Trek No. 9: DARCHA - LAMAYURU (21 days)


Season June - September
Duration 21 days
Difficulty very difficult 

Group size

min. 2 persons


Darcha - Palemo (5 hours)

Early morning start from Darcha camp and easy trek into the valley towards Palemo (3'600m, 11'810ft). On the way, visit the small monasteries of Chika and Rarik. O/N in tent at Palemo camp.  


Palemo - Zanskar Sumdo (5-6 hours)

Follow the river on an easy and rocky path which gets wider and wider towards the Zanskar Sumdo camp (3'860m, 12664ft). Enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding peaks. O/N in tent.


Zanskar Sumdo - Chumik Nagpo (6 hours)

Early morning start the trek to Chumik Nagpo (4'655m, 15'272ft): cross the river over a hanging bridge and continue on a challenging path up to the base of Shingo-La (5'090m, 16'700ft) and until the campsite at Chumik Nagpo. O/N in tent.


Chumik Nagpo - Shingo-La - Lakhang (6 hours)

Another day of challenging trekking by crossing the Shingo-La (5'900m, 19'356ft), the highest pass on this trek route. From the top enjoy the fascinating views of the glaciers and peaks. Easy descent over the glacier to Lakhang (4'470m, 14'665ft), a beautiful valley and famous for grazing yaks in the summer. O/N in tent.


Lakhang - Kargyak (6 hours)

Gradually descend along the Kargyak river, observe lots of wild plants and flowers on the way. Cross the massive peak of Gonbo Rang-jon on the right and continue until Kargyak (4'050m, 13287ft) which is the first village of the Lung-Nak valley in the Zanskar area. O/N in tent.


Kargyak - Testha (7 hours)

The Lung-Nak valley gets wider and the trail leads us along meadows of flowers and barley fields to the village of Testha (3'950m, 12'960ft). Chortens (stupas) spread along the way depicting the art work and religious sentiments of the population towards Buddha and his teachings that flourish in the Zanskar valley. O/N in tent.


Testha - Purne (3 hours)

Short trek to Purne (3'700m, 12'139ft). Procees towards Phungtal monastery (3'858m, 12'657ft) perched on the side of an impressive cliff above the river. Trek back to Purne. O/N in tent.


Purne - Ichar (5 hours)

Trek along the river towards Ichar (3'650m, 11'975ft), passing through small Canyons of Pudding stones, Ichar, Hanumi and Surle villages. O/N in tent.


Ichar - Mune (5 hours)

Easy walk up and down along the Tsarap river until Mune (3'900m, 12'795ft). Visit the monastery at Mune. O/N in tent.

DAY 10

Mune - Padum (6 hours)

Trek on the unpaved jeep road towards Padum (3'600m, 11'810ft). On the way visit Bardan of the prominent monasteries of Zanskar. Padum is the only city in Zanskar, there are a few hotels, rstaurants, shops, Govt. offices. Use this opportunity to purchase essential items for the remaining trek ahead. O/N in tent.

DAY 11

Padum - Karsha (3 hours)

Pleasant trek through the fields. On the way visit Pepiting and Karsha monastery. Karsha is the most important monastery in Zanskar, dating back to the 15th century. From Karsha enjoy the beautiful view of the Himalayan range. O/N in tent.

DAY 12

Karsha - Pishu (5 hours)

Walk on flat and barren land along the Zanskar river until the beautiful village of Pishu (3'470m, 11385ft). O/N in tent.

DAY 13

Pishu - Hanumil (5 hours)

Easy trek along the right bank of the river to Rinam village, continue to the tiny hamlet of Hanumil (3'380m, 11089ft). O/N in tent amidst the trees and fields.

DAY 14

Hanumil - Purfi-La - Snertse (6 hours)

Follow up and down a steep path to the Purfi-La (3'950m, 12'959ft), then to Snertse (3'850m, 12'631ft). O/N in tent.

DAY 15

Snertse - Hanamur-La - Lingshed (6 hours)

Steep climb to the Hanamur-La (4'950m, 16'240ft), enjoy the impressive views of the Ladakh and Zanskar ranges. Near Hanamur-La visit the Lingshed monastery (4'000m, 13'123ft). O/N in tent.

DAY 16

Lingshed - Netuke-La - Khyupa-La (6 hours)

Long and gradual ascent to the Netuke-La (4'280m, 14'042ft), enjoy the magnificent view towards the Nierag valley. Descend shortly to the villages of Skimpata and Gongma. Steep climb to the Khyupa-La (4'300m, 14'107ft). O/N in tent.

DAY 17

Khyupa-La - Senge-La - Photoskar (6 hours)

Today climb to yet another pass, the Senge-La (5'050m, 16'568ft) from where you can see an amazing scene of hanging icefalls. Descend towards the Photang river and walk through barley fields to reach Photoskar (4'200m, 13'780ft). O/N in tent.  

DAY 18

Photoskar - Sirsir-La - Hanupata (6 hours)

The Photang valley turns into a gorge labyrinth forcing us to make a detour via the Sirsir-La (4'850m, 15'912ft). Three chortens mark Hanupata (3'700m, 12'139ft) and its giant hundred-year old cedar flanked by colourful prayer flags. O/N in tent.

DAY 19

Hanupata - Wanla (5 hours)

Head down towards the Photang valley and climb up to the Phanzi-La (3'410m, 11'188ft). Descend to Wanla (3'250m, 10'662ft) and visit its small ancient monastery. O/N in tent.

DAY 20

Wanla - Lamayuru (4 hours)

After an easy trek visit the famous Lamayuru monastery (3'420m, 11'220ft) which is the biggest monastery in lower Ladakh and built in the 16th century on the site of a much older temple. The monastery is very well kept and famous for its many colourful wall paintings and the meditation point of Naropa. O/N in tent.

DAY 21

Lamayuru - Leh (129Km, by taxi in 4 hours)

In the morning visit again L amayuru monastery and its magnificent architecture. This monastery consists of several temples of which the Senge Lakhang dates back to the 11th century. Proceed towards Leh by taxi, on the way visit Alchi Choskor one of the oldest and most remarkable Buddhist temples in whole of Ladakh. O/N hotel in Leh.