Snowmen Trek

SNOWMAN TREK

The Snowman Trek goes to the remote Lunana district and is considered to be one of the most difficult treks in Bhutan. Crossing dozens of high passes, many over 16,000 ft, this tough trek includes challenges of long distances, altitude, difficult weather conditions and remoteness. It however also affords some of the most magnificent views in the Himalayas, and traverses through some unforgettable landscapes.<br />
Season: The Snowman Trek is frequently closed because of snow and is almost impossible during winter. The recommended season for this is mid-June to mid-October. Please note that the Snowman trek is only for the experienced, and due to its nature, is only being offered to groups of 5 people or more.

  • Duration: 34 Days 33 Night
  • Level: Moderate/Hard
  • Season: April – July & September – November.

The Snowman Trek goes to the remote Lunana district and is considered to be one of the most difficult treks in Bhutan. Crossing dozens of high passes, many over 16,000 ft, this tough trek includes challenges of long distances, altitude, difficult weather conditions and remoteness. It however also affords some of the most magnificent views in the Himalayas, and traverses through some unforgettable landscapes.<br />
Season: The Snowman Trek is frequently closed because of snow and is almost impossible during winter. The recommended season for this is mid-June to mid-October. Please note that the Snowman trek is only for the experienced, and due to its nature, is only being offered to groups of 5 people or more.

Day 1: Arrive Paro

Considered as one of the most spectacular flights, the flight to Paro crosses the Himalayan Mountains, affording grand views of the awesome peaks, including the sacred Jumolhari and Jichu Drake peaks in Bhutan. On arrival you will be greeted by our Tour Representative and transferred to your hotel. Afternoon sightseeing entails a visit of the Paro Dzong, a fortress that was built in 1646 and now houses government offices and religious institutions. You can wrap up the day’s sightseeing with a tour of Kichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and the most sacred temples in the country.<br />
Overnight in Paro.

Day 2: Paro

Today we will be doing a preparatory acclimatization hike to Taktsang, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan’s most famous monastery at 3100m. Perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above the valley, legend has it that the 8th century Spiritual Master, Guru Rinpoche flew on the back of a tigress and meditated in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. You can spend the evening doing a leisurely stroll in the streets of Paro.<br />
Overnight at Paro

Day 3: Paro-Shana

Distance: 17 km<br />
Time: 5-6 hours<br />
The trek starts from Drugyal Dzong at 2,580 m with a downhill walk on a wide trail which gently traverses through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. The route later enters through apple orchards and pine forests. Soon the valley widens and you reach the Army Post of Gunitsawa at 2,810m. Crossing beyond Shana Zampa bridge, there are several good camping places in meadows surrounded by trees.<br />
Overnight in camp at Shana

Day 4: Shana- Soe Thangkha

Distance: 20 km<br />
Time: 7-8 hours<br />
Today, the trail follows the Pa Chhu River, ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. Hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. After lunch, follow the river climbing up through rhododendron forests and after crossing the bridge again, you will reach the campsite at Soe Thangthangkha, at the altitude of 3,750m.

Day 5: Soe Thangthangkha- Jangothang

Distance: 19 km<br />
Time: 7-8 hours<br />
The trail today is an ascent till you reach the army camp. From this point, the trail is mostly above the tree line, and affords stunning views of the surrounding peaks. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. After lunch, a short walk into the valley will take you to the camp at Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the view of Mt. Jhomolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.<br />
Overnight at Jangothang

Day 6: Rest day at Jangothang base camp

Today is an ideal day for rest and acclimatization for tomorrow’s highest climb on this trek. However, you have options to hike to explore near-by mountains and lakes.<br />
Overnight at Jangothang

Day 7: Jangothang -Lingshi

Distance: 18 km<br />
Time: 7-8 hours<br />
The trail follows the stream or half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. The climb to the first ridge provides breathtaking views of Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshering Gang peaks. The walk is then towards the valley before ascending the Ngye La pass at 4,700m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp an altitude of 4000m.<br />
Overnight in Lingshi

Day 8: Lingshi - Chebisa

Alt. 3850m<br />
Distance 12 km<br />
Time 3-4 hours<br />
Today is the shortest walking day and you may request for a late headstart . The average walking time is just about 3 to 4 hours, and upon reaching the campsite at Chebisa, you can visit the locality of Chebisa and ask to visit one of the village houses.

