The Manali-Leh cycling tour is one of the most scenic, challenging and popular mountain biking routes. You cover 550 km over 12 days going past many high passes – Rohtang (3900 m), Baralacha La (4800 m), NakeeLa (4900 m), Lachung La (5050 m), Tanglang La (5260 m and the world’s second highest motorable road). The road is a mix of tarmac and unmetalled roads. Once you cross into Lahaul valley from Manali, you go past picturesque villages. Hoever, after Darcha, it’s all wild country with no permanent villages till you cross Tanglang La closer to Leh.
On the Manali-Leh cycling route the only settlements you will come across are doksas or make-shift bed-and-breakfasts that have come up for the season. From alpine forests and meadows in Manali through deep valleys in Lahaul, and vast plains at Sarchu, you enter Ladakh, a land that offers every hue of orange, red, brown and ochre. Along the way your challenges include searing hot days, freezing nights and most importantly, high altitude.