Swarmed by tourist from all over the world, Ladakh needs no introduction and words fall short to explain the grandeur beauty of this cold desert. Ladakh(land of high passes), a landlocked region lies between two of the world’s most powerful mountain ranges – the Karakoram and the Great Himalayas, proffers breathtakingly high altitude mountains, cold deserts, saltwater lakes and insane landscapes. Sharing its east Boundary with Tibet, Ladakh has Lahaul and Spiti into its south West and the Kashmir valley to the west Coast. Ladakh is an unmatched heaven for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts. In this guide, you will know everything about Leh ladakh weather, so keep reading.
Due to its high altitude, Ladakh weather is a slight intense – where the summers can get hot and humid with blunt sunlight, winters can be extreme with temperature dipping below freezing point. Ladakh can’t be accessed throughout the year by tourists due to this cold desert climate. This cold desert climate can be experienced during your excursion to Ladakh especially when you visit Ladakh from October to February.
One of the most frequent questions among tourists is that when to plan your visit to this beautiful place. Summer due to its pleasant climate and various monastic festivals can be the best time to visit Ladakh while winters have their own specific overture with snow capped mountains offering panoramic views. Winter Chadar Trek, one of the most adventurous treks in the world is a major attraction of winter in Ladakh. So if you want to explore Ladakh, it is your choice of activity according to which you can decide your best time to visit. This article answers all your questions which will help you to select the best time to plan your Ladakh trip.
Temperature of Leh during different Months
Temperature of Nubra Valley during different Months
Weather condition of Leh Ladakh during different Months
April marks the beginning of summer in Ladakh and tourists are starting to make their appearance. Heavy snowfalls stops during April but still you can experience occasional snowfall. Temperature can go up to 12 °C but weather is still not pleasant and warm.
Mountains are still covered with snow and lakes are still frozen which start to melt by late April. During this time roads are still closed so if you want to visit Ladakh in April, flights are the only option. With a clear sky, Ladakh has elegant climate but it is recommended to wear warm clothes and sunscreen as sunlight tend to be harsh.
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You can still feel that that winter have not gone completely and Breeze still carries the winter chill. However weather got its sunny character with the pleasant temperature of 16°C during the day.
By late May and early June, Srinagar – Leh Highway opens up but Manali – Leh Highway is still closed in May. During May, travellers come to Ladakh usually by Air as the roads still remain closed.
You can complete Srinagar – Leh – Manali circuit as by early June all the roads to Leh open up. During initial days of June, roads are uneven and bouncy due to heavy snow but by mid June, the hard and mighty ice melts into melancholic water streams flowing through the roads.
June is the time when temperature rises up to 21°C but not to worry as you will still need blanket during night because temperature during night slides to 7°C. Most of the local festivals and trek expeditions start during this month.
July and August:
July and August are considered as the best months to visit the majestic land of passes. By this month all the passes and roads leading to Ladakh are opened. Ladakh readies itself to welcome bikers, photographers, adventurists and all those who seek beauty and tranquillity in mountains. During Monsoons, when whole of the Country remains closed, Ladakh opens itself to visitors.
July is the moderately hot month of the year. Sunlight can be too harsh sometimes. Temperature can go up to 25°C during day and falls to 10°C during night. During August, Ladakh gets chilly once again and you have to carry extra woollens.
Some of the important festivals during July and August are organised in Stongdey, Karsha, Karzok, Dakthok, and Sani. If you are travelling to Leh via Manali – Leh Highway, to avoid traffic at Rohtang Pass, leave Manali early in the morning. Similarly to avoid traffic in Sonmarg on Sringar – Leh Highway, leave Srinagar early morning.
During this time roads are well maintained and comfortable stays are available in Leh. Apart from these, magnificent landscape and less number of tourists made it a perfect time for Ladakh tour. During mid September, you can witness snowfall at high altitude passes of Khardung La and Chang La. As the peak season is over, prices of hotels come down.