Day 9: Chebisa - Shomuthang

Distance: 17 km<br />
Time: 5-6 hours.<br />
Today’s walk is through a wide pastureland towards Gobula Pass at 4350 m. After crossing this pass, it is a gradual descent down to the valley. . On the way, there is a probability of seeing people herding their yaks. The campsite at 4260 m is on a bench above a river, which is a tributary of the Mochu river

Day 9: Shomuthang - Robluthang

Distance: 15 km<br />
Time: 6-7 hours.<br />
As the trek is a little strenuous today, it is advisable to start little early. After crossing the Jerela Pass at 4600m, the trail leads down to Tsharijathang valley where you can normally see herds of Takins.<br />
Camp at Tsharijathang. Alt.4390m.

Day 10: Robluthang - Lingmithang

After crossing the Shingela pass, alt. 4900m, you come down and follow the valley. Lingmithang is under the Laya District and you will see people dressed in typical Laya costume with long pointed bamboo hats on their head. Camp at Lingmithang. Alt. 4140m. Distance 19 km. Time 6-7 hours. If you have time, it would be advisable to spend a day here exploring the valley and meeting the people who have a different and unique culture.

Day 11: Lingmithang - Laya

Today, you walk all the way downhill along a narrow winding river valley. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. Campsite is on a high flat bench above the Laya village. Alt. 3850m. Distance 10 km. Time 3-4 hours.

Day 12: Laya Halt

Rest and explore the Laya village.

Day 13: Laya to Rodophu

Distance: 19km<br />
Time: 6 to 8 hours<br />
Leaving Laya, we will crosses forested spur, Mo Chhu river and army post and will touch base with remote Lunana for first time. Further through sinuous steep trail across pines, oaks and rhododendron forests takes you to broad river valley of alpine pasture.<br />
Overnight in tented camp near stream.

Day 14: Roduphu to Narethang

Distance17km<br />
Time 5-6 hours<br />
Prior to crossing Tshomo la pass (4905 m), we will have to cross small stream, and small valley of alpine pasture. Descend into the grassy slope where we will pitch tent for overnight. Highlight is Mt Gangla Karchung. (6395m)

Day 15: Narithang to Tarina

Distance: 18 km<br />
Distance: 6-7 hours<br />
It takes 1 hour to reach Karchung la pass (5,240m). Views are astounding from pass of Kangbum (6526m), Tsenda Kang, Teri Gang (7300m) and Jejekangphu gang (7100m). On descent, the trail passes through lateral moraine and through thick rhododendron brushes and tree to the valley floor.<br />
Overnight in tented camp (3980 m)

Day 16: Tarina to Woche

Distance: 17km<br />
Time: 6-7 hours<br />
Walk through the conifer forest, Pho Chhu river, waterfall and climb the ridge and descend in valley of Woche, small settlement in Lunana after Laya. Further, leaving Woche, cross river and dwarf rhododendron bushes and camp in meadows.<br />
Overnight in tented Camp.

Day 17: Woche to Lhedi

Distance: 17km<br />
Time: 6 to 7 hours<br />
Make a gradual climb toward Keche La Pass(4,435m). Views are great of surrounding mountains. Descend into Thaga village (4050 m) and then into Lhedi village along the Pho Chu riverbed. It is the head quarters of Lunana with a small clinic, School, and Wireless station.<br />
Overnight in camp.

Day 18: Lhedi to Thanza village

Distance: 17km<br />
Time: 7-8 hours<br />
The trail follows the rivers bed past small farms to Chozo village, which houses a small Dzong. Further hike passes through yak pastures and fine glacial sand. With a gentle climb you reach Thanza village (4100 m) first and Tochena (4150 m) on opposite bank.<br />
Campsite at Thanza or Tochena

Day 19: Rest day in Thanza

Today there is an optional morning walk to the glacial lake above Thanza or you can relax in camp and explore the village. We may also choose to trek till Danje, after exploring the village in the morning, so that you can use this as an extra contingent day.

Day 20. Thanza to Danje

Distance: 8 km<br />
Time: 4 hours<br />
Continue trek for about 4 hours covering 8 to9 km. It is advisable to spend a night in Danje as it will aid further acclimatization rather continue trekking to Tshorim.<br />
Overnight in Danje in tented camp.

Day 21. Danje to Tshorim lake

Distance: 11 km<br />
Time: 6 hours<br />
Today it’s a walk for about 6 hours .Further climb a ridge before reaching camp site at Tshorim Lake.<br />
Overnight at Tented Camp.

