Note: We are running this trek in partnership with Kamzang Journeys, a western-based trekking agent.

Welcome to northern India!
Our Ultimate Ladakh trek is an epic journeey in our series of ‘best-of’ journeys in Ladakh and Zanskar treks, crafted from 15+ years of exploratory treks in the wilds of the Indian Himalaya. This trek (+plus) is a diverse and stunningly beautiful route through some of Ladakh’s most unique regions – otherworldly high salt lakes, several nomadic regions, remote Himalayan villages, sparkling rivers, Himalayan passes, Tibetan Buddhist culture and monasteries, rare wildlife are a few of the highlight. This journey combines two very different trekking regions with a jeep safari to the turquoise Pangong Lake, on the border of Tibet, white water rafting on the Zanskar or Indus Rivers, some incredibly beautiful and challenging cycling around Leh, visiting ancient monsteries and palaces in the Indus valley + more!

Ladakh Silk Route Trek – High Salt Lakes + Tibetan Nomadic Region
Our epic Kamzang Journeys Ladakh Silk Route Trek is an adventure into the high nomadic regions of Ladakh, in the sublimely beautiful Indian Himalaya, trekking across the Tibetan-style green plateaus of the beautiful Tsomoriri & Tso Kar lake region and crossing some of Ladakh’s highest mountain passes. We follow the old Silk Route caravan trails over high Himalayan passes of the Changthang plateau as we trek through remote valleys, populated with Tibetan-style villages, to Pangong Lake on the border of Tibet. This is a remote region reminiscent of western Tibet, with the snow-peaks of the Ladakh, Zanskar and Pangong Ranges providing a spectacular backdrop.

Highlights are spending several days trekking along the shores of Lake Tso Moriri in Ladakh during the peak of nomadic migrations, camping next to the nomads in their yak-hair tents on the banks of this incredibly scenic 26-kilometer lake, surrounded by snow-capped peaks. And crossing a small pass to arrive at the salt lake of Tso Kar, once an important source of trade and income for the local Ladakhi villagers and nomads, now a wetlands preserve, home to a vast array of migratory birds and rare wildlife. The kiang, or wild ass, run wild in big herds through these watery realms.

Our green Ladakhi campsites are backed by the snow-capped Himalayas and the grasslands are peppered with colonies of yak-hair nomadic tents. We visit several small semi-permanent villages with ancient Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, sacred lands. We camp along the meandering rivers that feed into the lakes, an exciting entrance into the fading world of Tibetan and Ladakhi nomads. The nomadic Ladakhi population has traditionally transmigrated from the high plains of Tibet in search of nutritious grass for their livestock, salt to trade, and a market for their butter and wool, a difficult and tenuous existence. This unique way of life, sadly, is quickly dying as the nomads find an easier existence to this harsh life in the cities …

Kyang (wild donkeys) roam these wide valleys of Ladakh, guarding their territory, and red fox, blue sheep, argali, marmots, pikas and Himalayan hare. It is a truly awesome, wild landscape of wide plateaus and craggy snow-peaks but also a gentle world of grassy meadows, delicate flowers, blue skies and meandering streams. Once past Tso Kar salt lake we trek though our favorite exploratory route of years past, camping at the far-flung Teri village, which hardly, if ever, see Westerners.

Markha Valley + Rupshu Nomadic Trek
From the traditional villages of the willow-lined Markha river valley, we trek to the high nomadic plateaus, where we camp with the Markha-pa and their hundreds of sheep, yaks and goats, a timeless vignette. Crossing the 5000+ meter Zalung Karpo La pass, we reach the Ladakhi nomadic region of Rupshu, a green, willow filled and breathtakingly beautiful region of canyons, grasslands, river valleys and Buddhist shrines.

We trek along ancient trade routes lined with long Tibetan Buddhist mani walls, where travelers and their caravans were protected by a series of lookout towers and fortresses guarding against invasion from Tibet or India, all of which attest to this region’s importance in days of yore. We’ll take you into hidden winter settlements of the nomads, with wolf traps, ‘lhatoos’ (shrines to mountain dieties) and local village monasteries. En route through this nomadic region, we splash through rivers, wade through a slot canyon, cross grassy pasture lands and trek up remote valleys to reach idyllic campsites in some of the region’s most far-flung locations, with lots of time to relax, enjoy the Himalayan scenery and soak in the surroundings …

Some highlights are rare wildlife such as kiang, blue sheep, snow leopard, wolves, ibex, argali and golden eagles. Remote villages, active Buddhist monasteries, nomadic settlements on the high grazing plateaus, 5000-meter Himalayan passes, soaring canyons and sparkling river valleys to ford.

Pangong Lake Jeep Safari
An epic jeep safari over the 5000+ meter Chang La pass to the stunningly beautiful Pangong Lake, where traditional villages with tented camps dot the lakeside. Enjoy a swim in the (chilly) lake, visit the villages, wander barefoot on sandy lakeside beaches, rejuvinate and enjoy the views!

