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Snowman Trek Bhutan

Best time: Mid-March to November

Duration: 33N/ 34D

Entry: Paro Exit: Paro




Day 1: Arrival: Paro

On arrival, guests will be received at the airport by 1-derful Bhutan Tours’s guide who will be your companion for the duration of your tour Bhutan.

Drive to your hotel, check-in and to freshen up. After lunch, visit the Ta Dzong (National Museum): The name Ta Dzong translates to ‘watch tower’ and it served the function of watch tower for the Paro Rinpung Dzong. Back in the day, similar look-out points were built for other dzongs (fortresses) to counter any approaching hostilities, for those were the days of frequent strife. These towers were specifically built high atop hills and other vantage points during the old days.

Presently serving as the national museum (since late 60’s), it houses an array of antiquities such as ancient thangka (exquisite scroll painting), mural paintings and other forms of art done by great personalities of those days, original textiles of the kingdom which represent the culture that still flourishes, weapons & armour used back in the day, household objects typical to the Bhutanese people’s way of life back then and even now, and other natural and historical artifacts.

Paro Rinpung Dzong: (‘fortress of a heap of jewels’). It was built in the mid 17th century to protect and to gain control over the region, many invasions were averted from this dzong. It now serves as seat of the Paro district administration and residence for the monastic school. Rinpung dzong like all other dzongs in Bhutan is adorned with wall murals that symbolize the lives of the Bodhisattvas and other prominent saints, drawings from Buddhist parables within which the country’s culture and traditional life is intricately represented and holy symbols that signify their own individual religious meanings.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro





Day 2: Paro: Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) hike

Have early breakfast and drive up to the base of Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). The most famous and sacred site among all the places in Bhutan. Guru Padmasambhava is said to have come riding on a flying tigress to this place and meditated in a cave for 3 months, it wasn’t until Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal came to this place and meditated that it gained the popularity that it has now. The present structure is said to be built in the 15th century but was destroyed by fire in 1998 and has been restored.

The walk is about 2 hours till the top through wide pathways which was built during the restoration works. One hour into the climb there is a tea point from where you get a very good view of the monastery, they also serve lunch here. From there it’s about another 45 minutes climb to the 2nd view point and the highest point in the hike.
Kyichu Lhakhang: Considered the oldest temple along with Jampa and Kenchosum Lhakhang in Bumthang, it dates back to the 7th century when a Tibetan King ordered 108 temples to be built in a single night to subdue a huge ogress. It was later renovated in the mid 19th century and in the late 1960's by the Grand Queen Mother. It is also considered by many to be one of the holiest places in the country. Inside the compound is an orange tree which always has oranges no matter what the season.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro





Day 3: Drugyal Dzong (2580m) – Gunyitsawa (2900m) – Thangthangka (3580m)

Distance – 16km Duration – 8hrs

Post breakfast, check-out of your hotel and drive beyond Drugyal Dzong ruins on farm roads up-to Gunyitsawa, an Army base outpost.

Start trekking from here, this is the longest of all the trekking days taking about 8 hours to reach the campsite. The trail continues to follow the river gradually ascending through a mixed forest of blue pine and oak and, later in the afternoon, tall rhododendron trees, birch, fir and maple. Though the trail is rocky and bumpy, it is not strenuous but in rainy conditions it can be quite muddy and add to the difficulty. There are several simple wooden bridges to cross and sometimes the river reaches right up to the trail. The lunch break comes after about 4 hours of walking through an ever-narrowing valley: Shing Karp or Thombuzam are popular stopping places at around 3305m.

Several tails lead in other directions, such as the trail to Tremo-la, which was the old salt-trading route to Tibet. Not long before reaching the campsite the trail leads you up a ridge with a chorten. Beyond, in the distance, at the end of the valley the Jumolhari mountain comes into view. Finally, after 8 hours you reach the campsite

The campsite is located in a spacious clearing and directly faces Mount. Jomolhari. The view of the early morning sun striking the tip of Jumolhari is breathtaking. Mount. Jomolhari, at 7314m is among the highest mountains in the world.





