The Druk Path Trek of six days is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. The trek takes you through the lovely countryside, blue pine forests, high mountain ridges, and crystal-clear lakes of the Paro and Thimphu Districts of Bhutan. The trek begins from Paro and moves towards the capital- Thimphu, providing the spectacular views of the highest mountain peak of the country, Mt. Gangkhar Puensum.
This short Druk Path Trek takes six days, covering a distance of about 54 kilometers, walking at a reasonably comfortable pace each day. We will be walking the distance of about 5 to 11 kilometers per day. The trek takes about three to five hours each day, which gives us enough time to enjoy the spellbinding scenery of the beautiful area of Bhutan, the Land of the Thunder Dragon.
We will begin the trip from Ta Dzong in Paro and head out of the city through fir and blue pine forests to Jill Dzong. From here, we will descend to the campsite below the Dzong. Then, climbing through the thick forests of rhododendron trees, we move towards the campsite at Jangchulakha. From here, we follow the trail along the high ridge to the campsite beside the splendid Jimilang Tsho where you can fish for delicious trout. Further, we trek to Simkotra Tsho, passing the rhododendron forest and the Janetso Lake. While crossing a broad field, we will see some small huts in the grassland. The next day, we climb gradually to the pass from where you get a beautiful view of Mt. Gankhar Puensum, the country’s highest peak. On the other side, you will drop down to the Phajoding Monastery. Lastly, the trek leads you to the Motithang in Thimpu, through areas of blue pine forest on a leisurely pace.
The trek starts in Paro and begins with a visit to the famous Paro Dzong. Then, the former Ta Dzong watchtower, now the National Museum. This place is where the trip starts on foot, and moves out of the city to the Jili Dzong and Jangchulakha, Jimelang Tsho, Simkotra Tsho, and Phadojing, before concluding in Thimphu, at Motithang.
Druk Path Trek Highlights
The National Museum of Bhutan, Tw Dzong, was formerly a watchtower of Paro Dzong, built to defend the Dzong in around 649 from the invading Tibetan armies. At present, used as the kingdom’s leading Museum, this unusual cylindrical building is one of a kind.
Langye Ja La and Jimilang Tsho
Langye Ja La, also famous as the Ox Hump pass due to its unique shape, stands at an elevation of 4070 meters above sea level. The pass lies above the renowned “Sand Ox Lake” of Jimilang Tsho. The lake got its name as there is a legend that the massive bull came from the lake to help expand the herd of nomad family that grazed their cows on the bank of the lake.
Janye Tsho and Simkotra Tsho
Janye Tsho, another famous lake that lies at the high altitudes along the track. The lake lies in the middle of a forest of small rhododendron trees. While Simkotra Tsho lies at an altitude of 4110 meters above sea level, close to a ruined Dzong that dates back almost 600 hundred years.
Thujidrak Gumba and Phajoding Gumba
Thujidrak Gumba and Phajoding Gumba are the significant highlights of the trek. Lying at an altitude of 3950 meters above sea level, the Thujidrak Gumba rests on the side of a steep rock cliff. This cliff was an ancient meditation spot above Phajoding Village. While the lower Phajoding Goemba is a significant meditation retreat, with several small meditation caves scattered across the hillside.
The geographical location of Druk Path Trek in Bhutan
The Druk Path Trek takes place in both Paro and Thimphu Districts, between the two major cities of Bhutan, the northwestern region of the kingdom. The trek offers excellent views of some of Bhutan’s highest mountain peaks as the trek moves close to the mighty Himalayas that runs across the entire width of the Bhutanese border with Tibet.
Druk Pth Trek Temperature and Climate
The spring months (March to May) are some of the warmer months of the year. The temperatures range from around 12 degrees in March to as high as 17 degrees in May. While the nighttime temperatures being above the freezing point.
Autumn is quite similar to that of spring. The daytime highs range from 17 degrees in September to 12 degrees in November., while the night time temperatures lie above the freezing point. The weather is mostly clear and dry, increasing the chance for excellent views of the mountains.
Summer differs a bit. You will witness some light clouds, and temperatures range between 18-20 degrees during the day. And, the temperature ranges from 10 to 12 degrees at night. However, July and August might become a bit wet. There will mostly be rainfall in the evening, with someday being full of rains.
Winter is different. The temperatures range from 7-10 degrees in the daytime. While the night’s lows down from -4 to -6 degrees. For those who can handle cold at night, the trek is possible even during winter. However, there is a higher chance of snowfall blocking the pass, or causing snow storms which can halt all trekking for several days.
The best time for the Druk Path Trek
Trekking in Bhutan can be done all year round, even more for short treks like this. In the case of this trek, the weather is favorable all year round. However, the ideal time to trek would be from March to May and late September to November. If you can handle cold nights, it is possible to trek in Druk Path as there are not many passes that get block due to snowfall. However, monsoon/summer is the riskiest season to trek. The rainfall might make the trail slippery, and there is a higher chance of landslides and other kinds of natural disasters.
