Photo: Rickshaw Run/Facebook

The Newest and Craziest Way to Trek the Himalayas Is in a Rickshaw

Road Trips
by Eben Diskin Feb 26, 2019

If you’ve ever traveled through Southeast Asia, you’re probably familiar with rickshaws — aka tuk-tuks — often used as taxis. With this new rickshaw experience, however, you won’t be hassled by drivers competing for your business; you’ll be the driver, and your road will be one of the most epic in the world.

The Rickshaw Run is a crazy week-long rickshaw excursion across the Himalayas, operated by the Adventurists. It aims to give people a truly unique way of experiencing the highest mountain range in the world, without having to take months off work for a lengthy hike. There is no planned itinerary, and no guarantee that you’ll make it to the end issue-free. “The only certainty of the Rickshaw Run,” the website says, “is that you will get lost, you will get stuck, you will break dow, and you will help save a bit of the world.”

While start and finish lines are provided, everything in-between is up to you. The route starts in Leh, a city in northern India, and follows the Leh-Manali Highway and Spiti Valley route to the end, in Shimla, India. Along the 650-mile journey, you’ll travel through dramatic mountain passes higher than 17,000 feet and thousand-year-old Buddhist monasteries.

The trip is designed to bring you into contact with the local, semi-nomadic people who live in the Himalayas in yurt-style tents, and who also happen to be among the most welcoming in the world. While there are small guesthouses along the way, it’s not uncommon for travelers to be invited by locals to spend the night in their yurts. Since you don’t need to physically carry tons of bags, which make an on-foot trek take several weeks, the Rickshaw Run can be completed in just one week’s time.

The Rickshaw Run will take place from June 21 to June 29, starting in Leh and ending in Shimla, and again from September 6 to September 14 — though the September route is reversed. Teams are expected to raise $1,313 for Cool Earth each in order to participate — which will go toward saving the rainforests — in addition to the regular cost of $2,752 per team of three. To sign up or learn more, visit the booking page.

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