24 Days Snowman Trekking Tour in Bhutan

24 Days Snowman Trekking Tour in Bhutan

Sketch Itinerary

24 Days Snowman Trekking Tour in Bhutan is the most difficult trek in Bhutan! Explore the outer reaches of Bhutan’s High Himalayas. The official snowman trek starts in Paro, and leads via Lingshi and Laya to the remote Lunana in northern Bhutan.

The 30 day adventure in Bhutan begins with the 24 day snowman trek into one of Bhutan’s most remote valleys and rugged mountain terrain. It’s probably one of the most difficult high altitude treks in the entire world where the trekker’s patience and endurance is relentlessly tested 24×7.

It can indeed be a singular kind of incredible experience for the spirited trekker who grabs this challenge with both hands. Bhutan’s pristine landscape, wonderful people, incredible food and the preserved Buddhist culture and tradition provide all the ingredients for a memorable journey into the last Shangri-La on earth. Literally..

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Facts about the Tour / Trek:

Trek duration: 24 days.

Total Duration: 29 nights / 30 days.

Accommodation: Hotels, Resorts and Tents.

Activity Type: Walking, Trekking & Tour.

Difficulty Level: Very strenuous

Group size: Minimum 5 pax

Best Months to do this Trek: Mid-June to mid-October

Sketch Itinerary: 

Day 1: Arrive Paro

Day 2: Day hike to Taktsang monastery

DAY 3: Drukgyel dzong to Sharna

DAY 4: Sharna to Thangthangka (Start of trek) (7 to 8 hours walk)

DAY 5: Thangthanka Jangothang (5 to 6 hours walk)

DAY 6: Rest day in Jangothang

DAY 7: Jangothang to Lingshi (6 to 7 hours walk)

DAY 8: Lingshi to Chebisa (4 to 5 hours walk)

DAY 9: Chebisa to Shakshepasa (4 hours walk)

DAY 10: Shakshepasa to Robluthang (7 to 8 hours walk)

DAY 11: Robluthang to Limithang (7 to 8 hours walk)

DAY 12: Limithang to Laya (4 to 5 hours walk)

DAY 13: Rest day in Laya

DAY 14: Laya to Rodufu (6 to 7 hours walk)

DAY 15: Rodufu to Narethang (8 to 9 hours walk)

DAY 16: Narethang to Tarina (5 to 6 hours walk)

DAY 17: Tarina to Woche (5 to 6 hours walk)

DAY 18: Woche to Lhedi (7 to 8 hours walk)

DAY 19: Lhedi to Thanza (6 to 7 hours walk)

DAY 20: Rest day in Thanza, 4080m (13,300 ft).

DAY 21: Thanza to Danji (4 hours walk)

DAY 22: Danji to tso Chena (5 hours walk)

DAY 23: Tso Chena to Jichu dramo (4 to 5 hours walk)

DAY 24: Jichu Dramo to Chukarpo (5 to 6 hours walk)

DAY 25: Chukarpo to Thampe tso (5 to 6 hours walk)

DAY 26: Thampe Tso to Maurothang (5 hours walk)

DAY 27: Maurothang to Nikachu Chazam / drive to Punakha (7 to 8 hours walk)

DAY 28: Drive Punakha to Thimphu

DAY 29: Drive Thimphu to Paro

DAY 30: Paro- Departure.

Detailed Itinerary:

Detail Itinerary

Detail Itinerary for 24 Days Snowman Trekking Tour in Bhutan

Day 1: Arrive Paro Bhutan by Druk Air

Upon arrival at Paro airport, received by the Representative from Yak Holidays and transfer to the hotel.

After lunch, drive to the ruins of Drukgyel dzong, now in ruins was built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate the victory over the Tibetan invaders in1644; the dzong name’s means indeed “The Victorious Druk”. The Dzong was used as an administrative center until 1951 when a fire caused by butter lamp destroyed it. Then visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s oldest and most sacred monasteries dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the 8th century. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort or Similar.

Day 2: Day Hike to Taktsang Monastery

Day hike to Taktsang monastery, the famous “Tiger’s Nest”. The hike which is all uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery which clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters above the Paro valley was devastated by fire in 1998 but the Royal Government has taken immediate steps to restore the monastery to its original structure. It is believed that the Buddhist saint Padmasambhava came in the 7th century on a flying tigress and meditated in a cave for 3 months. The demons were subdued who were trying to stop the spread of Buddhism and converted the Paro valley to Buddhism. During the end of the 17 century, a monastery was built on the spot where the saint meditated and it is a pilgrimage site for every Bhutanese to visit once in their life time.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel Tashi Namgay Resort or Similar.

DAY 3: Drukgyel Dzong to Sharna

After breakfast, visit the Ta dzong, an ancient watchtower, which has been since 1967, the National Museum of Bhutan followed by visit Rimpung Dzong (Paro Dzong) built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. The Dzong presently houses administrative offices.  After lunch, drive to Shana.  Overnight at camp Shana.

