Day 01 : Arrive Paro
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative, and transferred to your Paro hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 02 : Paro
Drive northwest up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, its towering walls are still an imposing sight. On a clear day there is a splendid view of Mt. Chomolhari from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong. Visit one of the typical village houses clustered near the dzong. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan. In the afternoon visit Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower and now the National Museum. Then walk down the hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), ‘the fortress of the heap of jewels’.
Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 03 : Paro - Jele Dzong (8km, 3 hours)
Today is a short trekking day. The journey starts with a short climb up to Jele Dzong. The trek trail ascends gradually up to the camp, and if the weather is clear Paro valley can be seen with snowcapped mountains behind. Above the camp is Jele-la pass (3,400m) and Jele Dzong (mostly in ruins). There is also a lhakhang containing a statue of Buddha Sakyamuni. Overnight camp.
Day 04 : Jele Dzong - Jangchulakha (10km, 3-4 hours)
Begin with a one and a half hour climb and then ascend more gradually upwards. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. You will have fine views of Chomoihari and other snow capped peaks if the weather is right, and you may hear some monal pheasants calling during the day. You may see yak herders around your campsite. Overnight camp.
Day 05 : Jangchulakha - Jimllangtsho (11km, 4 hours)
The trail follows the ridge, and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valley are sensational. You will enjoy a great view of Jichu Drake (6,989m), the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. Our camp is close to the Jimilangtsho lakes, which are famous for their giant sized trout. Overnight camp.
Day 06 : JimiLangtsho - SImkota (11km, 4 hours)
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and passes by the lake of Janetsho. Today you may come across some yak herders’ camps and get an idea of how these people live. We camp overnight close to Simkota Lake, and if you are lucky you can catch a lake trout for your dinner.
Day 07 : Simkota - Phajoding (10km, 4 hours)
Today begins with a gradual climb, and if the weather permits you will enjoy majestic views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, and a host of other peaks. The trail slowly descends through juniper trees to a campsite beside a community hail near Phajoding cafeteria. Overnight in cafeteria or camp, depending on weather conditions.
Day 08 : Phajodlng - Thlmphu (5km, 3 hours)
The trek to Thimphu is downhill all the way, passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. Taking a leisurely pace, you reach Thimphu in about 3 hours. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 09: ExcursIon to Punakhal/Wangduephodrang (2 to 3 hrs drive)
After breakfast, full day excursion to the Punakha and Wangdue valleys. The drive from Thimphu crosses Dochu-la pass (3,088m) from which there are the most enchanting mountain views. In
Punakha, visit Punakha Dzong situated at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. Built in the 17th century by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, this dzong has played important role in Bhutan’s history. Then drive to Wangduephodrang, to visit 17th century Wangduephodrang Dzong and the local market.
In the evening drive back to Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 10: Thimphu - Paro (2 hrs drive)
Full day of sightseeing in Thimphu, including visits to the following, as time permits:
National Memorial Chorten - built as a memorial to Bhutan’s third king (‘the father of modern Bhutan’) and as a monument to world peace; Tashichhodzong - the impressive fortress/monastery housing some ministries, His Majesty’s secretariat, and the central monk body; Handicrafts Emporium - a wide assortment of intricately hand-woven textiles and other craft products is available for purchase at this government-run outlet, and at many smaller handicrafts shops around town; National Library - established in the late 1960s primarily to conserve the literary treasures which form a significant part of Bhutan’s cultural heritage, it now holds an extensive collection of Buddhist texts and manuscripts; Institute for Zorig Chusum - more commonly known as the Painting School, where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan; National Institute of Traditional Medicine (outside only) - the rich herbal medicines made up from plants abundant in the kingdom are dispensed here, and traditional medicine practitioners trained. In the evening drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Depart from Paro.
Day 01 (Arrive - Paro )
Arrive at Paro international Airport. Our company representative will receive you on arrival, and then drive you to your Hotel.
Day 02 (Paro)
Morning - Drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong 15 km up the valley and starting point of the trek. Built in 1647 by the great unifier of medieval Bhutan,Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal after the great victory over the tibetan armies. It was destroyed accidentally by fire and was left in ruins since then. However it serves as a reminiscent of the great victories. On a clear day, you can have spectacular view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m).
