Druk Path Trek is one of the most beautiful and popular short-distance treks in Bhutan. This 10-day-long journey runs through an ancient trading route scaling high mountain passes connecting the picturesque valley of Paro and Thimpu. Druk Path Trekking takes us through colorful rhododendron forests, beautiful lakes, and alpine yak pastures. This popular trek sees over 1200 trekkers each year. The monasteries, alpine landscape views, the trek’s marathon-like nature, and short duration attract trekkers from all over the world.
Bhutanese soldiers raced this course in a single day as a punishment in the past. So, the trek also has a historical significance. We arrive at Paro airport (2,235 m) the first day and take an acclimatization hike to Tiger’s Nest the next day. Our trek begins on Day 3 with a climb up through pine forests and apple orchards which open up to ruins of Jele Dzong sitting on a high grassy ridge. The ridge gives us breathtaking views of Mt. Jomolhari.
The following 4 days bring even more excitement- we trek above the tree line, cross high mountain passes like Phume La ( 4,210 m), tranquil mountain lakes and views of mountains like Mt. Jomolhari, Gangkar Punsum, and Jitchu Drake running along the Bhutan-Tibet border. Over the course of the last three days of our Druk Path Trek, we make descents through pine and juniper forests and phadjoding monasteries bring us to Thimpu, Bhutan’s capital. Druk Path Trek is best enjoyed from September to December and late February to May. Days are mostly nice and warm but the nights can be very cold with high chances of snow at higher altitudes.
Adventure Club Trek also organizes various other tours and treks in Bhutan. For an even shorter Bhutan trip, consider our Glimpses of Bhutan Tour- 4 Days, Journey to Druk Yul Tour- 5 Days and 6 Nights 7 Days Bhutan Tour among others. Laya Gasa Trekking-20 Days and Chomolhari Trekking-12 Days are two of the most beautiful long-distance trekking options in Bhutan.
We board a flight from Tribhuvan International Airport to Paro Airport. During our flight to Paro, we enjoy the spectacular views of Everest and other mountains in Nepal’s side. And, as we get closer to Bhutan we are rewarded with fantastic views of Mt. Jomolhari and Jichu Drake peaks. Upon landing at Paro Airport, a representative from Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will transfer us to our hotel. We do some sightseeing later in the afternoon. We visit Kichu Lhakhang, the oldest temple in Bhutan. Then we make our way to Drugyel Dzong, a fortress and monastery built to mark the victory of Bhutan over the Tibetan invaders. But as of now, it is in ruins. Also, we visit Rinpung Dzong, meaning a fortress with a heap of jewels. Overnight in a hotel at Paro.
We hike up to Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) monastery located 900 m above Paro Valley. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche (Guru Padmasambhava) meditated in a cave where the monastery stands. He flew to the cave on a tigress’ back and meditated in the cave for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. We start our hike after breakfast and stop midway at Cafeteria Restaurant for lunch. The round trip to the monastery and back takes around 3 hours. Overnight in a hotel at Paro.
Today marks the start of our trek and our first destination is Jele Dzong. The trail starts with a gradual uphill climb through a forest to reach our campsite. A short hike for around an hour and we reach the Jele Dzong. A perfect view of Paro Valley with snow clad mountains on the backdrop can be seen from the top. Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins and after exploring the Dzong we visit Lhakhang which houses a Buddha Shakyamuni statue. We then head down to our campsite for a good night’s sleep.
Our destination for the day is Jangchu Lakha. The trek to Jangchu Lakha starts with an uphill climb. We also pass through rhododendron and alpine forest after which the trail descends to Jangchu Lakha. Enjoy the spectacular landscape from the campsite. Overnight in Jangchu Lakha.
The initial trail to Jimilang Tsho starts with an ascent through juniper forest. The path then levels for a while and again climbs up and down finally to arrive at Jangchu La Pass(4,180m). We then make a steep downhill climb passing Tshokam(a camping site) and also cross the upper part of Bemang Rong Chu to finally arrive at Jimilang Tsho. The lake is famous as the habitat of giant trouts. If time permits we can also fish here enjoying the mountains views of Jichu Drake(6,989m) and Gangkar Puensum(7,497m). Overnight in Jimilang Tsho.
The trail to Simkota starts from the southern end of the lake. We walk up along the rhododendron filled path until we arrive at Jahnye Tsho. Enroute we pass by Phajoding Monastery and Thuijidrag Monastery. Soak in the spectacular view below as we climb higher towards the summit. We also pass a few yak herders camp before reaching Simkota. Overnight in Simkota.
Our trek starts off with an easy climb. The views of Gangkar Puensum and other surrounding mountains makes it a pleasant walk. The trail then drops down to Phajoding through a forest of juniper trees. We further trek down through blue pine forest to Thimphu. Overnight in a hotel at Thimphu.
Today we do a little sightseeing around the capital city before we head to Punakha. We visit Memorial Chorten, built in the honor of third King, Jigme Dorji Wangchuck, in 1974. Next, we go to see Bhutan’s national animal, Takin, a rare species of goat family, at Mini Zoo. We also explore the National Library where ancient manuscripts are stored, Sangaygang View Point to catch fantastic views of the entire city and lastly the Kuenselcholing hilltop where the world’s largest statue of Buddha is under construction. After sightseeing, we leave for Punakha. It is around the 3-hour-long scenic drive. We cross the Dochula Pass(3,100m) enjoying the magnificent views of the Himalayas. We further drive past fir, hemlock and rhododendron forest followed by rice field to finally arrive at Punakha. While in Punakha we explore Punakha Dzong, the second largest and second oldest Dzong in Bhutan. Overnight in a hotel at Punakha.
We drive to Paro today. Enroute we stop at Metshina Village from where we go on a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang. It is a fertility temple dedicated to Divine Madman or Lama Drukpa Kuenley. After visiting the temple we continue our journey to Paro again crossing the Dochula Pass. On the way, we again make a stop to visit Druk Wangyal Monastery. Here you can find paintings reflecting the visions and lineage of the present monarchy. We pass through Thimphu to finally arrive at Paro. Overnight in a hotel in Paro.
Today we leave the Land of the Thunder Dragon. A representative from Adventure Club Trek for Bhutan will drop you off at the airport according to your flight’s schedule.
Note: Your safety is of the utmost concern whilst you are traveling with Adventure Club Trek. We will make every effort possible to follow the original itinerary but we reserve the right to change that itinerary if a segment of it becomes a safety issue. Certain mountain regions are remote, natural disasters can happen, weather conditions can decline and there can be illness or an injury. To avoid dangerous situations we may occasionally have to make changes to the itinerary to ensure everyone’s safety. That having been said, Adventure Club Trek will strive to provide you with the best possible trekking experience and to keep your safety our number one priority. We thank you for your understanding.
Prior to all the treks and expeditions, Adventure Club Trek hosts a pre-trip meeting in Kathmandu. The primary purpose of the meeting is to provide an opportunity for individuals to ask questions about the forthcoming trek and to introduce other team members. The meeting covers topics as diverse as personal equipment and acclimatization and usually involves a hike and some skills training. Pre-trip meeting is very important in order to have a better preparation of the trekking.