Druk Path Trek
- 9 Days
- Paro - Thimphu - Paro
- Tour Type:
- Private Tour
Druk Path Trek is named after the country's name(Druk: Thunder Dragon) as it's the most popular customized trekking route in Bhutan. Before stepping out on the Druk Path Trail, you'll visit Bhutan's most famous cultural attraction Taktsang Monastery, the most beautiful monastery Rinpung Dzong, the oldest temple Kyichu Lhakhang, and so on.
Druk Path Trek lies on the way from Paro to Thimphu. The difficulty level is fairly easy, and you can hike almost every month except for January to February when the mountain will be closed due to snow. The best season is from March to May and from September to November. The scenery along the way is primitive and beautiful. You can see 6 towering Himalayas, such as Gangkhar Puensum (7570m), which is the highest unclimbed mountain in the world, and Mount Jumolhari (7314m), Bhutan’s most famous sacred mountain. The highlight is Jimilang Tsho Lake, which is as calm as a mirror but bottomless. Whatsmore, there are azalea forests and alpine pastures.
|Day||Route||Attractions & Activities|
|1||Fly to Paro; Visit Rinpung Dzong and National Museum||Rinpung Dzong, National Museum|
|2||Trek to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest Monastery) and drive back to Paro||Tiger's Nest, Kyichu Lhakhang|
|3||Druk Path Trek①: Paro - Jele Dzong||Kuenga Choeling Goemba, Paro River Valley|
|4||Druk Path Trek②: Jele Dzong – Jangchulakha||Jele Dzong, Mt.Jomolhari, Mt.Kangcheeta|
|5||Druk Path Trek③: Jangchulakha - Jimilang Tsho Lake||Jimilang Tsho|
|6||Druk Path Trek④: Jimilang Tsho - Simkotra Tsho||Janye Tsho, Simkotra Tsho|
|7||Druk Path Trek⑤: Simkotra Tsho - Phajoding||Mount Gangkhar Puensum, Phajoding Monastery|
|8||Druk Path Trek⑥: Phajodhing - Motithang; Drive back to Thimphu||Thimphu Valley, Trashi Chhoe Dzong|
|9||Thimphu to Paro; Departure from Paro||Send off to the airport|
After breakfast, you will take the Royal Bhutan Airlines flight to Paro Airport, Bhutan. During the flight, you will enjoy the spectacular beauty of the Himalayas. After watching the beautiful plateau scenery on the plane, you will arrive at Paro Airport, the only airport in Bhutan. Upon arrival, you can see Rinpung Dzong not far away from the airport, about 900 meters. It's the most famous temple in Bhutan and perhaps the best representative of Bhutanese architecture you will see. Your Bhutanese guide will wait for you outside the terminal building, and then take you to visit Rinpung Dzong.
In the afternoon, you will visit Ta Dzong, the watchtower of Paro Dzong, now the National Museum. The unusual round building was built to be in the shape of a conch shell, with 2.5m-thick walls. The watchtower suffered damage in the 2011 earthquake but was reopened in 2016 as the nation's premier museum.
Stay overnight in Paro.
- Rinpung Dzong
- National Museum
In the morning you will trek from the bottom of Paro Valley to the Taktsang Monastery, perched on the side of the mountain. Taktsang (commonly known as Tiger's Nest) is the most sacred site in Bhutan and one of the top ten super temples in the world to go. Located at an elevation of 3120 meters, Taktsang is the birthplace of Bhutanese Buddhism. Guru Rinpoche flew here from Tibet on the back of a tigress, which was the manifestation of his divine consort Yeshe Tsogyal.
You can ride a horse or walk to Tiger’s Nest. It is a challenging trek so you will gain merit with every step. The view from the Paro Valley to the monastery is worth your climb. The hike starts from a gentle forest with some prayer flags. After passing a creek and some water-powered prayer wheels, the trail starts getting steeper.
On the halfway up the monastery, there is a nice teahouse with great views of Taktsang Monastery that makes a welcome stopping point. You can get some tea and take a break here. You can continue climbing to the viewpoint, where's the best place to take photos of Taktsang. From here, you will walk down a series of steep stairs to a waterfall to achieve your final ascent to the entrance. Here you will be required to leave your backpacks, cameras, and phones.
In the afternoon, you will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Bhutan. After visiting today’s attractions, if time permits, the tour guide can also take you to visit the ordinary market in Paro, where you can buy some handicrafts with Bhutanese characteristics.
