Zanskar River Rafting Expedition

Ravers Expeditions
  • 12 days
  • Tough
  • 4.9
  • Water

The Zanskar River Rafting Expedition (Grade 4+) tour. Our "special" yearly feature drives through most of western Ladakh, monasteries, palaces, villages, hikes and travel to one of the most surreal places on the planet.


The trip begins with a flight over the Himalayas into the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. We spend a couple of days in Leh town acclimatizing at 11,000 feet above sea level and visiting the ancient monasteries, palaces and villages around Leh. We then drive west of Leh past the town of Kargil and travel south into the valley of Zanskar, one of the coldest inhabited places on earth.

Starting the trip on the Stod River, we begin our self contained multi-day river adventure down the spectacular and scenic Zanskar river gorge. The trip takes you down the extremely desolate, remote and sheer Zanskar gorge with walls rising a few thousand feet out of the river bed, culminating on the mighty Indus River, (which incidentally lends India its name).


  • Day 1

    Arrive Leh

  • Day 2

    Leh There's no better place to spend a day acclimatizing to Himalayan altitude than in Leh. Several local monasteries welcome visitors to explore their ancient dwellings; cultural expositions are regularly held in the market. The day is all yours - whether you choose to explore Buddhist sites, relax in the sun on the hotel deck, or just watch people in the market.

  • Day 3

    eh - Kargil Today we will drive the Srinagar - Leh Road over two mountain passes, the highest of which, Fotu La, is over 14,000 ft in elevation. Along the winding course we stop at the Lamayuru monastery, one of the oldest Gompas in the Himalaya. After eight hours on the road, we reach Kargil where we check into a nice hotel- have a healthy dinner of Indian cuisine, and rest up for another day of travel.

  • Day 4

    Kargil - Rangdum This is one of the most spectacular drives in the world! Heading out of Kargil, we ascend up the Suru River Valley, passing through quaint farmlands stretched out beneath colossal glaciated peaks, the highest of which, Mounts Nun and Kun 7135 meters in elevation. Tonight we make our first camp in a vast meadow, surrounded by dazzling geologic formations, high in the upper reaches of the Suru drainage. Three miles across the meadow we can make out the remote Rangdum monastery, perched precariously atop a minute crag at 4000 m.

  • Day 5

    Rangdum – Zanskar River Put – In Camp The last leg of our drive takes us over 4400 m high Pensi La Pass, affording breathtaking views of the Zanskar Mountain Range and of the Zanskar River headwaters. Tonight we set camp at our put - in location on the river, framed by the massive peaks of the Himalayan Zanskar Range. Eat a spectacular dinner of Indian fare, and rest up for the river portion of our expedition.

  • Day 6 to Day 10

    Rafting the Mighty Zanskar! We spend these days rafting the Zanskar River! This is one of the most dramatic river canyons in the world. We begin our downstream journey with small rapids, drifting through spectacular mountain backdrops and alongside remote Zanskari villages. The whitewater becomes progressively more difficult as we move downstream. We'll navigate several narrow Class III and IV mini gorges; and will scout at least one section aptly named "The Pinch!" The scenery is spectacular, with massive cliffs opening up to lush side valleys, waterfalls streaming directly out of the canyon walls, and glimpses of glaciated mountaintops in the distance. Each afternoon we'll set up camp on the riverbank and work together to create delicious meals. Every camp allows opportunities for hiking and for further exploration of the gorge and its many side canyons. We'll also spend one layover day exploring Nyrak, an ancient Zanskari village and monastery accessibly only a foot.

  • Day 11

    Rafting – Nimo - Drive to Leh Today we encounter the last of the Class III and IV whitewater, and float past the enormous and dramatic confluence with the Indus River. We take - out, load up, and drive a short distance and hike up to the thousands of years - old Alchi Monastery. After a quick visit we drive back to Leh (1 hr). Overnight at hotel

  • Day 12

    Leh - Delhi Transfer to the airport and fly back to Delhi with awe inspiring memories from your expedition. Trip ends


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