Hidden Valleys of Ladakh

Hidden Valleys of Ladakh information and booking

  • Duration
    20 days
  • Group size
  • Difficulty
Book now

Schedule Details

  • 20 day trip
  • 9 day trek
  • 10 nights hotels
  • 9 nights camping
Equipment Required
Specialist gear required include walking boots and day pack (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).


  • Experience the Hemis Festival in Leh
  • Sightseeing in Leh; Tikse Monastery & Stok Palace
  • Rupshu & Tso Morari

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

This is an outstanding trek and an ideal introduction to the visually stunning and culturally rich region of Ladakh, high in the Indian Himalaya. We explore this rugged land characterised by exquisite Buddhist monasteries and ancient forts where the snow leopard seeks out the highest ridges at the margins of the season. We have scheduled our trek to coincide with the famous Hemis Festival complete with masked dances and much celebration. Finally we journey to the vast lakes of Rupshu and camp in spectacular terrain on the borderlands of Tibet.

What's included

  • 19 breakfasts, 17 lunches and 17 dinners
  • 3 hearty meals per day on trek prepared by our cooks
  • Airport transfers on day 1 and day 20
  • Expert bilingual guide
  • Group medical kit
  • Good quality accommodation in delhi & leh
  • Souvenir world expeditions kit bag
  • Private transportation
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Horses to carry all personal and group equipment
  • The use of a world expeditions trek pack which includes a quality sleeping bag, down or fibre fill jacket and insulated mat (valued at over us$500)


Day 1 Arrive Delhi
On arrival in Delhi you will be met by a World Expeditions representative and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is free to explore the sights and sounds of this great city, where cows walk freely through busy streets laden with rickshaws and old style cars, and sari clad ladies with bundles of shopping balanced on their heads pass by beggars and street peddlers all the time against a background noise of beeping horns and bicycle bells. Due to the differing times of arrival of group members, a group briefing will not be held until tomorrow morning. Should you arrive earlier in the day we are happy to assist with any optional sightseeing. Overnight group hotel. Note: If you are arriving in Delhi on a late night flight, you may like to arrive the day before the trip commences. Please talk to your World Expeditions reservations consultant or travel agent for pretour accommodation options.
Day 2 Fly to Leh
We take the early flight from Delhi to Leh in the Indus Valley. If the conditions are clear you will be rewarded with grand views across the Great Himalaya and Zanskar ranges before landing at the capital of Ladakh. On our first day in Ladakh we spend time wandering the bazaar and imposing Leh Palace. We have the opportunity to visit the Victory Fort (above the Palace) built in the 17th century to commemorate Ladakh's independence from the invading armies from Baltistan and Kashmir. From the Palace we can also appreciate the alleyways that comprise the old town of Leh, located to the east of the main bazaar.
Day 3 In Leh
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.
Day 4 to 5 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.
Day 6 Leh to Runbak (drive approx. 1 hr, walk approx. 3 hrs)
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.
Day 7 In Rumbak (day walks)
A further opportunity to acclimatise. We undertake day walks to Rumbak village and up side valley leading to the base of the Stok La that afford spectacular views of the Trans Himalaya.
Day 8 Rumbak to camp below Ganda La (walk approx. 3hrs)
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.
Day 9 Base Camp to Shogdo via Ganda La (Walk approx. 6hrs)
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 (4150m).
Day 10 Shogdo to Narding(4-5 hrs)
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 (3530m) and a comfortable, grassy campsite.
Day 11 Narding to Markha (3-4 hrs)
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.
Day 12 Markha to Hankar (walk approx. 3-4 hrs)
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.
Day 13 Hanker to the base of the Zalung La (6 hrs)
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 (4650 metres).
Day 14 Cross the Zalung La to Tsorka (6-7 hrs)
From camp it is a gradual haul to the summit of the Zalung La (5190 metres). It is a windswept pass that affords impressive views of the peaks and jagged ridges of the Zanskar Range. (The shot on page 16 of our current Active Adventure brochure was taken from the Zalung La). From the pass it takes about three hours to reach a delightful grassy camp near to the abandoned encampment known as Tsorka (4200 metres).
Day 15 Trek to Dat settlement (walk approx.5hrs)
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. (4340 metres). 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.
Day 16 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 brahmini ducks and a host of birdlife nest close to the lake.
Day 17 At Tso Morari, return to Leh
In the early morning we ascend the high ridges above Tso Morari 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.
Day 18 In Leh
A rest day in Leh with time to explore the bazaar and complete shopping.
Day 19 Fly Leh to Delhi
An early morning departure to board the one-hour flight from Leh to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi we will transfer to our hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 20 In Delhi, trip concludes
The trip concludes today and you will be transferred to the airport for your return flight and onward arrangements.