Markha Valley Trek

The Most Beautiful Trek In India

Trek Difficulty


Trek Duration

6 Days

Highest Altitude

17,060 ft

Suitable For

12-62 years

Markha Valley Trek

Placed in the magnificent landscape, Markha Valley Trek is the finest ever trek of Ladakh. Set in the picturesque river valley called Markha, this trek gives you the best feel of the mighty Himalayas in its 7-day duration. The trek goes over the majestic cold, arid deserts of Markha which is part of the famous Hemis National Prak. 

The trek is a bundle of high-altitude passes, river crossings, rocky canyons, and vast wildlife. While on this trek you get a magnificent view of Mt Kang Yatse on the third day of the trek. This near pyramid peak has an altitude of 21300 ft. It also goes to the high mountain pass of Kongmaru La which has an altitude of 17060ft. 

You will get a lifetime view from this pass of the wide range of the Indus Valley and Ladakh mountain ranges. 

Markha Valley Trek India is a grand trek of Ladakh and Kashmir region. You get an amazing view on the trail amid barren mountains for which Ladakh is famous. The trek exposes you to the villages of Markha Valley. 

The modest mud houses are set on the beautiful trail of this trek. There are local houses and traditional Buddhist religious motifs that you will see on and off during this trek. The culture and architecture of the valley will mesmerize you. 

The best part of this trek which is quite different from other treks is the stay in homes. On this trek, you can lodge in one of the local houses. This makes the Markha valley one of the rare tea-house treks in the Indian Himalayas. 

Trek Fee

Original price was: ₹25,000.00.Current price is: ₹18,000.00.

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    What are the Highlights of the Trek?

    Fixed Departure

    Date Status
    06 Jul - 13 Jul 2024   Full
    07 Jul - 14 Jul 2024   Full
    13 Jul - 20 Jul 2024   Full
    14 Jul - 21 Jul 2024   Full
    19 Jul - 26 Jul 2024   Full
    22 Jul - 29 Jul 2024   Full
    27 Jul - 03 Aug 2024   Full
    28 Jul - 04 Aug 2024   Full
    02 Aug - 09 Aug 2024   Full
    03 Aug - 10 Aug 2024   Full
    10 Aug - 17 Aug 2024   Full
    12 Aug - 19 Aug 2024   Full
    16 Aug - 23 Aug 2024   Full
    19 Aug - 26 Aug 2024   Full
    23 Aug - 30 Aug 2024   Full
    26 Aug - 02 Sep 2024   Full
    30 Aug - 06 Sep 2024   Open
    01 Sep - 08 Sep 2024   Full

    Markha Valley Trek – A Detailed Itinerary

    • Altitude: 11,560 ft – 10,490 ft – 11,160 ft
    • Distance: 60 km drive, 7 km trek
    • Duration: 2 hours drive, 2-3 hours trek

    This is the first day of the trek. The day starts with a drive from Leh for about 2 hours until you reach Chilling. Chilling is the base of the trek. Gear yourself in the trekking wear and start your trek. The Cliffhangers trek leader will brief you for the day and give you the overall trek details. The Trek leader will give you dos and don’ts of the trek and will explain in detail about the trail. 

    You will have a short walk over the road and a trolley bridge. The trail takes a right turn and you will have the proper trail. It is a steep ascent. However, the steepness is for a short distance and then the trail opens out and flattens. This day is a flat walk above the Markha River until you reach Skiu. 

    The gradient of the day is easy. The distance of the 7km trek is a flat and easy one. You will be passing the beautiful village of Kaya where you can stop for a break and refreshments. From Kaya, 3km ahead is your night stay in Skiu. The homestays in this village are decent and quite a relief in the middle of the rocky landscape. 

    • Altitude: 11,150 ft – 12,370 ft
    • Distance: 20 km 
    • Duration: 7 hours 

    Today the trek starts along the river. This is a beautiful walk along the gushing stream. The trail as it diverges from the river exposes you to the rough and non-definite trail. You will have to maneuver the trail quite carefully as some portion of the trail is washed away. You will reach after this portion a valley called Sara. It is also a beautiful camping location. However, this is not our campsite. 

