Markha Valley Trek is one of the most popular trekking routes in Ladakh, known for its breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains and the Zanskar Range. The trek is named after the Markha River that flows through the valley and is a perfect combination of challenging terrain, rich culture, and stunning landscapes. The trek usually takes around 7-9 days to complete and covers a distance of approximately 75-80 kilometers.

Best Time for Trekking:

The best time to go for the Markha Valley trek is from June to September. During this time, the weather is pleasant, and the trekking route is relatively safe and accessible. However, it is essential to be well prepared for sudden changes in weather conditions.

Difficulty Level:

The Markha Valley Trek is considered to be a moderate to difficult trek. The route involves crossing high passes, such as the Kongmaru La Pass (5,306 meters) and the Ganda La Pass (4,800 meters), which can be challenging for inexperienced trekkers. The trail is steep and rocky at places, and altitude sickness can also be a concern for some.

Trekking Itinerary:

The Markha Valley trek usually starts from the village of Chilling, which is about 60 kilometers from Leh. Here’s a day-wise itinerary for the trek:

Day 1: Drive from Leh to Chilling and then trek to Skiu (3-4 hours) Day 2: Trek from Skiu to Markha (7-8 hours) Day 3: Trek from Markha to Thochuntse (6-7 hours) Day 4: Trek from Thochuntse to Nimaling (4-5 hours) Day 5: Trek from Nimaling to Kongmaru La Pass and then to Chuskirmo (8-9 hours) Day 6: Trek from Chuskirmo to Shang Sumdo and then drive to Leh (4-5 hours)

Accommodation and Food:

During the trek, trekkers stay in guesthouses or homestays in the villages along the way. The accommodations are basic but comfortable, with clean rooms and shared washrooms. Trekkers are expected to carry their sleeping bags and mats. The food provided during the trek is usually vegetarian and includes local Ladakhi cuisine, such as momos, thukpa, and tsampa.

Permits and Fees:

To trek in the Markha Valley, trekkers need to obtain a permit from the Leh Wildlife Division. The permit fee varies depending on the season and nationality of the trekkers. Indian nationals are charged a lower fee than foreigners. Trekkers also need to pay an additional camping fee for each night they spend on the trek.

Essential Gear and Equipment:

Here’s a list of essential gear and equipment that trekkers should carry while trekking in the Markha Valley:

  • Warm clothes, including a down jacket and a windproof jacket
  • Trekking boots and socks
  • Sunscreen lotion, sunglasses, and a hat
  • Water bottles and a hydration pack
  • Trekking poles
  • Headlamp or flashlight with extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • Sleeping bag and mat
  • Backpack and rain cover

Conclusion || Markha Valley Trek

The Markha Valley trek is a beautiful and challenging trek that offers a unique opportunity to explore the natural beauty and cultural heritage of Ladakh. With stunning landscapes, diverse flora and fauna, and a chance to interact with the locals, this trek is a must-do for adventure enthusiasts and nature lovers. However, it is important to prepare well for the trek and follow the guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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