Dagala Thousand Lake Trek

This is relatively a short distance trek located within Thimphu district. The trek begins from Genynizampa; a small suspension bridge located bellow Geynikha village. Geynizampa is located about hour and half’s drive either from Thimphu city or Paro town. Trekking days are normally of short durations with moderate climbs but one should be well aware of the heights involved. This route is accessible during mid February to May and from September to November. During winter months, (December – mid February) routes gets blocked due to snowfall and it’s advisable to avoid rainy seasons of June, July and August.

Though far less than the name suggests, trekking along this trail will take you to the number of beautiful Himalayan lakes and also an opportunity to spot some of Himalayan wildlife such as Black bear and marmots. In earlier days, this trail use to be very quite due to less number of trekkers but as of now the number of trekkers have picked up, credit to its scenic view, convenient number of days and near to capital and international airport.

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Duration: 8 Days (6D & 5N trekking)

Maximum elevation: 4720 m

Season: Mid February – May and September – November

Start: Geynikha (Thimphu)

Finish: Chamgang (Thimphu)

Access Town: Paro, Thimphu


Day 1: Arrival at Paro

Welcome to Bhutan. Your guide and driver will be waiting for you at Paro international airport. From airport drive to your hotel and enjoy your first taste of Bhutanese cuisine.

Paro beside many popular destinations is best known for two; the only international airport in Bhutan and the famous Taktsang monastery (Tigers nest monastery). Due to time constraint we will not be able to hike to Taktsang monastery but it is worth visiting, if you have a day or two to spare in Bhutan at the end of your trekking journey.
For the day, depending on the availability of time we will explore following sites:

Kyichu Lhakhang: Located just about 10 minutes drive from Paro town, built in 7th century by a Tibetan king Songsen Gampo, it is believed to be amongst the hundred and eight monasteries that were built in a single day. Today the monastery is blessed by many famous Buddhist masters. In the courtyard of this famous monastery are the two evergreen orange trees that bear fruits throughout the year.

Paro Rinpung Dzong: It’s a perfect display of unique Bhutanese architectural design. It was built in the year 1644 by the founder of modern Bhutan, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and served its purpose of defending numerous Tibetan invasions. The Dzong withstood 1897 earthquake but was hugely damaged by fire in 1907. However it was restored to its former glory and today it serves as an administrative head office of Paro district and houses monastic body. Courtyard of this majestic Dzong is the venue of Paro Tshechu (festival), which is held for 5 days starting 10th day of 2nd month of Bhutanese calendar which falls between March and April annually.

Day 2: Paro – Geynizampa – Gur

5 km/ 4 hours/ 550 m ascent/ 60 m descent

In the morning we will drive towards Geynizampa, our trailhead for the journey. It’s around hour and 20 minutes drive from our hotel at Paro. Across the Geynizampa (Geyni suspension bridge), it’s an uphill trek through an oak forest, along the trail which was once used by people of Dagana (central Bhutan) and Thimphu for trading.

A long ascend through this trail will lead us to a hilltop with an amazing viewpoint at an altitude of 3320m. Further ascend from here is the day’s highest point, a ridge top located at 3350 m above sea level. A gentle descend from here is Gur (3290 m), our campsite for the night, located amidst the yak pastures.

Your trekking crew members will go ahead of you and welcome with a hot cup of tea at the campsite. In the evening it’s time to stroll around with your camera. You can also enjoy watching your crew members preparing dinner for the night.

Day 3: Gur – Labatama

12 km/ 5 hours/ 1040 m ascent/ 110 m descent

After climbing uphill for a while through blue pines, the vegetation changes and give way for spruces, dead firs, birches, rhododendron and larches. Further up from here across numerous small streams we reach at Pangalabtsa, a pass marked by cairns located at an altitude of 4250 m. From here you will have a spectacular view of whole Dagala range.

Descend from here through a yak herder’s camp to the valley floor, before climbing up beside a stream to Labatama (4300 m), our campsite for the night located near Lake Utsho, known for its gigantic golden trout.

Day 4: Rest day at Labatama

Labatama is a beautiful place to be and especially during September month, this area is filled by alpine wild flowers. Around this area are also so many beautiful lakes which we will spend a day going around.

Day 5: Labatama – Panka

8 km/ 6 hours/ 260 m ascent/ 520 m descent

After having wonderful time at Labatama, we will descend towards Panka. As our packed animals and horsemen take a lower short route, we will take the higher route with beautiful views. We climb alongside Lake Daja till we reach a saddle at 4520 m from where we will have a spectacular view of Himalayan mountain ranges. From here, the trail then descends down passing across several yak herders’ camp till Dochha chu, before climbing up across three ridges and finally descending towards Panka (4000 m), our tonight’s campsite.

