Travel to Bhutan

Snowman Trek(29 Nights/ 30 days)

Facts about the Snowman Trek Tour / Trek:

Trekking Duration: 25 days

Total Duration: 29 Nights/ 30 days

Max. Elevation: 5,320m

Minimum Size: 2 pax

Highest Camp: 5,050m
Standard: Hard
Best Seasons: Mid June to Mid October
Start: Drukgyel Dzong, Paro Valley
Finish: Sephu (Trongsa)

Snowman Trek is an extension of the beautiful Laya Gasa Trek, and leads from Laya into high altitudes of the Bhutanese Himalayas. It takes tough and enduring trekkers into the Lunana region and further on to Gangkhar Puensum and Bumthang or down to Sephu in Trongsa district, depending on which route you choose. The Snowman trek leads through the most remote areas up to very high altitudes. Trekkers have to camp in altitudes above 5,000m more than once, and depending on the seasonal temperatures, the camps are sometimes on snow.

 

Day 1: Arrive Paro (2280 metres) Bhutan by Flight

The flight offers you beautiful views of mountains on your approach. On arrival, you will be received by our representatives and transferred to hotel.

After lunch,

  • Paro Dzong.
  • Ta Dzong(National Museum)
  • Explore Paro town in the evening/ witness an archery match.

Dinner and O/N in Tashi Namgay Resort or similar. www.tnr.bt

Optional activities:

  • Visit to a Farm house.
  • Hike to Nunnery.
  • Village walk.
  • Mountain biking around Paro valley.
  • Drive to Chelila pass to view Higher Himalayas bordering Tibet including Mt. Jumolhari.

***NOTE: You also have an option for accommodation up gradation in Paro.  Please contact us for the up gradation cost.

Paro:

Day 2: Day hike to Taktsang monastery

  • Hike to Taktsang monastery, the famous “Tiger’s Nest”.

After lunch, visit

  • Ruins of Drukgyal Dzong
  • Kyichu Lhakhang

Dinner and O/N at Tashi Namgay Resort or similar. www.tnr.bt

Optional activities you can choose:

  • Hike to Dzongdrakha Monastery.
  • Hike to Nunnery.
  • Village walk.
  • Mountain biking around Paro valley.
  • Drive to Chelila pass to view Higher Himalayas bordering Tibet including Mt. Jumolhari.
  • Visit to a Farm house.

***NOTE: You also have an option for accommodation up gradation in Paro.  Please contact us for the up gradation cost.

Paro:

DAY 3: Drukgyel Dzong to Sharna

Distance: 17km – 5 to 6 hours

Drukgyel Dzong, and the start of our trekking route. Heading up the Paro Chhu river valley, the trail passes the small settlements of Chang Zampa and Mitshi Zampa where we will see excellent examples of Bhutanese farmhouses. We camp at Sharna (2800m).

DAY 4: Sharna to Thangkthanka

Distance: 22km – 7 to 8 hours

Leaving Sharna the trail continues upriver and the route winds in and out of rhododendron and blue pine forests. When we enter Jigme Dorji National Park keep your eyes open for wildlife and changes in vegitation as we continue to climb in elevation. Tonight we camp in Thangkthanka (3520m).

DAY 5: Thangthangka to Jangothang

Distance: 19km – 5 to 6 hours

An hour out of camp this morning we leave the tree line and head into the high mountains. At the halfway point of our hike, we cross Tengethang, a winter home of the migratory yak herders. Arriving at Jangothang (4040m), we can watch the sun set on Mt. Jhomolhari (7314m) and Mt. Jichu Drake (6989m).

DAY 6: Rest day in Jangothang

The first of our acclimatization days, we have many day-hiking options. The final alternative is a fishing expedition to Tshophu, a high-altitude lake about a two hour hike away.

DAY 7: Jangothang to Lingshi

Distance: 20km – 6 to 7 hours

Heading uphill from Jangothang we cross the first of many major passes. The Nyile La pass at 4890m is about a four hour ascent. From this area on we start to see herds of blue sheep. Arriving in Lingshi we set up camp at 4150m.

DAY 8: Lingshi to Chebisa

Distance: 14km – 4 to 5 hours

This morning we will visit Lingshi Dzong, also known as Yugyel Dzong in the 17th century. Upon reaching the camp at Chebisa (3850m).

DAY 9: Chebisa to Shakshepasa

Distance: 13km – 4 hours

Crossing the Gombu La pass at 4350m (14,300 ft), we descend into a rhododendron filled valley, and continue past some yak herder camps to Shakshepasa where we camp at 3980m.

