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Tour Name Snowman Trek
Activities Trekking & Hiking
Best time  May, June,July, August, and Sept.
Expedition Type Trekking
Grade Strenuous
Duration 30 Days

Bhutan Snowman Trek, though ranked as one of the hardest trek in the world, it is also one of the most beautiful treks. The trek covers almost the whole part of greater Himalaya that is in Bhutan, starting from Paro and finishing in Trongsa. The beauty of the trek lies in terms of the wonderful mountain view, breath taking views of beautiful scenery, awesome views of huge glacier, turquoise green glacier lakes, the un -spoilt authentic mountain villages and many more. The experience of this trek will last forever and will bring peace every time you think of it. Never the less, the snowman trek demands proper attention and preparation. Several high passes and rough terrains are to be considered seriously in your trip planning. As you finally finish the trek the satisfaction and the glory that remains in your heart is profound.


TOUR OUTLINE


DAY 1: ARRIVE PARO AIRPORT (Altitude: 2280 meter)
DAY 2: PARO
DAY 3: PARO – SHANA (15 km, 4 – 5 hours)
DAY 4: SHANA – SOI THANGTHANKHA:(22 kilometers, 6 -7 hours)
DAY 5: SOI THANGTHANKHA – JANGOTHANG:(17kilometers, 4-5 hours)
DAY 6: JANGOTHANG HALT (4044meters)
DAY 7: JANGOTHANG – LINGSHI (4010meters, 21 km, 5-6 hours)
DAY 8: LINGSHI – CHEBISA (3990 meters, 16kilometers, 3- 4 hours)
DAY 9: CHEBISA- SHAKYAPASANG (4000meters, 15 km, 5-6 hours)
DAY 10: SHAKYAPASANG – TSHERINGYANGU (4160meters, 16km, 6 -7 hours)
DAY 11: TSHERINGYANGU – LIMITHANG (4160meters, 14 km, 6 to 7 hours)
DAY 12: LIMITHANG – LAYA (3800 meters, 10 km, 5 hours)
DAY 13: LAYA HALT (A day to wash your gears, clean yourself and relax)
DAY 14: LAYA – RODOPHU (4215meters, 15 km, 7 to 8 hours)
DAY 15: RODOPHU – NARITHANG (44940meters, 17 km, 7 to 8 hours)
DAY 16: NARITHANG – TARINA (3938meter, 16 km, 5 to 6 hours)
DAY 17: TARINA – WOCHE (4163 meter, 14 km, 5 to 6 hours)
DAY 18: WOCHE – LHEDI (3900 meter, 14 km, 5 to 6 hours)
DAY 19: LHEDI – THANZA (4100 meter, 13 km, 5 to 6 hours)
DAY 20: THANZA HALT
DAY 21: THANZA – TSHO CHENA (4960 meter, 17 km, 7 to 8 hours)
DAY 22: TSHO CHENA – JICHU DRAMO (5060meter, 15 km, 5 to 6 hours)
DAY 23: JICHU DRAMO – CHU KARPO (19 km, 7 to 8 hours)
DAY 24: CHU KARPO – TAMPOE TSHO (4355meter, 15 km, 6 to 7 hours)
DAY 25: TAMPOE TSHO – MAUROTHANG (3698meter, 17 km, 6 to 7 hours)
DAY 26: MAUROTHANG – NIKKA CHHU (2627 meter, 24 km, 7 to 8 hours)
DAY 27: TRONGSA – PUNAKHA (Altitude: 1350 meters above sea level, 8 hours drive)
DAY 28: PUNAKHA – THIMPHU (Altitude: 2320 meters above sea level)
DAY 29 THIMPHU
DAY 30: THIMPHU – PARO AIRPORT

DETAIL ITINERARY


DAY 1: ARRIVE PARO AIRPORT (Altitude: 2280 meter)
The flight into Paro brings over breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains. On the clear days you will be able to see Mt Everest (8848 meters) and other Himalayan mountain ranges. The landing into Paro airport gives you lifetime experience as the plane meanders through the mountains and touches the ground safely. You will be greeted by your tour guide from Lonely Bhutan Tours and Treks transfer you to your hotel. The beautiful valley of paro is home to many Bhutan’s oldest monasteries and temples.

