The Sagala Trek in Bhutan is a remote and challenging trek that takes you through rugged terrain and pristine forests in the north-eastern part of Bhutan. The trek is considered to be one of the most difficult treks in Bhutan, and it offers an immersive experience for those looking for a truly wild and raw adventure. The trek takes you through picturesque villages and over mountain passes, providing breathtaking views of the Bhutanese landscape.
The Sagala Trek starts from Bumthang, a central Bhutanese valley known for its historic temples, monasteries, and vibrant culture. The trek takes you through dense forests, snow-capped peaks, and fast-flowing rivers, with a final ascent to the summit of Mount Sagala (5860 meters). The trek is approximately 15-20 days in length, and it requires a good level of physical fitness and endurance.
One of the highlights of the Sagala Trek is the opportunity to experience the traditional culture and hospitality of the Bhutanese people. Trekkers will stay in local homestays and interact with local communities, gaining a unique perspective into Bhutanese life.
The Sagala Trek is best suited for experienced trekkers looking for a challenging and remote adventure in Bhutan. With its rugged terrain, challenging ascents, and limited infrastructure, this trek is not for the faint of heart. However, for those who are willing to push themselves, the Sagala Trek offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will leave you with lasting memories of Bhutan's natural beauty and cultural heritage.
Stunning views of the Himalayas: The Sagala trek takes you through high-altitude trails with breathtaking views of the Himalayas, including Mount Jomolhari, Mount Gangkar Puensum, and Mount Jichu Drake.
Cultural immersion: The trek provides an opportunity to get an in-depth look at Bhutanese culture, from their architecture and traditions to the food and hospitality of the local communities.
Unique flora and fauna: Bhutan is home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, and the Sagala trek is a great way to experience it all. You will encounter alpine meadows, rhododendron forests, and a variety of wildlife, including snow leopards, blue sheep, and red pandas.
Rich history and heritage: The trek takes you through the ancient Bumthang Valley, which has a rich cultural and historical heritage. You will get to see ancient monasteries, fortresses, and temples, and learn about the rich history and traditions of the Bhutanese people.
Scenic waterfalls: The Sagala trek takes you past several beautiful waterfalls, including the spectacular Tshochey waterfall, which cascades down from a height of over 400 feet.
Challenging terrain: The Sagala trek is known for its challenging terrain, which makes it a great option for experienced trekkers. With steep inclines, rocky paths, and high-altitude trails, the trek will test your physical and mental endurance.
Fresh mountain air: The trek takes you to some of the most remote and pristine areas of Bhutan, where you can enjoy the fresh mountain air and escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Stunning sunsets: As you trek through the mountains, you will have the chance to witness some of the most stunning sunsets you have ever seen. With the sun setting behind the towering peaks of the Himalayas, the views are truly breathtaking.
Local hospitality: The Bhutanese are known for their warm hospitality, and the Sagala trek provides an opportunity to experience it first-hand. You will be staying with local families, who will offer you a glimpse into their daily lives and traditional ways of living.
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular in entire Himalayas. 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, 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 accompanying guide and transfer to Haa for check-in. Haa Valley – Adjoining the districts of Paro, Chhukha and Samtse, Haa valley is one of the most picturesque places in the Kingdom, spread over an area of 1706 sq. km. During pre-Buddhist era, Haa valley was known for its animist tradition. Inhabitants then were enthused in offering animal blood to their local deities.Such animist belief however was transformed into peaceful Buddhist tradition in 8th century by Guru Padmasambhava.
The tantric master, Guru Padmasambhava, subdued the local deities like Ap Chundu and made the guardians of the Buddhist tradition. However, the traces of this belief system are still noticed in the form of festivals and rituals. The drive to Haa valley crosses Chele-la pass (3988M), from where one can have a superb views of Mount. Chomolhari & Jichu Drakey. It is also an ideal place to take short walk, enjoying panoramic vistas. Further, visit to Kila Gnunnery or Chele la Gompa, which is located on the cliffs below Chele pass at about 3,500m above sea level.
There are seven small temples and several retreat huts built into a dizzying Cliffside, a day walk from anywhere, where some 30 to 70 nuns live in self-imposed isolation. They rarely get visitors as the hike up from the main road takes almost an hour each way, through forest and steep slopes. The drive till the pass takes around one and half hour from Paro and less than an hour, if you are coming from Haa.
There are great views from here of Paro valley below, Jele Dzong across on the far ridge and also seen to the north, are Mt Chomolhari and Jichu Drake on a clear day. Kila in Sanskrit means a subjugating spiritual dagger that destroys the negativities. Continue drive to Haa & check in to the hotel; upon arrival. Overnight at the hotel in Haa.
