Snowman Trek

28 Nights/29 Days

Day 1: Arrive Paro
The flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording spectacular views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival, you will be greeted by the guide and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, you will catch the Paro weekend market, where the locals come here to sell their farm products. You can stroll through the market to see the variety of food of the country, including basket upon basket of fiery chilies and fresh cheese. It's fun to wander the aisle, taking in the bustling atmosphere of the market.  Perhaps this market scene offers wonderful opportunity for photographs and to mingle with local people. Later in the evening, you can visit Paro town. Overnight hotel in Paro. 

Day 2: Acclimatization hike to Tiger's Nest Monastery
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters.  Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands.  Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, you will hike down to Paro valley. Overnight hotel in Paro.

Day 3: Paro - Shana (Trek starts)
Distance 17Km, Trek time 5-6 hours, Ascent 300m, Camp altitude 2850m
The trek starts from Drugyal Dzong at 2,550m with a downhill walk on a wide trail.  The trail climbs gently traversing through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet.  The route later enters an area of apple orchards and forests.  Soon the valley widens and you reach the army post of Gunitsawa at 2,810m.  This is the last stop before Tibet.  At 2,850m, just beyond Shana Zampa, there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.

Day 4: Shana - Soi Thangthangkha
Distance 17km, Trek time 6 - 7 hours, Ascent 900m, Camp altitude 3750m
The trail again follows Pa Chhu (Paro River), ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests.  Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river.  After lunch follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, reaching to the campsite at the altitude of 3,750m.

Day 5: Soi Thangthangkha - Jangothang
Distance 19 km, Trek Time 4-5 hours, Ascent 300m, Camp altitude 4050m
The path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp.  Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks.  Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder's camp.  A short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,050m.  From here, the view of Mt. Jumolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

Day 6: Acclimatization day & Exploration of Jangothang 
Today is a rest and acclimatization for the next day's highest climb on this trek.  You will hike to explore nearby mountains and lakes.

Day 7: Jangothang – Lingshi
Distance 19km, Trek Time 6-7 hours, Ascent 800m, Descent 730m, Camp altitude 4100m
The trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side.  Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshering Gang.  Then Walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Ngye La pass at an altitude of 4,830m.  After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong.  Camp at an altitude of 4100m.

Day 8: Lingshi – Chebisa
Distance 12km, Trek Time 5 - 6 hours, Ascent 100m, Descent 250m, Camp altitude 3850m
This morning we will visit Lingshi Dzong, also known as Yugyel Dzong.   In the 17th century, it was used to control travel between Tibet and Bhutan. Since today's hike will not be long, the pace will be more relaxed. Upon reaching the camp at Chebisa (3850m), we will have time to visit Chebisa village and see a slice of Bhutanese village life.

Day 9: Chebisa - Shomuthang
Distance 17 km, Trek time 6 - 7 hours, Ascent 570m, Descent 290m, Camp altitude 4130m
Start out by climbing the ridge behind Chebisa, and then tackling steep ascent up a featureless slope. There are large herds of blue sheep living in the rocks above. After crossing the Gobu La pass (4420m) descend down to the valley. The trail then goes steeply up the northern side of the valley, leveling out at about 4200 meters, passing a couple of herders' huts.  The camp is in a cluster of bushes besides a stream at the base of the valley at Shomuthang, 4130m.  

Day 10: Shomuthang – Robluthang
Distance 15km, Trek time 5 - 6 hours, Ascent 620m, Descent 590m, Camp altitude 4160m
The trek starts with a climb to Jari la pass (4,750m) then descending to Tasharijathang, the valley where herds of Takin (the national animal of Bhutan) are normally seen. The trail climbs steeply on the northern side to a crest at about 4150m. It then traverses into a side valley past a tiny lake. There are good camping places in a rocky meadow named Robluthang at 4160m. 

Day 11: Robluthang – Lingmithang
Distance 19 km, Trek time 7-8 hours, Ascent 850m, Descent 870m, Camp altitude 4140m
Starting early a strenuous hike leads to the Shinge La pass at 5010m. Later the descent is on a rough, rocky trail into a glacial valley, eventually reaching to Kango Chhu, a stream. After a short climb through rhododendrons, the trail levels out on a plateau above the Zamdo Nangi Chhu. It's then a short walk through a cedar forest interspersed with small meadows to Limithang (4140m), a lovely campsite in a big meadow by the river.

Day 12: Lingmithang – Laya
Distance 10km, Trek time 3-4 hours, Ascent, Descent, Camp altitude 3850m
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 3850m. The village of Laya is the second highest settlement in the country.

