Table of Content
- Overview to Stok Kangri Trek
- About Stok Kangri Trek
- Where is the Stok Kangri Trek?
- Best Time to Visit Stok Kangri Trek
- Markha Valley Trek Itinerary
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Overview to Stok Kangri Trek
One of the most alluring places on the planet is Stok Kangri that lies in the beautiful area of Ladakh. Ladakh is located in the Jammu and Kashmir state of India and is famous for the kindness and support of its inhabitants. Leh the joint capital of Ladakh is situated at the height of 3500-3800 m above sea level and is the most preferred place for the trekking lovers. Trekking in Leh is the ideal option for trekking in India and hence it attracts tourists from every nook and corner of the world.
Stok Kangri is one such peak that has gained tremendous popularity in the last few years. Illustrating the Himalayan range with a broader perspective, this trek embraces deserted surroundings and offers its trekkers the opportunity to experience the complete serenity. The entire trek trail has incorporated many hills so you can feel the sudden change in scenery.
In winter, the whole landscape attains a perfect splendour. Stok Kangri peak provides you a complete view of Zanskar and the Indus Valley.
About Stok Kangri Trek
Just imagine that crossing several obstacles, climbing on the lofty slopes, withstanding sunny mornings to severe snowstorms, and walking past winding tracks towards the 6153 meters is what it takes to do the Stok Kangri Trek. Therefore such a trek is only and only meant for those amateur and experienced trekkers that have one or two trekking experiences above 5000 meters and also, wish to experience the ultimate thrill and excitement.
Seven days of challenging trek through the magnificent Ladakh Mountains will push you to the limit. Stok Kangri, situated at about 20,128 feet above sea level, is the highest peak in its namesake range of the Ladakh Himalayas. Before you start the expedition, you get a whole day just to stroll around in Leh, a beautiful and culture-rich town. You then travel to the old village of Stok, where you will reach after a drive through tortuous mountain roads lined with birch trees. The elevation gain will begin right from the moment you start the journey from the village. You will first travel to Chang Ma, where you will find your tents set-up on lofty slopes at an altitude of around 13000 feet.
The next day you shall continue your Stok Kangri expedition and make for Mankorma. This is among the most scenic of journeys as, along with it, the mountains will keep changing their colour depending on the amount and angle of sunlight. Mankorma with its flat terrains provides a pretty contrast to the steep slopes of Chang Ma. At night, the Orion arm of the Milky Way galaxy with millions of shining stars is clearly visible from here. Wake up in the morning and get ready for a tough part of your expedition. The decreasing oxygen levels, rising cold temperatures, and increasing altitude will make you utilise all your mountaineering skills.
This section of Stok Kangri trekking will take you to the base camp of the mountain. You will get to look at some wonderful scenery, which will take away all your stress and the feeling of the hike being treacherous. Along the way, you will come across many small and bright glacial lakes. A lush green meadow by a narrow brook makes for a perfect spot to set up tents. In order to reach the top, you will first ascend to a glacier and then begin the real ascent. You will have to walk on all fours along the southern face of the mountain because of the narrow rugged path, and approximately 75-degree gradient of the slope. After an hour, the climb will become easier, and at the top, you will get impressive views of the Zanskar, and Karakoram Mountains.
The journey en route and thereafter passes through some narrow tracks and hazardous moraines; one might encounter blizzards, which may slow down or hold back trekking to Stok Kangri. The Stok Kangri Trek creates a unique experience for the trekker. This expedition offers camping, facilities for homestay at a scenic remote village, breath taking beauty, and pleasant stories.
|Duration||10 Days (3 Days travel/7 Days trek)|
|Best Season||Mid June – September|
|Trek Length||80 km Gradual|
Where is the Stok Kangri Trek?
The magnificent Stok Kangri (6153m) is situated in the south of Leh. Declared an open trekking peak by Indian mountaineering foundations, Stok Kangri can be done by anyone who is well-experienced in trekking and is physically fit. From the summit impressive views of Karakoram Range, Ladakh Range, and Zanskar range can be witnessed.
Best Time to Visit Stok Kangri Trek
The ideal time to visit Stok Kangri trek is between May and mid-October. During this time, the weather in Ladakh is warm and pleasant. The temperature usually ranges between 20 and 30°C in the daytime. Also, the highways leading to Ladakh are open for civilian traffic. This is the time when Ladakh receives the bulk of its tourists. Most highways open up at the end of April or the first week of May. The weather clears up and one can enjoy their trip to Ladakh.
Read more: Hidden Hill Stations In India/
However, July and August are the best months for Stok Kangri trek as during these months Manali-Leh and Srinagar-Leh highways are open for private vehicles.
Stok Kangri Trek Highlights
- Visit some of the ancient and architecturally rich monasteries of Ladakh
- Witness spectacular views of the stunning landscapes and hulking high peaks of Zanskar and Karakoram Range
- Experience serenity while passing through the beautiful Markha Valley
- Homestay at some scenic remote village and get an opportunity to imbibe the unique lifestyle of the locals.
