Himalayan High Roads

Part of the ancient Silk Route to the Orient, closed to outsiders until 1974, Ladakh contains the world’s highest motorable pass, Khardung-La (5605m, or 18,380 ft). This motorcycle expedition takes you from the plains of Delhi, through the valleys and foothills of the Himalaya, crossing the Tibetan Plateau and finally to the Indus River Valley and Ladakh. Cross five major passes en route, including the world’s highest and second highest, traversing three distinct Himalayan ranges. The main road is a feat of engineering – blind bends and vertiginous drops.


— Ride some of the world’s highest motorable passes, Khardung-La, Taglang-La, Lachulung-La
— Visit the historic capital of British Raj, Simla
— Discover the wonders of the Lamayuru monastery
— Challenge your riding skills with 112 consecutive hairpins, each one carefully numbered

  • Day 1


    On arrival in Delhi you will be transferred to your hotel. Relax and refresh before this evenings welcome dinner and hopefully traditional Indian dance show.

    Day 2

    Delhi – Parwanoo (250 km by coach)

    Rise early for breakfast and head for Parwanoo by minibus, out of the congested city and humid plains in comfort, along the busy Grand Trunk Highway. Climbing through the jungle foothills of the Himalaya you reach the tiny hillside town of Parwanoo, here you’ll meet the tour team and motorbikes and get to know them at your pre-dinner briefing.

    Day 3

    Parwanoo – Simla (100 km)

    Today starts with a briefing to cover safety precautions, touring style, road conditions, and check of personal equipment, time to select your bike and become familiar with starting procedures, control layouts and bike handling. Ride along the beautifully lush and twisty roads of the Himalayan foothills to Simla, where you will have time to explore this colourful bygone capital of the British Raj.

    Day 4

    Simla – Mandi (200 km)

    Wind your way out of Shimla on the small back-roads through towering pine and fir forests. Descending the knife ridges, you encounter dense jungle and terraced hills not unlike Nepal. Your hotel in Mandi overlooks the fast-flowing mighty Beas River.

    Day 5

    Mandi – Manali (110 km)

    Kullu Valley has always been known as ‘The Valley of the Gods’. Enjoy one of the most spectacular days of motorcycle touring anywhere in the world as you run the cliff hanging highway along almost vertical walls of jungle and cascading waterfalls of the Beas River Valley. An all-too-short ride brings you to the mountain resort town of Manali, with plenty of time to explore the shops and markets.

    Day 6

    Manali (free day)

    A rest day today to get yourself more acclimatised to the altitude and explore the markets, temples and Tibetan refugee camps of this bustling mountain town before your ascent of the high passes to Ladakh.

    Day 7

    Manali – Keylong (125 km)

    Think of the Alps and let your imagination expand and go wild, this is the Rohtang-La! Start to climb right up one of the most beautiful alpine roads on earth. Though not that high a pass for the Himalaya (3978 m), it is one of the most spectacular. Have lunch at the top and descend to the Lahaul Valley to meet the Chandra River and our hotel in the Lower Market with its views across the river to the monastery.

    Day 8

    Keylong – Sarchu (115 km)

    Crossing the Rohtang Pass you’ve entered a whole new world; Tibetan Buddhist monasteries hang off precipices. Noticing how dry it’s becoming as you climb toward the Tibetan Plateau, you run the entire length of the Lahaul Valley heading for you next high pass, Baralacha-La (4892 m). From there descend to our luxury camp at Sarchu.

    Day 9

    Sarchu – Tsokar Lake (100 km)

    Like a scene out of ‘Fantasia’ the day begins with a climb up the Gata Loops, 21 dizzy switchbacks on excellent surface, towards your third pass, Lachulung-La (5066 m). Descending through a moonscape gorge you arrive at the military post called Pang and then on to your luxury camp at Tsokar Lake.

    Day 10

    Tsokar Lake – Leh (175 km)

    An early start up more hairpin curves brings you to what is called the More Plains, 44 km of valley filled with nomads and yaks with glacial peaks either side. Taglang-La is the second highest motorable pass at 5328 m (17,582’) with views of all creation from the top. Descending countless hairpin turns you enter Miru Gorge, razorback ridges of every colour rock with tiny villages set among green/gold fields of barley.

    Day 11

    Leh (free day)

    Today, take a much-deserved rest in the ancient capital of Ladakh. Leh is a mixture of old and new buzzing with shops, cafes, markets and activity. Viewed from the hilltop palace ruins, Leh looks medieval, but downtown, it’s all systems go. Explore Leh town or just relax in the hotel. There is an optional ride to explore the monasteries and upper valley with views of the Indus River and Stok mountain range below.