DAY 10: Shakshepasa to Robluthang

Distance: 18km – 7 to 8 hours

An early morning start will get us on the way to Jhari La pass at 4747m. Decending to Tsharijathang, the valley where herds of Takin (the national animal of Bhutan) are normally seen. From here we climb to our camp at Robluthang at 4160m.

DAY 11: Robluthang to Limithang

Distance: 19km – 7 to 8 hours

Starting early a strenuous hike leads to the Shinge La pass at 5005m. Descending to Lemithang we’ll see Mt. Gangchenta (6840m) and the glacially carved Gangchhenta valley. Gangchhenta means Great Tiger Mountain. We camp at 4140m (13,650 ft).

DAY 12: Limithang to Laya.

Distance: 10km – 4 to 5 hours

A shorter hike follows a trail in and out of a heavily wooded, uninhabited valley. Climbing up out of the forests we will be rewarded with some great views of Gangchhenta and Masang Gang (7165m) mountains. We camp at Laya at 3840m (12,650 ft).

DAY 13: Rest day in Laya

Staying in Laya for the day we will get a chance to see the village with its community school, hospital, archery field and the first shop since the Paro Valley.

DAY 14: Laya to Rodufu

Distance: 19km – 6 to 7 hours

The trek leads gradually downhill to the Lunana trail junction, then makes a gradual climb to the camp through a forest of conifers, maple and rhododendron. The trail improves and becomes wider as we climb out of the river valley. We camp at Rodufu near a small stream at 4160m.

DAY 15: Rodufu to Narethang

Distance: 16km – 8 to 9 hours

It is a long hike, first crossing the Tsimo La pass at 4950m. Descending to Narethang we pass some dwarf rhododendron and hike in the shadow of Gangla Karchung peak (6395m). We camp at 4900m.

DAY 16: Narethang to Tarina

Distance 18km – 5 to 6 hours

Climb to Karchung La pass at 5240m (17,187 ft) and down to the glacial lakes that are the source of the Tang Chhu river. Above the lakes are the mighty peaks of Jejekangphu Gang (7300m) and Tsenda Kang (7100m). We camp at Tarina, 4020m (13,250 ft).

DAY 17: Tarina to Woche

Distance: 15km – 5 to 6 hours

The walk leads down through conifer forests, following the upper reaches of the Pho Chhu river. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to the village of Woche at 3940m. The trek has now entered the Lunana region.

DAY 18: Woche to Lhedi

Distance: 19km – 7 to 8 hours

It’s a gradual climb from Woche to the Keche La pass at 4580m, then downhill to Thega village. The hike continues to Lhedi village where we camp at 3600m (11,800 ft).

DAY 19: Lhedi to Thanza

Distance: 19km – 6 to 7 hours

The trail climbs gradually following the main source of the Pho Chhu to Chozo village. At the small Chozo Dzong there are some lay monks. Above Chozo the valley opens as we approach Thanza village near the foot of 7100m Zogophu Gamp. We camp at Thanza, 4080m.

DAY 20: Rest day in Thanza, 4080m.

Alternatively you can relax around camp and rest up for some of the tough days ahead. As Thanza is a transfer point for horses and yaks, it is important to have a day here for our staff to ensure all the necessary yaks are rounded up by the local herders.

DAY 21: Thanza to Danji

Distance: 8km – 4 hours

Today is a relatively short, although somewhat steep, climb to a campsite called Danji, part way up to the Jaze la pass. The camp is around 4600m, with spectacular views of snow-capped peaks! It is an important acclimatization spot.

DAY 22: Danji to Tso Chena

Distance: 12km – 5 hours

The first part of the day involves a climb up over three false summits to Jaze La pass at 5050m. From the pass it is a short downhill trek to the campsite at the lake of Tso Chena at 4800m. Keep your eyes open for blue sheep during the hike.

DAY 23: Tso Chena to Jichu Dramo

Distance: 14km – 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 before descending to camp at Jichu Dramo at 4880m.

DAY 24: Jichu Dramo to Chukarpo

Distance: 18km – 5 to 6 hours

We start with a hard climb to Rinchen Zoe La pass at 5290m, the highest on the trek. It is then all downhill to Chukarpo, which is just above the tree line at 4950m.

DAY 25: Chukarpo to Thampe Tso

Distance: 18km – 5 to 6 hours

It is a long mostly downhill walk along the river, followed by a climb up to the Um So lake at 4230m. In this lake Pema Lingpa found a number of religious treasures. Continuing downhill we camp by the lake of Thampe Tso at 4200m.

