24 Days / 23 Nights
best time to travel
September - October
Day by Day
Day 1: Paro to Sharna Zampa
17KM | 5-6 HOURS | 500M ASCENT | CAMP ALT 2850M
Day 2: Sharna Zampa to Soi Thangkha
22KM | 7-8 HOURS | 900M ASCENT | CAMP ALT 3750M
The trail again follows Pachhu (Paro river), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After 2 hours of continuous hiking and crossing several streams, you will reach at Shingkharap, a stone house at 3110m. A hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. Little ahead is the trail junction – left an old trade route and invasion from Tibet and right leading to the wooden bridge (we follow the right). After climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, we reach our camp at 3750m, which is amidst beautiful meadows.
19KM | 5-6 HOURS | 300M ASCENT | CAMP ALT 4050MAlthough today’s is not a long trekking day, a significant height gain will take place as your trail goes above tree line. From the camp, your path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks. We walk through a very muddy section of trail, pass a mani wall and enter yak country. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. After lunch, we walk past yak herder settlements of Soe and Takethang. Common crops that people grow here are barley, potatoes and turnips. We walk our final approach across a plateau and up a stream bed and Dangochang village to the awesome campsite of Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the views of Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.
19KM | 6-7 HOURS | 780M ASCENT | 820M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4010MThe 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 (7314m), Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tshering Gang (6789m). Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until you climb to the Ngye La pass at an altitude of 4,700m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the surrounding peaks and Lingshi Dzong. Camp at an altitude of 4010m.
12KM | 5-6 HOURS | 160M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 3850MVisit the Lingshi Dzong, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of green hills, the winding river and magnificent peaks. For centuries, Lingzhi Dzong was a way station for weary Buddhist pilgrims and defense fort against Tibetan and Mongol invaders. It is an easy day and pleasant walk through villages and yak herders camp. After lunch, a short walk will take you to Chebisa, a charming little village adorned with a beautiful crystal clear waterfall. Camp by the side of stream at an altitude of 3,850m.
17KM | 6-7 HOURS | 570M ASCENT | 290M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4130MBegin your trek with a stiff climb up a ridge to Gogu La pass (4,500m) taking nearly four hours. The sights of rare blue sheep is common on the rocks near the top of this pass. After the pass, descend through rhododendron bushes to a lunch stop. Afternoon continue along the trail with intermittent ascents and descents and after crossing the stream, through rhododendron forests and yak herders camp we arrive at Shakepasa at 3980m. From there, we walked down through a thick rhododendron forest until our next camp in Shakshepasa at 3980m. Climbing steeply up to the northern side of the valley and passing by a couple of yak herder’s camp, we arrive at our camp, which is beside a stream at an altitude 4,250m.
17KM | 6-7 HOURS | 570M ASCENT | 290M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4130MThe trek starts by walking through edelweiss bound trail with a climb to Jari La pass at altitude 4,700m. The snow capped peak visible to the south-east is Kangbum at 6526m. Then descend to Tsarijathang valley, the summer residence of rare Himalayan Takins (national animal of Bhutan). From here we may have to cross the stream as most of the time the footbridge is washed away. After crossing the stream towards the left, the trail ascends till you reach Robluthang, a rocky meadow camp at an altitude of 4,200m.
19KM | 7-8 HOURS | 850M ASCENT | 870M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4140MToday, you will cross the highest pass in our entire trek. Climb all way up through boggy patches crossing stream, traversing marmot holes and moraine, you will reach at the top of Shingchen La pass (5005m). The view of snow-covered Gangchenta or the Tiger Mountain (6,840m) filling the northern horizon is simply stunning. After the pass, descend through rough rocky trail following moraine river valley to Kango Chhu River. The path is quite narrow and you may have to cross a stream again and get wet. After walking through cedar forests we arrive Lingmethang (4,140m), which is a beautiful scattered meadow by the river with Tiger Mountain towering behind your campsite.
10KM | 3-4 HOURS | CAMP ALT 3850MIn the morning you wake up with a superb view of Gangchenta peak in front of you. The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views. You will pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. Arrive at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country, at altitude of 3,800m.
