The Snowman Trek is an extension of the beautiful Laya Gasa Trek, and leads from Laya into high altitudes of the Bhutanese Himalayas. It takes tough and enduring trekkers into the Lunana region and further on to Gangkhar Puensum and Bumthang or down to Sephu in Trongsa district, depending on which route you choose. The Snowman trek leads through the most remote areas up to very high altitudes. Trekkers have to camp in altitudes above 5,000m more than once, and depending on the seasonal temperatures, the camps are sometimes on snow.
Duration: 24 days on trek, Max. Elevation: 5,320m
Highest Camp: 5,050m
Best Seasons: Mid June to Mid October
Start: Gunitsawa, Paro Finish: Sephu,Trongsa
|Number of travelers in the group||High season (Mar,Apr,May &Sept,Oct,Nov)||Off-Season (Dec,Jan,Feb &Jun,July,Aug)|
|01||USD 12255/per person||USD 12075/per person||+Air fare (to & from Bhutan)|
|02||USD 11985/per person||USD 11805/per person||+Air fare (to & from Bhutan)|
|03 and more||USD 8990/per person||USD 8810/per person||+Air fare (to & from Bhutan)|
Bhutan have only two Airlines which fly in/out of country. Below mentioned airfare are average air fare for the flight to/from Bhutan as it fluctuates.
Round trip Fare(USD)
|Bangkok –Paro- Bangkok (Thailand)||730|
|Kolkata- Paro-Kolkata (India)||390|
As we fly to Bhutan we can get a spectacular views of the Himalayas .At the airport, we will be greeted by a
representative from A Bucket list Adventure who will take us to our hotel. Today, we will visit National museum ( a best start to know about the culture, history, People and biodiversity of Bhutan), Visit Paro Dzong (fortress) built in 17th century which now house an administration and monastic body of the Paro district . In the Evening stroll around town’s main street. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
After breakfast, we hike for 4 -5 hours to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan’s most famous monastery situated at 3,180 meters. In 8th century Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up the mountain. After having explored the monastery, we hike down to the valley We will drive to North of Paro passing by Drugyel Dzong, (a ruin fortress built in 17th century to commemorate the victory over Tibetan and Mongolian tribes ) to Sharna Zampa, where we and our trekking crew will be camping for overnight.
Distance 22 km, 7-8 hours, 770 m ascent, 10 m descent, camp altitude 3,610 m.
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up.We will have a great view of Mt. Jhomolhari from the camp site.
Distance 19 km, 5-6 hours, 480 m ascent, camp altitude 4,080 m.
If you did not see Mt. Jomolhari the previous evening, we will still have a chance to get a great view early this morning. This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growth of forest.We will cross an army check post along the way before we reach a village of soe, Takethang and Dangothang. We will camp at Jangothang (Jhomolhari base camp) with a spectacular view of Mt.Jhomolhari(7314m).
The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for our acclimation, we can go for day hike(2hrs) to Tshophu(4500m) , a glacier twin lake on the north -east of camp site.From Tshophu, we can get a great View of Mt.Jhomolhari and Mt.Jichu Drakey (6898m).
Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 840 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,010 m.
A short distance from the camp the trail begins climbing rapidly for about an hour and then becomes a gradual ascent to the Nyilila pass at 4,870m, from where we can see most of the Himalayan snow capped peak.We can also get a great view of Tsheringma/Tserimgang(6500m) next to Jichu Drakey. While on the climb we might see herds of Blue sheep gazing on the slopes of mountain and Marmot spying on us near their holes on certain times of the year.We can also see some Yak herders camp along the trail as we decent to Lingshi, we will camp by the side of River , at Chasithang camp site.
Distance 10 km, 5-6 hours, 280 m ascent, 410 m descent, camp altitude 3,880 m.
Today is the shortest walking day, and we can really take it easy. Shortly after starting we will reach a chorten below Lingshi Dzong. Here, you have the choice of staying on the main trail or taking a detour up to Lingshi Dzong (4220m),which sits right up on the ridge. we will walk further straight on the side of the mountain to Gongyul/Goyul, a village with stone houses clustered together before reaching camp site at Chebisa, another small beautiful village.
Distance 17 km, 6-7 hours, 890 m ascent, 540 m descent, camp altitude 4,220 m.
