Dagala is a mountain range that divides two prominent valleys of Thimphu and wangdi. The altitude of the plateau is around 4000 meters. It has many lakes of different sizes and in most lakes’ one can find brown trout fish. Alpine flowers, rhododendrons, different species of pheasants, musk deer are found in abundance. The plateau is also a grazing ground for yaks in summer. Best times for trekking in these parts are May/June and Sept/Oct.
This is a short trek, near Thimphu, to a large number of lovely high altitude lakes. You pass through terraced paddy fields and through coniferous forests, to the settlements of Geynikha, 2,500 meters. The trail leads up the ridge and across meadows to a pass at 4,240 meters with a spectacular view of the whole Dagala range. You will pass through several yak herders camps en-route the broad Labatama valley at 4,050 meters. The lakes are flourished with brown trout. Near the lakes is a mass of wild alpine which flowers in September. The routes are not well marked; it is more of a cross-country traverse. The trail descends steeply through mixed forest of rhododendron. The trek is not difficult and most trekking days is short but there are some long steep climbs.
ITINERARY: 13 days 12 nights
DAY 01. Arrive Paro by Druk Air Flight
During this flight, one will experience breathtaking views of Mount Everest, KanchanJunga and other Himalayan Peaks including sacred Chomolhari and Mt Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received by a representative of Destination Bhutan Adventure, then drive to a Hotel. After lunch you will be taken to Ta-Dzong(Museum). Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 02. Paro – Sightseeing
Drive winding road northwest up the Pa Chu to Drukgyel Dzong, the ruined Fort. This fortress, now a burned shell, was once strategic in Bhutan’s defense against the Tibetan invasion. MountChomolhari, the sacred summit, reaches skyward beyond the Dzong. This can be viewed on a clear day. On the way back you visit a typical Bhutanese farm house. After lunch walk up the hill for the excursion toTaktsang Monastery.
DAY 03, Paro – Thimphu
The morning follow the winding road by the Pa Chu (Chu means river or water) down stream to its confluence with the Wangchu then up-valley to Thimphu, the capital. After lunch, visit the Memorial Chorten, here the people circumambulate the shrine dedicated to the Late King telling their prayer beads as they walk. Overnight in Hotel.
DAY 04. Thimphu – Sightseeing
A full day of sightseeing and shopping in Thimphu. Wander in the town, visit the handicraft emporium. Visit the workshop where all the handicrafts are produced if you like. Afternoon visit Tashichho-Dzong. Overnight at the Hotel.
DAY 05. Thimphu – Genekha
45 minutes drive to the starting point of the trek. An unmetalled road with a sign board reading Genekha Pry. School is a trail for the day 4hourswalk. All through the trail, terrace farms and coniferous vegetation are abundant. Camp at Genekha.
DAY 06. Genekha – Gur Time 4 hrs
On this day we leave Genekha (the village of Medieval metallurgists). The communication with nature starts with alpine flora and fauna (birds are common). Two hours of gradual uphill walk and rest at a huge rock platform reveals the beauty of nature below. Another 2 hours walk ends the days trek. This camp is in the heart of the wood, ideal for afternoon stroll. Flowers are abundant in spring.
DAY 07 Gur – Labatamba Time 5 hrs
Trekking across the ridges, one enjoys the beauty of the mountain with a green lush vegetation. The trek today is amidst flowers and wild asparagus (in spring). The mountain side meadows freshens the trekkers with the poetic sentiments. The first pass symbolised by a huge cairn gives a spectacular view of the whole “Dagala” Range, meadows and the yak- herder’s camps. Lunch at a nearby yak-herder’s camps. Then walk across hills and meadows. Camp near “Utso” lake where golden trout flourish.
DAY 08. LABATAMA – HALT
This day is an ideal excursion to the three lakes namely “Relitso, Hentso and Jamatso” your trekking escort will reveal the mystic stories of these lakes. Trout fishing on your own can add delicacy to your meal in this wild mountain country.
DAY 09. Labatama – halt
Excursion to “Setso” and nearby lakes. Hike to “Setso” is very easy (15minutes). Later, walk over a small ridge and then down to “Jagetso” lake. Whole day trout fishing with packed lunch by lake side hives a typical Himalayan mood. The “Ahimsa” (non-violence) group can attempt climbing “Jomo”, a peak which is 5050m. Lunch at the summit with spectacular view around can be memorable for a lifetime. Return to camp by dusk and prepare for the next day.
DAY 10. Labatama – Panka
20 minutes uphill and before descending down the valley take a good view of the great “Himalayan” peaks. This point is around 4460m above sea level. Your escort will identify the peaks from Everest, Kanchanjunga, Chomolhari, Jichudrake. Tsevingang, Gangbom, Masagang, Tsendaygang and Ganchen Taa. Passing through meadows, shrubs and lakes the day is made as you camp at Panka”. 4hours walk and one should be attentive to natives complexities. The Himalayan monal pheasants are common sight apart from yaks and horses.
DAY 11, Panka – Talikha
On this day one meets several passes each reveal its own beauty. Look out for blue poppy varieties (June – July ) and mountain birds. lunch at the point where one trail leads to “Talekha”
and other to Wangdiphodrang”. After lunch an hours gradual (easy) climb bring you to the tip of the last “Dagala”range from where Thimphu view is spectacular. The view is like looking at Thimphu in your palms. An hours walk down hill terminates at your last camp of the Dagala Trek:(a little above Talekha Monastery).
DAY 12. Talikha – Thimphu
Passing through alpine and mixed vegetation (bamboo tickets and flowers like wildness) one reaches Talekha village. Once again Thimphu view is superb. Passing through mixed vegetation and apple orchards, one reaches the main motorable road to Thimphu where your cars awaits. Today’s trek is 3-4 hours. The trek ends and a memory added. Drive to Thlimphu. Afternoon leisure. Overnight at Hotel.
DAY 13. Thimphu – Paro Airport
Drive to International Airport at Paro for onward flight