19KM | 7-8 HOURS | 900M ASCENT | 70M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4160MThe trek leads down to the Lunana trail junction and then climbs to hilltop with good views over the Mo Chhu and the Rhodo Chhu. The trail follows Rhodo Chhu valley, first through mixed conifers and then through rhododendron, above the tree line. From top of large rockslide, there is a view of the glacial valley and a massive glacier on Tsenda Gang (7100m). Our camp is at Rodophu at 4160m just beyond a wooden bridge across the Rhodo Chhu river.
17KM | 5-6 HOURS | 755M ASCENT | 15M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4900MThe trail today also follows the alpine grassland where yaks bound in plenty. The path follows the river through rhododendron shrubs before turning right up the hill. You will then climb to a high open valley through meadows to Tshomo La Pass (4915m). The views of the Mount Jomolhari and Tibetan borders are absolutely breathtaking. Next you will hiking on the barren plateau intersecting several yak trails and after some time you will be arriving at Narithang (4900m), which is your camp for tonight.
18KM | 6-7 HOURS | 220M ASCENT | 770M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4350MToday you will be climbing Ganglakarchung Pass at an altitude of 5120m. From the pass, the views of Kangbum (6530m), Tsendhen Gang (7100m), Teri Gang (7300m) and Jejegangphu Gang (7120m) are superb. You will descend through massive moraines to the edge of straight cliff with views of glacial hanging from Teri Gang that forms two turquoise-colored lakes at the base. The lake towards the left in 1961 due to outburst has caused a flood downstream in Punakha destroying the Mochu Bridge. Descend through a steep path to the U-shaped valley following the Tangchu stream towards right to arrive at your camp at 4350m.
15KM | 5-6 HOURS | 250M ASCENT | 310M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4350MYour trail passes through the junipers down the Tangchu River on the left passing through amazing waterfalls. After a gentle climb out of the valley for sometime, you will be making a steep ascent to Woche Village, the first settlement in Lunana region at an altitude of 4350m. The Woche village marks the beginning of the Lunana region and above the village, you will see tomorrow’s route to Ledhi.
19KM | 6-7 HOURS | 300M ASCENT | 450M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4200MStart climbing up the Woche valley and cross a small stream to go over a moraine. You will then descend to a wooden bridge across a Woche Chu River and climb up past a clear glacial lake to reach Keche La pass (4650m) with magnificent views of nearby mountains including three-prong peaks of Jejegangphu Gang mountain. The trail then descends to Pochu Valley and reaches Thaga village at 4050m. In the late afternoons, one can expect bitterly cold winds at Thaga Vilalge in autumn. From the Thaga village, we descend passing few scattered settlements, waterfalls and reach Lhedi (4200m) after walking along the Phochu River bed. Lhedi village consists of a school, Basic Health Unit and a wireless station.
19KM | 5-6 HOURS | 250M ASCENT | CAMP ALT 4250MThe trek is slightly easy today. We will follow the north bank of Phochu River passing through several small farms and then reach Chuzo Village (4090m) sometime around the lunchtime. Enroute visit the Chezo Dzong. We follow the trail along the riverbed and then climb a steep hill overlooking Thanza valley at 4250m.
18KM | 7-8 HOURS | 750M ASCENT | CAMP ALT 5000MYou will climb to a large boulders hill towards south of Thanza and after few hours of easy walk, we reach Danji (4500m), which is a summer grazing ground for the yaks. At Danji, you may also see herds of blue sheep grazing on the meadows. From Danji, we climb few hundred meters up to the top of the ridge, which offers excellent views of surrounding mountains. Walking for another 20 minutes, will reach at the junction of trails leading to Gangkar Phunsum and Tshochena. We take the trail to the right that leads to Jaze La pass. The Jazela pass, which is at 5200m, offers majestic views of surrounding mountains in all directions. From the pass, the trail descends through snow-capped peaks and lakes to Tshochena at 5000m.