Our next visit is Ta Dzong, an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong, the centre of civil and religious authority in this district. A short walk will take you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional wooden cantilevered bridge.
The evening ends with a free time to stroll through Paro's main shopping area.
Day 03 (Paro – Shana) (Start of Trek)
Our trek starts at Drukgyal Dzong following the Pacchu River and we will pass cultivated fields and tiny scenic villages. The forests are alive with abundant birds and brightly colored butterflies. We will reach our campsite in about 5-6 hours. It is about 2,580 m above sea level and the campsite is called Shana.
Day 04 (Shana – Soi Thangthangka) Altitude 3610 m; Time 8 - 9 hours.
The trail follows the river through a densely forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. This forest is picturesque one comprising of Oak with splendid hinging mosses, Junipers and Rhododendron. The trek becomes more enchanting because of the birds singing all through the trail. Camp is in a pasture with a stone shelter.
Day 05 (Soi Thangthangka - Jangothang): Altitude of 4,100 m.Time 5 - 6 hours.
The trail slowly leaves the forest line and gradually climbs into a handsome valley, passing Tegethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. Lunch will be served in one of these yak herder’s camps. Plenty of yaks will be seen before we arrive at the Jhomolhari base camp (4,100 m). One can have a superb view of the glacier mountain peaks all around. Directly opposite to our campsite is Mt. Jomolhari overlooking in its white glory. Nearby are the ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions.
Day 06 (Jangothang - Halt): A rest day for acclimatization.
We can take this chance to walk up to the Jhomolhari glaciers or to the Tsho Phu lakes on the opposite direction from where one can see the spectacular mountain peaks – Mt. Jomolhari , Mt. Jichu Drake and Mt. Tsherim Gang.
Day 07 (Jangothang – Lingshi):
The trail follows glacier stream for around half an hour and crosses a narrow wooden bridge. Then the climb to Nyele Pass (4850m) consists of first stretch of steep one, followed by a gradual one, and yet again a steep one near the pass. Nonetheless the breathtaking view of Mountain peaks on this trail will make you forget the strenuous uphill climb.
After crossing this pass it is a gradual descend to Lingshi campsite (4040m). One can enjoy the panoramic view of Lingshi Dzong and the mountain peaks around. Walking time 7-8 hours.
Day 08 (Lingshi – Shodu):Altitude 3750m. time 8-9 hours.
It is a gradually accent through the valley for about 4 hours before one reaches a steep climb to Yelela (4900m), the highest pass on this trek.
Then it is long but gradual decent to our next campsite at Shodu.
Day 09 (Shodu – Barshong):Altitude 3600m.Time 6-7 hours.
Now we return to the tree lines again. The trail follows the Wangchu River, descending through forests of rhododendron, junipers and other alpine species.
Prior reaching the campsite, the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of Barshong Dzong. Our campsite will be at little below the ruins.
Day 10 (Barshong – Dodena) (End of Trek):
The footpath on this trek will descend through two kinds of forests - alpine forest and bamboo forest. We will also follow the Wangchu River for a while. Arrive Dodena where your Destination Bhutan Adventure vehicles will be waiting for you.
Drive to Thimphu after refreshments. Thimphu is around 15 kilometers from Dodena. Overnight at Hotel in Thimphu.
Day 11 (Thimphu - Paro):
After breakfast we visit the National Memorial Chorten built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk. Then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts. It also has the World’s Largest Book weighing 62.5 Kilograms. Visit will also be made to The Painting School, where the 13 traditional arts & crafts are being taught. Institute of Traditional Medicine located in the same area will also be visit. The Institute prepares the medicines according to ancient practices. The art of acupuncture is still practiced here.
Afternoon- Visit handmade Paper Factory at work. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan). We finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium, which has all types of Bhutanese handicrafts for sale.
Late afternoon – Drive to Paro (2 hours). Overnight hotel in Paro.
