Northern Ladakh Trek

A pilgrimage path over moderately high passes between self-sufficient Buddhist villages
Overview

overview

This area is one of the world's best places to learn about Tibetan Buddhism. Your Ladakhi guide knows the villagers, teachers, and monks you meet along the way. He is also very knowledgeable about Buddhism. You cross several 12,000' passes that separate beautiful valleys and remote villages. You will feel part of a land and culture that the 20th century has passed by, staying at the homes of your guide's friends and acquaintances. This may be the most personal, sincere, and hospitable travel experience you will ever have.  Anyone who has been to Ladakh with JOURNEYS looks forward to returning.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Delhi / Leh
    Arrive in Leh, capital of Ladakh

    Fly from Delhi to Leh, the capital of Ladakh, situated among the hills on the north side of the Indus Valley. Upon arrival, you will be met by your trekking guide and transferred to your hotel to begin your adaptation to high altitude. You will have an afternoon orientation with your guide.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: Leh Town Visit and Acclimatization Day
    Visit the ruins of the Royal Palace in Leh

    Today will be spent taking it easy and acclimatizing to Leh’s 11,500 foot altitude. The town is an interesting place to take a leisurely stroll. Your lodge is situated just on the outskirts of town, but you do not have too far to walk to reach the center of town.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: Temisgam
    Meet villagers and learn about their lives

    Drive to Temisgam (4 hours), one of our favorite villages in Ladakh. You will find your camp set up in a beautiful apricot grove beneath an ancient palace and monastery with a cold rushing stream nearby. Off the main roads and trails, this village is seldom visited by Westerners, and you will have several days to explore the extensive fields and villages. You may even be invited into several houses for tea or the local beer, chang. The climb to the monastery and old palace, as well as the nights here at 10,000' elevation, will aid in your acclimatization. The trip continues to become more remarkable for the cultural experience that unfolds. You have the sense that your long journey to Asia, over the Himalayas and onto the Tibetan plateau, has taken you to a place so beautiful, remote, and pure that the effort has been worth it.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: Lamayuru
    Discover Lamayuru's ancient hilltop monastery

    Make the exciting trip to the ancient Lamayuru Monastery and spend time exploring the extensive buildings of this ancient Buddhist sanctuary. This extraordinary gompa is perched on top of a beautifully-eroded crag, complete with rock pinnacles and caves above the Indus. Return to Temisgam for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: Hemishakpatchan
    Look for wild sheep and other creatures on the slopes

    Walk up to Hemishakpatchan where you camp for the night. This is the home village of many of our staff, and they will certainly invite you to visit their families and homes. There is a very interesting monastery here where JOURNEYS trek participants have started a public library and built a nunnery as well. We also support other ongoing projects through our Earth Preservation Fund such as the large water-driven prayer wheel restored through the contributions of previous JOURNEYS travelers. There are excellent views of snowy mountains, and wild sheep can usually be seen grazing on a nearby slope.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: Hemishakpatchan to Yangthang
    Camp in the wild near the village of Hemis

    From Hemishakpatchan you cross a small pass (12,500') and after about two to three hours of walking from Hemis, you reach the small village of Yangthang, where you set up camp for the night. The people here work the land for the Ridzong monastery.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: Ridzong Monastery
    Explore Ridzong monastery and meet its monks

    Hike to Ridzong Monastery, the most disciplined gompa in Ladakh. If there is firewood at the entrance path to the monastery, grab a limb or two and carry it to the monastery. It is a token contribution of your labor to the well-being of the institution. Here, scholarly traditions and rituals are strictly maintained, but you will be especially welcome. Past JOURNEYS groups have helped restore the monastery's stone stairways and contributed to building the student dormitory. Your guide may be able to arrange for you to see the spectacular three-dimensional wheel of life at the very top of the monastery. A visit to the adjacent nunnery will impress you with the simplicity of monastic life in Ladakh. Return to Yangthang for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: Likkir
    Camp in a green meadow among high peaks

    You will hike on the upper edge of the Indus Plain and cross several small passes offering spectacular mountain views. Look for ancient campsites along the way. You may be able to observe eagles, marmot, fox, and deer in this area. In Likkir, visit the 750-year-old Likkir Monastery, where your guide knows some of the monks. In the past, we've observed the ceremonial construction of a sand mandala here. Your camp is in a flat, green meadow with views of peaks in every direction and the adjacent stream is the warmest one you will encounter in Ladakh, a great place for a bath.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping or guesthouse
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: Ney
    Camp high and dry on the Ladakh range

    Your trekking route again skirts the high, dry Ladakh Range on the upper edge of the Indus Plain. Camp by a stream in a large meadow (11,000') at the long village of Ney. Visit the Bazgo Monastery, which holds a huge copper 17th Century Maitreya Buddha and many paintings of the same quality as those of Alchi.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: Nimo
    Camp out tonight near the Indus river

    Your path is somewhat steeper and crosses several small passes. It is a four-hour walk to Nimo, a very prosperous village with extensive gardens and fields. Camp in fields of your staff's relatives near the mighty Indus.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Camping
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: Return to Leh
    Himalaya Peaks of Ladakh

    Sadly, the trekking is over, but there are interesting stops along the vehicle road that parallels the Indus River. One such stop is the Spitok Monastery, the first Yellow Hat monastery to be established in Ladakh. Return to your hotel in Leh, where the rest of the afternoon is free to explore.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: Thikse/Shey
    Climb up the steep terrain to explore Thikse monastery

    Visit Thikse Monastery, the largest gompa in Ladakh that is situated on top of a craggy hill. Here you will find an important collection of Tibetan books and some excellent artwork. Afterward, visit the palace at Shey, which sits in a strategic position on a ridge overhang out into the Indus Valley. Your drive continues on with a visit to Hemis Gompa, the richest and most powerful monastery in Ladakh. Return to your hotel in Leh for your overnight. (Ask about Dakthok Tsechu Festival which usually occurs in August –add an extra day in Leh in order to witness this festival.)

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Snow Lion Guesthouse or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: Fly to Delhi
    Bid farewell to Ladakh as you head onward

    Return to Delhi on an early morning flight. This is where JOURNEYS services end. Due to unpredictable weather in Leh and frequent flight delays, we recommend two overnights in Delhi before departing on your international flight. We can assist with accommodations and excursions such as a visit to the Taj Mahal in Agra, near Delhi.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Jul 13-25, 2015
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,300
Delhi/Leh/Delhi flights add $450 (estimate)
Single Supplement:
$350
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
13 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
1
Camping and simple lodges
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
5
Camping and simple lodges

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

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Kathmandu Hospitality

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Delhi Hospitality Package

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A complimentary extension to a relaxing Nepal experience.

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