This epic adventure takes you to Hemis National Park, Ladakh - India's most protected Snow Leopard area with expert trackers on hand to trace the cats’ scents, trails and markings, this journey will keep the pulse racing as you follow every sign of their movements whilst exploring some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. This snow leopard trek offers you the chance to track these ‘ghosts of the mountains’ and their prey through the snow, with the ability to witness these sadly diminishing but stunning creatures in their natural environment - and to capture all this through your camera lens.

Since Snow Leopards are generally found at elevations between 3000-4500m, this trek takes you through stunning Himalayan alpine and sub-alpine zones where vegetation is sparse and temperatures are extreme. Snow Leopards are most active at dawn and dusk and show a strong preference for cliffy habitat with moderately to very broken terrain, rocky outcrops and ravines. They are opportunistic predators and are known to take prey up to three times their own weight, though a large part of their diet comprises of small prey like marmots, pika, hare, birds and domestic livestock.

Day 1 - Arrive Delhi

Namaste! Welcome to the fascinating country that is India! You will be met upon arrival at New Delhi’s International Airport and transferred to your hotel for check in.

India’s capital, Delhi, is a contemporary, bustling metropolis successfully combining its ancients folds with the modern world. Beneath its spiraling skyscrapers are the remnants of a bygone time with many monuments standing as silent reminders of the regions ancient legacy.  The hustle and bustle of Delhi takes a little getting used to, so allow yourself to be swept up in the mayhem and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of this fascinating city.

Upon arrival at your hotel, you will be welcomed with traditional warm Indian hospitality. Your forehead will be anointed with the traditional red ‘tikka’ (vermillion) which is considered good fortune. Welcoming guests in India is an age old tradition where the belief is ‘Atithi Devo bhava’ – treat your guest as if he were God. This evening you will meet your group and discuss your exciting itinerary that awaits you! (D)

Overnight at Shanti Home – New Delhi or similar

Day 2 - Delhi Sightseeing

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before beginning a busy day of sightseeing. Drive to Old Delhi and start exploring the galis of Shahjahanabad, the capital city built by Emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658) and from where PT. JAWAHARLAL NEHRU, the first Prime Minister of Independent India was married. Our discoveries while wandering the streets inspires you to feel hungrier that we call flavour of Delhi.

Old Delhi Bazaars have colourful and interesting street food and is crowned with the oldest shops where some of the worlds delicacies originated. The best of the best chat can be enjoyed here – Chat Papri, Laccha Tokri, Guliya, Desi Ghee Tikki, Moong Pakori, Kulche Chole, Dahi Bhalla, Bedwee Aloo and Kachori Alu are just lip smacking. You can also try Samudra Kee Chat, Brown & White fresh milk cake, Kulfi, Ice creams, Hot Kadai Milk, Halwa Nangori etc. You can choose to taste some of this incredible local food if you wish. The area is also home to several small temples, shrines, old mosque and protected monument sights. Cows wander the streets, small dharmshalas (rest-houses) and pyaus (water-stations) attest to the pious contributions of local merchants.

A special treat then awaits you – take a ride through this busy market on tricycle rickshaws in Old Delhi.

Experience the delicious street food of Old Delhi as the locals do, and lunch today will be at Master Ji Ki Haveli with a local family (Only traditional Indian vegetarian food will be served).

After lunch, drive back to your hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. (B, L, D)

Overnight at Shanti Home – New Delhi or similar

Day 3 - Delhi to Leh

This morning following breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Leh, Ladakh. Upon arrival you will be transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day is yours at leisure to acclimatise.

Framed by the jagged snow-capped Himalayas, the city itself sits on the historic Silk Road. Dotted with humbling monasteries, stupas and crumbling mud houses, this enchanting city is very easy to fall in love with.

Leh is located at just over 3500m, and it is not uncommon to suffer from a little altitude sickness, whether it be a headache, breathlessness or dizziness. Be sure to drink lots of ginger tea, remain well hydrated and remember, no strenuous exercise while acclimatising. (B,L,D)

Overnight at Hotel Singee Palace or similar

Day 4-5 - Leh

We have allowed two more days in Leh to acclimatise before starting your trek.

If you are feeling up to it, you can participate in some conservation work in local schools, supporting the work done by the Snow Leopard Conservancy Trust.  This includes assisting with environmental education, research, campaigns and direct action. This program works in conjunction with a handful of Government schools and was founded on the belief that a country can develop meaningfully only if ecological sustainability and social equity are guaranteed.

Over these two day, you will also be able to visit Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace as well as some of the local monasteries. Shanti Stupa is 5km from town and overlooks Leh city, offering a panaoromic view of the surrounding snow capped mountains. The location of Shanti Stupa is visible from all over Leh city.

Leh Palace, though in a dilapidated condition, is full of old worldly charm, and the adventurous journey one has to undertake to reach the palace makes it even more special. Built in the 17th century by King Singe Namgyal as the royal residence, it was deserted in the mid 19th century after the family shifted to Stok. A visit here for many people feels like a glimpse into the window of Tibet. (B,L,D)

Overnight at Hotel Singee Palace or similar

Day 6 - Leh to Rumbak

This morning after breakfast you will drive an hour to the entrance to the Hemis National Park. From the road end it is a short hike on a good trail for an hour or two to our base camp in the park. Hemis is home to a number of rare species including the bharal, and of course the snow leopard, and has been identified as a Snow Leopard reserve under a project launched by the Central Government aimed at conserving the species, its prey base and its fragile mountainous home.

