Truly Bhutan

Email: trulybhutan@gmail.com
Phone: +44 7444664146
Why Travel Bhutan With Truly Bhutan

25 Days

Snowman

This Snowman trek goes to the remote Lunana district and is considered the most challenging trek in Bhutan. The attributes that make it a tough trek are; distances, altitudes, weather, and remoteness.

  • Season: The Snowman trek is frequently closed because of snow and is almost impossible during winter. The recommended season for this trek is mid-June to mid-October.

The Snowman Trek in Bhutan stands as one of the most challenging and visually stunning treks in the Himalayas, often regarded as the pinnacle of trekking adventures. This trek, known for its rigorous demands, surpasses even the Everest climb in difficulty, with more Everest summiteers annually than those completing the Snowman Trek.

Traversing the high-altitude trail along the Himalayan spine, which forms the Bhutan-Tibet border, this trek is more about endurance than climbing. The path, while demanding, rewards trekkers with breathtaking views of peaks like Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, and Gangkar Puensum. The journey spans 26 days, including acclimatization and rest, and is an invitation to experienced trekkers for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The primary challenge in completing the Snowman Trek is altitude sickness. Our commitment to safety includes providing portable altitude chambers for all high-altitude treks. The trek is also seasonally affected, with the best times being March-May and September-November, and is offered as a privately guided experience for small groups.

Bhutan, a hidden gem in the Himalayas, offers a unique blend of deep valleys, traditional dzongs, and a well-preserved culture, making it a must-visit for the adventurous soul.

For those considering this trek, it’s important to note its difficulty level. The trekking window is narrow due to Bhutan’s long rainy season, and the highest camp reaches 5,050m, close to Everest Base Camp’s altitude. This trek is a test of will, crossing ten high passes over 4500m and offering an unparalleled adventure through monasteries, lakes, and stunning mountain vistas.

The Snowman Trek, cutting through regions like Paro, Thimphu, and Gasa, is an extension of the Laya Gasa Trek but at a higher altitude. Weather conditions can be challenging, and the absence of medical facilities beyond a certain point adds to the trek’s rigor. The detailed 25-day itinerary requires careful planning and preparation, promising an unforgettable journey for those who dare to undertake it.

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Detailed Program

On arrival at Paro airport, received it from our representative and transferred to Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital town.

Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.

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Drive to Punakha via Dochula pass (3,050m), through a magnificent forest of rhododendron and magnolia. From the pass, one can have a panoramic view of eastern Himalayan peaks an enticing view of the Lunana route, Picnic lunch at Punakha by the riverside. Enjoy the view of Punakha Dzong, built in 1637 during the time of Zhabdrung. The Dzong is now used as the winter residence of the monk body and the administrative center of the district.

The drive continues through semi-tropical forests and villages up to Gasa Tsachu (hot spring). The Tsachu is a famous place where people from all over the country come to have a bath, due to its curative powers. Here there are four pools of different temperatures from mild to hot. Hot lunch will be served close to spring. After lunch two hours of the stiff climb to Gasa Dzong. Camp below the Dzong at alt. 2,900m.

Places and attractions:

After breakfast, visit the Dzong, which was built in the 17th century, to protect the valley against Tibetan invaders. The path starts with a stiff climb unto Bele la pass (3,700m) through bamboo, rhododendron, juniper, and fir forests. Then descend for about half an hour to camp at Chamsa at alt. 3,650m.

Walking time 6/7 hours.

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The trail starts by descending the bank of the Mo Chu river. Lunch will be served at the side of the bridge, across the river. After lunch climbs gradually to Laya crossing the army camp. Overnight camp at alt. 3,800m.

Walking time 8/9 hours.

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One can go around the villages, visiting houses and the people. Laya people are very friendly and will happily pose for photographs. Women of Laya wear special dresses and typical bamboo hats, decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments. Cultural evening with dances performed by local girls.

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From Laya descend to the army camp and continue following the river till the turn-off point to Rhodophu. After lunch continue the climb through rhododendron bushes till reaching the camp at alt. 4,350m.

Walking time 8/9 hours.

