trip
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7
Challenging

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • 18 day trek
Accommodation
  • 4 nights hotel
  • 17 nights camping
Meals
  • 20 Dinners
  • 20 Lunches
  • 21 Breakfasts

22 Days$3390USD

Hit the trails with confidence

Flexible Cancellations
Stress free booking, learn more about our flexible terms

COVID-19 safety measures
Read our Covid-19 travel policy and what we're doing to keep you safe

Remote adventures
means social distancing comes naturally

Small groups only
Guided group sizes are strictly limited to maximum 16 people, average of 8-10


 
 
Trip Code: HTR

Trip highlights


  • Challenge yourself on this dramatic traverse of the Indian Himalaya
  • Cross multiple high passes that afford stunning views of the Himalaya and Zanskar range
  • Tackle some of the most remote and isolated trails in the stunning gorge country of Ladakh
  • Visit tiny settlements and remote Buddhist monasteries
  • Discover ancient monasteries and forts in the upper Indus Valley
  • Experience traditional hospitality at our hotel in Leh

It would be hard to surpass this challenging Trans Himalayan circuit of Ladakh. We follow ancient trails leading over high passes that link isolated Buddhist villages to the secluded Himalayan kingdom of Zanskar. Zanskar is one of the last truly remote regions in the Himalaya, where villages are cut off from the outside world for much of the year due to heavy snowfall and blocked mountain passes. Zanskar is also known for its rust coloured mountains and dramatic deep gorges - a vast, silent and truly spectacular wilderness, that leads to the whitewashed settlements of the upper Markha Valley. We cross numerous passes before we complete our circuit back through the Indus Valley and Leh, the historic capital of Ladakh. If you are in search of an all encompassing Himalayan adventure then this is the trek for you.


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 group hotel. 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 in the Indus Valley. If the conditions are clear you will be rewarded with magnificent views of the Great Himalaya and Zanskar ranges before landing at the capital of Ladakh. On arrival we transfer to our hotel to rest and acclimatise. Optional walks to the main market will provide your first insight into Ladakh’s rich cultural history.

Meals:  B,L,D

The gradual ascent to the Kings Palace and then to the Tsemo monastery and Victory Fort will help to prepare for the trek. The Kings Palace is located above the old town of Leh with views of the labyrinth of alleyways that lead to the market and to the Polo Ground. The seven storied palace built in the 17th century has been extensively restored in the last decade. It's a short ascent to the Victory Fort and the Tsemo monastery built in the 16th century to commemorate Ladakh’s victories over the armies from Baltistan and Central Asia. From the fort you gain superb views north to the Ladakh Range and south across the wide reaches of the Indus Valley to the snow capped peaks of the Stok mountain range.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Leh we head west and drive down the Indus Valley to Nimu before ascending to Lamayuru monastery. After visiting the monastery we drive another hour and a half up to the spectacular Kanji gorge to the outlying fields of Kanji village (3790 m). It is from here that our trek will begin the following morning.

Meals:  B,L,D

From Kanji village we slowly ascend across open meadows before a short steep climb to the Yoma La (4650 metres). From the pass we gain our first dramatic views of the Zanskar Range before a long gradual descent to the camp at Shila Kong (4030 metres).

Meals:  B,L,D

We ascend Nagutse La (5080m) and then gradually descend to our secluded camp (4550 metres). On our trek today, we will pass many "doksar," an area where local villages bring their sheet and goats to graze on the lush green meadows throughout the summer months.

Meals:  B,L,D

We ascend a minor pass before completing a gradual ascent to the Sisir La (4720 metres). The pass affords dramatic views of the Zanskar Range and the trail which heads down to the substantial village of Photaksar (4100 metres). Evidence of road construction is also apparent, as a road is planned that will eventually extend to Lingshet.

Meals:  B,L,D

The trail winds across open grazing land with ever changing views back to Honuptta as we slowly ascend to the base of the Singge La. Overnight camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early start to complete the ascent to the Singge la (5090m) that affords unrivalled views of the rugged Zanskar range. From the pass the trail descends steeply before we leave the main trail to reach the village of Yulchung (4600m) before continuing our descent to the Zanskar River. After crossing a wooden bridge we ascend to the village Nyerak (3680m) with its ancient monastery and campsite high above the Zanskar River.

Meals:  B,L,D

Ascending trail past ancient mani walls and chortens to Takti La (4955m). From the pass there are dramatic views across to the Singge La. The descend to a spectacular campsite (4530m) affords more unrivalled views of the rugged Zanskar Range and the Zanskar gorge where the river forges its way north towards the Indus.

Meals:  B,L,D

An exhilarating stage. From our high camp we continue across a series of windswept ridges to reach the base of the perplexingly named Osi La at (4580m). From the pass we again savour unrivalled views towards the Zanskar Range before we descend to a verdant valley leading to Namtse Sumdo (3500m) and our overnight camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

We enter a series of awesome gorges (which necessitate a few stream crossings) before we ascend (steeply in places) to the Namtse La (4405m). After taking in the views that extend south to the snow-capped summits of the Great Himalaya Range we descend to Honia and the well-marked trail following the course of the Zanskar river to Zangla (3900m).

