Kibber Trek – 18 days
Day 01. Leh Exploration: Spituk, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace
Today, we'll embark on a full-day tour of Leh and its surroundings, starting with a visit to the Spituk monastery, located on a hilltop just outside of Leh. Marvel at the intricate architecture and stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
Next, we'll make our way to the iconic Shanti Stupa, built in 1991 to promote world peace and prosperity. Take in the serene surroundings and breathtaking views of Leh from this hilltop monument.
We'll then head to Leh Palace, a nine-storey royal palace that was once home to the royal family of Ladakh. Explore the palace's rich history and admire the traditional architecture.
To ensure we acclimatize properly to the high altitude, the level of activity for the day has been kept low.
Overnight at a hotel in Leh.
Day 02. Stok Palace and Matho Monastery Tour
After breakfast, we'll drive to the charming village of Stok, located just 10 km south of Leh. Visit the Stok Palace, built in 1825 and home to the royal family until they were deposed by the Dogra forces. The palace museum houses an impressive collection of royal Thankas, crowns, dresses, coins, and precious stones.
From Stok, we'll drive to the Matho village to visit the Matho Monastery, the only monastery of Saskyapa order of Tibetan Buddhism in Ladakh. Built on a hilltop, the monastery offers breathtaking views of the Indus valley. If you're lucky enough to visit on the 15th day of the 1st month of the Tibetan calendar, you'll witness the appearance of two oracles during the two-day monastic festival.
The festival attracts visitors from all over Ladakh and beyond, who come to seek blessings from the oracles.
After the visit, we'll return to Leh for a relaxing evening.
Overnight at a hotel in Leh.
Day 03. Explore Thiksey, Hemis, and Rumtse
On Day 3, you will embark on an 80 km car journey on the Leh-Manali Highway to reach the beautiful village of Rumtse. During the journey, you will stop at the famous Thiksay monastery, which is the oldest monastery of Gelukpa Sect of Mahayana Buddhism in Ladakh. Marvel at the stunning fresco paintings and the big statue of Matriya Buddha (Future Buddha) inside the monastery.
Next, you will visit the Hemis monastery, the biggest monastery in Ladakh, built in the 16th century. Explore the sacred shrines, statues of Boddhisattvas, and other remarkable artefacts within the monastery. You will then continue your journey towards the east, making a stop at the remote villages of Gya and Meru, before finally reaching Rumtse village. You will have lunch at Upshi and enjoy the scenic Leh-Manali highway throughout the journey.
Spend the night at a camp in Rumtse village, located at an altitude of 4160m.
Day 04. Trek from Rumtse to Chorten Sumdo
After breakfast, you will start your first day of trekking, which will take you through a beautiful color gorge. You will cross the first river and continue walking along the riverside. After crossing the river again towards the right side, you will continue your walk along the left of the valley. The trail is easy and will take you to Sumda Chenmo, a beautiful camping site surrounded by greenery and home to several marmots.
You will spend the night at a camp located at an altitude of 4520m. The trekking duration is approximately 4 ½ hours.
Day 05. Trek from Chorten Sumdo to Titsaling via Kyamari-la (5180m) and Mandalchan-la (5170m) (6 hours)
Rise and shine early for an exciting day of trekking! After an hour of easy walking, we'll ascend towards Kyamari La (5180m). From the top of the pass, prepare to be awed by the stunning view of the Kangyatse Snow covered peak (6400m) and the Indus valley chain. Next, we'll take the right-hand side and descend towards the summer camp, followed by an easy ascent to the Mandalchan-la pass (5170m). From this top, you'll have a fantastic view of the Defferent Mountain with picturesque white peaks. Finally, we'll descend to our campsite for a well-deserved rest.
Overnight at camp (4950m).
