Best Time and Season to Visit Chadar Trek - 2024

Chadar Trek Best Time

Winter is the best time to Chadar Trek as the Zanskar river freezes during this time making it available for the adventure seekers. The temperatures fluctuate from -5 degree Celsius to -25 degree Celsius, extremely piercing within the skin. Be careful as you step on this straight walk as there are chances you might dip your feet in the numbing water as the temperature fluctuations of the day and night cause a lot of broken trails. The extreme negative temperature of the winter season makes Chadar Trek the toughest winter trek of India.

Being the best season to visit Chadar trek, winters experience a lot of trekking enthusiasts from all over the world flocking to Ladakh to test their limits and endurance. The panoramic view of the majestic Himalayas will motivate you to stand against all the difficulties of the trek and reach the point of triumph. Cold is the constant enemy you need to fight during the trek as the Chadar Trek is only possible in this season. 

You must prepare well prior to your Ladakh trip and pack all the essentials according to the guidelines of the operators. Make sure you choose your operator well as it can directly affect your experience at the Chadar Trek.  January and February are the only months ideal for the Chadar Tek. When the Zanskar River freezes into a thick sheet of ice due to the extreme weather conditions, the Chadar Trek is set up just ready for the adventurous ice trail that you were looking for.

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About Chadar Frozen River Trek :

The Chadar Trek, also known as the Zanskar River Chadar Trek, is a thrilling winter adventure over the frozen Zanskar River in Ladakh, India. This spectacular journey takes trekkers through breathtaking landscapes of icy cliffs and snow-covered mountains. Starting near the village of Chilling, the trek unfolds the mystery of the Himalayas as adventurers navigate the frozen river, experiencing the unique challenges and beauty of the region. With temperatures dropping significantly, the trek requires careful preparation and endurance but rewards participants with an unforgettable experience amidst the untouched wilderness of the Zanskar region.

Departure Dates:

  • Jan '24: 7th, 8th, 10th, 13th, 15th, 16th, 26th, 29th.
  • Feb '24: 1st, 5th.

Chadar Trek Quick Facts:

  • Chadar River Trek Duration: 9D/8N
  • Chadar Trek Distance:  62 km
  • Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
  • Difficulty Level: Difficult 
  • Chadar Trek Temperature: -5 to -15 degrees (during the day) and -15 to -25 degrees (during the night)
  • Chadar Trek Best Time: Early January - Early February.
  • Start and End Point of the Trek: Guest House in Leh.
  • Nearest Airport: Leh airport. (Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport)
  • Last ATM: Leh Market and Airport.

How to Reach Leh :

By Air: The most convenient way to reach Leh is by taking a direct flight to Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport from New Delhi. This journey can take around 1 hour and 15 minutes and is offered by various airlines including SpiceJet, Air India, and IndiGo.

By Road: Delhi is approximately 930 kilometres and it takes around 24 hours to reach depending on the road conditions. You can take an HRTC bus from Delhi to Leh via Manali which takes approximately 30 hours to reach. Similarly, you can opt for a road trip to Leh from Delhi via NH 3 which can take around 25 hours depending on the route and halts.

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Chadar Trek in January

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Though the temperature in January droops down to negatives, the raging Zanskar river takes up to the mid-January to freeze down properly for the enthralling Chadar Tek. It is certainly not a good idea to plan your expedition at the beginning of this month as the ice sheet is not solid enough to hold any weight and you might land up in a serious problem.

It is better to wait for the right time and make the best memories while you triumph over this exciting excursion. 
January is the month you must keep for the last minute packing, physical and mental training, and not to forget acclimatization. Acclimatization is indeed very crucial so as to avoid getting into the grasp of Acute Mountain sickness. 

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Average temperature of Night and Day

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The direct rays of the Sun cause the temperature to fluctuate during the day and night to an extent that the thick sheet of the frozen Zanskar River melts at some places and then refreezes at the night. While the day experiences a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius, their drops to -25 degrees Celsius at the night.

The wintry nights need a lot of endurance on the trekker's part as they might get prone to Acute Mountain Sickness or hypothermia if they do not work on it prior to this trek. The Chadar trek test the stamina, endurance as well as the physical and mental fitness of the adventure enthusiasts.

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Chadar Trek in February

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The Zanskar River completely freezes at the beginning of the month making it the ideal time to act on your much-awaited Chadar Trek plan. With temperatures oscillating between -5 degree Celsius to - 25 degrees Celsius, this trek is regarded as the toughest winter trek in India. The temperature fluctuations of the day and night bring out the most hazardous hurdles of the trek - Broken Trails. 

