Drass is a small township lying in the center of the valley of the same name at an altitude of 3230 m. Known as the second coldest inhabited place in the world, it experiences repeated snowfalls during winters and the temperature drops to as low as minus 40 degrees and even more. The valley starts from the base of the Zojila pass, which is said to be the Himalayan gateway to Ladakh. For centuries, its inhabitants have tread upon this formidable pass even during the late autumn or early spring, the riskiest season as the whole sector is then covered by snow and is subject to frequent snow storms. The masters of such mortal dangers, they have been known to help stranded travelers to traverse the land and established a monopoly over the carrying trade in the days of the Pan-Asian trade.
A convenient base for a 3-day long trek to Suru valley, Drass
is across the sub-range separating the two valleys, which passes through
some of the most beautiful upland villages and flowery meadows on both
sides of the 4500 m high Umbala pass, which is on the way. The
trek to the holy cave of Amarnath in neighboring Kashmir, which starts
from Minamarg below Zojila, takes 3 days and involves crossing of 5200 m
high pass. There are so many other treks that Drass have to offer
including many shorter treks and hikes to the upland villages.