Hiking and Trekking in Bhutan 2023/2024
Hiking and Trekking in Bhutan
Trekking in Bhutan 2023 allows the traveler to get off the beaten track and on to the wondrous Bhutanese landscapes. About 80% of the landscape in Bhutan is covered by forests and we will lead you to complete wilderness were you come across various vegetation zones. Most of the trek routes run through protected areas and you will see wild life in its natural habitat.
Hiking and Trekking in Bhutan treks range from short soothing walks through terraced fields and idyllic hamlets to some of the most arduous high altitude treks. Our low altitude treks run through 3100m plus and high altitude treks like six-day Druk Path Trek through 5400m plus across coniferous forests abloom with rhododendron flowers and shimmering lakes and the 21-day Snowman alpine quest to more than 6000m.
Is there mountaineering and mountain climbing in Bhutan?
Mountain climbing is not allowed in Bhutan. This is out of respect for the locals as Bhutanese people believe that the mountains are sacred and the abode of the gods. The last mountaineering expedition was by a British team in 1986 to Mount Gangkar Punsum. At an altitude of 7,570m this is the highest un climbed peak in the world. You get fine views of this mountain on both the Lunana Snowman and Kitiphu Ridge treks.
When is the best time to go hiking in Bhutan?
Based on our experience we have chosen the best times of year for our Bhutan treks and hiking tour . Like in Nepal the peak trekking seasons are in Spring and Autumn seasons. For most treks the best months are in April, October and November. We describe the weather and conditions for our treks in the Trip Dossiers downloadable from our website.
For Lunana Snowman we start earlier in Autumn season than for other treks in Bhutan. The Snowman trek is 28 days and this is longer than the weather window with the best weather and conditions. We start this trek towards the end of the monsoon in late September. This means we can trek into and out of Lunana before the winter snows block the high mountain passes.
As described in our Blog article When is the best time to go trekking in Nepal Himalaya? The monsoon withdraws from the Himalaya from West to East. As Bhutan is further East than Nepal the monsoon recedes later in Autumn and arrives earlier in Spring. The monsoon has heavy rain and low clouds so we do not recommend a visit during the Summer months.
What to wear for hiking in Bhutan?
Nepal Guide Info Team give more info about Gear list from our website. Having this personal equipment is mandatory. This is for the safety of everyone in the group and to ensure a successful trek. The group leader may check your gear in Paro before departure for the trek.
You should come prepared for rain at any time of year and an umbrella is a good piece of kit to bring with you. The rainy weather makes the trails through the forests very muddy and it is a good idea to bring gaiters with you. The muddiest sections of Snowman are on the trail to Chomolhari Base Camp and at the end of the trek to the road head.
Here are some popular hiking and trekking options in Bhutan:
Druk Path Trek: This is a popular short trek that takes you through the beautiful landscapes of Paro and Thimphu. It usually takes about five days to complete and offers stunning views of the Himalayan peaks, including Mt. Jumolhari. You’ll pass through alpine meadows, rhododendron forests, and visit remote lakes and monasteries.
Jomolhari Trek: This is a longer and more challenging trek that takes you to the base of Mt. Jumolhari, one of Bhutan’s sacred peaks. The trek offers breathtaking views of snow-capped mountains, pristine lakes, and high-altitude landscapes. It usually takes around 8-9 days to complete, and it’s recommended for experienced trekkers.
Snowman Trek: Considered one of the most challenging treks in the world, the Snowman Trek takes you through Bhutan’s remote and untouched wilderness. It covers a distance of about 270 miles and usually takes 25-30 days to complete. This trek offers incredible views of the Himalayas, high mountain passes, and pristine valleys. Due to its difficulty, it’s recommended for experienced trekkers with excellent physical fitness.
Bumthang Owl Trek: This is a relatively easier trek that takes you through the picturesque Bumthang Valley. It typically takes about three days to complete and offers a glimpse into Bhutan’s rural life, ancient monasteries, and stunning landscapes. You’ll pass through traditional villages, lush forests, and meadows.
Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek: Located near Thimphu, this trek takes you to the pristine lakes of the Dagala region. It usually takes about six days to complete and offers panoramic views of the Himalayan range, lush valleys, and numerous alpine lakes. It’s a moderate trek suitable for those with a moderate level of fitness.
Before embarking on any trek in Bhutan, it is necessary to obtain a visa and engage a licensed Bhutanese tour operator who will arrange your permits and logistics. They will also provide guides, cooks, and porters to assist you during the trek. It’s essential to be well-prepared, physically fit, and carry appropriate gear for the trek. Also, respect the local customs, follow the designated trails, and be mindful of the environment.
Please note that trekking seasons in Bhutan are generally in spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) when the weather is favorable and the views are spectacular. However, it’s always advisable to check the current weather conditions and consult with your tour operator before planning your trek.
Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
Druk Path Trek
Dur Hot Spring Trek
Laya Trek Tour
Punakha Winter Trek
Samtengaang Winter Trek
Snowman Trek – With gangkar puensum extension
Wild East Rodungla Trek
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