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Zanskar trek

(0 Reviews)


Number of days



Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep

Max altitude

5110 m



The (former) best trek of Zanskar, now with a road on some stretches

Zanskar is where the word “trekking” carries all its meaning. Long hiking days, loneliness, amazing landscapes, and also unforgetable encounters with the local community, exceptional fauna and flora, and everything else that is expected while trekking the Himalayas : Glaciers, high peaks, raging rivers, canyons and so on.

You will cross 8 passes during the trek and will have to cross many wild rivers in the bottom of the valleys. You will surely meet herds of yaks, these mythical animals who share their lives with the locals.

Your guide will help you identifying the flora and surely observe some wild mammals like the Ibex, the Blue Sheep, the Tibetan Wild Ass, and perhaps some endangered species like the Snow Leopard.

Please note that several parts of this trek itinerary is now connected with a road. Ask us advise on which parts can still be done on foot without the disturbance of the road.

You can also check our other treks in Zanskar, we have some awesome new treks !

trek features icon

Zanskar trek features

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.


Day-min : 11 0
Day-max : 12 0
Average walking time : 5 hrs 0


Min : 3400 m 0
Max : 5110 m 0
Ascent : 7200 m 0
Descent :7600 m 0


Stamina : 75 % 0
Technical : 65 % 0
Overall : 70 % 0
trek maps icon

Zanskar trek map

Zanskar trek map


A riverside trek that takes you up to the feet of the highest peak of the Great Himalayan National Park.The trek starts from an unusual village : Kanji. This is to avoid the more classic start of the Zanskar trek which suffers now from new road constructions. This involve to go through a quite challenging pass, the Nyugutse La. Then, we reach again the classic itinerary, visiting some of the most beautiful villages of Ladakh : Photoksar, Lingshed and Hanumil. Please note that a road connects now the Spangtang campsite to Lingshed

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Zanskar trek, best time to go

Best time to trek in Zanskar is from May to September.
You can also consider January and February for the famous Chadar trek on the frozen Zanskar river or for observation of the Snow Leopard.










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Best time to go


Best time to go


Best time to go


Best time to go


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Day One : From Leh to Kanji

  No walk

   under tents or in a homestay
Our taxi takes you in the morning from your hotel or guesthouse. We drive towards Lamayuru. On the way we can visit the monasteries of Likir and Alchi. After crossing Lamayuru we turn left into the Kong valley where lies Kanji. We reach our today destination after crossing an impressive gorge. Night under tent or in a homestay.

Day Two : Kanji to Shilakong

    4 to 5 hours

    +880m / -600m

    under tents
The trek starts ! We will follow the river flowing from the Yokma La. The Zanskar atmosphere moves you from the beginning. Be happy, for this first day of trek you will cross the first pass. Yokma La (4700 m) offers a great view of the Zanskar range. After the pass we have a steep descent to the meadows of Shilakong where we have our second night (camping).

Day Three : Shilakong to Spangtang Chen

    6 hours

 +900m / -450m

    under tents
A quite strenuous day today ! The Nyugutse La (5000m) is not known from most of the trekkers because it is not an usual route. The way to the pass is a direct climb through the full gradient of the slope which is quite steep on the last stretch. After the pass we have a soft descent going through amazing mountain formations rich in red color. Arrival and camp at Spangtang Chen.

Day Four : Spangtang Chen to Photoksar

  4 to 5 hours

 +400m / -650m

   in a homestay
The day starts with a short descent to the river Yapo La where we meet the new road (that looks more like a passable track) coming from Wangla. Then we have again a relatively steep climb towards the Sirsir La at 4800 m. After the pass, we have a comfortable descent to the awesome village of Photoksar. Enjoy the village life in this unique environment. The sunsets at Photoksar are just stunning. Night under in a homestay.

Day Five : Photoksar to Singge La Base Camp

  4 to 5 hours

 +450m / -130m

 under tents
We start with the small pass Boumitse La (4400m) that we reach in 90 minutes. The crossing of the pass is followed by a gentle descent which leads us to the river coming from the Singge La pass. We follow the river up to the base camp at about 4570m. Camp.

Day six : Singge La Base to Skyumpata

    6 hours

  +850m / -1050m

 under tents
We continue climbing to the Singge La (4973m), the pass of the Lion, on a gentle slope. The pass offers us again a memorable time with its amazing view of the surrounding peaks. The flowery grasses add even more colors to the colorful stratum of the Zanskar. Then we go down to the village Skyumpata (also called Gongma). Night under tent.

Day seven : Skyumpata to Lingshed

    6 hours

+810m / -930m

  in a homestay
We start the day with a climb to Margum La (4420 m). Then we go down to the village of Lingshed and its monastery(gompa). After the visit of the monastery, we meet our hosts at the homestay. Enjoy again the warmth of the villagers who live in such harsh mountain conditions. Night at the homestay.

Day eight : Lingshed to Hanuma La

4 hours

 +560m / -340m

  under tents
Today, no more roads, we need to reach the campsite (4017 m) located just below the Hanuma La that we will cross on the next day. We leave the Lingshed village in the morning. It starts with a short climb followed by the crossing of a small valley. Descent to the camp. Night under tent.

Day nine : Hanuma La (4750 m) to Snertse (3740 m)

5-6 hours

+840m / -1180m

  under tents
A longer day today, so we start early. There is a steady climb to reach Hanuma La (4750 m). Stunning view from the pass. We descent via a valley that becomes a gorge until we reach the hamlet of Snertse. Night under tent.

Day ten : Snertse to Hanumil (3500 m) via Parfi La (3970 m)

   5 hours

 +730m / -845m

  under tents
Shortly after Snertse, there is an amazing view of the Parfi pass and the entire valley of the Oma Chu that flows into the Zanskar river. Going down to the river and crossing it on a locally made bridge. We have a steep climb to the pass. Be alert, you have good chances to spot wildlife on this stretch. We descent to the village Hanumil where we spend the night. Night under tent.

Day eleven : Hanumil (3500 m) to Padum (3540 m)

   5 hours

   +540m / -480m

 in a guesthouse
On the last day of the trek we will follow the Zanskar river up to Padum. On the way you will enjoy many awesome rock formations and you will see the life of the locals when crossing their tiny villages. Their traditional agriculture is the same since centuries. We stop walking at the village Pidmo from where we will continue to Padum in a taxi. Night in a guesthouse.

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