Day 12 (Departure):
Destination Bhutan Adventure representative will see you off from the airport.
The Snowman trek is considered one of the most difficult and the toughest trek in the world. The Combination of distance, altitude, remoteness, snow filled passes and weather conditions makes this trek very challanging but adventerous and thrilling.
Due to its rigors, it is strongly recommended that all trekkers be in excellent physical condition and determined. An experienced guide will be provided to assist you to set the needed pace for each day of the trek until it is over.
Day 01. Arrive at Paro:
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by our representative, and transferred to your Paro hotel. Sight seeing. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 02. Paro – Shana (Trek starts): Distance 14 Km; Time 5 - 6 hours.
Our trek to Shana starts at Drukgyal Dzong following the Paro river and we pass cultivated fields and picturesque villages. The forests are alive with numerous birds and brightly coloured butterflies. Overnight at camp Shana. Altitude 2,820 m.
Day 03. Shana – Thangthangka: Distance 21 Km; Time 7 - 8 hours.
The trail follows the river through a dense forested area with a few isolated farmhouses. It narrows and closes in and the trail winds up and down along the drainage. We pass a junction enroute, where another path leads north over the Tremo La to Tibet. Overnight camp at Thankthangkha.
Altitude 3610 m.
Day 04. Thangthangka – Jangothang: Distance 15 Km; Time 5 - 6 hours.
In the morning after passing a small army post, the trail slowly leaves the forest line and gradually climbs into a beautiful valley, passing Tegethang, a winter home of yak herdsmen. Lunch will be served in one of these huts. Lots of yaks will be seen before arriving at the Jhomolhari base camp (4,115 m). High mountains overlook the camp and visible nearby are the ruins of an old fortress used to guard Bhutan against Tibetan invasions. Camp at Jangothang. Altitude 4,115 m.
Day 05. Jangothang (Acclimatization):
One day halt at Jangothang. Enjoy the superb view all around.
Day 06. Jangothang – Lingshi: Distance 18 Km;Time 7-8 hours.
The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Ghang. Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Nyeley la pass at an altitude of 4,700 meters. After the pass, it’s a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panorama view of the peaks and Lingshi dzong. Overnight camp at Lingshi. Altitude is 4000 meters.
Day 07. Lingshi – Chebisa: Distance 12 Km;Time 4-5 hours.
Walk past the Lingshi dzong, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of green hill, the Winding River and magnificent peaks. This is a very easy day and a pleasant walk, through villages and yak herders camps. Lunch will be at scenic Goyuna village. After lunch, a short walk will reach you to Chebisa village. Overnight camp at chebisa by the side of stream. Altitude 3,850 m.
Day 08. Chebisa – Shomuthang: Distance 17 Km;Time 7-8 hours.
Today begins with a stiff climb up a ridge to Gubula pass at an altitude of 4,500 meters, taking nearly 4 hours to the top. After the pass descend to a lunch spot, through rhododendron bushes. Afternoon continue along the up and down path, after crossing the stream, through rhododendron forests and yak herders camps. You may see herds of Blue sheep. Overnight camp at shomuthang.
Altitude 4260 m.
Day 09. Shomuthang – Robluthang: Distance 15 Km;Time 7-8 hours.
The trek starts with a climb to Jari la pass at the altitude of 4,600 meters. Then descend to Tsharijathang valley, the summer residence of the rare Himalayan Takin (national animal of Bhutan). From here we may have to cross the stream and get wet, as most of the time the foot bridge is washed away. After crossing the stream the trail ascends till you reach Robluthang camp.
Altitude 4400 m.
Day 10. Robluthang - Lemithang: Distance: 19 km; Time 7-8 hours.
The trek starts with a long climb up to the shinje la pass (altitude 4900meters). Mountains views from the pass are breathtaking. Then descend to Lemithang. The path is quit narrow and you may have to cross the stream and get wet again. The last part of the trek is very interesting, with the view of Mount Gangchey Ta peak. Arrive at camp.
Day 11. Limithang to Laya Distance: 10 km; Time 6-7hours.