Winter is already here and you can feel chilly weather of Ladakh. You can experience the whole new view of Lakes with blue crystal water with glimmering sunlight over the surface. The days are pleasant with average temperature of 20° – 22°C and sunray can be harsh. But the nights are sufficiently cold and temperature will falls down to 6°C.
During September you can see white Ladakh with its snow capped mountains, Brown Ladakh with its rugged desert terrain, and green Ladakh with its beautiful green valley (Suru Valley) which makes it magnificent.
During October, Ladakh is starting its new life again, winter life. Srinagar – Leh and Manali- Leh highways are still open but you will witness snow secured roads. Most of the homestays and dhabas on these highways are closed during October. Snowfall is a common phenomenon in October and cold breezes clear over high altitude areas. Lakeside camps are closed and the roads leading to these lakes are on the verge of closing. Only passionate and adventure enthusiasts stays here and explore the Ladakh during October.
Highways are closed during end of October and after that flight is the only option to land in Leh. Maximum temperature can goes up to 14°C during day but nights are extremely cold as temperature starts dropping below 0°C. One of the famous monastery festivals, Diskit Festival is organised in this month.
Both the highways are closed and covered with snow in November and you can only reach Leh by air. Winter completely takes the whole of Ladakh under its cover and all the areas are experiencing temperature below freezing point. Maximum temperature in November is 7°C and minimum temperature can drop to -6°C.
All the lakes are frozen so camping is not a good option. You can also face problem of water supply during this time.
Thiskey and Padum festivals are celebrated in November.
December is the coldest month of the year when temperature rarely goes above the freezing point. Average day temperatures is 2°C which is still bearable but nights are freezing and temperature fluttering around -15°C.
Highways are still closed and covered with heavy snows. Lakes and river are covers with ice sheets of six inches thickness. Very less tourists visit Ladakh during December as winter here can be unbearable. Losar and Golden Namchot festivals are organised during December.
Chilling winter with temperature below freezing point is continued to cover Ladakh during January and February. Freezing temperature and constant heavy snowfall makes survival and acclimatization problematic. Minimum and maximum temperatures during these months are -11°C and -2°C respectively.
January and February are famous for Winter Chadar Trek. From mid January to mid February many adventure enthusiasts head out to trek in the frozen Zanskar River. During this time Pangong Lake and Tso Moriri also changes there shades. These lakes get crystallized with hard ice and good for trekking. Snow Leopard Trekking in Hemis National Park is also a famous trek during winters. Spituk Gustor Festival is also held during January. February is famous for Dasmochey, Yargon and Matho Nagrang festivals.
It is recommended to not to go to Ladakh if you can’t handle the freezing temperature of Ladakh because winter here can be unbearable. Water supply also gets affected and electricity also comes for only six hours.
Relatively better than other winter months but it is still too cold for most of the travellers. Days are sunny and maximum temperature can goes up to 6°C however nights are still chilly and minimum temperatures is still below freezing point. Both the highways are closed and you have only one option to reach Leh, by air. Most of the region will be empty as it is not a tourist season. Camping at Pangong Lake and Tso Moriri are still not possible.
Best Time to Visit Leh Ladakh
On Bike: The very best time for Ladakh bike trip is in between months of June to September. These months permit the riders to enjoy the very best of Ladakh as far as they like their bike trip to Lahaul & Spiti. However, the Majority of the riders like to kickstart their summers with bike tour as Ladakh presents magical panoramas which can be treasured around during summers except monsoon due to heavy rainfall, roads are blocked hence it is advised not to start bike trip during winters.
By Road: June to September is best time to hit the road for Ladakh. From June, both highways are open for normal traffic. It is recommended not to go to road trip after September as Leh- Srinagar Highway and Manali- Leh Highway are closed due to heavy snowfall after October. Srinagar — Leh Highway and Manali — Leh Highway gets overly insecure to pass through because of snowfall. Therefore, the only alternative to go to Leh Ladakh in winters, would be to fly to Leh from Delhi.
By Air: Leh can be visited throughout the year by air. When both the highways closed during October due to heavy snowfall, directly fly to Leh is the only option to travel to Leh – Ladakh.