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Trek to Tso Moriri lake, Ladakh
Woman at Tso Kar lake, Ladakh

Hemis to Tso Moriri trek (Kharnak)

Duration: 13 days
Difficulty: level 5
Distance: 198 km
Max elevation: 5435m
Elevation gain / loss: +5998m / -5124m

This trek connects the Markha valley to the highlands of Changthang region, home to the nomadic people. Enjoy stunning high-altitude landscapes and the beautiful lakes of Tso Kar and Tso Moriri. An exceptional trek, but demanding because of the crossing of numerous high passes.

If you would like to join a group, check our Fixed Departure Treks.

Hemis to Tso Moriri lake trek map Hemis to Tso Moriri lake trek elevation profile, altitude gain loss
Hemis to Tso Moriri lake trek in Ladakh


Day 1: Hemis - Martselang - Shang Sumdo

Time: 3-4 hrs
Distance: 10.7 km
Elevation gain / loss: +283m / -281m

- visit Hemis monastery, one of the most important and largest monasteries in Ladakh
- follow the trail to Martselang and Shang Sumdo
- possibility to drive from Hemis to Shang Sumdo by jeep
Hemis - Martselang - Shang Sumdo

Day 2: Shang Sumdo - Lartse

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 11.0 km
Elevation gain / loss: +914m / -0m

- walk along the river in a beautiful valley and gorge
- on the way is the village of Chogdo and ahead is Chuskurmo
- follow the trail to Lartse
Shang Sumdo - Lartse

Day 3: Lartse - Kongmaru La - Tachungtse

Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance: 11.9 km
Elevation gain / loss: +686m / -904m

- continue to move up to the Kongmaru La, the pass offers stunning views of Kang Yatse and the Karakoram peaks
- go down from the pass to Nimaling where people from Markha valley bring their herds for grazing in summer
- walk further down to Tachungtse
Lartse - Kongmaru La - Tachungtse

Day 4: Tachungtse - Yakrupal

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 15.5 km
Elevation gain / loss: +545m / -313m

- the trail follows the remote Langthang valley to Yakrupal
Tachungtse - Yakrupal

Day 5: Yakrupal - Zalung Karpo La - Khar

Time: 7-8 hrs
Distance: 19.2 km
Elevation gain / loss: +715m / -1035m

- cross the Zalung Karpo La
- from the pass, enjoy the spectacular view of Zanskar range and Changthang plateau
- the trail down is steep and you need to cross the river several times before reaching Khar
Yakrupal - Zalung Karpo La - Khar

Day 6: Khar - Dat

Time: 4-5 hrs
Distance: 13.6 km
Elevation gain / loss: +451m / -432m

- follow the trail until it widens into a valley where you reach Tangtse Sumdo
- the left trail leads to the village of Dat
Khar - Dat

Day 7: Dat - Yar La - Lungmo Che

Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance: 19.5 km
Elevation gain / loss: +635m / -325m

- follow a wide valley surrounded by rolling hills
- an easy climb takes you to the Yar La
- walk down from the pass to Lungmo Che
Dat - Yar La - Lungmo Che

Day 8: Lungmo Che - Zara

Time: 6 hrs
Distance: 20.9 km
Elevation gain / loss: +174m / -171m

- the trail leads to Yagang, the Kharnak nomads settlement
- follow the trail to Zara
Lungmo Che - Zara

Day 9: Zara - Ponganagu

Time: 5 hrs
Distance: 16.8 km
Elevation gain / loss: +53m / -22m

- the trail crosses the Manali-Leh highway
- follow the trail that leads to Ponganagu next to Tso Kar lake
- the place is known for wildlife sightings such as marmots, ibex, kiang (wild asses) and migratory birds
Zara - Ponganagu

Day 10: Ponganagu - Nuruchan

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 17.8 km
Elevation gain / loss: +173m / -145m

- start the day walking along the bank of Tso Kar lake. Tso Kar means “white lake” in Ladakhi because of the salt deposit on its shores
- walk to wild grazing land of Nuruchan
Ponganagu - Nuruchan

Day 11: Nuruchan - Kyamayuri La - Gyamar Barma

Time: 7-8 hrs
Distance: 19.3 km
Elevation gain / loss: +855m / -339m

- it's a long day today that starts with the Horlam Kongka La
- from the pass, it is an easy descent to Rajungkaru where you will come across several nomad settlements
- cross the Kyamayuri La pass before reaching the high altitude valley of Gyamar Barma
Nuruchan - Kyamayuri La - Gyamar Barma

Day 12: Gyamar Barma - Kartse La - Gyamar

Time: 3 hrs
Distance: 5.7 km
Elevation gain / loss: +213m / -251m

- cross the Kartse La and walk down to the valley of Gyamar
Gyamar Barma - Kartse La - Gyamar

Day 13: Gyamar - Yalung Nyau La - Korzok

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 16.3 km
Elevation gain / loss: +300m / -905m

- ascend gradually towards the Yalung Nyau La, the highest point on this trek offering a stunning view of Tso Moriri lake
- descend to the village of Korzok on the bank of Tso Moriri
Gyamar - Yalung Nyau La - Korzok

Getting to / from the trek

- it takes one hour to drive from Leh to Hemis (40 km)
- it takes 7 hours to drive from Korzok to Leh (215 km)

It is worth taking some extra time to stop and visit the highlights in the area, check the Tso Moriri lake and Indus valley tour for more details.

All the itineraries can be customized to suit your own special interests, preferences and abilities. Please contact us for more information.