One of the most breathtaking and popular treks in Bhutan, the Druk Path trek crosses mountain passes, takes you across lush valleys, and introduces you to some of Bhutan’s very remote and high altitude lakes in the Himalayas. You can even spot the rare blue poppy here besides other species of flora. In the month of May, the area is adorned with spectacular rhododendron forests; in the clear weather of late autumn and winter, there are great views of the Himalayas.
Trip length: 10 Days
Duration of the trek: 5-6 days (moderately challenging trek)
Maximum altitude reached: 3400m/11154ft.
Season: Late February to June, September to December
Day 01: Arrival in Paro
On your arrival at Paro International airport, we will greet you in a typical Bhutanese style, and take you to your Paro hotel. We will take a stroll in Paro town to take in the scenary and atmosphere of this mystical kingdom. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 02: Paro Sightseeing
We will drive northwest up the valley to Drukgyel Dzong, built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over the Tibetan invaders. Though largely destroyed by fire in 1951, its towering walls are still an imposing sight. On a clear day, there is a splendid view of Mt. Jomolhari from the approach road to Drukgyel Dzong. Then, we will visit one of the typical village houses clustered near the dzong. On our way back, we will visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of Bhutan. In the afternoon, we will pay a visit to Ta Dzong, once a fortified lookout tower and now the National Museum. Then, we will walk down the hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong (Paro Dzong), whose name translates to ‘the fortress of the heap of jewels’. Overnight at a hotel in Paro.
Day 03: Paro – Jele Dzong, 1st day of trek (8km, 3 hours)
Today is a short trekking day. The journey will start with a short climb up to Jele Dzong. The trek trail ascends gradually up to the camp, and if the weather is clear Paro valley can be seen with snowcapped mountains behind. Above the camp is Jele-la pass (3,400m) and Jele Dzong (mostly in ruins). There is also a lhakhang containing a statue of Buddha Sakyamuni. Overnight camp.
Day 04: Jele Dzong – Jangchulakha (10km, 3-4 hours)
We will begin with a one and a half hour climb and then ascend more gradually upwards. The trail will take us through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. You will have fine views of Jumoihari and other snow capped peaks if the weather is right, and you may hear some monal pheasants calling during the day. You may see yak herders around your campsite. Overnight camp.
Day 05: Jangchulakha – Jimllangtsho (11km, 4 hours)
The trail follows the ridge, and on a clear day the views of the mountains and valley are sensational. You will enjoy a great view of Jichu Drake (6,989m), the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. Our camp will be close to the Jimilangtsho lakes, which are famous for their giant sized trout. Overnight camp.
Day 06: JimiLangtsho – Simkota (11km, 4 hours)
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and passes by the lake of Janetsho. Today you may come across some yak herders camps and get an idea of how these people live. We camp overnight close to Simkota Lake, and if you are lucky, you could catch a lake trout for your dinner. Overnight camp.
Day 07: Simkota – Phajoding (10km, 4 hours)
Today, we begin with a gradual climb, and if the weather permits you will enjoy majestic views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, and a host of other peaks. The trail slowly descends through juniper trees to a campsite beside a community hail near Phajoding cafeteria. Overnight in cafeteria or camp, depending on weather conditions.
Day 08: Phajodlng – Thlmphu (5km, 3 hours)
The trek to Thimphu is downhill all the way, passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. Taking a leisurely pace, we will reach Thimphu in about 3 hours. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 09: ExcursIon to PunakhalWangduephodrang
After breakfast, we will take a full day excursion to the Punakha and Wangdue valleys. The drive from Thimphu crosses Dochu-la pass (3,088m) that has an enchanting view of the Bhutanese landscape. In Punakha, we will visit Punakha Dzong situated at the junction of the Pho Chu and Mo Chu rivers. Built in the 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, this dzong has played a significant role in the history of Bhutan. Then, we will drive to Wangduephodrang to visit the Wangduephodrang Dzong (recently destroyed by fire and under construction) and the local market. In the evening, we will drive back to Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 10: Thimphu – Paro
A day of sightseeing in Thimphu, where we will visit the National Memorial Chorten, the National Library, Changangkha Lhakhang, Tashichhodzong, and the National Painting School. Other places that you can choose to visit are the Thimphu Zoo to see the magnificent takin, the National Textile Museum, the Folk Museum and the breathtaking Buddha Point. We may also be able to visit the weekly vegetable market. In the evening, we will drive to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 11: Departure from Paro
We will say good-bye to you at the Paro International Airport. Tashi Delek!