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Best Time To Visit Leh Ladakh

Discussion in 'North India' started by ViratBharadwaj, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. ViratBharadwaj

    ViratBharadwaj New Member

    One of the places which I want to go and visit is Leh Ladakh, but because it is a destination far away it has to be planned well in advance. Things like weather are something which needs to be taken into consideration as winters can be very extreme there, although I would like to see Leh Ladakh in both seasons.

    Like posted above I have two choices of when to see Leh Ladakh, either in summer or winter, I would like to know exactly which months one should visit Leh Ladakh so that both seasons can be experienced.

    What activities can be done during the winter season in Leh Ladakh?

    What activities can be done during the summer season?

    I am only guessing that fewer things can be done or seen during the winters, if this is wrong please correct me?

    Is there any chance of seeing snow during the summer season as well?

    I may have missed some things out, so other queries maybe be posted at a later date. Thank you.

  2. Deven

    Deven Member

    You should visit Ladakh from May to September to experience the summer, or you can say the spring/summer season, temperatures are between 20 - 27 c but can drop significantly during the night. In May, the lakes may be a little frozen and sometimes the highways connecting to Ladakh may not be open due to the snow. So if you are reaching Ladakh by car it is something to consider.
    Winter or autumn/winter season is from October to April, and the temperatures drop down to the minuses. The months November to February have the worst winter weather, and temperatures can go down to -20 c.
    The only way to reach Ladakh during winters is by air.

    Winter activities that can be conducted in Leh Ladakh are trekking and ice skiing. Winter activities should be conducted by an operator or a tour guide during the winter season in Ladakh.

    Summer season activities include trekking, river rafting, camel safari, jeep safari, cycling and paragliding

    That's correct only a few things can be done during the winter season due to heavy snowfall and the drop in temperatures.

    The summer months temperatures can go up to 27 c, and it does get a bit pleasant, you would be able to see snow on mountain peaks only but not on ground. If you would like to see snow, there is occasional snowfall during April, when the cold weather is not too severe.

  3. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    I would avoid the winter because it can be so very cold. Unless you like some real survival hikes, or cross country skiing, it is better to go in May, or close to it. The land looks better, too, with a lot of the early flowers coming through.
  4. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello there! Welcome to the forum!

    So first of all, the roads leading to Leh Ladakh are closed 6 months every year. These months are from November to end of April up to May. The roads from Srinagar to Leh, normally open during May or June. On the other hand, the Manali to Leh route opens during the end of May or middle of June. However, I would advise against going during the first few weeks of June as the roads can get blocked or experience landslides as the snow is melting.

    Anyway, on to the topic, knowing that the roads only open during these months, going to Leh Ladakh in the summer months is not possible via road. However, you can opt for an airplane ride to reach Leh via its airport. Although sometimes, the Srinagar to Leh route opens up as early as March. But this does not always happen.

    During the winter months, it's also not possible to visit Leh Ladakh via road. You have to book airplane tickets to reach Leh as well during this time. Lakes freeze up during this time as well. And at night time, temperatures go below zero degrees.

    So if you're only travelling by road, the only way to do so is during the months of May to October. During the months of May to July, snow can be experienced in most areas of Ladakh. Particularly during the earlier weeks, but at the end of July, snow isn't that thick anymore as melting has happened by then.

    During the months of July to September, this is the monsoon season. Landslides are common around the region except in the Zoji La area towards Leh. Rohtang Pass isn't passable during heavy rains.

    From mid-September to the middle of October, this is post-monsoon season. This is also the autumn season in Leh and you can see different colours of the trees and leaves giving beauty to the region. Snowfall might also be experienced intermittently during this time.

    If you're lucky and snow is still thick when you go to Leh Ladakh, here are the activities that you can do:
    • Skiing - Some slopes in Leh Ladakh are suitable for skiing. There are also several professional skiing competitions that are held in Leh during winter time.
    • Ice Hockey - Unlike other snow destinations, ice hockey in Ladakh is done on open natural ice. It is an emerging sport adventure and even tourists are enjoying this winter sport. It is also known as pond hockey locally.
    • Heli Skiing - This activity can only be done in Zanskar in Ladakh. You will be dropped at about 17,000 feet which is quite scary but thrilling at the same time.
    During the summer time, here are the activities you can do in Leh Ladakh:
    • Camel Safari - This can be done at the sand dunes in the Nubra Valley. It's best done during summer time when the region isn't that cold.
    • Trekking - Trekking is best done during the summer season of May and June in Leh. Some routes you can trek are the following: Padam- Lamayuru, Leh- Lamayuru Saspol, Leh- Markha Valley and Padum- Darcha.
    • Rafting - Ladakh has three rivers where rafting is possible: Indus River, Zanskar River and Shayok River. The rapids here are great and high enough especially during the monsoon season.
    • Paragliding - For the adventure seekers, paragliding is another activity best done in Ladakh. With the views of the snow-clad mountains, the valleys below and even the rivers from the top, it's sure to make your adventurer heart happy.
    Yes, that is correct. Unfortunately, during winter season, many hotels and attractions are closed. You also cannot venture out to do some trekking as the roads can be dangerous. The cold climate can also be challenging especially for people used to the tropical climate. Even winter activities like skiing and ice hockey can be dangerous if the snow is quite deep and the winds are strong.

    You will be able to spot snow from Rohtang Pass and other higher altitude areas. But seeing fresh snowfall can be quite rare during the summer months. You might have a higher chance of seeing snowfall during the months of September or October.

    I hope this helps.:)