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Rumbak valley from Stok La, Ladakh
Ganda La pass, Markha valley trek, Ladakh

Markha valley trek from Spituk

Duration: 8 days
Difficulty: level 3
Distance: 113 km
Max elevation: 5260m
Elevation gain / loss: +4264m / -3774m

The Markha valley trek is one of the most diverse treks in Ladakh. The high altitude passes offer beautiful views of the surrounding snowcapped mountains. There are numerous villages along this remote valley overlooking green oases in the immense arid landscape. Staying in homestay gives an excellent opportunity to discover the everyday life of the villagers and their unique Buddhist culture. The Markha valley is part of the Hemis National Park so there is a high chance of spotting wild animals.

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

Markha Valley trek from Spituk map Markha Valley trek from Spituk elevation profile, altitude gain loss
Markha Valley trek from Spituk, Ladakh


Day 1: Spituk - Zingchen

Time: 5 hrs
Distance: 15.7 km
Elevation gain / loss: +375m / -161m

- visit Spituk gompa before starting the trek
- follow the south bank of the Indus river until it enters the gorge leading to Zingchen
- possibility to drive from Spituk to Zingchen by jeep
Spituk - Zingchen

Day 2: Zingchen - Yurutse

Time: 4-5 hrs
Distance: 8.2 km
Elevation gain / loss: +763m / -17m

- the trail continues further through the narrow gorge until it reaches the valley leading to the small village of Yurutse
- homestay possibility in Yurutse
Zingchen - Yurutse

Day 3: Yurutse - Ganda La - Skiu

Time: 6-8 hrs
Distance: 17.8 km
Elevation gain / loss: +813m / -1595m

- a long day to cross the Ganda La and reach Skiu village in the Markha valley. On the way you will see marmots, Himalayan hares, pikas, eagles...
- beautiful panoramic view of the Zanskar and Stok ranges from the pass
- homestay possibility in Skiu
Yurutse - Ganda La - Skiu

Day 4: Skiu - Markha

Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance: 21.2 km
Elevation gain / loss: +451m / -57m

- it's a pleasant walk through small villages while following the river to reach Markha
- Markha has around 20 families and it is the largest village in the valley
- take your time visiting the gompa and the ruins of an ancient fort above the village
- to enjoy village life, you can stay in homestay
Skiu - Markha

Day 5: Markha - Hankar

Time: 4-5 hrs
Distance: 11.2 km
Elevation gain / loss: +305m / -35m

- follow the trail along the river
- on the way, you can visit Techa gompa, perched on top of a cliff
- homestay can be arranged in Hankar
Markha - Hankar

Day 6: Hankar - Nimaling

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 10.7 km
Elevation gain / loss: +836m / -25m

- follow the trail that leads you to the plateau of Nimaling, where people bring their animals for grazing from June to September
- you can hike to the base of the Kang Yatse glacier in a few hours from Nimaling
Hankar - Nimaling

Day 7: Nimaling - Kongmaru La - Shang Sumdo

Time: 6-8 hrs
Distance: 17.0 km
Elevation gain / loss: +439m / -1601m

- climb the Kongmaru La, the highest pass of the trek. You will have a great view of the Kang Yatse peaks from the top
- steep and long walk down towards the Shang gorge
- cross the river a few times before you arrive to the village
- homestay is available in Shang Sumdo
Nimaling - Kongmaru La - Shang Sumdo

Day 8: Shang Sumdo - Hemis

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

- easy walk to reach Hemis monastery, one of the most important gompas in Ladakh
- possibility to drive from Shang Sumdo or Martselang to Hemis by jeep
Shang Sumdo - Hemis

Getting to / from the trek

- it takes 20 minutes to drive from Leh to Spituk (10 km)
- it takes one hour to drive from Hemis to Leh (40 km)

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

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