Best Time and Season to Visit Chadar Trek - 2021

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 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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Chadar Trek 2021, Ladakh - Frozen River Trek Book @ ₹19,500
  • 9D/8N
  • Leh
  • 9D/8N
₹26,500 ₹19,500
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Available Group Departure for Chadar Trek:
January and Feburary 2021:
SOLD OUT: 12,19,23,29, Jan and 1st Feb and 3rd Feb
Very Few Slots left:
10,13,18,24,25,26 in January
Open Slots:
11,14,15,16,20,21,22,31 January
2, 3, 7 Feburary

Highlights of Chadar Trek 2021:

- Ladakh has always captivated visitors with its magical charm and beauty. Be it the picturesque mountain peaks, azure lakes or the challenging trekking trails, this scenic valley is known for all.

- While during the summers, the region adorns the most vibrant colors of nature, during the winters it is embraced with heavy snowfalls that cut off the entire region from the rest of the world.

- Explore this serene place with our Ladakh tour packages and gift your loved ones a memorable journey that you can cherish for a lifetime.

- Nestled deep within the whirly passages of the snow-clad mountains, this frozen river also entices thousand of trekkers from different corners of the world. 

- Popularly known as the 'Chadar Trek' due to the formation of the thick blanket of the snow, it is considered as one of the challenging as well as tricky treks in the world. 

- In some places, there may be cracks in the ice and when this happens, the only way to continue with the trek is to hike through the snowy rocks and boulders beside the river. 

Thrillophilia Exclusive: (Available only to trekkers who have booked with Thrillophilia)
Option to change the tour plan:
Till day 3, if you feel that you can’t do this trek or the govt. bodies declare you unfit for the trek, don’t get disheartened as the first 5 trekkers from the group can opt for an alternate package “Flavour of Ladakh” at no additional cost.
(To know more, hit the Send Enquiry button and get in touch with the trek expert)

About the Destination:

Ladakh is the home to numerous natural wonders, but the most precious gift bestowed upon this magical land is the Chadar Trek. The ultimate thrill of walking upon the frozen waters of the Zanskar river in extremely low temperatures sets this trek apart in the list of extreme adventures. Adding grace to the beauty of Ladakh with its unique adventure experience, the Chadar Trek 2021 has the kind of charm that is second to no other adventure.

The frozen Zanskar river trek is actually a connecting link between the villages of Zanskar Valley and the town of chilling in Ladakh and acts as the only and the most stable way of staying connected to the rest of world for the people here in the months of extreme winter. Passing through the deep valley, the frozen river is bounded by huge walls of mountains on both sides, making a person feel like walking amidst high castle walls. Frozen Waterfalls, flowing green river on the trek, the cold temperatures, and the warm smiles of the local Ladakhis who are going by their normal day are the elements that make the Chadar Lake and in fact, all of Ladakh a beautiful paradise to visit. 

Located in the midst of two great mountain ranges of the world, the Himalayas and the Karakoram, the land of Ladakh is blessed with many of its own mountain ranges, like that of the Zanskar. And with all the amazing mountains, glaciers, and rivers, one of the better served frozen, Ladakh is never short of surprises to leave you spellbound.

About the Chadar Trek:

Chadar Trek in Ladakh takes the element of trekking and adds its own element of extreme adventure in the form of walking on a thick sheet of ice. The river Zanskar freezes over in the months of winters in Ladakh, creates a kind of sheet of ice on it, hence the name “Chadar”. After arrival in Leh, you will be visiting the market of Leh for some shopping before getting checked by the government officials on your fitness for the rather challenging trek in the Himalayas. The adventure of Chadar trekking 2021 is planned in such a way that you will be covering a distance of almost 65 km by trekking. 

You will get a transfer to Shingra Yokma from Leh via chilling and Tilad do for your first taste of walking on the sheet of ice. You will also get acclimatized with the sub-zero temperatures here, as well as figure out where is the best place to plant your foot on the ice. The Zanskar frozen river trek has taken its form because of the extreme temperatures, and so it is extremely important that you take ample time and precautions here. The next day will be the last day for you to opt for the physical wild card exits. 

