Gangtey Trek

 

Duration: Three days,Max. Elevation: 3,480m
Highest Camp: 3,330m
Standard: Easy
Best Seasons: September to May
Start: Phobjikha
Finish: Tikke Zampa

Although the trek is possible throughout the whole winter, the best seasons for the Gangte Trek are March to May and September to November. It is a short and relatively easy trek with beautiful villages and monasteries en route.

Day 1:
Phobjikha – Zasa (Distance 15km, six to seven hours, 610m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude 3,130m)
The Trek starts near the village of Tabiting. The trail winds through meadows and fields and the climb takes you through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron to Tsele La (3430m). From here you descend into the Juge Kangkha Chhu valley. Further on, the path leads to Gogona, well know for its “Gogona Cheese” production. The campsite is a bit further on besides a small stream in a yak pasture called Zasa.

Day 2:
 Zasa – Chorten Karpo (Distance 16km,five to seven hours, 450m ascent, 860m descent, camp altitude 3,330m)
A gentle climb leads to Shobe La pass (3,480m). The descent from the pass leads to a wide valley, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges.  Below the route one can see Khothokha, a village with about 60 houses. You finally reach the campsite by climbing gently up till you see four chortens in a forest of blue pine.

Day 3:
 Chorten Karpo – Tikke Zampa (Distance 12km, four to five hours, 120m ascent, 1,340m descent)
From the camp you climb till you reach a forest road. From here it’s an easy walk up to a little ridge at 2,800m. The walk down back into the valley leads you through Bhutan’s best bird watching areas.

Samtengang Winter Trek

 

Duration: Four days, Max. Elevation: 2,000m
Highest Camp: 1,980m
Standard: Easy
Best Seasons: April and September to October
Start: Punakha
Finish: Chhuzomsa

Summary:
The best time for Samtengang Winter Trek might be March to April and October to November, but as the name suggests, it is possible throughout the whole winter. This is a short trek passing through some villages of Punakha valley.

Day 1:
Punakha – Limukha
(Distance 12km, four hours, 880m ascent, camp altitude 1,980m)
After passing the spectacular Punakha Dzong you cross the footbridge over the Pho Chhu and walk up to Shengana. The bridge to cross is the longest bridge in Bhutan. Climbing gradually through the forest you reach Limukha. Make sure you are carrying enough water as you won’t find any on the way to Limukha.

Day 2:
 Limukha – Chhungsakha
(Distance 14km, five hours, 430m descent, camp altitude 1,550m)
The path leads through rhododendron and oak forests to Chhungsakha. Chungsakha is a small village with about 10 houses. A holy stone and an impressive Cyprus tree are reminders of Drukpa Kuenley, the “divine madman”.

Day 3:
 Chhungsakha – Samtengang
(Distance 13km, five hours, 650m ascent, 270m descent, camp altitude 1,830m)
You walk downhill till you cross Pe Chhu. Climbing again you will pass the village of Sha on your way to Samtengang. Near the school in Samtengang you will see a small lake and your campsite is right next to it.

Day 4:
 Samtengang – Chhuzomsa
(Distance 15km, five to six hours, 730m descent)
The trail leads steeply downhill on a treeless slope to the road head at Chhuzomsa.