Incredible mountain biking routes in Ladakh

23 June, 2020 | Reccy Guide

Riding on the backseat of a taxi is not your favorite way to admire Ladakh’s landscapes, and you like to explore places that cars cannot reach anyway. Mountain biking, then, might be just the option for you. 

Riding across the Ladakh region on a bike will most definitely be one of the most challenging adventures of your life, taking you through rough terrain of rocky hills and snowy mountains, and will require endurance as well as confidence in your riding skills. In exchange, you will be rewarded with scenic views from the heart of some of the highest mountain ranges in the world, with captivating encounters with local populations, and with the discovery of normally unreachable areas. 

In addition, by biking through the region between the months of mid-June to September, you will not only get the best weather conditions but also will be able to take part in the local and vibrant festivals of Ladakh. So if you are a thrill-seeker wanting to challenge yourself physically, but also want to discover the traditions of the villages you cross – this is the adventure for you.

Different tour companies offer different itineraries, but here are the highlights many of them will take you through:


As the cradle of adventure in the Ladakh region, Leh might very well be the starting point of your trip. If you have the occasion to spend a few days in the city, explore the local market and bike around to the many monasteries in the surroundings.

Khardung La Pass

Khardung La is deemed by many one of the highest motorable pass in the world, at 5,359 m above sea level. In reality, the pass is in second place behind another Indian pass constructed a couple of years ago; but crossing Khardung La will still give you adventurer credit. The views offered from the pass are not comparable to anything you have seen before and will make up for the effort.

Pangong Tso Lake

Separating India and Tibet, Pangong Tso will captivate you with its deep blue hues and mountainous backdrop. If the thought of leaving the lake after riding alongside its shore is too difficult to fathom, feel free to camp overnight for one of the most peaceful nights of your trip.

Nubra Valley

Located lower in altitude than Leh, the Nubra Valley will not only offer a gentler climate but also incredible trails through its greenery, rivers and wild scenery. Here as well, you can set up your tent in the middle of nature and enjoy the silence of the Valley. 


This impromptu desert in the middle of snow-capped mountains will be a joy to bike through, offering a change in terrain… and in wildlife. Indeed, you might come across the Bactrian Camel, the domesticated camel cherished by local villagers.

Wari La

This road is reserved to experience riders, as it will throw many hazards and difficulties at you such as hair pin bends and difficult terrain conditions.


The Ladakh region is not short on monasteries, and you will come across a lot of them on your way. Make sure to stop and discover their hidden messages, and listen to the lessons they can teach you. Some of the most famous ones are the Thiksey and the Spiku monastery.

These highlights are included in many of the most popular routes offered for mountain biking. The choice can be a bit overwhelming, so here are some of these routes and what you can expect:

Manali – Leh

This route might be the most physically challenging of all, as you will have to cross four high altitude passes: Rohtang La Pass (3,980 m), Baralacha Pass (4,892) m, Lachung La Pass (5,065 m), and Tanglang Pass (5,355 m). The feeling from completing this route is not describable, and the incredible scenery is of course a great added bonus.

Leh – Khardung La

In addition to taking you to the (second) highest motorable pass in the world, this route will take you through local villages and monasteries, and through the breathtaking Nubra Valley.

Leh – Alchi

The road from Leh to Alchi offers a mix of technical and easy-going road and is great to polish your mountain biking skills. In addition, it will take you through countless monasteries, alongside the Zanskar and Indus rivers, and up Magnetic Hill – we won’t say more about this one than that it will be a very easy hill to climb!


A few of the Ladakh’s treks are also suitable for mountain biking, so join your fellow trekkers and bike through the Sham Valley Trek, the Spituk Trek, the Lamayuru Alchi Trek, and the Nubra Valley Trek. Check out our articles if you want more information about what to expect.

Mountain biking in the Ladakh region promises to satisfy your need for adventure. It will bring you to unexpected places, almost untouched, and will make your experience in the region much more special. Convinced? Let us help you find the best Ladakh’s bike tour package.

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