Today is the longest day of the trip and it is important to start early. Start at about 5 a.m. by climbing to Tsimola (4,700m). After crossing the first pass and the little summit, one can have a superb view of Lunana, Mt. Chomolhari, and Mt. Jichu Drake.

The path is flat for another four hours till the climb to Ganglapachung pass (5,080m) is started. The view from the path is breathtaking and the whole range of mountains including Masagang, Tsendagang, and Teri gang can be seen. After the path, it is a very long descent to Tarina valley. Camp at alt. 3,980m.

Walking time 10/11 hours.

The walk leads down through conifer forests following the upper reaches of the Pho chu river. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to Woche at 3,800m, the first village after Gasa. Camp at alt. 3,800m.

Walking time 6/7 hours.

Places and attractions:

The trek starts through juniper and fir forests and further ahead through rhododendron bushes. Climb unto Keche la pass (4,480m) where one can have a great view of the mountains. After the pass, descend to the riverside walking through the village with a stunning view of the Table Mountains and others. Follow up the river till Lhedi village, which is one of the main sources of the Pho Chu river.

Camp at alt. 3,650m.

Places and attractions:

The trek continues following the river, rising gradually to Choejong village. After lunch, visit the Choejung village walking towards the wide valley. Cross the bridge to reach Thanza camp at alt. 4,000m.

walking time 7/8 hours.

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One can walk around or climb the ridge for a fascinating view of lakes and mountains.

Places and attractions:

The trek starts by climbing the ridge, with a great view of Table Mountain and Thanza valley below. The ridge alt. Is 4,500m and it rises gradually up to 4,650m. After lunch walks upward on the left side of the bridge enjoying the view of snow-capped mountains. Further after climbing ridges, you reach the campsite of Tshorim at alt. 5,125m.

walking time 8/9 hours.

This is one of the highlights of the trip and the day starts with a short climb to Tshorim Lake. Walk on the side of the lake enjoying the panoramic view of the Gophula ranges. The last climb to the Gophula pass (5,230m) is very short. After the pass descends to the base camp, walking along the ridge and enjoying the great view of Gangkar Puensum.

If interested, one can divert to the left side to climb up the pyramid peak for a better view or you can go down to base camp nearby Sha Chu at the alt. of 4,970m.

walking time 6/7 hours.

Rest day at the base camp enjoying the great view.

The trek is not yet over. The trail further follows the Sha Chu and descends gradually to Geshe Woma at an alt. of 4,200m.

walking time 6/7 hours.

The path continues following Sha Chu for two and half hours until the stiff climb to Sakala begins. Visibility along the Sakala trail is poor so one must see the top of the ridge for guidance. Lunch nearby a yak herder’s camp.

After that climb up to Sakala pass at alt. 4,800m. Later descend to the lakes and another short ascent is stunning. The scenery once again is beautiful with small lakes and mountain peaks. Camp at the alt. of 4,000m.

walking time 8/9 hours.

A short half-hour climb leads to the Juelela pass (4,400m). After the pass, descend to the riverside through dense rhododendron, juniper, and conifer forests. After the bridge, a short climb leads to Dhur Tsachu hot spring, where Guru Padmasambhava is supposed to have taken bath in the 8th hot spring.

walking time 5 hours.

In the spring, it is a long and steady climb again with great views of the mountain Lunana. You also come across blue lakes and yak herders camp at alt. 3,850m,

walking time 8/9 hours.

This is the last day of the trek where you change from yak to pack ponies. The path follows the Chamkhar Chu descending gradually with few climbs. The trek ends when you arrive at Dhur village where transport will pick you up and drive you to Bumthang.

Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.

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Accommodation options:

Bumthang is the general name given to the combination of four valleys to Chumey, Choekhor, Tang, and Ura with altitudes varying from 2,600m to 4,000m. It is home to many prominent Buddhist temples and monasteries.

Visit Tamshing Lhakhang, the treasure house of interesting religious Buddhist paintings. Then visit Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley.

Afternoon visit Kurjey Lhakhang, one of the most sacred places. Later visit Jambay Lhakhang, the ancient monastery dating from the introduction of Buddhism in the country.

Overnight at the lodge in Bumthang.

