Enter The Lap Of Himalayas In A Way Like Never Before: Leh Ladakh Road Trip

 In Backpacking Trips, Ladakh, Travel

Are you looking for an adventure that will take you to the heart of the Himalayas? Look no further than a Leh Ladakh road trip. This journey will take you through some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the world and introduce you to a unique culture and way of life.

Leh Ladakh, is one of India’s most beautiful regions, famous for its high-altitude deserts and snow-covered mountains. It is located at an altitude of 3,500 meters above sea level and is surrounded by three mountain ranges: Zanskar, Ladakh and Karakoram. A trip to this remote region with our Leh Ladakh tour packages provides an opportunity to see some of the country’s most spectacular scenery: from lush green valleys to imposing mountain ranges, from relics left behind by ancient civilizations to Buddhist monasteries, from majestic temples to Tibetan settlements.

That being said, the Leh Ladakh road trip is full of surprises that can keep you engaged throughout your journey, whether by driving on them or enjoying them while riding a pillion with your partner!

Srinagar to Leh: A Road Trip through the Stunning Landscapes of Ladakh


With a driving distance of 434 km, Srinagar to Leh is an exciting Leh road trip that allows tourists to discover the true magic of Mother Nature’s creations. One of the fascinating aspects of this road trip is its route.

The journey starts at Srinagar and passes through several villages. You will encounter vast swaths of verdant fields, the quirky architecture of the Indo-Islamic style, the charm and hospitality of the local population, and the breathtaking beauty of the Himalayas.

The stunning Sonamarg valley welcomes you as you enter Jammu & Kashmir from New Delhi. The vista of green meadows on either side of Indus Valley Road takes your breath away as you drive past lush fields with tiny houses nestled in between.

You will also visit several destinations worth seeing along this route. The various villages that dot this road are home to ethnic tribes known for their unique ways and laidback lifestyle. You can visit quaint villages dotted across these vast green meadows and enjoy their charming appeal.

The Route: Srinagar – Sonamarg – Zoji La – Drass – Kargil- Mulbek – Namika La – Fotu La – Lamayuru – Hangro Loops – Khaltse – Nimmu – Leh

Must Read: Shopping In Ladakh: A Trip You Remember For Years

Manali to Leh: The Ultimate Plan for a Road Trip to Leh, Ladakh


The Manali to Leh road trip is a gem of a journey that shines with all its glory on the Indian roads. Starting at around 1500 meters above sea level in Manali, it’s a gradual climb to Rohtang Pass at 3798 meters above sea level. From here, a dramatic descent takes you to Keylong at an altitude of 1740 meters above sea level.

Multiple valleys offer exciting stopovers on the way as well. Alongside the road lie Tibetan temples and monasteries over 600 years old. The highest point on this journey is Baralacha La Pass, at an altitude of 5160 meters above sea level.

The moment you start driving from Manali towards Leh-Ladakh, you will be treated to high-quality views that are pretty breathtaking. Surrounded by snow peaks and lush green pastures, this road trip offers an incredible experience for adventure lovers who want to explore the beauty of Ladakh.

The route from Manali to Leh covers a distance of 490 km, and it takes approximately two to three days to complete this journey on your bike or rented vehicle.

The Route: Manali – Rohtang – Gramphu – Kokhsar – Keylong – Jispa – Zingzingbar – Baralacha La – Sarchu – Gata Loops – Nakee La – Lachulung La – Pang – Tanglang La – Gya – Upshi – Karu – Leh

Must Read: 50+ Amazing Places To Visit In Leh Ladakh

Modes of Transportation to Travel Leh by Road

  1. Royal Enfield: A motorcycle is ideal for solo riders or small groups who enjoy the wind in their hair, the thrill of an open road, and the challenge of navigating bumpy terrain on two wheels through high mountain passes.
  2. SUVs: This is an ideal option for families or groups travelling together in the mountains. Some popular options include Mahindra Thar, Toyota Fortuner, and Ford Endeavour.
  3. Jeeps: Mahindra Bolero and Maruti Gypsy are the most common jeeps used for road trips in Ladakh.
  4. Tempo Travellers or Minivans: This is a popular option for bigger groups or families.

Must Read: Popular Restaurants In Leh Ladakh

Highlights of the Leh-Ladakh Road Trip

Image Source : ridethehimalayas
  • Passes: The road trip to Leh Ladakh is filled with high mountain passes such as Khardung La, the world’s highest motorable pass at an altitude of 18,380 ft., Chang La Pass at a height of 17,688 ft., and Baralacha La Pass at an altitude of 16,040 ft. These passes offer spectacular views of the Himalayas and are an actual test of your endurance.
  • Valleys: The journey to Leh by road passes through some of the most beautiful valleys in the region, such as Nubra Valley, known for its double-humped camels and Pangong Tso Lake, one of the highest saltwater lakes in the world. Plus, as you wind through the valleys of the Zanskar mountain range, you’ll pass by some of the most picturesque sights in the area.
  • Monasteries: Ladakh is home to many ancient Buddhist monasteries, such as the Hemis Monastery, the largest in Ladakh, and the Thiksey Monastery, a 12-story complex that houses a collection of ancient texts and frescoes.
  • Villages: The Ladakh road trip also passes through many remote and traditional villages, such as Diskit and Turtuk, where one can experience the local culture and hospitality. A typical tourist attraction in such villages are the monastic schools, which teach young monks to read and write. In addition to the beautiful scenery, plenty of traditional Tibetan houses can be explored.