    We will have to walk further until we reach Chalak. It takes around 6 hours to reach Chalak from Skiu. The trail gets a bit challenging as it gradually takes an ascent. Just a few kilometers ahead you will enter Markha Valley. The Markha Valley has deep river crossings. You will have to take off your shoes or be in shorts to ford the stream. Shortly after this fording, you will reach the Markha village which is our night stay. 

    • Altitude: 12,370 ft – 13,000 ft
    • Distance: 11 km 
    • Duration: 5 hours 

    The gradient of the day is easy. This day is very rewarding as you go to the upper reaches of Markha Valley. The valley starts to open up as you trek for some time. You get to see the magnificent view of Kang Yatse today. This peak is the major attraction of the day. 

    The trail runs parallel today to the river stream. You will be crossing the Markha River twice on your trail. Shortly you will reach Umlung. It’s a bit away from Umlung when you behold the eternal Mt. Kang Yatse. Once you have crossed Umlung and got the view of the peak, a trek of around an hour will take you to the village of Hankar. This is a gorgeous village with mud houses and homestays to spend the night at. 

    • Altitude: 13,100 ft – 15,400 ft
    • Distance: 10 km 
    • Duration: 6 hours 

    The gradient of the day is moderate. You will be trekking mostly on the flat trail with a beautiful landscape surrounding you. 

    From Hankar, start trekking after your breakfast. The trail starts with a steep ascent and then reaches the Thochuntse campsite. Here you will find beautiful treehouse tents. A short-distance trek will take you to the base camp of Kang Yatse. The trail gains steepness and you will have to trek in steep ascent for around 70 minutes and then the ascent turns gradual. 

    The gradual ascent gives a perfect stop for rest as you will reach a river pond that has Kang Yatse in its background. From here you will have to gradually descend to reach Nimaling. Nimaling has a contrasting landscape to what you have seen so far. There is greenery and it is a grazing area of Ladakh. This is the campsite for the night. 

    • Altitude: 15,400 ft – 17,060 ft – 12,810 ft
    • Distance: 12 km 
    • Duration: 6 hours 

    The gradient of the day is difficult. This is the day you will be ascending the steep Kongmaru La and then have a long descent down to Chokdo. Brace yourself in the morning and be prepared for the tough trek day. 

    The day starts with a river crossing and trekking towards Kongmaru La pass. The trail of the day is definite and it takes around 2.5 hours of moderate-paced walking to reach the top of the pass. But reaching the pass is rewarding. Once you are at the pass, you will get a fantastic panoramic view of the Indus and Ladakh ranges.

    It is essential to take some rest here at the top. From the top will start a long tiring descent. The descent is very sharp and steep with the trail going over rocky terrain which is quite heavy on your legs, particularly on your knees and ankles. It is suggested to carry your kneecaps with you. The trail is over canyons. This long descent will end in Chokdo where you will take a sigh of relief. 

    Chokdo is a small village for your night’s stay. The best thing is you will have your phone network here. 

    • Altitude: 12,810 ft – 12,140 ft – 11,560 ft
    • Distance: 5 km trek, 50 km drive
    • Duration: 2 hours trek, 2 hours drive

    This is the last day of the trek and the gradient of the day is easy. The day has a short trek day of around 5km only. The walk is along the river and is a flat walk. You will reach Shang Sundo in about 1.5 hours. From Sumdo take a cab to Leh. This finishes your eternally beautiful Markha Trek. 

    What are the Inclusions & Exclusions


    • All veg meals during the trek. Breakfast, lunch, evening snacks, dinner.
    • Camp accommodation on all nights in high-quality tents on a twin-sharing basis. Sleeping bags, sleeping mattresses, dining tents, and cutlery are included. 
    • Helpers to pitch the tents, wash the dishes, serve the food, and assist while on the camp.
    • Mountaineering qualified and experienced trek leaders, guides, and experienced cooks. 
    • All the necessary mountain medicine includes first aid, oxygen cylinder, etc. 
    • Passes and Permits.


    • Lunch on the first day. 
    • Personal expenses.
    • Anything not specifically mentioned in the inclusion list.
    • Offloading 
    • Transportation

    If you wish to avail of our transportation service, then the extra cost will be 4500 per person. The transportation cost is to and fro. The pickup and drop place will be Leh. 