Meals:  B,L,D

From Zangla we drive to Karsha, the largest monastery in Zanskar. The site was established in the 11th century while the main Assembly Hall and the labyrinth of monks quarters spreading down to the valley floor were built later in the 15th century when the Gelugs pa order (often referred to as the Yellow Hat sect) was established in Ladakh and Zanskar. From the monastery we savour views across the Zanskar Valley to the snow-capped peaks of the Great Himalaya Range. After visiting the monastery we drive Padum, the administrative centre of Zanskar before returning later that day to Zangla.

Meals:  B,L,D

We will also ascend to the dilapidated fort with its commanding views across the lower reaches of the Zanskar Valley. We then enter a side gorge and follow the course of a side stream to reach the camp (3800 metres) at the base of the Cha Cha La.

Meals:  B,L,D

From camp the trail winds up to a dry valley before gradually ascending a series of scree slopes to reach the final steep stage to the pass. From the Cha Cha La (4950 metres) savour views of the Zanskar Range as well as the snow capped peaks of the Great Himalaya to the south. From the pass it's a long, gradual descent. At times the ill-defined trail climbs high above the floor of the gorge while at other times it follows the main stream to the camp at Chupchak (4000 metres).

Meals:  B,L,D

Today's planned routes sees us utilising some of the most remote and isolated trekking routes in Ladakh. The sun only penetrates the depths of the awesome gorge country for a few hours each day and with a number of river crossings required today as we forge a route to the confluence of the Tilat and Khurna rivers. The lack of bridges in this part of the world means keeping your boots dry will be a challenge and although river levels are generally at their lowest this time of year the sensation of crossing a glacier fed river cannot be avoided and is something that you won't forget in a hurry. On reaching the confluence the prayer flags on the opposite bank are a welcome sight before fording the Khurna River to Tilat Sumdo (3750 metres).

Meals:  B,L,D

Another testing stage that initially follows the course of the Khurna River, requiring yet more river crossings to reach a side gorge that marks the route to the Rubrang La. The trail along the gorge is difficult in places for laden mules that may have to be offloaded several times before we finally reach an open grassy camp (4680 metres). While resting keep an eye out for bharal, the blue sheep who regularly graze in the vicinity of the camp.

Meals:  B,L,D

From camp it is a steady haul to the Rubrang La (5020 metres) with impressive views across the Zanskar Range, while to the north are the snow capped peaks of the Stok Range, the trail then descends gradually to the confluence of the Markha Valley about two km above the village of Markha. We head up the valley – fording the Markha River - to the settlement of Humlung.

Meals:  B,L,D

We are now on the popular Markha Valley trail so expect to meet other trekking groups as we ascend to the campsite at Thochuntse. It's a further two to three hours ascent, steep in places, to the windswept meadows that constitute Nimaling. Villagers from Hankar bring their yaks to graze on these vast meadows set against the dramatic backdrop of Kangyaze (6400 metres).

Meals:  B,L,D

The ascent to the Kongmaru La (5150 metres) should take no more than two hours. From the summit there are unrivalled views of Kangyaze while to the north are the peaks of the Ladakh Range. There are also glimpses of villages on the far side of the Indus Valley over 1500 metres below. From the pass the trail descends through a spectacular gorge that leads on down to the village of Chogdo (4000 metres). The well-defined trail then continues to Shang Sumdo(3690 metres) and our final campsite.

Meals:  B,L,D

An early morning trek to the nearby Shang monastery provides a fitting conclusion to our trek. Returning to camp our vehicles will be ready to drive to Hemis monastery before continuing down the Indus Valley to Leh.

Meals:  B,L,D

This spectacular flight takes us across the backbone of the West Himalaya en route to Delhi. On arrival in Delhi your trip concludes. If you are departing on late flights and require a day room in Delhi please liaise with your World Expeditions reservations consultant or travel agent. This is not included in the cost of your tour.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 21 breakfasts, 20 lunches and 20 dinners
  • airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 22
  • expert bilingual guide
  • group medical kit
  • good quality accommodation in Delhi & Leh
  • souvenir World Expeditions kit bag
  • private transportation
  • all park entrance fees and trekking permits
  • horses to carry all personal and group equipment
  • 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
  • Lunch & dinner in Delhi
  • Bottled water, aerated & alcoholic drinks
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone calls, laundry etc
  • Airport departure taxes
  • Tips
  • Visa
  • Travel insurance

Departure dates


Notes

NB:
Flights Delhi/Leh/Delhi not included

Dates or itinerary don't fit?

Create a custom made itinerary for the perfect adventure. Choose when you travel, what you see and where you go.

Total Priceper person from

$3390USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Zanskar to Indus Traverse Tent Only Single SupplementUSD$210
  • Zanskar to Indus Traverse Single SupplementUSD$420
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Zanskar to Indus Traverse 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.


Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Responsible travel is at the heart of every program we offer as a fundamental and long held philosophy. When you book one of our 100% carbon offset adventures you’re supporting true sustainability in the protection of local communities, natural environments and wildlife.

Ultimate Value

 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.

Positive Impact Travel

By joining this trip you are directly supporting positive impact projects in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We’ve offset the carbon emitted by this trip by purchasing credits that support important projects that address the UN’s seventeen SDGs, like reducing poverty, affordable and clean energy, reducing hunger, clean water and climate action.

Proceeds from this adventure purchase carbon credits through the world’s largest and most awarded carbon project developer, South Pole, which are invested into projects accelerating the transition to renewable energy sources in developing countries.

Supported projects are based on internationally recognised standards and are third-party audited. They entail a series of positive impacts on the ground, which benefit local communities and ecosystems, that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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