30 Days

Snowman Trek

Listed as one of the most difficult treks of the world, the spectacular Snowman trek takes you into one of the country’s most remote valleys. Named after six mountains over 7000 meters which the trek passes beneath, this is probably one of the hardest high altitude treks, but an incredible experience for anyone who takes the challenge. Bhutan’s pristine landscape, friendly people and fascinating Buddhist culture provide the ingredients for a memorable journey into one of the world’s most remote kingdoms.

*Please note that this trek can be organized for 6 pax to 16 pax only.

Skeleton Itinerary

 


 

Detailed Itinerary

 

Day 1: Arrive in Paro
Upon arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel.

 

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/D]

Day 2: Day hike to Taktsang Monastery
Hike to the very revered Taktsang Monastery, also known as Tiger’s Nest. Choose between a 1.5 hour round trip hike to the Monastery viewpoint or a longer 5 hour and more strenuous hike into the Monastery itself. Tigers Nest clings impossibly to a cliff of rock at 3000 ft. above the valley floor and where Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress to subdue the local demons followed by 3 months meditation in a cave still visible in the monastery. Drive back to the hotel.

 

Overnight at Hotel [B/-/D]

Day 3: Trek to Pine Camp
Distance: 2,790m
Trek Time: 5 hours
A short drive from Paro takes you to Drukgyel Dzong, the old fort from where the trek will begin. While the crew are sorting loads and loading ponies we can take a walk over and look around the Dzong. The trail heads up the Paro Chhu valley passing traditional Bhutanese farmhouses and cultivated fields. Tonight we camp for the night at Pine Camp.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 4: Trek to Soi Thangthanka
Altitude: 3,510m
Trek Time: 6 to 7 hours
The trail continues through rhododendron and blue pine forests. The trail is normally quite muddy in places so it is a good idea to use trekking poles. Tonight we camp in a clearing in the forest at SoiThangthanka.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 5: Trek to Jangothang
Altitude: 4,080m
Trek Time: 5 to 6 hours
Today we leave the forest as we climb above the tree line into a beautiful valley. Arriving at Jangothang camp there is a superb view of Mt Chomolhari next to the ruins of an old Dzong that used to guard Bhutan against invasions from Tibet.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 6: Rest Day in Jangothang (Chomolari Base)
In order to help the acclimatization process it is a good idea to go for a walk in the morning to higher altitude. There are a number of options for a morning walk including walking up a ridge to the north for good views of Mt Jichu Drake or to walk to the twin lakes at TshoPhu (4,350m). This is a holy lake where fishing, swimming or throwing stones is not permitted according to Buddhist beliefs.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 7: Trek to Lingshi via Nyile La (4,890m)
Altitude: 4,150m
Trek Time: 6 hours
Today we cross the first of the major passes, the Nyile La pass at 4,890m. It is a steady ascent to the pass on a good trail. There are views of Mt Takaphu (6,526m) to the north and Tiger Mountain to the east.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 8: Trek to Chebisa
Altitude: 3,850m
Trek Time: 4 hours
On leaving Lingshi the trail contours high above the valley passing through hillsides covered with medicinal plants and flowers. After passing a ridge covered with prayer flags, we descend into a side valley to a beautiful village called Goyok. Another hour further we arrive to Chebisa village located in a valley with a waterfall.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 9: Trek to Shomuthang via Gombu La (4,400m)
Altitude: 3,950m
Trek Time: 5 to 6 hours
After crossing the Gombu La we descend through a hillside of rhododendrons to Shomuthang where we camp for the night.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 10: Trek to Robulathang via Jhare La (4,780m)
Altitude: 4,410m
Trek Time: 7 hours
After an early breakfast we start climb towards the Jhare La pass where there are good views ofTiger Mountain, Mt Jitchu Drake, Takaphu and Kang Bum. Descending from the pass we arrive to Tsharijathang where herds of Takin (national animal of Bhutan) can be seen at certain times of the year.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 11: Trek to Limithang via the Shinge La (5,000m)
Altitude: 4,160m
After a long climb of 4 hours to Shinge La at 5,000m you are rewarded with stunning views of mountains, including the spectacular Tiger Mountain at the head of the valley. In 2011 a new Buddhist chorten was constructed on the summit of Shinge La. We then descend a terminal moraine and glacial lake to reach Limithang camp.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 12: Trek to Laya
Altitude: 3,700m
Trek Time: 4 to 5 hours
Today we walk through forests to Laya, the largest village on the trek. Layap women wear distinctive conical bamboo hats with turquoise and jade jewelry.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 13: Rest Day in Laya
Today you can explore the village and possibly get the chance to watch archery later in the afternoon. There is also a walk to a view point above Laya at 4,200m with superb views of MasagangMountain.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 14: Trek to Rodophu
Altitude: 4,120m
Trek Time: 6 to 7 hours
The trail descends from Laya to the army post at Taksaka. From here we turn to the east towards Lunana. We camp at Rodophu for the night.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 15: Trek to Narethang via Tsema la (4,905m)
Altitude: 4,900m
Trek Time: 6 hours
After a steep climb out of Roduphu camp the trail then steepens on the approach of Tsemo La. Narethang camp is in a very remote area with superb views of GanglaKarchung towering above.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 16: Trek to Tarina via the Karchung La (5,240m)
Altitude: 3,900m
Trek Time: 7 to 8 hours
The climb to Karchung La takes 1 ½ hours and on the summit of pass you will be rewarded with superb views of Jejekangphu Gang (7,300m) and Tsenda Kang (7,100m). There is a beautiful place for lunch with views of the glacial lakes to the peaks north of Lunana and down to the valley below. From here there is a steep and often muddy path through rhododendrons to Tarina camp