Day 22: Tshorim Lake to Geshe Woma

Distance: 12 km<br />
Time: 6 hours<br />
Today we will climb and cross Gophu la pass (5,345m); in total we will walk for about 5 to 6 hours till we camp at Geshe Woma. Overnight in tented camp.

Day 23: Geshe Woma to Mischugang

Distance: 12 km<br />
Time: 4 to6 hours<br />
In today’s trek, the first port of call is Mischugang; continue trek till base of Phorang la Pass (4300 m). For better camp site you may choose to walk further 2 hours crossing Phorang La pass and camp.<br />
Overnight in tented Camp.

Day 24: Mischugang to Worithang

Distance: 10 km<br />
Time: 6 hours<br />
If camped on the base of Phorong la pass (4850 m), cross Phorang La pass and Saga La (4,960m). Camp at 4000m altitude.<br />
Overnight in Tented Camp.

Day 25: Worithang to Dur Tsachu

Distance: 10 km<br />
Time: 4 to 5 hours<br />
Climb and cross Nephu La (4,560m) in about 4 to 5 hours. Descend and through temperate forest and a short climb will lead to Dur Tsachhu hot spring. The hot springs are well worth visiting in the afternoon for a soak.<br />
Overnight in tented camp.

Day 26: Dur Tsachu to Tso Chenchen

Distance: 18 km<br />
Time: 9 hours<br />
Today is a long day involving crossing of two passes first is Gongto La pass (4,327m) and then Djule La pass (4,551m), and takes about 9 hours. 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.<br />
Overnight in Tented Camp.

Day 27: Tso Chenchen to Gorsum

Distance: 12 km<br />
Time: 5 to 6 hours<br />
It is a penultimate trek day. After breakfast, start hike and walk for 5 to 6 hours across beautiful temperate forest. Camp in Gorsum.

Day 28: Gorsum-Bumthang

Distance: 4 hours walk and 1 hour drive Trek to the road head at Dhur village or till Minchugang for 4 hours and then drive for about 45 minutes to Bumthang (2,700m). In the afternoon, visit Jakar Dzong and monasteries then walk around Jakar township.<br />
Overnight at hotel in Bumthang.

Day 29: Bumthang

Bumthang is considered the hot spot of Nyingma Buddhism, and there are a myriad of spiritual places, some of which are within walking distance while others are in the far flung pockets of the mountains. Some of the popular sightseeing includes the Jakar dzong, the Jamba Lhakhang temple, the Kurjey temple, the Tamshing temple, and the kuenchosum temple.<br />
Overnight at Bumthang.

Day 30: Bumthang to Trongsa

To cut short the same tedious long drive back, a highly recommended overnight stay will be made at Trongsa. Sightseeing in Trongsa includes a tour of the Medieval Watchtower, a once look-out point, which now houses a museum commemorating the Royal Dynasty of Bhutan. After an optional lunch at the Museum cafeteria, the afternoon’s sightseeing revolves around walking around the Watch tower and down to the Trongsa Dzong, which is steeped in rich medieval history culminating in the famous account of the start of the present Wangchuck Dynasty.<br />
Overnight at Trongsa

Day 31: Trongsa to Punakha

It’s the same long return leg of the journey over the passes, the traditional farm houses, and agricultural land holdings. Lunch will be en-route after which the journey resumes till Punakha, the winter capital.<br />
Overnight at Punakha

Day 32: Punakha-Thimphu

In the morning, you will be visiting the Punakha Dzong. Built in the conjunction of the Phochu and the Mochu rivers, this historical Dzong is the winter retreat of the monastic body. This beautiful 17th c fortress is also the wedding venue of the King and the Queen of Bhutan. After the Dzong visit, you will be driving to Thimphu over the Dochula Pass at 3000 meters.<br />
Overnight at Thimphu.

Day 33: Thimphu-Paro

Cultural sites of interest in Thimphu include the Memorial Stupa, a very popular circumambulation hub attributed to world peace and prosperity; the Buddha Dordenma statue, the largest statue of the 51.5 meters seated Buddha in the world; Changangkha Lhakhang, the 12th C seat of Drukpa Kagyu, the state official religion of Bhutan. After lunch, you will drive to Paro and upon reaching Paro, visit the Paro Dzong, the Taa Dzong and Kichu temple.

Day 34: Departure.

Depending on your flight timing, our Tour Representative will escort you to the airport, facilitate your check-in and bid you von voyage!




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