Later visit Ta Dzong (watch tower), which served as watchtower to the Dzong below during 17th century to guard the region from the Tibetan invasion. In 1968 it was renovated and converted into National Museum, which houses the collection of fine Bhutanese art, relics, religious thankas, etc. Visit Kichu Lhakhang (Monastery) one of the oldest monastry in the country built in 7th century by Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo. You can either walk or drive to Rimpung Dzong built in 1646 by Zhabdrung (deeply revered to this day as dynamic political and spiritual leader). It houses both administrative and monastic bodies. Overnight Paro Hotel in paro.

DAY 2: PARO
Today hike to Taktshang, the Tiger nest monastery, mystically built on the sheer face of the cliff in 17th century. To the outsider the picture of Tiger nest stands as the main icon of the country. It was in 8th century; Guru Rinpoche flew to this place taking a wrathful form of Dorji Dorlo ridding a tigress believed as one of his own consort. Guru mediated in the cave for three months and was later followled by many enlightened saints from Tibet.

The hike to tiger Nest will take three hours altogether and will serve as the acclimatization trip for your trek tomarrow. The monastery stands at 3100meter about 900meter above paro valley. Overnight at Hotel, Paro.

DAY 3: PARO – SHANA (15 km, 4 – 5 hours)
Drive to the end of the motor road at Drukgyel Dzong to begin the trek. Today’s trail follows the river uphill through a narrow agricultural valley with occasional farm lands on and off. Blue pine and oak tree can be seen throughout the trail. Picnic lunch will be served at Zankhapang. The trail keeps going further along the river on the left until you reach Gunetsawa army camp, where you have to produce the route permit. Little further from gunetsawai you cross the river to left on a suspension bridge at about 2890 m/9480ft.The shana camp is reached after a while, which is located by the river.

Today you have a long day, so start early. The trail from Shana ascends through the river valley with pine and rhododendron forests. The trail continues to follow the river. Altitude gains 310 meter, altitude loss 80 meters.

DAY 4: SHANA – SOI THANGTHANKHA (22 kilometers, 6 -7 hours)
Today you have a long day, so start early. The trail from Shana ascends through the river valley with pine and rhododendron forests. The trail ascends gradually gaining height and eventually arrives at Thangthangkha campsite at 3650 meter. From the camp you have wonderful view of Jumolhari Mountain (7340 meters), our second highest mountain. Altitude gains 685meters.

DAY 5: SOI THANGTHANKHA – JANGOTHANG (17 kilometers, 4 – 5 hours)
The trail continues to follow the river and passes a small army post where the valley begins to widen again. Views of high ridges and snow-capped peaks can be seen on all sides. At this altitude (about 4040 meters) it is possible to see yaks and yak herders. Jangothang camp is beneath a ruined fortress at the base of Mount Jomolhari, at an altitude of 4044 meters. Altitude gains 469meters.

DAY 6: JANGOTHANG HALT (4044 meters)
As you have come a long way the other day, it is good to have rest. Besides the break day is also to give more time for acclimatization. A day at Jangothang is also the opportunity to explore the region. You can climb the ridge towards northeast to reach Tshophu Lake. The view of Jechu Darkey 6850meters is awesome from the lake area. One can also walk towards Jumolhari 7315meter to see great moraines and huge glaciers. One more challenging would be to climb the huge steep ridge above your camp to see both view of Jumolhari and Jechudarkey. The climb would take 3 to 4 hours walk to reach the rocky submit. After lunch relax in your camp and prepare for your following day trek.

DAY 7: JANGOTHANG – LINGSHI (4010meters, 21 km, 5-6 hours)
The trail climbs gradually to Nyili La Pass (4800 meters). Broad yak pastures can be seen along the length of the route. On clear weather, there is an excellent view of Tsherim gang to northeast. It is also possible to see other far mountain pass towards east that you have to go through in the next couple of days. As you descend to lingshi through vast pastureland the Lingshi Dzong can be seen below. About 300-400 people live in Lingshi, a sub district of Thimphu Dzongkhag. You will camp at Chashithang at an altitude of 4010 meters with great view of Jechudarkey and Tsherim gang to north. Altitude gains 845meters, altitude loss 880meters.

DAY 8: LINGSHI – CHEBISA (3990 meters, 16kilometers, 3- 4 hours)
The trail from the camp gradually climbs to a stupa below the Dzong and descends to Lingshi Village, which consists of a primary school, wireless telephone station, a basic health unit and some households. The hill sides are richly covered with medicinal plants.There is a center for medicinal plant collection set up by the government. The trail levels pleasantly and descends into a side valley with a beautiful village called Gongyuel. Continue walking through a slope to another side valley with Chebisa village where your camp for the night. No elevation gain or loss.