It becomes quite difficult to walk on the frozen river if you do not have a skilled guide by your side. Hence, it is very important to choose your operator well for a flabbergasting trek experience. Though the beginning of February is regarded as the best time to Chadar Trek, make sure you do not go for the excursion after the middle of the month as the river starts returning to its usual state.

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Why you should visit Chadar Trek

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Do you remember the trekking gear you brought this Christmas? Are you still wondering where to try them for the first time when it January already?  How about the exciting walk over the frozen Zanskar river?

Live to the best of your fantasies while you walk on the ice sheet and feel the raging Zanskar river flowing underneath your shoes. The spellbinding view of the snow-capped mountains amidst the peaceful surrounding is just the right way to break out of your monotonous life.

Still in confusion, if it is worth it? We have curated reasons that will definitely convince you of the Chadar trek grandeur.

Unique: While the idea of trekking brings the first thought of climbing the rocks in your mind, the Chadar Trek excursion will change the stereotypical definition for you.  This trek does not demand much of climbing due to the lack of elevation but the extreme weather conditions with the temperature dropping down to -25 degrees Celsius, this is indeed not a cakewalk. Considered as the toughest trek of India, this 105 Km trek will bring you to the larger than life experience.

Insight to the white world: The snow-capped mountains, ice sheet taming the raging river underneath, and the biting cold winds, the Chadar Trek takes you away from the civilization where even adapting isn’t the way to survive.

You need to struggle against the white snow demons falling over your head to accomplish the journey you’ve taken up. Your stamina and will are the fuels that will ignite and keep you warm along with the warmers of course! Make sure you pack well as this trek is a hell of a challenge yet fun that you cannot afford to miss.

Capture, upload and brag: Though this trek is said to not be just an ordinary trek about flaunting and bragging over the social media updates and living the moments and documenting the moments, hey a little bragging doesn’t hurt right?

After facing all the hurdles of surviving the negative temperatures ranging from -5 degree Celsius to -25-degree Celsius and walking the 105 km trail on the frozen Zanskar river, this is your moment to triumph and celebrate.

Flaunt the pictures and let the world know about it through your social media feed. Let nothing come in between your enthralling expedition and visit before Global Warming ruins it!

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People Also Ask About Ladakh

  1. Which is the best season for Chadar trek?

    The best season to head out on a Chadar trek would be in the winter months i.e., from the month of January to the month of February. This is the time when you will be able to get a chance to sight the famous frozen Zanskar river. If you are wishing to more adventure on this trek, choose to come over with all your adventure mates and embark on treks from mid-January to the end of February.
  2. Is Chadar trek for beginners?

    Yes, Chadar Trek can definitely be conquered by beginners and it does not need any prior experience of trekking even. If you have decent physical fitness then you will surely make it without any difficulties. If you have high altitude sickness, you should take added precautions.
  3. Is Chadar trek dangerous?

    No, the Chadar Trek is not dangerous but it is important to remember that during this time, the Zanskar River is not fully frozen and there are thin sheets of ice in several places which may result in terrible trekking accidents.

    Hence, the Chadar trek best time can be considered from the mid of January when the River is entirely frozen.
  4. How cold does it get on the Chadar Trek?

    As the Chadar Trek sits on the Himalayan ranges, the weather can get extremely cold and harsh. As the Chadar trek best time is between January and February when the Zanskar River is frozen hard, trekkers need to be physically and mentally prepared for these conditions.

    The temperature hovers between 15 to 20 degrees during the day and dips to - 5 to -25 degrees celsius at night. Most of the time during the trek, nights are spent in caves near the Zanskar River.
  5. How long is chadar Trek?

    The Chadar Trek is one of the most adventurous and most difficult treks in the Himalayan ranges. The distance on foot is roughly 105 km and advanced trekkers can cover about 15 to 17 km per day with expert guidance.

    The route is mostly completed by walking but along the way, there are rocks and boulders covered in ice as the Chadar trek best time is in winter when everything around is all frozen in a blanket of snow and ice.
  6. What is the cost of Chadar Trek?

    The cost of the Chadar Trek starts from INR 19500 and the trek is for 9 days and 8 nights. The cost includes meals, activities, guide and accommodation.
  7. How are the weather conditions in Ladakh during winter?

    Winters in Ladakh are very cold and harsh with temperatures plummeting to sub-zero levels. The temperature during this time ranges between 2 degrees centigrade and -11 degree centigrade.
  8. What are some highlights of the Chadar trek?

    Chadar Trek best time is between mid-January and February making one of the best winter treks in the Himalayan ranges. The frozen River Zanskar forms a major part of the trek One of the best treks for adventure trekkers as the frozen River itself is the trekking route.

    Spending the night in caves and watching the frozen waterfalls. Picturesque sceneries ideal for photography.
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