Long Trip vs Short Trip in Ladakh

Published by rentnhop on

Planning your dream bike trip to Ladakh or visiting this wonderful place? This scenic destination should be on every biker’s bucket list. Riding through the otherworldly landscapes of Ladakh, surrounded by snow-capped Himalayan peaks, is an experience like no other.

Now when planning your biking adventure in Ladakh, one key decision is whether you want to go for a short bike trip in and around Leh or a more extensive long-distance bike trip covering larger parts of Ladakh. As someone who has done both, let me walk you through the key differences between short and long-distance Ladakh bike trips.

bike rental in leh

Short Bike Trips in Ladakh

If you are short on time or just looking for a quick getaway to Leh, a short 3-4 day bike trip focusing just on the Leh region is a great option.

Here’s what you can expect from a short bike trip to Ladakh:

  • Duration: 3-4 days is ideal for a short bike trip to Leh. You can get a bike on rent in Ladakh for this duration.
  • Distance Covered: Ride around 150-200 km in total over the 3-4 days. Popular short routes are Leh – Khardung La – Nubra Valley – Leh and Leh – Pangong Tso Lake – Leh.
  • Highlights: Get a glimpse of top attractions like Khardung La (the World’s highest motorable pass), Nubra Valley (Bactrian camels and sand dunes), and Pangong Lake (scenic blue water lake).
  • Type of Bike: For short trips, you can easily find Royal Enfield and other bike rentals in Leh City itself. Go for a comfortable cruiser.
  • Accommodation: Stay in hotels or homestays in Leh for the duration of the trip. No need for camping gear.
  • Permits: You only need inner line permits for these standard short routes which you can get once you reach Leh.

The advantage of short Leh bike rental trips is that they are simple to plan, cover all the major attractions, and ride on good quality roads while staying in the comfort of hotels each night. The disadvantage is you miss out on more remote parts of Ladakh.

Long Distance Bike Trips across Ladakh

For the real Ladakh biking experience, consider a longer 7-12 day road trip covering larger parts of the region:

  • Duration: A 7 to 12-day long trip allows you to immerse in the Ladakh experience. You can also ride up from Manali for a 2-week trip.
  • Distance: Cover around 800 to 1200 km depending on a number of days. Routes like Manali – Leh – Kargil – Srinagar or Manali – Tso Moriri – Leh – Pangong are popular.
  • Highlights: In addition to Leh, Khardung La, Nubra, and Pangong, see the remotest villages, monasteries, challenging mountain passes, and untouched landscapes.
  • Bike Type: For long distances, choose an enduring Royal Enfield model or a more heavy-duty adventure touring bike if possible.
  • Stay: Combination of hotels in big towns + camping in picturesque locations. Carry your own camping gear.
  • Permits: You will need inner line permits as well as additional permits for areas like Nubra, Pangong Tso, Tso Moriri, etc. Plan paperwork in advance.

The benefit of longer trips is that you experience Ladakh in depth – the culture, people, cuisine, and stunning landscapes. It does require more planning and physical endurance. But the memories of the journey will stay with you forever. 

Tips for getting a bike rental in Ladakh

Whichever type of bike trip you pick, getting a bike on rent in Ladakh is key. Here are some tips:

  • Book 2-3 months in advance during peak season to get the bike of your choice, especially for longer trips. Last-minute options are limited.
  • Pick a rental company or bike workshop that comes highly recommended by other travelers. Read online reviews.
  • Opt for Royal Enfield Classic 350 or 500 cc models for their stability and ground clearance—test ride before renting.
  • Thoroughly inspect the bike for any issues, damages, or wear and tear before renting.
  • Take necessary bike tools, spares, lubricants, puncture kits, etc for long trips where help may not be available.
  • Learn basic bike maintenance skills before your trip – changing tires, cleaning spark plugs, etc. Carry a bike repair guide.
  • Make sure to have a valid driving license and required paperwork like permits & insurance before you kickstart your ride.
  • Follow all traffic rules, take breaks, and ride carefully at all times, especially on the treacherous high passes. Safety first!


With some planning and preparation, Ladakh offers some of the world’s most magnificent biking terrain. Whether you choose a short 3-4 day Leh bike rental or a 12-day epic trans-Ladakh road trip, biking through this mountain paradise should be on every rider’s bucket list. Just don’t forget to respect the region’s culture and fragility while you are at it. Happy and safe riding


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