DAY 9: CHEBISA- SHAKYAPASANG (4000meters, 15 km, 5-6 hours)
Leaving Chebisa village, the trail leads up immediately through a steep slope of grassy land for 3 hours till you reach Gogula pass at 4440 meters. During the climb you might see herds of blue sheep and Large Himalayan griffons. After the pass the trail descends gradually through thick bush of rhododendron and finally drops down to the valley of Shakepasang. Altitude gains 450meters, altitude loss 440meters (few small ups and down of less than 30meters)

DAY 10: SHAKYAPASANG – TSHERINGYANGU (4160meters, 16km, 6 -7 hours)
The day starts with a climb to Jarela pass at an altitude of 4785 meters. The descend from the pass is bit steep, rocky but finally enters thick fir woods and appears out in Tsherejathang, a large reserve land for Takin, the national animal of Bhutan. The Takin inhabits this area through out in summer and moves back to upper Punakha valley in winter. A steep 40 minutes climb will lead to a nice campsite of Tshereyangu. Altitude gains 785meters, altitude loss 785meters.

DAY 11: TSHERINGYANGU – LIMITHANG (4160meters, 14 km, 6 to 7 hours)
Start early so as to enjoy the best possible view from Shinchela pass at 5000 meter. The trail crosses some small streams and you will come across a platform with lots of prayer flags. From here a large glacial valley opens up leading to the east and finally to today’s pass. When you follow the trail you will hear shrill noises which are of marmots, whose holes can be seen everywhere, the hill sides here are covered with medicinal plants. The campsite is through a beautiful cedar forest, with Great Tiger Mountain looming over your campsite at Lingimethang. Altitude gains 840 meters, altitude loss 840meters.

DAY 12: LIMITHANG – LAYA (3800 meters, 10 km, 5 hours)
You will follow the valley down parallel to the Timuchang Chhu through a cedar and then fir forest. Yak people from Laya might overtake with their yaks carrying loads of smuggled goods. About 30 minutes before reaching Laya, there is a clear split in the trail. The left fork is better. After some small ups and downs and crossing a ridge you reach a Chorten and a prosperous Laya village appears. Altitude loss 360 meters.

DAY 13: LAYA HALT (A day to wash your gears, clean yourself and relax)
It’s a rest day whereby you can check your supplies and check on the arrangements of the pack animals to continue your journey further to Lunana. Laya village is worth a visit. You can visit some family and enjoy Singchang drink, which is the part of greetings in laya family. You will also come across people playing archery with traditional bows. Laya women unlike other women in the country have a very unique way of dressing themselves. If you take about 1 hour walk towards north east you will reach a view point from where you can see Lungo village and also the stunning view of Masagang and Tshendagang.

DAY 14: LAYA – RODOPHU (4215meters, 15 km, 7 to 8 hours)
Since you have regained your strength, enjoyed village dwellings and a dancing show by Laya ladies, you are back into your gears and once more up to the second part of your snowmen trek. The trail leaves the village and leads down to Taksemakhang army camp. Once more your guide will produce the route permit. After half an hour on the main trail of Laya gasa you will reach a junction, from where you have to take the trail on left to Robhuphu.The trail ascends rapidly for about 2 hours and arriaves at a viewpoint. You can see Mochu flowing down through the dark fir forest spread out so beautifully. The trail continues through the forest, up by the Rodhu chu, finally arriving at the Rodhu phu campsite after crossing a small bridge. From the camp so many snow-capped peaks can be seen. Altitude gains 975meters, altitude loss 560meters.

DAY 15: RODOPHU – NARITHANG (44940meters, 17 km, 7 to 8 hours)
Today you will climb steeply upward for about 45 minutes. You will then come across open valley where vegetation is a mainly alpine herb, grasses, moss and lichen. The trail descends uphill to Tshomola pass at 4905 meter. From the pass the trail gently falls down for about 15 minutes and then continues to go up gradually above 5000 meter and finally drops down to Narethang camp at 4900 meter right in front of Gangla Karchung with huge glaciers in view. Altitude gains 725meters

DAY 16: NARITHANG – TARINA (3938meter, 16 km, 5 to 6 hours)
From the camp you can see Gangla Karchung pass (5180 meter), which would take about 1 hour. All the rivers and streams that you have come across from Lingshi to Gangla Karchung flows into mochu River. Gangla Karchung la(pass) also marks the area in to Lunana.

