Laya Gasa Trek (18 nights/ 19 days)

Outline of the Tour

Day 01: Paro (arrival)

Day 02: Gunetshawa (Paro) to Shana Zampa (trek starts)

Day 03: Shana Zampa to Thangthangkha

Day 04: Thangthangkha to Jangothang

Day 05: Jangothang to Lingshi

Day 06: Lingshi to Chebisa

Day 07: Chebisa to Shomuthang

Day 08: Shomuthang to Robluthang

Day 09: Robluthang to Limithang

Day 10: Limithang to Laya

Day 11: Laya (sightseeing)

Day 12: Laya to Koina

Day 13: Koina to Gasa Tsachu

Day 14: Gasa Tsachu to Punakha (trek ends)

Day 15: Punakha to Thimphu

Day 16: Thimphu (sightseeing)

Day 17: Thimphu to Paro

Day 18: Paro (sightseeing)

Day 19: Paro (departure)

Detailed Itinerary

Duration: 14 days

Max. Elevation: 5,005m

Seasons: April to June & Sept. to Nov.

Start: Drugyal Dzong (Paro)

Finish: Tsahithang (Punakha)

 

Detailed Itineraries of 13 Days Laya Gasa Trek:

This trek route offers great variety of trekking conditions, from picturesque farmland and forests to alpine pastureland and high passes.

Spectacular campsites, beneath some of Bhutan’s most impressive peaks, of which the most notable are Mount Zhomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake, are also the features of this trekking route. Numerous isolated Dzongs and scattered settlements, including the outlandish village of Laya, provide a great deal of cultural interest enroute.

Wildlife such as the blue sheep, marmots, musk deer and the national animal, the Takin, can be seen. One should also not rule out the possibility of the rare sighting of a snow leopard, great Himalayan bear or even the yeti!

1st Day: Gunetshawa to Shana Zampa (distance 800m, time 40 minutes)

Depart Paro this morning travelling by road via Drugyal Dzong to the village of Gunetshawa (up to 5 hrs). At the army post just outside Gunetshawa your trek permit will be checked and endorsed. The campsite (2850 m) is on the opposite side of the river near the village of Shana Zampa in a meadow surrounded by trees.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

2nd Day: Shana Zampa to Soi Thangthangkha (distance 22km, time 7 to 8 hours)

The trail continues its gradual climb alongside the Pa Chhu (Paro River) through forests of oak, rhododendrons and ferns and breathtaking vistas. The campsite (3,630m) is surrounded with beautiful views and lulled by the sound of the Paro River.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

 

3rd Day:  Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang (distance 19km, time 6 to 7 hours)

This day starts with beautiful landscape reaching to summer pastures of yaks, truly beasts of bounty for herders providing abundant cheese, butter, meat and thick waterproof hair for making tents, caps and blankets. The approach to Jangothang (4,090m) camp site is heralded by prayer walls, chhortens, prayer flags fluttering in the wind and a spectacular view of Mount. Chomolhari (7,314m).

Overnight Tented Campsite.

4th Day: Jangothang to Lingshi (distance 18km, time 6 to 7 hours)

Ten minutes walk from Jangothang presents spectacular views of Mount. Jichu Drake (6,989m) and further ahead Mount. Tserim Kang (6,789m). The final pull enroute is Nyile la pass (4,890m) about 4 hours from Jangothang. The trail later travels above the tributary of Mo Chhu River, gradually descending to the campsite at Lingshi (4,010m).

There is also the possibility of an excursion from Lingshi to the base camp of Mount Tserim Kang for fishing and encountering enroute blue sheep and musk deer.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

5th Day: Lingshi to Chebisa (distance 10km, time 5 hours)

Proceed ahead passing Lingshi Dzong built in the 17th century, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of the green hills, the Winding River and magnificent peaks. After an hour from Lingshi, the trail reaches a cairn and prayer flags on a ridge at 4,140m and then makes a long descent to the pleasant settlement of Gayul (3,870m).

Leaving this village, after making a short ascent and descent, the route leads to the spectacular Chebisa valley. Campsite on a meadow at an altitude of 3,880m.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

6th Day: Chebisa to Shomuthang (distance 17km, time 7 hours)

On today’s early part of the trek, there is the possibility of spotting blue sheep, branded vultures and Himalayan griffons.

The route later crosses Gombula pass (4,500m) and then descends through rhododendrons bushes to a stream at about 4,170m. The trail further climbs over a small ridge through a cedar forest then into the main Jholethang Chhu valley in a deep forest of fir and birch and then to the village of Shakshepasa (3,980m).

There are several yak herders’ hut enroute. The camp is at Shomuthang (4,200m) in a cluster of brush beside a stream.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

7th Day: Shomuthang to Robluthang (distance 18km, time 6 to 7 hours)

The trek starts with a climb to Jari la pass (4,700m) then descending to Tasharijathang valley, the summer place of the rare Himalayan Takin. Camp is at Tsheri Jathang valley which has been declared a special Takin sanctuary.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

8th Day: Robluthang to Limithang (distance 19 km, time 7 hours)

Today cross Shinje la pass (4,900m) the last and the highest pass on the trek which is about 5 hours walk from camp.