DAY 26: Thampe Tso to Maurothang

Distance: 14km – 5 hours

It is a short walk to the base of Thampe La and a steep climb to the pass at 4580m. The trek is then all downhill through rhododendron bushes to the yak pasture of Maurothang where we camp at 3550m.

DAY 27: Maurothang to Sephu to Nikachu Chazam / drive to Punakha (1310m)

Distance: 23km – 7 to 8 hours

A long final day of trekking will descend through the lovely village of Sephu to finish at Nikachu Chazam, the road head. Drive to Punakha. We may also stop at the top of the Pele La pass (3400m). Overnight in Meri Puensum Resort or similar. www.meripuensum.bt

***NOTE: You also have an option for accommodation up gradation in Punakha.  Please contact us for the up gradation cost.

Punakha: 

DAY 28:Punakha – Thimphu (2320 m) (distance: 76km, 3 hrs)

  • Punakha Dzong (the second of Bhutan’s dzongs to be built).
  • Chimme Lhakhang.

After lunch, drive to Thimphu. On the way, visit

  • Royal Botanical Garden at Lamperi.
  • Dochula pass.

Dinner and O/N in hotel Migmar or similar. www.hotelmigmar.com

***NOTE: You also have an option for accommodation up gradation in Thimphu.  Please contact us for the up gradation cost.

Thimphu: 

DAY 29: Thimphu sightseeing – Paro (2280 m) (distance: 54 km, 1 hr)

  • Visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974),
  •  The tallest statue of Buddha
  • Takin Preserve center
  •  Changangkha Monastery
  •  The Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan.

After lunch:

  • Painting School
  • Traditional Medicine Institute &
  • Witness Archery Match.

In the evening, visit

  • Tashichho Dzong
  • Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu.

In the evening, drive to Paro. Dinner and O/N in Tashi Namgay Resort or similar.

Optional Activities you can choose:

  • Textile Museum
  • Bhutanese Cultural show.
  • Weekend Market, Philatelic office, Handmade Paper factory Gold and Silver smith.
  • Talk on Gross National Happiness / Buddhism.
  • Hike to Cheri Monastery / Tango Monastery / Phajoding Monastery.
  • Village walk at Kabisa.
  • Mountain biking around Thimphu.

***NOTE: You also have an option for accommodation up gradation in Paro.  Please contact us for the up gradation cost.

Paro:

DAY 30: Paro (2280 m): Departure: after an early breakfast, drive to the airport and farewell.

Cost inclusive of :
a. All Meals
[Breakfast /Lunch/Dinner]
b. Accommodation [Twin Sharing] Single Room Supplement Extra US $: 50 per room per night.
c. All transportation within the country including airport transfers.
d. Royalty & Govt. Taxes
e. Entrance fees for Museums and Monuments only
f. Visa Fee.
g. Airport tax
h. Tourism Development fund
i. Guide.
j. Sightseeing
Cost exclusive of:
* Druk Air fares.
* Insurance Premiums,
* Payments for service provided on a personal basis.
* Cost for any services not mentioned in the "Cost Include head".
* Cost incurred due to mishaps, strikes, political unrest etc.
* Personal expense in items such as laundry, soft drinks, Camera Charges, Bottle water, incidentals, Portage, Bellboy charges tips or any other services
While on Trek, the cost covers :
Nature Recreation and Ecotourism Division (NRED) Nu.1000
- 3 meals a day,
- service of cook & Helper,
- guide, Sleeping Tent,
- Mess Tent, Kitchen Tent & Toilet Tent,
- Ponies to carry supplies,
- Royalty.
- We will provide you with sleeping mats but you have to bring your own sleeping bags.
THINGS TO BRING FOR A TREK IN BHUTAN
Personal clothing: strong normal clothing (according to season). Preferably cotton, even for summer, woolen clothing for the evening and winter.
For Trekking, one must bring :
• Strong comfortable trekking boots – water-resistant for the rainy period-June-August.
• Sunscreen
• Flash light
• Rain coat (especially for rainy period –June-August)
• Head gear/hat/cap; sun and rain protection
• Water pills – for extra caution in purifying stream; (boiled water is provided at all times during the trek)
• Aspirin – incase of altitude sickness
• Lots of socks
• Warm clothes
OPTIONAL ITEMS TO BRING FOR TREKKING IN BHUTAN • Sunglasses
• Head gear
• Folding umbrella (only for wet months — July and August)
• One towel
• Pillow case
• Wet-packed tissue paper.
• Pillow.