Spiti to Ladakh Trek over Parang La (5600 meters)

“A long-distance hiker, a breed set apart,

  From the likes of the usual pack.

  He’ll shoulder his gear, be hittin’ the trail;

  Long gone, long ‘fore he’ll be back.”

-M.J.Eberhart

That being said, the long and winding trek from Spiti Valley to Changthang (Ladakh) and then onto Tibet, is a Trans-Himalayan trek that retraces the ancient and renowned trade route.

Parang La is perched at an altitude of 5,600mts and connects the Spiti valley to Ladakh (High-Altitude Mountain Desert). On the Spitian side of Parang La, River Parilungbli meanders and the trail runs parallel to it and ascends up to the pass and opening in to Ladakh. 

The trek through the High-Altitude Mountain Desert originates in Kibber in Spiti Valley – the highest inhabited village in the world and culminates at the village Karzok by the banks of the beautiful Tso Moriri, Ladakh. The meadows of Kibber are galore with sightings of some exotic wild life such as the Himalayan Snow leopard and the magnificent horses of Spiti. The trail cuts across a gorge that leads to Dulma. From Dulma, there is another steep route to the meadows of Thaltak.

Parang La Pass Trek Diffiulty:

 Let me reiterate here, willpower is the key. It is not an easy adventure, but then, what is the fun in doing something “adventurous” that you could have done without whining and praying…..”God! I will do anything you want! Just get me through this.”  

But then, the beauty of Thaltak is a reward enough when and if we camp here.

Now comes the time for some serious climbing. 

And, to quote Terri Guillemets:

“You need special shoes for hiking – and a bit of a special soul as well.”

It could not hold more water than now!

The texture of the trail now turns challenging as it arrow-heads on to Jagtha, which is at an altitude of 4,785 mts and finally, to Boroghlen, which is at an altitude of 5,182 mts.  

Then, from Boroghlen a steep ascent leads to Parang La. Once on top of the pass, the majestic and cosmic Valley of Changthang lies ahead in its full glory.

old houses in ladakh valley spotted on parangla trek with yoloO life

Parang La is also the point of origin of River Pare Chu. What is unique about this river is that it is the only river that originates in India, flows onto Tibet and then re-enters India via Spiti and finally reaches Tso Moriri (a high-altitude lake at 15,000 ft).Tso Moriri is a lake whose beauty is unparalleled and best witnessed in all its glory. The lake runs almost 27 kms in length and 8 kms in width. During the mating season, the lake is a play ground for Brahmini ducks, black-necked crane and bar-headed geese to name a few. 

Yoo Hoo! Time to celebrate! The Mountain Gods tend to get a bit more generous after the top of the pass. It feels like they are having a good laugh at the madness that is “Himalayan Keeda” and almost endorsing it.

We start our descent from the top of Parang La, heading on to the origin of River Pare Chu and are greeted with a radical change in topography. Across Parang La, we will trek on to the Rupshu plains of the Changthang Plateau, which also happens to be the eastern-most tip of the Tibetan Plateau. This region also enjoys a fairly large population of Kiangs or what are more commonly referred as, The Tibetan Wild Ass. The trek across the Changthang Plateau and Valley is unique and unparalleled in the sure-shot sightings of some rare Himalayan wildlife. (Pun intended)  

The trail opens in to the Valley of Dak Karzok and is now, fairly easy. The trail meanders through Datang Yongma, Racholemo, Norbu Sumdo and then crosses over to Chumik Shilde. From here, following the trail, we will reach the southern bank of Tso Moriri. The trail runs alongside the shore of the lake and will finally end at Karzok. 

Oh Yes! You did it

You rule ☺☺☺

3 hikers in distance on scree and loose rocks landscape pf parangla trek

 

 

Conquer the legendary Parang La, an epic trek traversing ancient trade routes between Spiti & Ladakh.

