SNOWMAN TREK BHUTAN

The Snowman Trek is one of the most demanding, strenuous treks in the Himalaya. Over a course of 22 days, you cross 11 passes, three of which are over 5000m. A truly high altitude trek - is a combination of Jhomalhari, Laya and the Lunana treks crossing the Renchen zoe pass at 5,400m the highest pass in Bhutan. From Laya onwards you stay continuously above 4000m. On the route, four of the highest passes to cross are the Gangla Karchung La at 5230m; the Jaze La at 5251m; the Loju La (5155m) and the Rinchenzoe La, at 5332m. Taking you into seldom visited regions of the Himalayas and Lunana, it passes through picturesque farmlands and forest as well as alpine pasturelands.

Overview


Day-1: Arrive Paro

Day-2: Day hike to Taktsang monastery

Day-3: Distance: 13km - 5 to 6 hours

Day-4: Shana to Soi Thangthangkha. Distance: 18km - 6 to 7 hours

Day-5: Thangthangkha to Jangothang. Distance: 19km - 5 to 6 hours

Day-6: Jangothang.

Day-7: Jangothang to Lingshi. Distance: 20km - 6 to 7 hours

Day-8: Lingshi to Chebisa. Distance: 14km - 4 to 5 hours

Day-9: Chebisa to Shomuthang. Distance: 18km - 6 hours

Day-10: Shomuthang to Robluthang. 18km - 7 to 8 hours

Day-11: Robluthang to Limithang. Distance: 19km - 7 to 8 hours

Day-12: Limithang to Laya. Distance: 10km - 4 to 5 hours

Day-13: Laya.

Day-14: Laya to Roduphu. Distance: 19km - 6 to 7 hours

Day-15: Roduphu to Narithang Distance: 16km - 8 to 9 hours

Day-16: Narithang to Tarina. Distance 18km - 6 to 7 hours

Day-17: Tarina to Woche. Distance: 15km - 5 to 6 hours

Day-18: Woche to Lhedi. Distance: 19km - 7 to 8 hours

Day-19: Lhedi to Tanza. Distance: 19km - 6 to 7 hours

Day-20: Tanza to Danji: Distance: 8km - 4 hours

Day-21: Danji to Tshochena. Distance: 12km - 5 hours

Day-22: Tshochena to Jichu Dramo. Distance: 14km - 4 to 5 hours

Day-23: Jichu Dramo to Chukarpo. Distance: 18km - 6 to 7 hours

Day-24: Churkarpo to Tempetso . Distance: 18km - 5 to 6 hours

Day-25: Tempetso to Marothang. Distance: 14km - 5 hours

Day-26: Marothang to Nicachu Zam. Drive to Punakha | Distance: 17km - 5 hours

Day-27: Punakha to Thimphu. This morning we will start with a visit to the Punakha

Day-28: Early morning transfer to airport for departure.

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Fast Facts

Altitude: 4950m

March to June and September to October

Tour: 28 days

Hotels and Tents

Bhutan Photos Images of Bhutan

Trek Grade: 2c (FP)

A combination of very long days with steep paths, boulders and mountain scrambling. Glaciers and snow may be encountered at high altitude. There is no need for technical climbing experience. Medium risk of altitude sickness. Altitudes up to 6000m. Good cardio vascular fitness is needed with weight and circuit training and running. Lots of hill walking. Backpacks will weigh about 4-5kg and contain water, camera and essentials. Trek weight loss in the region of 4kg. Fully Portered

Detailed Itinerary

Day-1: Arrive Paro

by Druk Air. On arrival and after visa formalities you will be met and transferred to the hotel. Afternoon / evening time at leisure. Overnight Hotel Olathang or similar.

Day-2: Day hike to Taktsang monastery

The hike which is all the way uphill takes about 2 /3 hours through villages and pine forests. The monastery clings to a huge granite cliff 800 meters from the Paro valley. Return to Hotel Olathang or similar

Day-3: Paro - Shana. Distance: 13km - 5 to 6 hours

A short drive from Paro takes us to Drukgyel Dzong, the old fort where the trek used to begin, but we continue up the extended road to the Army Camp, and the start of our trekking route. Heading up the Paro Chhu river valley, the trail passes the small settlements where we see excellent examples of Bhutanese farmhouses and gradually ascends to 2800 meters at Shana camp.

Day-4: Shana to Soi Thangthangkha. Distance: 18km - 6 to 7 hours

Today, the trail continues up river and the route winds in and out of rhododendron and blue pine forests. We are now in Jigme Dorji National Park, so keep your eyes open for wildlife and changes in vegetation as we continue to climb in elevation. Tonight we set our tents in Thangkthanka at an altitude of 3800 meters near a stone shelter.

Day-5: Thangthangkha to Jangothang. Distance: 19km - 5 to 6 hours

After hiking for an hour  we leave the tree line and head into the high mountains. After about 8km we cross Tengethang, a winter home of the migratory yak herders. Arriving at Jangothang (4040m / 13,250 ft), we can watch the sun set on Mt. Jhomalhari (7314m) and Mt. Jichu Drake (6989m).

Day-6: Jangothang.

Explore the surrounding areas like Tshophu lake, visit Yakherders or simply relax.

Day-7: Jangothang to Lingshi. Distance: 20km - 6 to 7 hours

Heading uphill from Jangothang we cross the first of many major passes. The Nyile La pass at 4890m (16,135 ft) is about a four hour ascent. Descending the other side we will encounter sparse juniper and rhododendron bushes and pass many yak herder camps. From this area on we start to see herds of blue sheep. Arriving in Lingshi we set up our stop at 4150m

Day-8: Lingshi to Chebisa. Distance: 14km - 4 to 5 hours

This morning we will visit Lingshi Dzong, also known as Yugyel Dzong in the 17th century, it was used in the past to control travel between Tibet and Bhutan. Since today's hike will not be as long, the pace will be more relaxed. Upon reaching Chebisa (3850m), we will have time to visit Chebisa village and witness Bhutanese village life.

Day-9: Chebisa to Shomuthang. Distance: 18km - 6 hours

Crossing the Gombu La pass at 4350m we descend into a rhododendron filled valley, and continue past some yak herder camps to Shakshepasa where we stop or continue on to a bigger camp for another 1.5 hours further along the trail to make the next day a little shorter.

Day-10: Shomuthang to Robluthang. 18km - 7 to 8 hours

An early morning start will take us to Jhari La pass at 4747m (15,600 ft). Descending to Tsharijathang, the valley where herds of Takin (the national animal of Bhutan) are normally seen. From here we climb to Robluthang at 4160m were we set up camp for the night.

Day-11: Robluthang to Limithang. Distance: 19km - 7 to 8 hours

Starting early, a strenuous hike leads us to the Shinge La pass at 5005m (16,650 ft). Descending to Limithang we'll see Mt. Gangchenta (6840m) and the glacially carved Gangchhenta valley. Gangchhenta means Great Tiger Mountain. Tonight we sleep at 4140m (13,650 ft).

Day-12: Limithang to Laya. Distance: 10km - 4 to 5 hours

A shorter hike follows a trail in and out of a heavily wooded, uninhabited valley. climbing up out of the forests we will be rewarded with some great views of Gangchhenta and Masang Gang (7165m) mountains. We camp at Laya at 3840m (12,650 ft).

Day-13: Laya.

Explore the village by visiting the home of the Laya people.

Day-14: Laya to Roduphu. Distance: 19km - 6 to 7 hours

The trek leads gradually downhill to the Lunana trail junction, then makes a gradual climb to the camp through a forest of conifers, maple and rhododendron. The trail improves and becomes wider as we climb out of the river valley. We camp at Rodufu near a small stream at 4160m

Day-15: Roduphu to Narithang. Distance: 16km - 8 to 9 hours

This is a long hike, first crossing the Tsimo La pass at 4950m (16,200 ft). Descending to Narethang we pass some dwarf rhododendron and hike in the shadow of Gangla Karchung peak (6395m). We camp at 4900m

Day-16: Narithang to Tarina. Distance 18km - 6 to 7 hours

climb to Karchung La pass at 5240m (17,187 ft) and down to the glacial lakes that are the source of the Tang Chhu river. Above the lakes are the mighty peaks of Jejekangphu Gang (7300m) and Tsenda Kang (7100m). We camp at Tarina, 4020m

Day-17: Tarina to Woche. Distance: 15km - 5 to 6 hours

The walk leads down through conifer forests, following the upper reaches of the Pho Chhu river. The trail then climbs over a ridge and drops to the village of Woche at 3940m (13,000 ft). The trek has now entered the Lunana region. We often continue on about an hour past Woche to a spectacular campsite below the Keche La pass.

Day-18: Woche to Lhedi. Distance: 19km - 7 to 8 hours

It's a gradual climb from Woche to the campsite below the pass, and then gets steeper on the section up to the Keche La, at 4580m (15,100 ft), after which it drops steeply to Thega village our usual lunch spot. The afternoon hike continues along a beautiful river valley past spectacular waterfalls to Lhedi village where we camp at 3600m (11,800 ft). Sometimes we continue on about an hour or so beyond Lhedi village to a lovely campsite.

Day-19: Lhedi to Tanza. Distance: 19km - 6 to 7 hours

The trail climbs gradually following the main source of the Pho Chhu to Chozo village. At the small Chozo Dzong there are some lay monks. Above Chozo the valley opens as we approach Thanza village near the foot of 7100m Zogophu Gamp, which is also know as Table Mountain. We camp at Thanza, 4080m

Day-20: Tanza to Danji: Distance: 8km - 4 hours

Today is a relatively short, although somewhat steep, climb to a campsite called Danji, part way up to the Jaze la pass. It will allow us to have some extra time in the morning and make a later start. The camp is around 4600m/15,000ft, with spectacular views of snow-capped peaks! It is an important acclimatisation spot.