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The crown prince of Bhutan traditionally becomes the Penlop (governor) of Trongsa before being crowned as king. Trongsa Dzong built in 1648 is a masterpiece of Bhutanese architecture, which has been the traditional home of all four kings of Bhutan before they were crowned as King.

Standing above this fortress is Ta Dzong, which once guarded this place against internal rebellion and provides visitors more insight into the historical significance of Trongsa in Bhutan’s history.

Overnight at the lodge in Trongsa.

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Morning drive to Paro en-route visiting Wangduephodrang and local market. This place is also famous for its bamboo products, slate, and stone carvings.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

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After breakfast visit Ta Dzong, the National Museum of the Kingdom. Originally built as Watch Tower in 1967 it is acting as the National Museum of the country and holds a fascinating collection of art, artifacts, thangkha paintings, and Bhutan’s exquisite postage stamps. Then walk down the trail to visit Rinpung Dzong which has a long and fascinating history.

After lunch drive north of Paro valley to the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong. From this fort, the Bhutanese repelled several invasions by Tibetan armies. Nearby visit a traditional Bhutanese Farm House that offers good insight into the lifestyle of local people.

While returning to Paro town visits Enroute Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest and most sacred shrines of the Kingdom.

Overnight at the hotel in Paro.

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Accommodation options:

After breakfast drive to the airport for the flight to the onward destination.

Frequently Asked Question

Men traditionally wear the gho, a long robe gathered and fastened at the waist. This is worn with knee-high socks and formal shoes. The Kira, a gorgeous woven garment that covers nearly the entire body from shoulder to ankle, is worn by women.

A vibrant silk jacket completes the look. Traditional dress is still worn regularly throughout the country. If you’re interested, when you come, we can assist you with obtaining your gho or Kira.

Your attire requirements are determined by the season. Given the luggage restrictions imposed by Bhutan’s two airlines, we recommend that you pack carefully. When you book your vacation, we can provide you with ideas. Because Bhutan is a developing country, most of the necessities you want may not be accessible.

Bring any specific medications you may have. Get your contact lenses and a spare set of glasses as well. A flashlight is required. Leisure items such as an iPod, literature, and your favorite herbal tea might be carried. Passengers are only allowed to carry in 200 cigarettes for personal usage if they pay the full fee.

Tourists may blend in with the crowd while taking photos. A Special Permit for Filming, however, must be secured. While shooting images, you should avoid disturbing the festival crowd or distracting the performers. When attending the festival/Tshechu, there is a dress code.

Please avoid wearing caps or utilizing umbrellas. Smoking is not permitted, and guests are not authorized to wear slippers, short skirts, or shorts. The police may verify tour guide licenses at any moment to ensure that tour groups are being led by a licensed guide.

We specialize in small groups and tailor-made individual trips for our clients. Our group departures are assured if at least two people sign up. We normally avoid making our groups large to guarantee that all visitors receive equal attention from guides and leaders.

Furthermore, small groups allow for greater itinerary flexibility and access to locations and attractions that large tour groups may not have access to. Rather than a strict calendar of events, our itineraries are based on an estimated indication of the timetable, breadth of activities, and journey routing.

However, alterations to the daily schedule may occur due to local conditions and/or at the request of our guests, as long as there are no financial consequences. These alterations might range from single landmarks to the town or city visited.

Because most clients like to personalize their travels, any package listed on our website can be used as a starting point to create your unique trip. Choose a date that works for you, and we’ll send you a complete itinerary. If none of our existing itineraries suit you, we can create one for you. If you do not have a travel partner, we may organize a solo trip for you or find you one.

You will be given moderately spicy Bhutanese food with chilies. The meal is popular among visitors.

Chinese and Indian cuisine is also available. Though Bhutanese water supplies are directly from the Himalayas, it is always recommended that you drink bottled mineral water.

  • Inclusion
  • Exclusion
  • Insurance
  • Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
  • 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium update).
  • Bhutan visa fee – including all necessary processing
  • Route Permit
  • Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
  • A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
  • All land transportation by private vehicle
  • Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Monuments entrance fees where applicable
  • Drinking water
  • All internal taxes and charges
  • A sustainable development fee of $200. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
  • Airfare & Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
  • Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.

Package does not include insurance of any kinds, and that you are required to obtain separate coverage from your home country before your trip begins.

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