This trek starts from
Punakha and offers a great variety of trekking conditions, from picturesque farmland and
sub-tropical forests to alpine pastureland and high passes. This trek gets you to the hot
spring of Gasa and to Laya, a high spectacular village, whose people are friendly and
dress differently. This trek can be combined with Chomolhari route, making it a full
circuit from West through North to central Bhutan.
||9 days trek and 6 days
|Maximum group size
||March to November
Day 01: Arrival at Paro
and Transfer to Shana.
Our representative upon arrival at the airport will meet you and will drive you up to
Drugyel Dzong where the road ends and the trek begins, following the river gently uphill
through a narrowing agriculture valley. Initially you will pass through the serene
pastoral life of the village with their dogs and children playing in the fields. Camp is
just beyond an army post. Alt. 2800m. Distance 17 km, about 5-6 hours.
Day 2 Shana Soi
The trail ascends through the river valley. It narrows and closes in and the trail
winds up and down along the drainage. Camp is just beyond an army post. Alt.2800m.
Distance is about 21km, 7-8 hours.
Day 3 Soi Thangkha
The trail climbs up the Pa Chu pass a small army post where the valley begins to widen
out. Views of high ridge and snow-capped peaks are seen all around, and close by are yaks
and yak-herders camps. Lunch will probably be served at one of the camps beneath a ruined
fortress, at the base of Chomolhari. Altitude 4040 m distances 19 km, about 5-6 hours.
Day 6 Chebisa
The hike today is through wild and high altitude pastures, across Gobula pass (altitude
4350 m); camping at a bend overlooking the river a tributary of the Mo chu that
passes by Gasa Tsachu hot springs; camp site altitude is about 4260 m after
covering a distance of 17 km in 6 hours.
Day 7 Shomuthang
Start off early today towards the Jarela Pass alt. 4600 m, crossing over to
Tsharithang. It is possible to come across herds of the unique Takin grazing on the
slopes. Distance covered is 15 km after about 5 hrs, campsite is at altitude of 4400m.
Day 8 Robluthang
After crossing the Shingela Pass alt. 4900 m descends and skirts the valley towards
Lemithang that falls within Laya district. Notice the unique dress worn by the Layaps
the high altitude cattle dependent, herders. Lemithang stands beneath the Great
Tiger Mountain Gangchenta. Depending on your time and interests 0 you can explore
around for a day in these mountains. Overnight at camp alt 13,567 ft. Distance covered is
19 km in 6-7 hrs.
Day 9 Lemithang
All down hill hike today along the winding river valley. Two paths lie before you- one
leading to the army camp, the other stays high and reaches west side of Laya village- the
path taken leads you to your camp site on a high plateau at alt 12680 ft with a distance
of 10 km covered in about 4 hrs.
Day 10 Laya (Halt)
Spend this day relaxing and taking in the natural habitat of the Laya people, visit the
unique houses and learn of their unique ways of living. Depending on your interests, there
could be arrangements for song and dance performed by the Laya folk by the campfire.
Day 11 Laya- Koena
The trail winds up and down along the river valley, crossing natu
Day 12 Koena Gasa
Scaling the Belela Pass, altitude 12,267 ft, the trail descends untill you reach camp
near the Gasa Dzong altitude 9250 ft, distance of 17 km in 6-7 hrs.
Day 13 Gasa Gasa
After a late-relaxed breakfast trek to Gasa Tsachu Hot springs. A good time to heal
your body aches, sore feet and calves, simply relax in these natural hot spring used by
the Bhutanese for all kinds of ailments and sickness. Overnight camp by the Hot Springs.
Day 14 Gasa Tsachu- Geon
For the botanists and natural life enthusiasts the Gasa trek portion can be
most thrilling and memorable experience; one passes through virgin forests of oak, pine,
rhododendrons- exotic flowers and most colourful and varied butterflies- as if taken out
of a romantic painting of nature; as you proceed down the valley- Gasa Dzong fades into
the distance, in a shimmering play of light. Overnight camp at Goendamji altitude 2280m
distance covered is 21km in about 7 hrs
Day 15 Goendamji
The trail descends gradually into the lush semi-tropical warmth of the Punakha valley-
where you find wild bananas, creepers, monkey and totally different vegetation from barely
2 days back. After about 17 km in 5-6 hrs we reach Tashithang where your pick-up crew may
remind you of the 20 th century. Ride the dirt road to Punakha town to continue on to your
next destination (to Thimpu, or to Trongsa according to your program