Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek

Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek is strikingly the best trek of Ladakh. This trek exposes you to the sheer beautiful landscape of Ladakh with the best of the Himalayas. You will be traveling in the high altitude of the Himalayas and getting fascinated each day with the variety and wholesome trek experience in this trek. The trek is long and tests your endurance. The total distance of the trek is around 120k and takes around 9 days to finish from Leh to Leh. 

The trek throws at you multi-colored mountainous regions, a couple of clean alpine lakes, and a plethora of wildlife. This trek has no replacement or replica in the entire Indian Himalayas. 

Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek is a high-pass trek that challenges your fitness and passion for the Himalayan treks. The trek has around seven high-altitude passes that you will have to cross to finish this trek. Along with the passes, this trek has the thrill of river crossings. You get to cross around 10 river streams which give you the delight of the Himalayas’ clean and cold river streams. 

But each day as you will be having a tough trek day, you will feel refreshed and rejuvenated in the lush green campsites. The campsites of the Rumtse to Tso Moriri trek are a delight to the eyes and a tired body. 

Another fantastic feature of Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek is that it is offbeat. It does not see the crowd of other treks in Ladakh. You will have quietness and serenity all along this trek. 

Highlight of Rumtse Tso Morriri Trek 

Campsite of Rachungkharu

Although all the campsites of Rumtse Tso Morriri Trek are beautiful, one campsite which stands out among all is the campsite of Rachungkharu. This campsite is a sheer carpet of the lushness of grass. The ending patch of grass is otherworldy and seems straight out of a window’s background picture. The place is dotted by the settlement of Changpa houses. Changpa are nomads who have a Tibetan culture and traditions. You will see their lifestyle which is totally different than how people live in cities. This change in culture and tradition will amaze you. 

The innocence of the people, their hospitality, and their sheer simplicity of living will make your stay here for longer than one night. This tribe has been traveling for centuries from Ladakh to Lhasa. 

The Alpine Lakes

On Rumtse Tso Morriri Trek you will see two gorgeous alpine lakes. One such alpine lake is called Tso Kar lake. You will see the sight of this lake right from Shibuk La pass. This will leave you amazed and the impression of this view will be etched in your memory for a long. 

Changthang plateau Wildlife

The Changthang Pleatue is known across India for its bird species. You will be delighted as you walk Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek to hear the chirping of varied birds such as Horned Larks, Finch, brown-headed gulls, brahminy ducks, bar-headed geese, etc. The bar-headed goose is the highest-flying bird in the world. You will also see some beautiful high-altitude animals like Kyang, blue sheep, marmots, Himalayan ibex and snow leopards, etc. 

Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek Itinerary

Day 1: Drive from Leh to Rumtse: Acclimatization at Rumtse

  • Altitude: 11, 560 ft – 13,770 ft
  • Distance: 79 km drive
  • Duration: 3-hour drive

Since Ladakh is a high-altitude region and this trek is pretty high in altitude, you will have to start the trek with a day kept for acclimatization. The first day of the trek is a drive from Leh and a night stay at Rumtse for acclimatization. It is highly suggested to keep a day extra at Rumtse to get acclimatized well to save yourself from any high altitude sickness. You can stay at homestays in Romtse and eat at modest cafes and dhabas. 

Day 2: Rumtse – Kyamar

  • Altitude: 13,770 ft – 15,010 ft
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Duration: 4-5 hours

This is the first trek day of the Rumtse Tso Morriri Trek. The gradient of the day is moderate and the total duration it takes to trek for the day is around 5 hours.

The trail goes via Jammu and Kashmir Tourism hut and you will have to hike beside the Chhaba Chu stream. You will enter the Kyamar valley and will see and walk along the Kyamar stream and Chhaba Chu. The trail has many river streams and has to be crossed. However, these are small river streams and you can easily cross them. You will also have to ford green marshes and some rough patches on the trail before you reach the campsite of the day Kyamar. The campsite has barren, rocky mountains on its three sides. 

Day 3: Kyamar – Kyamar La – Mandachalan La – Tisaling

  • Altitude: 15,010 ft – 16,800 ft – 17,160 ft – 16,500 ft
  • Distance: 15 km
  • Duration: 8-9 hours

The gradient of today is difficult. You will have a long and arduous day for trekking today. The distance of the day is around 15km and you will have to ascend around 2000 ft in a day. The day has again river crossings, rough trails, and steep ascents of high altitude pass of Mandachalan La and Kyamar La. 

The ascent towards Mandachalan La is very much arduous and heavy on the legs. It wreaks your legs. The ascent is a sharp ascent of around 100ft. 