Day 6: Panka – Tsherigang

8 km/ 6 hours/ 180 m ascent/ 1100 m descent

Previously trekkers use to descend down to Talakha Goemba but now the routes are hardly used. Instead, today we will descend down towards Tsherigang. The journey starts with a short ascends before descending down through a forest mixture of rhododendron, spruce, juniper and birch to our campsite, facing Talakha goemba, overlooking Thimphu city down below. During the course of day’s journey we will have a beautiful view of mountains and valleys.

Day 7: Tsherigang – Chamgang

6 km/3 hours/ 440 m descent

Today is short and all downhill journeys. Trek along the dirt road till you reach Chamgang School (2640 m) where you will meet your vehicle and driver. It’s time to say goodbye to your trekking crew members and their horses.

From here we will drive towards Thimphu city for the lunch. After enjoying your lunch, set out to stroll around Thimphu city for a while and also pay visit to world’s largest Buddha statue (54 m tall), located above Thimphu city, before driving back to Paro for the night.

Day 8: Departure

Your wonderful journey into the land of happiness comes to an end today. After breakfast, your guide and driver will see you off at Paro international airport for your onward destinations.

We are looking forward to see you in the future.

More Info

Trekking in Bhutan

With the likes of trail that takes you right at the foot of worlds’ tallest unconquered mountain (Gangkar Puensum 7550m), trekking in Bhutan will give you a new experience never like before. With more than 70 percent of the country covered by undisturbed wilderness, trekking in Bhutan will take you ever closer to the nature. These trekking trails once used by famous Buddhist saints like Guru Rinpoche (who introduced Buddhism in Bhutan) in 746 AD while visiting Bhutan from Nepal and Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal (the unifier of modern Bhutan) in 1616 while fleeing Tibet for a political dispute, this routes are the genuine routes where Bhutanese people still use it today. What makes trekking in Bhutan unique is its calmness and natural feeling; credit to less numbers of trekkers visiting Bhutan and its natural unpaved trails unlike other countries around the world. With more than 20 trekking trials to choose from, Bhutan offers trekking services to both beginners and pros.

Trekking Permits

No specific trekking permits are required to trek in Bhutan. You can trek in Bhutan with normal tourist visa for international tourist and normal entry permit for regional tourist (Indian, Bangladeshis and Maldivians).

Best season for trekking in Bhutan

The best season to trek in Bhutan depends on which trekking trail you choose to but in general, March, April, May, September, October and November are the best months to trek in Bhutan. In the month of June, July and August Bhutan receives heavy rainfall and in December, January and February, the high mountain passes along the trekking trails are covered with snow, making it difficult for trekkers.

The details regarding the best season to trek on different trails in Bhutan are mentioned below:
  • Bumdra Trek- February, March, April, May, September, October, November and December. However one can trek year round despite any season on this trail.
  • Gangtey Trek- March, April, May, September, October, November and December.
  • Samtengang Trek- January, February, March, April, May, September, October, November and December. It’s doable all year round despite any season.
  • Bumthang Owl Trek- March, April, May, September, October, November and December.
  • Bumthang Cultural Trek- March, April, May, September, October, November and December.
  • Sagala Trek - March, April, May, September, October, November and December.
  • Sinchula Trek- March, April, May, September, October, November and December.
  • Druk Path Trek- March, April, May, September, October, November and December. It’s Doable all year round despite its best seasons.
  • Dagala Lake view Trek- March, April, May, September, October, November and December. Despite the best season, one can trek year round on this trail.
  • Jomolhari Trek- March, April, May, September, October and November.
  • Laya Gasa Trek- March, April, May, September, October and November.
  • Gangkar Puensum base camp trek- One can trek on this route from mid June to October but the best recommended month for this trek is October.
  • Snowmen Trek I- One can trek on this route from mid June to October but the best recommended month for this trek is October.
  • Snowmen Trek II- One can trek on this route from mid June to October but the best recommended month for this trek is October.

Difficulty Grading

Trekking in Bhutan can be of 2 days or a month long. Depending on the number of days taken to trek, gain in altitude and nature of terrains, trekking routes in Bhutan can be graded into four categories; easy, moderate, difficult and very difficult.

    A. Easy
  • Bumdra Trek
  • Gantey Trek
  • Samtengang Trek
  • Bumthang owl Trek
  • Bumthang Cultural Trek
  • Sagala Trek
  • Sinchula trek
  • B. Moderate
  • Druk Path Trek
  • Dagala Lake view Trek
  • C. Difficult
  • Jomolhari Trek
  • Laya Gasa Trek
  • D. Very Difficult
  • Gangkar Puensum base camp Trek
  • Snowmen Trek I
  • Snowmen Trek II

Trekking experience and physical fitness required to trek in Bhutan

At 10,760 feet above sea level, Bhutan is ranked highest country in the world, in terms of average land elevations. As a result most of its trekking trails are located on higher altitude, averaging over 12,000 feet above sea level, requiring certain level of physical fitness and trekking experience.