    Day 12

    Leh – Lamayuru (130 km)

    Make for Lamayuru, a 10th century monastery at the head of the Indus Valley. The road sweeps alongside the river, over barren desert, through mud-walled villages set in shocking green fields, finally to the base of an immense gorge. No way out but up, you start the climb on what’s known as the ‘hanger loops’, 112 improbable hairpins and, like a dream set on the moon’s surface, Lamayuru floats into view.

    Day 13

    Lamayur – Leh (130 km)

    After breakfast and a visit to the monastery, take the road back down the hanger loops to the village of Alchi. Another monastery, humble on the outside, hides some of the rarest works of Tibetan Buddhist wall paintings anywhere in Asia. You reach Leh early afternoon.

    Day 14

    Leh – Nubra (120 km)

    The day you’ve been waiting for. Conditions permitting, you’ll ride the 26.5 km to the highest motorable pass on Earth, Khardung-La (5605 m, 18,380’). After the last 14 km of rocky road, you will join an elite few motorcyclists that have stood on top of the world! The views over the mountains of Tibet to the north, the Karakoram Range, K-2, and back down to the Indus Valley and Zanskar are simply indescribable!

    Day 15

    Nubra – Leh (120 km)

    After a leisurely late morning, you have the option of visiting another monastery, described as the ‘Potala of Ladakh’: Tikse is only 20 km from Leh and houses the largest statue of the future Buddha anywhere in the Himalaya. The views from the rooftop down the Indus Valley are a stunning contrast of river, green fields and barren high desert. Enjoy a Farewell Dinner tonight to say your goodbyes.

    Day 16

    Leh – Delhi

    Possibly the most exciting mountain flight you can have, retracing our entire route at 9000 m, and taking only an hour and a half! The Himalaya glaciers unfold beneath you as you pass mountain range upon mountain range on your way back to the low plains and your hotel in Delhi.

    Day 17


    After breakfast this morning your tour ends, transfer to airport for your onward travel arrangements. Or why not stay a few days longer and take an extension tour to the Taj Mahal?

    Total Distance c. 1300 km

  • Himalayan High Roads Adventure
    Dates Rider Passenger Single room supplement
    22 Jun - 08 Jul 2020 £3,775 £3,195 £725
    13 - 31 Jul 2020 £3,775 £3,195 £725
    03 - 19 Aug 2020 £3,775 £3,195 £725
    12 - 30 Jul 2021 £3,775 £3,195 £725
    02 - 18 Aug 2021 £3,775 £3,195 £725
  • What's Included & What's Not
    Price Includes Price Excludes Taj Mahal Extension Tour:
    16 nights bed & breakfast accommodation
    13 days motorcycle hire (Royal Enfield 500 Bullet)
    All Meals including soft drinks
    Airport and local transfers
    4WD Support vehicle
    English speaking tour guide and local support team.
    US$500 refundable security/damage deposit to pay locally in cash
    Visa (c.£65)
    Personal items and expenses
    Additional activities
    Riding gear
    Flights, stopovers and additional accommodation which can be arranged through H-C Travel
    2 days, incl. 1 night in 5* hotel in Agra, private car/driver/guide
    entrance fees to Taj Mahal
    Agra Fort and Fatehpur Sikri
    £295 per person
    twin share
  • Tour Guide AlemAlam Hussein, who started working for us a mechanic when he was 16, has been guiding tours since 2005. He has been on over 100 tours in India and the Himalayas as rider, mechanic or guide. Alam is no mean rider either. He participated in the Himalayan Raid Rally in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and came second in his class in 2005. And when not working to make your tour the best possible riding experience, Alam runs a motorcycle repair business and custom bike building shop in Dehredun that is famous throughout India.

    Alam’s team
    Without his reliable local support team, the logistics of running our tour programme in Northern India, Bhutan and Tibet would be well-nigh impossible. Our chief mechanic is Biru, who has worked on our tours since 2000, and our support/luggage vehicle driver is Bopinder, who joined in 2002. They are usually supported by two assistant mechanics.

    Tiffany Coates
    We’re delighted to be working with global adventurer Tiffany Coates on our unique Ladies of Ladakh adventure. Tiffany brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our team and is just a great person to work and ride with. You can follow her adventures at

  • A quick note about your ‘camp’ accommodation:
    Here at H-C Travel we like to sleep comfortably, and we want to make sure you do too. So, your camps provide en-suite tents with beds, carpets and hot water bottles, and you dine in the dining tent, with waiter service. We even offer room service. And all at about 5000 m altitude!

    Temperatures are subject to rapid changes on this tour, and the climate will vary from the lower to the high elevations. While riding you must be prepared for these changes. Expect very hot and humid conditions on the plains, with possible showers. As you climb into the foothills expect warm daytime temperatures and cooler nights. Approaching the high passes and Tibetan Plateau you can expect anything from warm sunny days to rain, sleet or snow, with nights cool to cold but rarely reaching freezing point. Your tour dates are designed for optimum weather conditions; however, mountains are mountains, and they don’t come any bigger than the Himalayas!

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