Druk Path trek

 

Duration: Six days,Max.Elevation: 4,200m
Highest Camp: 4,110m
Standard: Easy to medium
Best Seasons: March to June & September to November
Start: National Museum in Paro
Finish: Mothitang (Thimphu)
Summary:
Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. It is a short and scenic trek with some great views and beautiful lakes en route. Although it leads up to altitudes above 4,000m it is not too strenuous as walking distances between the camps are not too long. Besides the lakes, it is the Phadjoding monastery that is one of the highlights of this trek.
Day 1:
Paro – Jili Dzong (Distance seven km, four to five hours, 1,090m ascent, camp altitude 3,480m). The first day is a long day as you have to climb more than 1,000m elevation. You start from the Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro. The trek follows a gravel road past a few farms for about 30 minutes and then climbs up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge below Jili Dzong you descend about 100m to the campsite below Jili Dzong.
Day 2:
 Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha (Distance 10 km, four to five hours, 310m ascent, 50m descent, camp altitude 3,770m). You begin with a climb for about an hour and a half and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see yaks and yak herders around your campsite.
Day 3:
 Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho (Distance 11 km, four hours, 230m descent, 330m ascent, camp altitude – 3,870m). The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake. The lake is known for its giant sized trout.
Day 4:
 Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho (Distance 11 km, four hours, 820m ascent, 400 m descent, camp altitude 4,110m). The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder’s camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.
Day 5:
 Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding (Distance 10 km, three to four hours, 130m ascent, 680m descent, camp altitude 3,750m). The trek begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill to Phajodhing for a nights halt. The camp is above Phadjoding.
Day 6:
 Phajodhing – Mothitang (Distance fur to five km, three hours, 1,130 m descent). After passing Phadjoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is all the way downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours.

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

 

Duration: Six days, Max. Elevation: 4,520m
Highest Camp: 4,300m
Standard: Medium
Best Seasons: April to June and September to October
Start: Gynekha (Thimphu)
Finish: Chamgang (Thimpu)

Summary:
Although the trek leads up to plenty of beautiful high altitude mountain lakes and provides stunning views of the whole Bhutanese Himalayan range as well as Kanjenjunga (3rdhighest mountain of the world, Sikkim) it is still not a very popular trek. You might not meet any other trekkers during the whole trek. It is also possible to start and end the trek in Gynekha. The optional route back to Gynekha leads through beautiful Bhutanese villages. Although most days are short, the day from Gur to Labatama involves a lot of climbing and is, therefore, pretty strenuous.

Day 1:
Gynekha – Gur (Distance seven km, five hours, 550m ascent, 210m descent, camp altitude 3,290m). The trek starts from beautiful Gynekha village with a short descent down to the river. From here – after crossing the river – you start climbing till you reach a huge rock platform from where you have a picturesque view of the valley below. After another two hours you reach Gur, some yak pastures below the main trail.

Day 2:
 Gur – Labatama (12 km, 5 hours) (Distance 12km, six hours, 1,220m ascent, 110m descent, camp altitude 4,300m). While trekking across the ridges, one enjoys the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation. The path winds through flowers and wild asparagus (in spring). The meadows are refreshing and inspiring. The first pass symbolised by a huge cairn gives a spectacular view of Kanjenjunga (Sikkim) and more or less all the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. Dsecnding the pass one will see the whole Dagala range, meadows and yak herders camp. Once descended into the Labatama valley you ascend gradually through the valley passing some yak herder huts till you reach Uthso Tsho. The campsite is right next to the lake.

Day 3:
 Relaxation day at Labatama. This day is ideal for an excursion to any of three lakes: Reli Tsho, Hen Tsho and Jama Tsho. The day and place is also ideal for trout fishing.

Day 4:
 Labatama – Panka (Distance 8km, six to seven hours, 260m ascent, 520m descent, camp altitude 4,000m). The trail climbs along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at 4,520m from where you have again a majestic view of Himalayan peaks during descent. This point is around 4,460m. The mountain peaks include Everest (Nepal), Kanchenjunga (Sikkim), Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tshering Gang, Khangbum, Masang Gang, Tsende Gang and Gangche Ta. If you want an even better view, you can climb a peak close to the saddle with an altitude of 4,720m. From the saddle the path descends, passing some yak herder huts to Doccha Chhu. You follow the river for a while, but stay higher up on the slope to reach Panka with some ups and downs on the way.

Day 5:
 Panka-Talakha (Distance eight km, five to six hours, 180m ascent, 110m descent, camp altitude 3,080m). This day entails the crossing of several passes, none of them affording a major climb. Search for different varieties of blue poppy (June-July) and mountain birds. After crossing the last pass, Tale La (4,180m) you start a long descent to Talakha Gompa. You will camp right besides the monastery and wake up with the early morning prayers of the monks. One has a great view of Bhutan’s capital Thimphu.

Day 6:
 Talakha – Chamgang (Distance six km, three hours, 440m descent). From the monastery it’s a short walk down to the feeder road which will lead you to the village of Chamgang.