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Hiking the Sham Valley Trek in India

Sham Valley Trek | India
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to hike the Sham Valley Trek

  • Trip Highlight

    Discover and learn about the rural life and culture of Ladakh

  • Trip Highlight

    Admire the views of barren mountains and colorful landscapes alike

  • Trip Highlight

    Explore Leh, Ladakh’s capital, to get a complete experience of this region

Often referred to as “Baby Trek” due to being the easiest in the region to complete, the Sham Valley trek is a perfect introduction to India’s region of Ladakh. As you ascend various mountain passes adorned with prayer flags that provide vibrant colors to these otherwise barren landscapes, you’ll witness expansive vistas throughout the way. The green fields of barley, cascading creeks, apricot orchards, and willows you’ll come across on your way to sleepy villages stand in stark contrast to the arid terrain which dominates the area. To enhance this experience even further, you’ll explore the Himalayan city of Leh, the capital of Ladakh, before the trekking portion and visit its famous monasteries. Discover this truly serene mountainous region with the help of your expert guide and immerse yourself in the captivating culture of Ladakh.

Season

April to September

Nearest city

Your adventure begins in Delhi, India

Duration

8 days

Skill level

Beginner to advanced

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Hiking the Sham Valley Trek in India

8 days

Accompany your guide on a hiking tour across the marvelous Sham Valley trek in India’s region of Ladakh and spend your days exploring its capital and the barren mountainous regions. Get on top of mountain passes to witness some of the most astounding views and make your way to quaint villages steeped in history. Set up camps near bubbling creeks and enjoy the combination of fresh air and expansive landscapes all around you.

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Delhi

You will arrive at the international airport in Delhi where your guiding service will transfer you from the airport to your hotel in Delhi. You will have some free time to discover the city of Delhi and get ready for tomorrow’s flight to Leh.
Accommodation: Hotel in Delhi
Meals: No meals on this day

Paharganj, New Delhi, India

Day 2: Delhi – Leh

On your second day in India, you’ll take a flight from Delhi to Leh early in the morning. You’ll meet with your guiding service’s representative when you arrive and they’ll transfer you to a hotel in Leh. Once you check into the hotel, you’ll have plenty of time to rest and acclimatize your body to the altitude (3,500 m/11,483 ft). In the evening, you’ll explore the city’s local market.
Accommodation: Hotel in Leh
Meals: Breakfast

Leh, India

Day 3: Sightseeing in Leh

It’s time to do some sightseeing in Leh, the joint capital and largest town of Ladakh, a union territory in India. You’ll visit some of the most famous gompas (monasteries). The first monastery is the Shey Gompa, about 15 km (9.3 miles) to the south of Leh in the village of Shey which used to be the old capital of the upper Ladakh region and the place where the rulers of Ladakh used to have their summer residence. The main attraction in Shey is its giant statue of Shakyamuni Buddha. Then you’ll head towards Thiksey Monastery, located on top of a hill at an altitude of 3,600 m (11,800 ft), 19 km (11.8 miles) east of Leh, whose red and white buildings can be seen for miles on end. This is one of Ladakh’s most famous and largest monasteries.
Accommodation: Hotel in Leh
Meals: Breakfast

Hikers at Thiksey Monastery in Leh

Day 4: Leh – Yangthang (3,690 m/12,106 ft)

Today marks the first day of your trekking portion of this exciting adventure. After breakfast, you’ll drive to Likir, 58 km (36 miles) away from Leh. You’ll cross two passes – Phoebe La (3,580 m/11,745 ft) and Chagatse La (3,630 m/11,909 ft). Yangthang is located on the other side of the Chagatse La. You’ll spend the night in Yangthang, next to a stream.
Trekking: 8 km (5 miles), 4h
Accommodation: Camp/tent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

A hiker going uphill on the Sham Valley trek

Day 5: Yangthang (3,690/12,106 ft) – Hemis-Shukpachan (3,633 m/11,919 ft)

Today’s hike will be quite easy regardless of ascending to a pass. You will be ascending and descending on modest slopes. To get to Tsermangchan La (3,850 m/12,631 ft), you’ll head towards the north, cross a creek and ascend towards the west. After crossing the pass, you’ll descend to Hemis-Shukpachan, a small village.
Trekking: 5 km (3.1 miles), 3h
Accommodation: Camp/tent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

A hiker crossing a creek, the Sham Valley trek

Day 6: Hemis-Shukpachan (3,633 m/11,919 ft) – Ang

The third day of trekking will also be relatively simple. Kick off the day by hiking up between two hillocks in the west of the village till the trail heads south and starts ascending to Mebtak La (3,750 m/12,303). You’ll notice prayer flags which mark the path through this valley. From the pass, you’ll head down the gorge to Ang, a town surrounded by apricot orchards.
Trekking: 9 km (5.6 miles), 5h
Accommodation: Camp/tent
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner

A hiker ascending on the Sham Valley trek

Day 7: Ang – Leh

On the final day of the trek, you’ll take another simple downhill stroll on the main road. At Themisgam, a car will be waiting for you and you’ll be transferred to Leh. Once there, you’ll check into your hotel.
Trekking: 8 km (5 miles), 4h
Accommodation: Hotel in Leh
Meals: Breakfast

Trekkers descending on the Sham Valley trek

Day 8: Leh – Delhi

It’s your final day of this thrilling adventure. This morning you’ll be transferred to the airport in Leh and board your flight to Delhi where you’ll board your flight back home. After discovering India’s region of Ladakh and its amazing geographical and cultural features, you’ll come home fully recharged and with some great memories.

Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi
Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures for the Sham Valley Trek, India

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity. 

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures for the Sham Valley trek, India, please refer to India’s Ministry of Health and Family WelfareIndia’s Department of Foreign Affairs, and the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in India webpage.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

    • An experienced, local hiking and trekking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
    • Full 8 days of hiking, trekking, and sightseeing
    • Accommodations for 3 nights in a camp/tent
    • Accommodations for 4 nights in 3-star hotels in Delhi (1 night) and Leh (3 nights)
    • Full board meals during trekking (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
    • Breakfasts in hotels in Delhi and Leh
    • All ground services in an A/C vehicle
    • Trekking gear
    • Trekking poles, water bottle, rain poncho, etc. can be borrowed for free
    • First-aid kit for immediate service
    • Taxes

What’s not included:

    • Transportation before and after the trip
    • Domestic flights (Delhi – Leh and Leh – Delhi)
    • All meals not included in the itinerary
    • Sleeping bags (can be borrowed for free, but cleaning charges will apply)
    • Rescue and evacuation services

How fit do I need to be?

In order to hike the Sham Valley trek, you need to have a moderate level of fitness since you’ll be hiking anywhere between 3-5 hours covering 5-9 km (3.1-5.6 miles). Even though this trek is also called “Baby Trek” and is considered to be among the easier treks in this region, you’ll still need to be able to acclimatize to the altitudes in these mountainous areas. Keep in mind that you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What do I need to bring?

All trekking gear is included in the price. It includes tents, thermal mats, a blow pillow, a hot water bag for warmth during the night, a pressured altitude bag for emergencies, and a basic medical kit.

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

    • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (approximately 40-50L)
    • Sleeping bag rated -10 to -20C (can be borrowed, cleaning charges will apply)
    • Trekking poles (can be borrowed for free)
    • Sun hat or scarf
    • Light balaclava or warm fleece hat
    • Lightweight gloves
    • Heavyweight gloves or mittens with a waterproof shell
    • Underwear
    • T-shirts
    • Light- and expedition weight thermal tops
    • Fleece jacket or pullover
    • Fleece wind-stopper jacket — optional
    • Waterproof shell jacket (preferably breathable fabric)
    • Down vest and/or jacket — optional
    • Hiking shorts
    • Lightweight cotton long pants
    • Light- and expedition weight thermal bottoms
    • Fleece or wool pants
    • Waterproof shell pants (preferably breathable fabric)
    • Thin, lightweight inner socks
    • Thick, warm wool hiking socks
    • Hiking boots with spare laces
    • Camp shoes (sneakers and/or sandals)
    • Gaiters — optional
    • Headlamp with spare bulbs and batteries
    • Small pad or combination lock-to-lock trek bag
    • Basic first aid kit
    • Large plastic bags (for keeping items dry inside trek bags)
    • Thermarest sleeping pad
    • Water bottles
    • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
    • Sunglasses 
    • Small wash towel
    • Binoculars — optional
    • Compass — optional
    • Swiss knife — optional
    • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes and prices:

    • For this group adventure, the client-to-guide ratio is 15:1. Cost is per person and it doesn’t decrease as the group grows.
    • It takes a minimum of 6 people for this tour to operate. The maximum number of participants is 30.
    • If joining alone, you’ll be placed with peers that share a similar level of experience.

Hiking the Sham Valley trek can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

Min. age requirements:

    • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
    • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Deposit and cancellation policy

A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. Once the trip is confirmed by the guide, the cancellation policy stated below applies, and deposits are no longer refundable. The remaining 70% of the amount is paid at the latest 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.

All cancellation requests need to be sent in written mail. If you cancel your booking, the following cancellation fees will apply.

    • Cancellation 61 days or prior to departure, all deposits will be refunded after deduction of transaction fee and services booked in advance on a non-cancellable basis;
    • Between 31 and 60 days prior to departure, 75% of the total package amount will be deducted
    • 30 days or less prior to departure, there will be no refund and the full package amount will be forfeited.

If you leave a trip for any reason after it has commenced, your guiding service is not obliged to make any refunds for unused services. If you fail to join a tour according to tour booking dates or join it later or change departure date no refund will be made (in case of a group booking).

Getting there and meeting location

To get to your meeting point in Delhi, most people fly into Indira Gandhi International Airport about 50 minutes away from Delhi. From there, your guiding service will transfer you to your hotel in Delhi. On Day 2, you’ll take a flight from Delhi to Leh. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group. 

At the end of your adventure, your guiding service will transfer you from your hotel to the airport in Leh, where you’ll board a flight for Delhi and, from there, take your flight back home.

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Wired for a better world

Outdoor adventuring makes us fall in love with our planet and people, it gets our brains rewired differently and forces us to rethink our life priorities.

For years, we’ve dreamt of building a company that can make an impact on things that we deeply care about. Here are some initiatives we are grateful to be contributing to.

1% of our sales goes to environmental non-profits
We provide work to thousands of local guides worldwide
We operate on carbon neutral and renewable energy
1% for the education and diversity in guiding
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