Trekking is a most popular adventure among traveler who love to explore natural beauty and thrilling scenic around mountains. Thankfully, our country is loaded with world-class trekking opportunities and Himalayas being the best. That’s because only Himalayan Mountains can offer you true and enthralling trekking experience in the world. Although there are hundreds of trekking camp available in Himalayas, Markha Valley trek can really be alluring and challenging. You have a chance to reach two of the most high altitude passes in Markha Valley Trek – Gandala La 4900m and Kongmaru La 5200m.
Previously I shared the Joy of Markha Valley http://gulshanbafna.com/joy-of-markka-valley/ and here is the day to day itinerary of Markha Valley Trek:
Day 1 – Siptuk to Zingchen (3200 M)
Once you get acclimatized with such altitude at leh your journey starts after that. Day one of Markha Valley trek was really exciting which started from hotel to Spituk bridge at 10.20am towards Zingchen. Although it was an extremely sunny day we managed to reach Zingchen 15 KMS camp site by 3.30 pm. Markha Valley trek is highly popular among foreigners and they generally reach their first destination Zingchen via car to commence their trekking.
Day 2 – Zingchen to Yurutse (3900 M) via Rumbak
2nd day at 8.00 AM we started moving from Zingchen towards Yurutse, which gave us the glimpse of dancing trees and kissing breeze of nature. Yurutse Village had impressive barley and potatoes fields. En-route came Hemis National Park, which accommodates wild animals in diverse such as Snow leopard, lynx, Ladakhi Urial, Blue sheep, Red fox, Tibetan wolf, Dhole, Marmot, Mountain hare and other animals you may not find anywhere else. Before reaching Rumbak campsite 700 Mts we took a lunch break at 11.15am and walked towards Gandla base 19 KMS at 4.15pm. Second day camp site gave us a chance to view the fabulous Stok Kangri and other range of Stok.
Day 3 – Yurutse to Skiu (3100 M) via Ganda la Base
3rd day was even more thrilling as the trek route took us through steep climb started at 7.20am to get to Ganda la base 1 at 11.00am (4380 Mts). Our views extended to south Zanskar range and distant summit of great Himalayan ranges. Further came in the beautiful Shingo Village at 2.45pm and from Shingo we head towards the narrow canyon that touched Skiu at 6.00pm 20 KMS of Path 600. There is something amazing about Skiu that unite the river coming from Markha Valley and Shingo. Don’t miss the views of the mountain landscape from the Skiu monastery, which is breathtakingly beautiful.
Day 4 – Siku to Markha (3800 M)
Day 4 after breakfast trek started at 7.05am from Skiu towards Markha. It was a very pleasant trail which crossed the soothing Markha River and other numerous exciting streams. We crossed the settlements of Narding, Zara and Chalak that has parachute tents to serve us some nice refreshments. You will feel good about the chortens and mani walls coming along way. We reached Markha at 3.00pm where satellite phone facility was available to make call.
Day 5 – Markha to Thochuntse (4150 M)
5th Day we left Markha Valley at 7.30 enjoying a lazy walk while crossing the remote village and pretty easy streams. This is one amazing route where birds rule there way, so keep your eye open to capture those rare birds in your camera. We reached Harnkar at 11.00am for a break and took a short steep ascent to reach our destination Thochuntse 400 M 15 KMS at 2.30PM.
Day 6 – Thochuntse to Nimaling (4730 M)
6th Day was a shortest day in the trek yet had lot of adventure waiting for us. After breakfast from Thochuntse we started climbing at 8.30 which was simple and straight forward trail. But, we were blessed to experience the mesmerizing snow fall and strong wind that made our trek a memorable one. Ending part of this trail gave us the opportunity to view the most amazing Kangyaze peak of Ladakh. Crossing a pond we reached our destination for the day Nimaling 4730 M at 1.30PM.
Day 7 – Nimaling to Kongmaru La (5100 M)
7th Day was most exhilarating as we were above to accomplish the mission of Markha trek. Started at 7.30 towards the highest pass of the trek Kongmaru La 5100 M and reached there in less than 2 hours. Due to snow fall a day before, we had chance to view the gorgeous snow-clad mountains and also many colorful Buddhist prayer flags. Finally reached Shangsumdhoo at 6.00 by walk 22 KMS in total and came back to Leh.
There was something magical about this trek and these mountains which left an indelible impression on my mind and soul. Of course I carried a memory of lifetime but also Himalaya gave a different perspective to my life. After the trek I felt happier, humble, strong and started appreciating nature in true sense. I hope more trekking enthusiast take advantage of this lovely Markha Valley trek.