The trail from the pass gently goes down over the moraines for over an hour and finally reaches the edge overlooking beautiful views down below. On the other side you can see a beautiful river running down from a glacial lake at the foot of Teri Gang.

As you descends further down the trail gets rapidly steeper and harder on your knees. The rhododendron bush roots and mud if raining can make the trail very difficult. Once on the valley the trail follows Tarena chu. Your camp is at about 3700 meter. Altitude gains 80meters, altitude loss 1082 meters.

DAY 17: TARINA – WOCHE (4163 meter, 14 km, 5 to 6 hours)
The trail leaves camp parallel to Tarina Chhu, surrounded by some beautiful waterfalls. Later the trail becomes muddy through the forest and starts climbing steeply, crossing landslide areas. You will reach Woche village, the first settlements of Lunana you are coming across. You can stop here for lunch. After lunch continue through conifer forest with beautiful meadows. Before the camp at Domchuthang you have to cross Woche River, which runs down from the glaciers of Teri Gang in the north. The campsite at Domchuthang (4163 meter) has the great view of Teri Gang to north and Part of Gangla Karchung can be seen towards southwest. Altitude gains 225 meters.

DAY 18: WOCHE – LHEDI (3900 meter, 14 km, 5 to 6 hours)
The trail steadily climbs up after the camp, with many small flowers and herbs, and a good view of Woche Chhu. Just before reaching the pass you will come across a long clear green lake. The Kechela pass at 4666 meter offers great mountain views all around. From the pass the trail descends steeply to Phochu valley passing Thega village down the side valley. You have to cross Lhedi Zam (bridge) just before your camp at Lhedi at about 3900 meter. The Lhedi village is the centre administration of Lunana geog, comprising of Gup’s office, a lower secondary school, basic health unit, a wireless telephone station and some households. Altitude gains 503 meters, altitude loss 765 meters.

DAY 19: LHEDI – THANZA (4100 meter, 13 km, 5 to 6 hours)
Today’s path follows through the last forest encountered for the next couple of days (fir and juniper). After a short walk a deep “U” shaped valley in the north. There are numerous settlements that can be seen in the left, opposite and below opens up. The path continues following the left bank of the Pho Chhu, crossing glacial drainage, with excellent view of Table Mountain. The trail continues back and forth through rubbles of a big riverbed and enters Chuzo village with impressive view 0f Table Mountain behind. From Chuzo village the trail follows through huge grassland finally leading to Thanza village where your camp is located at 4100 meter. Altitude gains 220 meters.

DAY 20: THANZA HALT
One day rest in Thanza to refresh, stretch and relax. You can explore the village. One can also take about 2 hours walk to witness the rehabilitation work of opening the bank of glacier lake to create over flow and thus prevent the outburst of lake, which can cause severe damage downstream.

DAY 21: THANZA – TSHO CHENA (4960 meter, 17 km, 7 to 8 hours)
The trail from the camp climbs up with the view of Thanza village and Table Mountain getting better and better finally entering a narrow valley, which leads to Danjee campsite at 4540 meter. Little further from Danjee you will come across a junction of path to Bumthang exit on the left. The trail on the right crosses a river on a wooden bridge and suddenly climbs up through a rocky slope, finally reaching Jazela pass at 5150 meter. Up on the slope you can fine beautiful pink poppy. The trail form the pass descends to a large glacier valley with impressive view of glaciers too close. The camp at Tshochena is near the bank of a big green lake called Tshochena.

DAY 22: TSHO CHENA – JICHU DRAMO (5060meter, 15 km, 5 to 6 hours)
Today’s path climbs up for a while to a platue. Here you will come across panoramic views of snow cape peaks. Watch out for snow partridges. You will now go through several trails leading to a next big lake whereby you will also see a carpet of blue and violet alpine vegetation, which includes all kinds of herbal plants. As you reach Loju la pass at 5145 meter you can see Jichu Darmo campsite. Altitude gains 185 meters, altitude loss 85 meters.

DAY 23: JICHU DRAMO – CHU KARPO (19 km, 7 to 8 hours)
It is a challenging climb to the highest pass of the trek at 5326 meters popularly known as Rinchen Zoe la. You will come across excellent views of huge glaciers and glaciers lakes. Later a long descent takes you into a broad, marshy valley. From here the trail levels and finally reaches the Chu Karpo campsite at 4450 meters.

