River Rafting in Ladakh – Leh Ladakh Travel Guide

River rafting in Ladakh is undoubtedly one of the most sought after activities in all the Leh Ladakh tour packages. An extremely pulsating thing to do in the deep ravines and gorges of Ladakh, river rafting is in fact one of the highest enjoyed adventure activities in Ladakh!

However, river rafting in Ladakh is quite different from that of the other destinations across the globe. It has its unique and unmatched splendours and charm as well. While manoeuvring through the strenuous rapids in Ladakh, the rafter not only get to challenge their own reflexes, but also gets to enjoy the scenic beauty and alluring charm of the locales. In addition to the desired adrenaline pump, the rafters can also revel in the pristine and untouched beauty of Ladakh.

Owing to the numerous hills and mountains, Ladakh is poised with some of the most enthralling gorges and ravines. Mostly found in the Indus River and Zanskar River, these ravines and gorges offers challenging rapids that entices rafters from various corners of the globe. Here is all you need to know about river rafting in Ladakh:

River Rafting in Ladakh – Routes and Grade of Rapids

  1. Phey to Nimo (20-24km approx.):

While the Phey hamlet is located around 12km from Leh, Nimo is around 36km from the centre of Ladakh’s capital city. The gurgling Zanskar River passing Phey village is the origin of this enthralling rafting route. Taking the rafters through some of the challenging Grade II and III rapids, the Phey to Nimo route ends as the Zanskar River meets the Indus River in Nimo.

Since the grades in this route are comparatively less challenging, it is considered ideal for the beginners in river rafting. Also, as this course passes through some of the most scenic hills, valleys and thickets, rafter can also enjoy amazing views and untouched natural beauty while river rafting from Phey to Nimo.

To Reach Phey:Once you are in Leh, you can hire private cabs or taxis to reach Phey which is only 12km from Leh.

Grade Level: II and III

Rafting Duration: 2-3 Hours

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

  1. Upshi to Kharu:

Located on the Manali-Leh Highway; around 47km towards the south-east of Leh, Upshi is situated along the gushing Indus River. Kharu is located around 70km to the north of Leh. The stretch of Indus River passing through Upshi to Kharu offers some of the enthralling rapids in its course.

The rapids are mostly of Grade I and II, and are perfect for the novice rafters. However, as the creeks, at times, get narrower, rafter can expect splashing Grade III rapids at certain places within this trails.

To Reach Upshi:As Rupshi is located within a close reach of Leh, tourists can easily make it to the hamlet by hiring private cabs and suitable SUVs.

Grade Level: I, II and III

Rafting Duration: 4 Hours

Difficulty Level: Easy to Challenging

  1. Phey to Saspol:

River rafting in Ladakh is an experience that must not be missed! For the adventure junkies, this part of the country offers some of the most enthralling as well as scenic river rafting trials; and Phey to Saspol in one among them.

This trail begins from the Phey village and takes the rafters towards the hamlet of Saspol. In addition to the thrill and adventure of river rafting in Ladakh, the Phey to Saspol rafting trail also offers picturesque views of the surroundings.

To Reach Phey:Once you are in Leh, you can hire private cabs or taxis to reach Phey which is only 12km from Leh.

Grade Level: I and II

Rafting Duration: 2-3 Hours

Difficulty Level: Easy

  1. Kharu to Spituk:

Around 70km towards the north of Leh, Kharu is a quiant village that is thronged by river rafters from various corners of the globe. Originating from this beautiful hamlet, the rafters challenges their limits with a rafting trial that continues to Spituk.

Ideal for the amateur rafters, this trail offers mild rapids that are either of Grade I or Grade II level.

To Reach Kharu: Leh is the best destination to embark on an overland journey to Kharu. Rafter can also make it to Jammu Tawi Railway Station in Srinagar, and hire private taxis to reach Kharu.

Grade Level: I and II

Rafting Duration: 2 Hours

Difficulty Level: Easy

Difficulty Level: Easy

  1. Saspol to Khaltsey:

This is one of the most challenging and strenuous river rafting expeditions in Leh Ladakh tour packages. Originating from the gorgeous Saspol village, it passes through some of the most enthralling and heart pumping rapids till it winds up in Khaltsey.

A definite ‘no’ for the amateur rafters, the Saspol to Khaltsey river rafting trail needs prior rafting experience and can give tough time manoeuvring the rapids.

To Reach Saspol:Saspol is around 90km from Leh and can be accessed through taxis and cabs. Jammu Tawi Railway Station in Srinagar serves as the nearest railway station to Saspol.

Grade Level: II, III and IV

Rafting Duration: 4-5 Hours

Difficulty Level: Medium to Challenging

Things to Follow While River Rafting in Ladakh

  1. Participants must abide by all the rules and guidelines as mentioned by their rafting guides or group leaders. Any violation can lead to cancellation of the bookings.
  2. Consuming intoxicating substances is strictly not allowed while river rafting in Ladakh, and can result in cancellation of the booking for the entire group.
  3. Participants must not disturb or impeach the integrity of the group.
  4. Ladakh offers almost all types of rapids. Participants should not indulge in rafting without the knowledge of the grade levels or the challenges involved in them.
  5. Ladakh river rafting takes place either in the Indus or the Zanskar rivers; both them are popular for their rough and rolling rapids. Participants must know swimming; or they can opt for the easiest rapids.
  6. Before embarking in any of the Ladakh river rafting trials, participants must cross-check the safety equipment at the rafting camp.
  7. As external factors like weather and water level can obstruct rafting in Ladakh, participants must check both the factors before embarking on river rafting in Ladakh.
  8. River rafting does not require hard and fast rules on fitness. However, if the participants are suffering from any major ailments, they must inform the expedition guides and leaders.
  9. Participants suffering from heart diseases, breathing problem, aqua phobia, or other similar ailments are not allowed for rafting in Ladakh.
  10. Infants and expecting mothers are not allowed to go on rafting trails.
  11. Participants must carry their personal medication (if any). However, basic medication can be availed at the rafting camps.
  12. Some of the rafting trails in Ladakh passes through sensitive areas, and require an Inner Line Permit from local tourism board. Participants must acquire this permit while planning for river rafting in Ladakh.
  13. Participants must carry an extra set of clothes, towels, slippers, etc.
  14. Ladakh is a highly sensitive tourist zone. Participants must not indulge in any activities that can disturb the local life in any form.
  15. Participants must avoid carrying plastic bag and should not litter the rafting camps.

Leh Ladakh Travel Guide