How to Reach Stok Kangri Trek?
The Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is the main airport in Leh City. It has quite a number of flights that connect Leh with Delhi and with few other major cities of India. You can opt for air travel and have a very unique and exciting experience of flying over the mountains.
I would also recommend you to opt for road travel for reaching Stok Kangri Trek. Also, if possible take your own vehicle, or else you can rent a self-drive vehicle of your choice.
Also, it is better for you to hire a private taxi in Leh instead of hiring a shared taxi or depending solely upon public transport. This is because shared taxis and buses would not be the correct decision as there are multiple places to be covered and often you may not find any public transport going towards these remote villages.
Read more: Sham Valley Trek Ladakh
Now coming to the route, Leh is connected to the rest of India by two major highways: NH 1D (Srinagar-Leh Highway) and NH-3(Manali-Leh Highway). The Srinagar-Leh Highway passes through Kargil and Zoji-La whereas the Leh-Manali Highway passes through Rohtang Pass and Tanglang La. It also passes through the upland desert plateau of Rupshu whose altitude ranges from about 4,500 m to 5,500 m.
Markha Valley Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Delhi – Leh (Rest for acclimatization)
Take a morning flight from Delhi to Leh. I would suggest you take a morning flight. On arrival at Ladakh, take a taxi to reach the hotel. Then you can visit the local markets of Leh like the Tibetan market for clothes and the Moti market in the evening. Try to return early from the markets and take proper rest in the hotel.
Day 2: Leh
This day will be to get more acclimatized to the weather conditions in Ladakh. We shall go for a short day hike to practice essential ascending techniques. Overnight rest inthe hotel.
Day 3: Leh – Zingchan (3900 m/ 6hrs)
Try to wake up by 6 am, I know it is quite difficult to wake up so early when you are on a holiday. Yet, to make your vacation special try to follow some tips. Then get fresh and eat a proper, light, and healthy breakfast. Also remember to carry some biscuits, fruits, water bottles, and napkins along with you.
Today, you will have to drive to Spituk, which is the nearest road access to Stok Kangri. Then you shall begin your trek with an easy preliminary walk for around four hours until you arrive at Zingchan. Then you may camp overnight at Zingchan.
Day 4: Zingchan – Stok La (4400 m/ 7 hrs).
Post breakfast, you shall be trekking to the base of Stok La from Zingchan. Stok La is positioned below and the nights are cold and days are relatively warm here. Reach Stok La and take rest at the camp.
Day 5: Stok La – Mankorma (4900 m/ 6 hrs)
Today your trek will be towards Mankorma, where you will camp. Get the stunning panorama of Stok Kangri and the trek trail to the peak from the base camp.
Day 6: Mankorma – Base Camp (5000 m /5 hrs)
Early in the morning, you will head out for the base camp. You will reach early to camp and will utilize time to relax. After taking rest for few hours, you will take a small ascent from base camp. You will climb a further 100 meters and then descend again to get enough time in the night for the preparation of tomorrow’s peak attempt. Overnight, rest in the base camp.
Day 7: Base Camp – Stok Kangri (6150 m) – Base Camp (5000 m): 9-10 hrs
Today, you shall start early to utilize good weather conditions. You will ascend to a ridge first. This ridge will lead you to a large glacier that you will cross in order to reach the peak. The last steps towards the peak are the most difficult and require high physical and mental strength.
Day 8: Reserve Day for Summit
It is an additional day to explore and feel nature’s beauty at the peak.
Day 9: Base Camp – Stok village – Leh (3500 m): 8-9 hrs
Today, you will descend down to the Stok Village from the base camp. You shall cross ruins of old forts. It takes around six hours to reach Stok village where you can hire vehicles to reach Leh. You will drive for two hours back to Leh. Check-in to the hotel and overnight take rest.
Day 10: Back to Home
Now your trip has still not got over. You still have to reach your home. So, reach the airport in time to catch the flight to Delhi, and also, for those who have come by road, I wish you a safe journey ahead. Do not forget to capture some photos and videos while driving through the hills, forests, and then the plains.
I know you must be feeling quite tired and also sad at the same time because your trip has now come to an end. But I hope you enjoyed your trip to Stok Kangri Trek. Till then, keep on trying new trekking activities. We will meet soon with a new trek!
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
When should I book for Stok Kangri Trek?
You should book Stok Kangri Trek two-three months in advance so that you get an ample amount of time to prepare for the trek.
What is the minimum age required for Stok Kangri Trek?
Stok Kangri trek is a challenging trek with a maximum altitude of 20175ft (6150m), so the minimum age required is 15 years.
What kind of shoes will be required for this trek?
Trekking shoes with good ankle support are a must for any trek in the Himalayas. Quechua Forlclaz 500, Hi-Tec Colman and Salomon are the ideal shoes with value for money.
Which vehicles are used for transportation purposes?
Most of the Himalayan roads towards the trek are rugged, so a vehicle with best ground clearance like Mahindra Bolero, Scorpio, Safari Dicor, Tata Sumo ,etc are used for transportation purposes.