Day-21: Danji to Tsho Chena. Distance: 12km - 5 hours

The first part of the day involves a climb up over three false summits to Jaze La pass at 5050m (16,570ft). From the pass it is a short downhill trek to the campsite at the lake of Tso Chena at 4800m (15,740 ft). Keep your eyes open for blue sheep during the hike.

Day-22: Tshochena to Jichu Dramo. Distance: 14km - 4 to 5 hours

The trail has a series of gradual ups and downs between the snow-capped peaks and across the Loju La pass at 4940m (16,300 ft) before descending to camp at Jichu Dramo at 4880m

Day-23: Jichu Dramo to Chukarpo. Distance: 18km - 6 to 7 hours

We start with a hard climb to Rinchen Zoe La pass at 5332m (17,350 ft), the highest on the trek. It is then all downhill to Chukarpo, which is just above the tree line at 4950m

Day-24: Churkarpo to Thampe Tso. Distance: 18km - 5 to 6 hours

It is a long mostly downhill walk along the river, followed by a climb up to the Um So lake at 4230m (13,950 ft). In this lake Pema Lingpa found a number of religious treasures. Continuing downhill we camp by the lake of Thampe Tso at 4200m

Day-25: Tempetso to Marothang. Distance: 14km - 5 hours

It is a short walk to the base of Thampe La and a steep climb to the pass at 4580m (15,100 ft). The trek is then all downhill through rhododendron bushes to the yak pasture of Marothang where we camp at 3550m

Day-26: Marothang to Nicachu Zam. Drive to Punakha | Distance: 17km - 5 hours

On our final day of trekking we descend through a beautiful valley to the lovely village of Sephu where the new road-head beyond Nikachu Chazam continues to push up the valley to the upper part of the village. From there, we drive to Punakha, stopping at the top of the Pele La pass (3400m). Overnight in Punakha

Day-27: Punakha to Thimphu. This morning we will start with a visit to the Punakha

Dzong which served as an old capital of Bhutan. This beautiful Dzong is the centre of the region of Bhutan called "Bumthang". The Trongsa Dzong is one of the most impressive in the kingdom, and can be seen from a great distance in its strategic position high above the Mangde Chhu river. Drive 3 hours to Thimphu for lunch and proceed 2 hours to Paro via visiting the oldest building in Bhutan, the Simtokha Dzong. Overnight Hotel Olathang or similar.

Day-28

Early morning transfer to airport for departure.

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What's Included

Price includes

Airport transfers by private vehicle
Hotels twin sharing with breakfast
Bhutan sightseeing tour, entrance fees, guide, private transportation
Trekking permits
NP entrance fees
Tents, dining tent, eating utensils etc
Breakfast, lunch and dinner on trek 
Guide and porter (s) on trek; their wages, insurance and expenses

Price Excludes

International flights, departure taxes and any excess baggage charges.
Mandatory travel and medical insurance
Tips, baggage and porterage
Expenses of a personal nature such as bottled drinks, mineral water, morning and afternoon teas etc laundry etc.
Entry Visa
Bhutan Tourism Development tax USD 10 per person
Rescue and evacuation
Tips and gratuities
Single supplements if applicable
Cost for giving up the trek (and any unused portions which are not refundable), additional hotel days or costs incurred for changing the itinerary, if applicable, extra costs incurred for landslides and delays beyond our control etc.

Route Profile Map

Snowman Trek Profile
 Snowman Trek query


Book your Snowman Trek
Other Treks in Bhutan
 15 day tour
  Start point is from Paro
  Altitude of 4500m
  Richness of landscape
  One of the most popular treks in Bhutan
  Old fortresses, villages, monasteries, and terraced fields
Chomalhari Trek Itinerary
 13 day tour
  Start point is from Paro
  Altitude of 4300m - 5050m
  A more popular trekking route
  Wonderful mix of culture and scenery
  Breathtaking views of surrounding peaks such as Mt. Kanchenjunga at 8586m
  Different ascent and descent route
  Landscapes rich in bird species
Dagala Thousand Lakes Itinerary
 22 day tour
  Start point is from Paro
  Altitude of 4900m
  Difficult treks due to the high altitudes
  Steep but less challenging than Snowman Trek
  One of the most scenic trekking routes in Bhutan
  Overnight in tents
  Dramatically contrasting scenery
Laya Ghasa Trek Itinerary

Sightseeing Tours in Bhutan
This tour takes you into the heart of Paro and then across the Chellela Pass to Thimpu and through Dochula Pass (3150m). The tour also goes through Gangtey and Punakhe


Magical Kingdom Tour

This tour is similar to the Magical Kingdom tour with one key difference. One this tour we also spend time at the festivities of the Paro festival. A Tsechu is a Buddhist festival


Paro Tsechu Tour

This tour takes you to Thimpu Tashichhodzong to experience the colourful events of the Thimphu festival


Thimpu Tsechu Tour


Other treks nearby
 In Tibet there are options such as Mt Kailash, the Kharta Valley Trek or Everest Advanced Base Camp Trek. In Nepal, there is everything from Annapurna or Everest Base Camp, to climbs like Mera Peak or Island Peak, or for something easier to Tamang or Poon Hill Treks
 

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