Your trek begins in the Haa Valley (2670m) through an unpaved motor road for less than hour keeping yourself on the left side of the villages. Taking the trail on the right side of the village, you will climb up gradually through yak herders camp util you will be met by two different trails. (The trail towards the left that goes to the summer yak herding camp and to the border of China is to be avoided). We take the right trail to make your final climb towards your camp at Sagala (3,150m). Overnight at the Camp
Begin climbing up for 30 minutes to Sagala pass (3550m), which on clear weather, you will have superb views of Mount Jumolhari (7,314m) and Jitchu Drake (6,989m). From the pass, walk on the right side of the trail. After making several ascents and descents, walking through the trails of rhododendrons and meadows, you will finally be on the top of the ridge at 4100m, which offers great views of Haa Valley below. Making occasional ascents and descents through forests of hemlock and juniper, you will reach at your camp at 3850m. Overnight at the Camp
Descending for few minutes and following the ridge through meadows and yak herder’s camp, we climb uphill through the forest of tall rhododendrons toward Kung Karpo Sky Burial at 4350m. The view of Haa valley is spectacular as you climb up through these stone cairns to Kung Karpo. From the sky burial, you will be walking up and down with panoramic view of Paro valley on left and Haa Valley on right.
The view of Kila Goenpa Nunnery below is also spectacular. Walk further downhill until you reach Chelela pass (3990m), which is one of the highest motorable passes in Bhutan. Your vehicle will be waiting here to transfer you to Paro. Overnight at the hotel in Paro.
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 Drukgyel Dzong, 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. Evening, 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.
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.
Sagala Trek is a popular trekking route in Bhutan that takes you through the beautiful and remote eastern region of Bhutan. The trek is known for its breathtaking views of the Himalayan Mountains, scenic forests, and traditional Bhutanese villages.
The Sagala Trek is approximately 11-12 days long, depending on the itinerary and pace of the trek.
The Sagala Trek is considered a moderate to challenging trek, with steep ascents and descents through rugged terrain. Physical fitness and good health are necessary for this trek.
The best time to do the Sagala Trek is from October to May, when the weather is relatively dry and the skies are clear. During the monsoon season from June to September, the trek can be challenging due to heavy rain and muddy trails.
Accommodation during the Sagala Trek is usually in basic teahouses or camping tents. The teahouses offer basic facilities like hot showers, meals, and bedding. For those who prefer camping, the trekking company will provide all camping gear and support staff.
Food during the Sagala Trek is usually a combination of traditional Bhutanese and Nepalese cuisine. Most teahouses offer set menus, and meals can be customized to suit individual dietary requirements.
To trek in Bhutan, a special permit is required, which can be obtained through a registered trekking company or travel agency. Additionally, you will also need a visa to enter Bhutan.
To prepare for the Sagala Trek, it is recommended to engage in regular physical activity and build up your fitness level. Trekking equipment and gear can be rented or purchased in Bhutan, but it is recommended to bring your own personal gear like hiking boots, clothing, and a backpack.
Spring (March to May) - During this season, the weather is mild and pleasant making it the perfect time to go trekking in Bhutan. The hills are covered with colorful flowers and the skies are clear and blue.
Summer (June to August) - This is the monsoon season and the trails can be wet and slippery. However, the lush green scenery is breathtaking and the waterfalls are at their fullest.
Autumn (September to November) - This is considered the best time to trek in Bhutan as the weather is clear and dry, with stunning views of the snow-capped mountains. The autumn foliage provides an added bonus to the already breathtaking scenery.
Winter (December to February) - Winter can be harsh and the trekking conditions can be challenging, with snow and freezing temperatures in the higher elevations. This season is ideal for experienced trekkers who are prepared for the harsh conditions.
It is important to note that trekking in Bhutan requires the services of a licensed Bhutanese tour operator, who will assist with the necessary permits and arrangements for the trek.
During the Sagala Trek in Bhutan, trekkers can expect to stay in traditional Bhutanese lodges or tents. The lodges, also known as tea houses, are basic but provide basic amenities such as a bed, blankets, and a shared bathroom.
Tent camping is also an option for those who prefer a more adventurous experience. Trekkers can bring their own tents or rent them from local tour operators. Tents are usually set up in designated camping areas along the trail, and basic facilities such as toilets and a kitchen area may be available.
It is important to note that electricity and hot showers are not always available in these lodges and camping areas. However, trekkers can expect good food and warm hospitality from the local communities.
Overall, accommodations during the Sagala Trek are basic, but provide a unique and authentic experience for trekkers exploring the Bhutanese countryside
Backpack: A sturdy and spacious backpack is essential for carrying all the necessary items on a trek.
Hiking shoes: Good quality hiking shoes with good grip and support are essential for the rough terrain in Bhutan.
Sleeping bag: A warm and comfortable sleeping bag is essential for overnight stays during the trek.
Tent: A lightweight and sturdy tent is necessary for camping during the trek.
Water bottle: A good quality water bottle is essential to stay hydrated during the trek.
Headlamp: A headlamp is necessary for navigating the trails at night and for setting up camp.
First aid kit: A basic first aid kit including bandages, pain relievers, and insect repellent is essential for any outdoor adventure.
Stove and cookware: A lightweight and compact stove and cookware set is necessary for preparing meals during the trek.
Warm clothing: Warm clothing such as a down jacket, thermal underwear, and fleece pants are necessary for the colder mountain climate in Bhutan.
Rain gear: A good quality rain jacket and pants are essential to stay dry during the rainy season in Bhutan.