Ladakh, located in the Himalayas, is one of the most beautiful places in India. Ladakh has very diverse landscapes with snowy mountains and vast deserts to explore. The trekking trails of Ladakh range from short walks to multi-day treks which include camping along the way! You can even trek across the frozen Zanskar River! Ladakh makes an ideal destination for nature lovers who want to spend some time away from the noise and pollution of the cities. Trekking in Ladakh will also give you an insight into the lives of locals, who live in remote areas away from all basic amenities. This guide on how to plan for a trip to Ladakh will walk you through everything you need to know about this popular trek, from choosing your company and guides to packing and more. By following our advice in this guide, you’ll be ready for the adventure of a lifetime!
The Himalayas are beautiful and majestic, but they’re also unforgiving. When planning your trip, be sure you have enough money saved up in case anything goes wrong; basic travel health insurance is highly recommended. The most dangerous part of your journey will likely be flying into Leh Airport, which sits at 13,500 feet above sea level. You need special permits to take flights into or out of Leh Airport. Those wanting to fly in or out need approval from local police and aviation authorities, who require detailed information about members of your party as well as emergency contact information—basically, it needs to be clear that you won’t go rogue on your way back home.
Train yourself for walking
Start by walking every day, maybe right after you wake up or before you go to bed. If possible, walk outside. Try not to take your phone with you—leave it at home and give yourself time for reflection. This will help you make sense of what is happening around you, which in turn will make it easier for you when it comes time for your trek. You can start small; instead of trying to cover 10 miles in one day, aim for 5 and work your way up from there as necessary. Start out slow if you have done little or no physical activity—it’s important that you feel good about walking before doing something more challenging like hiking up mountains.
The checklist is critical—you do not want to end up on your trip only to realize you have forgotten something important. For clothing, pack more than you think you need. It’s helpful to keep in mind that if you get anything soiled, you can send it home and buy more when you arrive at your destination. Be aware of regional cultural standards as well. In some places, there may be different dress requirements for men and women or other norms that differ from what travelers are used to backing home; checking with someone who has already been there will help avoid any unfortunate surprises along these lines. Please check our trekking gear checklist for the Himalayas for more information.
Hiring a Guide
Perhaps you have attempted some smaller treks, but now it’s time to take on a larger challenge. As one of India’s most popular destinations, there are countless companies offering tours in and around Leh. If you have your heart set on exploring its hills and valleys but don’t want to go it alone, hiring a guide is certainly recommended. It will ensure that your trip goes smoothly and you see as much as possible while away from home. Guides can help with everything from local etiquette and language skills to identifying animal tracks along trails; they even make sure that you’re keeping up with group hiking times.
Trekking Through Leh
With mountains surrounding it, Leh has many beautiful treks and hikes. The higher altitudes mean that oxygen is more sparse, making these trips quite challenging. Despite that, Ladakh has an extremely strong trekking community which makes sure that even novice hikers have an incredible experience in a safe environment. For people who don’t live in Leh and are only planning on visiting for two or three days, however, it can be difficult to find good trekking guides and set up reliable transportation.
The best time to visit Ladakh
The best treks in Ladakh can be planned at any time of year, and are particularly popular during May-June and September-October. Some treks are best done in winter when there is less snow and freezing cold temperatures; winters have on average 35 days of bright sunshine and fresh icy landscapes. If you prefer to avoid traveling with large crowds, June maybe your ideal month. Fall months tend to be rainy so if you want clearer skies, avoid September through November. During these months, travel might be difficult due to heavy rains in some regions but it does make for gorgeous scenery as well as more solitude at certain monasteries along your route.
The Last Leg of the Journey
Make sure you do your homework and research where you’re going. Of course, we have no way of knowing what sort of treks will be available in the future, but here are some general considerations: During winter months (November-March), expect snow and frigid temperatures—something to keep in mind if you’re planning on hiking higher altitudes. While there is the accommodation on site, many hotels operate as teahouses with limited amenities—think bunk beds and thin blankets. If you can swing it, consider staying at one of Ladakh’s resorts or guesthouses from late March through early November; they offer much more comfortable accommodations at slightly higher prices than teahouses.
The trip of a lifetime will take you up and over some 20,000-foot peaks. That means there are no shortcuts; you’ll have to acclimatize slowly and carefully. Make sure that your itinerary includes rest days—and plenty of them. You can never spend too much time in Manali, Leh, or Srinagar, so be sure not to race through these towns. If your budget allows, make reservations at one of these gorgeous hotels in India’s highest city! From rest days, it’s on to Kargil: While popular with Indian tourists, foreigners often skip Kargil on their way from Delhi to Leh—but don’t!
Planning and preparing in advance is vital when it comes to any significant trip. It doesn’t have to be hard, though: A basic daily schedule goes a long way toward ensuring that you don’t forget something critical. When making your schedule, think about what time of day you are at your best level physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If possible, give yourself an hour or two between each daily activity so that you can feel refreshed and energized before moving on to something else. With adequate rest—and some luck—you will find that you are more capable of handling unexpected situations like blisters or lost keys than if you were exhausted after every physical task is completed. Try not to underestimate how much energy it takes just being in a different environment with different people!
Should I Trek Alone?
Consider that solo travel can be both thrilling and terrifying, liberating and frustrating. Some may argue that it’s more dangerous because you’re less likely to be noticed in an emergency—and that you won’t have anyone around who can help you. In reality, there are pros and cons regardless of your choice.
What matters is whether or not you feel comfortable traveling alone. This is not only about the solo trek, if you are a female hiker, HikePackers will not recommend trek alone in India due to sexual assault and rape rates in India being quite high. Here is the report from Statista.
Safety Precautions While Trekking in Ladakh
If you are planning on going on a hike, then take precautions like carrying sufficient first aid kits, torchlight, and extra clothes. Make sure that your trekking guide knows all about first aid and can handle any emergency situations if you fall sick or get injured during your trip. The altitude sickness can be life-threatening; it is important that you carry oxygen cylinders if you have medical conditions such as heart or lung diseases. Avoid traveling alone, especially in off-season periods; bring along people who are known to each other at least 4 days prior to the start of your trip. Choose smaller hiking trails rather than longer routes so that accidents don’t occur during a long journey back home.
Ladakh is one of India’s most beautiful tourist destinations, with high altitude valleys surrounded by snow-capped mountains and terraced fields that spread out beneath. This makes it a fantastic place for hiking or trekking, and there are many companies that offer trips around some of its key sights. However, before embarking on your trip make sure you have taken all precautions.