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Druk Path Trekking

Druk Path Trekking

Overview And Highlights

The Druk Path Trek is a popular trekking route in Bhutan that offers a unique blend of nature and cultural experiences. This trek takes you through lush forests, rolling hills, and ancient villages as you explore the stunning landscape of the Bhutanese Himalayas.

The trek starts and ends in the capital city of Thimphu and covers a distance of approximately 65 kilometers over 6-9 days. The route takes you through beautiful mountain valleys, including the Paro and Thimphu Valleys, and offers panoramic views of the Himalayan peaks.

Along the way, you will visit ancient Buddhist monasteries, stupas, and temples and interact with the local Bhutanese communities. You will also have the opportunity to sample Bhutanese cuisine, enjoy traditional music and dance, and learn about the culture and customs of this Himalayan kingdom.

The Druk Path Trek is ideal for those who enjoy outdoor adventure and are looking for a unique cultural experience. The trek is well-equipped with campsites, teahouses, and comfortable lodges, and offers a range of challenges to suit different fitness levels.

Overall, the Druk Path Trek offers a truly unforgettable experience and is a must-visit for any adventure traveler or trekker looking to explore the stunning landscapes and rich culture of Bhutan.

Major Highlights

Scenic beauty: The trek provides breathtaking views of the Himalayan mountain range and the pristine alpine forests.

Wildlife sightings: The trek provides an opportunity to see a variety of wildlife including the Himalayan black bear, red pandas, and the golden langur.

Meditation and yoga: The peaceful and serene environment of the trek provides a perfect setting for meditation and yoga practices.

 

Temple visits: The trek takes you to some of the most sacred temples and monasteries in Bhutan, including the Tango Monastery and the Paro Taktsang.

 

Snow-capped peaks: The trek provides stunning views of snow-capped peaks such as the Mount Chomolhari and Mount Jitchu Drake.

Bird watching: The trek is a paradise for bird enthusiasts with over 300 species of birds found in the region.

Camping experiences: The trek offers camping opportunities in the alpine meadows surrounded by breathtaking mountain views.

Trekking through forests: The trek takes you through lush green forests and scenic meadows, making it a unique trekking experience.

Local cuisine: The trek provides the opportunity to taste traditional Bhutanese cuisine, including dumplings and Ema Datshi (spicy cheese curry).

Itinerary Expand All Close All

The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. Whether flying along the Himalayan range from Kathmandu or over the foothills from Kolkata, the journey offers fascinating views and an exciting descent into the Kingdom. Bhutan’s first gift to you as you disembark from the aircraft will be cool, clean fresh mountain air. After immigration formalities and baggage collection, you will be met by our representative & transfer to hotel for check-in. Later proceed to visit Ta Dzong, originally built as Watchtower, which now houses National Museum.

The extensive collection includes antique thangkha paintings, textiles, weapons &armour, household objects and a rich assortment of natural and historic artifacts. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning (“fortress of the heap of jewels”), which has a long and fascinating history.

Along the wooden galleries lining the inner courtyard are fine wall paintings illustrating Buddhist lore such as four friends, the old man of long life, the wheel of life, scenes from the life of Milarepa, Mount. Sumeru and other cosmic Mandala. Overnight at the hotel in Paro

Food
Dinner
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2200

After breakfast excursion to Taktshang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest (approx. 5 hours walk):  It is one of the most famous of Bhutan’s monasteries, perched on the side of a cliff 900m above the Paro valley floor. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery and hence it is called ‘Tiger’s Nest’. This site has been recognised as a most sacred place and visited by ShabdrungNgawangNamgyal in 1646 and now visited by all Bhutanese at least once in their lifetime.

On 19 April, 1998, a fire severely damaged the main structure of building but now this Bhutanese jewel has been restored to its original splendour. Afternoon drive to DrukgyelDzong, a ruined fortress where Bhutanese warriors fought Tibetan invaders centuries ago. The snowy dome of sacred Chomolhari, "mountain of goddess'' can be seen in all her glory from the approach road to the Dzong.

Along the way, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples built in the Himalayas by Tibetan King, Songtsen Gampo. The building of this temple marks the introduction of Buddhism in Bhutan. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2280

Starting at Demchena and crossing the Jele Dzong (3450m). The trek trail is rather gradual climb till the camp and if the weather is clear the Paro valley can be seen with the Mt. Jumolhari(7314m) and snowcapped mountains behind the valley. Camp at Jangulakha (3780mtrs). The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and rhododendrons trees and most of the walking is up and down on a ridge. You may see Yak herders around your camp site.

