Best Time to Visit
Ladakh is open for tourist throughout the year, while the best period for tour and trek is from June to October. Most of the trekking routes are closed after November due to heavy snowfall at high passes except the Liker to Kahltsey (Sham) trek. The best period for Chadar trek is from January to Mid-March.
In the Leh-Ladakh and Lahaul-Spiti region, where monsoon does not have much effect, one can trek from the middle of June to the beginning of October. First week of May to end June is the pre-monsoon season. Passes below 4300 mts. are generally open for trekking from early June while the passes above 4300 mts. are negotiable only after monsoon rains are over.
Ladakh is a summer as well as winter destination for tourists. International tourists and the domestic tourists, come to spend the summers here, as the winters are filled with snow capped hills and the frozen lanes. Honeymoon couples enjoy a winter trip here for the romantic air and the cozy and comfortable resorts. However, Ladakh being a cold desert, all travelers should know about its weather conditions and the prevailing climate before actually deciding on a trip. During winters as well as summers while travelling to Leh by road one needs to be prepared for landslides/road blocks and must provide a couple of days extra as buffer days.
Ladakh experiences extreme climatic variations much for its high altitude. The region is also sparsely populated. At an altitude of 3521 meters above the sea level, the months of December and January are freezing below minus degree Celsius. Often people from the small towns of Ladakh move to mainland where the climate is still warmer. The barren locations of Ladakh are dry and hot in the months of April to October. One needs to be well prepared to protect themselves from the wind chill around Ladakh, a major factor for the cold during the summer evenings or while in shade.
One important aspect of the climate of Ladakh is the absence or scanty rainfall over the years. One finds the roads more dry, windy, and sandy. Rainfall in Ladakh amounts to around 10.16 cm annually.
A typical feature of the winter months is extreme temperature dip in the nights but no snowfall, though the Himalayas remain snow capped during this time. Again, some parts experience snowfall from end of September and melts away faster. Ladakh winter temperature varies from minus 20 degree Celsius to 15 degree Celsius.
Just like the extreme winters, summer would set you dripping in perspiration. In Summers from June to September, the temperature is about 30 degree Celsius. The parts that experience snowfall has it melting away at faster rate while in Leh and Shimla the snow stays on for at least a month. While the days are pretty warm, even hot at times due to the desertic effect, the evenings can become quite chilly thus requiring additional clothing.
In Zanskar, the days are pretty warm and hot and the evenings are quite chilly thus requiring additional clothing. It is advisable to be prepared for this situation with shirt and shorts during the daytime and Jacket and pullover in the evening. A big, all sided hat is recommended along with a good quality sun-screen lotion. While trekking above 4000 m, you need warm clothes. Fleece jackets, Down jackets with hood, thermals, etc are required while on a trek to beat the cold. Sometimes there is a rain or snow in early June therefore you need Rain Jackets or raincoat. Other essential items include a good sleeping bag, and a pair of woolen socks or some thick cotton socks. Good waterproof shoes are needed while trekking and extra pair of shoes and Sandal is always handy. It is also essential to bring a quality tent or a warm sleeping Bag if the intention is to travel or trek around on your own, and a good quality rucksack for back packing. It is also important to carry your provisions from Srinagar or Kargil, if a longer tour of the adjoining villages is intended.
In our “Overland Tours & Treks”, each trip has a tab with specific “What to Carry” information.
Leh Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport is an airport in Leh, Jammu and Kashmir, India. It’s one of the highest airports in the world at 3,256 m (10,682 ft) above mean sea level. The airport is named after the Venerable Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, whose 19th Incarnation was an important Indian and Ladakhi Statesman.