After this, the trek leads to several points on the way as you move on the Chadar frozen river trek, taking you to Tibb Cave, and the Naerak, where you will see the village and mighty frozen waterfalls, while the turquoise green water of the river flows right by you. As you turn around and make your way back, you will encounter Tibb Cave, Gyalpo, and finally Shingra Yokma, from where you will go back to Leh and bring the experience to an end the next day. All the while through this trek, you have gone from a minimum elevation of 10,400 ft to 11,123 ft above sea level, and have gained a lot of more attributes on the way.

Who Can Go:
- Experience of trekking or good fitness level.
- The climber must be fit and have sufficient stamina to cover 5 km of distance in 45 minutes without stress.
- The climber should be able to carry a 10 kg backpack.
- Heart problems, high blood pressure, asthma, and epilepsy cannot be reconciled on this mission. The climber must not have the conditions mentioned above.

Tips for Chadar Trek:

1) Prepare your mind first: This is a difficult trek that comes with a lot of extremities. From the weather to physical requirement. Train your mind to expect and accept the sub-zero level. Do bear in mind that there is a life that exists there as well; for centuries Chadar is used as the only way to commute to Leh during winters. Your mental strength will signal your body to withstand the cold climb.

2) Be Warm: Next is to keep oneself warm as the temperature falls severely on this trek. To keep going and not be deterred by the weather conditions, use 4 layers for the Torso that includes a jacket and a wind sheeter which is waterproof and has a fleece lining. For the bottom, a base layer, thermal underpants and waterproof pants with a fleece lining should suffice. Make sure your fleece and jackets have zips down the front so that you can unzip them as the day grows progressively warmer.

3) Keep a woolen cap and gloves (a must): Essentially you need to sleep well during the night to keep you fresh for the next day of the trek. Keep an insulating water bottle to keep your sleeping bag warm during the night. Use Silk liner inside your bags to keep it warm enough.

4) Footwear: Hiking shoes + Gumboots At occasions, trekking on the Chadar involves wading through knee-deep cold water. Though hiking shoes are highly recommended, gumboots help keep your shoes and feet secure from the icy cold water. It is practically impossible to dry anything at Zanskar trek in Ladakh, so gumboots are a compulsory and crucial addition to the footwear.

5) Expect sweet pain: The Chadar is a glossy, slippery sheet of ice and will never let you walk carelessly. But no matter how careful one is, everyone falls and slips more than once on the Chadar. If you fall, just get back up by rolling on your knees and keep walking with confidence. Gumboots might give you shoe bites, but you’ll get used to it as you walk.

6) Observe and keep moving: The locals can give you firsthand training on how to cross the lake on your foot. On closer observation, you would notice that they walk fast and take Penguin like strides on the ice. As you watch them, you will learn their ways of maneuvering around on the ice blanket and learn when it is wiser to wait than to carry on or the reverse.

7) Keep your electronics warm: Extreme cold climate can ruin electronics. Hence keep them warm by keeping them safe by tucking them into your pockets closer to your body it will keep them warm and long-lasting.

8) Protect your fingers and toes: In sub-zero temperatures, fingers and toes are the most exposed and can be frozen resulting in bad pain when camping. Carry waterproof woolen socks and gloves. An extra pair of socks would help as they gather moisture while wearing gumboots.

9) Warming pads: Warming pads are very helpful for those who feel cold sooner than others. These are exothermic pads to be slipped in your gloves and socks. They release heat and keep you warm for up to 10 hours.

Do's and Don'ts On Chadar Trek 2021

Do’s of Chadar Trek 

It’s always good to plan for an additional day to accommodate any unforeseen conditions like bad weather, broken bridges, flight delays, casualties that may arise.
- One should inform one’s family before coming for this trek, so in case of an emergency, they can come for help.
- The temperature extensively drops down in the region. Therefore, it is advisable to keep warm clothes and shoes at hand. The shoes must also be waterproof.
As there won’t be any pharmacies on our trek, please do carry required medications and a first aid kit, in case of any bruises or cuts
The area of this trek has hardly any shop to stop for food or drinks, hence it is advisable to carry water and energy giving food like energy bars and other eateries to be had at regular intervals. We also travel with plenty of water
- Always take note of the weather reports and avoid getting caught in any sort of natural ravages.
Trekking in Frozen river is certainly a difficult task and thus, one should not try to be over-smart. Following the tips and guidelines is a must to carry out this trek safely.
It is advisable to consult an expert trekker before backpacking a heavy backpack might slow down your trekking speed.
- While visiting the monasteries and other religious sites, abide by the instructions and guidelines laid by the authorities.
- Abide by the instructions given by the trek leader or instructor in order to enjoy a safe and sound trekking

Don'ts of Chadar Trek
Since you will be trekking in an eco-friendly zone, make sure you do not litter the vicinity and carry your leftovers back.
Flowy and frilly clothing might hinder your movement. It is better to avoid such type of clothing.
- Do not rely on sports or casual shoes as they might compromise grip on the snowy surface.
The wonderful waterfalls should not be contaminated by the use of shampoos and soaps. Thus one should avoid using them. The local habitat tribes use this water for drinking purposes so one should keep it as clean as one expects its drinking water to be.
When meeting monks or other locals on the way, pinpointing is not advisable as they make take offense.
- Respect the serenity of the shrines and thus one should never disturb the monks or prayers in the monasteries on the route.
Avoid heavy meals during the trek as it leads to tiredness.
Avoid: Denim or jeans clothing, soda and alcoholic beverages, plastics of all kind, and tobacco

Quick Facts:
Temperature: -5 to -15 degrees (during the day) and -20 to -30 degrees (during the night)
Trekking Distance:  62 km
Maximum Altitude: 11,123ft
Difficulty Level: Difficult 
Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport, Leh

Stay during your Frozen River Chadar Trek:
The entire place is frequently sanitized following all protocols to ensure maximum safety of all guests
Double occupancy or triple occupancy in room or tents
Day 1: Room accommodation without heaters (so you can acclimatize)
 Day 2 to Day 7: Tented accommodation on day 2 and 3
 Day 8: Room accommodation with heaters

Meals during your Frozen River Chadar Trek:
Breakfast, lunch and dinner (vegetarian) are included in the package

Transport during your Frozen River Chadar Trek:
From Leh to road ahead on day 4
Return to Leh on day 8
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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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Average temperature of Night and Day

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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Chadar Trek in February

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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Why you should visit Chadar Trek

