Bhutan’s Snowman Trek

An extension of the beautiful Laya Gasa Trek, the Snowman Trek will take you from Laya into the high altitudes of the Bhutanese Himalayas. This trek is for extremely fit and experienced trekkers as the Snowman Trek leads you through very remote areas at high altitudes. Be prepared for snow and to camp at altitudes over 5000m more than once.

The duration of the entire trek is 25 days, with a maximum elevation of 5320m and starts off at Gunitsawa Village in the Paro Valley and finishes at Sephu in Trongsa. The best season to do this trek is from mid-June to mid-October.

Day 1: Arrival into Paro

Upon arrival, you will spend a day at leisure in Paro where you will slowly acclimatise to high altitude.

Day 2: Gunitsawa Village – Sharna Zampa

(40 minutes, 80m descent, camp altitude 2850m)

The trek starts off in Gunitsawa Village, where you will pass the army check-point where your trek permit will be checked and endorsed.

Day 3: Sharna Zampa – Thangthangkha

(22km, 7-8 hours, 770m ascent, 10m descent camp altitude 3610m)

A long second day awaits as you continue the trail, which leads up and down. You will camp in a meadow. Weather permitting, you will catch your first glimpse of Mount Jomolhari.

Day 4: Thangthangkha – Jangothang

(19km, 5-6 hours, 480m ascent, camp altitude 4080m)

Wake to admire Mount Jomolhari before making your way up the Paro Chhu valley which will lead to spectacular views of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. You will also come across many yaks and their herder’s home along the way.

Day 5: Day of rest at Jangothang

Whether you choose to rest your muscles or go on day hikes in the region, you will be showered with splendid views. This resting point is also a good way for you to acclimatize to the high altitude.

Day 6: Jangothang – Lingshi

(18km, 6-7 hours, 840m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4010m)

Today is one of the longest portions of the trek, during which time you will reach 4870m and be able to admire views of Mount Jomolhari, Jichy Drake and Tsherimgang, before descending to your camp.

Day 7: Lingshi – Chebisa

(10km, 5-6hours, 280m ascent, 410m descent, camp altitude 3880m)

An easy trek for today! The trail will take you to a chorten below Lingshi Dzong. You have the option to stay on the main trail or take a detour to Lingshi Dzong, right atop a high ridge and with superb views over the valley. Upon reaching the campsite, you will have the opportunity of visiting the nearby village houses.

Day 8: Chebisa – Shomuthang

(17km, 6-7 hours, 890m ascent, 540m descent, camp altitude 4220m)

After a 2-3 hour ascent behing Chebisa Village, you will cross Gobu La and descend into the valley, climb out and descend into Shakshepasa. The campsite is just above a river.

Day 9: Shomuthang – Robluthang

(18km, 6-7 hours, 700m ascent, 760m descent, camp altitude 4160m)

Your day starts off with a climb up the valley to view Kang Bum. You will reach Jhari La (4750m) two hours later from where you will see the Sinche La Pass for the first time – which you will soon cross! In the North lies the Great Tiger Mountain, culminating at 6840m.

Day 10: Robluthang – Limithang

(19km, 6-7 hours, 850m ascent, 870m descent, camp altitude 4140m)

Starting the day slowly, the trek then continuous to steeper ascents, reaching 5005m, the highest peak you will reach during your trek. During the descent, admire impressive terminal morane and a glacial lake at the foot of the valley.

Days 11-12: Rest days in Laya

Day 13: Laya – Rhoduphu

(19km, 6-8 hours, 1030m ascent, 750m descent, camp altitude 4160m)

From Laya, you will follow the river until the turning point, at Rhoduphu. Stop for lunch then continue on throught rhododendron bushes before reaching the camp next to the Rhodu Chhu.

Day 14: Rhodophu – Narethang

(17km, 5-6 hours, 740m ascent, camp altitude 4900m)

Climb steadily up to Tsomo La (4900m), and admire the beautiful views of Lunana, Mount Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. A short respite as you cross a flat, barren plateau, before arriving at your campsite at Narethang.

Day 15: Narethang – Tarina

(18km, 5-6 hours, 270m ascent, 1200m descent, camp altitude 3970m)

After an hour climb to Gangla Karchung La (5120m), prepare to marvel at the breathtaking spectacle before you: mountain ranges which include Jekangphu Gang, Tsenda Kang and Teri Gan. After further descents and ascents, you will reach you campsite.

Day 16: Tarina – Woche

(17km, 6-7 hours, 270m ascent, 330m descent, camp altitude 3910m)

Follow the trail that leads through a forest and the upper ridges of the Pho Chhu. On your way, look out for impressive waterfalls. The trail then descents to Woche.

Day 17: Woche – Lhedi

(17km, 6-7 hours, 980m ascent, 1190m descent, camp altitude 3700m)

Start off your day with treks through juniper and fir forests, followed by rhododendron bushes. Admire the mountain ranges from the Keche La Pass (4650m). After the pass, you will follow the river up to Lhedi Village.

