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.  Most of those who has been to Ladakh with Journeys look forward to returning.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: flight to 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.

    *Ask us about transit hotels, or excursions in Delhi and Agra.

    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 (approx. 3 hrs), one of our favorite villages in Ladakh. Your accommodations are located 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. 

    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.

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

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$3,250
Delhi/Leh/Delhi flights add $450 (estimate)
Single Supplement:
$325
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.
Aug 2-14, 2016
Or Privately on Request
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.
Comfort Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Camping and simple lodges
Activity Level:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
Difficult hiking at high altitudes
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.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in Journeys Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: $500 per person per trip or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. Custom trips and private departures require $800 per person deposit. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 60 days prior to departure.  Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well.  Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: Journeys can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Everest View Mountain Flight

Duration: 1 days

Enjoy the magnificent Himalayas close up. You'll have a bird's-eye view as you fly along the full length of the Nepal Himalayas. This is the best way to see Everest. *This trip is available from Kathmandu, Nepal when booked with conjunction with a Ne... read more

Dhulikhel Lodge Visit

Duration: 3 days

Lovely lodge with traditional architecture, private gardens and panoramic views; village and short treks nearby.

Kathmandu Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

Kathmandu is worth spending a few days before setting off on an Asia adventure.

Delhi Hospitality Package

Duration: 3 days

The capital city of Delhi has a history that dates back to the sixth century BC.  In Old Delhi, you'll visit some of the most important ancient sites, many that are currently listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. New Delhi, which was built by the... read more

Chitwan National Park

Duration: 3 days

Chitwan National Park is probably the world’s best habitat for the rare Bengal Tiger and the One-horned Rhinoceros. Ride elephants in search of these animals and the hundreds of other animals and birds found here. Almost 700 sq. miles of lush river... read more

Thimphu-Paro Cultural

Duration: 4 days

This trip extends for an additional four days of extraordinary sightseeing in these two largest towns of Bhutan. Walk around Paro and savor the feeling of a country that seems to be existing in an earlier century. From the dress of the people to the ... read more

Nepal Chitwan and Everest

Duration: 6 days

Fly to Kathmandu for a quick taste of the high Himalayas and the fabulous Chitwan National Park where we will take elephant back safaris into the most famous tiger reserve in Nepal. You will also get a close up look at Mt Everest from a special fligh... read more

Nepal Rafting and Chitwan Jungle Safari

Duration: 6 days

A complimentary extension to a relaxing Nepal experience.

Download Trip Itinerary

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comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
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activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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