The Grand Canyon of the Himalaya. One of the most spectacular river journeys in the world. This is a high altitude self-support expedition kayaking at its finest.

Few places on earth can match the grandeur and sheer magnitude of kayaking the Zanskar Gorge. Sandwiched between two mountain systems, the Krakoram to the north and the Himalayas to the south. The whole region is full of amazing sights, strange gompas perched on soaring hilltops dwarfed by snowcapped mountains.


Kayaking the Tsarap Chu and Zanskar Gorge expedition



Day 1

  • Flight Delhi to Leh, transfer to guest house
  • Acclimatise and relax in Leh

Day 2

  • Day in Leh
  • Kayak packing demonstration, acclimatisation
  • Visit Leh Palace and Monastery
  • Guest house

Day 3

  • Kayak River Indus from Spituk to Nimmu
  • Day section kayaking with loaded boats
  • Guest house

Day 4

  • Food & provision shopping
  • Final preparation & packing for the expedition
  • Guest house

Day 5

  • Depart for Sarchu and kayak for a couple of hours

Day 6

  • Kayak to Yarshun
  • Kayaking 6-8 hours class III-IV including one portage

Day 7

  • Kayak to Dorshon
  • Kayaking 6-8 hours class II-IV
  • Visit Phugtal Monastery

Day 8

  • Kayak to Honyo
  • Kayaking 6-8 hours class III-IV+ including one portage

Day 9

  • Kayak to Nyerak
  • Kayaking 5-6 hours class III
  • Enter the Zanskar Gorge
Grand Canyon of Asia

Day 10

  • Kayak to Red Gorge
  • Kayaking 2-4 hours class II-IV
  • Opportunity to trek to a great view in the morning
  • Negotiate the main rapid in the Gorge and the tight squeeze

Day 11

  • Kayak to Nimmu and transfer back to Leh
  • Kayaking for 4-5 hours exiting the canyon
  • Run some big rapids near Chilling
  • Transfer to guest house

Day 12

  • Day in Leh
  • Last minute shopping, taking in the ambience
  • Guest house

Day 13

  • Flight Leh to Delhi then home
  • Transfer to Leh Airport


Read our Zanskar Gorge article >>

Read our Tsarap Chu and Zanskar Gorge Expedition article >>



Instructors / Team

The instructor team at Kayak School Arlberg is second to none! We have been exploring, teaching kayaking and leading expeditions in Northern India for the past 6 years. Steve has also soloed the Tsarap Chu and Zanskar Expedition during the summer melt at the beginning of August!

All of our instructors and trip leaders have wilderness first aid and vast experience in remote and wilderness locations.

Experience Required

The Tsarap Chu and Zanskar Rivers are located in some of the remotest areas of the world. We will be totally self-sufficient and some experience of multi-day expedition would be advantageous.  

A good standard of fitness will be an advantage as we will be kayaking on whitewater from class II-IV+ for up to 6 hours a day at altitudes of over 4200m, we will also most likely have to portage 2 rapids. So though you do not have to be an Olympic Athlete a good standard of fitness will make the trip more enjoyable and memorable!

Group Composition

The maximum number of clients for the trip will be 6. We will have a ratio of no more than 3 clients : 1 kayak instructor / guide.

Mixed ability groups

If you have a group with different levels of kayakers, it is possible to run both of our Ladakh trips. One group can kayak the Tsarap Chu and meet the other group in Padam where everyone can kayak down the Zanskar Gorge.

Accomodation & Food

In Leh we will be staying at a quaint family run Guest House. Situated away from the hussle and bussle of the town centre it has a fantastic garden full of flowers and apple trees making it the perfect retreat.

Throughout the expedition we will be camping on remote beaches by the riverside. One camp will be below the village of Nyerak.

In Leh there are restaurants offering: Italian, pizza, Indian, Tibetan and Chinese food.

On the river we will be cooking in our groups with pressure cookers. What you decided to purchase in Leh will be your meals for the duration!

Dates & Prices


For an itinerary, price and more information about this Adventure Trip, please send us a message through the contact form and we'll get back to you soon.

Contact us about the trip

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