Ultimate Ladakh Trek: Markha & Jumlam to the Suru Valley Trek

With Kim Bannister

$4180 USD
per person
Duration 29 days
StartLeh, Ladakh
FinishLeh, Ladakh
Difficulty Strenuous
Cancellation Moderate

Your Guide

Kim is the founder of Kamzang Journeys and leads almost all of the Featured Treks as well as a few Himalayan bike rides. She is also a partner in Project Himalaya Treks. She has been based in Kathmandu for the past 12 years and takes care of everything from creating & upkeeping the website, writing & researching the trek itineraries, taking the photos, answering emails and doing the accounting to creating the Kamzang dining tent decor and even shopping & packing for the treks. She also manages the Kamzang Fund.

Kim has been looking for a spot to build the perfect bamboo hut since graduating from Colagate University in 1988. Her search has taken her on many years of travels throughout Asia, Africa, Australia & NZ, the South Pacific and cross-country in the States, but although she now has a basement (her parents') full of ‘curios’ to fill several houses, that idyllic dwelling still eludes her and her semi-nomadic lifestyle continues. She now spends most of her time in the Himalayas, often in her 'Kamzang Style' tent (gur) ...

Kim grew up in the East Coast of the US, but lived afterwards in Hawaii, California and Colorado, where she spent most of her time outdoors biking, hiking, windsurfing, surfing, skiing and, of course, collecting funds for further travels. After trying out the corporate world of marketing for Geographic Expeditions in San Francisco and briefly volunteer teaching in the Everest region of Nepal, she met the Project Himalaya team, Jamie & Joel, and has been creating and leading treks in Nepal, India, Tibet and Bhutan ever since.

Guides for: Agency Employed
Guiding Experience: 14 years
Nationality: USA
Speaks: English, Nepali, French
View Kim Bannister's full profile


Another in our series of ‘best-of’ our Kamzang Journeys treks in Ladakh & Zanskar, crafted from 15+ years of exploratory treks in the wilds of the Indian Himalaya, this unique trek is a remote, wild & challenging route through some of Ladakh’s most unique, remote and breathtakingly beautiful regions, including the Jumlam, a sparkling, adventurous river route.

From the traditional villages of the willow-lined Markha river valley, we trek to the high nomadic plateaus, where we camp with the Markha-pa and their hundreds of sheep, yaks and goats, a timeless vignette. Crossing the 5000+ meter Zalung Karpo La pass, we reach the Jumlam, an old trade route only passable in the autumn when the rivers were low enough to allow travelers and their caravans to negotiate the narrow gorges in safety. The Jumlam is inaccessible during the winter due to the snows blocking the many mountain passes, and a series of lookout towers and fortresses guarding against invasion from Tibet or India attest to its importance in historical days.

Once in the former Kingdom of Zangla in Zanskar, we trek northwest through remote western Ladakh & Zanskar to the predominantly Muslim Suru Valley. En route we splash through rivers to reach our idyllic campsites in some of the region’s most far-flung villages, visiting their ancient Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, sharing salt-butter tea and barley beer in their homes. There are plenty days built in for exploration, and lots of time to relax, enjoy the Himalayan break and soak in the surroundings …

Some highlights are rare wildlife such as kiang, blue sheep, snow leopard, wolves, ibex, argali and golden eagles. Remote villages, active Buddhist monasteries, nomadic settlements on the high grazing plateaus, 5000-meter Himalayan passes, soaring canyons and sparkling river valleys to ford.

The Indian Himalaya in the summer is one of our favorite trekking locations; the campsites are green and breathtakingly beautiful, the days are sunny and long, the villages bustling with activity. A photographer’s dream and a real adventure!

NOTE: This is a river trek! We cross many rivers, some over knee-high, over and over. Be prepared with good hiking sandals, trekking poles and a sense of adventure! Contact kim@kamzang.com (www.kamzang.com) for more info.

Price Includes

  • Accommodation
  • Airport Shuttle
  • Equipment
  • Guide's Salary
  • Guide's Transport
  • Guide’s Accommodation
  • Guide’s Insurance
  • Guide’s Meals
  • Meals
  • Private Jeep

Price Excludes

  • ACAP Permit
  • Access Flights (Both-Ways)
  • Access Flights (One-Way)
  • Four Porters
  • International Flights
  • MCAP Permit
  • MRAP Permit
  • One Porter
  • Permit Fees
  • Porter Insurance
  • Porter's Insurance
  • Private Taxi
  • Public Bus
  • Public Jeep
  • Three Porters
  • TIMS Card
  • Tips
  • Travel Insurance
  • Two Porters
  • Visa Fee


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