Cycling, Rafting + Sightseeing
There is endless opportunity for adventure in the Indian Himalaya, and as we love all of these activities, have added a day of rafting, cycling and Indus Valley sightseeing to the trip!

Summers in the Indian Himalaya are wonderful. Campsites are green and breathtakingly beautiful, 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 treks. A photographer’s dream, a perfect trip!

Join us for this wonderful journey through Ladakh and Zanskar, an adventure through old Tibet!

Note: We are running this trek in partnership with Kamzang Journeys, a western-based trekking agent.

Day 1 - Saturday, 12 August 2017 - Meet in Leh
Day 2 - Leh
Day 3 - Leh
Day 4 - Drive Jingchen + Trek Rumbak
Day 5 - Trek Ganda La High Camp
Day 6 - Trek Shingo (cross Ganda La 4985m)
Day 7 - Trek Chumik Hamjura
Day 8 - Trek Markha
Day 9 - Trek Thuchungtse
Day 10 - Trek Nyimaling
Day 11 - Trek Mani Chen or Zalung Karpo La High Camp (cross Kongka Ngongpo La 5180m)
Day 12 - Tsokra (cross Zalung Karpo La 5200m)
Day 13 - Trek Nomadic Lhatoo Camp
Day 14 - Trek Nomadic Winter Doksa Camp
Day 15 - Trek Lungmoche (cross Yar La)
Day 16 - Drive Pangong Lake (cross Chang La). Tented Camp at Man 4260m
Day 17 - Pangong Lake. Daytrip Merak
Day 18 - Drive Leh (cross Chang La)
Day 19 - Leh | Optional Indus Sightseeing
Day 20 - Leh | Optional Leh Cycling
Day 21 - Leh | Optional Rafting
Day 22 - Drive Chumanthang
Day 23 - Drive Korzok. Trek Beach Camp (Tso Moriri Lake)
Day 24 - Trek Korzok Phu
Day 25 - Korzok Phu | Nomadic Camps + Exploration
Day 26 - Trek Sherma (cross Yalung Nyau La 5450m)
Day 27 - Trek Rajung Karu (over Kartse La 5410m & Kyamayuru La 5430m)
Day 28 - Trek Nuru Chang (cross Horlam Kongka La 4950m)
Day 29 - Trek Thukje (Tso Kar Lake)
Day 30 - Trek Thratsang Kiang Camp
Day 32 - Trek Teri Valley Doksa Camp (cross Thratsang La 5140m)
Day 32 - Trek Teri Phu
Day 33 - Trek Terido. Drive Leh
Day 34 - Leh
Day 35 - Friday, 15 September 2017 - Trip Ends

NOTE
Our Ladakh + Zanskar trips start and finish in Leh, Ladakh. There are daily flights Delhi - Leh - Delhi. If you have successive international flights that are not all part of the same ticket or following domestic flights we suggest planning more cautiously and leaving an extra day in Leh after the trip. We'd love to help arrange excursions to Srinagar, Pangong Lake or sightseeing in the Indus Valley if you have extra time!

2017 Dates
12 Aug - 15 Sept
35 days

2017 Trek Price
$5680

Flights NOT included (meet in Leh)
Hotel Single Supplement - $100 - $300

Includes

  • Hotels in Leh (breakfast)
  • NO single supplement for camping
  • Restricted area permits
  • Personalized Leh sightseeing with Kim
  • Group transportation by private vehicle
  • Airport transfers
  • Kamzang Journeys Boutique Trekking
    Single Northface tents (2+3 person tents), delicious & plentiful meals with seasonal, fresh produce, French-press coffee, Indian Chai, Kashmiri & herbal teas, Katadyn filtered drinking water, warm washing water, trek library, full medical kit, our Kamzang 'lounge' with Indian rugs, Crazy Creek camp chairs, blankets & occasional music in the evenings. For support, our caravan of horses + mules, Western, Sherpa & local guides and our 5-star Kamzang Journeys team. Highlight is our signature yellow 'Kamzang' dining tent'. NO single supplement for single tents. AND flexibility, experience, adventure, challenge + fun!

Safety & Health Precautions

  • Thuraya satellite phone (when allowed)
  • InReach satellite messaging system (when allowed)
  • Updated route published on InReach site (when allowed)
  • Helicopter evacuation services (when allowed)
  • Oxygen saturation monitoring system
  • PAC bag (portable oxygen chamber)
  • Full medical kit & stretcher
  • Kayadyn filtered water
  • Safe, sanitary, delicious & plentiful food and drinks

Excludes

  • Domestic & international flights
  • Indian visa
  • Lunch + dinner in Leh
  • Travel or travel health insurance
  • Equipment rental
  • Alcohol & bottled drinks
  • Gompa (monastery) donations
  • Laundry
  • Tipping & other items of a personal nature

Tips & Extra Cash
Allow approx $300 for meals (while not on trek), drinks (on trek) and tips. We recommend at least $200 per trekker thrown into the tips pool for the crew.