    Offloading charges: Markha Valley Trek has mandatory offloading. The cost per bag is Rs 4000/ per bag. The maximum weight allowed is 10kg. Please note that only a proper trekking backpack will be allowed to offload. No trolly or suitcase will be allowed to offload. We strictly follow the rule of adequately placing the load on our ponies. 

    Meal plan: In every meal plan, we try to provide different varieties, trying not to repeat the dishes, particularly at dinner and lunch. Here is the list of dishes and items from which we serve the clients.

    • Breakfast: eggs, paratha, chana, poha, dalia, upma, cornflakes, bread toast, butter, jam, roti, coffee, tea, kehwa, etc.
    • Lunch and dinner: we make a variety of dishes and try to serve the varied dishes. On all trek days, there will be different dishes served. We try not to repeat our dishes unless the clients say otherwise.
    • We serve veg dishes like veg biryani, veg pulaw, muttar paneer, palak paneer, aloo gobi, rajma chawal, rajma kadhai, mix veg, chana masala, kadhi chawal, dal makhni, bhindi masala, dal fry, veg korma, Kashmiri nadru, Kashmiri haakh, aloo matar, bhaingan ka bharta, dam aloo, andaburji, etc. We have both roti and rice available for dinner and lunch. We serve them with different pickles and salad. 
    • For evening snacks we have tea, pakoda, soup, noodles, maggie, veg rolls, biscuits, etc. 
    • For dessert we serve gulab jamun, phirni, halwa, custard, sewaya, fruit chaat, fruit cake, almond cake, etc. 

    Markha Valley Trek Packages and Cost

    Markha Valley Trek’s cost is 19000/ which includes the basic trekking essentials. You will have a combination of homestays and camping on this trek. However, the complete Markha Valley Trek Package includes your transportation, offloading/porter service, and insurance as well. Cliffhangers has the complete package for this trek. From the airport to the airport, you will get the entire services along with eh sightseeing options of Ladakh.

    You can get in touch with our trek experts to give the best of the packages for this trek. We also have private customized packages for Markha Valley. From budget to premium, we have all the required services. 

    Things to Carry for the Markha Valley Trek

    Markha Valley is an offbeat trek that is situated in a far-off region. You must have to carry the essentials before you join for this trek. You won’t find much of the trekking stuff in the base camp of this trek. You either have to get these things from your place or from Leh itself. 

     Backpack: You must carry at least one backpack of 60 liters.

    Shoes: You need to have trekking shoes necessarily. The shoes must be sturdy and high-ankle. 

    Three T-shirts: Carry one full sleeve dry-fit T-shirt, and at least two other T-shirts. 

    Three insulation layers: Carry at least 3 insulation layers – 2 light fleece and one full-sleeve sweater.

    One Outer layer: You need at least one padded jacket/down jacket

    Two trek pants:  You need to carry two pairs of pants and that will be sufficient for your entire trek. 

     Trekking poles. Two trekking poles are always better than a single trekking pole.

    Raingear: A poncho is a good choice over jacket-type raingear, as the poncho covers your entire body till the knees down and you can keep your daypack bag inside it too.

    Rain cover for your backpack: Buy a good rain cover for your backpack to keep it dry and safe. It also helps to keep your backpack from wear and tear.

    Daypack: A small bag of around 20 to 30 ltrs to carry your essentials like water bottle, rainwear, headlamp, snacks, etc 

    Sunglasses: Carry one to protect your eyes from glare and UV radiation. 

    Suncap: You can either get the normal suncap or a suncap with flaps which is preferred by most trekkers and is advisable by the experts.

    Synthetic hand gloves: You can wear them during the evenings and mornings.

    Woolen cap or Balaclava: The cap covers your ears, neck, and some parts of your face.

    Three pairs of Socks: Take two pairs of sports socks and one pair of woolen socks. 

    Headlamp: You might want to go to the loo during the night, or just sit and relax outside the camps, you need the headlamp

    A toilet kit: It should include things like a toothbrush, toothpaste, small soap, toilet tissue roll, a small moisturizer, lip balm, deodorant, etc. Women should carry their sanitary pads.

    Water bottle: carrying a water bottle is a must.

    Plastic covers: Carry a plastic bag to keep the wet or used clothes in it.