 

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Tented Camp
Elevation
3450

Starting at Jangchulakha (3780m) and camp at Jimilangtsho(3880mtrs). The trail follows the ridge and on clear day the views of the mountains and valley are beautiful, in particular the Jichu Drake (6989m). Camp is close to Lake of Jimilangtso. These lakes are known for their giant sized trout's.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Tented Camp
Elevation
3880

The trail takes you through dwarf Rhododendrons trees and then you pass by the lake of Janye Tsho. Today you may come across some Yak herder’s camp and get an idea as to how these people live. Later we have to cross the Simkota Lake to reach Labana camp. The trail is up and down and the route is mostly rocky.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Tented Camp
Elevation
2086

Starting at Labana camp (4130m) and from camp side after breakfast, you begin with a gradual climb up to Labana pass (4210m) the highest elevation for this trek.  From camp side if weather permits, you will see the same view of Mt. Gangkhar Punsum (7541m) the highest mountain in Bhutan, Mt. Kanchan Jangkha, the third highest peak in the world (of Darjeeling) and other Himalayan peaks.

Below, you can view the entire Thimphu valley. Crossing from Phajoding Monastery (3870m) trek ends to Thimphu (2320m).  In Phajoding, you can visit the famous monastery. The trek to Thimphu is all the way down hill through a forested area of mostly Blue Pine. Late afternoon enjoy Weekend market of Thimphu. It is an interesting place and provides opportunity to mingle with local people. Evening at leisure. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2320

After breakfast, sightseeing in Thimphu valley including visit to the following: The National Library, housing an extensive collection of priceless Buddhist manuscripts; the Institute for Zorig Chusum (commonly known as the Painting School) where students undergo a 6-year training course in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts. Later visit Textile Museum, which provides insight into Bhutan’s one of the most distinct art form.

Also visit Simply Bhutan, a living museum and studio encapsulating the cultural heritage of the Bhutanese people. After lunch take a short drive (15 km) to Pangri Zampa, 16th century one of the oldest monasteries in Bhutan located just north of Thimphu. Here is a monastic school where Buddhist student’s monks learn Lamaism and astrology based on Buddhist philosophy. Afterwards visit to Buddha Point (Kuensel Phodrang). Located at a short drive from Thimphu city centre, visitors can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley from the Buddha point (KuenselPhodrang). You can pay your obeisance and offer prayers to the Buddha, the largest statue in the country and then walk around and take a glimpse of the valley.

King's Memorial Chorten continuously circumambulated by people, murmuring mantras and spinning their prayer wheels. Construction of this landmark was the idea of Bhutan’s third king, His Majesty Jigme Dorji Wangchuk (“the father of modern Bhutan”) who has wished to erect monument to world peace and prosperity. Completed in 1974 after his untimely death, it serves both as a memorial to the Late King and as a monument to peace. Later visit to Trashichhoedzong: This impressive fortress/monastery houses Secretariat building, the throne room of His Majesty, the King and various government offices. It is also the summer residence of Chief Abbot and central monk body. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2320

After early breakfast at hotel, drive to Punakha across Dochula pass (3O8Om). In Bhutan, the passes are marked by a large Bhutanese Chorten and prayer flag. Dochula pass offers the most spectacular view over the high peaks of the eastern Himalayas on a clear day. Later visit Punakha Dzong, a massive structure built at the junction of two rivers. It was the capital of Bhutan until 1955, and still serves as the winter residence of the monk body.

Later in the day excursion to Chimi Lhakhang (from hotel it is about 15 minutes’ drive till motorable road and then walk starts through paddy fields and villages. This is total about 1½ hour walk, including both way). The Chimi Lhakhang, situated on a hillock in the centre of the valley, also known as the temple of fertility.

It is widely believed that couples who do not have children and wanting one, if they pray at this temple, they are usually blessed with a child very soon. The trail leads across rice fields to the tiny settlement of Pana, meaning ‘field’. A walk through the village near the temple will give you rare glimpses into the daily life and lifestyle of the villagers Late afternoon, drive back to Thimphu. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

Food
BLD
Accomodation
Hotel
Elevation
2320

After early breakfast at the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will help you with exit formalities and then bid you farewell.

Food
Breakfast

Druk Path Trekking Altitude Profile

FAQs

What is the Druk path trek and where is it located?

The Druk path trek is a popular trekking trail in Bhutan located in the western part of the country. It connects Paro and Thimphu and passes through some of the most beautiful and scenic landscapes in Bhutan.

How long is the Druk path trek and how long does it take to complete?

The Druk path trek is approximately 60 km long and typically takes around 4-6 days to complete, depending on the pace of the trekker.

What is the best time to trek the Druk path?

The best time to trek the Druk path is from late spring (April-May) to early autumn (September-October) when the weather is warm and sunny with clear views of the surrounding landscapes.

What are the major highlights of the Druk path trek?

Some of the major highlights of the Druk path trek include visiting the iconic Tiger's Nest Monastery, exploring the lush forests and scenic valleys, and encountering local Bhutanese communities along the way.

