The Zanskar Traverse



A challenging Trans-Himalayan traverse of the Zanskar region of Ladakh following footpaths used for centuries from the desolate Rupshu region into the heart of the Zanskar and on to the Indus Valley of Ladakh. On this trek we cross six mountain passes over 5,000m which link landscapes aptly described as a geologically wonderland. Our route travels through a mix of wilderness regions and Buddhist villages with stunning monasteries along the way. 


  • Cross 5 high-altitude passes with panoramic views across Ladakh, Zanskar and the Rupshu regions.

  • Visit the iconic, ancient Phuktal Gompa, one of the most spectacularly set monasteries anywhere on the planet.

  • Camp at the gorgeous Tso Tok lake, far from any semblance of civilization.  

  • Navigate multiple remote gorges and canyons.
  • Journey off the beaten path into the Bear Valley.

Trek Details

Destination - Ladakh, India

Trek Style – Full-service Camping Trek

Duration – 23D/22N (17N Trekking)

Group Size – 4 to 10 people

Trek Difficulty - ★★★★★☆ (Strenuous)

Price – US$ 4,000

Single Supplement – US$ 300 (Single Tent)

Best Season – September - November

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Ripple Score

The Ripple Score shows you the percentage of total expenses on each trip, that we spend at local businesses on services like accommodation, food, transportation and logistics. The scoring system was created along with the non-profit, Sustainable Travel International. Learn More


Practical Information

Premium - US$ 4,000

Single Supplement - US$ 300 (Single Tent)

  • On the trek, accommodation is in comfortable 3-person tents (for the twin share option) and in a 2-person tent (for the single supplement option). Toilet tents are set up at each campsite. We use the highest quality tents, suitable for the season you will be trekking in.

  • In Leh we use comfortable, locally run, heritage establishments (4 nights).

  • While on the trek, you will be provided high quality, nutritious food in sufficient quantities. For breakfast you are likely to get porridge or cereal, toast or chapatis, omelettes and a range of hot drinks; for coffee aficionados we provide fresh coffee from our moka coffee machine. Lunch is often packed in thermal containers and a temporary tarp is set up, if the landscape allows it, for lunch. On arrival to camp in the evening you will be given tea and snacks and a three course meal will follow for dinner.

  • All meals are served in our spacious, social mess tent. Meals can be served in your personal tent, if desired.


+ Extras

Allow approximately US$ 300 for extras such as alcoholic/aerated drinks, snacks and laundry on the trek and for meals while not on trek plus tips for our local staff.

For detailed information on pricing, the single supplement, inclusions and exclusions download our trip dossier.



+ Pangong Lake and Tso Moriri Cultural Tour Extension 

Bolt on a jeep safari to the breathtakingly beautiful and culturally interesting Tso Moriri and Pangong Lakes, the latter partly in Tibet. Visit the nomadic communities at Tso Moriri, the traditional villages at Pangong Lake and explore the bustling Tibetan Buddhist monasteries en route to these lakes. +4 nights.

+ Srinagar & the Kashmir Valley Cultural Tour Extension

A great extension to any of our treks in Ladakh, or a wonderful trip on its own. Kashmir and Srinagar are some of the jewels of the Indian Himalaya, often described by local Kashmiris as "heaven on earth".


We recommend bolting this extension on to the start of your trek for acclimatization purposes. The highlights of this 9-day itinerary, flying from Delhi to Srinagar and finishing in Leh via the overland route, include old historic Srinagar & the Mughal Gardens, touring Dal & Nageen Lakes by shikara (local boat), the atmospheric morning floating market, a visit to Dacigram National Park, an excursion Manasbal & Wular Lake, the largest lake in Asia and more!

There are many ways to customize this trip, please get in touch to make this trip exactly what you are looking for!




June to end-September brings dry & warm weather after the Trans-Himalayan Spring and the benefits of trekking in this season are multi-fold: warm daytime temperatures and moderate nights and gorgeous wildflower blooms. Due to the snowmelt, some routes, especially those traversing canyons might be off-limits.



September to mid-November is a great time to trek in Ladakh despite the colder temperatures. Blue skies, sunny days and chilly night-time temperatures are the norm. The mercury starts to really dip towards the end of Autumn and the crowds start to thin out before the lodges and trekking closes for the winter.


Sample Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Leh & Drive to Nimmu

Day 2: Transfer to Leh and day walk for acclimatisation

Day 3: Day trip to the Thiksey monastery and Shey Palace

Day 4: Drive to the Gata Loops and Trek to Tsok Mesik

Day 5:  Follow the Tsarab Chu to Munele

Day 6: Ascend the rugged slopes of the Rupshu to Lake Camp 

Day 7: Cross the Gotunda La & Nyalo Kontse La 

Day 8: Camp at the Stunningly remote Tso Tok Lake

Day 9: Trek to Phuktal Gompa

Day 10: Drive to Padum

Day 11: Rest Day;Tour Karsha & Pishu

Day 12: Get back on the trail, climb the Parfi La

Day 13: Enter the wilderness region of the Bear Valley

Day 14: Traverse high over the Oma valley to Dibling

Day 15: Cross the desolate Pikdong La to Kanji La Base Camp

Day 16: Climb up and over the spectacular Kanji La

Day 17: Trek through gorge country to Kanji Village

Day 18: A demanding day over the Yogma La

Day 19: Navigate the meandering Shila gorge to Wanla 

Day 20: Buffer/Rest day;Explore Wanla

Day 21: Drive to Leh, rest & relax

Day 22: Explore Leh/

Day 23: Transfer to Leh airport , Fly to Delhi

Every trek is curated to your individual requirements. The above is only a sample itinerary to give you a sense of what awaits you. Contact us to start building your adventure!