10th to 16th November
10th to 16th April
Max. Elevation: 4,200m
Highest Camp: 4,110m
Standard: Easy to medium
Best Seasons: March to June & September to November
Start: National Museum in Paro
Finish: Mothitang (Thimphu)
Summary: Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. It is a short and scenic trek with some great views and beautiful lakes en route. Although it leads up to altitudes above 4,000m it is not too strenuous as walking distances between the camps are not too long. Besides the lakes, it is the Phadjoding monastery that is one of the highlights of this trek.
Day 1: Arrive Paro
After breakfast hike to the Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang monastery, which was built on the cliffs. The entire hike (to and fro) will take about 3 hours of average walking speed from Ramthangkha (the terminating point of the motorable road)
Taktsang monastery is one of the most venerated pilgrim sites of Bhutan. The monastic complex clings to the rock towering 900 m above the valley. Taktsang is located at 2950 m above the sea level.
In accordance with the prophecy of Guru Rinpoche, Khandro Yeshi Tshogyal, the consort of Guru Rinpoche, meditated at Taktsang, transforming herself into a tigress to protect herself from harmful humans and wild animals. People who happened to be in the vicinity of Taktsang in those days had seen a real tigress residing in the cave. The cave thus came to be known as “Taktsang” meaning “the tigress’s lair”. The image of the wrathful Guru Dorje Droloe one of his eight manifestations mounting the tigress, as we witness today inside the temple is the form of a tigress in our impure perception but in reality the tigress is the form assumed of Khandro Yeshi Tshogyal. The monastery was built in the year 1692 with the command of the fourth desi (secular ruler of Bhutan) Gyalsey Tenzin Rabgye. Today his reincarnation is residing in the Tango monastery.
After visiting the temple hike back and lunch will be served in the restaurant. After lunch you can either visit the Paro town to explore the Bhutanese stores or relax at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the same hotel.
Day 2: Paro – Jili Dzong (Distance seven km, four to five hours, 1,090m ascent, camp altitude 3,480m).
The first day is a long day, as you have to climb more than 1,000m elevation. You start from the Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro. The trek follows a gravel road past a few farms for about 30 minutes and then climbs up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge below Jili Dzong you descend about 100m to the campsite below Jili Dzong.
Day 3: Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha (Distance 10 km, four to five hours, 310m ascent, 50m descent, camp altitude 3,770m).
You begin with a climb for about an hour and a half and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see yaks and yak herders around your campsite.
Day 4: Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho (Distance 11 km, four hours, 230m descent, 330m ascent, camp altitude – 3,870m).
The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake. The lake is known for its giant sized trout.
Day 5: Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho (Distance 11 km, four hours, 820m ascent, 400 m descent, camp altitude 4,110m).
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder’s camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.
Day 6: Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding – Thimphu (Distance 15 km, five to six hours, 130m ascent, 1130 m descent).
The trek begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill to Phajodhing and fter passing Phadjoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is all the way downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine.
Day 7: Depart from Thimphu