Is the Druk path trek suitable for beginner trekkers?

The Druk path trek is suitable for trekkers of all levels, including beginner trekkers. However, it does involve some steep climbs and descents, so trekkers should be in good physical condition.

Do I need a guide for the Druk path trek?

Yes, it is recommended to have a guide for the Druk path trek as they can provide local knowledge and ensure that trekkers stay on the correct path.

What kind of accommodation is available during the trek?

Accommodation during the Druk path trek is typically in basic but comfortable trekking lodges or tents. Meals are provided and trekkers can expect basic but filling food such as rice, lentils, and vegetables.

Can I bring my own gear for the trek or is gear available for rent?

Trekkers can bring their own gear if they prefer, but gear can also be rented in Paro or Thimphu.

Is it necessary to obtain a permit for the Druk path trek?

Yes, a permit is necessary for the Druk path trek and can be obtained through a local travel agent or tour operator.

Traveller Useful Information

Spring (March-May) - Spring is the best time for trekking in Druk Path as the weather is pleasant, with clear skies and mild temperatures. The rhododendrons are in full bloom, adding a splash of vibrant colors to the landscape.

Summer (June-August) - Summer is not a popular time to trek in Druk Path as it is hot and humid. However, if you are looking for a less crowded trail, this is a good time to visit.

Monsoon (July-September) - The monsoon season can be challenging for trekking in Druk Path as the trails can be muddy and slippery. However, if you are willing to brave the weather, the monsoon season is an amazing time to witness the lush greenery of Bhutan.

Autumn (September-November) - Autumn is the best time for trekking in Druk Path as the weather is dry, clear and mild. The skies are usually clear, offering breathtaking views of the Himalayas.

Winter (December-February) - Winter is not the ideal time for trekking in Druk Path as the weather can be harsh, with snow and low temperatures. However, if you are looking for a winter adventure, Druk Path is a great option for experienced trekkers.

Paro Tshachu Permit: To enter the Paro Valley, you need to get a permit from the Tourism Council of Bhutan.

Special Area Permit (SAP): If you are trekking in restricted areas, you need to get a Special Area Permit from the Ministry of Home and Cultural Affairs.

Jigme Dorji National Park Permit: If you are trekking in the Jigme Dorji National Park, you need to get a permit from the park authorities.

Trekkers Information Management System (TIMS) Card: You also need to get a TIMS card, which is a record of all trekkers in Bhutan.

It is important to note that these permits can only be obtained through a licensed tour operator and are not available for individual trekkers.

Accommodations

During the Druk path trek, accommodations are usually provided in either tents or lodges.

Tent accommodations are set up along the trail, providing a unique camping experience in the mountains. These tents are usually large enough to fit 2 to 4 people and are equipped with sleeping bags, mats, and pillows.

Lodge accommodations are also available in some places, offering basic facilities like hot showers, electricity, and meals. These lodges are usually made of wood and stone and offer a more comfortable stay for trekkers.

Both tent and lodge accommodations offer basic facilities and provide a warm and cozy environment for trekkers to rest and recharge for the next day's trek. The trekking company usually takes care of the logistics and arrangements for accommodations during the trek.

Backpack: A sturdy, waterproof backpack is essential to carry all your gear and supplies during the trek. Look for a backpack with adjustable straps and ample space for your gear and food.

Sleeping bag: A good quality sleeping bag is necessary to keep you warm and comfortable during the cold nights in the mountains. Make sure it is rated for the temperatures you will encounter on the trek.

Sleeping mat: A comfortable sleeping mat will provide insulation from the cold ground and improve your sleep.

Tent: A lightweight, waterproof tent is necessary for camping during the trek. It should be easy to set up and provide adequate space for you and your gear.

Headlamp: A headlamp is an essential tool for navigating in the dark and finding your way to the bathroom. It should have a strong beam and be waterproof.

Trekking poles: Trekking poles will help you maintain balance and stability during the trek, especially on steep and uneven terrain.

Warm clothing: It is essential to dress in layers for the trek, with a base layer, insulating layer, and a windproof and waterproof outer layer. Make sure to pack gloves, hat, and warm socks.

First aid kit: A well-stocked first aid kit should include pain relievers, wound dressings, blister treatments, and any prescription medications you need.

Water bottle: A hydration system such as a water bottle or hydration pack is necessary to stay hydrated during the trek.

Food and snacks: Pack enough food and snacks to last you for the duration of the trek, including high-energy bars, trail mix, and instant meals.

Navigation tools: A map and compass, or a GPS device, will help you navigate the trek and find your way if you get lost.

Sun protection:  A hat, sunglasses, and high-SPF sunscreen are necessary to protect your skin from the sun's harmful rays.

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