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 17: Trek to Wochu
Altitude: 4,150m
The trail follows the Pho Chhu River through pine forest and past several spectacular waterfalls. There is then a steady climb over a ridge to the village of Wochu, we camp an hour further at the base of the Keshe La.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 18: Trek to Lhedi via Keshe La (4,435m)
Altitude: 3,700m
Trek Time: 6 to 7 hours
There is a steep climb for 2 hours to Keshe La. On the way we pass a beautiful green lake. There are prayer flags and cairns on the pass and from here it is a steep descent to Tega village. The trail contours high above East Pho Chhu and continues to Lhedi village where we camp for the night.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 19: Trek to Thanza
Altitude: 3,970m
Trek time: 6 to 7 hours
The trail continues gradually uphill following the East Pho Chhu to Chozo village. It is likely that you will have to cross the river an hour from Lhedi as the bridge has been washed out. The erosion scar from Glacial Lake Outflow Flood (“GLOF”) is still seen by erosion scars on side of the valleys. The Lunana valley opens out into a classic U shape on its approach to Thanza village.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 20: Rest Day in Thanza
Today there is an optional morning walk to the glacial lake above Thanza or you can relax in the camp and explore the village. The Lunaps make good money picking CordycepsSinesis (“caterpillar fungus”) over the summer months. These are sold to the Chinese as herbal medicine and are worth more than per kg of gold!

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 21: Trek to Danje
Altitude: 4,540m
Trek Time: 4 hours
Today is a shorter walk to Danje where we camp for the night. It is important for acclimatizing to spend the night here rather than continuing on to Tshorim.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 22: Trek to Tsho Chena
Altitude: 5,200m
Trek Time: 6 hours
The first part of the day involves a climb up over to Jaze La pass at 5050m (16,570ft). From the pass it is a short downhill trek to the campsite beside the Tso Chena Lake where the views are sensational.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 23: Trek to Jichu Dramo
Altitude: 4,880m
Trek Time: 4 to 5 hours
The trail has a series of gradual ups and downs between the snow-capped peaks and across the Loju La pass at 4940m (16,300 ft) before descending to camp at Jichu Dramo.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 24: Trek to Chukarpo
Altitude: 4,940m
Trek Time: 6 to 7 hours
We start with a rough climb to Rinchen Zoe La pass at 5290m (17,350 ft), the highest on the trek. It is then all downhill to Chukarpo, which is just above the tree line at 4950m (16335 ft.).

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 25: Trek to Thampe Tso
Altitude; 4,200m
Trek Time: 6 hours
Today’s trail is a long mostly downhill walk along the river, followed by a climb up to the Um So Lake at 4230m (13,950 ft). In this lake was found a number of religious treasures. Continuing downhill we camp by the lake of Thampe Tso.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 26: Trek to Maurothang
Altitude: 3,350m
Trek Time: 5 hours
It is a short walk to the base of Thampe La and a steep climb to the pass at 4580m (15,100 ft.). The trek is then all downhill through rhododendron bushes to the yak pasture of Maurothang where we camp.

 

Overnight at Camp [B/L/D]

Day 27: Trek to Upper Sephu and drive to Punakha
Trek Time: 5 hours
Drive Time: 3 hours
On our final day of trekking we descend through a beautiful valley to the lovely village of Sephu where the new road-head beyond Nikachu Chazam continues to push up the valley to the upper part of the village. From there, if time permits, we will drive east to Trongsa. The beautiful Trongsa Dzong falls in central Bhutan called “Bumthang”. Trongsa Dzong is one of the most impressive in the kingdom, and can be seen from a great distance in its strategic position high above the Mangde Chhu River. In the late-afternoon/early evening, we have a spectacular 3-hour drive back west across the mountains to Punakha. We stop along the way at Chendebji to visit the Chendebji Chorten, patterned after Swayambhunath in Kathmandu and built in the 19th century by Lama Shida from Tibet. We also stop at the top of the Pele La pass (3400m).

 

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 28: Drive to Thimphu
Drive Time: approx. 3 hours
We will have time in the morning to see Punakha Dzong (the second of Bhutan’s dzongs to be built) which for many years served as the seat of government. The dzong was first built in 1637 and is still one of the largest in Bhutan. We will drive to Thimphu later and have the afternoon to visit Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. We will visit the TrashiChhoe Dzong, built as the symbol of the capital and then explore the shops along Norzin Lam, Thimphu’s main street.

 

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 29: Drive to Paro
Drive Time: 1 hour
The morning is free to do some more sightseeing or shopping around Thimphu. In the afternoon we take a 1 hour drive through the lovely central foothills to Paro.

 

Overnight at Hotel [B/L/D]

Day 30: Final Departure
Waking up in Paro, we’ll have time for one last walk through town before saying our goodbyes and heading to the airport for our flight out of Bhutan.

 

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