The only short trek in Bhutan which allows visitors to get the view of all the high mountain peaks of Bhutan, including the world's third-highest peak, Mt. Kanchenjunga at 8586 meters and some other high mountains of Nepal. The trek also takes you to lots of lakes at a higher altitude. The name of the trek, "Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek" comes due to the number of lakes we will see here. However, it is not sure if there are a thousand lakes in the area. Some story describes that there were more than a thousand lakes in the past. However, some stories say that there are only105 lakes in the area. The trek consists of two main routes, either at Talakha Gompa; Serbithang; Wangdi; Dochu La; Daga in Dagana; that ends about 2 km south of Chhuzom near Lebchi. In the past, Daga people used this route to come over from the south while bringing cattle to Thimpu for selling. So, this was formerly a cattle migration route. However, even now, the trek is well managed.
The trek takes place between Thimphu and Paro highway and ends in Thimphu. Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek, one of the most exciting trekking routes in Bhutan that includes a sightseeing tour in the renowned cities of the Dragon Kingdom. Along the way, we pass through scenic lakes, alpine meadows, and yak herder's camps. Travelers can witness some of the grandest views of the Himalayas combined with encounters of abundant wildlife.
The major highlights of this trek are the chance to enjoy with nature for about a week while exploring high lakes overflowing with trout, and the legendary history of the region. Although the trip includes few steep climbs, for the most way, it is a moderate trek with short but thrilling days. Trekkers of every level can enjoy this trek. Dagala mountain range separates two famous valleys of Thimphu and Wangdi. The plateau lies on an altitude of approximately 4000 meters and contains many lakes with different sizes. In most lakes, you can catch trout fish, one of the most delicious species of fish. This plateau is also a grazing ground of yaks during the summer season.
This trek is an excellent choice for those wanting to experience the diverse flora and fauna in Bhutan, and experience the local nomadic lifestyle. As an initial couple of days of this trek is quite challenging with a total ascent, very few trekkers prefer this trek. However, who embarks on this trekking journey will surely want to experience the beauty of this region time and again.
The Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek begins with a short drive from Paro to Thimpu and then moves to Genekha. Genekha is the place from where our trip begins on foot. You need to be fit to trek in this route as you must cope with the higher altitude environment. Our following courses have prosperous bird species, alpine flowers, and attractive meadows. The tour will also take us to the exotic green valley of colorful Paro. We will also explore in the small capital- Thimpu, including visits to monasteries and temples like Ta Dzong, Rinpung Dzong, Drukgyal Dzong, etc. Further, you will pass through terraced paddy fields and coniferous forests, to reach the settlements of Genekha. Following the trail, we will move up towards the ridge and cross few meadows to a pass at an elevation of 4240 meters. From here, we can get a stunning view of the Dragala range. On the way to wide Labathama valley (4050 meters), you will pass through many yak herders camp. You will witness several wild mountainous flowers near the lake in September. The routes are not appropriately marked; it is more of a cross-country traverse. The trail descends steeply through a mixed forest of rhododendron.
Best season to trek
The trek in Bhutan can be done all round the year. However, the ideal time to trek in this region is between March to May or September to November. These months are optimum for trekking in the area. If you can handle cold, you can even trek in the winter season. The nights of winter are severe cold. With snowfall, the trail might also get slippery during winter. Monsoon is the riskiest of all seasons. There is always a chance of rainfall, which makes route slippery. There is also a chance of natural disasters like a landslide.
What to Expect
For those looking for a nice short getaway, far from crowds, and everyday annoyances, there is no better option than trekking at a mountainous region of Bhutan. As you walk further into the wilderness past glistening lakes and pristine valleys, you will get striking views of the entire Himalayan mountain range. Walking through the Bhutanese villages and experiencing ancient traditions and customs of the region, this trek gives an excellent combination of natural beauty and local culture of the region. A visit to Talakha will wash over you with the area's peacefulness as you wake up to the sounds of early morning prayers in the complete serenity mountain ranges covered with forests.
A perfect trek for people with no trekking experience but has excellent fitness
Beautiful views of Bhutan's tranquil high altitude lakes
Relax at a campsite beside the lake
Enjoy fishing trout fish in the lake
Travel through beautiful meadows and witness Blue Poppy, the national flower of Bhutan
- International arrival/departure transfers
- All meals during trekking
- Porters s to carry trekking gear
- All necessary trekking permits
- Bhutan government royalty and local taxes
- International airfare,airport tax, and Bhutan visa
- Travel/medical insurance
- Personal expenses like alcoholic drinks, mineral water, cold drinks, laundry, international phone call, etc.
