Lunana Snowman Trekking - 25 Days
Lunana snowman trekking goes up to the remote Lunana district in northern Bhutan and is considered as the toughest trek in the country of distances, altitudes and its solitude. Bhutan for a long time the "Forbidden Kingdom", still limits the number of tourists visiting the country, to protect the cultural heritage and preservation of natural wealth and beauty is still the number one priority of the country. The snowman trek is considered to be the most challenging trek and of the longest duration in Bhutan. This trek provides an in depth look of the unspoiled and old traditional lifestyle of the Bhutanese; not only the grandiose mountain views and alleys of the Himalya region but also the lifestyle of the mountain people living in harmony with nature and gods.
For the snowman trek one must be in top physical condition to be able to make Lunana snowman trekking. Flexibility and patiente is required at times especially when one confronts logistic problems arising with yaks and horses. While on trek one is expected not to distributed sweets, pen/pencil etc to children and villagers also.
Trek Level: Most Challenging
Best Season : Mid April to May and Mid September to Mid October
Day 01: Arrive Paro – Thimphu
Upon arrival at Paro airport, received by our representative and transfer to Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Day 02: Full day city tour in Thimphu
Visit the Memorial Chorten, Tashichhodzong, National Library, Painting School, Traditional Medicine Institute and Handicrafts Emporium. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.
Day 03: Thimphu – Punakha
Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass (3100m), through magnificent forests of rhododendron and magnolia. From the pass one can have the panoramic view of eastern Himalayan peaks and enticing view of the Lunana route. Picnic lunch at Punakha by the riverside. Enjoy the view of Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 during the time of Shabdrung. The Dzong is now used as the winter residence of monk body and administrative centre of the district. O/N Hotel
Day 04. Punakha – Gasa - Chamsa
After breakfast Gasa on the way visit Khumsum yuelley Namgay Chorten and continue drive following the river up through semi tropical forest. Also for flower lovers there is abundant of wild orchids here. Cross by Gasa, Tsha-chu (Hot Spring), Lunch at Small Gasa Town, client can visit Gasa Dzong which is one of the oldest Fortress of the country built in 17th century, to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders. The path starts with stiff climb upto Bele la pass (3700m) through bamboo, rhododendron, juniper and fir forests. Then descend for about half an hour to camp at Chamsa at an altitude of 3650m. Camp at Chamsa.
Day 05: Chamsa – Laya
The trail starts by descending to the bank of Mo Chu River. Lunch will be served at the side of bridge, across the river. After lunch climb up gradually to Laya crossing the army camp. Overnight camp at an altitude of 3800m. Walking time 8/9 hours.
Day 06: Rest day at Laya for acclimatization
One can go around the villages, visiting houses and the people. Laya people are very friendly and will happily pose for photographs. Women of Laya wear a special dress and typical bamboo hats decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments. Cultural evening with dances performed by local girls.
Day 07: Laya – Rhodophu
From Laya we descend to army camp and continue following the river till the turn off point to Rhodophu. After lunch continue the climb through rhododendron bushes till we reach the camp at altitude 4,350m. Walking time 8/9 hours.
Day 08: Rhodophu – Tarina
Today is the longest day of the trip and it is important to start early. Start at about 5 a.m. by climbing to Tsimola (4700m). After crossing the first pass and the little summit, one can have superb view of Lunana, Mount. Chomolhari and Mount. Jichu Drake. The path is flat for another four hours till climb to Kangla Karchula pass (5080m) is started. The view from the path is breathtaking and whole range of mountains including Masagang, Tsendgang, Teri Gang can be seen. After the path, it is very long descent to Tarina valley. Camp at an altitude of 3980m. Walking time 10/11 hours.
Day 09: Tarina – Woche
The walk leads down through conifer forests following the upper reaches of the Pho Chu. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche at 3,800m. Walking time is 6/7 hours.
Day 10: Woche – Lhedi
The trek starts through juniper and fir forests and further ahead through rhododendron bushes. Climb up to Keche la pass (4,480m) where one can have the great view of mountains. After the pass, descend to the riverside walking through the village with stunning view of table mountains and others. Follow up the river till Lhedi village, which is one of the main source of Pho Chu. Camp at an altitude of 3,650m.
Day 11: Lhedi – Thanza
The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch, visit the Choejong Dzong and continue walking towards the wide valley. Cross the bridge to reach Thanza camp at an altitude of 4,000m. Walking time is 7/8 hours.
Day 12: Rest Day At Thanza
We can walk around or climb up the ridge for fascinating view of lakes and mountains.
Day 13: Thanza – Tsorim
The trek start by climbing the ridge, with great view of the table mountain and Thanza valley below. The ridge altitude is 4,500m and it rises gradually upto 4,650m. After lunch walk upwards the left side of the bridge enjoying the view of snow capped mountains. Further after climbing ridges, you reach the camp site of Tsorim at altitude 5,125m. Walking time 8/9 hours.
Day 14: Tsorim – Gangkar Puensum Base Camp
This is the highlight of the trip and day starts with a short climb to the Tsorim lake. Walk on the side of the lake enjoying the panoramic view of Gophula ranges. The last climb to the Gophula pass (5230m) is very short. After the pass descend to the base camp, walking along the ridge and enjoying the great view of Gangkar Puensum. If interested, one can divert to the left side to climb up the pyramid peak for a better view or you can go down to base camp nearby Sha Chu at the altitude of 4,970m. Walking time is 6/7 hours.
Day 15: Rest Day. At The Base Camp Enjoying the Great View
Day 16: Gangkar Puensum Base Camp – Geshe Woma
Its time to leave beautiful mountains, but the trek is not yet over. The trail further follows the Sha Chu and descends gradually to Geshe Woma at the altitude of 4200m. Walking time is 6/7 hours.
Day 17: Geshe Woma – Warathang
The path continues following Sha Chu for two and a half hours until the stiff climb to Sakala begins. Visibility along the Sakala trail is poor so one must see top of the ridge for guidance. Lunch nearby a yak herders camp. After that climb up to Sakala pass at an altitude of 4800m. Descends to the lakes and another short ascent leads to Wartangle pass (4590m). Scenery once again is stunning with small lakes and the mountain peaks. Camp at the altitude of 4,000m. Walking time is 8/9 hours.
Day 18: Warthang – Dur Tshachu
A short half hour climb leads to Juelela pass (4400m). After the pass descend to the riverside through dense rhododendron, juniper and conifer forests. After the bridge a short climb leads to Dur Tshachu hot spring, where Guru Padmasambhava is supposed to have taken bath in 8th hot spring. Walking time is 5 hours.
Day 19: Dur Tshachu – Tshochenchen
From the spring it is a long and steady climb again with great views of the mountains in Lunana. You also come across blue lakes and yak herders camp at altitude of 3850m. Walking time is 8/9 hours.
Day 20: Tshochenchen – Dur/Bumthang
This is the last day of the trek where you change from yak to pack ponies. The path follows the Chemkhar Chu, descending gradually with few climbs. The trek ends when you arrive at Dur village where our transport will pick you up and drive to the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 21: Bumthang
Bumthang valley is center of cultural wealth. The hills around valley are filled with monasteries dedicated to Guru Padsambhava. Also it is home to one of the great Buddhist teachers, Pmalingpa, to whose descendants the present dynasty trances its origin. Explore valley visiting , Jakar Dzong, Kurje Lhakhang, Jambet Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhanng. Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.
Day 22: Bumthang – Phobjikha/Gangtey
Tongsa is the ancestral home of Bhutan’s royal family. The crown Prince of Bhutan traditionally becomes Penlop, (Governer) prior to crowned as King. Tongsa Dzong, built in the master piece of Bhutanese architecture which has been traditional home of all four kings of Bhutan before they crowned as King. Standing above this fortress is, Ta Dzong which once guarded this place from internal rebellion and provides visitor more insight into the historical significance of Tsonga in Bhutan’s history. Lunch at Chenberji, and continue to Phobjikha. Which is winter roasting land of Black Neck Carne (Rare Spice Bird). O/N Hotel
Day 23: Phobjikha - Paro
After breakfast stroll around the valley and later drive to Paro. Evening at leisure or visit traditional farm house. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
Day 24: Full day sightseeing in Paro.
Morning drive to road end point of Taktsang and hike to Taktsang Monastery, later in the afternoon visit Ta Dzong (National Museum), Rinpung Dzong. O/N Hotel
Day 25: Paro Departure
Transfer to Airport for the flight to next destination
Note: Designed itinerary is a sample itinerary intended to give you a general idea of trip to Bhutan. We can create an itinerary to suit as your needs and interest one you give your interest and travel timeframe.