Ju-Leh Adventure logo
Chadar trek on frozen Zanskar river, winter in Ladakh, monks and snow
Chadar trek on frozen Zanskar river, winter in Ladakh

Winter Chadar trek on the frozen Zanskar river

Duration: 9 days
Difficulty: level 3
Distance: 54 km

Chadar trek is a very unique winter trek and it is perfect for adventure seekers. The river of Zanskar transforms into a thick white blanket of ice which enables people to walk on the frozen water, following a path which is inaccessible in summer. Walking on the frozen river is the only way for the people of Zankar to access rest of Ladakh during winter when the roads are closed because of heavy snow on the passes.

The trek can usually be done from January until the end of February, when the temperature drops down to -25 to -35 degrees. The trek follows the river gorge through dramatic landscape and you might catch sight of wildlife on the trail. Be prepared to stay in caves, villages and camps.

Chadar trek map


Day 1: Leh - Chilling - Zari Bago

Time: 3-5 hrs
Distance: 9.8 km

-drive to Chilling, stop at the Indus-Zanskar rivers confluence on the way
-cross Zanskar river to reach Tilat Do, a small settlement that marks the beginning of the Chadar trek
-walk to Zari Bago

Day 2: Zari Bago - Dib Yokma

Time: 4-6 hrs
Distance: 16.2 km

-the trail goes through narrow gorges where you might need to scramble up the steep rocky bank
-there are beautiful frozen waterfalls on the way

Day 3: Dib Yokma - Nyerak Pulu

Time: 4-5 hrs
Distance: 13.4 km

-walk through deep ravines where many caves can be seen
-reach Nyerak and its fantastic frozen waterfall, the largest in Zanskar

Day 4: Nyerak Pulu - Lingshed

Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance: 15.0 km

-walk on the ice for 1-2 hours and then there is a 5-hour steep hike up to Lingshed village
-homestay in Lingshed

Day 5: Lingshed

-full day in Lingshed
-visit the beautiful monastery of Lingshed. Belonging to the Gelugpa order, it is home to more than 60 monks
-walk around the charming isolated village of Lingshed and discover the life of the local people during the cold winter months

Day 6: Lingshed - Nyerak Pulu

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 15.0 km

-walk back to Nyerak Pulu

Day 7: Nyerak Pulu - Dib Yokma

Time: 4-6 hrs
Distance: 13.4 km

-follow the same trail to reach Dib Yokma

Day 8: Dib Yokma - Zari Bago

Time: 4-6 hrs
Distance: 16.2 km

-walk to Zari Bago

Day 9: Zari Bago - Chilling - Leh

Time: 3-5 hrs
Distance: 9.8 km

-walk back to Chilling and drive to Leh

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