SNOW LEOPARD TRAIL

Hemis National Park is a high altitude protected area created in year 1981 in the eastern part of the cold desert of Ladakh for the conservation and protection of its unique flora and fauna. It covers an area of 600 sq km in the Markha and Rumbak valleys. Hemis National Park in Ladakh, India's best-protected area for Snow Leopards is one of the best place to sight this magnificent cat as they are generally found at an elevations between 3000-4500m.This trek takes you through stunning Himalayan alpine and sub-alpine zones where vegetation is sparse and temperatures are extreme. Being whitish-grey in color (tinged with yellow) and patterned with dark grey rosettes and spots, the Snow Leopard exhibits superb camouflage for its mountain environment of bare rocks and snow. These elusive cats are most active at dawn and dusk and show a strong preference for cliffy habitat with moderately to very broken terrain, rocky outcrops and ravines. They are opportunistic predators and are known to take prey up to three times their own weight, though a large part of their diet comprises of small prey like marmots, hare, birds and domestic livestock.

During this trek you would be accompanied by our expert naturalists and local trackers whose local expertise in this harsh terrain and their intrinsic training to look for the minutest evidences like pugmarks, scrapes and scats to track this elusive cat, is unmatched. While the sighting of this mysterious cat can in no way be guaranteed, the Snow Leopard Trek offers a unique opportunity to understand this amazing specimen and its habitat while trekking through some spectacular scenery of Hemis National Park.

Day to Day itinerary for Snow leopard Trek

Route : Delhi - Leh - Hemis National Park - Leh - Delhi
Altitude : 4090 m
Duration : 13 Days
Season : November - March
Grade : Moderate - Challenging
Group size : 3-4 persons.

Highlights
  • Breathtaking landscapes
  • Snow Leopard and high altitude wildlife.
  • Rare glimpses of an ancient culture of Ladakhi people.
  • Home stay accommodation.
Day 01: Arrival at Delhi International airport.

On arrival at airport /station, you shall be met by our representative displaying Placard addressed to your name, after meet and greet our representative shall transfer you to pre booked hotel. After breakfast at the hotel, leave by car with Govt. approved language speaking guide for the day tour of Delhi visiting Jama masjid Mosque, Red Fort, Raj Ghat, walk through the small lanes of Chandni Chowk. In the afternoon visit India gate, Humayun's tomb and Qutub minar. Evening: Shopping and light and sound show at Red fort.
Dinner and overnight at Hotel.

Day 02: Delhi - Leh (3500 m)

In the morning catch a flight for Leh. On arrival at Leh met our representative and transfer to hotel for rest. This is necessary for the acclimatisation. In the evening our expert will brief about the whole trip followed by welcome dinner .Overnight stay at Hotel.

Day 03: Full days monastery sightseeing

After breakfast, we set out on a guided tour of Leh. We visit the Shey Palace, Thiksey Monastery and Hemis Monastery. The tour will give us a glimpse of Tibetan Buddhist culture, which has existed in the region for centuries. In the evening, we will watch an interesting documentary on Snow Leopard conservation, produced by the Snow Leopard Conservancy. Overnight stay in the hotel.

Day 04: Half day hiking to adjacent villages of Leh.

This short half day hiking plus sightseeing provides you charm of adjacent villages and panoramic view and prepare you for trek. Guests will be driven to the Leh Palace, which houses old relics that belong to the sixteenth century ruler of Ladakh and Shanti Stupa- a picturesque Japanese Stupa built for world peace . After lunch at the hotel, you can go for leisure walk around Leh town (3500m) including a visit to Leh Gompa Soma and later in the evening stroll around colourful Leh market. Overnight stay at Leh in Hotel.

Day05: Leh - Zingchen- Hemis National Park (3300 m to 6930 m)

In the morning after breakfast we will drive to Zingchen and from here our trek will start along the Indus River gorge, a dramatic entry to Hemis National Park at Husing Nallah. On arrival set out camp for overnight stay at the park. Evening walk around to trace the signs of the Snow Leopard Dinner & overnight at tent.

Day 06: Hemis National Park

In the morning after breakfast we will trek to viewing wildlife with our expert .The Hemis National Park is not only home to snow leopard but to Tibetan blue sheep, argali (a large horned sheep), numerous mountain and migratory birds, as well as an occasional Tibetan wolf. You are likely to see sign of snow leopard as winter is the time that they descend to lower elevations. Dinner and Overnight in tent.

Day 07 : Hemis National Park

Today after breakfast, we hike for 3 hours to Rumbak Village, which is located at an altitude of 4,050 meters. Rumbak is known as the Snow Leopard capital of the world. We spend the day exploring the Rumbak Mountains.Look out for the Snow Leopard camouflaged in the white snowy mountains as well as the other interesting wildlife in the area. Our scouting trips take us as high as 4,600 meters. We also trek up towards Yurutse pasture in search of the Tibetan Argali (Great Tibetan Sheep). Dinner and Overnight in local homestay accommodation.

Day 08 : Hemis National Park

Morning after breakfast, explore the Rumbak valley and later in the afternoon hike around Kharlung. Overnight in local homestay accommodation.

Day 09 : Hemis National Park

Early Morning after breakfast depart on a day return trek to Ganda La(4870m) to look for highly endangered Tibetan Argali. Overnight in a tent.

Day 10 : Hemis National Park

Morning explore the surrounding area. Later continue return trek to Rumbak valley. Overnight in homestay accommodation.

Day 11: Trek to Zingchen - Leh

In the morning after breakfast we will trek to Zingchan and from here drive to Leh. Dinner and Overnight at hotel.

Day 12: Full day rest.

Today is a free day . In the afternoon enjoy folk dance show as well as farewell party at the Hotel.

Day 13: Leh - Delhi- Home country

In the morning you would be transfer to Kushok Bakula Airport with assistance from Hotel/guesthouse, followed by an hour flight to Delhi to enjoy yet again, a beautiful flight over the great Himalayas. And connect to international flight for your destination country with sweet and thrilling memories of Ladakh.

  • Home stay hosts have been trained in hospitality and are members of a community conservation effort to conserve the endangered snow leopard. At home stay you will feel the culture of the Ladakhi people.
  • Trek will start after a complete day rest and two acclimatization tours as it is very essential at this height and under such weather condition.