Druk Path Trek

Druk Path trek is the most popular trek in Bhutan. On average little over thousand trekkers trek along this trail. It is amongst the most convenient in terms of both length and difficulty grade. The main attraction of this trek includes Alpine sceneries, monasteries and remote Lakes. The best seasons to trek along this trail are from late February to May and from September to December. It is more of a better option to avoid monsoon season (June- August) and the peak winter (January to February) as during winter the trail gets closed by the snow. However it is still possible to block your way by snow during early spring (March – April) and late autumn (late October – November). During the trekking season, days remain relatively warm but nights can be extremely cold and therefore it is advisable to prepare yourself properly for bitter weather before you venture for this journey.

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Duration: 8 days and 7 nights (6D 5N trek)

Maximum elevation: 4235 m

Season: Late Feb – May; Sep – December

Start: Paro national museum

Finish point: Motithang, Thimphu

Access town: Paro, Thimphu


Day 1: Arrival at Paro

Welcome to Paro International airport. Your guide and driver will receive you at the arrival gate and drive you to the hotel.

Depending on your available time, you can set out to explore Paro valley. Paro is without doubt Bhutan’s one of the most beautiful and loveliest place to be and with Bhutan’s only international airport located here, it’s a perfect blend of modernization and traditional way of living. Paro town is a small town settled alongside Pa Chu (river) decorated with colorfully painted storefronts, roofed under the unique architectural designs of Bhutan. It is worth exploring the town on foot for hour or two.

Beside Druk Path Trek, several other treks begin from Paro valley including, Laya- Gasa trek, the Jomolhari trek and the toughest of all the Snowmen trek.
Sites around Paro valley: National museum (Ta Dzong), Paro Rinpung Dzong, Kichu Lhakhang.

Day 2: National Museum to Jili Dzong

10 km/ 3-5 hours/ 1115 m ascent/ 40 m descent

Your journey starts from a trailhead located above Paro national museum (2470 m), a short distance drive from your hotel. At here you will be greeted by trekking crew members and their horses. Once loaded, trekking crew members and horses will lead their way followed by you and your guide.

Today is relatively a short distance journey but involves an uphill hike, gaining more than 1000m in altitude. After about an hour into the journey amidst the blue pine jungle is Kuenga Choeling monastery located at an altitude of 2650m above sea level. An hour further up, you will come across traditional stone houses and apple orchards of Damchena (2880m) valley. 15 minutes hike from Damchena is Damchegom (2985m), from where you will have a clear sighting of tonight’s campsite.

From here on its long and gentle climb through the forests of golden moss, across the camps of yak herders to the Jili la pass (3540m). The trail then drops down to beautiful camping site for the night, in a meadow below Jili Dzong (fortress) surrounded by lush green forest of rhododendron.

By the time you reach here, crew members will have finished pitching the tents and will welcome you with a hot cup of tea. If there is enough time left, explore around to have a glimpse of some Himalayan bird species and enjoy watching your crew members preparing typical and delicious Bhutanese dish for the night.

Day 3: Jili Dzong to Rabana

10km/3-4 hours/ 425 m ascent/ 50 m descent

By the time you wake up, your morning tea and breakfast is ready. Your lunch will be prepared here at the camp, packed and carried by the crew members.

Today is fairly an easy day with short descents and ascents leaving us with ample of time to explore around. We will start our journey with a visit to Jili Dzong. From dzong, through the rhododendron forests, we began descending down for a while before ascending about an hour to a great view of Paro valley. On a clear day from the ridge, we will have a spectacular view of Mt. Jomolhari and other snowcapped mountains in the distance. The trial then leads us eastward along the ridge over the view of Gemina village below. Climbing up from here, we traverse westward of a cone shaped hill to saddle and further two clearings from here; we reach Jangchulakha (3770 m), a yak pasture land. Half an hour further up is our tonight’s camp Rabana at an altitude of 3890 m above sea level.

Day 4: Rabana to Lake Jimilang

11km/ 4 hours/ 375 m descent/ 370 m ascent

Today if the sky remains blue, we will have a clear view of Mt. Jomolhari and Mt. Jichu Drake. We begin our trek by ascending diagonally across the ridge till a viewpoint. From here on, traverse half an hour across the meadow before descending down to a small peak. Further up we will be crossing Langye la pass (4070m), where one can enjoy a 360 degree view. A short descend from the pass, you will a have sight of lake Jimilang far below. Descending further down from here to a saddle before climbing and angling around the ridge to a stupa from where one can have a final view of Mt. Jomolhari. Around 40 minutes steep descend from here; we will be at our campsite, located at the bank of Lake Jimilang.

Day 5: Lake Jimilang to Lake Simkotra

11 km/ 4 hours/820 m ascent/ 400 m descent

We begin our day by hiking upward through the rhododendrons, to a ridge. Traverse across ridge for a while before descending down towards the yak herder’s camp near Lake Janye. From here it’s another upward journey through the ridge from where we will have a view of Lake Simkotra; our campsite for the night. Half an hour descend from the ridge is our stopover located at the height of 4100 m above sea level.

Day 6: Lake Simkotra to Phajoding

10 km/ 3-4 hours/ 130 m ascent/ 680 m descent

Our day starts with a long climb across three small hilltops, before the trail descends to Labana (4110 m). From Labana it’s the final upward journey towards Labana pass at a height of 4235 m. From here the trail descends down to the last pass (4090 m) marked by a small stupa with a view of Thimphu valley; the capital of Bhutan. From here we can also have a view of Mt. Gangkar puensum; Bhutan’s tallest mountain on clear days. The trail then descends down through rhododendrons and junipers, to our stopover for the night; Phajoding goemba (3640 m).

Day 7: Phajoding to Motithang (Thimphu)

5 km/ 3 hours/1130 m descent

It’s all downhill trek for the day. Under an hour after starting from our campsite, we will reach a junction; the left descends and end at Sangaygang but we will follow right and descend down towards Motithang and meet up with our vehicle. From here drive towards Thimphu city for the lunch, spend some time going around and drive towards Paro for the night.

Day 8: Departure

Your wonderful experience in Bhutan comes to an end today. After breakfast from your hotel, your guide and driver will see you off at Paro international airport. Hope to see you in 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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