Season : June to October
Altiitude: 3750 mts / 12300
Duration: 07 Days
Possibly one of the easiest treks in the Ladakh region, the Sham Valley Trek binds one's heart and soul with an unparalleled phenomenon of nature and culture. It sheers into the famous Apricot Valley of Ladakh peeling off the ethnicity of the Ladakh village life, ancient monasteries that reflect the everlasting footsteps of different sects of Buddhism and untamed streams cutting across the valley. A dynamic full of life beginner won't find any challenges while on his journey through the paths and pace at an average elevation of 4,500 meters.
The Sham Valley Trek leads off to Yangthang after a gradual descend to Phobe La at 3,580 meters from Likir and thereafter heads up to Chagatse La, which is at an elevation of 3,630 meters. The Ridzong Monastery that lies about an hour's distance from Yangthang and passes through a narrow gorge is one of the major attractions on this trek. The trek from Yangthang maneuvers to Hemis Shukpachan across Tsermangchan La, which is at a height of 3,750 meters. On this route, the village that is often dubbed as grove of cedars is one of Ladakh's comeliest. Further one will come across several sparkling streams surrounded by shady willows and large barley fields that provide a touch of green to the otherwise desolate, rocky Mountains. The trail thereafter ascends between two hillocks to the west until it veers south and climbs steeply up to the Mebtak La at 3750 meters dotted with prayer flags. From the pass the journey to Ang, which ushers with apricot orchards, swerve through a gorge. Finally, the trek downhill to Temisgam widely displays the local culture of the Indo-Tibetan sects.
The Sham Valley Trek is also known as a Baby Trek that covers a distance of approximately 30 kilometers from Likir to Temisgam and takes 4-5 days. The best season to backpack for this trek is anytime from, June to the first half of September.
Day 01: Delhi - Leh
Early in morning flight from Delhi gets to Leh in less than two hours. From the airport you would be transferred to a hotel. Where they would be housed on full board. Leh is at an altitude of 3500 mts. And all guests are advised to rest for the entire day. A successful trek in Ladakh requires you to acclimatize well Early in the morning transfer to airport. From here catch a flight for Leh. Upon arrival at Leh transfer to hotel for full day acclimatization. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel/guest house.
Leh: Leh is the fascinating capital of the Autonomous Hill Council of Ladakh, also known as Little Tibet. The important monasteries to visit in and around Leh are Shey, Thiksey, Hemis, Spituk, Samkhar as well as the Shanti Stupa, Stok Palace and main Bazaar. The Leh palace dominating the town was the former home of the Namgyal Dynasty. The monastic festivals are very popular and Hemis, Phyang and Lamayaro festivals in summer are visited by lot of tourists who throng to see the Cham Dances.
Day 02: Leh
Full day sight seeing at Leh covering Hemis, Shey and Thiksey Monastery.
Shey Gompa is about 15 kms from Leh. It used to be the summer palace of the kings of Ladakh. There are lots of Stupas and Gompas built around the palace. Shey palace was built by Deldan Namgyal in the beginning of 17'Th century AD. Main attraction in Shey is the 12m Shakyamuni Buddha statue inside the Dresthang Gompa.
Thiksey Gompa, close to Shey is about 17 kms from Leh. The monastery is considered to be one of the most beautiful in Ladakh and belongs to the Gelukspa order.
Hemis, about 45 kms south of Leh it is one of the most famous and largest monastery in Ladakh. It belongs to the Drukpa order and was founded in the early 17'Th century. The setting is perfect with the monastery cradled in a lovely valley, surrounded by streams and fronted by long Mani walls. Overnight stay at the guest house.
Day 03: Likir To Yangthang Across Phobe La (9 Kms/4 To 5 Hrs.)
Morning after breakfast you will be driven by taxi to Likir which is just 58 kms. Away. Likir Village (3650 mts.) is the starting point of our trek. Although the distance is short, the route is warm, without any shade or water and we need to traverse two passes. From Likir the route heads west up to Phobe La (3580m) and beyond this lies Sumdo village. The trail goes steadily upwards till you get to Chagatse La (3630m). Across the pass is the village of Yangthang (3630m) where we camp for the night, next to a stream. The Ridzong Monastery lies about an hour south of Yangthang.
Day 04: Yangthang To Hemis Shukpachen Across Tsermangchen La(8 Kms 2/3 Hours)
Today is an easy walk despite the pass because both the approach and the descent are of gentle gradients. The trail heads north,descending for a bit, crossing a stream before climbing up west again to Tsermangchen La (3750m). After a short rest at the pass we head down to Hemis Shukpachen. The village, named after the grove of cedars, is one of Ladakh's prettiest. There are several sparkling streams surrounded by shady willows and large barley fields that provide a touch of green to the otherwise desolate, Rocky Mountains.
Day 05: Hemis Shukpachen To Ang Across Mebtak La (10 Kms/ 3 Hrs)
Again this is a fairly easy day. The trail goes upward between two hillocks west of the village upwards until it veers south and climbs steeply up to the Mebtak La (3750m) marked by prayer flags. From the pass we head down the gorge to Ang, a charming village with apricot orchards, where we camp for the night.
Day 06: Ang To Temisgam And Nurla (8 Km/ 3 Hrs)
Today is the last day and very easy as it's downhill all the way on to the main road. From Temisgam there would be a taxi waiting to take back everyone to Leh.
Day 07: Leh - Delhi
Depart for Delhi by the morning flight. For the more adventurous a drive to either Manali or Srinagar can also be arranged on request. The road journey is covered in two days with an overnight halt at either Sarchu, which lies on the Leh-Manali highway, or Kargil, which lies on the Leh-Srinagar highway.