava and the moral victory of knowledge over ignorance etc. Several hundred Ladakhi villagers from throughout the Indus Valley attend the festival. Besides its religious significance it is a time to renew acquaintances, visit the many stands and drink large quantities of butter tea and barley beer. In essence it is more of a medieval fair than a religious festival that reflects much of the contemporary cultural life of Ladakh. On both days we return to Leh for overnight accommodation.
4

Day 5: Drive to Rumbak

From Leh we drive to Zinchen (3380m), a small settlement to the south of the Indus Valley. After our packhorses are loaded we head up a spectacular gorge to our campsite (3850m) below the village of Rumbak.
5

Day 6: Day in Rumbak

We undertake day walks to Rumbak village and up side valleys leading to the base of the Stok La that afford spectacular views of the Trans Himalaya.
6

Day 7: Trek to Ganda La

A short day following a trail that winds up past the solitary house at Yurutse to our camp (4350m) at the base of the approach to the Ganda La. From camp there are impressive views of the Stok Kangri. That afternoon we have devised a more challenging walk that heads way above the scree slopes to a magnificent viewpoint affording views back down to the Indus Valley and across to the high peaks that form the Stok Kangri range.
7

Day 8: Trek to Base Camp to Shogdo

Above our camp we gain views of the snow-capped Stok Range. After gradually ascending a series of switchbacks we make the final gradual ascent to the Ganda La (4950m). From the pass there a views south across the endless folds of the Zanskar Range and the snow capped summits of the main Himalaya Range before completing the gradual descent to the village of Shingo 4,150 m.
8

Day 9: Trek to Narding

Below Shogdo the trail enters a narrow gorge where willow, poplar and rose bushes provide a natural canopy alongside the river course. The Skui monastery (3435m) marks the confluence of the stream coming from Shogdo and the Markha Valley. We then head up the Markha Valley to Narding 3,530 m. and a comfortable, grassy campsite.
9

Day 10: Trek to Markha

The trail gradually ascends the Markha Valley passing a few small settlements en route to Markha (3770m) the largest village in the valley. That afternoon we visit the derelict fort above the village and the gompa that has recently been renovated by funds from trekkers and Hemis monastery.
10

Day 11: Trek to to Hankar

Our trail crosses the Markha river twice to reach the village of Umlung. A few km beyond the village the valley widens and the imposing peak of Kangyaze (6400m) can be appreciated before reaching Hankar (3980m), the highest village in the Markha Valley.
11

Day 12: Trek to Zalung La

From Hanker we divert from the main trail and commence our ascent across yak herders pastures to our camp at the base of the Zalung La 4,650 meters.
12

Day 13: Trek La to Tsorka

From camp it is a steady and long climb to the top of the Zalung La 5,190 m. This pass offers impressive views of the peaks and jagged ridges of the Zanskar Range. From the pass it takes about three hours to reach a delightful grassy camp near to the abandoned encampment known as Tsorka 4,200 m.
13

Day 14: Trek to Dat settlement

From Sorro we trek to the head of a nearby gorge. Anticipate a cold start to the day as this section necessitates two or three river crossings. We then enter a side gorge that we follow for three hours to the settlement of Dat 4,340 m. During the summer the settlement is practically deserted as most of the villagers are grazing their yaks and goats on remote grazing pastures. The shepherds are known as Chang pa and follow lifestyles similar to their counterparts in nearby western Tibet.
14

Day 15: Drive to Tso Morari

En route to Tso Morari we spend time at the smaller salt lake at Tso Kar with an opportunity to view the rare black necked crane, before driving over two high passes and past Chang Pa encampments to reach the vast lake of Tso Morari On arrival we head to a secluded campsite before visiting the nearby village of Kursoc, the headquarters of the Chang pa in this wild and remote region of Rupshu. Later we heading to the shores of Tso Morari where Brahmani ducks and a host of bird life nest close to the lake.
15

Day 16: Drive to Leh

In the early morning we ascend the high ridges above Tso Moriri and gain panoramic views of the surrounding snow capped peaks that stretch to the horizon. After an early lunch we break camp and complete the drive back to Leh.
16

Day 17: Day in Leh

A rest day in Leh with time to explore the bazaar and complete shopping.
17

Day 18: Departure day

Early morning transfer to the airport for taking the flight back home.

Tour Location

The Hidden Valleys

The Hidden Valleys of Ladakh trek is graded moderate. This is primarily due to the altitude as we commence the trek from 3,500 m. While the stages are not unduly demanding the trail is ill defined in places and both pass crossing – the Ganda La 4,920 m. and the Zalung La 5,050 m. will test your resolve – for even in July they may be under snow. In order to complete a moderate trek we advise that you undertake regular exercise – one hour of swimming, cycling, jogging, three or four times a week and extended periods of exercise during the weekend will accustom you to regular exercise for at least three months prior to your departure. These adventures involve trekking, cycling, rafting or sea kayaking for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. You will need a good level of fitness and be in good health. The majority of our moderately graded treks involve the carrying of a day pack only, though some may involve carrying a full pack. Be prepared for potential variable weather conditions.
By its very nature adventure travel involves an element of the unexpected. In remote and developing countries do not expect standards you are used to at home. Remote areas are sometimes unpredictable and itineraries may be altered. To get the most out of your adventure it is important that you are flexible, positive and eager to take on all the challenges that arise. If you are uncertain about your suitability for this trip we recommend that you speak with your consultant of travel agent.

Tour Review Scores And Score Breakdown

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