Trekking in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan is unlike anywhere else in the Himalayas. The kingdom is home to some of the most challenging high-altitude treks in the world. Perched on the eastern edge of the Himalayas — make excellent terrain for trekking enthusiasts. There is no shortage of treks in Bhutan, ranging from the relatively easy and scenic Druk Path, to one of the world’s hardest treks, the Snowman Trek.
So whether you’re going on a short hike in the lowlands or challenging yourself to an epic high-altitude trek, you need to prepare yourself for the raw wilderness and harsh conditions that any traveller to Bhutan faces.
This trip is quite beautiful, but requires that trekkers are in very good physical condition, as it includes many walking hours and the crossing of two high mountain passes. We crisscross the Pa-Chu River until we reach base camp at Jangothang. Our trek is the longer version and crosses two high passes from base camp. The views of snow-covered Jhomolhari at 7315m from Jangothang are truly spectacular.
Day 01 : Arrive at Paro. 2250M.
A flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular of all mountain flights. One can see Mt. Everest, Kanchen Junga, Makalu and other peaks in Bhutan such as Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Khang. The first gift from Bhutan will be cool, clean fresh air as you step out of the plane. You will be received by our representative and escorted to the hotel. Afternoon visit to Ta-Dzong built in the 17th century, as watchtower to defend Paro Dzong below. This Ta-Dzong was converted into the National Museum in 1968, and it is filled with antique Thangka paintings, textiles, weapons and Armour.
Driver to the Rinpung Dzong built in the 17th century to defend the valley against Tibetan invaders. The Dzong is now used as an administration center and school for monks. Every Dzong has dual system together with the religion section.
Day 02 : Paro Sightseeing
In morning hike up to the Taktsang monastery (Tiger Nest). The climb up to the viewpoint will take around 3 hours. Enjoy the stunning view of the monastery where Guru Padmasambava landed on the back of a tigress in the 8th century, and meditated here for three months. And following Guru’s foot steps lot of great saints meditated here. The monastery was later built in this holy place in 1684. Overnight Paro.
Day 03 : Paro – Shana. 17 Km. Walking time 5-6 hours.
Drive to Drugyal Dzong (15 km), at the end of the valley and the trek begins here. It goes upstream of the Paro River, through villages, gradually ascending to Shana. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 2870m.
Day 04 : Shana – Soi Thangthangkha. 22 Km. Walking time 7 -8 hours.
The trail again follows Pa-chu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, and reaching to the camp. vernight Camp. Altitude: 3630m.
Day 05 : Soi Thangthangkha – Jangothang. 19 Km. Walking time 5 hours.
The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. A short walk in the valley reaches you to the camp at Jangothang. The view of Mt. Chomolhari and Jichu Drakey is superb. vernight Camp. Altitude: 4090 m.
Day 06 : Rest day at Jangothang. (Optional walk around)
It is rest day and free. But clients love to take hike to Tshophu, walk towards the glacier lake of Jhomolhari base or to the Jichu Darkey base glaciers lake.
Day 07 : Jangothang – Lingshi. 18 Km. Walking time 5- 6 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 Chomolhari, Jichu Drakey and Tsrim Gang. Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Nyele la pass at an altitude of 4,890 meters. After the pass it’s a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 4010 m.
Day 08 : Lingshi – Shodu. 22 Km. Walking time 8 -9 hours.
The path follows the stream up towards the valley opposite the Dzong, gradually ascending through the valley for 4 hours, until the stiff climb to the Yelela pass (4800 meters), the highest pass on this trek. After the pass it is along and gradual decent to the Shodu. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 4110 m.
Day 09 : Shodu – Barshong. 16 Km. Walking time 5 -6 hours.
This is the place where one comes back to the tree line. The path follows the Thimphu River, descending through rhododendron, juniper and other alpine forest. The view of the cliff facing rocks and waterfalls are stunning. At the riverside you will be served hot lunch. After lunch the trail gradually ascends to the ruins of the Barshong dzong, reaching the camp at the altitude 3680 m.
Day 10 : Barshong – Dolamkencho. 15 Km. Walking time 5-6 hours.
The road descends through alpine forest and we once again join Thimphu River for a while. Rest for lunch then climbs up to Dolamkencho is patch of meadow. Where the yak herders use for make shift camp. When they bring their Yaks in summer season here and if you were in month of April. You will encounter with full swing bloom of rhododendrons through this way to Dodana. Overnight Camp. Altitude: 3430m.
Day 11 : Dolamkencho – Dodena -Thimphu. 8 Km. walking time 3 – 4 hours.
The path descends through bamboo forest all the way to Dolamkencho, finally joining Thimphu River again. Arrive at Dodana where you will be picked up by your vehicle to drive Thimphu (15km). Overnight hotel.
Day 12 : Thimphu sightseeing. 2350M.
Visit to the National Library. It has a vast collection of ancient manuscripts and religion art facts. Visit the Institute of Art & Painting school. Visit the Indigenous Hospital. Where the traditional medicine are made. Visit Textile museum. Drive to sangyegang viewpoint from here you could see the entire Thimphu valley. Way back, stop at the mini zoo to see the Takin (Bhutan’s National Animal) after drive further down and turn to left and visit the Zilukha Nunnery – the only nunnery in Thimphu & Paro region.
Day 13 : Thimphu – Punakha. 77KM. 3 Hours. 1350M.
Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass (altitude 3050 meters). From here on a clear day one can see superb view of the highest peaks in Bhutan, such as Gangkar Puensum, Table Mountain, Jeje Khang, Masangang and Gangchey Ta. From here drive is all the way descend down till you reach to your hotel for lunch.
Visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637 between the two Rivers called PHO – CHU and MO CHU, (Male & Female Rivers) This place is consider as a old capital of Bhutan and the first hereditary Kingship of Bhutan has started from her in 1907. 17th December. Every consecutive year on 17th December is observed as national day in Bhutan.
Drive further up road to make small hike to Khansum Yuelly Namgyal Chorten built by Present queens. Hike is through villages and here it is allowed to get inside. Where Buddha in installed in dome and from here you will enjoy the beauty of Punakha valley far down and you will see winding of Mo-Chu River slowly following down. Overnight Punakha.
Day 14 : Punakha – Paro. 5Hours.
Drive to Thimphu. Visit the Handicraft Emporium and spend time for shopping. Afternoon drives to Paro (2 hours) for stay overnight at the hotel.
Day 15 : Departure.
Our representative will bid you a good-bye farewell at Paro International Airport.