- Tips for guide and driver
- Every expense incurred in the event of early departure (evacuation fee, transport, extra hotel night, food, etc.)
Drive from Paro to Genekha, trek to Gur(3710m)
After having breakfast at the hotel, we take a trip for about an hour to reach Genekha. Genekha is the place from where our journey begins on foot. Genekha is a small village, considered as the village of feudal metallurgists. This place is famous for a wide variety of alpine flora and fauna along with diverse bird species. The drive takes us past many terrace farms and coniferous vegetation. The villages of this region harvest are famed Matsutake and Chantarelle mushrooms. Crossing through the bridge over the Thimphu River, we take a beautiful track ascending gradually through the oak forest to a rocky platform. It is also a beautiful spot to take a break. This large rocky platform offers a scenic view of the valley down below. Then, we continue slowly up through birch and bamboo forest to reach Gur where we will spend the night in camp. During the spring season, the region is full of blossomed flowers throughout the trail.
Trek from Gur to Labathama (4300m) via Pagalabtsa La Pass (4200m)
Our second day of the trek begins with a trail passing through the ridges where you can enjoy natural beauty amidst flowers and wild asparagus (in spring) with the mountainside meadows. Walking through this region during the spring season feels like walking in through the carpet of flowers. On the way, we can also enjoy the beauty of mountainside vegetation accompanied by mountains in the distance that freshen up the trekkers. The first pass marked by a massive landmark offers an astonishing view of the whole Dagala range. Including the world's third-highest peak, Mt. Kanchenjunga, and many other peaks of Nepal accompanied by alpine meadows and yak herder's camp. After lunch, we will cross the hills and fields. Then, we descend towards the Labathama valley from where we will gradually pass through small huts to reach Utsho Lake, our final destination for the day. We will stay at a campsite right beside the lake. Plenty of golden trout fish flourishes in this lake.
The day in Labathamaour is for exploring the valley and visiting the likes such as Relitsho, Hentsho, or Jametsho Lake. You can also learn the mystic stories of these lakes from your trekking guide. In this wild mountain country, trout fishing on your own will add delicacy to your meal. If you like, you can hike to the top of the pass. From here, you will get a spellbinding view of Mt. Kanchenjunga, the World's third-highest mountain, and Mt. Jomolhari, the highest peak of Bhutan.
Trek from Labathama to Pangkha(4050m) via Labajong Pass (4400m)
The trail follows the route along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at an altitude of 4520 meters. From this spot, you can get spectacular views of high mountain peaks, the western Himalayan ranges. The mountains' sight that you can get from this saddle is Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jomolhari, Jitchu Drake, Tserimgang, Khangbum, Masagang, Tsendegang, and Gangchenta. You will also encounter many monal pheasants along the route. You can even climb to the saddle with a height of 47320 meters to get even better close-up views of nearby mountains. From the saddle, the track descends to pass a few small huts and arrive at Doccha Chuu. Then, we follow the way beside the river for a while, staying higher up on the slope until you arrive at Pangka. The frequent animals you can see in this region are yaks, horses, and monal pheasants. We will move towards Pangkha, our destination for the day.
Trek from Pangkha to Talakha (3100m) via Tale La Pass (4185m)
The trek begins from the early morning. If the weather is clear, we can get enchanting views of Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake amongst many more Himalayan peaks. The path follows through the forest of rhododendron with plenty of Himalayan pheasants. On this day, we will cross several passes. However, all these passes are easy to climb, and with a wide variety of mountain birds. Along the way, you will see several types of blue poppy between the month of June0July, and also lots of mountain birds. We reach enormous cairns at Chole La Pass (4100m). From here, we descend to Kiwi Chowa. Then, our route follows the trail to a pass at 3960 meters, where four tracks join. Then, we follow the way to the northern side past a ruin. This ruin was once used as a dzong to observe the movement of locals between Wangdue Phodrang & Thimphu districts. Afterward, we walk through the ridge that takes us to Talakha Peak from where we get pleasant views of the Thimpu valley. If the weather is good, Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake should be visible from here. From Talakha peak, we climb down slowly to reach a mixed forest of fir, juniper, rhododendron, rose, bamboo, and birch. Finally, we arrive at the Talakha monastery. The outstanding views of Thimphu valley from this region and the outdoor bathtub make a memorable experience. This day will be the last night to the camp of Dagala Trek.
Trek from Talakha to Thimphu (2320m), drive to Paro
Walking for a couple of hours past the mixed vegetation and apple orchards, we reach the main motor road to Thimphu. The vehicle will be waiting for us here. Just as we come out of the forest, our car will meet us. Then, we drive to Paro for our departure flight the next day. We will be touring for a bit more than an hour.