Trekking in Ladakh: “The most beautiful trekking routes in Ladakh” When I travel, I not only want to switch off, but also always experience something very special - discover remote places, gain authentic and intimate insights, experience the culture up close. I'm sure you feel the same way?
A hiking trip where you are on foot and slowly discover a place yourself is just the thing. Hardly any other region has grown so dear to my heart over the years as Ladakh in North India, because that's exactly what you can do there: collect memorable experiences, unwind and forget the stress of everyday life.
The possibilities for hiking and trekking trips in Ladakh are endless - there are so many mountains, passes and valleys to discover that the choice is not so easy. But to make your decision easier, I would like to introduce you to my four favorite trekking routes in Ladakh, which cover everything from easy for beginners to challenging for mountain professionals. As you can see, hiking in Ladakh is an experience that is suitable for everyone!
For beginners: Shakti Ladakh
Shakti Ladakh is the perfect region to combine trekking with a cultural holiday, and of course it is breathtakingly beautiful too! The traditional villages invite you to discover, and the residents like to show how and where they live and live. During the day you walk through the village, or from village to village, and to Tibetan monasteries, and the nights you spend in authentic Tibetan village houses.
The impressive mountain ranges are always on your doorstep! One of my favorite places is Shey, where you can sleep in a village house that is over 100 years old. In the palace of the village there is also a 12m high Buddha statue, the second tallest in Ladakh.
Or the small village of Stok at the foot of the over 6,000m high Stok Kangri. The absolute highlight here is to chat with the head of the village in person and to walk to the palace of the royal family.
The hikes are really very easy, so a trip to Shakti Ladakh is highly recommended for trekking beginners who want to get used to the physical strain of the high altitude, or to acclimatize before larger tours!
Through the desert: the Hunder Gorge
Hunder is a place that you probably wouldn't expect in the Himalayas: a village surrounded by sand dunes, numerous trampoline animals and the snow-capped mountain peaks in the area - there is not often a desert like this. The way here leads from Phyang through the Hunder Gorge for 6 days. First the route leads through rugged rock landscapes and green meadows to the Lasermo La base camp, from where the Lasermo La Pass is overcome - at 5,400m, this point is definitely one of the highlights of this trek.
Your equipment is carried by cargo ponies, so you only have to tackle one daypack yourself - this also applies to all subsequent routes. You will spend the night in a tent. From the pass it goes along the Hunder Stream, past sleepy villages and herds of yaks and goats. In Hunder you still have the opportunity to go on a camel safari and enjoy the view of the 7,672m high Saser Kangri Peak without any effort.
Trekking in Ladakh - Along Ladakh's Highlights: The Markha Valley & Co.
The trekking route through the Markha Valley is like a series of the most spectacular places in Ladakh. The trek from the small town of Spituk to Shangsumdo takes 8 to 9 days. First, the path leads through the Hemis National Park, where snow leopards, lynxes, marmots and Tibetan wolves live and may cross your path. In the distance the impressive Stok mountain range opens up, with the over 6,000m high summit of Stok Kangri.
Passing monasteries and shrines on the sixth day you will reach the village of Markha, which only consists of about 25 houses, but is the largest village in the valley. Village life is authentically intact and you get a close look at the local culture. From there it goes on to the Nimaling Plateau at 4,700m, on which the sun is said to shine all year round.
The absolute highlight at the end is the crossing of the Kongmaru La Pass (5,150m), from where you can see the Ladakh chain, over the Indus valley and into the Tibetan highlands, and on the return journey, the drive over the highest drivable road in the world that meanders over the Khardung La Pass (5,600m).
Fancy 6,000? The Stok Kangri
The route to the Stok Kangri has it all - after all, you don't conquer a 6,000-meter peak every day. Up to the Nimaling Plateau everything is relatively the same as when trekking through the Markha Valley, but it is a bit faster and you reach Nimaling on the fifth day. Here you can take a breather and gather strength for the summit on the following day of rest.
The next day you continue to Shangsumdo from where a jeep will bring you to Stok. The ascent then takes place in three stages: to the Mancarmo Camp (4,250m), to the Basecamp (5,020m) and of course to the summit. The summit day starts very early, around 1 a.m., because at night it is easier to walk on the snow - you can then see the sun rise above the clouds at 6,150m. Truly a dream!
The Stok Kangri is technically not an extremely demanding mountain, but due to the altitude, this trek is only recommended for hikers with a certain mountaineering experience. You should also allow a few days for acclimatization to increase your chances of success. Maybe a few days in Shakti Ladakh?
Trekking in Ladakh: And that closes the circle. Ladakh is a true trekking paradise with numerous valleys, gorges, mountain ranges and peaks to be explored. It doesn't matter whether you are a beginner or a full professional, because there is the right route for everyone. I hope that my selection has inspired you a little - maybe you want to travel to Ladakh and India yourself soon?