Spituk -MathoIf you are looking for a relatively short, accessible trek with beautiful view and moderate difficulty, this trek is definitely the one for you to explore..
Day1: Spituk to Zingchen (4-5 hours)
After an early start from Leh we travel by jeep with our guide to Spituk, where the horseman with horses will be waiting to carry the backpacks, tents and food. Our walk begins along an old jeep road on very dry and exposed land, so water and protection against the sun are important! After 3 hours the landscape becomes greener as we go into the Zingchen Valley, where the Rumbak River flows into the Indus. Our camp is in the small village of Zingchen (3600m), which means ‘big field’, where there are just two houses. The rest of the day will be spent enjoying the view and maybe even a dip in the river.
Day 2: Zingchen to Rumbak (3-4 hours)
Today we enter Hemis National Park, home to the famous Snow Leopard, Blue Sheep, Ladakhi Urial (a type of goat), great Tibetan sheep (Arghali), red fox, Tibetan wolf, wild dog (dhole), Lynx, marmot and mountain hare. After paying the entrance fee at the check post, we start to gradually climb up to village of Rumbak, through a beautiful gorge from which the Stok peaks come into view from time to time. Just before reaching our campsite at Rumbak (4000m), we stop at a teahouse run by women from the village. Rumbak is known as a place to see and do research on the magnificent Himalayan snow leopard.
Day 3: Rumbak to Mankarmo via Stok La (5 –6 hrs)
The trail up to the base of Stok La 4800 m starts fairly gradual but becomes steeper as we approach the pass. When we stand at the pass, stunning views of the Indus valley and remarkable colorful rock formations will leave us aghast, forgetting the hard trail we walked. From the pass, we descend along the mountainside up and down until we reach some stone houses, use by the Stok villagers for summer pasture. Our campsite at Mankarmo (4200m) is also a first camp for the Stok Kangri approach. The rest of the day will be spent viewing the magnificent Stok Kangri.
Day 4: Mankarmo to Matho Phu via Matho La (5 hrs)
Our day begins with a gradual walk towards Matho La 4850 m, which offers a panoramic view of Stok Kangri 6150 m and Matho Kangri 6100 m. The trail down from the pass is fairly easy. We will come across some shepherd encampment from Matho, who stay here during summer months with their Yaks, sheep, and goats, before descending into Matho gorge. The walk in between the gorge displays beautiful color of the rock formation. Our camp for tonight lies ahead nearby stream.
Day 5: Matho Phu to Matho (3 hrs)
We will continue our trail though the beautiful gorge, which will lead us to Matho village. Matho is scenic village with its monastery perched on a hill. It is the only monastery in Ladakh that follows the Sakya sect of Tibetan Buddhism. Matho is known for its winter festivals with the invocation of Oracle who predicts for a year to come. After visiting the monastery and enjoying the view of the surrounding landscape we will drive back to Leh.