Base camp is where you will have your dining, kitchen, toilet, bathing, and sleeping tents (dome tents). Your cook and helpers also stay at base camp and provide you with freshly cooked breakfasts and dinners daily in the dining tent. For breakfast, you can expect an array of food; eggs made to order, pancakes, cereal (corn flakes and porridge), local bread, butter, jam, marmalade, juice, coffee & tea. Lunch is packed every day for you. Dinner is a 4 or 5 course meal every night, made up of a variety of sumptuous Indian, Continental, Chinese, Tibetan, and Ladakhi food.  Accommodation here is rustic and basic. (B,L,D)

Elevation: 3800m

Overnight Base Camp – Hemis National Park

Day 7-12 - Hemis National Park

You will have five full days to trek and explore the National Park. Distances covered and the level of activity will depend on wildlife sightings and how strenuous you wish to make the trek. You are likely to see signs of the snow leopard, as winter is the time that they descend to lower elevations. If you are lucky, you may see one perched high on the rocks or balanced effortlessly on a sheer vertical ridge.

Snow leopard sightings are a game of patience. Your schedule on these days is subject to previous sightings of the snow leopards, and your guide will collect information from locals and other guides on a daily basis to determine the movement of your day. You will either follow on from the previous day’s route, or trek and explore nearby areas, waiting and watching for the gracious Snow Leopards using a scope.

The moment you witness these beautiful and elegant cats, your breath will be taken away. Everything will seem silent as you watch, captivated by their beauty. Soft padding paws, brush like powerful tails. Every move planned and executed with precision. This will truly be one of the most awe inspiring moments of your journey.

Watch as they scavenge and search for prey. Camouflaged so perfectly into the snow covered rocky terrain. The only sounds to be heard are your gasps of amazement and the click of camera shutters. You will never forget this moment.

Although Snow Leopards are the main attraction, Hemis National Park is also home to blue sheep, argali (a large horned sheep), numerous mountain and migratory birds, as well as an occasional Tibetan wolf.

At the end of each day, you will return to camp for some warm food and hot tea and exchange tales of your sightings. (B,L,D)

Overnight Base Camp – Hemis National Park

Day 13 - Rumbak to Leh

Following breakfast this morning, it is time to leave camp and hike back to the road, where you will be met and transferred back to Leh. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure. (B,L,D)

Overnight at Hotel Singee Palace or similar

Day 14 - Leh to Delhi

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Delhi. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure. This evening you will have a farewell dinner with your group. (B,L,D)

Overnight at Shanti Home – New Delhi or similar

Day 15 - Depart Delhi

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before you are met and transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

What's Included

  • Meet and greet service on arrival at Delhi International Airport
  • Transfers as per the itinerary
  • 14 nights accommodation (7 hotels, 7 camping)
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner on all days except arrival and departure days
  • English speaking local guides
  • Professional and experienced wildlife Guide whilst in Hemis National Park
  • Entrance fees, park fees and trekking permits as per itinerary
  • Transportation in an air conditioned vehicle
  • Economy flight ticket Delhi/Leh/Delhi
  • Crooked Compass will provide a 5% donation to the Snow Leopard Conservancy which goes directly to support snow leopard conservation in Ladakh and the ecotourism development programs that benefit and inspire the Ladakhi people to protect it.

The below trekking equipment is also included:

  • High altitude two person trekking tents
  • Dining tents with folding chairs
  • Toilet tents
  • Staff tent
  • Camp furniture
  • Sleeping mattresses
  • Camping charges
  • Kitchen equipment like cooking utensils, camp crockery, tableware, lamps, wash bowls and cloth linens
  • Trek support team including 01 cook & 01 helper, pony owner with enough ponies to carry the provisions and client luggage during trekking
  • Separate vehicle to carry the trekking equipment and support team to / from trek starting and ending point


  • International flights
  • Visas
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • All services, meals other than those indicated above
  • Any changes to the proposed and confirmed program.
  • All items of a personal nature e.g. drinks, laundry, telephone calls, tips etc
  • Personal trekking / camping equipment not mentioned above and clothing of personal nature like trek shoes, kit bags, day packs, sleeping bags, down jackets and other special clothing items

**Please note that this tour can be organised on request for private departures for travel between January and March.

* Pricing is subject to change at any time until full payment has been received.

* A minimum of 2 adults is required to guarantee this departure.

**Snow Leopard sightings cannot be guaranteed.

A non-refundable deposit of $1000 AUD per person is required to secure your place. Final payment is due no later than 60 days prior to departure. Travel insurance is mandatory for travelling with Crooked Compass. For full terms and conditions, please click here.


Check Availability


Start Date End Date Duration Availability Price
17th Feb 2020 02nd Mar 2020 15 Days Available $8,177 Book Now