Bhutan Haa Valley Trek Itinerary
Day 1: Arrival at Paro by Druk Air. If time permits we will go for a brief sightseeing trip to familiarize you with the city.
Day 2: Paro – Taksang Monastery. Drive about 6 miles north of Paro valley where we start our hike to a tea house where we enjoy a great view of Taksang Monastery (its name means “ Tiger’s Nest”), Perched on a cliff 2,700 m above Paro valley. Our hike follows a steep switchback trail and serves as a warm up for our trek.
Day 3: Paro – Shana. Drive to the end of the road at Drugyel Dzong where the trek begins, following the river gently uphill through a beautiful narrowing agricultural valley. Camp at 2800 mtrs. Distance 17 km about 5-6 hours.
Day 4: Shana – Soi Zampa. We continue up valley along the river which gradually narrows as we climb higher, winding up and down through a thick, lush forest of oak and pine. During spring the valley is full of blossoming Rhododendrons! Hiking Time 4 to 5 hours.
Day 5: Soi Zampa – Thangthangka. We continue following the Paro River through the Rhododendron forest. As we near camp spectacular vistas of Mount Chomolhari come into view in the distance. Distance 4 to 5 hours.
Day 6: Thangthangka – Jangothang. After an hour of walking in the morning the valley opens and we are greeted by a beautiful alpine meadow full of yaks. If we watch carefully we will also see large families of Marmots in this area. There will be several yak camps where you can have a cup of tea or buy gorgeous yak wool blankets. As we near camp for the evening we are greeted by more stunning views of Mount Chomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake. Our camp lies almost directly beneath these magnificent peaks! Hiking time is 4 to 5 hours. Altitude at camp is approximately 13,450 ft.
Day 7: Jangothang. Today is a rest day. We can walk to the glaciers of Chomolhari or hike up the ridge between Chomolhari and Jichu Drake up to about 18000Ft. From here you can see both the mountains so near that you feel if you reach out you can touch them! Our trail starts with a short hike to Tshophu (14,038’), one of the two trout-filled glacial lakes we will pass on the way to Bhonte La (“la” means “pass”). From here, we often see blue sheep, fat marmots, and migrating Himalayan birds, as well as incredible views of Jichu Drake, a beautiful snow-capped peak to the north of Chomolhari. We continue for approximately another hour to our lunch spot below Bonte La (16,000’). After lunch we cross the pass and descend to the yak herding valley of Soi Yaksa (12,450’). There are only a handful of families living in this area and they produce some of the best yak-wool cloth we’ll see along the entire trail. The local Yak herders and their families will come to our camp as early as 6.00 am with items to sell, such as cloth, yak tassels and ropes, and jewellery, etc. Hiking time is approximately 7-8 hours.
Day 8: Jangothang – Soi Yaksa. Today there is the option to either walk over Bonte La (16,000 ft) or up a side valley which is home to another beautiful river valley.
We camp at an elevation of approximately 12,450 ft. We will have a rest day at this campsite which gives us a chance to relax and visit the local yak herder’s or hike in the surrounding remote mountain areas where large herds of the rare blue sheep live.
Day 9: Soi Yaksa. Free day to explore this beautiful valley. Visit the Yak herder’s homes or take a walk to the remote surrounding mountains where large herds of blue sheep’s are always found. Our hike today starts with a very gentle uphill to the top of the eastern ridge of the Soi Yaksa valley. From here we can enjoy an incredible view of the amphitheater of mountains to the north. Little by little the very top of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake reappear on the distant horizon as we approach our lunch spot. After lunch we cross Thombu La, the 15,000’ foot pass with panoramic views of the eastern Himalayas (on a clear day you can even see Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world), before descending to our camp at Thongbu (13,700’) by the mid afternoon. This area is rich pastureland for yaks, and we’ll probably see nomadic yak-herders camped in their traditional woolen tents. 5-6 hours hiking.
Day 10: Soi Yaksa – Thombu. Our hike today starts with a very gentle uphill to the top of the eastern ridge of the Soi Yaksa valley. From here we can enjoy an incredible view of the amphitheater of mountains to the north. Little by little the very top of Chomolhari and Jichu Drake reappear on the distant horizon as we approach our lunch spot. After lunch we cross Thombu La, the 15,000’ foot pass with panoramic views of the eastern Himalayas (on a clear day you can even see Kanchenjunga, the third highest mountain in the world), before descending to our camp at Thombu (13,700’) by the mid afternoon. This area is rich pastureland for yaks, and we’ll probably see nomadic yak-herders camped in their traditional woolen tents. 5-6 hours hiking.
Day 11: Thombu – Shana . We leave this remote mountain area by following a spectacular ridgeline trail. From this vantage point we get a glimpse of the Paro valley to the south before we start a steep decent (4500’ of elevation drop) for most of the afternoon and return to Shana where we spent our first night of camping. 5 hours hiking.
Day 12: Shana – Thimphu. Three to four hours walking brings us back to the trailhead at Drugyel Dzong, having lunch along the way. We bid farewell to our staff and ponies before we board our van for the one and half hour drive to Thimphu, Bhutan’s Capital, set at 7725 feet in the Wang Chu valley. The remainder of the afternoon is free to rest and explore!
Day 13: Thimphu Sightseeing.
Day 14: Thimphu – Punakha/Sightseeing. Morning drive across Dochu La at 10,000 feet where we enjoy a view of the snow covered peaks of the eastern Himalayas (weather permitting). After two and half-hour drive we check into a hotel and have lunch. After lunch we visit the Punakha Dzong spectacularly situated at the confluence of the Pho and Mo river (male and female). This is the winter residence of the highest Lama, the Je Khenpo.
Day 15: Thimphu to Bangkok: In the morning we will depart for flights back to Bangkok and points beyond!
This itinerary is intended as a general guideline. It can change at any time due to events or conditions that are beyond our control.
Mountain Guides International itineraries are intended to provide individuals with a positive high altitude experience. They include ample time for weather and rest days, and our camps are spaced at optimum intervals for acclimatization.
Dates/Prices: Please see our schedule for dates and prices.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, or, if you would like any additional information!