Snowman trek is the most challenging one in the most remote area of the country. The trekking area has still not been changed for hundreds of years and has preserved the true Bhutanese culture history and ancient lifestyle. During the trek we cross over more than 9 high passes some of which are over 5,000 m. One should be mentally prepared and physically fit before making this trek.
Snowman trek begins in Paro (West of Bhutan) and takes us to the most remote valleys of the Lunana district. While passing through a variety of landscape ranging from pictorial landscape, fascinating villages, steep gorges, blue pine , juniper , rhododendron forests to high alpine pastureland we finally reach at the foothills of snow- covered virgin peaks over (7,000m. En route we visit old heritage cultural sites and monasteries and meet the local villagers.
Arrive at the Tribhuwan International Airport where you will be welcomed by Trek Himalayan representative and transferred to your Pre-booked hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free until evening when you’ll enjoy a welcome drinks with your guide and introduce to each other. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Your guide will meet you at your hotel in the morning to begin your city tour of Kathmandu. You will visit the Boudhanath temple, the largest Buddhist stupa in Nepal, Pashupatinath, a Hindu pilgrimage site, and possibly view cremation ceremonies along the banks of the Bagmati River and continue drive to Patan Durbar Square to take in ancient Nepalese architecture and end your tour after a lunch. Then, you will visit the Patan museum. Overnight in Kathmandu.
After breakfast you will be transferred to Tribhuvan International Airport for the flight to Paro. After completing the visa formalities at the Paro airport you will be received by our Bhutan’s representative and transferred to the hotel. While driving through the picturesque Paro valley with its quaint clusters of hamlets amid terraced paddy fields you will see by the sight of white-domed peak of the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari that looms overhead. The rest of the day is at leisure to explore the town of Paro and its markets. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
After breakfast we hike to Taktshang Monastery which was built on a cliff in the eighth century. It is one of the most popular and picturesque monasteries in Bhutan. After the visit to the monastery we will visit the ruined fortress of Drugyel dzong which still attracts visitors due to the strategic location of the fort. The fort defended the Paro valley from the Tibetan invasion from the north in the early 17th century. On clear weather Mt Chomolhari (7320m) can be seen towering over the dzong. We will proceed through the beautiful valley to the watch tower or locally known as Ta-Dzong. It was housed into the National museum in the 1960s by the third King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck. The seven floors museum highlights various aspects of Bhutanese culture and history dating back to the 7th century. We will take a short walk downhill to the Rinpung Dzong which serves as the administrative center and school for monks and return to Paro). Dinner and overnight in hotel.
The drive from Paro to Punakha via Thimphu is smooth following Paro chu river till Chuzom and follow Wang chu upstream until the little town of Simtokha .Then it turns right towards east ascending up to Dochula pass (3,080m), where we will have opportunity to view the peaks of the eastern Himalayas. After the pass we continue drive into north of Punakha Valley at around 1400m. We will spend overnight at a beautiful village nearby farm lands.
The trail ascends to the high agricultural lands above the Mo-Chu (Chu means River) into a lush semitropical gorge filled with banana trees, creepers and various tropical vegetation. You will also see monkeys and few other animals occasionally along the trails via Tashithang.
After a late breakfast we trek to Gasa Tsachu. After lunch relax in the hot spring. The Gasa Tsachu is one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan and overnight in camp at Gasa Tsachu. You will walk up to the Dzong in the evening. Camp below the Dzong at an altitude of 2,900m.
After a short climb we trek through the rolling hills and pass the pine and oak forests and wheat fields. You will also see a beautiful view of the Gasa Dzong glued to the valley wall.
The trail starts by descending to the bank of Mo Chhu River. Lunch will be served at the side of the bridge, across the river. After lunch we continue climb up to Laya crossing the army camp. Today we camp at an altitude 3,800m.
You should spend a day recuperating from the trek to laya and preparing for the rest of this rigorous trek.
The trek leads gradually downhill to the Lunana junction, and then it makes a gradual climb through a forest of conifers, maple and rhododendron. The trail improves and becomes wider as you climb out of the river valley. The campsite is in a pasture near a small stream.
The trail leads uphill through dwarf rhododendrons bushes and a barren area with ups and downs across great boulders to Tshomo La (4780m). Then we descend through more boulders to a camp at Narethang, a yak pasture used by Laya people. It lies on a small plateau beneath the 6395m peak of Gangla Karchung.
Today we cross over Karchung La (5120m) then walk down to glacial lakes that are the source of the Tang Chu. Above the lakes tower the mighty peaks of Jejekhangphu Gang (7300m) and Tsenda Kang (7100m). The trail descends a rough moraine, and then makes a further steep descent into rhododendrons on a notoriously dreadful trail with lots of rhododendron roots and slippery mud.
The trail leads down through conifer forest, following the upper reaches of the Pho chu. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche at 3940m, the first village after Ghasa… The trek has now entered the Lunana region.
After breakfast we make a gradual climb to Kheche La (4580m), then downhill to Thega village. Our trek continues up to Lhedi village where we locate another wireless station.
The trail climbs gradually following the main source of the Pho Chu to Chozo village. At the small Chozo Dzong we meet some monks. Above Chozo the Valley opens as we approach Thanza village, near the foothill of 7100m Zongophu Gang, which is also known as Table Mountain. We camp at Thanza, 4090m, the main village of Lunana district.
Today is a long trek and should start as early as possible. It is a long climb over three false summits to Jaze La (5050m). It is then less than an hour down to the camp site at the lake of Tshochena. You may see blue sheep during the hike.
The trail gently goes ups and downs between snow capped peaks and across Loju La (4940m). We camp overnight at Jichu Dram.
Today it is a difficult day of the trek. We climb and cross over Rinchen Zoe La pass (5320m), enjoying beautiful mountain scenery with Rinchen Zoe peak (5650m) towering above the pass to the west and many other major peaks stretch along the northern horizon. To the east, we can see the western flank of Gangkhar Puensum and down south stretches the Thampe Chhu valley. From the pass we slowly descend into broad, marshy valley with a string of lakes. The valley narrows as we go lower and eventually we reach to a yak pasture in the upper reaches of the Thampe Chhu. Here again we cross to the west bank and continue as the vegetation thickens from rhododendron and juniper shrubs and eventually to trees. It is a welcome sight to trek through treeless area. We camp at Chukarpo.
Today we make a long, mostly downhill, trek along the river, then a climb back to Um Tsho. Then we reach a Lake called Thampe Tsho, a bit further we camp by the lake side.
After breakfast we trek for 2 hours to the base of Thampe La and then a steep climb to the high pass. The trek is then all downhill through rhododendron bushes to the yak pasture of Maurothang where we camp for overnight.
The trail follows the Nikka Chu through bamboo thickets and fields to the road at the village of Sephu. Here we camp for overnight.
Early morning after breakfast we drive to Thimpu. Lunch on the way at Wangdi Overnight in hotel.
After breakfast we go sightseeing tour of Memorial Chorten of late king, National Library, Painting School, National Library, Handicrafts Emporium and walk around Thimphu downtown for shopping. If you are lucky, you may visit weekend market on Saturday or Sunday. After lunch drive to Paro en-route visit to Simtokha Dzong and continue drive following the Thimphu River until Chuzom (Confluence) and taking the direction toward Paro Overnight in hotel.
After the spectacular flight back to Kathmandu the rest of the day you are free to relax in Kathmandu or to go shopping.
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