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Young monk, Zanskar, Ladakh
Stongde monastery, Zanskar, Ladakh

Zanskar trek from Stongde to Phuktal

Duration: 5 days
Difficulty: level 3
Distance: 87 km
Max elevation: 5140m
Elevation gain / loss: +2534m / -2327m

This trek takes you off the beaten track to remote parts of Zanskar. After crossing the Stongde La, you will reach Shade, one of the most isolated villages of Zanskar. Then, you will follow the Tsarap river to the spectacular Phuktal monastery which is located at the mouth of a huge cave.

Zanskar trek Stongde to Phuktal map Zanskar trek from Stongde to Phuktal elevation profile, altitude gain loss
Zanskar trek from Stongde to Phuktal in Ladakh


Day 1: Stongde - Stongde La - Junction

Time: 8-10 hrs
Distance: 17.0 km
Elevation gain / loss: +1557m / -873m

-visit the monastery of Stongde situated 300m above the valley and offering a superb view of the surrounding mountains and villages
-long walk to cross the Stongde La, the only pass of the trek, and descend to the junction near the river
Stongde - Stongde La - Junction

Day 2: Junction - Shade

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 17.0 km
Elevation gain / loss: +238m / -300m

-walk along the river until you reach an intersection where you enter the valley leading to the village of Shade
-walk around the village, one of the most remote of Zanskar
Junction - Shade

Day 3: Shade - Phuktal

Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance: 21.3 km
Elevation gain / loss: +104m / -392m

-walk down to the main valley and continue to Tantak village
-follow the trail to Phuktal monastery, the gompa is spectacularly located at the mouth of a huge cave high up in the vertical mountainside
-meet the resident monks and spend time visiting around the monastery
Shade - Phuktal

Day 4: Phuktal - Changpa Tsetan

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 15.6 km
Elevation gain / loss: +280m / -383m

-walk through the villages of Purne, Zamdang, Kyalbok and Sule before reaching Changpa Tsetan
Phuktal - Changpa Tsetan

Day 5: Changpa Tsetan - Raru

Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance: 16.0 km
Elevation gain / loss: +355m / -379m

-follow the river until the village of Raru
Changpa Tsetan - Raru

Getting to / from the trek

-it takes 25 minutes to drive from Padum to Stongde (15 km)
-it takes 40 minutes to drive from Raru to Padum (20 km)
-Padum is 450 km from Leh and it is usually covered in two days with an overnight stay in Kargil

It is worth taking some extra time to stop and visit the highlights in the area, check the Zanskar 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.