The Markha Valley is named after a tributary of the Zanskar that flows somewhere between the Stok and Zanskar mountain ranges. The Markha Valley is certainly one of the most varied and beautiful treks in the Ladakh Himalaya. Yurutse is 5 hours trek from Ginchen that is approximately one hour drive from Leh. It is at an altitude of 4050 meters and is en route to Markha Valley. Yurutse is a village with only one big house used for homestays by trekkers. From here you can have splendid views of mighty mountains and wildlife around with animals like Chiru, Tibetan Gazelles and Blue sheep. from Yurutse, you could trek across the 4920m Ganda La in around six hours to Shingo village (two farms, both homestays), possibly continuing three hours further to Kaya/Skiu in the Markha Valley. Alternatively from Rumbak, a similarly strenuous trek crosses the equally high Stok La (Namling La) pass and reaches Stok in around seven hours (turn left and descend at the second mini-pass). After the initial period of acclimatization to high altitude in Leh you will set out to explore the heartland of the central Ladakh Valley. It involves crossing of the passes – Kongmaru La 5130 mts, Gandla 4875 mts and walking on the banks of the Markha River. The highlight of the trip is the camping at the base of the Kang-Yatse peak on the plains of Nimaling. A few days later the trek ends at the wonderful Hemis monastery, with its warm austerity welcoming you back to a gentler and familiar world.
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