Embark on the historic Parang La trek, a journey linking Spiti (Himachal) with Tibet and Changthang (Ladakh). Choose your starting point – Karzok in Leh or Chicham/Kibber in Spiti – and ascend to the majestic Parang La pass, reaching 5600 meters. Follow the Pare Chu river, carving its path from Tibet back into India. Witness the rugged beauty of ancient mountains, sculpted by eons underwater, and discover unique fossils nestled within their folds. Wander through vast meadows, once grazing grounds for Spiti horses, and savor the serenity of Tso Moriri Lake. Spend two idyllic days hypnotized by its shifting shades of blue, framed by unclimbed peaks. Conclude your adventure in Karzok village, home to a revered and ancient monastery. Dive deeper into the trek’s secrets on this page – explore itineraries, navigate the route map, understand weather and temperature fluctuations, browse captivating photos and videos, and delve into insightful reviews. So, lace up your boots, unfurl your adventurous spirit, and let the Parang La trek blogs ignite your wanderlust!

Parang La Trek Itinerary:

Day 1: Kaza Arrival (200 km drive from Manali)

  • Early start from Manali for smooth Kaza arrival by 3-4 PM.
  • Breathe easy: explore Kaza’s bustling market & acclimatize.
  • Scenic highlights: Rohtang Pass & Kunzum La with its iconic Mandir.

Day 2: Chicham Acclimatization (18 km drive)

  • Rest & acclimatize to higher altitude.
  • Short walk along Spiti River for gentle movement.
  • Immerse yourself in Spiti culture: visit Key Monastery & iconic trolley bridge.

Day 3-4: Chicham Rest & Preparation

  • Acclimatization days: short morning walks, exploring local gompas.
  • Finalize trek preparations & gear check in the comfort of your Chicham homestay.

Day 5: Chicham to Thaltak (8 km trek)

  • Moderate trek from Chicham village with gradual ascent.
  • Breathtaking panoramas: admire Kanamo Peak & Spiti valleys.
  • Camp overnight in the serene meadows of Thaltak.

Day 6: Thaltak to Borochin (12 km trek)

  • Steep descent through a dramatic gorge, crossing the Rong Nala bridge.
  • Challenge yourself: ascend to Juktha campsite, then onwards to Borochin at Parang La base.
  • Rest under the stars at Borochin, nestled near the majestic Parang La pass.

Day 7: Borochin to Kharsa Yongma (14 km trek)

  • Early morning climb through moraines & camp at Thakchu.
  • Ascend the mighty Parang La (5580 m): witness breathtaking Spiti & Changthang views.
  • Descend the Parang La glacier & camp at Kharsa Yongma, embraced by the mountains.

Day 8: Kharsa Yongma to Kapapuche (20 km trek)

  • Follow the Datang Nala river bed, crossing numerous streams.
  • Optional campsites at Datang Yongma & Datang Kongma.
  • Enjoy the vastness of the landscape while trekking towards Kapapuche.

Day 9: Kapapuche to Kitpodansa (20 km trek)

  • Similar river bed trail: cross Falangbado Nala & encounter diverse geological formations.
  • Explore Phalum Phada’s rock structures & camp at Racholamo, where valleys converge.

Day 10: Kitpodansa to Chumik Shilde (18 km trek)

  • Follow the Parechu River downstream, then take a sharp turn towards Norbu Sumdo (Ladakh border).
  • Thrilling challenge: cross the mighty Parechu River, marking your entry into Ladakh.
  • Camp amidst lush meadows & spring water at Chumik Shilde, basking in the Ladakhi landscape.

Day 11: Chumik Shilde to Kiangdom (14 km trek)

  • Enjoy flat plains with glimpses of the pristine Tso Moriri lake in the distance.
  • Spot wild asses in their natural habitat: camp near Kiangdom’s unique ecosystem.

Day 12: Kiangdom to Karzok (21.5 km trek)

  • Scenic lakeside trail: trek along the shores of Tso Moriri, mesmerized by the views.
  • Final ascent to Karzok village, your gateway to further Ladakhi adventures.

Day 13: Karzok to Leh (240 km drive)

  • Shared vehicle transfer to Leh: relax and absorb the memories of your unforgettable trek.
Parang La Trek Price:

Guide & porters contact details for to trek parangla pass: Please don’t be lured by cheap offers from any website or operator. Parang la pass trek is a serious expedition that needs planning, professional experienced guides, and equipment. The cost of Parang la trek should be above inr. 60000 with any of the reputed operators. ‘Mountaineerz’ have been organising spiti to ladakh trek for over a decade, you an check them out on www.yoloo.life or connect with Vicky – 91-9805379767

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