This trek takes you to the Bumthang area of Bhutan, about a nine hours drive from Paro. It’s a challenging trek that takes your over the Julila Pass at 4700m. the trek takes in the remote villages and forest of Bhutan and stops by the Dur Hot springs so you can refresh and relax. The old route to Gangkhar Puensum is a hard trek. But the journey into the woods that are changing as we climb up the hill finally to a soothing hot spring that drives all the tiredness is worth the entire walk. But the roads remain closed during winter as it is thickly covered in snow. Many Bhutanese treks this route to the hot spring for the medicinal values Bhutanese believes can cure illness. Although with special permission, the trek can be further extended to Gangkhar Phuensum itself, a return via the Mangde Chu valley can lead to an exit from Trongsa.
Day 1: Arrive Paro International Airport.
You will be welcomed on arrival at Paro International Airport, you will be received and escorted to your hotel by our company representative.
Day 2: Paro – Sightseeing.
Drive to Drugyal Dzong (a ruined fortress – 16 kms away from Paro town) the dzong although in ruins, holds great historical significance. It was from this fortress that the Bhutanese repelled many Tibetan invasions. The name means “The Victorious Bhutanese.” This spot unfolds a magnificent vista of Mount Chomolhari, “Mountain of Goddess” (Alt.7329 mtrs). Visit a typical Bhutanese farmhouse on the way back.
Day 3: Paro – Thimphu.
Drive along the winding road alongside the Paro Chu (Chu means water river) to the confluence with the Wang Chu, then follow the Wang Chu to Thimphu, the Capital. Lunch will be served at the Hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Memorial Chorten, dedicated to the Late Third King. Overnight in Hotel.
Day 4: Thimphu – Trongsa.
The journey to central Bhutan begins today. The drive to Trongsa takes about 7-8 hours from Thimphu. Pack lunch stop at Chendebji Chorten. Overnight at Hotel in Trongsa.
Day 5: Trongsa – Jakar (Bumthang).
Drive for 2 and half hours to Jakar. Bumthang (the ‘Plain of Ghosts”) is a land of myth and mystery and tales of the great Guru Padmasambhava who performed formidable feats and miracles here. A beautiful view of Jakar Dzong (“Castle of the white Bird”) can be had from View Point. Lunch will be served in hotel. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight halt in hotel.
Day 6: Bumthang – Gorsum (trek starts).
Distance – 18 Kms. About 6-7 hrs journey. Altitude of Gorsum – 3120 mtrs. After breakfast transport will reach the group to the starting point of the trek just below Kurjey Lhakhang. The trek route follows the Chamkar Chu, a river rich in trout. The trail from Bumthang to Gorsum is a gradual climb. Overnight halt in camp.
Day 7: Gorsum – Lungsum.
Distance – 12 Klms. About 5 hour’s journey. Altitude of Lungsum – 3160 mtrs. The trail ascends gradually through dense forest of spruce, hemlock, Cypress, Juniper and Maple. Overnight halt in camp.
Day 8: Lungsum – Tsochenchen.
Distance – 15 kms. About 6-7 hours journey. Altitude of Tshchenchen – 3100 mtrs. The vegetation remains the same until the camp site, which is above tree level. Halt in camp.
Day 9: Tsochenchen – Dur Tsachu.
Distance – 17 Klms. About 7 hour’s journey. Altitude of Dur Tsachu – 3400 mtrs. The trek from Tshochenchen is uphill all the way till the Julila Pass at about 4700 mtrs. From the pass, if the day is clear, surrounding mountains can be seen. After crossing the pass, the trail descends till the camp site. Musk deer, herds of blue sheep and Himalayan bear is sometimes seen along the route. Halt in camp.
Day 10: Halt at Dur Tsachu (Hot Spring).
After a late breakfast, relax in the hot spring or hike around the surrounding areas. Overnight in camp.
Day 11: Dur Tsachu – Tsochenchen.
Distance – 17 Klms. About 7 hour’s journey. The route from Dur Tsachu ascends till the Julila Pass, and drops down till Tsochenchen. Overnight halt in camp.
Day 12: Tshchenchen – Gorsum.
Distance – 27 kms. About 9 hour’s journey. An early start is a must because the distance is longer than usual. The trail leads gradually downhill.
Day 13: Gorsum – Bumthang.
From Gorsum the trail descends gradually till the bridge near Dur village. Here the motor road is reached and transport will pick you up to take you to Bumthang.
Day 14: Bumthang – Wangdi.
The drive to Wangdi takes about 7 hours. Picnic lunch will be arranged along the way. Halt at Wangdi in Lodge.
Day 15: Wangdi – Thimphu.
Visit Punakha Dzong enroute. Punakha used to be the winter Capital of Bhutan until 1966. It is a place of great historical significance. The mortal remains of Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal are preserved in a shrine here. Punakha is also the winter residence of the Je Kenpo (Head Abbot) and the Central Monk body. Drive to Thimphu. Halt overnight in hotel.
Day 16: Visit Tashichho Dzong – The main Secretariat Building.
It is from here that the King and other prominent civil servants run the country. The Head Abbot and the central monastic body also reside here during the summer. Wander through the town, visit shops and the handicrafts Emporium, where Bhutanese textiles and other handicrafts are available. Visit the workshop where the handicrafts are made. Visit the painting and woodcrafts schools where traditional painting and other arts are kept alive. Visit the National Library and see the ancient manuscripts preserved there. Visit the Simtokha Dzong (6 Kms from Thimphu ) the oldest Dzong in Bhutan built by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal in 1629 A.D. The Simtokha Dzong houses the largest monastic school in the country. Evening drive to Paro.
Day 17: Transfer to the international airport for final departure.
Early morning drive to Paro international airport after breakfast for your onward flight.