NEW Trip – Dolpo Crystal Mountain to Mustang TraverseView Trip Details

17 Days$3760USD

  • 11 day trek
  • 5 nights hotels
  • 11 nights camping
  • 15 Dinners
  • 15 Lunches
  • 16 Breakfasts
Moderate to Challenging

Trip highlights

  • Challenge yourself on this dramatic traverse of the Indian Himalaya
  • Cross high passes and gain unrivalled views of the Zanskar and Trans Himalayan ranges
  • Tackle some of the most remote trails in awesome gorge country far beyond the regular trekking itineraries
  • Visit isolated settlements and ancient Buddhist monasteries

It would be hard to surpass this challenging foray to the cultural heart of Zanskar. We forge a route through isolated gorges into a vast, spectacular wildness to gain spectacular views of the Zanskar and Great Himalaya ranges. For five days we follow ill defined-trails linking the region of Rupshu –home of the Chang pa nomads - to the Buddhist villages and settlements of Zanskar. If you have undertaken a moderate to challenging trek elsewhere in the Himalaya then this will surely meet your expectations.

Trip Code: ZHT

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. Should you arrive earlier in the day we are happy to assist with any optional sightseeing. Due to the differing times of arrival of group members and the early morning departure to Leh the following morning the initial briefing will be on ‘a need to know basis’ such as what to pack, ordering a packed breakfast, what time for departure from the hotel, arrangements for leaving gear in Delhi etc. Your World Expeditions kit bag will also be distributed after the initial briefing. Overnight: Hotel Lalit, Dehli Note: the main briefing will be on arrival in Leh and distributions of sleeping bags, liners, insulated mattress and down jackets will be made. Please note if you are arriving in Delhi on a late night flight, you might like to arrive the day before the trip commences. Please talk to your World Expeditions reservations consultant or travel agent for pre–tour accommodation options.

Meals:  Nil

We board the early morning flight from Delhi to Leh. If conditions are clear you will be rewarded a spectacular birds eye views of the Great Himalaya and Zanskar ranges before landing in Leh (3505m), the capital of Ladakh located just north of the Indus valley. On arrival we transfer you to your hotel to rest and acclimatise. A walk to the nearby Changs pa chortens and then to the main market will offer initial insights into Ladakh’s cultural history. NOTE: The flights Delhi-Leh-Delhi are not included, we are happy to assist in booking these for you. The nominated group flight is: Air India AI 445 Depart Delhi 0630 / arrive Leh 0810

Meals:  B,L,D

We drive to the Tsemo monastery from where we descend to the Kings Palace. The walk will afford views of the labyrinth of houses and alleyways that comprise the Old City of Leh. The seven storied palace was built in the 17th century has been extensively renovated in the last 15 years. We also ascend to the Peace Stupa with grand views across the Indus Valley and the snow-capped Stok Range.

Meals:  B,L,D

We follow the course of the Indus River to its confluence with the Zanskar River. From our vantage point just above the village of Nimu we leave the main highway and gradually ascend to the Markha Valley and the settlement at Skiu (3435m) where we commence our trek. Road developments are gradually changing the landscape of Ladakh and the Markha valley is no exception. However vehicles are not generally allowed past the check post at Skiu sand should not undermine our experience as we trek to Narding (3530m) and a comfortable grassy camp. Drive: 3 hours Walk: 3 - 4 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

A short stage to further assist acclimatisation. We pass through small settlements to reach Markha (3770m) the largest village in the valley. From our camp we visit the local monastery that is serviced by a monk from the Hemis monastery. Walk:3 - 4 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

From Markha we continue up the valley to the village of Umlung with its ancient monastery set high on a nearby hill top. Beyond Umlung the valley widens and the imposing peak of Kangyaze (6400m) comes into view. Hankar (3980m) is the highest village in the Markha valley. Just beyond the upper village we divert from the main trail and continue to a secluded campsite (appox 4100m) that will serve as our base form the next two nights. Walk:4 - 5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

An ideal day to further acclimatise. We return to the main trail and ascend, steep in places, to Nimaling (4730m). On the vast, grazing plains villagers from Hankar graze their yaks during the summer. We may also ascend the ridges above Nimaling to gain uninterrupted views of Kangyaze before descending back to our camp. Walk:6 - 7 hours return

