The Laya Gasa trek takes you to remote northern Bhutan where nomadic communities live within its rugged topography. On this trek you will sight Blue Sheep, Griffons, Snow Leopard in their natural surroundings and the Blue Poppy, Bhutan’s national flower. The trail passes through sub tropical and alpine panoramas and mountain passes with striking views of Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsrim Khang. The trek also offers the opportunity to get a close view of the Layaps, a nomadic community that lives in this region and rears yaks for a living.
Day 01~ Arrive Paro At Paro Airport, you will be received and welcomed by a Bhutan Bokar Tours & Treks representative who will transfer you to your hotel. Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress on heap of jewels) built in 1646 AD by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Ta Dzong (watch tower) built in 1651, which was turned into a natural history museum in 1967.
Also visit ruin Drukgyal Dzong (fort of victory) built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over Tibetans, Kitchu lhakhang built in 7th century by Buddhist Tibetan king Songtshen Gampo. Evening, take a stroll around town’s main street.
Day 2~ Paro acclimatise hike & Start Trek Early morning uphill hike to Taktshang monastery, which takes about 3-4 hours at moderate pace. The monastery clings to the side of a cliff 900m above the valley floor. In the afternoon, drive the dirt road to Gunanitsha, the starting point of your trek to Shana. Overnight in tented camp. BLD
Day 3 ~ Shana – Thangthangka. Distance 21 km – time approx 7 – 8 hours. Today’s route is long and goes through thick forests where you will encounter few settlements from the starting point until a place called Shingkarap. The route continues through forest crossing several small wooden bridges left and right and when you are close to the campsite the route opens to a meadow at 3610m. Overnight in tented camp.
Day 4~Thangthangka – Jangothang. Distance 15 km – time approx 5 – 6 hours. After crossing the small army checkpost the route passes through meadows leaving the tree line where you will see a few yaks. You will walk through a valley with a few homes, a health centre and a school.
After few minutes walk you will reach the Jomolhari base camp at 4080m. Overnight in tented camp.BLD
Day 5~Jangothang. Exploration Today you can either hike up the ridge at 4750m to view Jichu Drake and Jomolhari peaks or take an excursion to Tshophu Lake. Overnight in tented camp.BLD
Day 6~ Jangothang – Lingshi, 18 km (7 / 8 hours) The route follows a small stream, crosses a bridge and climbs the ridge offering views of Jomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. After descending to the valley, the trail goes up to Nyele la pass at 4,700m. Then it goes downhill towards the campsite at 4,000m. From here, the beautiful Lingzhi Dzong can be seen with mountain peaks in the background. Overnight in tented camp.BLD
Day 7~ Lingshi – Chebisa, 10 km (5/6 hours) Pass Lingshi Dzong and from the hilltop enjoy splendid views of the hills, winding roads and exhilarating views of mountain peaks. Walk through villages, yak huts and finally reach Chebisa village, your campsite at 3,850m.Overnight in tented camp.BLD
Day 8~ Chebisa – Shomuthang (17 km, 6/7 hours) The route starts with a steep climb to Gubu La (pass) 4,450m then descends through rhododrendon forests to a stream. The trail then goes up and down through forests and yak huts where blue sheep is occasionally encountered. Camp at Shomuthang, 4,250m.Overnight in tented camp.BLD
Day 9~ Shoumuthang – Robluthang (18 km, 6/7 hours) The route climbs to Jari La pass at 4,700m then goes down to Tasharijathang valley, the grazing grounds of the Takin, Bhutan’s national animal. After crossing the stream, the trail moves up to Robluthang, the campsite at 4,200m. Overnight in tented camp. BLD
Day 10~ Roluthang – Limithang (19 km, 7/8 hours) Today, the walk is quite long and the trail climbs up to Shinjela pass at 4,900m. The path is narrow and crosses a stream. The trail offers stunning views of peak Gangchenta (6,840m). The campsite is just above the river in the forest at 4,140m with views of peak Gangchenta. Overnight in tented camp. BLD
Day 11~ Limithang – Laya (10 km 4/5 hours) Don’t miss the beautiful view of Gangchenta in the morning. Step into the beautiful village of Laya after passing through a forest of cedar and fir. Laya is the second highest settlement in the country at 3,800m. Your camp will be at Laya village. Overnight in tented camp. BLD
Day 12~Laya Halt. Spend the day relaxing or explore the unique Laya village. Visit the home of nomads and experience how they live. Overnight in tented camp. BLD
Day 13~Laya – Chamsa (19 km, 8/9 hours) Walk down to the army camp and reach the Mo Chhu river. Cross a bridge and walk through juniper and fir forest until you reach the camp at Chamsa at 3500m. Overnight in tented camp. BLD
Day 14~Chamsa – Gasa Tsachu (14 km, 6/7 hours) In morning, after walking for some time, cross Belela pass and move down towards Gasa hot springs. On the way down, explore around the village and visit Gasa Dzong built in the 17th century. Move down to campsite near the hot spring at 2,200m.Overnight in tented camp. BLD
Day 15~ Gasa – Punakha (48km, 4 hours)
The last day of trek descends into thick forest along the Mo Chu River until Tashithang. Drive to Punakha. Overnight in hotel, Punakha. BLD
Day 16~ Punakha – Thimphu (75 km, 2.1/2 hours) Morning visit Punakha Dzong built in 1637, and hike to Chimi Lhakhang the temple of fertility. After lunch drive to Thimphu. Stop at Dochula to view the 108 stupas of Druk Wangyel chorten. Evening visit Thimphu Tashicho Dzong. Overnight in hotel, Thimphu. BLD
Day 17~ Depart Paro
After breakfast drive to Paro International Airport for flight to onward journey.