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TREKKING IN BHUTAN

If you have a gene of adventure in you, the trekking in Bhutan is a decision that you must make. It is home to many mountain passes and peaks, including the highest unclimbed mountain in the world- Mt. Mount Gangkar Puensum. Straddle the borders between Bhutan and Nepal that reveals a remarkable and unspoilt countryside. For those seeking solitude with the mountains, this small yet magnificent country is the best choice to connect with nature. Pristine mountain lakes, world’s most endangered species and imposing glaciers await you in the rugged amphitheatre of the Himalayas. From quick and easy day trails to extremely challenging month-long ones, Bhutan has it all. Let us give you a selection of some of the nation’s finest treks.

Here’s all you need to know about 10 of the greatest treks in Bhutan!

The Jhomolhari Trek

One of the most trodden routes in the nation, the Jhomolhari trek is highlighted by the greatest assortment of landscapes, rhododendron forests, places of historic significance and solidarity of cultural people. The most frequently visited trekking destination of Bhutan, its high altitude routes require some endurance. The first phase of the trek follows the Paro Chhu valley to Jangothang. It crosses a high pass and traverses through the remote village of Lingzhi before making its way towards Thimphu.

Number of days – 7 to 8 days

Maximum elevation – 4930 m

Difficulty level – Medium to hard

Season – April to June and September to November

Druk Path Trek

Offering exemplary views of Mount Gangkar Puensam- the highest unscaled peak in the world and the Himalayan ranges, the Druk Path trek links the dry Paro valley with the forests above Thimphu. You shall tread a distance of 58 km in under a week’s time on this route. It climbs past mountain monasteries and remote lakes that make it fairly strenuous. Pack your bags with cool clothes for days and warm ones for the cold nights. You must also be prepared for mild snow on the higher stages.

Number of days – 6 days

Maximum elevation – 4235 m

Difficulty level – Medium

Season – February to May and September to December

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek

This is one of Bhutan’s most cherished treks as it offers an uninterrupted escape into the nature. As the name suggests, here is your chance to traverse an area adorned with a multitude of crystal clear lakes. Apart from the shimmering lakes, you will also witness the world’s highest peaks including Mt. Everest, Masang Gang, Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Gangche Ta. The trail also passes through several Bhutanese villages and you are certainly going to be embraced by the tranquillity and beauty of natural landscapes on your week-long journey.

Number of days – 6 days

Maximum elevation – 4720 m

Difficulty level – Medium

Season – April to June and September to October

Snowman Trek

Here is your chance to experience and explore the typical Himalaya lifestyle along with some striking high land natural treasure. Billed as one of the most difficult treks in the world, the challenging climatic conditions, high altitudes, long duration and unending distances will have your adrenaline rushed. The trail starts from Paro’s Drugyl Dzong and traverses through Nika chhu zam in Trongsa. You will find yourself climbing high in close proximity to the Tibet border while crossing 13 Himalayan mountain passes. The Snowman Trek hence expands both- your body and your mind with mesmerising vistas.

Number of days – 25 days

Maximum elevation – 5320 m

Difficulty level – Hard

Season – July to October

Duer Hot Springs Trek

This gruelling nine-day journey is yet another difficult one to undertake. The trail overlaps with the snowman trek route to an extent. However, this bone-breaking tour bares great rewards in the form of marvellous sights of Duer Hot springs at the end of the trek. You will encounter numerous steep descents and ascents and will be greeted with the most beautiful landscapes in Bhutan. The trail will have you cross through several regions populated by herds of musk deer, blue sheep and even Himalayan black bears.

Number of days – 9 days

Maximum elevation – 4700 m

Difficulty level – Hard

Season – March to April and September to November

Bumthang Owl Trek

This easy trek is set in the central part of Bhutan, commencing from Machugang and descending towards the monasteries of Chuedak, Zambhalha and Tharpaling. The trail is replete with an abundance of flora and fauna apart from the panoramic views of the Himalayan valleys. The best times to undertake this is in late spring when the rhododendrons are in full bloom. Birds of different spices and especially the big monal pheasants can be spotted on the journey. As you walk along the tranquil ridges, you will be treated to unparalleled views of the highest unclimbed peak in the world- Mt. Gangkar Puensum.

Number of days – 3 days

Maximum elevation – 4000 m

Difficulty level – Easy

Season – March to June

Laya Gasa Trek

What happens to be the most long-distance trek in Bhutan also happens to be one of the most scenic of all. The Laya Gasa trekking trail starts from the Drukgyel in Paro and takes you through breathtakingly beautiful alpine meadows and high mountains pass. What makes it serene is it the fact that Laya is the largest isolated region of the Gasa district and also the home to magnificent animal species. The route runs along the Tibetan border and there are many sightseeing spots on your way like the Punakha Damji, Gasa Koina, Shomuthang, etc. Do not miss out on the chance of relaxing in the hot spring of Gasa after a long walk.

Number of days – 13 days

Maximum elevation – 5005 m

Difficulty level – Hard

Season – April to June and September to November

Samtengang Winter Trek

This is considered to be one of the lowest altitudes and the easiest winter treks. A pleasant journey commencing from Punakha to Wangduephodrang Dzongkhag is what defines the Samtengang winter trek. The path takes you across fruit, rhododendron and oak forestlands, through the villages of Chungsakha and Sha and across the longest footbridge in Bhutan. It draws a rosy picture of camping outdoors with the morning mist covering the lakes and mountain peaks. Approximately 54km in length, this easy trek is for everyone to experience.

Number of days – 4 days

Maximum elevation – 1900 m

Difficulty level – Easy

Season – March to April and September to October

Wild East Rodung La Trek

Although the Rodung La Trek does not soar to very high altitudes, it is still a fairly challenging route owing to steep climbs and descents. However, it is an amazing choice for those who do not hold much experience in trekking. The path takes you around the Chamkhar Chhu river that is rich in trout all the way to the Trashi Yangtse. Cross across alpine and bamboo forests, through scenic villages and temples, meadows and mountain passes and landscapes that offer hikers an implausible array of biodiversity to appreciate.

Number of days – 9 days

Maximum elevation – 4160 m

Difficulty level – Medium

Season – April to May and October to November

Nabji Korphu Trek

An enchanting one-week winter trek, the Nabji Korphu trail lies in the lowland region of central Bhutan. It is set out in Jigme Singye Wangchuck National Park. Hence, it proudly boasts a plush ecological environment and travels through six distinct villages located inside the park. Not only will you be signing up for adventure on their trek but will also be an active part of the natural and environmental conservation plan that is promoted through such tourism awareness programs. Try and spot a Golden Langur, a rear species only found in Bhutan and some parts of Assam.

Number of days – 6 days

Maximum elevation – 1500 m

Difficulty level – Easy

Season – January to April and October to December

So what is the wait for? Pack your trekking shoes and backpacks and commence the joyous journey of a lifetime!

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