(15 minutes drive and 5 hours walk ) Spituk , a village at a distance of 7kms from Leh is the starting point of the trek. Drive from Leh to Spituk. Walking through the village one will reach a bridge. Crossing the River Indus one reaches Pharka. Take the road on the right side.
When you are out of Pharka village. You will reach a barren area; follow the same road along with the River Indus in the same direction of the flow of water. After one and half hours walk, you can see Phey village on the other side of the Indus. then the valley becomes narrow, and you can see the Indus gorges. You’ll soon come across some prayer flags; it’s the place of the religious protector of Zingchen. After walking for about 40 minutes, you’ll reach a point where you can dee a stream coming from a valley on the left side. Follow the stream up in the valley for 20 minutes, you’ll come to a bridge. Cross the bridge. After that the trail gets divided. The trail on the right leads to Rumchung, while the one on the left will take you to Zingchen ther are two camp sites and two Home stays.
Start up with sound breakfast. As you have to cross the stream several times this day, keep your sandals handy. Passing the upper campsite cross the stream, you will find the Hemis National Park entry point. Cross the stream to left and again to right after about 5 minutes walk you have to cross again, avoid this by walking straight on the trail on the right. after 40 minutes walk cross to left , you’ll pass by a plantation area, you will find two narrow valleys. Go through the one on the right. After walking for about 20 minutes, you’ll find yourself walking through the narrow gorges of Rumbak valley. This part is very good place to spot the Snow leopard. Far above the cliff you’ll see two nests of Golden Eagle, opposite to each other, you’ll see prayer flags and Lato. After the gorges, you’ll pass through some mani walls. You’ll see the Rumbak Community Parachute Café and a camp site, this place is known as Rumbak Sumdho. Avoid the straight traill and go to left to reach Rumbak ther are two camp sites and nine families offering Home stay.
From Rumbak come back to Rumbak Sumdho. Walk along the main trail, keep walking for about one hour, you’ll reach a place called Yurutse. One family lives here, and it offers Home stay. From Yurutse the trail gets steeper with every step. Before scaling the Kandala Pass. You can refresh yourself with some drinks at the Parachute cafes at Kandala Base I and Kandala Base II. In this area you can spot several wild animals like Marmot, Tibetan Woolly Hare, Blue sheep and the endangered Tibetan Argali. You can also see birds like Golkden Eagle, Lammergeyer and Griffon Vulture circling far qp in the sky. The point zero view from the Kandala Pass Top will mesmerize you with is its beauty. From the Kandala Top you can have a spectacular view of the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges. You can also see Shingo village far down in the valley. It will take you around 2 hours to reach Shingo from Kandala Top. There are 2 campsites and 4 Home stays at Shingo.
Today is and easy day as the trail from Shingo till Skyu Lungdo is descend. The narrow gorges of Shingo is perfect for the Snow Leopard. Blue sheep can also be seen in these gorges. After walking along the stream for two hours, one can see three nests of Golden Eagle up in the cliffs. After walking for 20 more minutes from that point, you will reach aparachure café which is run by the Kaya Women Group. After one hours’ walk you will reach Skyu Lungdo. Ruins of early settlement can be seen at this leading towards straight and you will see the Skyu Monastery on a ridge at the right side. Before the monastery y0u can also see the holy juniper trees. The settlement on far right is Kaya you can opt to stay at Skyu or at Kaya, depending upon your choice. Both the places offer good Home stays and nice camping places.
You can opt for another route in the Hemis National Park. This route gets diversified from Skyu/Kaya towards the other direction of the Markha balley and sill take you to Chilling, a village widely known for its copper metal work.
From Skyu/Kaya follow the traol in the western direction. You’ll reach a place called Lama Guru after 40 minutes walk . and then you cansee gravels being made on the river bed, which is getting ready for cultivation. Now you are on the bank of Zansker River. Cross the river over the trolley bridge and follow the motor able road towards the direction of the flow of the river. After one hours’ walk you are at Chilling. At Chilling there are six families and all of them offer Home stays. At Chilling, one mist visit the Copper Work Museum, which reflects the quality of the craftsmen and shows that how this age old tradition remained so intact.
Starting from Skyu, keep on following the stream. After one hours’ walk you’ll reach a place called Pentse. At Pendtse thedre is a restaurant run by the Skyu Women Group . after walking for another one hour cross the stream and in a short duration you’ll reach a place called Hamurja. At Hamurja there is a camping site and a restaurant management by the Markha community. After walking for one and half hours form Hamurja you’ll come to a place called Sara, where one family stays. Here you can also find a restaurant. From there on the trail gets a bit steeper, and after walking for 15 minutes you’ll reach Chalak. Here you can see agricultural land and certain houses . after 15modre minutes you will reach Lato Marpo where you can find some Stupas. This is the place for the protector deity of Markha . then after on hours walk you will see a single house, the place is called Thinlapa. Cross the steam just near the house, after half hours’ walk you are in Markha. At Markha you can find 6 families offering the Home stays.
Today you have to cross the Markha stream six times. You can avoid it for four times alternative routes, but is a bit time consuming. Just after 20 minutes walk cross to the other side and after a short walk again to left. After a while again cross to right. Walk for 15 minutes and you have cross to the left side once again. After walking for 10 minute you can see the Stecha Monastery up on a cliff. After 30 minutes wall you will reach Umlung Yokma, where you can find a parachute café.Cross to right and after 10 minutes cross bsck to left and you are at Umlung Gongma. Here also you will find a parachute café. At Umlung all three families are offering Home stay.From there keep walking for 2 hours and you’ll reach Hangkar Yokma.Here there are 4 Home stays. If you go into the valley on the lkft you’ll reach Doltoglung after 10 minutes walk. Here two family offers Home Stay.Walking for 15 minutes from Hangkar Yokma, after crossing a small pass you’ll reach Hangkar Gongma.Here there are 3 Home statys. Towards the right you can see the ruins of Hangkar castle.
As soon as you start today,after15 minutes walk you’ll come to a foot bridge over the stream which leads towards the right side valley.Avoid the foot bridge and keep walking on the left side of the stream for about one and half hours. Cross the stream and you’ll be at Thachungtse, where you can find a Paracchute Café. From Thachungtse the trail becomes somewhat ascending. After 2 hours walk you’ll reach Tsigu, which is the highest point today. A small pond is there From Tsegu we can see the Kang Yatse Peak. After walking for about one and half hours you’ll reach Nimaling.Nimaling is the pasture ground for both Markha and Hangkar villages. At Nimaling you can stay at the six fixed camps which runs under the aegis of YAFCD HNP and provides the same facilities as of the Home stays.
Nimaling is the base of Kongmaru Pass, so today as soon as you start you have ascend towards Kongmaru Pass leaving the stream on the top of Kongmaru Pass. Descend for one hour and you’ll find yourself walking though a gorge. Continue for 2 hours and you’ll reach Chhu Skyurmo, where you can find a parachute café and a camping place. After walking for half hour from Chhu Skyurmo parachute café you will reach Chogdo. Three families offering home – stay
From Chogdo keep on following the stream in 2hr you will at Shang-sumdho. Shang-sumdho is well connected with motor-able road. From Shang-sumdho to Leh the drive is about one and half hours. On the way back you can visit the largest and richest monastery of Ladakh, Hemis Monastery. If you want to visit sang Nakdang you can stay at both Shang-sumdho as well at Shang nakdang. Home-stay facilities is available here.