Day 18: Lhedi – Thanza

(17km, 7-8 hours, 450m ascent, camp altitude 4150m)

Great views of Table Mountain await – weather permitting. At around lunchtime, you will pass by the village of Chozo before reaching Thanza. Thought it is possible to camp at Thanza, you will set up your tents in Thoencha.

Day 19: Rest day at Thanza

Experience village life on your rest day. If you still have lots of energy, climb up the ridge to admire beautiful views of lakes and mountains.

Day 20: Thanza – Danji

(8km, 3-4 hours, 80m ascent, camp altitude 4230m)

After climbing over a boulder, you will have beautiful views of Thanza, Toencha and Choso village as well as the surrounding mountains. The rest of the days’ trek is relatively flat and easy. Your campsite is excellent for spotting blue sheep.

Day 21: Danji – Tshochena

(12km, 5-6 hours, 980m ascent, 240m descent, camp altitude 4970m)

You will go through the route leading to Sephu and come across a creek and spectacular views from Jaze La. After, your descent takes you between snow covered peaks and lakes before reaching the campsite, locate on the shores of Tschonena Lake.

Day 22: Tshochena – Jichu Dramo

(14km, 4-5 hours, 230m ascent, 150m descent, camp altitude 5050m)

You will arrive at a ridge at 5100m with, once again, spectacular views all around. After ascending and descending small hills, you will reach a glacial lake then make your way through the next pass, the Loju La. Once you’ve crossed a small saddle, you will arrive in a wide glacial valley and slowly descend to the campsite at Jichu Dramo.

Day 23: Jichu Dramo – Chukarpo

(18km, 5-6 hours, 320m ascent, 730m descent, camp altitude 4600m)

Climb up a hill to reach Rinchen Zoe La, at an altitude of 5320m. From there, admire the Gangkhar Puensum, the highest mountain range in Bhutan. Descend from the pass and follow the route into a valley filled with lakes, before reaching Thamphe Chhu. After a few more hours of hiking, you will reach your campsite in Chukarpo.

Day 24: Chukarpo – Thampe Tsho

(18km, 5 – 6 hours, 400m ascent, 700m descent, camp altitude 4,300m)

Follow the river and descend until you reach the yak herder huts located in Gala Pang Chuu. Then, prepare for a steep climb towards Thampe Tsho, where you will be able to relax at the campsite, near a beautiful clear turquoise lake.

Day 25: Thampe Tsho – Maurothang

(14km, 5 hours, 330m ascent, 1020m descent, camp altitude 3610m)

Today, you will clear the last pass on your trek, the Thampe La pass at 4600m. You will then start your descent to Om Thso, a sacred lake. You will then reach waterfall and a smaller lake. The path will then lead you through a forest past which is a large clearing on the river bank with a few yak herder huts.

Day 26: Maurothang – Sephu

(18km, 5 – 6 hours, 990m descent)

Your last full day of trekking is solely descent. Follow the path that will lead you to Nikka Chhu. You will reach a grassy area which overlooks the village of Sephu, where you will find several stores and restaurants to indulge in.

Congratulations, you have completely one of the most difficult treks in the world!

Day 27: Departure

After a day of rest, it’s time to make the journey back home.

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival into Paro
Day 2: Gunitsawa Village – Sharna Zampa
Day 3: Sharna Zampa – Thangthangkha
Day 4: Thangthangkha – Jangothang
Day 5: Day of rest at Jangothang
Day 6: Jangothang – Lingshi
Day 7: Lingshi – Chebisa
Day 8: Chebisa – Shomuthang
Day 9: Shomuthang – Robluthang
Day 10: Robluthang – Limithang
Days 11-12: Rest days in Laya
Day 13: Laya – Rhoduphu
Day 14: Rhodophu – Narethang
Day 15: Narethang – Tarina
Day 16: Tarina – Woche
Day 17: Woche – Lhedi
Day 18: Lhedi – Thanza
Day 19: Rest day at Thanza
Day 20: Thanza – Danji
Day 21: Danji – Tshochena
Day 22: Tshochena – Jichu Dramo
Day 23: Jichu Dramo – Chukarpo
Day 24: Chukarpo – Thampe Tsho
Day 25: Thampe Tsho – Maurothang
Day 26: Maurothang – Sephu
Day 27: Departure

Inclusions

Included

  • Hotel accommodation on bed & breakfast basis 
  • Lodge accommodations full board basis
  • Guide
  • Transfers, sightseeing by an air conditioned vehicle
  • 24 hour emergency contact

Not Included

  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Any meals other than that mentioned in the program.
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for al Lightfoot Travel holidays)

Map

Gunitsawa Village, Paro Valley Sharna Zampa Thangthangkha Jangothang Lingshi Chebisa Shomuthang Robluthang Laya Rhoduphu Narethang Tarina Woche Lhedi Thanza Sephu

From USD 14,172 per person based on two guests travelling

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant