The crossing of Zanskar is a benchmark on the scale of the great treks in the Himalayas. This legendary route crosses an amazing terrain that makes gorges and high passes, crossing the most beautiful monasteries and villages in one of the most remote areas of the Himalayan world, the ancient kingdom of Zanskar. The magnificence of the route and its purpose, through the Himalayas, have made it one of the great classics of trekking.
A magical 10 day Ladakh Zanskar Trek which takes us around most of the Zanskar region reaching up to the 5,100m, we cross the highest pass on our trip Nigutse la pass at 5100m. Potala Adventurers’ 10 days Zanskar Trek is a great introductory trek for experiencing the Zanskar region.
After 2-3 days of well acclimatizing in Leh, during these acclimatization days you visit some of the important places near Leh or Indus valley tour. The setting off from Leh on our 14 days trip, we drive along the Indus River on Leh – Srinagar highway. En route, we visit some of the ancient villages before Kanji. And stay overnight at Lamayuru. Beginning to trek from the beautiful village of Kanji we climb to Yogma la with the crossing of Shilakong and Sniugutse la at 5100m. Joining the main trail at Photoksar we walked on the route which been known for many years as Darcha – Lamayuru or Lamayuru – Darcha. Ancient track, old packhorse trail and we cross numbers of villages. Finally Arrive at Padum, where our trek ends. We drive back to Leh along the Stod river and crossing Pensi La enter into Suru valley and join the Srinagar – Leh highway.
Day 1: Arrival in Leh, check-in hotel, Acclimatize
Arrive Leh (3600m) by morning flight from Delhi, rest, relax and acclimatize.
Arrival in Leh, check-in the hotel – Acclimatize.
Today morning arrive Leh from Delhi by flight. Airport pickup and check into the hotel. Rest and relax at the hotel and acclimatize to the altitude of 3500m as well as evening visit Leh bazaar.
Day 2: Drive Leh (3600 m) – Alchi (3100 m) – Lamayuru (3600 m), 7-8 Hrs.
Today after breakfast at Leh, we drive to Alchi monastery, situated at a distance of 68 km from Leh. Its monastery built on lowlands rather than on a hilltop as others are, in order to protect from enemies. The Chortens around Alchi gompa contains numerous wall murals of Lotsava Rinchen Zangpo, who has built this monastery. Alchi monastery has vast collections of wall paintings and wood sculptures. We continue to drive to Lamayuru which is 58kms from Alchi. The oldest monastery in Ladakh, founded by Indian scholar Mahasiddhacharya Naropa in the 11th century. Lamayuru host mask dance festival (Yuru Kabgyat) during 17th and 18th day of fifth months of the Tibetan Lunar calendar. It belongs to the red hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism; the monastery is rich with Thankas and wall paintings. Lamayuru monastery was constructed by Arahat Nimagung between the 10th and 11th centuries. History says that in the 11th century the Mahasidha Naropa visited this place and the cave where he resided and meditated is still to be seen inside the monastery. Overnight at homestay in Lamayuru.
Day 3: Lamayuru to Kanji (3850 m) drive. Acclimatize hike in Kanji
Today leaving Lamayuru you continue your journey to Kanji, still 40 km drives. Arrive Kanji. An acclimatization hike will be done here towards the stream which comes from Kanji La. Explore the village and overnight at camp in Kanji village(3850m).
Day 4: Trek Kanji Dok (4100 m) – Yogma La (4720 m) – Shilakong (4600 m), 7 Hrs.
The first day of a trek with an easy trail along the right side of the upstream river. After the easy walk for 2 hrs, you have a gentle ascent and then you arrive at a small hamlet where you find the campsite. The view of the valley and its stunning mountains from here is indescribable. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the nature of the Himalayan Mountains. Continue for an hour and ascend towards the Yogma-la (4720m). From the top of the Yogma La, you have a spectacular view of a landscape, on the left down below you will see the Shila gorge. After enjoying a few minutes at the top you have gentle descent and then a small ascent to arrive at the camp. (4600m)
Day 5: Trek Nigutse La (5110 m) – Spangthang / Urtsi Dok (4500 m), 6 Hrs.
The morning after breakfast, continue the trek by following the well-defined and clear trek route on the left bank of the river. En-route amazing and beautiful landscape. After a few hours of trek, you reach the top of the Nyigutse-la (5100m). At the top of the pass, you will find yourself top of the world and get a stunning and enchanting view of the unforgettable landscape with different mountains of the Himalayan range. Cross the pass and then descend in a beautiful lost valley opening on an immense plain where you find many animals like sheep, goats, and yaks, etc. Overnight Camp. (4500m)
Day 6: Trek Sirsir La (4800 m) – Photoksar (4150 m), 6-7 Hrs.
As usual, after breakfast, continue the trek by ascending the ridge right from the camping. Following the clear path on rolling ridge and from here you see the Sirsir-la pass. Descend down towards the river below. Cross the river and then start ascending straight towards the pass Sirsir la (4805m). Enjoy the view of the wonderful Photang valley and its landscape. Gentle and easy descend by following the good trek path to Photoksar (A remote isolated charming village). Evening explore the village. Campsite before the village near the river. Overnight at Camp. (4250m)
Day 7: Trek Boumitse La (4400 m) – base of Singey La / Sengge La (4350 m), 6 Hrs.
After breakfast, continue the trek. Today you have to cross one easy pass. Right from the camp, start to ascend for few meters and then continue along the clear path beautiful view of village Photoksar and surrounding mountains and gorge. Carry on ascending up to the top of Boumitse-la, from the pass you can directly see the Singey la Pass which is about more than three hours trek from this point. Continue to climb on a high pasture land on Photang valley, where villagers of Photokar keep their Yaks, Dzo, and Horses for grazing. Camp after crossing the small stream.
Day 8: Trek Sengge La (4940 m) – Skiumpata (4100 m), 6-7 Hrs.
Today leaving camp gradual ascent to Singey la 4940m. Sengge in Tibetan means “Lion”. So it’s “Lion pass”, the view and formations of pass appear like a Lion, from pass a panoramic view of Zanskar range, Right from the camp, start ascending up to the top of Singe-la. From the pass, the route descends steeply to a loose boulder-strewn area. Continue along the right side of the valley, clear path up to village Skyumpata. Beautiful and awesome view of the landscape of the valley.
Day 9: Trek Lingshed (3900 m) – Lanang / Hanuma La base (4000 m), 6-7 Hrs.
Leaving Skyumpata, the trail leads to Murgum La and descent to the village of Lingshed. The trail goes by near the Photoksar gompa. A short visit to this gompa and trail passes through barley fields. Continue to Lanang after crossing Chapskang La (4200m) steep descent to narrow valley to the campsite. Located at the foot of Hanuma La.
Day 10: Trek Hanuma La (4800 m) – Snertse (3800m) – Zingchen (3370 m), 7-8 Hrs.
Soon after camp long ascents towards Hunuma la pass 4800m. From the top of pass panoramic view of Lingshed, Sengge la and Ladakh Mountain range. This pass is a connecting point between Ladakh and Zanskar then descent deep inside the hanging valley until Snertse. After Snertse long descent towards Oma tokpo at Zingchen, where we camp for tonight.
Day 11: Trek Parfi La (3910 m) – Hanamur (3410 m), 5 Hrs.
Crossing the oma tokpo long ascent towards Perfi la 3910m. It’s the last pass between our first part of trek Kanji – Padum. From the top, we will be rewarded with a great view of the Zanskar Mountains and could visible the Hanumil from the pass. The last patch we trek along the Zanskar River to the village of Hanumil and another comfortable campsite for tonight.
Day 12: Trek Pidmo (3430 m) – Pishu (3450 m), 6 Hrs.
Today after breakfast we follow the left bank of Zanskar River on a relatively level path. We cross the village of Pidmo 3430m. A small village located beside Zanskar River. At Pidmo bridge is under construction to Zangla, instead of taking this route, we continue along the right bank to Pishu. Another comfortable campsite beside Zanskar River.
Day 13: Drive to visit Zangla (3650 m) – Stongde (3800 m) – Karsha (3750 m) – Padum (3600 m).
Today you have a full-day culture tour around Padum by a drive. The morning after breakfast, drive to Stongde village. Visit the beautiful picturesque monastery built on a hilltop by Lama Marpa 950 years ago. Approximately 60 monks are residing in this monastery. After the visit, continue to drive to Karsha. Visit Karsha monastery. This monastery is the largest of all the monasteries in Zanskar and this monastery (Gonpa) was first founded by Great Lama Phagspa Shesrap (the translator of Zanskar). From the monastery, you have an amazing and spectacular view of the capital of Zanskar (Padum) and its surrounding mountains. After the visit explore Padum (The capital of Zanskar)
Day 14: Padum to Kargil, 232 km, 8 hrs.
An early departure from Padum to Kargil. Along the River to Pensi La at a height of 4400 m. Then continue to Rangdum monastery, which is built on a small hill and a very photogenic place. We will have a beautiful view of the Nun and Kun 7000, the two highest peaks in Zanskar. Along the Suru River valley to Kargil. Overnight in hotel.
Day 15: Kargil to Leh 218 km, 6 hrs.
Leaving Kargil, on a Srinagar – Leh highway, we pass Mulbekh and continue to Lamayuru and Leh.
- An isolated trail in the Kingdom to Zanskar
- Ancient villages and monasteries
- Scenic mountain trail & high mountain passes
- Peaceful campsites
- Experience the rural Zanskar