Day 4: Thangthangka (3580m) – Jangothang (4000m)

Distance – 8km Duration – 5hrs

The 2nd day is relatively easy, about half-an-hour away from the campsite is another army outpost where your guide will register your entry permits issued by the army headquarters at Lungtenphu, Thimphu. Another half-an-hour to 45minutes walk away from the outpost you will come across an open space with a chorten (stupa) standing in the middle of the clearing, on the slopes of the hill are a couple of yak herder camps.

You will reach a clearing with the chorten in the middle. The Pachu river is again to the right and the trail passes through some very small villages made up of two or three houses each: these are called Jomphu, Tegithang and, a little further on, Dotabithang. By now, at an altitude of 3860m, the path has reached above the tree line.

It is possible to reach Jangothang, the Jumolhari base camp, just in time for lunch. A small community hall has been built out of stone and wood to provide protection from the elements. The cooking can be done inside and all the trekking gear can be stored here.

The altitude at the base camp is 4000m and is a beautiful place to spend the night. The imposing, rounded bulk of the Jumolhari mountain fills the view to the Northeast and in the evening profile of the ruined Jangothang Dzong ruins, populated by huge ravens creates a mystical atmosphere.





Day 5: Jangothang – Halt

Today is a day to rest and acclimatize to the altitude. The body also needs time to adjust to the falling temperatures, especially during the night.

There is an opportunity to explore the valley and enjoy wonderful views of the mountains. A one-hour trek a little further up the valley to the right of the campsite takes you to a point from where you can view the majestic, cone shaped Mt. Jichu Drakey piercing the clear blue sky. Jichu Drakey cannot fail to remind you of the Matterhorn from this perspective. It is a sight to behold!! Many rank this as the most beautiful mountain in Bhutan. An hour’s leisurely trek will take you to the twin lakes of Tshophu.





Day 6: Jangothang – Lingshi (4150m)

Distance – 16km Duration – 7hrs

A long day today as we cross our first pass. Leaving the valley by a short steep trail we ascend through a broad open landscape. A final steep climb takes us to the top of the pass, the Nyale La, at about 4,850m. From here there are magnificent views of the dozens of peaks that line the border with Tibet. A long easy descent through a sea of dwarf rhododendrons brings us back to the tree line, and down towards Lingshi dzong (4,150m), situated on a small hill in the bottom of the valley.





Day 7: Lingshi – Chebisa (3980m)

Distance – 16km Duration – 7hrs

Today is an easy day. If we did not do so yesterday we can start today by visiting the impressive Lingshi Dzong, perched on a hill above the camp giving incredible views north towards Tibet. Leaving Lingshi on a fairly level trail we traverse high above the river before rounding a corner to look down on the small picturesque village of Goyul set below a towering rockface. Watch out for the Himalayan griffin vultures gliding along the cliff face searching for thermals. After descending to Goyul the trail climbs again before turning into another side valley to reveal the spectacularly situated village of Chebisa (3,980m) where we camp tonight. In the afternoon we can explore further up the valley, where there is a waterfall.





Day 8: Chebisa – Shomuthang (4250m)

Distance – 12km Duration – 7-8hrs

Today begins with a stiff climb of nearly four hours up a ridge to Gubu-la pass (4,500m). We descend from the pass through rhododendrons to our lunch place. We cross the stream after lunch, and continue along the up and down path, through rhododendron forests and yak herders’ camps, occasionally sighting flocks of blue sheep as we walk.





Day 9: Shomuthang – Robluthang (4160m)

Distance – 12km Duration – 7-8hrs

Today we have an early start to cross the Jhari La (4,750m). The day starts with a short steep climb away from camp. The trail then turns to traverse up a side valley heading for the pass. The effort of reaching the pass is rewarded with a panoramic view of the rugged mountain ridges stretching out in the distance. As we descend, the sparse grass is replaced by a hillside covered in rhododendrons that in turn give way to fir trees and then the grazing pastures of Tsheri Jathang. This valley acts as the summer home to the shy, wild takins. There is another short, steep climb at the end of the day to reach our campsite at Robluthang





Day 10: Robluthang – Lingmithang (4100m)

Distance – 10km Duration – 7-8hrs

We start the day with a long climb up to Shinje-la pass (4,900m), enjoying stunning mountain views from the path. After crossing the pass we descend to Limithang. The path is quite narrow, and we may have to ford the stream again and get wet. The last part of today’s trek is rather a scramble down a steep path, with the compensation of splendid views of Gangchenta peak (6,840m) along the way. Tonight we camp at 4,100m on flat ground above the river in a forested area, with Gangchenta towering directly above us to the north.