Day 13: Rest day at Laya
A day of rest and relaxation. One can take a leisurely walk through the village or go for short hike above the camp.

Day 14: Laya - Rodophu
Distance 19km, Trek time 6 - 7 hours, Ascent 900m, Descent 70m, Camp altitude 4160m
The trek leads down to the Lunana trail junction and then climbs to hilltop with good views over the Mo Chhu and the Rhodo Chhu. The trail follows Rhodo Chhu valley, first through mixed conifers and then through rhododendron, above the tree line. From top of large rockslide, there is a view of the glacial valley and a massive glacier on Tsenda Gang (7100m). Our camp is just beyond a wooden bridge across the Rhodo Chhu river.  Camp at Rodophu at 4160m. 

Day 15: Rodophu - Narithang
Distance 17km, Trek time 5 - 6 hours, Ascent 755m, Descent 15m, Camp altitude 4900m
The trail today also follows the alpine grassland where yaks bound in plenty. The path follows the river through rhododendron shrubs before turning right up the hill. You will then climb to a high open valley through meadows to Tshomo La Pass (4915m).  The views of the Mount Jomolhari and Tibetan borders are absolutely breathtaking. Next you will hiking on the barren plateau intersecting several yak trails and after some time you will be arriving at Narithang (4900m), which is your camp for tonight.

Day 16: Narithang - Tarina
Distance 18km, Trek time 6-7 hours, Ascent 220m, Descent 770m, Camp altitude 4350m
Today you will be climbing Ganglakarchung Pass at an altitude of 5120m.  From the pass, the views of Kangbum (6530m), Tsendhen Gang (7100m), Teri Gang (7300m) and Jejegangphu Gang (7120m) are superb.  You will descend through massive moraines to the edge of straight cliff with views of glacial hanging from Teri Gang that forms two turquoise-colored lakes at the base.  The lake towards the left in 1961 due to outburst has caused a flood downstream in Punakha destroying the Mochu Bridge.  Descend through a steep path to the U-shaped valley following the Tangchu stream towards right to arrive at your camp at 4350m.

Day 17: Tarina - Woche
Distance 15km, Trek time 5-6 hours, Ascent 250m, Descent 310m, Camp altitude 4350m
Your trail passes through the junipers down the Tangchu River on the left passing through amazing waterfalls.  After a gentle climb out of the valley for sometime, you will be making a steep ascent to Woche Village, the first settlement in Lunana region at an altitude of 4350m.  The Woche village marks the beginning of the Lunana region and above the village, you will see tomorrow's route to Ledhi.

Day 18: Woche - Lhedi
Distance 19km, Trek time 6-7 hours, Ascent 300m, Descent 450m, Camp altitude 4200m
Start climbing up the Woche valley and cross a small stream to go over a moraine.  You will then descend to a wooden bridge across a Woche Chu River and climb up past a clear glacial lake to reach Keche La pass (4650m) with magnificent views of nearby mountains including three-prong peaks of Jejegangphu Gang mountain.  The trail then descends to Pochu Valley and reaches Thaga village at 4050m.  In the late afternoons, one can expect bitterly cold winds at Thaga Vilalge in autumn.  From the Thaga village, we descend passing few scattered settlements, waterfalls and reach Lhedi (4200m) after walking along the Phochu River bed.  Lhedi village consists of a school, Basic Health Unit and a wireless station.  

Day 19: Lhedi - Thanza
Distance 19km, trek Time 5 - 6 hours, Ascent 250m, Camp altitude 4250m
The trek is slightly easy today.  We will follow the north bank of Phochu River passing through several small farms and then reach Chuzo Village (4090m) sometime around the lunchtime.  Enroute visit the Chezo Dzong.  We follow the trail along the riverbed and then climb a steep hill overlooking Thanza valley at 4250m.

Day 20: Rest day in Thanza
You will have a rest day at Thanza.  Explore the Thanza village and near by glacial lakes.  Three hours of gradual hike through small moraine rocks would lead you to clusters of Raphstreng Tsho and Thorthormi Tsho.  These lakes are the source of Phochu River of Punakha, which caused a flood in 1994 due to moraine outburst.  The view of 7100m Table Mountain (locally known as Zongfphu Gang) is superb because it forms 3000m high wall of ice and snow behind Thanza Village.  