Stay overnight in Paro
- Tiger's Nest
- Kyichu Lhakhang
10KM | 4-5 HOURS | 1003M ASCENT | 10M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 3480M
Drive to Ta Dzong (National Museum of Bhutan, 2487m), you will meet your horsemen and the pack animals. The trek starts from the museum and you need to climb more than 1065 meters then set up to camp.
The steep mountain trail winds through the lush pine forest, which is surrounded by several farmhouses and some walled apple orchards. Along the way, you will pass by a monastery Kuenga Choeling Goemba. After 1 hour or so of gentle climbing, you are able to overlook the fascinating view of the Paro River Valley and look upward to see the Jele Dzong (3400m). The trail continues steeply up through the forest. Just before reaching a small pass below the Jele Dzong, the mountain path opens up a bit. We will camp and spend one night there.
- Paro River Valley
10KM | 4 HOURS | 300M ASCENT CAMP ALT 3780M
After breakfast, we will get back to the main trail and continue climbing for about half an hour to Jele Dzong. If it's open, we can go inside and take a look at the interior of the dzong, which dates back to the 14th century. It sits astride a ridge, which affords dramatic views of the valleys on both sides and the Himalaya to the north. On a clear day, the most famous Mount Jomolhari(female mountain goddess) in Bhutan can be seen. Continue hiking along the ridge until it descends into the forest. Through dense alpine forests and dwarf rhododendron trees, you may meet local herders and their yaks along the trail and have wonderful views of mountains, including another large peak called Kangcheeta. If you look back, you will see part of the Paro Valley.
After 4-5 hours of walking, we will arrive at a yak herders’ pasture at Jangchulakha (3,780m) with outstanding views of the Himalayan range. We'll camp near the hillside.
- Mt. Jumolhari
11KM | 4-5 HOURS | 330M ASCENT | 300M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 3870M
Trek up the trail along the ridge. If the weather is fine, we will see more breathtaking views. You can see several snowy peaks in the north and overlook the beautiful river valley. For most of this day, we will continue to go north, and soon we could see several temples on the other side of the valley. When you reach the Langye Ja La Pass (4,070 m), you are about 50m to the peak. After that, we descent slowly until we arrive at Jimilang Tsho Lake(3880m). Jimilang Tsho also called sand ox lake. It was named for the ox that emerged from the Lake. Meanwhile, this lake is also known for its giant trout. This evening, we will rest in the camp by the lake.
- Jimilang Tsho
11KM | 4 HOURS | 270M ASCENT | CAMP ALT 4110M
We will go around the lake and start climbing the high slope of the lake on the west side of the lake. After passing through the bushes, the beautiful scenery will be revealed before your eyes. Follow the trail through dwarf rhododendron trees and you will see Janye Tsho Lake(3956m). You may come across some yak herder camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. After crossing a ridge and soon we can see Simkotra Tsho Lake (4110m). In the evening, we will camp by the lake.
- Janye Tsho
10KM | 4 HOURS | 100M ASCENT | 680M DESCENT
After breakfast we start our trek with several gentle climbs to reach the top of a hill at 4235m, from where you can enjoy the spectacular view of Mount Gangkhar Puensum(7570m), the highest mountain in Bhutan as well as other Himalayan peaks in clear weather, then we descent to Phajoding Monastery(3870m). In the spring this trail is beautified by many different types of alpine flowers. We will rest in a guest house or dorm bed at Phajoding Monastery.
- Gangkhar Puensum
5KM | 3 HOURS | 1130M DESCENT
In dawn, you can get a perfect view of Thimphu Valley. After breakfast, we will descent down to the valley through beautiful blue pine forest till Royal Takin Preserve (2500m) in Motithang from where our driver will take us to our hotel in Thimphu, the modern capital of Bhutan. The trek today is very leisurely, about three hours.
Another downhill route through Bhutan Broadcasting Service Tower (BBS), offering a great view of the city of Thimphu.
In the afternoon, you will visit Trashi Chhoe Dzong, a majestic and grand castle on the west bank of the Wangchu River. This is the office of the current king and the seat of the internal affairs and finance departments. It is also the summer residence of religious leaders and central religious institutions. If time permits, the tour guide can also take you to visit the ordinary market in Thimphu, where you can buy some handicrafts with Bhutanese characteristics.
- Thimphu Valley
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