You will follow the valley down parallel to the Timuchang Chhu through a cedar and then fir forest. Yak people from Laya might overtake with their yaks carrying loads of smuggled goods. About 30 minutes before reaching Laya, there is a clear split in the trail. The left fork is better. After some small ups and downs and crossing a ridge you reach a chorten and a prosperous Laya village appears before you. Altitude: 3800m.
Day 12. Rest day at Laya(Acclimatization):
Explore around the village. You can go and visit any of the houses around. By tradition one can go to any house without an invitation. A cup of tea or Chang (local drink) is always offered. The people in this village are very interesting with a unique dress, language and and traditional ornaments.
Day 13: Laya – Rhodophu: (Distance: 19 km; Time 7-8 hours)
From Laya, the path descends to the army post and it continues to follow the river till the turn off point to Rhodophu. After lunch, continue the climb through rhododendron bushes. Camp overnight at Rhodophu. Altitude 4,350m.
Day 14 : Rhodophu to Narethang: (Distance: 16 km; Time 7-8 hours)
We have a long hike today as we climb to Tsimola La (15,429 ft). After crossing the pass and from a little summit, there is a great view of Lunana, Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. Descending to Narethang we pass dwarf rhododendron and hike in the shadow of Gangla Karchung peak.
Day 15. Narethang – Tarina: (Distance: 19 km; Time 7-8 hours)
The path is flat for another four hours till the climb to Gangla Karchula pass (5,080m). The view from the pass is breathtaking. The whole range of mountains, including Masagang, Tsendegang, Teri Gang can be seen, after the pass there is a very long descent to Tarina valley. Altitude 3,980m. Walking time 10-11 hours.
Day 16. Tarina – Woche: (Distance: 14 km; Time6-7 hours).
The day is much easier as the path follows the river down valley. Today you will walk for around 1 hours parallel to the Tarina Chhu, surrounded by some beautiflu water falls. Later the trail becomes muddy through the forest and after 30 minutes starts climbing steeply, crossing landslide areas.You might reach Woche village bit early and perhaps early for lunch also. Therefore we will move ahead to a good campsite which is around 1 hour 30 minutes walk. Altitude: 4163m.
Day 17. Woche – Lhedi: (Distance: 13 km; Time6-7 hours)
The Trek starts through juniper and fir forests and then through rhododendron bushes. We climb up to Keche la pass (4,480m) where one can have a great view of the mountains. After the pass, descend to the river walking through the village with stunning views of Table Mountain and others. Follow the river, one of the main source of Phochu, till Lhedi village. Altitude 3,650m.
Day 18. Lhedi – Thanza: (Distance: 17 km; Time7-8 hours)
The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch visit the Choejong dzong and continue towards the wide valley. Cross the bridge to reach Thanza camp Altitude 4,000m.
Day 19. Thanza – Tsorim: (Distance: 19 km; Time8-9 hours)
The trek starts with climb up to the ridge with great view of the Table Mountain and Thanza valley below, The ridge altitude is 4,500 m and rises gradually up to 4,650m near by the foot bridge. After lunch walk up towards the left side of the bridge enjoying the views of the snow peaked mountains. Climb up ridge after ridge until you reach the camp at Tsorim at the altitude of 5, 150m. Then down to the camp. Altitude 5125m.
Day 20.Tshorim - Gangkar Puensum base camp: (Distance: 15 km; Time6-7 hours)
This is the highest of the trip and we start the day with a short climb to the Tshorim lakes. Walk on the side of the lake enjoying the panoramic views of the Gophula ranges. The last climb to Gophula pass (5,230m) is very short. After the pass descend to the base camp walking along the ridge. Enjoy the great view of Gangkar Puensum. Those with a lot of energy can divert to the left side to climb up the Pyramid Peak for better view. Others can go down to the base camp nearly Sha Chu at the Altitude 4,970m.
Day 21(Acclimatization): Rest day at the base camp. Enjoy the great view.
Day 22. Base camp - Geshe woma: (Distance: 15 km; Time6-7 hours)
Time to leave the beautiful mountains, but the trek is far from over. The path follows the Sha Chu and descends gradually to Geshe woma. Altitude 4,200m.