Meals:  B,L,D

We ascend across open grazing lands set amid impressive gorges to our camp (4650m) at the base of the Zalung La. By now we are well beyond the regular trekking trails and anticipate that we will be on our own for a week before we reach the villages of Zanskar. Walk:6 - 7 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

It’s a gradual haul to the summit of the Zalung La (5190m) from where we gain views of the vast Rupshu region, that extends to the borderlands of Tibet. The Zalung La is a double pass from where we head south descending scree slopes to a grassy camp (4680m). From our camp you may also glimpse bharal or blue sheep, a true sign that we are entering snow leopard territory. Walk: 6 -7 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

The walking times can vary on this stage as we descend an ill-defined trail to the Khurna river. Depending on water levels we will continue down river (with a few river crossings) to our tiny camp at Tilat Sumdo (3750m), located at the confluence of the Khurna river and a side stream flowing from unseen snow fields and our route to the Cha Cha La and Zanskar. Walk:5 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

We have reserved two days to ascend the labyrinth of gorges that extend into the heart of the Zanskar Range. There are numerous stream crossing and wet boots are the order of the day. We will follow a traditional trading route that was followed by the Changs Pa nomads who traded salt and wool for supplies of grains from the Zanskar villages. The trade route was abandoned the early 1980’s when the road from Leh and Kargil to Zanskar offered a more reliable supply of salt to the Zanskar communities. Our camp at Chup Chak (4000m) still offers evidence of the nomad migration as we camp on huge piles of sheep droppings as sheep and goats packed with supplies were rested before crossing the pass. Walk: 7 - 9 hours total

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start is imperative to ascend the trail that zig zags to the pass. This is wild country where birds of prey hover in the thermals while ibex might be seen high on a cliff edge. From the Cha Cha La (4950m) we savour unrivalled views of the Great Himalaya with its snow-capped peaks and hanging glaciers while the fold upon fold of rugged ridges are a reminder that we are in the heart of the Zanskar range. Our descent is steep in places across scree slopes and through gorges lined with willow trees to a welcome camp at (3800m) Walk:6 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

A short stage to complete an exhilarating trek. We follow the course of a stream that gradually forges through impressive gorges to the outskirts of Zangla (3370m). Zangla was during the 19th the capital of the kingdom of lower Zanskar as is evidenced by the now dilapidated fort with its commanding views across the Zanskar valley. After bidding farewell to our mule attendants we drive to Karsha, the largest monastery in Zanskar. The site was established in the 11th century and was later converted to the Gelug Pa (Yellow Hat) order as it established a following in the 15th throughout Ladakh and the Indus Valley. Time permitting we may also visit Padum, the administrative centre of the Zanskar. Walk: 3 hours Drive 2 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

A demanding day as we cover much of what was the classic Manali to Leh trek before the introduction of roads in the last decade. We reach the village Lingshed and its imposing monastery before crossing the Sengge La (5010m) to the whitewashed stone houses of Photaksar and Honupatta. The dirt road meets the main Kargil to Leh highway just below the ancient monastery of Lamayuru where we stay at a comfortable lodge overnight. Drive: 8 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

We descend the impressive switchbacks to the prosperous village of Khalsi before the following the course of the Indus River to Nimu (and the confluence of the Indus and Zanskar rivers) and Leh. That afternoon we have time to complete preparations for departure and catch up last minute shopping. Drive: 4 hours

Meals:  B,L,D

We board an early morning flight to Delhi and onward arrangements. NOTE: The flights Delhi-Leh-Delhi are not included, we are happy to assist in booking these for you. The nominated group flight is: Air India AI446 Depart Leh 1200 / arrive Delhi 1335

Meals:  B


  • Led by Garry Weare
  • Expert bilingual local guide
  • Good quality accommodation in Delhi & Leh
  • 17 breakfasts, 15 lunches and 15 dinners
  • Airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 17
  • Private transportation
  • All park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • Mules to carry all personal and group equipment
  • Group medical kit
  • Souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
  • 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)

  • International flights
  • Flights Delhi/Leh/Delhi - REQUIRED. Group flights advised and we will happily assist with booking for you
  • Lunch & dinner in Delhi
  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips

Departure dates

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Priceper person from


Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplement - ZHTUSD$480
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed High Trails to Zanskar with Garry Weare trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

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 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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