Gangkhar Phuensum literally means the “three sibling Mountains” which is the source of three major rivers of Bhutan. It is also the site of the world’s highest unclimbed mountain peak (7,514m).

This trek follows the course of the Dhur river most of the way to the foot of Gangkar Phuensum through lush valleys and forests of bamboo groves and blue pine.

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Price Details

Departure Dates Twin Share Single Supplement Booking Remarks
24th March 2016 US$2608 US$2743 Open Arrive earlier to attend Paro festival 19 -23 March
15th Oct 2016 US$2608 US$2743 Open Arrive earlier to attend Thimphu festival 11 -13 Oct

 

GANGKHAR PHUENSUM TREK 16-DAY detail itinerary

DAY 1~ARRIVE PARO

On arrival You will be received by Bhutan Bokar Tours and transferred to hotel. Visit Paro Rinpung Dzong (fortress on heap of jewels) built in 1646 AD by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and Ta Dzong (watch tower), now converted to a natural history museum. In the evening, stroll around Paro town. Overnight in hotel, Paro.

DAY 2~ PARO HIKE TO TAKTSHANG-THIMPHU

Hike to Taktshang or tiger’s nest, one of the holiest Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the Himalayan region, where the great Indian saint Guru Padmasambava meditated in the eighth century. The hike to tiger’s nest is two hours uphill at moderate pace. The monastery clings to the side of a cliff 900m above the valley floor.

After lunch drive to the ruins of Drukgyal Dzong (fort of victory) built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyal to commemorate his victory over Tibetans.

En-route, visit Kichu lhakhang built in 7th century. It is one of the 108 temples built by Buddhist Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo to pin down a giant demoness who was preventing the spread of Buddhism across the Himalayan region. Drive to Thimphu in the evening (54kms). Stay in hotel, Thimphu.

DAY 3~ THIMPHU – PUNAKHA, 77KM/3HRS

The drive to Punakha, Bhutan’s old capital, will take you through some of the kingdom’s fertile agricultural land and most dramatic river valleys.

Stop at Dochu La (pass) at 3,050 meters and view the snow-capped eastern Himalayan range. Circumambulate the 108 stupas of the Druk Wangyal Chorten. On the way down into the Punakha valley, stop at Mitsina village to visit Chimi Lhakhang, the temple of fertility.

In the afternoon visit Punakha Dzong, which stands at the junction of the two Pho (male) Chu and Mo (female) chu rivers. The Dzong is an outstanding structure with intense artwork, and the winter residence of the Je Khenpo, the chief abbot of Bhutan. Overnight in hotel, Punakha.

DAY 4~ PUNAKHA – BUMTHANG, 210KM/7HRS

After an early breakfast, drive to the central district of Trongsa, passing over Pele La, at 3,390 meters. Trongsa forms the central hub of the kingdom and is historically the place from where attempts at the unifying the country were launched.The massive Trongsa Dzong stretching across a ridge is an architectural wonder. Its watchtower (Ta Dzong) has been converted into an excellent museum.

In afternoon visit Trongsa Dzong, first built in 1648 and the seat of power over central and eastern Bhutan. Both the first and second kings ruled the country from here. Visit Ta Dzong and get to know the rich historical and religious heritage of Trongsa Dzong.

Continue to drive to Bumthang crossing Yotong La (pass) at 3,425 meters. Stop at a yathra weaving centre. Yathra is a woolen textile weave unique to Bumthang. Observe some of weavers at their looms. Overnight in hotel, Bumthang.

DAY 5~ EXPLORING BUMTHANG

Today, explore Bumthang, the most beautiful valley in the kingdom and the country’s spiritual heartland. You can visit Jakar Dzong, the administrative center of the valley; Jambay Lhakhang, one of the oldest monasteries in the Bhutan, Kurjey Lhakhang, where Guru Rinpoche left his body imprint when meditating and Tamshing Lhakhang on the other side of the river opposite the Kurjey Lhakhang. Overnight in hotel, Bumthang.

DAY 6~ BUMTHANG – KHAGTANG, TREK BEGINS, 6 HOURS

Drive to Tokto Zampa (bridge) the start point of the trek and pass through Thangbi Lhakhang, a 15th century Monastery. Push further up the valley by a feeder road to Zhabjithang village. Pass through Nasphey village to Khagtang. Overnight camp at Khagtang (2,827m).

DAY 7~ KHAGTANG – KUPHU, 7 HOURS

Follow the trail up to the west of the Chamkhar Chu, through bamboos groves and meadows. Cross several wooden bridges and a suspension bridge. Campsite at Kuphu (3,225m).

DAY 8~ KUPHU – JIUTHANGKA, 7 HOURS

Walk along the east of Chamkhar Chu through bamboo and rhododendron groves into spruce, fir, juniper, and birch forests up to the Royal Bhutan Army outpost. Visit Tsampa Gompa then cross the bridge where the route leads to Jiuthangka. Camp at Jiuthangka (3,762m).

DAY 9~ JIUTHANGKA – BA MARPO, 7 HOURS

If weather permits you will have magnificent view of Gangkhar Phuensum from the camp at Jiuthangka. Begin the walk to base camp which continues till Ba Marpo, which is the base of Gangkhar Punsum. Camp at an altitude of 4,440 m. Day 10 Ba Marpo– Tsampa Gonpa 7 hours Move back down the valley and cross the river over a wooden bridge just above the Tsampa Gompa for a riverside camp. Camp is at 3,652m.

DAY 10~ TSAMPA GONPA – TOLEYTHANG, 6-7 HOURS

Today there are chances to see blue sheep, blood pheasant and the extraordinary blue Himalayan monal. Camp at 4,380m after trekking for 6-7 hours.

DAY 11~ TOLEYTHANG – CHOKMEY, 7 HOURS

The path moves through the valley passing a lake until Toley Pass at 5685m. From the pass, it is down hill to the camp site at 4,087 m.

DAY 12~ CHOKMEY – JAKAR, 7 HOURS

The trek ends at Menchungang where a car will be waiting at finishing point to take you to your hotel in Bumthang.

DAY 13~ BUMTHANG – PHOBJIKHA 155KM/5HRS

Today you drive to the glacier valley of Phobjikha, one of the most important wildlife preserves in the country and the winter roosting grounds of the endangered Black-necked cranes. The valley also has a very interesting Nyingmapa monastery dating back to the 17th century.

In Phobjika valley you can do short walks taking the trail downhill.
Overnight stay at Hotel, Gangtey.

DAY 14~ PHOBJIKHA-THIMPHU, 130KM/5HR

Before driving back to the Thimphu you will visit to Crane Observation and information center. Evening freely stroll in town and mingle with the local people. Overnight stay in hotel, Thimphu.

DAY 15~ EXPLORING THIMPHU 2350M

Today’s sight seeing of Thimphu starts with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten, a stupa dedicated to world peace and prosperity; the National Institute of Zorig Chusum where students undergo training in Bhutan’s 13 traditional arts and crafts and the Folk Heritage Museum, which will provide insight into Bhutan’s rural past and present. After lunch visit Changangkha Lhakhang, a fortress like temple, which lies perched on a ridge above Thimphu; Takin Preserve to see the rare national animal of Bhutan: Buddha point where a 138.6-foot-tall Sakyamuni Buddha statue (inclusive of lotus) is seated on a 62-foot-tall throne in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Also visit a nunnery temple followed by a visit to TashichhoDzong or “the fortress of the glorious religion” which is Bhutan’s seat of government. Overnight in hotel.

DAY 16~ THIMPHU – PARO DEPARTURE

Drive to Paro airport for your departure.