Day 23. Geshe woma – Warathang: (Distance: 19 km; Time8-9 hours)
The path continues following shachu for two and a half hours until the stiff climb to Sakala begins. Visibility along the Sakala trail is poor so one must watch the top of the ridge for guidance. Lunch nearby a yak herder’s camp. After lunch climb up to Sakala pass at the altitude 4,800m. Descend to the lakes and another short ascent to Wartangle pass (4,590m). The scenery once again is stunning with small lakes and mountain peaks. Camp at the altitude of 4,000m.
Day 24. Warathang - Dur Tsachu: (Distance: 17 km; Time5-6 hours)
A short half hour climb to Juelela (4,400m). After the pass descend to the riverside through dense rhododendron, juniper and conifer forest. After the bridge a little climb to Dur Tsachu hot spring, where Guru Padmasambava is supposed to have bathed in the 8th hot spring. Walking time 5 hours.
Day 25. Dur Tsachu –Tshochenchen: (Distance: 19 km; Time8-9 hours)
Today we go across the last pass of the trip (Juelela pass). From the stream it is along and steady climb again with great views of the mountains in Lunana. One comes blue lakes and yak herders camps to arrive at the Thochechen camp at an altitude of 3,850m.
Day 26. Tshochenchen – Dur – Jakar:
This is the last day of the trek. Here we change from yak to pack ponies for carting trekking gear. The path follows the Chamkhar Chu, descending gradually with few climbs. The trek ends when you arrive at Dhur village. Our travel representative will be at Dur village to pick you up and proceed to Jakar(Bumthang). Overnight at Hotel.
Day 27. Jakar – Wangdi:
Start early to visit some of the famous monasteries in Bumthang and drive to Trongsa (70km) for lunch at local hotel. After lunch drive to Wangdi (130km) via Pelela. Overnight at the lodge.
Day 28. Drive to Thimphu: (68km)
Morning, visit to historical sites in Wangdue and Punakha.Afternoon, Drive to Thimphu. Overnight at Thimphu. Special farewell dinner and get together by the Company.
Day 29. Paro (Departure):
Drive to Airport and farewell.
This seventeen days trek, though rigorous is quite popular because it traverses a great cross section of Bhutan as it winds from the Paro valley in Bhutanese middle hills, up to Laya and Lingshi in Northwest Bhutan which are situated above 4000m. Fewer visitors a year make their way into Laya, one of the most culturally and ecologically pristine regions in the long arc of the Himalaya. The scenery along the way, past the elegant Mount Chomolhari is awe-inspiring with views of alpine landscape with snowcapped mountains and mirrored crystal lakes dotted with yak hair tents of the migratory yak herders.
DAY 01: FLY INTO PARO
Flying into the country’s only airport, in the beautiful Paro valley, the clear mountain air, forested ridges, imposing monasteries and welcoming Bhutanese people in their striking national dress, provides a breath-taking first impression.
Your guide who is going to be with you throughout your trip from our firm will meet you at the airport. A fifteen minute drive follows the narrow winding road to our hotel which is a traditional Bhutanese building with attractive gardens and an exceptionally peaceful atmosphere. In the afternoon, we will visit the Ta-Dzong which was built in 1651 as a watch tower for the Rinpung Dzong. Since 1967, the watch tower has served as the home of the National Museum and holds a fascinating collection of art, ancient relics and religious artifacts. Next in line is Rinpung Dzong built in 1646 by Shabdrung, the first spiritual and temporal ruler of Bhutan, the Dzong houses the monastic body of Paro and its district administration. If there is time, we will walk along the small main street of Paro in the evening with its typically Bhutanese shops and small lodges. Altitude at Paro – 2250 meters.
Overnight: Hotel in Paro
DAY 02: DRUKGYAL DZONG – SHANA ZAMPA, 17KMS, 5-6 HRS
After early breakfast we will drive to Drukgyel Dzong (2,580m), 16 kms from Paro town built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the Dzong was destroyed by accidental fire and left in ruins as an evocative reminder of the great victories it was built to commemorate. Explore the ramparts, village and on a clear day experience the spectacular view of Mt. Chomolhari (7,316m).