Packing needed for the Druk Path Trek
Even though the weather in the spring and fall is warm and sunny during the daytime, the nights will get cold throughout the year. So, you need to carry some warm sweaters or a proper jacket, in case it gets too cold in the evenings. It is essential to bring hiking boots as we will be walking through a rough trail. Warm socks are also necessary, including good hiking pants, waterproof if possible, and a hat and gloves. It will be worthwhile to carry sun cream, as you will be walking in high altitudes, and you might get sunburns. Also, bring sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Accommodation and meals during Druk Path Trek
The Druk Path Trek Package includes all the settlements and foods on the trek. So, you don’t have to worry about managing small details while on the trek. We will provide a twin-sharing accommodation, so if you want to upgrade it, we can handle that on an additional cost. Chefs that are trekking with you as part of the support team will prepare food for you. We will also provide packed lunches during trekking.
Visit the Damchena Village in Paro
Cross two high passes: Simkota Tsho and Phuma La Pass
Spectacular views of mountains including Mount Jumolhari, Jichu Drake, and Gangkar Puensum
Other attractions include Rhododendron forests, alpine yak pastures, trout flourished high altitude lakes and superb mountain views
- Entry visa for Bhutan
- Twin sharing room
- Three meals per day
- Bottled water on the trip
- Porters s to carry trekking gear
- A sustainable development fee
- Museum fees and other entry fees
- Trekking equipment if required (on a return basis)
- Private transportation throughout the trip
- Laundry/beverages/telephone calls and any personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- International airfares
- Excess baggage charge
- Airport taxes, if any
- Tips to guides and drivers
- Services not mentioned in the included section
Ta Dzong to Paro
Day one of the trip is one of the most demanding days. The climb ascends by more than 1,000 meters in altitude. The trek starts from Ta Dzong in Paro and moves out of the city through forests of fir and blue pine to Jili Dzong. From here you descend to the campsite below the Dzong.
Paro to Jele Dzong past Damchena Village
Today, we will only cover a short distance. Even though the trek is short, we need to walk gradually and keep a steady pace as we will gain lots of altitudes, which might be tough to get accustomed to. After breakfast, we will make a trip to the National Museum above Paro. Walking from the Museum, we head uphill, passing through apple orchards, farms of Damchena village, and several pine forests. On the way, we will visit Jele Dzong, hanging on a whaleback ridge. Jele Dzong is mostly in a wreck, and there is a Lhakhang with the statue of Sakyamuni Buddha. On beautiful weather, we can get stunning views of the Paro town below and the Mount Jomolhari. We will spend the night in camp at an altitude of 3480 meters.
Jela Dzong to Jangchulakha
Ascending gradually, we reach the ridgeline. From here we drop down below the ridgeline. Then, we walk through the path of dense alpine forests and rhododendrons. In this area, we will witness lots of yak herders. We can get mesmerizing views of the majestic snowcapped peaks like Jhomolhari and many more. We will also hear the melodic sound of monal pheasants during the day. Continuing the ascent uphill, we arrive at a yak herder’s pasture at Jangchulakha at an altitude of 3780 meters. From here, we can get astonishing views of the majestic Himalayan range. Today, we camp in a hillside yak pasture.
Jangchulakha to Jimilangtsho Lake
We take the trail through the ridge and pass through several forests of juniper trees and rhododendrons. We will also get sensational views of the mountain valleys like Thimphu and Paro. We ascend a bit, then make a sharp descent to reach Jimilangtsho Lake at an altitude of 3880 meters. The lake is quite popular due to the giant-sized trout fish. We will set a camp beside this lake. From here, we can get beautiful views of Jichu Drake, the peak that represents the protective deity of Paro. We spend the night at a camp beside Jimilangtsho lake.
Jimilangtso to Simkota via Janetsho Lake
We will take the trail leading through dwarf rhododendron forests and pass the Janetsho lake on the way. Along the route, we will also come across a few yak herder’s camps where we can observe how the locals make their living. The trail winds a bit and opens with the magnificent view of the Himalaya across deep valleys. After crossing the final spur, we will see Simkotatsho Lake lying at an altitude of 4110 meters. We keep walking until we reach the yak pasture where we set camp for the night.
Simkta to Thimphu city via Phajoding
The trek today begins with a steady climb to a small saddle at the height of 4150 meters. From this place, we can get some beautiful views of Mount Gangkar Puensum, and many other Himalayan peaks, if the weather is clear. From here, we drop down towards a small lake. Afterward, we climb to the Phume La Pass, which stands proudly at an elevation of 4210 meters. The pass is full of beautiful prayer flags. This place is famous for its mesmerizing views of Thimphu city far below. The trail from here descends slowly through Juniper trees to a community hall near Phajoding at the height of 3870 meters. From here, we walk downhill towards Thimpu. On the way, we pass through a forest of blue pine and juniper until we reach the road head of Sangaygang on the borders of Thimphu valley.