However, the beauty of the trek of the day is the panoramic and surreal views you get from these mountain passes. You will have a fantastic view and you will feel it’s worth all the tiredness and climb. 

Your campsite will be in the gorgeous grasslands of Tisaling.

Day 4: Tisaling – Shibuk La – Pongunagu (Tso Kar campsite)

  • Altitude: 16,500 ft – 17,370 ft – 15,050 ft
  • Distance: 15 km
  • Duration: 6-7 hours

The gradient of this day is again difficult. You will be trekking under the open sun. Start your day early, as early as possible to save yourself from the brutal heat of the day. The hardest part of the day is the climb to Shibuk La. This 1.5km climb is quite strenuous and the altitude gain is around 100ft from your base campsite to this pass. From the pass, you have a descent of around 2000 ft which is again hard on your legs. Many trails go up to the pass. However, choose the one which is definite and less strenuous on the legs. The zig-zag one, choose that. 

On this day of Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek, you will again have to cross the river streams. On this day, you will go to the beautiful alpine lake called Tso Kar lake. This is the first high-altitude lake you will see on this trek.

The other way to go about it is to take the left side trail and reach the crest of the pass. This trail is also full of rocky terrain and has a lot of scree. It takes around 5 hours of descent to reach the lake. The area around the lake is fertile and is the perfect grazing area for the nearby Changpa tribe’s livestock. 

The trail here is well-defined. The brackish barren land has a unique array of colors that keep changing as the day progresses. As you approach the rocky spur, there will be a series of two crests of the plateau that need to be traversed. This will take 30-45 minutes. 

Pongunagu is your campsite for the night. One of the best features of this campsite is that this is the exit point of the trek. Satelite phones are avilabe here. In case you want to exit the trek, you can do so here. 

Day 5: Pongunagu to Nuruchen

  • Altitude: 15,050 ft to 15,310 ft
  • Distance: 16 km
  • Duration: 6-7 hours

The gradient of the day is moderate. This is the day when you will have to cross no strenuous passes. The day is a mostly gradual trail. However, the distance is around km.

On this day you walk from Tso Kar lake and enter into the wide valley and feel the delight of trekking in the beautiful landscape. On the trail you get to see some tea shops, stop here and relish the locally made tea and snacks made by the Changpa tribe people. 

The campsite for the night is just near the Nuruchen Lungpa – a river that makes Tso Kar Lake. 

Day 6: Nuruchen – Horlam La – Rachungkharu

  • Altitude: 15,310 ft – 16,300 ft – 16,150
  • Distance: 9 km
  • Duration: 3-4 hours

This is an easy day. The walk takes only around 4 hours. You will have to cross a pass of Horlam La which stands at an altitude of 16300ft. There are multiple river crossings. Be prepared and cross these river streams with care and caution. 

Rachungkharu – your night campsite – is the summer settlement for the Changpa tribe. 

Day 7: Rachungkharu – Kyamayaru La – Gyamar La – Gyamalhoma

  • Altitude: 16,150 ft – 17,780 ft – 17,700 ft – 16,900 ft
  • Distance: 13 km
  • Duration: 6 hours

The gradient of the day is long and hard. On this day you will have to cross two high altitude passes of around 17000ft high. The trek duration however is relatively shorter and around 6 hours. The day again has river crossing which is a bit tricky and has to be forded quite carefully. 

The two high-altitude passes to cover today are Kyamayaru La and Gyamar La before you stop at Gyamalhoma campsite for the night. 

Gyamalhoma campsite is a gorgeous grassland that is frequented by yak herders of the Changpa tribe. This is also the base camp for mountain expeditions. It is the base camp for climbing Mentok 1 and 2 peaks. 

Day 8: Gyamalhoma – Yarlung Nyau La – Karzok

  • Altitude: 16,900 ft – 17,840 ft – 14,900 ft
  • Distance: 14 km
  • Duration: 6 hours

The gradient of today is moderate and the day throws at you the best beauty of the Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek. The scenic views of today will throw you a surprise. However, you will again have to cross a high-altitude pass of Yarlung Nyau La before you reach the campsite for the night stay at Karzok. 

The campsite at Karzok is lush and beside the river stream. Enjoy your tea and then dinner beside the river stream and in the middle of the scenic campsite. This is the last trekking day. Here ends your Rumtse to Tso Morriri Trek.

Day 9: Drive from Karzok to Leh

  • Altitude: 14,900 ft – 11,560 ft
  • Distance: 210 km drive
  • Duration: 6-7 hours drive

This is the last day of your Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek and you will have to take a cab to go back to Leh. The drive is long and around 210km which takes around 7 hours of hilly drive. 


Rumtse to Tso Moriri Trek

rumtse to tso moriri trek