The morning starts with a long ascent behind Chebisa Village (2-3 hours) through a wide pastureland towards Gobu La/Gogu la pass(4410m). On the way, you will see a few people herding yaks. There is also a great chance to spot Blue sheep above the trail.After Crossing Gogu la,We can spot yellow strain on the rock ,those are the licked salt rock by the wild animals like Takin. we will descend to valley and climb a little bit before descending again to Shakshepasa(3980m). Climbing from here, we finally reach our camp site at Shomuthang.
Distance 18 km, 6-7 hours, 700 m ascent, 760 m descent, camp altitude 4,160 m.
We begin by climbing up the valley to view Kang Bum (6,526 m) and some edelweiss. After two hours of climbing we will reach Jhari La (4,750m), from where you catch the first glimpse of Sinche La, the pass we will cross day after.We can get a view of Gangcheenta(6840m) in the north also. We will then descend down to wide valley of Tshari jathang, where Takin migrate in the summer for the running salt steam in the middle of open ground and also to escape warm leeched valley in south. we will make a little climb before we reach our rocky meadow camp site at Robluthang.
Distance 19 km, 6-7 hours, 850 m ascent, 870 m descent, camp altitude 4,140 m.
The trek starts out with an initial 40-60mins ascent before gradually raising for another 1.5 hours through a boulder field. It is then a 1 hour steep ascent before reaching Sinche La (5,005m) – the final and highest Pass on this trek.As we descend down we will see moraines and out busted lake space. We will cross Kango chhu before reaching Limithang camp site. We can get a spectacular view of Gangchhenta,Tiger mountain from the camp site.
Distance 10 km, 4-5 hours, 60 m ascent, 340 m descent, camp altitude 3,840 m.
Today, you walk downhill all the way along a narrow, winding river valley. After a long time, the trail takes you through densely forested region. The trail leads you to the west side of Laya village. From the west we can get great view of Gangchhenta and catch Mt. Masagang(7160m). Laya is one of the remote village in the country and has its own unique tradition,culture,apperance and dress.we will pass by a health unit and community school before we reach campsite.
If you have trekked from Paro Valley you should spend a day recuperating from the trek to Laya and preparing yourself for the rest of this challenging but spectacular trek. If you have started from Gasa (Punakha) you should also walk up to Laya to acclimatize, and not just stay at the trail junction to Lunana. It’s worthwhile to spend one day in Laya just for the great views from Laya and its extroadinary inhabitants.
Distance 19km, six to eight hours, 1,030m ascent, 750m descent, camp altitude 4,160m.
From Laya we descend to an army camp and continue following the river till the turn off point to Rhoduphu. After lunch the climb continues through rhododendron bushes till you reach the camp at Roduphu just next to the Rhodu Chhu.
Distance 17km, five to six hours, 740m ascent, camp altitude 4,900m.
After following the river for about half an hour you will have a steady climb to a high open valley at 4,600m and then further up to Tsomo La (4,900m). Tsomo La offers a superb view of Lunana, Mount Jomolhari and Jichu Drake, and the Tibetan border. The route then crosses a flat, barren plateau at about 5,000m. The campsite at Narethang is towered by the peak of Gangla Karchung (6,395m).
Distance 18km, five to six hours, 270m ascent, 1,200m descent, camp altitude 3,970m.
From the camp you will climb for about an hour to Gangla Karchung La (5,120m). The view from the pass is breathtaking and the whole range of mountains including Jekangphu Gang (7,100m), Tsenda Kang and Teri Gang (7,300m) can be seen. The pass descends along a large moraine. Again one has great views: a massive glacier descends from Teri Kang to a deep turquoise lake at its foot. Up here a glacial lake burst through its dam in the early 1960s, causing widespread damage and partially destroying Punakha Dzong. Finally, it is a very long descent through thick rhododendron to Tarina valley, where you will find several good campsites along the Tang Chhu.
Distance 17km, six to seven hours, 270m ascent, 330m descent, camp altitude 3,910m.
The walk leads down through conifer forests following the upper ridges of the Pho Chhu, passing some impressive waterfalls. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche, a settlement of a few houses, the first village in the Lunana region.
Distance 17km, six to seven hours, 980m ascent, 1,190m descent, camp altitude 3,700m.
The trek starts through juniper and fir forests, and further ahead, through rhododendron bushes. Climb up to Keche La pass (4,650m) where one can have the great view of surrounding mountains again. After the pass, descend to the riverside walking through a village with a stunning view of Table Mountain and others. Follow up the river till Lhedi Village. Lhedi has a basic health unit, a school and a wireless telephone connection.
Distance 17km, seven to eight hours, 450m ascent, camp altitude 4,150m.
