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Chadar Trek & Snow Leopard Trek 2020 – a First Timer’s Guide to Ladakh’s Famous Winter Treks

Chadar Trek & Snow Leopard Trek 2020 – a First Timer’s Guide to Ladakh’s Famous Winter Treks

Trekking in Leh Ladakh in winter involves snow-capped mountain peaks, intimidating trails, and frozen lakes. Of all the winter treks in Ladakh, the two most prominent and thrilling ones are the Chadar Trek and Snow Leopard Trek. Both offer a chance to explore the breath-taking landscapes of Leh-Ladakh and its marvellous lakes and valleys. If you have a passion for nature and are looking forward to a unique experience, then you should definitely go trekking in Leh Ladakh during winters. 

Here is an insight into the most famous adventure treks in the ‘Land of High Passes’:

Chadar Trek 

Chadar Trek or the Frozen River Trek is known to be one of the most difficult as well as gorgeous treks of the great Himalayan Ranges. Trekkers have to walk on the frozen Zanskar River which turns into a solid bed of ice during winters. Offering breath-taking views of the surroundings, the trek takes you through some of the most solitary locales. You may even get a chance to see some rare wildlife such as ibex or spot a local mountain goat. The trek is not a simple expedition into the mountains but a challenging adventure that will test your strength with harsh weather, sub-zero temperatures, and steep terrains.


Here are a few things that you will do while on this splendid experience: 

  • Watch a sunset from the sacred Shanti Stupa.
  • Trek to Dib Tibb and explore thrilling caves. 
  • Spend a night under the stars here and relax in a tent pitched next to a bonfire.
  • Trek to the most scenic locations of Leh-Ladakh. Discover the largest frozen waterfall in the region and visit the bridge connecting Leh to Zanskar.
  • Visit the Naerek Village and interact with the locals to understand their culture and lifestyle. It is one of the most fascinating things to do in Ladakh. 
  • Enjoy a comfortable stay at the village camp.
  • Admire the beauty of the frozen lake and click pictures with the locals wearing traditional woollen robes or Gonchas. Relax and stay overnight at the campsite. 
  • Experience the tranquil beauty of Shingra Koma and discover pugmarks of wild animals, like foxes, ibex, and snow leopards.

For trekkers and adventure lovers who want to embark on this enthralling journey, now is the time because the Chadar Trek will only be available for the next two years, at the most. 

Read More: Try These Offbeat Things to Do in Ladakh

Snow Leopard Trek

One of the most popular treks in Ladakh, the Snow Leopard Trek takes you to an altitude of 4090m, and is one of the best things to do in Leh Ladakh in winter. Being a part of the Hemis National Park, the trek spreads across the Rumbak and Markha valleys. This region has the highest density of Snow Leopards in India. The elusive and enigmatic Snow Leopard is also referred to as the Grey Ghost of the Himalaya as it is beautiful to see but rare to sight. Going on a Snow Leopard trek in Ladakh is one of the most thrilling and exciting experiences. The trek is full of challenges and surprises and the adventure gives you a good insight into the Trans Himalayas region and its popular Rumbak valley.


Here a few things you will do on your Snow Leopard Trek experience:

  • Visit famous sightseeing spots around Leh, such as Gurudwara Pathar Sahib, the ‘Magnetic Hill’, and the renowned Hall of Fame.
  • Enjoy trekking on the frozen Zanskar River and spend a night in Uleytokpo, a place situated at a high altitude of 4050m, ideal for spotting snow leopards. 
  • Cross the famous Khardung La and Chang La Passes
  • Visit the picturesque Shanti Stupa. 
  • Enjoy panoramic views of nature and the Leh Palace. 
  • Drive to the beautiful villages of Shey and Thiksey, and Chemrey and Sakti Valleys to Lake Pangong on the Indo China border.

Read More: Here’s Why a Holiday to Ladakh Must Be on Your Bucket List This Summer

Trekking in Leh Ladakh in winter is an experience in itself. However, keep in mind that winters in Ladakh are harsh, with the temperature plummeting to –30 degree Celsius at night. Therefore, be prepared for cold days and colder nights. That said, the sense of exhilaration you feel after completing the trek will be unmatched! MakeMyTrip offers the best tour packages incorporating trekking in Leh Ladakh for solo and/or group travellers; so book your tickets at the earliest.


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