The trek starts from here with a short downhill walk on a wide trail. After descending about a while, you reach the river where a primitive stone bath has been carved into the bank. Look back and see how well positioned the Dzong was to keep watch over this valley. Continue your trek up the river through a narrow agricultural valley.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Shana (2870m).
DAY 03: SHANA ZAMPA – THANGTHANGKHA, 22 KMS, 6-7 HRS
The trail continues its gradual climb alongside the Paro Chu (river) through conifers and rhododendron. In places it is quite close to the river; if the water is high you might have to climb over a few small hills to get around places where the water has flowed onto the trail. About 15 minutes beyond Shana Zampa are the remnants of an old bridge with a house and a Chorten on the other side. At this point the route enters Jigme Dorji National Park.
The trail makes continuous, but gentle, climb on a rocky trail through Oaks, rhododendron and ferns, crossing several small streams till where there is a small stone shelter and a Bhutanese style house in a cedar grove at the edge of the meadow.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Thangthangka (3630m)
DAY 04: THANGTHANGKHA – JANGOTHANG, 19 KMS, 5-6 HRS
If you did not see Mount Jhomolhari last evening, you will have a great chance to get a great view this early morning. This morning, the trek continues up the Pachu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and meager growths of forest. Cross an army outpost along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. Yaks and yak herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Jangothang is another asset on this day. Reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jhomolhari.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Jangothang (4090m)
DAY 05: A DAY HALT & EXPLORATION IN JANGOTHANG.
The day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views on lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization. Trek up to Tsophu or hike around the area. There are good short hiking trails in three directions. Jhomolhari and its subsidiary mountain chains lay directly west, Jichu Drake to the north and a number of unclimbed peaks to the east.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Jangothang (4090m)
DAY 06: JANGOTHANG – LINGSHI 18 KMS, 5-6 HRS
After a short walk from the camp, the trail climbs rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes a gradual ascent to the Nyilila pass (4,870m). You might see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. From the pass you will have spectacular views of Mt. Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang, all of them rising above 7,000m. On the way down to the camp you will pass by some of the yak herder’s tent, made from yak wool, where the herders take shelter while on the move to various pastures for their yaks. As you come down into the Lingshi basin, you get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong on a clear day. Tserimgang and its glaciers rise up at the northern end of the valley. The campsite is next to a large stone community hall that is used by both Bhutanese travelers and trekking groups.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Lingshi (4010m)
DAY 07: LINGSHI – CHEBISA, 10 KMS, 5-6 HRS
Cross the stream below the camp on a wooden bridge and climb up the opposite side to a Chorten just below Lingshi Dzong. In the valley to the east is a cluster of wood shingled houses which is one part of Lingshi village. If you look back at Tsering Kang you can see a very distinct rock pinnacle sticking up at the end of the East Ridge. The climb is gradual and easy. The camp site is on a meadow just opposite the Chebisa village (3880 m).
Overnight: Tented Camp – Chebisa (3880m)
DAY 08: CHEBISA – SHOMUTHANG, 17 KMS, 6-7 HRS
This morning, we have a big uphill climb along the vast meadow till Gobula pass (4440m). As we climb up slowly, we may see some blue sheep grazing in high yak pastures and some vultures flying high and handsome in the clear blue sky. After the Gobula pass, it’s mostly downhill to our camp beside a stream through the forests of junipers and firs.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Shomuthang (4260m)
DAY 09: SHOMUTHANG – ROBLUTHANG, 18 KMS, 6-7 HRS
We have a short steep climb and then the trail is level before it gradually starts to climb up the valley crossing the stream for a few times. On this stretch of our trek, we can see lots of edelweiss flowers and we can also have the view of snowcapped peak to the south-east called Khang Bum (6526 m). Once we are at Jhari La (4747 m), the trail goes steep down for about two hours through dwarf rhododendrons, junipers and firs till the campsite. If you are here in the summertime, there will be hundreds of takins to be seen grazing on the slopes of the nearby hills for this valley is a chosen summer home.
