Most people think that roads in Leh-Ladakh get blocked during winter season. Though this isn’t a misconception, it’s not entirely true. While the Manali – Leh and Srinagar – Leh highways do get blocked, internal roads in the region remain open in January. These roads take you to Pangong and Nubra Valley. Heavy snowfall may block some roads temporarily, but the Indian Army clears them pretty quickly. A Leh Ladakh trip in January is often the choice of adventure enthusiasts and hardcore backpackers.
Leh Ladakh Trip in January
Since the main city in Leh remains connected to other areas of importance, local sightseeing is possible without any major issues. However, it’s important to understand that the only way to reach Leh in January is via flight. So if you’re planning a road trip to Leh-Ladakh, the month of January won’t be an ideal choice.
Plan via Flight – As mentioned above, the highways from Manali and Srinagar are shut down during winter season. The Manali – Leh highway is closed around early November, while the Srinagar – Leh highway is closed around early December, depending on Leh Ladakh weather conditions. Thus, it’s almost impossible to plan a road trip in the month of January. Booking a flight is the only option to take you to Leh for an exciting trip.
Plan Night Stays in the Main City – Connectivity can be a major issue in the region, especially during winter season. It can be quite difficult to make arrangements in advance. Therefore, it’s better to book a place in the main city, and just stay there during night time. For instance, if you plan a trip to Nubra Valley, leave early in the morning to reach Leh by evening.
The same logic can be applied to your trips to Tso Moriri and Pangong Tso. Leh Ladakh temperature in January fluctuates between minus 2 degree celsius to minus 14 degree celsius. Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere can cause some serious concerns.
Follow a Simple Itinerary – In order to keep a simple itinerary, you should exclude remote areas. Plan your itinerary in a way that you reach the main city, leave for Nubra Valley the next day, explore Pangong Tso and Tso Moriri, and leave for Leh to reach by evening. During winter season, it’s better to avoid areas like Charchagan La, Marsimik La, Chushul route and Horla. In fact, getting permits for these places is also quite hard in January. However, this period is ideal for a Chadar trek, a walk over the frozen Zanskar river.
Have a Few Buffer Days – If you’re travelling to Leh-Ladakh during winter season, it’s better to keep a few buffer days. This provides you with the liberty to change certain plans in case of bad weather or emergencies. For instance, you can get stuck in Nubra Valley when Khardung La receives heavy snowfall. It’s recommended to keep at least a two-day buffer in your itinerary.
A Leh Ladakh trip in January can be difficult, but certainly allows you to explore Leh-Ladakh at your own pace. The region looks beautiful and you don’t have to worry about huge crowds spoiling your plans. Renok Adventures has a team of seasoned trekkers and well-trained support staff, who ensure your safety and plan the perfect trip for you. To get in touch, please click here.