Day 21: Thanza - Tshochena
Distance 18km, Trek time 7 – 8 hours, Ascent 750m, Camp altitude 5000m
You will climb to a large boulders hill towards south of Thanza and after few hours of easy walk, we reach Danji (4500m), which is a summer grazing ground for the yaks.  At Danji, you may also see herds of blue sheep grazing on the meadows.  From Danji, we climb few hundred meters up to the top of the ridge, which offers excellent views of surrounding mountains.  Walking for another 20 minutes, will reach at the junction of trails leading to Gangkar Phunsum and Tshochena.  We take the trail to the right that leads to Jaze La pass.  The Jazela pass, which is at 5200m, offers majestic views of surrounding mountains in all directions.  From the pass, the trail descends through snow-capped peaks and lakes to Tshochena 5000m.     

Day 22: Tshochena - Jichu Dramo
Distance 14km, Trek time 5 - 6 hours, Ascent 170m, Descent 120m, Camp altitude 5050m
We follow the shore of a blue-green lake and then climb to a ridge at 5150m, which offers panoramic views of snowy peaks in 360-degree.  From here, the road and the microwave tower at Dochu La can also be viewed in far distance.  The trail goes up and down over a small rounded hill.  We then pass a glacial lake and reach Loju La pass (5170m), which is a yak pasture with many crisscrossing yak trails.  We take a trail that crosses a small saddle-like hill at 5120m to a wide glacial valley.  We descend further down to Jichudramo camp (5050m) – this is the highest campsite on our entire trek.

Day 23: Jichu Dramo - Chukarpo
Distance 15km, Trek time 5 - 6 hours, Ascent 300m, Descent 950m, Camp altitude 4400m
We will climb through a moraine path to the picturesque Rinchen Zoe pass (5350m), which divides Phochu and Mangdechu basins.  The Gangkar Puensum (7520m), the highest mountain in Bhutan can be seen from this pass.  Further, the demarcation between the forests and the barren high altitude areas are remarkably seen from here. Descending through a broad marshy valley with strings of lakes, steep face of moraine and yak pastures, we reach Tampe Chu, which is amidst rhododendron and Juniper forests.  We camp at Thongsa Thang (4400m) some distance away from Chukarpo.

Day 24: Chukarpo - Tampetsho
Distance 19km, Trek time 7 - 8 hours, Descent 80m, Camp altitude 4320m
We descend following the right bank of a river to a Galapang yak pasture at 4025m.  We will then climb steeply through forests of junipers and silver firs until we reach Tampetsho.  The trail to Tampetsho follows a stream to a beautiful clear turquoise-colored lake, which is set like in a bowl surrounded by steep ridges.  We will camp at end of the lake at 4320m.

Day 25: Tampetsho - Maraothang
Distance 24km, Trek time 4-5 hours, Ascent 280m, Descent 980m, Camp altitude 3620m
Today, we will climb steeply to the Tampela Pass (4600m).  The sight of blue sheep on the mountain slopes above trail is common here.  We then descend to the Omtsho Lake.  The legend has it that, in 15the century, the famous saint Terton Pema Lingpa miraculously discovered a treasure from this lake.  The trail goes toward the shore of the lake and reaches it's outlet marked by the prayers and then descends steeply pass a waterfall to a small lake.  The trail finally meets the left bank of Nika Chu River.  After sometime, we reach to a large open area close to the confluence a major tributary flowing from east.  We will then cross a wooden bridge and walk along mixed forests to reach Maraothang (3620m), which is a wide open area with yak herder's camp and your last night camp. 

Day 26: Maraothang - Nika Chhu Zam (Trek ends)
Distance 20km, Trek time 6 - 7 hours, Descent 970m
The last day of the trek goes gradually downhill through mixed deciduous and bamboo forests.  We further descend through forests and pastures connecting to large grassy area overlooking the motor road and Sephu Village (2650m).  Your car will be waiting here to transfer you to Punakha.  Overnight hotel in Punakha.

Day 27: Punakha-Thimphu
In the morning, you will visit Punakha Dzong, which is stunningly situated in between the male and female rivers like an anchored ship. Then drive to Thimphu via Dochula pass. On the way, you will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20-minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, which is a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. If you wish, receive the blessing from the Lama's wooden phallus! Check into hotel on arrival.  Overnight Hotel Migmar in Thimphu. 

Day 28: Thimphu Sightseeing– Paro
You will visit places like the largest Buddha Point, School of Arts and Craftes, Folk Heritage Museum and Memorial Stupa. After lunch you will drive to Paro for an hour and overnight halt stay at the hotel in Paro.

Day 29: Paro – Departure
Our representative will drop you to the airport and bid you farewell.

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