DAY 24: CHU KARPO – TAMPOE TSHO (4355meter, 15 km, 6 to 7 hours)
Today there are many stony grounds to be covered. The trail is very muddy and slippery at first, and later it is covered with boulders. Later there will be a steep climb through a forest of juniper and fir leaving the valley floor behind. A steep climb and a short walk parallel to the valley will lead you to a beautiful lake. Next to the lake is your campsite at 4355 meters. It is a good spot to find plenty of yellow poppy. Altitude gains 305 meters, altitude loss 400 meters.

DAY 25: TAMPOE TSHO – MAUROTHANG (3698meter, 17 km, 6 to 7 hours)
Climb up steadily for 40 minutes to Tempe La at Pass 4665 meters. It is time to bid farewell to the high altitude mountains and it is fresh crispy air. You will descend steeply to yak harder camp with a big lake below from which a treasure has been reveled in the past. You will further descend through thick woods to your campsite at 3698 meters. Altitude gains 310 meter.

DAY 26: MAUROTHANG – NIKKA CHHU (2627 meter, 24 km, 7 to 8 hours)
Today is the last day of the trek. You will now bid farewell to the yak herders. The trail is easy. Several tributaries have to be crossed on various kinds of bridges, as well as a couple of clearings with some huts. Finally after a long time, the forest/jungle opens up with a view towards agricultural valley. Later you will come across motor road where your driver and car will be waiting to take you to your hotel where you will be staying tonight.

Trongsa Altitude: 2200 meters above sea level.Trongsa forms the central hub of the kingdom and is historically the place from where attempts at unifying the country where launched. The following are some of the prominent places to visit in Trongsa. Overnight Trongsa Hotel.

DAY 27: TRONGSA – PUNAKHA (Altitude: 1350 meters above sea level, 8 hours drive)
Punakha served as the capital of Bhutan until 1955. It is the winter seat of the Je Khenpo(Chief Abbot) and the monk body. It has a temperate climate and its rich fertile valley is fed by Pho (male) Chu and Mo (female) Chu (river). Morning visit Trongsa Dzong which was used to be the winter capital of the Bhutan before Thimpu and its Dzong is one of the most impressive in the country – indeed, it provided the seat of power for both the first and the second Kings of Bhutan. Later drive to Punakha valley (4 hours 30 minutes drive) via stop Wangdue town, which has a unique town to look around with small huts by the side of the road. Overnight Punakha Hotel.

DAY 28: PUNAKHA – THIMPHU (Altitude: 2320 meters above sea level)
Thimphu is a bustling town on the banks of the Thimphu Chhu and set gloriously in the hills of the Thimphu valley. It is home to the Bhutanese Royal Family, the Royal Government to several foreign missions and development projects. Bhutan’s only golf course, a nine-hole circuit, is situated next to the magnificent Tashichoo Dzong. Morning hike to Kham Sum Yule Lhakhang (Monastey),it was built by HRH Azhi (Queen) Tshering Pem Wangchuck for a successful rule during the reign of the present King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, Punakha Dzong (fortress) built in 1637 by Zhabdrung which is remarkably located between the rivers of Mo (Female) Chu (river) and Pho (Male) Chu. Later drive to the capital city Thimphu (2 hours 30 minutes drive. Overnight Thimphu Hotel.

DAY 29: THIMPHU
Morning visit weekend market, market days are absolutely central to the lives of the Bhutanese and Morning hike to Cheri Monastery which is about 2hours. Afternoon visit Memorial Chorten this particular chorten was constructed in 1974 as a memorial for the third King of the country, King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, who is regarded as the father of modern Bhutan, Tashichho Dzong (Fortress of the glorious religion) houses the throne room of His Majesty the King, the main secretariat building and the central monk body, Mini zoo here we can see Bhutan’s national animal known as Takin. This is an extremely rare member of the goat family, and Sangaygang view point of Thimphu town. Overnight Thimphu Hotel.

DAY 30: THIMPHU – PARO AIRPORT
Early breakfast at the hotel and then drive from Thimphu to the Paro airport to board the flight. Your escort from Lonely Bhutan Tours and Treks will assist you with exit formalities and bid you farewell.


ACCOMMODATION


Camping