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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11 July 2019
We went for Manali to srinagar Bike tour. It was the best bike trip of my entire life It all started with the person named Shubham from thrillophilia who helped me in selecting the best trip and processed with my booking, all thanks to him! Without him I wouldn’t have been able to experience the best trip of my life. On arrival there, we met our tour guide Tani and our Mechanic Shashi about whom I have read a lot at thrillophilia reviews. These 2 guys were so supportive during the entire tour that no matter what happened they were always there to look after us. They always made sure we are safe and we are following them and there is no overtaking taking place. Tani, the tour guide, one chilled out person he is! Make sure you get him as your tour guide and Shashi as the mechanic as these guys will always make sure that they are there for you no matter what. And in the end, it’s all the Main man behind everything, Jimmy Sir. Thanks a lot Sir for making me experience the best trip of my life! Without you and your team this wouldn’t have been possible. Thanks for helping us out in every way possible. The roads here are difficult terrain to ride on. You gotta be careful. You gotta carry your gum boots during water logging which is the most difficult to cross. But these guys made sure that we were all safe and had sound health till we reached home. Not even a single person was hurt. Our group was a mixture of all age groups, I’m fact we even got to meet 2 people From the Indian navy as well. One mad kickass experience! Unbelievable. Reaching the worlds highest Pass, Khardungla Top, was the highest achievement of my life till date which happened on this trip! And if at all you wish to go, don’t forget to ask Tani and Shashi as your tour guide and mechanic, and go only through Jimmy Sir as he has the best team! Thanks a lot to everyone out there for which I thought the best way would be to write at thrillophilia reviews.
12 July 2018
From Recent Expedition -: Srinagar > Leh > Manali !! The feeling was awesome and words are not enough to express my experience of the expedition, but ever since I talked about it, it makes me feel that I’m still travelling, I’m still there. I had been a frequent traveller, but the emotions associated with this tour were different. We enjoyed, we had fun, we went emotional, we met some new friends, we felt proud, we captured every possible feelings and emotions we can during the entire journey.
12 July 2018
From Recent Expedition -: Srinagar > Leh > Manali !! The feeling was awesome and words are not enough to express my experience of the expedition, but ever since I talked about it, it makes me feel that I’m still travelling, I’m still there. I had been a frequent traveller, but the emotions associated with this tour were different. We enjoyed, we had fun, we went emotional, we met some new friends, we felt proud, we captured every possible feelings and emotions we can during the entire journey. We passed through all the ranges of the Great Himalayas, starting from the Shivalik, Karakoram & Pir Panjal. The memories of “late night road journey from Jammu to Srinagar risking our life while crossing South Kashmir (Known for Terrorist activities), early morning (4 am) shopping at Awantipora, Dal Lake, Shankracharya Temple, Srinagar Market, Lunch @Lal Chowk, Eid Celebrations, Shalimar Garden, Noon & Kahwa Tea, Sonmarg, War Zone (Kargil, Drass &Batalik), Oldest Gompa Lamayuru, Rafting at World’s highest point (Zanskar river), Pathar Sahib Gurudwara, Leh Palace, gruelling terrain & passes(Zoji La (3528 Mtrs), Namki La (3815 Mtrs), Fotu La (4108 Mtrs),World’s highest Motorable road – Khardungla (5359 Mtrs), Nakee La (4739 Mtrs), Tanglang La ( 5328 Mtrs), Bara-lacha (4890 Mtrs) & Chang La (5360 Mtrs)), Crazy bath in Pangong Tso lake (-4 °C), cute Marmot, Yak, Deer & Pashmina Goats at Changthang Wildlife sanctuary, snow-capped Karakoram Ranges, Sand dunes at Nubra Valley, Diskit Monastery, the Gata loops (22 hairpin bends) at 4190 Mtrs elevation on Pang – Sarchu road, Suraj Taal, Whiskey & Brandy Nallah, Picturesque Jispa, Hiking at 4350 Mtrs Himalayan ranges and driving alongside the rivers across the two states” are never gonna fade away !! Thanks to Thrillophilia for making this trip awesome & memorable one.
24 June 2018
Your Destination would be a dream until you come out and step ahead to it and experience. Leh-Manali Bike ride is one such vibe which will resonate for many years to come. Here the journey was more scintillating then achieving those milestones and Thrillophilia ensured we had great time by organising it perfectly to last mile would like to thank Tarun and Chitransh. Tani and Amit who were our Tour Leaders were just amazing with their hospitality to the care taken through out the ride. Ride at Khardungla Pass, Gata Loops, Zing Zing Bar, Barlachala were just amazing.
Such an amazing bike ride, challenging but with thrill till the end. Make sure that you are prepared to prevent the cold, the rough wind, the altitude sickness etc because even the symptoms of sickness will affect your trip. Khardung La Pass is quite a challenging one, also there are different shorter and longer passes throughout the journey. The service was also nice, not many complaints. The guides will know the place better because they are doing it for long. But still keep the track of the route before you start the trip. The guide was nice to us, keeping everything coordinated. The accommodation and food were also flawless to me.
We booked this Leh Ladakh complete tour from Delhi with the flights. And the whole trip was beautifully managed and it was a mesmerizing place being the Stupas, or rivers, hills or the passes. They were all enchanting and beautiful.
The Thrillophilia team has surpassed all of my expectations! I was initially apprehensive about the Parang La trek because of the altitude and the difficulty, but Thrillophilia made sure I had no issue at all! Everything was taken care of, and the guide was just brilliant. For any further treks, Thrillophilia is my go-to website and the one I’ll always recommend!
A great way to rent a bike and be secure about the condition and price for it. The bike of choice is also available and it is easy to book as well.
The Thrillophilia sales and support teams are absolutely brilliant. When I heard the Parangla trek pitch for the first time from them, I was not sure if the trek would pan out in the exact same way, but surprisingly, it did. The sales team was very articulate with the trek prerequisites, and outlines and the operator had answers to all the questions I asked!
17 November 2019
Leh Ladakh's location had everything that you dreamed about. It had ice (lots and lots of ice), even when I was sleeping battling the cold at night I was could see those ice sheet right in front of my eyes. but the most exciting part was that we were never complaining even under these extreme conditions. the food offered was very tasty. everything was perfectly planned by the thrillophilia team. Awesome experience !!

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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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