    Personal medical kit: If you are on any medicine, don’t skip that during the trek unless your doctor advises. Always consult your doctor if you have any diseases that can worsen in the mountains or by altitude gain.

    Mandatory Documents: Carry your original Aadhar card Passport or Driver’s license. 

    Lunch Box: Every day you will reach the campsite only in the afternoon, so there will be no hot lunch but a packed lunch. You must buy and carry one small lunch box. 

    Know Before You Go

    • Experienced Trek Leaders: We provide the best and experienced trek guides to ensure safety during the trek. Their knowledge can improve your trekking adventure and guarantee enjoyment and safety all along the way. All of our trek leaders are Medical First Responders.
    • Safety: Cliffhangers India is known for its emphasis on safety. We provide high safety standards, necessary equipment, medical support and well-trained persons to ensure emergencies are catered during the trek.
    • Well-organised Itinerary: We create the trek itinerary very well, taking into account the difficulty levels, acclimatisation, trekking routes and the breathtaking beauty. We make sure that everyone has a well-rounded and entertaining experience.
    • Good Quality Hiking Equipment: We provide good quality hiking equipment like waterproof tents, hiking poles, -15 sleeping bags and other trekking gears. Trekkers will have a more pleasant and comfortable journey through this.
    • Affordable Prices: We are transparent about pricing, describing the expenses and the contents of the package, this helps trekkers to travel according to the budget they have.
    • Customer Reviews: An important consideration when selecting Cliffhangers India can be the positive evaluations and testimonies of prior hikers. Many people base their assessment of the calibre of services received on the experiences of others.
    • Educational Appeal: We frequently include educational elements in hikes, giving details about the local flora, wildlife, and geography. This gives the walk a more instructive and rewarding element.

    Since this trek is the summer trek, July to September is the best time to do this trek. This is the best summer trek in entire India. During winters, owing to the snow the trek closes and remains inaccessible. After October, the temperatures drop and there are chances of snowfall which make it impossible for porters and ponies to cross the passes.

    However, if you want to finish this trek with some snow still on the passes and mountain tops, then do it in June. Cliffhangers is the only company that starts this trek in early June and ends it in mid-October.  

    This is what most of the trekkers ask. It should be noted that this is a moderate to difficult trek. It is not a beginner’s trek. This is recommended to only seasoned trekkers or fit beginners. During the rain, it becomes slightly more challenging. If you are living a sedentary/nonactive life, you need to hit the gym and prepare yourself for this trek.

    The trek has long days of walking. It passes over three mountain passes; the trail is a mix of ascends and descends all along. It has boulder and rugged sections as well where you will be hopping from one boulder to another, and you will have to cross the river streams – sometimes walking on the log bridge or fording the stream through it. 

    The most difficult ascend is the climb to Gadsar Pass. The ascend is sharp and is the test of stamina and endurance. Immediately after reaching this pass, it has a steep and long descent and then a long walk in the meadow to the campsite. 

    The most difficult descent is on your last day. There is a sharp descent of around 1000m which will cause stress on your knees, ankles, and toes. This gives a challenge to most of the trekkers as they are about to finish the trek.

    Kashmir Great Lakes trek gets more difficult during rain. The trail gets blurry and at times vanishes at all. The ascend and descend then gets tricky and you will have to be extra careful while putting your next step. However, you will be all safe as Cliffhangers India’s trek leader will guide you through how to walk and will help you cross the passes. You need to strictly follow his instructions.

    There are boulder sections. You just have to be careful here as well, as the fall in the boulder section can give you an injury. Especially it gets difficult during rainy days.

    One of the best attractions of this trek is its campsite. Here is the brief about the campsites of KGL. 

    Nichnai Campsite: This campsite is your first campsite after your first day of walk. The campsite is in the middle of a beautiful mountain landscape with snow-capped mountains surrounding you all the time. The grass is greener and lush. However, the campsite is small and gets crowded with the flow of trekkers. 

    Vishansar Campsite:  You will be camping beside the river stream and just below some meters of Vishansar Lake. The campsite again is beautiful. One way of this campsite leads to Gurez Valley. In the river stream, you will see a lot of trout fish dancing. 

    Gadsar Campsite: This campsite again is just near the river streams, in a small valley surrounded by mountain ranges. The campsite has some shepherd houses and in its vicinity is an army check post. 