Overnight:Tented Camp – Robluthang (4160m)
DAY 10: ROBLUTHANG-LIMITHANG, 19KMS, 6-7 HRS
Today we have a long, hard day, crossing Sinchu La, the last and the highest pass on the trek. It’s a tough climb from here to the pass because the high altitude will slow you down considerably. Passing a false summit with a cairn, the trail levels out a little before reaching some rock cairns and prayer flags on Sinchu La (5005m). The snow covered peak of Gangchentag fills the horizon to the north.
The descent is on a rough, rocky trail that follows a moraine into another glacial valley. It’s then a short walk on a good trail through a cedar forest interspersed with small meadows to Limithang (4140m), a lovely camp site in a big meadow by the river. The peak of Gangchentag towers over the campsite, even though it’s quite a distance away.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Lingmithang (4140m)
DAY 11: LIMITHANG-LAYA, 10 KMS, 4-5 HRS
Today its mostly downhill along a winding river, the trail splits, one going down with the river to the camp site used by the army. The other stays high and takes you into the West Side of Laya Village. We will camp on a high flat bench above the East End of the Laya village (3800m).
Overnight: Tented Camp – Laya (3800m)
DAY 12: LAYA – KOINA, 19 KMS, 6-7 HRS
The trail exits the village through a Khonying (arch Chorten), then passes another Chorten at Taje-kha as it descends on a muddy trail to a stream. There are a few houses near the trail, but it’s mostly deep forest all the way to the river. The route follows the Mo Chhu down stream all the way to Punakha. Beyond the army camp the trail goes uphill, crossing a few streams and making little ups and downs. About half an hour from the army post is an inconspicuous trail junction at 3340m. The route for the Snowman Trek leads uphill from here on a tiny path. The route to Gasa keeps going downstream on a muddy trail. The muddy trail stays high for about half an hour until it reaches a stone staircase, where it turns into a side valley, traversing for a bit, then dropping to a large stream. Welcome to Koina (3050m), a muddy bog in the forest by the bridge. There is a single stone house with some muddy camping places scattered around.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Koina (3050m)
DAY 13: KOINA TO GASA TSACHU (TSACHU-HOT SPRING), 14 KMS, 6-7 HRS
You may think that because you are headed downstream this trek is finished, but there’s another major ascent ahead to get over Bari La, which crosses a side ridge. Cross the bridge at Kino and start up the hill ascending to Bari La at 3900m. There’s a small rock cairn and a few prayer flags at the pass, then its reasonably level walk to another Chorten. The route starts down again, sometimes steeply, through a bamboo forest to a stream. At 3080m it rounds a corner where you can finally see Gasa Dzong on the opposite side of a large wooded side valley. Continue walking until you reach Gasa Tsachu (hot spring at 2240m), your night halt for tonight will be here.
Overnight: Tented Camp – Gasa Tsachu (2240m)
DAY 14: GASA-PUNAKHA
The road begins a long descent to the river, first winding down gently in the jungle past a few streams, then switch backing steeply down on a rocky trail in the shadow of a huge rock. After a long descent you will cross a wooden bridge over a side stream at 1960m. The trail now makes small ups and downs close to the river, passing a big cave under a rock. You may encounter rhesus monkey playing alongside the river. The main valley is still much closed in with sub-tropical vegetation such as wild banana trees, creepers and orchids. After a short walk to forestry office of Tashithang you will meet with your vehicle, which will drive you down south for an hour to Punakha.
Overnight: Hotel in Punakha.
DAY 15: PUNAKHA – THIMPHU – PARO
After breakfast you will resume your drive back to Thimphu, on your way back you will once again stop at the Dochula Pass to witness the Panoramic view of Bhutan’s snow capped peaks that stretches about 200 miles long. Continue your drive down to Thimphu and lunch will be served you will have a few hours here before you proceed to Paro.
Overnight: Hotel in Paro
DAY 16: PARO DEPART
After breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport in time to catch up your onward flight. Your escort from our firm will bid you farewell and soon the remote and legendary Dragon Kingdom disappears again behind its guardian mountains.
Recommended season: April, May, June, September, October & November