Druk Path Trek – 11 Days
The Druk Path Trek is a moderate, six-day trek. This popular trek offers beautiful views as you cross the chain of mountains that separate the Paro and Thimphu valleys. This route is also famous for its spectacular rhododendron forests and wonderful high altitude lakes teeming with fish.
Season: This trek is usually possible from late February to June and from September to December.
DAY 01: ARRIVE PARO
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport. After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the National Museum, Ta Dzong.
Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
DAY 02: PARO
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 1.5 to 2 hours uphill takes you high above the Paro valley.
In the afternoon drive to the almost fully reconstructed Drukgyel Dzong. The original monument (destroyed by fire in 1951) was built by Shabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
DAY 03: PARO – JELE DZONG
8km, 4-5 hours. 1090m ascent
Today is a short trekking day. The journey starts with a 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 surrounded by snow capped mountains. Above the camp is Jele La (3400m) and Jele Dzong. Overnight at campsite. Altitude 3480m
DAY 04: JELE DZONG – JANGCHULAKHA
10km, 3 – 4hours. 310m ascent, 50m descent
Begin with a one and a half hour climb and then ascend more gradually upwards. The trail takes us through thick alpine forests of rhododendrons. We will have fine views of Mt. Chomolhari and other snow capped peaks if the weather is right. We may hear some pheasants calling during the day. We may also see yak herders around your campsite. Overnight at campsite. Altitude 3770m.
DAY 05: JANGCHULAKHA – JIMILANGTSHO
11km, 4 hours. 230m descent, 330m ascent
The trail follows the ridge, and when the weather is clear views of the mountains and valley are sensational. We will enjoy a great view of Jichu Drake (6989m), the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. Our camp is close to Jimilangtsho lakes, famous for their giant sized trout. Overnight at campsite. Altitude 3870m.
DAY 06: JIMILANGTSHO – SIMKOTA
11km, 4 hours. 820m ascent, 400m descent
The trail takes us through dwarf rhododendron trees and passes by the lake of Janeetsho. Today we may come across some yak herder’s camps and get an idea of how these people live. We camp overnight close to Simkota Lake. If you are lucky you can catch a lake trout for your dinner. Overnight at campsite.
DAY 07: SIMKOTA – PHAJODING
10km, 4 hours. 130m ascent, 680m descent
Today begins with a gradual climb and if the weather permits you will enjoy majestic views of Mt.Gangkar Puensum, the highest peak in Bhutan. You may also view a host of other peaks from Phume La (4080m). The trail slowly descends through juniper trees to a campsite. Overnight at campsite. Altitude 3610m.
DAY 08: PHAJODING – THIMPHU
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, you reach Thimphu in about 3 hours. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
DAY 09: THIMPHU
(Day excursion to Punakha)
After breakfast, drive over the Dochu-La Pass (3100 m), which on a clear day offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time).
Punakha was the ancient capital of Bhutan. On arrival, visit Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 by the Shabdrung, the ‘Unifier of Bhutan’ as predicted by the great Guru Rimpoche (Padmasambhava).
After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang, temple of the Drukpa Kuenly who is also known as the Divine Madman. Return to Thimphu. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.
DAY 10: THIMPHU – PARO
Enjoy sightseeing in Thimphu beginning with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten depicting the Buddhist faith in the form of paintings and statues. Other highlights include the 12th Century Changangkha Temple, Drubthob monastery housing the Zilukha nunnery, the School for Arts and Crafts where the students are taught to master the 13 types of Bhutanese art, the National Library housing a collection of Bhutanese scriptures dating back to the 8th century, and a fascinating replica of a medieval farmhouse at the Folk Heritage Museum. Overnight at your hotel in Paro.
DAY 11: DEPART PARO
Breakfast in the hotel, then drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination.