• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    2.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    984.3 Feet

Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Scenic

Hike to the top of the city of Leh in Ladakh, India, and enjoy sweeping valley views with far-off 7,000 meter peaks.

Wherever you go in Leh, you won't be able to miss the Leh Royal Palace. This massive, towering palace was actually built to resemble the Potala Palace in Lhasa, and is adorned with classic Tibetan inscriptions and Buddhist monuments.

Begin this adventure at the base of the palace in the downtown Leh Bazaar area. There are a few different footpaths, and even a road, that lead up to the entrance. Hike up and through the winding stairs and balconies until you are on the dirt hill above the palace, at a patch of brightly-colored prayer flags, which will serve as your high point for the day.

The palace itself is nine stories high, which means to reach the top you're climbing between 900-1000 feet. An average hiker might not think of this as any big deal, but it's important to remember that Leh's elevation is right around 11,500 feet, so those extra 1,000 make a huge difference - especially if you're coming from sea level.

From the top of the palace, you can see far off to the 7,000 meter Stok range, where adventurers can climb Stok Kangri, or enjoy other treks throughout the Markha Valley. Leh is a great jumping off point for some of these lesser-explored regions of the Himalaya, where you'll enjoy comfort, great cuisine, and awesome service, all at an even better cost. 

Pack List

  • Diamox, in case altitude affects you poorly
  • Good walking shoes that will keep out dust and dirt
  • Plenty of sun protection - glasses, hat, sunscreen
  • Guide book or simple translations sheet
  • Camera!
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Rachel Davidson Explorer

Mountain climbing, trail running, and writing all about it. New to Seattle! Hit me up to show me around or go on an adventure.

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