Later the descent is on a rough, rocky trail into a glacial valley, eventually reaching to Kango Chhu, a stream. After that it is a short climb through rhododendron trail and cedar forest interspersed small meadows to Limithang (4,140m), a lovely campsite in a big meadow.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

9th Day: Limithang to Laya (distance 10km, time 5 hours)

Today’s walk to Laya is extremely pleasant with wonderful mountain scenery and passing through forests filled with moss and singing birds.

The village of Laya is the second highest settlement in the country at an altitude of 3,800m.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

10th Day: Laya Halt.

Spend the day relaxing visiting village houses or going on short hikes above the camp.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

 

11th Day: Laya to Koina (distance 19 km, time 6 to 7 hours)

The route follows the Mo Chhu river downstream all the way to Punakha (western Bhutan) crossing few streams and making several ascents and descents.

Also the route offers interesting view of Masang Gang peak (7,165m). Camp at Koina at an altitude of 3,050m.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

12th Day: Koina to Gasa Tsachu (distance 14km, time 4 to 5 hours)

The day starts with a major ascent to Bari la pass (3,900m) traversing through deep forests of fir.

The route starts down again, sometimes steeply through a bamboo forest to a stream at 3,080m, the view point of Gasa Dzong. The trail further traverses above Jigme Dorji Wangchuk National Park onwards to Gasa.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

13th Day: Gasa Tsachu to Punakha (time 2 hours)

This morning spend a few hours relaxing in the medicinal waters of the hot springs.

This afternoon it is only a short 20 min hike to the roadside where you we will collected and transferred by road to your overnight accommodation in the Punakha Valley. (3 hrs)

NOTE: FOLLOWING ITINERARIES WILL ALSO BE INCLUDED IN 13 DAYS LAYA GASA TREK. IN TOTAL YOU HAVE TO HOLD 18 NIGHTS FOR THIS TREK.

Day 01: Paro (arrival) directly check-in hotel.

Overnight in Paro Hotel.

Day 02: Gunetshawa (Paro) to Shana Zampa (trek starts)

Campsite in Shana Zampa.

Day 03: Shana Zampa to Thangthangkha

Campsite in Thangthangkha.

 

Day 04: Thangthangkha to Jangothang

Campsite in Jangothang.

Day 05: Jangothang to Lingshi

Campsite in Lingshi.

Day 06: Lingshi to Chebisa

Campsite in Chebisa.

Day 07: Chebisa to Shomuthang

Campsite in Shomuthang.

Day 08: Shomuthang to Robluthang

Campsite in Robluthang.

Day 09: Robluthang to Limithang

Campsite in Limithang.

Day 10: Limithang to Laya

Campsite in Laya.

Day 11: Laya (sightseeing)

Campsite in Laya.

Day 12: Laya to Koina

Campsite in Koina.

Day 13: Koina to Gasa Tsachu

Campsite in Gasa Tsachu.

Day 14: Gasa Tsachu to Punakha (trek ends)

Overnight in Punakha Hotel.

Day 15: Punakha to Thimphu

You will come across the Dochula Pass. Here you can see 108 Stupas built by Queen Mother to honor the Bhutanese soldiers who were killed when fighting the Indian rebels in 2003 and also visit Druk Wangyal Lhakhang.

Overnight in Thimphu Hotel.

Day 16: Thimphu (sightseeing)

(Trashichho Dzong, Semtokha Dzong, Memorial Chorten, Largest Buddha Statue, National Library, Changangkha Lhakhang, Painting School, Textile Meusum, Folk Heritage, Tango & Chari Lhakhang, Vegetable Market, Botanical Garden, etc.).

Overnight in Thimphu Hotel.

Day 17: Thimphu to Paro

After a mile you will reach to a junction where the roads from Haa, Paro, Thimphu and Phuentsholing meet. Here you can see three different Stupas (Nepalese, Tibetan & Bhutanese).

After few miles drive visit Tachogang Lhakhang founded by the Tibetan Saint, Thangtong Gyalpo (1385 – 1464) probably around the year 1420.

In this place you can also see one of his famous iron bridge (later carried away by floods in 1969).

Overnight in Paro Hotel.

Day 18: Paro (sightseeing)

Today will be your last day to stay in Bhutan and also the foremost sightseeing in Bhutan. Hike to the Tiger Nest, where you could find amazing the Monastery built in the hill of the rock. This Monastery is the 10th holiest place in the world.

You will have Supper with the President/Representative of SNG Tours & Treks and bidding farewell to the Guest(s).  Hold night at the hotel in Paro. (Altitude 2,280m).

Day 19: Paro (departure)

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