Note: We are running this trek in partnership with Kamzang Journeys, a western-based trekking agent.
One of the Indian Himalaya’s most spectacular and diverse mountain bicycle trips, we cycle on and off road to some of Ladakh’s most unique regions: the desert like, sublimely beautiful Nubra Valley, the green nomadic regions of Ladakh, the traditionally Ladakhi Indus valley, the otherworldly Tso Kar Lake, a world of salt, and the turquoise Tsomoriri Lake in eastern Ladakh.
The scenery throughout the cycling trip is breathtakingly beautiful, the campsites idyllic, the roads mostly smaller country roads perfect for biking (with a few of the scenic sections along the Leh Manali road). We’ll see few tourists as we explore some of the Indian Himalaya’s most interesting regions, and we have plenty of time for chai in small villages, shopping at local fruit and vegetable markets and cold beers in the evenings at camp!
Starting our bicycle journey in Leh, we cycle part way over the Kardung La (incorrectly marketed as ‘the world’s highest motorable pass) into the desert world of Nubra, cycling along the green and mighty Shyok River towards the border of Pakistan. Nubra is renown for its ancient Buddhist monasteries, sand dunes and Bactrian camels as well as its oasis villages, far removed from the bustle of Ladakh. Nubra was once a major stop along the ancient Silk Road, a route from Ladakh on to Baltistan and Yarkand. These Central Asian passes have been closed since the middle of the 20th century, when China closed its borders to trade and migration.
We explore the exquisitely beautiful Panamik valley, cycling along the massive Nubra (Siachen) River, followed by biking through the Shyok valley, cycling towards the border of Pakistan, visiting ancient Buddhist monasteries at Hunder and Deskit and cycling past sand dunes, perhaps even having a ride on Bactrian camel.
Crossing the Wari La (5000+ meters), another world class downhill back to the Indus valley before bicycing along idyllic roads to visit a hidden, high altitude lakes, turquoise Tsomoriri and the wonderful salt lake of Tso Kar. En route we’ll drink salt butter tea and camp with Tibetan and Ladakhi nomads, visit traditional Ladakhi villages, watch rare wildlife and birds, and explore the northern reaches of the Indian Himalaya.
Summers in the Indian Himalaya are wonderful. Campsites are green and breathtakingly beautiful, cycling days are long and sunny, traditional villages are bustling with activity, glacial rivers sparkle and Himalayan panoramas from the passes are spectacular. The nomadic settlements we encounter along the way are timeless, vignettes Ladakh and Zanskar from centuries past. There is always plenty of extra time built in for exploration on our cycling trips, a photographer’s dream!
While you’re in Ladakh, do some extra exploring! Tour Srinagar, Kashmir, the famous lakes with their colorful floating markets and shikaras (long-tail boats), either flying in and out of Srinagar or opting for a stunningly beautiful jeep safari over the renown Koji La pass to Leh and Ladakh for a tour of the Indus Valley and its many Buddhist monasteries. We base our tours in Srinagar, where you stay in style on traditional houseboats on the lake, visit the floating market, old Srinagar and its many mosques and markets and the famous Mughal gardens.
Join us for one of the Himalaya’s greatest, most unique cycling trips, run in our signature Kamzang style.
Fun, adventure + a real challenge!
Join us for this wonderful journey through Ladakh and Zanskar, an adventure through old Tibet!