Must Read: Best Hotels In Leh Ladakh

Tips to Keep in Mind While on a Road Trip to Leh Ladakh

Being on a road trip is an experience that can be life-changing. The long drive, the open sky, and the vast expanse of nature around you are experiences that cannot be described in words. And when you are travelling to Leh by road, it becomes even more critical to make sure that you enjoy every bit of this trip. So here are some tips that you should keep in mind while travelling to Ladakh:

  • Research the route, weather conditions, and necessary permits and make sure your vehicle is in good condition.
  • Bring warm clothing, a first aid kit, and enough food and water for the journey.
  • Make sure to have an ample amount of cash on hand. ATMs might not be available in remote areas.
  • Altitude sickness is a common problem in Ladakh. Take it easy on the first day and allow your body to adjust.
  • Observe traffic rules, know the risks of landslides and flash floods, and carry a GPS device and a satellite phone.
  • Ladakh is a sensitive region with a unique culture and customs. Therefore, be respectful and mindful of local traditions.
  • Avoid a rigid itinerary. Instead, allow for flexibility in case of unexpected road closures or weather conditions.
  • Keep your driving license, registration and insurance papers of your vehicle and other identity proof ready for inspection at various check posts.
  • Keep your vehicle in good shape, carry spare parts and tools, and be prepared for the rough terrain.

It is possible to bike through this region without a package tour—but only if you have enough time and are a pretty experienced cyclist. These trips are not meant for the inexperienced or faint hearted; they require significant physical stamina and an ability to deal with sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions that would confound even the hardest adventurers. If you’re not sure where to start when planning your trip, you can lean on WanderOn tour packages offering road trips to Ladakh.

Ladakh Bike Trip Packages perfectly blend adventure, culture and heritage. This tour includes a scintillating ride through the narrow mountain passes with fascinating sights like snow-capped Himalayas, mountain streams, green meadows and rare wildlife species.
This adventurous bike trip from WanderOn will leave you spellbound as you witness the mesmerizing beauty of this diverse region. You will receive a quality bike that syncs with all safety norms and guidelines.

Also, we will take care of all your meals during your stay in Ladakh to ensure you do not experience discomfort. Our well-planned packages offer everything you need to enjoy your road trip to Leh- Ladakh in full swing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Leh Ladakh Road Trips.

Is Leh Ladakh Road Trip by Car Safe?

The road to Leh is a beautiful drive through vast valleys of the Himalayas and rocky mountain ranges. However, road accidents can frequently happen due to extreme climate conditions and geographic features. Therefore, you need to prepare for any contingency and ensure that you have all the essentials since there are no adequate medical or mechanic facilities.

Even if you’re travelling during summer, you should pack warm clothes because the temperature drops significantly at night. You’ll need to carry plenty of water since there are no proper drinking water sources along the way. There is little else to worry about since most of the necessary facilities (food, fuel and accommodation) are available in every town along the way.

What duration is ideal for a Leh Ladakh road trip?

The distance between Leh and Manali is approximately 490 kilometres, and it shall take seven days to cover using the Manali-Leh highway. The distance between Leh and Srinagar is about 157 kilometres, and it shall take three days to pass through using the Srinagar-Leh highway. 

Then, you can use any road from Leh to Ladakh to visit Pangong Lake or Nubra Valley, which ranges from 70 km to 100 kilometres. The direct path from Shyok village takes up to 65 kilometres. After reaching Leh, it takes one day more on average for acclimatisation. Overall, it shall take 11-12 days to make a memorable road trip to Ladakh.

Is Ladakh good for road trips?

Yes, Ladakh is an excellent destination for a road trip. The region offers breathtaking landscapes, remote villages, and unique cultural experiences. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that the roads can be challenging, especially during the winter season. Additionally, preparing for high altitude and extreme weather conditions is necessary.

Finally, having all the required permits and papers to travel in the region is also essential. The landscape is known for its rugged terrain and breathtaking landscapes, which are worth capturing on camera. For those looking for an exciting adventure, this destination offers a unique experience for road trippers.

Which route is best for Ladakh road trip?

Srinagar to Leh and Manali to Leh are the two routes for the Leh road trip. Both ways offer breathtaking views of the landscape, but the one you choose for your Ladakh Road Trip will depend on your preferences, the time of year, and the condition of your vehicle.

The length of the routes is significantly different. For example, Srinagar to Leh road trip is a much shorter route than that of Manali to Leh, which makes it perfect for those with limited time or if you want a shorter  journey then you can drive through the picturesque landscapes of Jammu & Kashmir.

On the other hand, if you are up for a long drive, Manali to Leh may be your preferred choice because of its length and scenic beauty. Whichever route you choose, be prepared for a journey of a lifetime, with breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences.

Are Ladakh roads risky?

Ladakh is known for its treacherous roads, which can be a challenge for even the most experienced drivers. The narrow, winding streets, with steep inclines and declines, need guardrails. The road is also prone to landslides, rockfalls, and flash floods, which can sometimes make it impassable. Additionally, the roads to Leh are often closed during the winter due to heavy snowfall, making it inaccessible for several months. 

Therefore, travellers should check beforehand with their travel agent or tour operator about whether the road will be open during their planned trip. Still, it’s essential to be prepared for a worst-case scenario where you might need to turn back or end your trip early. 

Recent Posts

Leave a Comment