A HIGH AND WILD TRAVERSE ACROSS BHUTAN’S MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS OF LUNANA
- Bhutan’s ultimate mountain journey
- Laya Village
- Punakha Dzong
This trip offers a rare opportunity to visit one of the most isolated communities in the world. The high valleys of Lunana are situated below the world’s highest unclimbed mountain, Gangkar Puensum, and are cut off from the rest of the world by snow on the passes for six or seven months of the year. Until 1994 this area was strictly off limits to foreigners. Trekking into Bhutan ‘s central mountain range, this trip follows yak herders trails across high passes and travels among some of the last virgin peaks of the Himalaya, in a breath-taking landscape that has seen relatively few foreign visitors. Starting out at the Winter Capitol of Punakha, this unique and challenging itinerary spends three days climbing the steep gorge leading to the outlandish village of Laya, before crossing the mighty Karakachu La and entering the Lunana District.
After spending seven days walking through this ‘‘paradise on earth,” our route crosses the Gophu La to explore the valleys to the south of Gangkar Puensum. Finally, we head southwards to the wide-open, fertile valleys of Bumthang. This is as close to Shangri La as it gets! Today the Lunana trek remains one of the ultimate Himalayan adventures, among some of the most beautiful and unspoiled mountain scenery on earth. Bhutan is situated in a hidden corner of the eastern Himalaya, sandwiched between China (Tibet) to the north, Sikkim to the west, and the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal to the south and Arunachal Pradesh to the east. The country within these borders forms a giant staircase, from a narrow strip of land in the south, at an altitude of 1,000 feet, up to some of the highest of Himalayan peaks in the north, rising to over 20,000 feet. A sparsely populated country, Bhutan is often compared to Switzerland because of its small size, jealously guarded isolation and stunning mountain scenery. More than 90% of the population are hill farmers who live in small villages spread over some 18,000 square miles of rugged mountain country.
Buddhist teachings and philosophy are influential throughout the kingdom, as they have been since the 7th century and a deep and traditional reverence for nature has led to Bhutan imposing some of the strictest standards of environmental preservation in the world. More than 65% of the land is still under forest cover and some of the rarest of Himalayan wildlife, such as the blue sheep, takin and golden langur, are quite common. It is often said that even the most experienced trekker will find Bhutan to be a revelation. In this country known as Druk Yul, ‘‘the Land of the Thunder Dragon,” the fortunate visitor will find a rare combination of harmony and accord, among incredible natural beauty. The air is clean and unpolluted, the mountains are magnificent and the architecture is inspiring.
The Snowman Trek (Camping Trip) is part of our Epic Himalayan Journey Series! These trips are led by an experienced Bhutanese trekking guide, full support crew and represent the gourmet trekking offerings of the great Himalayan Range. Please contact us with any questions or to receive a detailed day to day Trip Itinerary. We also offer a 17-day Chomolhari and Laya Trek in Bhutan.
Day 1: Fly from Bangkok to Paro, Bhutan. Hotel.
Day 2: Sightseeing in the Paro Valley. Hotel.
Day 3: Drive to Gasa Hot Springs and camp.
Day 4: Trek to Kohina.
Day 5: Trek to Laya Village.
Day 6: Exploration and acclimatization day at Laya.
Day 7: Trek to Rodophu.
Day 8: Trek to Narithang below the Karakachu La Pass.
Day 9: Cross the Karakachu La to Tarina.
Day 10: Trek to Woche Village.
Day 11: Cross the Keche La to Lhedi.
Day 12: Trek to Thanza.
Day 13: A rest day at Thanza.
Day 14: Trek to Tsorim.
Day 15: Cross the Gophu La to Sasha Chu.
Day 16: Descend Sasha Chu to Geche Woma.
Day 17: Cross the Saka La to Warthang.
Day 18: Trek to Dhur Tsachu.
Day 19: Cross the Djule La to Tsoenchen.
Day 20: Trek to Gorsum.
Day 21: Trek to Dhur and drive to Bumthang. Lodge.
Day 22: Drive to Gangtey Gompa. Lodge.
Day 23: Drive via Punakha Dzong to Thimphu. Hotel.
Day 24: Sightseeing in Thimphu and drive to Paro. Hotel.
Day 25: Fly to Bangkok.