High in the Himalayas, deep in Indian Tibet, over one of the highest motorable passes in the world, lies Nubra valley. It is austere and remote, with an average altitude over 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level. And the valley has a truly rare climate: it is a cold desert, complete with sand dunes and Bactrian camels, yet it is also the “Valley of Flowers.”
The valley, inhabited primarily by Buddhist farmers growing wheat, barley, and sea buckthorn, wasn’t visited by foreigners until the late 19th century. And it remained closed to outsiders until 1994. Even now, visiting the valley is requires getting a group permit, which allows seven days of travel in the valley.
The only entrance to the valley by car is the high pass of Khardung La, a fully driveable road with an elevation of 18,000 feet (5,500 meters). For years, it has been called the highest motorable pass in the world. If it isn’t, it’s close, and as you cross the pass, you can see the entirety of Nubra valley, its two rivers (Shyok and Nubra), and the several towns and villages along them. Headrush Expeditions can organise motorcycle (Royal Enfield and dirt bike) as well as cycling expeditions into Nubra valley through the Khardung La.
Also, trekking expeditions can be organised, to enter the valley directly from Leh on foot via the village of Sabu, then over the high pass of Digar La and into the valley. It adds another two days to the trek, and offers excellent views of largely unpopulated parts of the region.
Most of our treks in Nubra start in Diskit, the main town, which is overlooked by a stunning six hundred year old monastery. From there, the sky’s the limit. Trekking to Hunder, another village, usually takes our trekkers along a stark and spectacular river gorge and then across the cold sand dunes, best crossed on a Bactrian camel.
Other Headrush Expeditions trekking routes pass through farmers’ orchards of rare fruits essentially unknown outside of India, and through smaller villages. Panamik hosts sulfuric hot springs and a Tibetan Buddhist gompa, and the Samstanling monastery near Sumlur is home to fifty practicing monks.
Some of our routes are more strenuous, such as the trek up the Dawa peaks, or the high pass of Lasermo La, which offers some of the best views of the Karakoram Range.
Nubra is one of the most isolated, undisturbed, and beautiful valleys in Ladakh, and a great trek for the adventurous. Call us today – for information on our Nubra trekking routes!