Dagala Thousand-Lake Trek Itinerary
Duration: 12 Nights, 13 Days
Location: Paro, Thimphu, Dagala
Day 01. Arrive at Airport by Druk Air
During this flight one will enjoy the view of Mt. Everest, Mt. Kanchenjunga and other Himalayan Mountains including the sacred Mt. Jhomolhari& Mt. Jichu Drake in Bhutan. On arrival at Paro Airport, our representative will receive you and drive you to the hotel to check in. After lunch, visit Ta Dzong former Watch Tower which now houses the National Museum and then visit Rinpung Dzong which houses the monastic school and the office of the civil administration and walks down passing close by crossing the Bhutanese typical wooden roofed bridge to Paro town. After a short stroll in town drive back to the hotel for the night halt.
Day 02. Paro – Excursion Taktsang
After early breakfast drive up to the Ramthangka (base camp) of Taktsang and then hike up to the most famous monastery Taktsang, the Tiger’s nest. This magical monastery clings to the vertical granite cliff of 3,000 above the valley floor. It is believed that Guru meditated here in the 8th century. The disciples of Guru built the temple, which was later enlarged by Zhabdrung in the 17th century. After lunch walks back down. Further, drive towards the north to visit ruins of Drukgyel Dzong built in 1646 by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. From there one can see Mt. Jumolhari (mountain of goddesses) overnight at hotel.
Day 03. Paro – Thimphu
After breakfast drive to Thimphu. On the way visit, Tachogang Lhakhang-these was founded by Tibetan Saint, Thangton Gyalpo (1385-1464) and continue to drive to Thimphu. Check in the hotel. Evening visit Buddha Point/ Kuensel Phodrang – Is the largest Buddha statue in the country, from there you can get a good overview of the Thimphu valley, Memorial Chorten and Changangkha Lhakhang – it is right above Thimphu Valley, this temple and monastic schools was established in the 12th century on a site chosen by Lama Phajo Drugom Zhipo. Drive back to the hotel for the overnight stay.
Day 04. Thimphu – Sightseeing
Morning, drive for the sightseeing of the Thimphu valley with the Folk Heritage Museum, National Institute for Zorig Chusum, National Institute of Traditional Medicine, Nunnery, and then drive back for lunch. After lunch takes leisure for the preparation of the trek to Dagala. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 05. Thimphu – Talekha
Drive till Semtokha Rigney School where the ponies will be waiting for you to take gear through the blue pine forest and scrubs of evergreen oak forestation till Talekha Monastery. The monastery lies at an altitude of 2,925m amidst the tall, fresh blue pine trees overviewing the whole Thimphu valley. Going up will be quite tough and hot at the beginning for about 2 hours but later you will find the trek quite pleasant as one enters in the forest of tall blue pine trees. Will takes 4 hours to reach to Talekha. Overnight at camp.
Day 06. Talekha – Japhuna
From Talekha the trek continues and gradually climbs up through thick forests of blue pine trees and evergreen oak trees at the beginning and then into soft pine and spruce for about 2 ½ hours till one reaches a yak camp where one might halt for lunch. Here the tree line ends for another half an hour climb up through the high altitude plants like Khems and other scrubs. You cross a pass called Jelezela at 4,000 m. From here one can have a breathtaking view of Thimphu town and the surrounding places like Phajoding, Yuesepang etc. Further towards the north the wonderful view of snow peaks of Jichu Drake Gang, Jhomolhari, Jichu Drake, Jom Gang, Gangchen Ta, Masagang, Tseda Gang, Table Mountain, and GangkharPunsum. Looking beyond, the view of the whole of Dagala range can be seen. After the pass, the trek is downhill for an hour and then after going over two ridges, you reach a Yak camp called Japhuna, alt. 3,800 m. overnight stay in the camp.
Day 07. Japhuna – Jadul
The trail from Japhuna takes you up and down over ridges and down to a small valley which is about 4 hours till you come across a small stream where you find two trails, one crossing the stream and the other going up the stream. Both the trails will lead you to the same destination. Till this stream, you can see many small lakes all of which are not named. You may stop by one of these lakes for lunch. After another hour and a half, you go up through Rhododendron bushes till you reach a yak camp called Jadula, Alt. 4,100 m where you stay for the night. From the camp, you can see the rocky peak of Aum Jomo the highest peak in the whole Dagala range.
Day 08. Jadula – Labatama
From Jadula there are two trails, one going on the left of Aum Jomo over Hogue Pass to Hetso-Hentso lakes and the other on to the right of Aum Jomo over Jomigue pass to Setso Yumtso lakes. From Jadula you follow the trail that goes on the right of Jomo. In an hour and a half’s climb, you reach the pass of Jomigue at 4,460 m. Before the pass, you come across DungkaTso. From the pass, the same mountains of northern Bhutan can be seen. Then descend for about 2 hours when you reach Yumtso Gewa, Laba Tama yak camp by the side of Yumtso where you camp for the night.
Day 09: Labatama – Halt
You can make a day excursion with your pack lunch to Hetso – Hentso Lake and catch fish in the lakes. After lunch return to the camp or with pack lunch you can make a day excursion to Jamatso or a day excursion to Relitso.
Day 10. Labatama – Halt
Excursion to Setso and nearby lakes. Hike to Setso is a very easy day. It takes 15 minutes. later you can go over a small ridge and then down to Jagetso, Pemitso etc. Whole day fishing and exploring and return to the camp. Or start quite early with pack lunch and follow the same trail up passing Jagetso, and Dagetso up to Jomigue pass. From the pass, you start the real climb to Jomo. After 2 hours of walk you reach the summit of Aum Jomo, alt. 5,050 m. from where one can have the spectacular view of far and wide. Lunch will be at the summit if it is not too cold for you. Then descend back to camp.
Day 11. Labatama – Genekha
Today you leave the lovely pasture of Labatama to the Gautama winter yak pasture in the tree line right below the Dagala range. After 3 hours of gradual climb over to the lovely and fascinating landscape where you reach the highest point for the day, Pagalaptsa, alt. 4,170 m from where you can view the village of Genekha and the starting point of Paro valley. From the pass, you drop down through the rhododendrons and shrubs and then in the thick forest of conifer evergreen oak-forest to winter yak pasture called Goe Tama. Distance about 18 km, approx. 6 hours hike.
Day 12. Goe Tama – Pchechu Gompa – Paro Goe Tama to Pchechu Gompa
It is about 4 hours trek. The trail leads through the oak and conifer forest downhill till the Genezampa (bridge) and gradual uphill and across the Genekha village and also pass by the school till you reach the old monastery ‘Pchechu Gompa’ of Genekha and Wang Baba village, alt. 2,800 m approx. One can make the camp at Pchechu Monastery or reach the motorable road and continue the journey to Paro by vehicle. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 13. Departure
After breakfast, drive to Paro international airport for your onward flight. Our guide will see you off.