Lamayuru to Hemis Trek – 12 days
Start your adventure early in the morning by taking a taxi from Leh towards Lamayuru, passing through the Sham Valley along the Indus River.
Upon arrival at Lamayuru Monastery, pack your backpacks and follow a stream towards the Prinkti La Pass, passing through the scenic Shila village and finally reaching Wanla campsite.
Spend the afternoon exploring the monastery or soaking up the sun in the beautiful surroundings.
Embark on a dusty road and ascend to Phenjilla village, situated at a height of around 3,400 meters. From there, make your way to Ursi village, scattered across the landscape.
Follow a narrow gorge to the Rangthak flourmill, located at the far end of the village, before trekking through Hinju village at a height of approximately 3,700 meters.
Finally, arrive at the campsite, located a couple of kilometers away, amidst the encampment of yak herders.
After a restful night's sleep, ascend the ridge beneath the 4,900-meter-high Kongskil La, where you may be lucky enough to spot some local wildlife.
Climb gradually to reach Kongskil La, surrounded by the stunning Stok and Karakoram ranges, before descending on a steep and challenging trail.
Take the left side of the valley to discover a special hut for yak herders and the scattered Sumda Chenmo villagers across the valley.
On the fourth day, take a short walk and cross several streams before arriving at Sumda Chenmo village.
From there, head towards the left side of the valley for breathtaking views of the lush green landscape around the village.
Continue on the trail through wild rose bushes before reaching the next stream crossing, which originates from the snow-covered peaks of Photoksar, standing at a height of around 5,600 meters.
Take in the abundant flora and fauna, including the rare Edelweiss, and enjoy the spectacular view of Konskila from the campsite.
Begin the day with a simple climb to Dugndung Chan La, situated at around 4,800 meters above sea level.
Marvel at the stunning views of the eastern Stok Range and southern Zanskar Range before descending down a ridge towards the valley that leads to Chilling village.
Chilling village is renowned throughout Ladakh for its exceptional metalwork, including copper, silver, tin, iron, and bronze.
Explore the village and immerse yourself in the local culture before spending the night in this fascinating destination.
After breakfast in Chilling, you'll embark on a two-hour climb to Skiu. On the way, enjoy magnificent views of the Stok and Zanskar mountains. You'll also have a chance to cross the Zanskar river on a trolley, an experience that you'll cherish for a lifetime. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including Marmots and Blue sheep that roam around in the hills. Once you reach the Skiu camp, you can take a hike through a breathtaking gorge before resting.
On day 8, follow the Markha River and venture into the beautiful valley that passes through a reasonably plain path. The trek crosses the river at multiple points and passes through the winter settlements of Lhatos and Mani walls. During the season, several tent teahouses offer warm refreshments. Once you cross the river for the last time, you'll eventually reach Markha, the largest village in the valley. It's home to two dozen houses, an ancient monastery, and a fort in ruins.
Day 9 of your trek takes you past ancient stone mills, the famous Techa monastery, and a broken-down castle. The monastery is built on top of a high cliff that hovers above the valley and is worth a visit if you have enough energy left. Your trail intersects with the river many times before you pass through the last few villages. Once you leave Umlung village, you'll get a view of the 6,400-meter-high Kang Yatse, which you can keep admiring until you reach Kongmaru La. Lunch will be offered in the Hangkar village before entering the lush green meadows of Thachungste to set up camp.
On the 10th day of your trek, you will experience the magnificent Nimaling plateau. This plateau is used for grazing purposes by the locals in the summer months. Located at a height of 4,700 meters, it is the highest campsite on this trek. The breathtaking views of the Zangskar Range, the Kang Katse, and the Markha Valley will leave you awe-inspired.
After a delicious breakfast, you will make your way through Kongmaru La, which is the highest peak of your trek. From the top, you will be treated to stunning views of the valleys and mountains around you. The descent, which takes approximately two hours, is steep but eventually leads to a relatively flat path as you pass through the Shang Gorge with its impressive rock formations. You will cross the river several times before reaching Chuskurmo spring, which is renowned for its sour taste and is used in traditional medicine. Take a break here before continuing on to Shang Sumdo, passing through several villages along the way.
On the final day of your trek, you will embark on a leisurely two-hour trek along the jeep road to Martselang. There, a jeep will pick you up and take you back to Leh. While in Leh, make sure to visit some of Ladakh's most popular monasteries, including Thikse, Shey, and Hemis. You'll feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction after completing this unforgettable adventure.