Day 06. Trek from Titsaling to Pangunagu/Tsokar Lake via Shingbuk-la (5230m) (6 hours)
Today, we'll cross just one pass, but it promises to be a memorable experience. After breakfast, we'll begin our ascent towards the Shingbuk-la pass (5230m). From the top, prepare to be dazzled by the panoramic view of Tsokar Lake, surrounding mountains, and the Rupshu valley. At the end of the valley, you'll spot the wild Ass (Skyang), turn right, and ascend for 20 minutes to take in the full view of Tsokar Lake and the winter camp of nomad people of Changthang.
We'll spend the night at our campsite (4590m) near Tsokar Lake, which is also known as the "White Lake" due to the salt deposited around it. In ancient times, the salt from the lake was harvested and sold all over Ladakh and Kashmir by the local nomads known as the Changpas. Tsokar Lake is also a breeding ground for a variety of birds, including the bar-headed goose, the great crested grebe, the brahmin duck, and the brown-headed gull.
Day 07. Trek from Pangunagu to Nuruchan (5.5 hours)
Get ready for an easy trek along the lake's right side. On the way, you'll spot many birds and Wild Ass (Skyang) of Ladakh and the Tibetan plateau. After leaving the lake behind, we'll turn towards the right and enter the Nuruchan village, which boasts a beautiful camping site near the stream.
Overnight at camp (4660m).
Day 08: Trek from Nuruchan to Horlam-la (4900m) to Rachungkaru (4.5 Hours)
Today, you will be crossing the small pass of Horlam-la (4900m). This ascent is quite easy and takes around 50 minutes. After crossing the pass, you will reach Rachungkaru, where you will find a nomadic camp of Tibetan refugees. In Rajungkaru, you will have the opportunity to interact with nomads and witness their lifestyle. This area is home to plenty of yaks, sheep, and Pashmina goats. You will spend the night at the camp located at an altitude of 4900m.
Day 09: Trek from Rachungkaru to Kyamayuri-la (5430m) to Kartse-la (5380m) to Gyama (6 hrs)
From the camp, you will walk through the nomadic area and begin a stick ascent to Kyamayuri-la (5300m). This ascent is easy and takes just over an hour to reach the top of the pass. From the pass, you will be able to see a splendid landscape of the Tsokar Korzok area. The descent from the pass is easy and will take you to the summer pasture of the Tibetan refugee camp, called Gyama Burma. On the right side of the camp, you will find another small pass called Kartse-la (5000m), which you will cross before making an easy descent to arrive at Gyama, another nomadic campsite. You will spend the night at this beautiful camping site, located at an altitude of 5180m.
Day 10: Trek from Gyama to Yarlung Nyau-la (5440m) to Korzok (7 Hrs)
After breakfast, you will continue your trek towards Korzok. Today, you will have one pass to cross. The ascent from the camping site to the top of the Yarlung Nyaula pass (5440m) is very easy. You will continue along the small stream towards northeast in the valley, which will take around one and a half hours to reach the top. You will then make a steep descent and arrive at Korzok Phu, another nomadic camp. From here, you still have more than 30 minutes of trekking to reach Korzok, passing the Korzok phu and continuing along the small river up to Korzok with Tsomoriri Lake. Once you arrive at the camp, you will have the afternoon to visit Korzok Monastery or enjoy a short hike around the lake. You will spend the night at the campsite located at an altitude of 4620m.
Tsomoriri Lake, located in the Changthang (northern plains) area, is a high altitude lake with an altitude of 4620m. It is the largest of the high altitude lakes in the Trans-Himalayan biogeographic region, entirely within India. The lake is 23 km long and 4 to 5 km wide, hemmed between Ladakh in the North, Tibet in the east, and Zanskar in the west. The Changthang plateau, with snow peaks that provide the source of water for the lake, is the geographical setting. Accessibility to the lake is limited to the summer season only. The lake is also a breeding ground for a variety of birds, including the bar-headed goose, the great crested grebe, the Brahmin duck, and the brown-headed gull.
Day 11: Karzok - Kiangdam (6 hours)
Today, we will trek alongside the stunning Tsomoriri Lake until we reach Kyangdam. Along the way, keep an eye out for rare bird species such as black naked crane, Brahmin duck, and many other migrant birds. As you capture the breathtaking beauty of the changing colors of the lake, enjoy an easy trek across the vast plateau. We will set up camp near the lake, surrounded by lush meadows. Overnight at camp (4550m).
Day 12: Trek Kiangdam - Nurbo Sumdo (6-7 hours)
After breakfast, we will depart from the campsite and continue our gentle trek across the vast plateau, leaving behind the magnificent lake. Today, we will spot some wild animals such as Skyang (Wild ass) and pass by Tibetan nomad’s camps settled across the beautiful meadows near a beautiful spring. We will set up camp across the meadows, where clean water is available. Overnight at camp (4490m).
Day 13: Trek Nurbo Sumdo - Umlung (6 hours)
After breakfast, we will start the day with an easy and smooth trek across the plateau and then enter into a splendid gorge. We will cross the Parang River, which marks the frontier between Lahoul-Spiti and Ladakh regions. From this point on, we will be in Lahou-Spiti region, which is often considered the forgotten sister of Ladakh. As we enjoy the spectacular and enchanting view of the landscape, we will continue our easy and gentle trek along the downstream Parang River until we reach the campsite across the meadows. Overnight at camp near Parang River (4540m).
Day 14: Trek Umlung - Dakpo Phirtse (7 hours)
Today, we will cross several rivers along the same gorge with gradual ascending. As we trek, the landscape will change, and we will enter another region of the Himalayas. We will have a better chance of spotting Himalayan mountain eagles and as many marmots as possible. We will set up camp on the riverside across the meadows, surrounded by stunning views of the mountains. Overnight at camp (5050m).
Day 15. Trek Dakpo Phirtse – Parangla (5580m) – Jukstok (6 hrs)
On day 15, you'll embark on a thrilling adventure as you cross the Parang La pass, standing tall at 5580m.
Starting from your campsite, you'll make a gradual ascent for an hour before walking on the glacier. While traversing, make sure to keep an eye out for crevasses.
Once you reach the top, take a moment to absorb the breathtaking views of the Spiti valley and the towering mountains that surround it.
After crossing the pass, you'll embark on a gentle steep descent for an hour until you reach a campsite nestled amidst lush greenery.
You'll spend the night here, next to a small spring water source, surrounded by the picturesque landscape.
Day 16. Trek Jukstok – Thalta – Kiber (6 hrs)
Day 16's trek is comparably easy, giving you a chance to catch your breath and enjoy the scenery.
After breakfast, start the trek with a gentle descent along the awe-inspiring landscape until you reach a Small River. From here, follow the river for two hours, then enter another enchanting valley and ascend towards the campsite.
You'll camp near a spring water source, situated at an altitude of 4250m.
Day 17. Drive Kiber – kie – Losar (130 kms / 5-6hrs)
On day 17, you'll start the morning with a short and easy trek, making a gradual ascent for an hour before descending towards a river.
After crossing the river, you'll gradually ascend towards the charming Kibber village. The village is located in a narrow valley surrounded by spectacular mountains, and it's considered to be one of the highest motor-able villages in the world.
After finishing the trek, you'll visit the Kie Gompa monastery founded by Bromstan in the 11th century, situated on a hilltop with a splendid view of the enchanting landscape.
Then you'll drive to Losar, the first inhabited village in the Spiti Valley, located at an altitude of 4085m on the way to the main town of Kaza.
You'll spend the night at a hotel in Losar.
Day 18. Drive Losar – Manali (152 kms / 8 hrs)
On the final day, after breakfast, you'll drive to Manali, a journey of 152 kms that takes approximately 8 hours. During the drive, you'll witness the spectacular and splendid views of the enchanting valleys and landscapes that surround you.
You'll spend the night at a hotel in Manali, reminiscing about the incredible journey that you've undertaken.