DAY 4: Sharna to Thangkthanka (Start of trek)

Distance: 22km – 7 to 8 hours

Leaving Sharna the trail continues upriver and the route winds in and out of rhododendron and blue pine forests. When we enter Jigme Dorji National Park keep your eyes open for wildlife and changes in vegitation as we continue to climb in elevation. Tonight we camp in Thangkthanka (3520m)

DAY 5: Thangthanka to Jangothang

Distance: 19km – 5 to 6 hours

An hour out of camp this morning we leave the tree line and head into the high mountains. At the halfway point of our hike, we cross Tengethang, a winter home of the migratory yak herders. Arriving at Jangothang (4040m / 13,250 ft), we can watch the sun set on Mt. Jhomolhari (7314m) and Mt. Jichu Drake (6989m).

DAY 6: Rest day in Jangothang

The first of our acclimatization days, we have many day-hiking options. The first is a three to four hour excursion up the ridge to the north for great views of Jichu Drake. The second is to hike up towards the head of the valley in the direction of Jhomolhari. The third is a trek up the main valley towards the last house and onward toward Jichu Drake, this gives a great view of where we will be going in the next few days. The final alternative is a fishing expedition to Tshophu, a high-altitude lake about a two hour hike away.

DAY 7: Jangothang to Lingshi

Distance: 20km – 6 to 7 hours

Heading uphill from Jangothang we cross the first of many major passes. The Nyile La pass at 4890m (16,135 ft) is about a four hour ascent. Descending the other side we will encounter sparce juniper and rhododendron and pass many yak herder camps. From this area on we start to see herds of blue sheep. Arriving in Lingshi we set up camp at 4150m.

DAY 8: Lingshi to Chebisa

Distance: 14km – 4 to 5 hours

This morning we will visit Lingshi Dzong, also known as Yugyel Dzong in the 17th century, it was used in the past to control travel between Tibet and Bhutan. Since today’s hike will not be as long, the pace will be more relaxed. Upon reaching the camp at Chebisa (3850m / 12,600 ft), we will have time to visit Chebisa village and see a slice of Bhutanese village life.

DAY 9: Chebisa to Shakshepasa

Distance: 13km – 4 hours

Crossing the Gombu La pass at 4350m (14,300 ft), we descend into a rhododendron filled valley, and continue past some yak herder camps to Shakshepasa where we camp at 3980m (13,100 ft).

DAY 10: Shakshepasa to Robluthang

Distance: 18km – 7 to 8 hours

An early morning start will get us on the way to Jhari La pass at 4747m (15,600 ft). Decending to Tsharijathang, the valley where herds of Takin (the national animal of Bhutan) are normally seen. From here we climb to our camp at Robluthang at 4160m.

DAY 11: Robluthang to Limithang

Distance: 19km – 7 to 8 hours

Starting early a strenuous hike leads to the Shinge La pass at 5005m (16,650 ft). Descending to Lemithang we’ll see Mt. Gangchenta (6840m) and the glacially carved Gangchhenta valley. Gangchhenta means Great Tiger Mountain. We camp at 4140m.

DAY 12: Limithang to Laya.

Distance: 10km – 4 to 5 hours

A shorter hike follows a trail in and out of a heavily wooded, uninhabited valley. Climbing up out of the forests we will be rewarded with some great views of Gangchhenta and Masang Gang (7165m) mountains. We camp at Laya at 3840m.

DAY 13: Rest day in Laya

Staying in Laya for the day we will get a chance to see the village with its community school, hospital, archery field and the first shop since the Paro Valley. Laya is a unique village of about 800 people with their own language, customs and distinct dress. The women keep their hair long and wear peculiar conical bamboo hats with a bamboo spike at the top. They wear a lot of silver jewellery on their backs, on many women this display includes an array of teaspoons.

DAY 14: Laya to Rodufu

Distance: 19km – 6 to 7 hours

The trek leads gradually downhill to the Lunana trail junction, then makes a gradual climb to the camp through a forest of conifers, maple and rhododendron. The trail improves and becomes wider as we climb out of the river valley. We camp at Rodufu near a small stream at 4160m.

DAY 15: Rodufu to Narethang

Distance: 16km – 8 to 9 hours

It is a long hike, first crossing the Tsimo La pass at 4950m (16,200 ft). Descending to Narethang we pass some dwarf rhododendron and hike in the shadow of Gangla Karchung peak (6395m). We camp at 4900m.

DAY 16: Narethang to Tarina

Distance 18km – 5 to 6 hours

Climb to Karchung La pass at 5240m (17,187 ft) and down to the glacial lakes that are the source of the Tang Chhu river. Above the lakes are the mighty peaks of Jejekangphu Gang (7300m) and Tsenda Kang (7100m). We camp at Tarina, 4020m.

DAY 17: Tarina to Woche

Distance: 15km – 5 to 6 hours

The walk leads down through conifer forests, following the upper reaches of the Pho Chhu river. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to the village of Woche at 3940m. The trek has now entered the Lunana region.

DAY 18: Woche to Lhedi

Distance: 19km – 7 to 8 hours

It’s a gradual climb from Woche to the Keche La pass at 4580m (15,100 ft), then downhill to Thega village. The hike continues to Lhedi village where we camp at 3600m.

