Bhutan Laya – Gasa Trek
This is one of the best and most popular cultural treks. It goes past many temples and monasteries and covers some of the same ground as the more difficult and more famous Snowman Trek.
The below Trek Route Itinerary and Package has been detailed from Trekking Guides who have been on this trek often. Bhutan Jewel Travel assign only experienced trekking guides for this trek.
Day 1: Arrive at Paro, clear immigration and customs, I will meet as you exit the airport, and take you to the hotel. hotel. Orientation. Visit the National Museum of Bhutan and Paro Dzong. Overnight at hotel.
Day 2: Sightseeing in Paro Valley. Overnight at hotel.
Day 3: Paro to Shana, The trek begins with a low altitude, 17 km walk.
Day 4: Shana to Thangtahankha, Gradually gaining altitude to 3750m during a 9-10hrs hike of 22 km, the trail follows the Paro River and then goes through evergreens and rhododendron and at last entering into Jigme Dorji National Park.
Day 5: Thangtahankha to Jangothang, This 19 km trail crosses up to 4000 m. Our night will be spend at the Chomolhari Mountain base camp.
Day 6: Recovery day with possible short hikes to enjoy the views.
Day 7: Jangothang to Lingshi, 19 km trail, alt. 4150m. Going through Wide Yak pastures on the way up and down the pass, we will have great views of Lingshi Dzong as we come down into the Lingshi basin. If the weather is clear Mt. Tserim Kang and it’s descending glaciers at the north end of the valley can be vividly seen. Today, the highest point we cross is the Nyile La Pass at almost 5000 but our camp is somewhat lower at 4010 m / 13,153 ft.
Day 8: Lingshi Halt : We recommend one more day halt in Lingshi for acclimatization. On this day visit the Lingshi Dzong. Lingzhi Dzong is one of the remotest Dzongs in Bhutan and very beautiful too perched on top of a hill. Not many Bhutan Trekking tour operators recommend this as they blindly assume that alls good to go, but most Guides on this trek have recommended one more day halt in Lingshi so that the trekkers are well rested for the next day to Chebisa.
Day 9: Lingshi to Chebisa, 19 km walk, alt. 3850m.
Day 10: Chebisa to Shomutang, 17 km walk, alt. 4250m. The walk is through wild pastures where we will probably see a few nomads and yaks. Our highest point will be when we cross Gobula Pass (4440m / 14564ft).
Day 11: Shomutang to Robluthang, 18 km trail, alt. 4400m. The trail climbs out of the valley through pretty desolate country up to Jhari La (4747 m /15,807 ft), about two hours from camp. During clear weather you can see the Mt. Gangchentag, Mt. Tserim Kang and Chomolhari. Herds of Takin are typically grazing on the slopes of the nearby hills.
Day 12: Robluthang to Lemithang, 19 km walk, alt. 4100m. This will be a long, hard day, crossing Sinchu La, the highest pass on the trek. It’s a tough climb from there to the Sinchu La Pass (5005m / 16,417ft), about five hours from camp. The snow covered peak of Gangchentag fills the horizon to the north. It’s then a short walk on a good trail through a cedar forest interspersed with small meadows to Limithang (4140m /13,786ft), a lovely camp site in a big meadow by the river. The peak of Gangchentag dominates the campsite, even though it’s quite a distance away.
Day 13: Lemithang to Laya, 10 km trail, alt. 3800m. Today its mostly downhill along a winding river.
Day 14: A day rest at Laya and a chance to wander around this remote and culturally unique village.
Day 15: Laya to Chamsa, 8-9hrs walk, alt. 3800m.
Day 16: Chamsa to Gasa Tsahchu, 5-6hrs walk, alt. 4160m brings us to the hot springs.
Day 17: This recovery day brings an opportunity to actually enjoy the medicinal values of the hot springs by the bank of the stream, below the hotel complex. The Jigme Dorji National Park administers the hot spring complex. There are five cement pools and a shower room, with more under construction. The water temperature is 40 degree centigrade, which is invitingly warm.
Day 18: Gasa Tshachu to Goen Damji. After the climb away from Gasa Tsachu the trail winds through rolling hillsides passing through fields, villages, forests. Gasa Dzong should be visible behind us, glued to the valley wall, seemingly floating in space After a 5-6hrs walk of 18 kms at the lowest altitudes of this trip, our trek ends in Goen Damji.
Day 19: Goen Damji to Punakha. After a long descent, the trail will make a few small ups and downs close to the river. The main valley is still very closed-in with sub-tropical vegetation such as wild banana trees, creepers and orchids; sometimes rhesus monkeys are playing by the water. Overnight at hotel.
Day 20: Morning sightseeing of the Punakha and Wangdi valleys. Afternoon drive to Thimphu. Overnight at hotel.
Day 21: Morning sightseeing of the Thimphu valley. Overnight at hotel.
Day 22: Tours of handicraft center and shopping in the morning; in the afternoon, visit Bhutan’s oldest Dzong, Simtokha, and then drive to Paro. Overnight at hotel.
Day 23: Drive to airport to check in for your early morning departure.