Markha valley trek


Discover one of the most beautiful valley of Ladakh going through the Hemis National Park

The Markha valley has a lot to offer to the avid trekkers. You will cross traditional villages with their irrigated fields, meet the very hospitable Ladakhi at their home, discover the stunning landscapes of the Hemis National Park, crosses high altitude lakes and passes, and spot many species of birds and mammals.

There is no technical difficulties on most of the trails around the Markha valley, until you want to climb the Stok Kangri of course !

As there are several options to trek the Markha valley and the Stok Kangri range, you can easily adjust your trek according to the time you have in hands and according to physical fitness.

Markha valley trek features (Skiu to Lato)

Duration of your trek  

Day-min : The minimum number of days required for the trek (from Leh to Leh)
Day-max : The maximum number of days you can spend on this trek. Prolonged itinerary can be discussed with our team.
AWTD : Average walking time per day (<3 : easy, 3 to 5 : moderate, >5 : strenuous)

Altitudes of your trek  

Min : Minimum altitude of your trek.
Max : Maximum altitude of your trek.
Ascent : The total ascending difference of altitude on the trek.
Descent : The total descending difference of altitude on the trek.

Difficulty of your trek  

Stamina : The physical effort involved during your trek. Rated from 0 (easiest) to 100 (most strenuous). If you have an average fitness you can consider all the treks up to 50. See here for more details
Technical : Difficulty of your trek in terms of exposure to danger and required experience.
  0 to 20 : No difficulties,
  20 to 40 : Walking on good mountain trails,
  40 to 60 : Some walking on difficult mountain trails (steep slopes, rocks, etc.),
  60 to 80: You are exposed to some dangers (void, snow, falling rocks, etc.),
  80 to 100 : Experience required (please inquire).
Overall : Average between Stamina and Technical rating.


3340 m
5330 m
2380 m
2330 m



Markha valley trek map

map of the Markha valley treks

Markha valley treks itineraries

There are several options for your trek in the Markha valley. There are all shown on the map in green. In this page the main itinerary starts from the village Skiu and ends at Lato.

    Motorable road
    Trekking trail

    Camping spot
    Noticeable peak
    Mountain pass

Markha valley trek, best time to go

Best time to trek into the Markha valley is from May to September In early season you may not be able to cross the high passes because of the snow.
The Markha valley is known for the presence of the Snow Leopard. If your purpose is to observe the Snow Leopard, you must trek the valley in winter time and cope with the extremely low temperatures that fall to minus 20 or 30 degree Celcius.
  • Jan

  • Feb

  • Mar

  • Apr

  • May

  • Jun

  • Jul

  • Aug

  • Sep

  • Oct

  • Nov

  • Dec

Markha valley trek itinerary

Features Description
  No walk


We leave Leh in the morning.
As there is only a short drive to Skiu, the trek starting point we may decide to do rafting on the Zanskar river in the morning.
After the lunch we drive to the village Skiu.
Night in a homestay.

Features Description
  7 to 8 hours

  +460m / -0m

  under tents

The trek starts !
Today we have the longest day of hiking as we have to reach the village of Markha which is about 19 km ahead in the valley.
No worries, the climb is only 460 m which is very reasonable, and we remain well below the 4000 m.
Enjoy observing the life of the locals in this lower part of the valley.

Features Description
  4 to 5 hours

  +450m / -0m

  under tents

Today we will leave the inhabited part of the valley !
We will cross the last village of the valley called Hankar.
Then we continue the climb up to a meadow (Thoachungtse) where we will camp.

Features Description
  5 to 6 hours

  +600m / -0m

  under tents

Today we reach the higher altitude of the Markha valley.
The objective is to reach a large meadow which is just down the Kongmaru La that leads to Hemis and on the other side we have the majestic Kang Yatse.
The hike is really exciting as the valley unveils all its beauty.
We will spend a night at around 4840m, which is really high.
Night under tent.

Features Description
  5 to 6 hours

  +490m / -820m

  under tents

Probably the most exciting part of the trek today.
After breakfast we start the last climb in the Markha valley to reach a high pass at 5330 m, the Lalung La where you can have your lunch.
You can see most of the Hemis National Park from the pass. Some of the mountains have amazing rock formations.
We go down through another valley completely wild and isolated. Camp near a stream.

Features Description
  5 hours

  +390m / -1500m

  homestay or hotel in Leh

To reach Lato, the end of our trek, we need to cross another pass : Poze La that we reach in one or two hours.
The descent to Lato is spectacular, with one of the most incredible valley of Ladakh.
At Lato we can either stay in a homestay or move to Leh to be in a hotel.

Zingchen to Stok trek

Zingchen to Stok trek
   This trek is a great option for those who have only 2 days.
Day 1 Zingchen (3380m) to Rumbak (3980m)
A road is now reaching Zingchen so you don't need to walk to Zingchen anymore. Your hike to the village Rumbak takes only 2 to 3 hours. You can spend the night in a homestay.
Day 2 Rumbak (3980m) to Stok (3530m)
After the night in a homestay in Rumbak, you start your hike to the pass Stok La at an altitude of 4943 m. You have about a 1000 m climb. It is much harder than a climb in the Alps for example because of the high altitude. But the efforts will allow you to enjoy a great view from the pass.
It is then a long descent to Stok.
Don't do this trek at the beginning of your trip to Ladakh as you need to acclimatize tothe altitude.

Rumbak valley trek

Trek from Zingchen To Chilling
   You don't have enough time for the entire Markha valley trek? This is a nice one in 4 days.
Day 1 Zingchen (3380m) to Rumbak (3980m)
A road is now reaching Zingchen so you don't need to walk to Zingchen anymore. Your hike to the village Rumbak takes only 2 to 3 hours. You can spend the night in a homestay.
Day 2 Rumbak (3980m) to Yurutse (4170m)
Again the hike today is not long (2 or 3 hrs). So you have the entire day to enjoy this beautiful valley located in the heart of the Hemis National Park.
If you are a wildlife enthusiat you can enjoy observing the many birds and mammals of the area.
You spend the night in the charming village of Yurutse.
Day 3 Yurutse (4170m) to Shingo (4130m)
Today we climb to the Ganda La pass at 4968 m. It is a bit strenuous because of the altitude but you will rewarded when reaching the pass with a stunning view of the Zanskar range.
We go down via the next valley that leads to the Markha valley. We stop for the night in a hamlet called Shingo where we stay in a homestay. Total hiking today : about 5 hours.
Day 4 Shingo (4130m) to Chilling (3210m)
On this last day of the trek we go down to the village of Skiu first.
Then we continue hiking up to Chilling. Hiking time : about 4 or 5 hours. You can make it shorter by taking a vehicle at Skiu or Kaya accessible by a small road.

Other treks in Ladakh

A journey into the Zanskar

Explore a mythical mountain range via an alternate route

Max alt
5000 m
Read More
Changthang trek

Trek the Changthang

Meet the Drukpa nomads in the little Tibet

Max alt
5000 m
Read More

Recognition of Himalayan Ecotourism

Himalayan Ecotourism Awards

Our awards

Himalayan Ecotourism is the winner of the To Do award 2022 in the field of "Socially Responsible Tourism".
We are also the Overall Winner of the Indian Responsible Tourism Award 2019 and the Gold winner in the Best Adventure Operator category.
We have been declared winner of the Sustainable Tourism Award 2019 by Skal International and Biosphere.
Our cooperative-based model of social enterprise and our efforts to conserve the Himalayas are the main reasons for winning these awards.
Thank you to all our cooperative members, our customers, our friends and well-wishers !