DAY 19: Lhedi to Thanza

Distance: 19km – 6 to 7 hours

The trail climbs gradually following the main source of the Pho Chhu to Chozo village. At the small Chozo Dzong there are some lay monks. Above Chozo the valley opens as we approach Thanza village near the foot of 7100m Zogophu Gamp, which is also know as Table Mountain. We camp at Thanza, 4080m.

DAY 20: REST DAY IN THANZA, 4080m (13,300 ft).

This day is a fantastic opportunity to interact with the hospitable local villagers, and explore the beautiful surrounding area, our farthest point in the Lunana valley. Alternatively you can relax around camp and rest up for some of the tough days ahead. As Thanza is a transfer point for horses and yaks, it is important to have a day here for our staff to ensure all the necessary yaks are rounded up by the local herders.

DAY 21: Thanza to Danji

Distance: 8km – 4 hours

Today is a relatively short, although somewhat steep, climb to a campsite called Danji, part way up to the Jaze la pass. It will allow us to have some extra time in the morning and make a later start. The camp is around 4600m, with spectacular views of snow-capped peaks! It is an important acclimatization spot.

DAY 22: Danji to Tso Chena

Distance: 12km – 5 hours

The first part of the day involves a climb up over three false summits to Jaze La pass at 5050m (16,570ft). From the pass it is a short downhill trek to the campsite at the lake of Tso Chena at 4800m. Keep your eyes open for blue sheep during the hike.

DAY 23: Tso Chena to Jichu Dramo

Distance: 14km – 4 to 5 hours

The trail has a series of gradual ups and downs between the snow-capped peaks and across the Loju La pass at 4940m (16,300 ft) before descending to camp at Jichu Dramo at 4880m.

DAY 24: Jichu Dramo to Chukarpo

Distance: 18km – 5 to 6 hours

We start with a hard climb to Rinchen Zoe La pass at 5290m (17,350 ft), the highest on the trek. It is then all downhill to Chukarpo, which is just above the tree line at 4950m (16335 ft).

DAY 25: Chukarpo to Thampe Tso

Distance: 18km – 5 to 6 hours

It is a long mostly downhill walk along the river, followed by a climb up to the Um So lake at 4230m (13,950 ft). In this lake Pema Lingpa found a number of religious treasures. Continuing downhill we camp by the lake of Thampe Tso at 4200m (13,860 ft).

DAY 26: Thampe Tso to Maurothang

Distance: 14km – 5 hours

It is a short walk to the base of Thampe La and a steep climb to the pass at 4580m (15,100 ft). The trek is then all downhill through rhododendron bushes to the yak pasture of Maurothang where we camp at 3550m.

DAY 27: Maurothang to Nikachu Chazam / Drive to Punakha

Distance: 23km – 7 to 8 hours

A long final day of trekking will descend through the lovely village of Sephu to finish at Nikachu Chazam, the road head. From there we will drive to a comfortable guest house near Trongsa. This beautiful Dzong is the centre of the region of Bhutan called “Bumthang” (central region). The Trongsa Dzong is the most impressive in the kingdom and can be see from a great distance in its strategic position high above the Mangde Chhu river.

Drive from Trongsa to Punakha. (Approximately 3 hours) In the mid-afternoon, there is a spectacular drive back west across the mountains to Punakha. We will probably stop along the way at Chendebji to visit the Chendebji Chorten, patterned after Swayambhunath in Kathmandu and built in the 19th century by Lama Shida from Tibet. We may also stop at the top of the Pele La pass (3400m). Overnight in Punakha at a very comfortable hotel.

DAY 28: Drive Punakha to Thimphu

We will have time in the morning to see Punakha Dzong (the second of Bhutan’s dzongs to be built) which for many years served as the seat of government. The dzong was first built in 1637 and is still one of the largest in Bhutan. We will drive to Thimphu in the morning (about 2 hours) and have the afternoon to visit Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. We will visit the Trashi Chhoe Dzong, built as the symbol of the capital and then explore the shops along Norzin Lam, Thimphu’s main street.

DAY 29: Drive Thimphu to Paro

The morning is free to do some more sightseeing or shopping around Thimphu. In the afternoon we take a 2 hour drive through the lovely central foothills to Paro where we will overnight in a comfortable hotel.

DAY 30: Paro: Departure.

Waking up in Paro, we’ll have time for one last walk through town before saying our goodbyes and heading to the airport.

Tour Photo Gallery
Rinpung Dzong @ Paro
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Value Added Services
  • Hot stone bath.

    bhutanese archery

    Practicing Archery

  • Cycling around Paro valley.
  • Practice Archery.
  • Bhutanese cooking class.
  • Bhutanese cultural show featuring various mask dances and folk dances.
  • Talk on Gross National Happiness / Buddhism.
  • Consulting an Astrologer.
  • Practice Dart.
  • Performing religious ceremony.
  • Marriage ceremonies.
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Please contact us for the price.

Optional Activities
  • Village walk
  • Hike to Dzongdrakha Monastery.
  • Hike to Kila Gompa.
  • Excursion to Chelila Pass.