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Best Time to Visit Ladakh

Travel to Leh is not too dependent on the month to be honest if you’re going by air.

The climate of Ladakh is very simple to explain; very cold in Winters to cool in summers. Apart from this, variations are very far and very few in between. The tourist season usually starts in May and ends in September, even though nowadays, people are traveling at any time of the year to experience the harshness of the climate and the place. But keep in mind, that you need to be a hardy traveler to attempt travel outside the May-Sep. season.

The bottom line, if you’re traveling by air, anytime from May to September is fine for a first-timer and the weather or the scenery within Ladakh, won’t change much. The only difference would be with the fact that Septembers are usually cooler than other months.

Now, if you decide to travel by road to Ladakh, then it’s a different story altogether. The month of travel would make much more difference, as a condition of the road and surrounding scenery changes a great deal from May to September. Collecting experience, we have divided the road travel season in three parts:
  • May-June: Roads at worst, but the scenery at its best. Imagine riding or driving on the road with 20 feet of snow on either side. Waiting patiently on every pass, while the road is being cleared. Driving through a stream of water, without knowing where a puddle is or could be. Standing atop, BaraLacha La or Zoji would feel out of the world, with snow everywhere. However, the road condition would be at it’s worst as BRO only starts with the repair work once the roads open up in May. Few pics from Zoji in May
  • July-August: Roads till the snow line (Zoji pass on Srinagar-Leh and Rohtang on Manali-Leh) could be a mess as both Jammu-Srinagar and Mandi-Kullu-Manali-Rohtang road are prone to landslides. However, once you cross the snow line, no further issues would be there as rains do not cross the 2 passes on either road. But till the snow line, you would have an abundance of greenery on either side of the road, which makes the journey too good to avoid.
  • September-Till road closes: Probably the best month for a road trip. Roads are at their best since BRO has done most of the annual maintenance repairs. But avoid the last weeks of September or the first week of October as any sudden snow shower could close the road for the next 7 months, without giving you the opportunity to get out. But with good roads, you’ll also lose the sights of snow-clad passes as the snow would have melted and the land would be barren by now at most of the places. So good roads, but scenery not so great as it is in May.
Choose your preference of month, if you’re going by road and if going by air, well that would hardly make any difference.
Plan your Ladakh trip using these below Sections :