    Satsar Campsite: This campsite is just down the Zajbal Pass and is enclosed by mountains.

    Gangabal Campsite: This is the prettiest and the expansive campsite of the Great Lakes of Kashmir. You will be camping by Nundkol Lake. From your tent, you will have a beautiful view of Nundkol Lake and towering Mount Harmukh. The campsite is quite expansive with a long meadow surrounding you. 

    By Air: Srinagar has an airport that has an airway service from all the states of India. The most convenient and short way to reach Srinagar is from New Delhi. 

    By Train: Kashmir doesn’t have a railway facility that connects to the other parts of the country. The nearest railway station is in Jammu. Jammu station is very well connected to the other major railway stations of the country. From Jammu, take a shared cab or bus to Srinagar. 

    By Bus: Srinagar has an NH1 highway that connects it to the rest of the places in India. There are regular bus and cab services from Delhi or Jammu. You will reach within a day from Jammu to Srinagar. 

    From Srinagar take the Cliffhangers shared taxi service to Sonamarg Campsite. 

    • Clothing: Wear warm clothing to protect yourself from the cold at night, such as fleece, thermals, and heavy jackets.
    • First Aid: Must have a first aid pack that contains all the prescription drugs and bandages that you will need for the walk, as well as medications for fever, headache, diarrhoea, cold, flu, and non-alcoholic beverages.
    • Hiking Shoes: For the hike, high ankle hiking shoes are a good choice because they offer the right balance of comfort and durability on a range of terrain and activities.
    • Woollen capes: Gloves and a woollen cap for the night.
      Sunscreens: Cold cream and lip balms.
    • Backpacking: To carry all your equipment, it is necessary to carry a good quality of backpack with a minimum capacity of 50-60 litres.
    • Electronic Equipment: Carry trekking poles which include torch, mobile phones, sunglasses, power bank, water bottle, Bluetooth, camera and some kind of music system.
    • Toiletry: personal toiletry which includes towels, toothbrushes, toilet papers, tissues, nail slipper, sanitary pads for female travellers, shampoo and your personal essentials that you utilise every day.
    • Sleeping Bags: Pack a sleeping bag that is small, light and appropriate for the temperatures you expect to experience on your hike.

    Make sure this list fits your needs before starting your trek by adjusting it for the length of your trip and the requirements of your destination. While preparing for your adventure, keep comfort, safety, and the least amount of negative environmental impact in mind.

    We often get this question from our trekkers, wherein they are apprehensive and want to know how safe it is to go for the great lakes of Kashmir trek. Here are some of the points that we have tried to explain to trekkers.

    At first, do know that this Trek is not easy. Its gradient is moderate to difficult. The trek is long and around 70 km, it has three passes and there are days when you will have to ascend a steep ridge and walk around more than 15km. Every day you trek till afternoon to evening.

    The Terrain: The landscape no doubt will give you everything that you can ask for in mountains – it has jungle walks, meadows, boulder patches, ascends, descends, mountain passes, river crossings, and lakes.

    However, to enjoy all this beauty you need to be prepared for tough trek days. There are boulder sections where you will have to hop from one boulder to another. Also, few river crossings, at times over a bridge, the log bridges and at times when the water level is high you will have to ford the streams by making a line.

    There are steep ascends. The steepest you will encounter while going up to Gadsar Pass, this is the most tiresome day both length-wise and ascend-wise. Immediately after ascending Gadsar Pass, it has a sharp and long descent and then a long walk to the campsite.

    Another pass that you will be ascending is the ridge of Zajibal Pass. This will take around 3 hours and then it also is followed by a long descent.

    The sharpest and hardest descend in on your last day. There is a steep descent that is very much heavy on your knees. This day you will feel the stress on your knees, ankles, and even toes while descending to Naranag.

    Altitude Gain: This trek has an altitude gain of around 2000m. You will expose yourself to altitude sickness in case you make your itinerary short. The ideal duration for this trek is 7 to 8 days. This has been developed to keep many things in consideration including altitude sickness. 

    The Kashmir Great Lakes trek starts at around 2700m, you are first made to spend the night at this altitude, and it is only after three days of the trek you will be gaining the highest altitude of this trek i.e. Gadsar Pass. By this time your body is well acclimatized to the altitude.