In clear weather, you will have great views of Table Mountain (7,100m). Around lunchtime you will pass the small village of Chozo (4,090m) which has a dzong still in use. Reaching Thanza again you will have a great view of Table Mountain which forms a 3,000m high wall of snow and ice behind the village. Although there are possibilities to camp directly at Thanza, most groups prefer to camp in Thoencha.
In Thanza walk around and experience some village life or climb up the ridge for fascinating views of lakes and mountains. But as it takes time to arrange new yaks (the yaks from Laya will not go further than Thanza) you might have to spend one day at Thanza anyway.
Distance 8km, three to four hours, 80m ascent, camp altitude 4,230m.
From Thoencha, the trail climbs up to a large boulder from where you will have excellent views of Thanza, Toencha and Choso village and the surrounding mountains. After a few hours of relatively flat and easy walking, you will reach a yak meadow with some yak herders’ huts. An excellent campsite with a great chance to spot some blue sheep on the hills above. A trail junction near the campsite will give you the choice between the route up to Gangkhar Puensum base camp, and further on to Bumthang or to Sephu (Trongsa). Both routes are described in this website.
Distance 12km, five to six hours, 980m ascent, 240m descent, camp altitude 4,970m.
Having chosen the route to Sephu, the trek crosses the creek and after a long climb, you will reach Jaze La (5,150m) with spectacular panoramic mountain views . The path then descends between snow covered peaks and a couple of small lakes to the campsite near the shore of Tshochena lake.
Distance 14km, four to five hours, 230m ascent, 150m descent, camp altitude 5,050m.
You follow the bank of the blue green lake before arriving at a ridge at 5,100m, where there is another spectacular view in all directions. After going up and down over small hills to reach a glacial lake, the route descends first before climbing again up the next pass, the Loju La (5,140m). Finally after crossing a small saddle (5,100m) you will enter a wide glacial valley from where the trail descends gradually to the campsite at Jichu Dramo.
Distance 18km, five to six hours, 320m ascent, 730m descent, camp altitude 4,600m.
Right after leaving the camp you will climb through a moraine to Rinchen Zoe La (5,320m). Spectacular mountain scenery with Gangkhar Puensum amongst the impressive mountains is the reward for climbing the highest pass on this trek route. Rinchen Zoe Peak (5,650) towers above the pass the west. Descending from the pass, the route leads into a wide valley with several lakes and goes steeply down along a moraine to the Thamphe Chhu. Here the vegetation begins to thicken again and you will see the first real trees since Lhedi. After a couple of hours you reach the campsite at Chukarpo.
Distance 18km, five to six hours, 400m ascent, 700m descent, camp altitude 4,300m.
The descent continues along the river till you reach the yak herder huts at Gala Pang Chhu (4010m). From here the trail climbs steeply towards Thampe Tsho, a beautiful clear turquoise lake, with the campsite next to it.
Distance 14km, five hours, 330m ascent, 1020m descent, camp altitude 3,610m.
From the lake you climb steeply to the last pass on your trek, the Thampe La (4,600m) with a good chance to spot some blue sheep on the way. Then the path descends to the sacred lake Om Thso. Passing a waterfall you will reach another, smaller lake 100m below to descend steeply to the Nikka Chhu. The path finally leads through mixed forest to large clearing on the banks of the river with a few yak herder huts, Maurothang.
Distance 18km, five to six hours, 990m descent.
On the last day of this extraordinary trek your porters will have to change from yaks to horses as the yaks will not be willing to go further down. The path follows the Nikka Chhu to reach a large grassy area overlooking the road and the village of Sephu. You finally reach the road at the Nikka Chhu bridge at Sephu where you will find several stores (mainly selling bamboo products),small restaurants and car will be waiting for us. Then we will drive to Punakha for an overnight stay at the hotel.
After Breakfast we will visit Punakha Dzong, a beautiful fortress built in 17th century between Mo(female) chu(river) and Pho(Male) Chu (River). We will stop at Metshina Village and take a 20- minute walk through the rice fields to Chimi Lhakhang, a fertility temple dedicated to the Devine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. The barren couples will be blessed with child, if they visit the temple and pray from their heart. Then we will continue our journey to Thimphu, driving through Pine, Rhododendrons, Hemlock forest by Dochula Pass(3150m/10395ft), from where if the sky is clear we can get the spectacular view of Himalayan range. In the evening we will stroll around main street of Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.
Today after breakfast, we will drive to Paro Airport and our representative will bid you farewell at the Airport.If you have enough time before flight, probably you can discuss with your guide and visit some places around.