However with varieties of trails to choose from, both beginners and pro can enjoy trekking in Bhutan. Be it 2 days or grueling 25 days trekking, Bhutan has it all for you to choose from.

For those who are attempting to go for Snowmen trek (25 days trek), it will be asset if you have certain level of trekking experience and physically fit enough, since snowmen trek is referred to as amongst the world’s most toughest trekking route involving climbs over 5000 m.

Safety measures

  • Altitude Sickness

    Do not ignore any kind of symptoms related to altitude sickness; difficulty in breathing, headache, giddiness and numbness in limbs. If you experience any of the mentioned symptoms, inform your guide immediately.

    Though portable oxygen supplies and first aid kits are always carried along with by the crew members but if possible carry some diamox (acetazolamide) pills, which can be bought from pharmacies across Bhutan.

    The best tactics, if you suffer from altitude sickness is to stop ascending and if the symptoms do not go away or get worse, then descend down. It is advisable that you drink large amount of water every day while you are trekking.

  • Food and water contamination

    Meals while trekking in Bhutan are prepared every day by cooking crews and no left over foods are served. Lunch are prepared in the morning along with breakfast and carried as a packed lunch. Dinners are prepared at campsite at the end of every trekking day. Hence chances of getting food contaminated while trekking in Bhutan are very slim.

    Bottled water is carried by trekking crew members but however it is not sufficient for longer duration treks and hence the crew member boils water in the morning for you to carry for the day.

    It is advisable that you bring your own water bottle and if possible carry some water purifier solutions as well. Refrain yourself from drinking directly from the streams nearby.

  • Criminal activity

    No trekking trails in Bhutan will meet you with any kind of criminal activities. In fact if you are in need, everyone you encounter will be very much happy to help you whatever way they can.

  • Safety considerations

    Consult with your guide in regards to dos and don’ts and stick together with your group (if trekking on group). Carry essential items such as head torch, portable cell phone chargers and your mobile phone along with you.

Trekking gears required while trekking in Bhutan

    Trekking gears and manpower provided by See Bhutan Travels are as follows:
  • Horses/ potters and ponies
  • Toilet tents with toilet pots and toilet papers.
  • Shower tents with hot water shower bag (only for longer duration treks)
  • Sleeping tents (A-shaped) with pillows and mattress
  • Dinning tents with tables and chairs
  • Kitchen tents with whole set of kitchen items to prepare meals.
  • Trekking/camping cooks
  • Trekking/camping staffs
  • Hot water bags in bed.
  • Some of the items that you need to bring along while trekking in Bhutan are; Sleeping bag, sturdy and comfortable trekking boots, few changes of cloths, gloves, neck warmers, wind proof/water proof jackets, warm jackets and hiking pants.

Accommodations during trekking in Bhutan

With no hotels or home stays along the trekking trails, all the trekkers must spend their nights in the tent (camping). Camping crew member arranges your tents. They travel ahead of you and put everything on place before you reach your campsite.

Meals while trekking in Bhutan

All the meals are prepared by trekking cooks who will trek alongside you throughout the entire tour. Lunch are prepared in the morning and carried by trekking staffs. Breakfast and dinners are prepared and served at the campsite.

Since there are no grocery stores or shops along the trekking trails, all the food items are bought and carried along by the crew members, their horses and yaks. As and when available, our crew members will try to buy fresh vegetables from local communities and include in your menu.

Trekking alone in Bhutan

Since trekking in Bhutan is a guided tour by the law of country, lone trekkers should not worry because he or she will be followed by trekking guide and crew members for the entire trekking tour.

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    What's Included

    All three meals (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner)
    Accommodations in 3 star rated hotels in twin sharing basis. (4 Stars and 5 Star available on paying extra premium)
    Licensed English speaking guide
    Transportation in a comfortable SUV cars, Mini Bus and Medium size Buses depending on the number of travelers
    Experienced driver.
    Sustainable Development Fee of $65 per person, per night stay in Bhutan, which goes for infrastructure development, free education, free medical services and reducing poverty
    All government taxes
    Bhutan visa fee
    Entry fee to all the tourist visiting sites and museums
    Tea and snacks throughout entire tour
    Bottled water during the day
    Trekking Equipments as follows:
    Horses/ potters and ponies
    Toilet tents with toilet pots and toilet papers
    Sleeping tents (A-shaped) with pillows and mattress
    Dinning tents with tables and chairs
    Kitchen tents with whole set of kitchen items to prepare meals
    Trekking/camping cooks
    Trekking/camping staffs
    Hot water bags in bed

    The above mentioned cost does not cover the following:

    Flight tickets (both international & domestic)
    Beverages & personal shopping
    Travel insurances
    Tips and gratuity for guide and driver
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