    However, you need to follow the instructions that your trek leader will provide to finish your trek without any hiccups. Take plenty of water, both while trekking and at the campsite. You need to take frequent water breaks even if you are not thirsty and not let yourself dehydrate. Take small steps and have a moderate pace.

    In case you feel a headache, nausea, or any altitude sickness symptoms, don’t ignore the symptoms and talk to your trek leader.

    The Weather: Since this is a summer trek, weather is mostly sunny. During the day you need to keep the safety against sunburn and sunstroke.

    However, it does rain at times mostly during July. In rain, the trail gets slippery and is quite risky. The most difficult is to ascend and descend and at some ascends the trail vanishes completely when it rains a lot. You need to be prepared for this.

    It is times like this when the trek becomes difficult. However the leaders at Cliffhangers India are expert and learned trek leaders, they will help you in traversing during the rain quite safely. If the roping is required, they will make sure that it is done. From your side, you need to follow the instructions that the trek leader provides you must have sturdy trekking shoes.

    Exit Points: In case you are feeling sick and feel you won’t be able to finish the trek, the best expert suggestion would be to exit the trek before going to Gadsar. You need to take a call till you are at the Vishansar campsite. It is a quick and easy evacuation from Vishansar or before that. However, if you cross over to Gadsar Pass, you reach almost the middle of the trek which makes the evacuation hard, although not impossible.

    Once you reach the base camp Shitkadi, the nearest hospital is just around 4km from there at Sonamarg market.


    The Markha Trek is 65km long. This is the trekking distance apart from the distance you will be converting to reach to Chilling base camp from where the trek starts. You will have to reach to leh first and then from there, the cab will ferry you to the base camp.  
    The highest altitude of the Markha Valley is 17060ft which is the altitude of Kongmaru La Pass. This is the toughest day of the trek and takes you to the highest altitude of the trek. The lowest altitude of the trek is 11560ft which is from where you start and end the trek.
    Markha Valley Trek is located in Ladakh. It falls 60km away from Leh. This is an offbeat and far-off place, so make sure you are well-prepared for this trek. We recommend not to do this trek solo, as it involves some risks of straying in the barren mountains of Ladakh.
    The distance of the Markha Valley trek is around 65km. The distance of each day is different with some days short and some days long. The longest day of the Markha Valley trek is from Skiu to Markha. This is a long tiring day. The shortest duration day is the last day which is about 5kms of the trek.
    Markha Trek is best done from July to September. These are the summer months which are the only months in which this trek is recommended. On rest month the accumulation of snow and the rough weather makes this trek quite impassable. As this trek is a high-altitude trek, one must not do it in other months of the year for safety concerns.
    The difficulty of Markha Valley Trek is moderate. It is quite doable for both fit beginners and experienced trekkers. There are some high-altitude ascents that you will have to cross while on this trek. Most days you will be walking short distances, however on days like the second day, you will be walking the long distance of 20 km.
    The Markha Valley Trek is completely safe. It has the best of the trails which are definite and well-marked. However one has to finish this trek with some care. Cliffhanger guides will ensure your safety by guiding you about the trail and accompanying you on every step of this trek.  
    Yes, a beginner can do Markha Valley Trek. The only condition is you will have to prepare for this trek. You will have to build the stamina and endurance to make this trek quite easier on you. The trek puts some challenges for a beginner if he/she is not fit enough.
    The Markha Valley trek starts from Chilling. This is the base camp of the trek – a village situated in the far-off region of Ladakh. There is a drive of 2 hours covering a 60km distance from Leh to reach the starting point of Markha Trek.
    The total days for Markha Valley trek is 6 days. This includes the time driving from Leh and going to Leh. The 6 days are leh to leh. One can increase the days depending on your preference, you can add one rest day in between the trekking days, to make this trek more relaxing. However, a 6-day duration is ideal for Markha Valley.
    Yes, the trekking insurance is mandatory for Kashmir Great Lakes. The tourism department will not issue any permission for the trek without insurance and a medical fitness certificate.
    The total distance from Leh to Markha Valley is 60km. This makes you reach the base of this trek. From there, no transports go ahead, you will have to trek to reach Markha Valley.
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