14KM | 5-6 HOURS | 170M ASCENT | 120M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 5050MWe follow the shore of a blue-green lake and then climb to a ridge at 5150m, which offers panoramic views of snowy peaks in 360-degree. From here, the road and the microwave tower at Dochu La can also be viewed in far distance. The trail goes up and down over a small rounded hill. We then pass a glacial lake and reach Loju La pass (5170m), which is a yak pasture with many crisscrossing yak trails. We take a trail that crosses a small saddle-like hill at 5120m to a wide glacial valley. We descend further down to Jichudramo camp (5050m) – this is the highest campsite on our entire trek.
15KM | 5-6 HOURS | 300M ASCENT | 950M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4400MWe will climb through a moraine path to the picturesque Rinchen Zoe pass (5350m), which divides Phochu and Mangdechu basins. The Gangkar Puensum (7520m), the highest mountain in Bhutan can be seen from this pass. Further, the demarcation between the forests and the barren high altitude areas are remarkably seen from here. Descending through a broad marshy valley with strings of lakes, steep face of moraine and yak pastures, we reach Tampe Chu, which is amidst rhododendron and Juniper forests. We camp at Thongsa Thang (4400m) some distance away from Chukarpo.
19KM | 7-8 HOURS | 80 DESCENT | CAMP ALT 4320MWe descend following the right bank of a river to a Galapang yak pasture at 4025m. We will then climb steeply through forests of junipers and silver firs until we reach Tampetsho. The trail to Tampetsho follows a stream to a beautiful clear turquoise-colored lake, which is set like in a bowl surrounded by steep ridges. We will camp at end of the lake at 4320m.
24KM | 4-5 HOURS | 280M ASCENT | 980M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 3620MToday, we will climb steeply to the Tampela Pass (4600m). The sight of blue sheep on the mountain slopes above trail is common here. We then descend to the Omtsho Lake. The legend has it that, in 15the century, the famous saint Terton Pema Lingpa miraculously discovered a treasure from this lake. The trail goes toward the shore of the lake and reaches it’s outlet marked by the prayers and then descends steeply pass a waterfall to a small lake. The trail finally meets the left bank of Nika Chu River. After sometime, we reach to a large open area close to the confluence a major tributary flowing from east. We will then cross a wooden bridge and walk along mixed forests to reach Maraothang (3620m), which is a wide open area with yak herder’s camp and your last night camp.
20KM | 6-7 HOURS | 970M DESCENTThe last day of the trek goes gradually downhill through mixed deciduous and bamboo forests. Descending through the rhododendron forest, deep mud pools and streams, over slippery boulders and tree roots, we come to a large grassy area overlooking the motor road and bucolic Sephu Village (2650m). You will head by bus to Punakha, where the first hot showers is awaiting you in nearly after a month.
Our treks range from short soothing walks through terraced fields and idyllic hamlets to some of the arduous high altitude treks
- Government levy
- All meals
- Tea and snacks
- Visa fee
- Entrance fees
- Guide services
- Air fares
- Sleeping bags (on trek)
- Drinks and beverages
- Phone / internet
- Other personal bills
- Down parka
- Warm fleece jacket
- Comfortable trekking boot (we like lowa)
- Lightweight shoes
- Rain gears
- 4 pair trekking socks
- 2 long sleeve capilene shirts
- 2 capilene bottoms (mid & heavy weight)
- 2 trekking shirts (non-cotton is best!)
- Trekking pants (zip off shorts are nice)
- 1 pair shorts
- 1 bandana
- Warm gloves
- Flip flop (or similar camp shoes)
- Warm hat
- Sun hat
- 2 pair sunglasses
- Small daypack
- Warm sleeping bag (negative 8-10 degree celcius)
- Trekking poles
- Mud guard
- Headlamp and a normal torch
- Camera and extra batteries
- 2-liter water bottle (if camelback, bring also a nalgene)
- Insulated drinking mug
- Small towel
- Various size plastic bags to keep gear dry and separate
- Anti bacterial hand gel for disinfecting hands
- Medical kit that includes – aspirin, motion sickness tablets,cough drops, diamox, bites/burn cream and small bandage.Warm sleeping bag (negative 8-10 degree celcius)
- Lightweight toilet articles (shampoo, soap-travel size)
- Sunscreen, lip screen and insect repellent
- Water purification tablets (iodine or chlorine)
- High calorie snacks and energy bars
- Prescription medications
- Some books to read at camp