Day 11: Lingmithang – Laya (3850m)

Distance – 12km Duration – 4-5hrs

An early rise is recommended today to watch the sunlight rising up the massive snow covered face of the Great Tiger Mountain. Today is an easy day after the last three hard days crossing high passes. In fact it is mainly downhill all the way to Laya. The trail follows a winding river in a closed-in valley. Laya itself is at only 3,850m and we should reach the hillside village for lunch. The afternoon is then free for exploring the village and meeting the people. There are plenty of opportunities to buy artefacts and handicrafts made by the Laya villagers. For the energetic, there are still plenty of hikes around the Camp.





Day 12: Laya halt

Spend the day at Laya exploring the village and meeting with and observing the daily life of the Layaps.





Day 13: Laya – Rodophu

Distance: 21km Walking time: 8 hrs

Sleeping altitude: 4,285 m

Since we are nearing Laya, we will come across Layaps going to tend to their yaks. We will be entering Laya from the west, through narrow cobble stone paths between houses, to camp in the wheat field that belongs to a friend.





Day 14: Rodophu to Narithang

Distance: 16km Walking time: 6hrs Sleeping altitude: 4800m

Climbing out of the Rodophu valley, we will be out in the open. There is no vegetation except sparse short grass. Keep your eyes on the lookout for Blue sheep. This is also snow leopard territory. At our camp, we come face to face with the Ganglakarchung, the sight overwhelming.





Day 15: Narithang to Tarina

Distance: 18km Walking time: 7hrs Sleeping altitude: 4100m

From our camp, the climb up to the Karchula pass (5,215 m) is long and hard. From the pass, the view is spectacular with the Tarina lakes in the north east flanked by Masagang, Tsendagang and Terigang. It is steep downhill from the pass, so if you have bad knees, be careful and remember to go slow. Our camp is in the valley on the banks of the Tarina stream.





Day 16: Tarina to Wochey

Distance: 12km Walking time: 6hrs Sleeping altitude: 4160m

The day is much easier as the path follows the river downstream along the valley. A climb of about 400 m uphill after lunch will take us to the village of Wochey.





Day 17: Wochey to Lhedi

Distance: 18km Walking time: 7 hrs Sleeping altitude: 3,730m

The trek starts through juniper and fir forests and then through rhododendron gushes. We climb up to Kechey la pass (4,661 m) where one can have a great view of the mountains. From the pass, we climb down to the village of Tega made up of 2 houses. Walking along the sandy riverside, we can see stunning views of Table Mountain. Follow the river, the main tributary of Pho Chu, until Lhedi village, where we will camp in from of the community school.





Day 18: Lhedi to Thanza

Distance: 16km Walking time: 6hrs Sleeping altitude: 4145 m

The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choezo village. The valley was washed away by the glacial flood of 1994, forming dramatic landscape. A bridge will finally take us to Thanza at 4,000 m on of the remotest human settlements on the face of earth.





Day 19: Lhedi to Thanza

One can walk around or climb up the ridge to see the view of the lakes and mountains.





Day 20: Thanza to Tshorim

Distance: 20km Walking time: 7hrs Sleeping altitude: 5304 m

The trek starts with a climb up to the ridge with great view of the Table Mountain and Thanza below.





Day 21: Tshorim to Sarim (Gangar Puensum base camp) Distance: 17km Walking time: 6hrs Sleeping altitude: 5304 m

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 range. The last climb to Gophula pass (5,467 m) is very short. After crossing the pass, the trail descends down to our camp, on the banks of the Sha Chu 4,970 m.





Day 22: Sarim to Geshey Woma/ Menchu Gang

Distance: 18km Walking time: 7hrs Sleeping altitude: 4,400 m
Time to leave the beautiful mountains, but the trek is far from over. The trail follows the Sha Chu and descends gradually to Geshey Woma.





Day 23: Geshey Woma - Uruthang

Distance: 20km Walking time: 8hrs Sleeping altitude: 4,345m

Continues following the Sha Chu for about 3 hours until. A long climb will take us over the steep Shakala pass at 4982 m. From the pass we have to climb down to the lakes and trek over another pass, the Waruthang pass at 4590 m before reaching our camp





Day 24: Uruthang to Dur Tsachu

Distance: 11km Walking time: 7hrs Sleeping altitude: 3470 m

A short climb will take us over the Juelela pass at 4,685m. After the pass the trail winds down to the riverside through dense rhododendron, juniper and conifer forest. Our camp is at the Dur Tsachu hot spring, where the great tantric master Guru Padmasambava is supposed to have bathed in the 8th century.





Day 25: Dur Tsachu Halt A day to relax your muscles and joints with a dip in the Hot Spring





Day 26: Dur Tsachu to Tshochenchen

Distance: 20km Walking time: 8hrs Sleeping altitude: 3200 m

Today we cross our last pass of the trek. It is a long and steep climb with great views of the mountains in Lunana. We will be passing turquoise lakes and yak herders tents before arriving at our camp.





Day 27: Tshochenchen to Lungsum/ Ghorsum

Distance: 20km Walking time: 8hrs Sleeping altitude: 3200 m

Today walk is much easier descending down. We change from yak to horses and mules because the yaks do not like the warm valleys below.





Day 28: Ghorsum to Jakar (End of Trek)

Distance: 9km Walking time: 4 hrs. Sleeping altitude: 2700 m

Today is the last day of our trek. It’s an easy and short walk. We will be met by our bus at Tokto Zam and driven to our hotel in Jakar.

Overnight at a hotel in Bumthang





Day 29: Bumthang Sightseeing

Visit Jampa Lhakhang in the morning after breakfast, it is one of the oldest temples dating back to the 7thAD. Drive further and visit Kurjey Lhakhang, where there is a cave where Guru Padmasambhhava meditated and left his body imprint on the rock. Walk across the river along a suspension bridge and visit Tamshing monastery, the seat of the most famous treasure finder in the country, Terton Pema Lingpa (1450-1521). Go back to the hotel for lunch. If you are still feeling up for it then you can drive to Mebartsho, the burning lake about 10km away from Chamkhar town.

Overnight at a hotel in Bumthang





Day 30: Bumthang to Phobjikha

Drive to Thimphu via Yotung-la and Pele-La passes. Lunch will be at Chendebji cafeteria. Continue driving towards Phobjikha. Once there, check-in at your hotel and rest.

Overnight at a hotel in Phobjikha






Day 31: Phobjikha to Punakha

Take a walk around the valley up to Gangtey Monastery and then drive to Punakha where you can have lunch and visit Chimi Lhakhang (Temple of Fertility) and Punakha Dzong.

Overnight at a hotel in Punakha






Day 32: Punakha to Thimphu

In the morning after breakfast, drive north and hike to Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten. After that, drive towards Thimphu over Dochu La Pass (3050m). The pass is marked by 108 chortens (Stupa) which are Buddhist reliquaries, memorials to the teachings of the Buddha. Lunch will be at Dochula cafeteria, from where you can enjoy the pristine views of the greater Himalayan range. Drive down to Thimphu and rest a while and visit Tashichhoe Dzong in the evening

Overnight at a hotel in Thimphu





DAY 34: Thimphu sightseeing – Drive to Paro

Visit the School of 13 Arts and Crafts in the morning. Then go to the Takin Conservation Center, Takin is the national animal of Bhutan. After that, have lunch at a restaurant in town and rest for a while.

After lunch we will start our drive to Paro where you can rest after checking in at the hotel.

Overnight at a hotel in Paro












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What our customers have to say

A great trip, thank you. Also appreciated Bishnu, our driver.


What our customers have to say

You have wonderful guides. They are well educated, highly informed problem solver, historian and good communication skills. They showed us presentation from normal programme with different topics. They let us discuss interests – photography and arrange programme accordingly. They always showed positive energy and passion to us. They never argued, instead suggested. We are very happy. My husband was very happy with them as he describe him as professional guide. Thank you so much.


What our customers have to say

Thanks to you and our very nice and patient guide, we had an amazing experience. He was very patient with our questions about Bhutan and very gentlemanly during the entire journey. We appreciate it very much

Yingjie Wu

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