Druk path Trek
10 Nights (5 nights in hotel and 5 nights at camps)
Druk Path Trek is one of the finest short treks in Bhutan. Leading through an ancient trading route, over high mountain passes, it connects the valleys of Paro and Thimphu. The trek begins by walking up through apple orchards and pine forest past ruined Jele Dzong (fortress), which sits on a high grassy ridge with breath-taking views of Mount Jumolhari to the north. We climb above the tree line and cross several passes, including the Phume La (4210m.). En route, we come across clear mountain lakes, number of yak herder’s camps and have splendid views of Himalaya along the Bhutan – Tibet border including Mount Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and Gangkar Puensum. Our final descent through pine and juniper forests via Phadjoding monastery would lead into Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
A trek between the two key valleys of Thimphu and Paro; glorious views
of mountains, alpine flowers, turquoise lakes teeming with trout; insight into lives of
Altitude (maximum): 3,400 m
Difficulty: easy to moderate
Best season: Late February through June; September through December
Arrival at Paro International Airport followed by sightseeing around the valley, with focus on visits to National Museum, and Kyichu Monastery.
Hike to Taktsang, an iconic monastery lodged on a hair-raising granite cliff 800 meters above the valley floor. Then visit the 17 th century Drugyel Dzong, the “Fortress of Victory”.
Start trek with a gradual ascent to Jele Dzong and Jele La Pass (3,400m), where the views of Paro valley and surroundings are spectacular.
Distance 10 Km; duration 4 hours
An hour and a half of fairly challenging climb followed by a gradual one through dense alpine and rhododendron forests. Magnificent views of Jomolhari and other snow-capped peaks; see the habitat of beautiful Himalayan birds like Himalayan Monal, Satyr Tragopan, and Kalij Pheasant. Observe Yak-herders around campsite.
Distance 11 Km; duration 4 hours
The trail meanders through moderate ridges, thus affording great views of awe- inspiring mountains including Jichu Drake (6,984m) worshipped by the people of Paro as the abode of their valley’s protector deity. Camp near Jimilangtsho, the biggest lake along the route associated with several ancient Bhutanese myths.
Meander through dwarf rhododendrons forest and pass by Janetsho lake. The route is ideal to learn about nomadic yak herders whose camps can be seen along the way. Pitch camp near Simkota lake or Labana.
A gradual ascent which rewards us, weather permitting, with a glorious view of Gangkar Phuensum, the world’s highest unclimbed mountain at 7,515 meters. Then follow the trail through Juniper forests until Phajoding, an ancient Buddhist site frequented by pilgrims. The view of Thimphu city from Phajoding is breathtaking. Walk leisurely all the way to Thimphu and see various facades of Bhutan’s capital city. A stroll along Norzin Lam, Thimphu city’s main street, towards evening.
Drive for about two hours to Bhutan’s ancient capital, about 75 kms away in
Punakha. Places of interest along the highway include:
- Dochula: This mountain pass at 3,100 meters is among provides a spectacular 360° views of the mighty Himalayan peaks, often referred to as the “Abodes of the Gods”. Also see 108 Buddhist Stupas sitting on a mound, dedicated to peace and happiness in the world.
- Chimi Lhakhang: this 15 th century temple of fertility dedicated to Buddhist Siddha, Drukpa Kuenley. The temple is renowned for its power to bless barren couples with children. Take a blessing from a 15 th century wooden phallus inside the temple.
- Punakha Dzong: this marvelous palace fortress built in 1637-38 is the epitome of Bhutanese history and identity. An architectural masterpiece, it contains the country’s most sacred religious treasures including the embalmed body of Bhutan’s founder, Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. To this day, Bhutan’s Kings are enthroned within the Dzong’s historic halls.
- Wangdue Dzong: enjoy the view of the historic Wangdi Phodrang Dzong, the bastion of Sha valley.
There is so much to see in the capital city but we will confine our visits to:
- Buddha statue at Kuenselphodrang: this is the world’s largest Buddha statue and is dedicated to alleviating the sufferings of sentient beings and bringing peace in the world.
- Tashi Chhodzong and Parliament House: enjoy the exterior views of Bhutan’s centers of power – the 17 th century Tashi Chhodzong which houses the office of the King and the several government ministers, and the parliament building which contains Bhutan’s tri-cameral legislature and the office of the Prime Minister.
- Institute of Zorig Chusum: stop by at the institute of Bhutan’s 13 Traditional Arts & Crafts and see artists at work.
- Takin Preserve: just a short distance away at Motithang, see Bhutan’s national animal, the Takin, which is the subject of many Bhutanese folk tales and legends.
Drive to Paro for overnight stay.
Departure from Paro International Airport.