The Druk Path Trek is one of the finest short treks in Bhutan. Leading through an ancient trading route, over high mountain passes, it connects the valleys of Paro and Thimpu. Trail passes through spectacular rhododendron forests, alpine yak pastures and beautiful lakes stocked with snowy mountain trout.
The trek begins by walking up through apple orchards and pine forest past ruined Jele Dzong (fortress), which sits on a high grassy ridge with breath-taking views of Mount Jumolhari to the north. In the next 4 days, we climb above the tree line and cross several passes, including the Phume La (4210m.). En route, we come across clear mountain lakes, number of yak herder’s camps and have splendid views of Himalaya along the Bhutan – Tibet border including Mount Jumolhari, Jitchu Drake and Gangkar Punsum. Our final descent through pine and juniper forests via Phadjoding monasteries would lead into Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
Who should join this trek?
A good choice for regular hill walkers, good level of fitness required. It is a camping trek using tents.
1) Walking times: average 6 to 7 hours walking per day uphill and downhill.
2) Altitude: up to 4350 metres
3) Terrain: for some of the time following well-travelled trails although also likely to some rocky conditions near the pass .
This is a full support camping trek with kitchen crew, ponies, guide and tents. Mobile phones etc will not work on the trek but will function in Paro and Thimpu.
Day 1. Arrive at Paro by flight - local sightseeing around Paro town.
Day 2. Trek to Tigers nest and back. This will give a good warm up and acclimatisation for the Druk Path trek.
DAY 3/ Paro to Jele dzong past Damchena village
10KM | 4-5 HOURS | 1003M ASCENT | 10M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 3480M
Although today’s trekking day is short, we keep slow and steady pace as altitude gain is significant. After breakfast, you will drive to the road head at the National Museum (2487m) above Paro from where you will start your trek. We will walk from the Museum heading up hill through apple orchards, smallholdings of Damchena village and pine forests. Visit Jele Dzong (3,490m), perched on a whaleback ridge. Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins and there is a Lhakhang with the statute of Buddha Sakyamuni. On a lear day, the views of Paro town far below and of mount Jomolhari (7,314m) are breathtaking. Overnight camp at 3480m.
Day 4/ Jele Dzong to Jangchulakha
10KM | 4 HOURS | 300M ASCENT CAMP ALT 3780M
Begin with gradually ascent and then descend below the ridgeline to walk through the trail of thick alpine forests and rhododendrons. You may see yak herders in the area. There are fascinating views of Jhomolhari and other snow capped mountains and you can also hear some monal peasants during the day. We continue our up hill walk to reach a yak herders’ pasture at Jangchulakha (3,780m) with outstanding views of the Himalayan range. We camp in a yak pasture near the hillside
Day5/ Janhchuklakha to Jimilangthso Lake
11KM | 4-5 HOURS | 400M ASCENT | 300M DESCENT | CAMP ALT 3880M
The trail follows the ridge and at times through juniper trees and dwarf rhododendrons. The views of the mountain valleys of Thimphu and Paro are sensational. After making an ascent and then a steep descent, we arrive at Jimilangtsho Lake (3,880m). The lake is famous for their giant sized trouts. Near the camp, you can have great views of 6,989m Jichu Drake, the peak representing the protective deity of Paro. Overnight camp close to Jimilangtsho Lake.
Day 6/ Jimilangtsho via Janetsho lake to Simtkota
11KM 4HOURS 270 ASCENT CAMP ALT 4110M
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and bypasses the lake of Janetsho. You may come across some yak herder’s camp and get an idea how these people live. Trail winds and undulates with magnificent view of the Himalaya across deep valleys. Simkotatsho Lake (4,110m) can be seen below after crossing one final spur. We continue our trek until we reach the yak pasture where we camp for tonight.
Day 7 / Simkota via phajoding ( 3870 m ) to Thimphu
14KM 7HOURS 100 M ASCENT 1800M DESCENT
Today you will begin with a gradual climb to a small saddle at 4,150m from where you enjoy majestic view of Mount Gangkar Puensum and other himalayan peaks on clear weather. You will then descend to another small lake and then climb to the Phume La pass (4,210m) which is adorned with beautiful prayer flags. From here, you will enjoy great view of Thimphu city far below. The trail slowly descends through junipers trees to a community hall near Phajodhing (3,870m). Walk way down hill to Thimphu through a forests of blue pine and juniper until you arrive the roadhead of Sangaygang on the outskirts of Thimphu valley. Night at Thimpu.
Day8 / Drive to Paro airport from Thimpu and back to our home destinations.
March 23rd to 30th 2019
The cost of the trek is Rs 65,000 for Indian passports including taxes. The Government of Bhutan charges a fixed sum of US $ 250 per day from all foreign passports or $2000 for this trek.
The cost per person for Paro to Thimpu - Paro (8 days ) as per the itinerary given earlier
Costs given above are at current rates of 2018 and may change without notice. Changes if any will be notified 3 months before the trek.
Pick up from the airport and drop at airport
All Bhutan entry permits and trek permits.
Bhutan visa fees ( for foreign nationals)
Government Royalty and taxes ( for foreign nationals )
Transport from Paro to roadhead and pick up at the end of the trek
Two nights accommodation and breakfast in Paro in good standard hotel on twin sharing basis.
One night accommodation at Thimpu with breakfast at the hotel on twin sharing basis.
All accommodation in tents on twin sharing basis and meals on trek for three days as per itinerary; breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Cost of guides/cook/helper/ponyman and ponies as needed for the trek.
Costs not included
Flight Costs from home country to Paro and back.
Airport taxes if any.
Lunch and Dinner at Paro and Thimpu.
Client travel and medical insurance of any kind. Emergency evacuation costs if needed.
Bottled drinks; boiled, filtered or bottled water; alcohol; snacks etc
Personal clothing and equipment; sleeping bag; /down/ goretek jacket, medicines for personal use etc.
Tips to guides/cook/helper/ponyman at the end of trek.
There are fights by Druk Air and Bhutan Air from Delhi and Kolkata to Paro. You will have to connect to these flights from your home cities.
|Duffle Bag||All the equipment listed below other than what you need for the day should be packed into a duffle bag, locked and handed over to the porters in the morning. In case you cannot get a duffle bag in your home country these are available very cheap in Kathmandu and I can help you with this. The duffle bag should not weight more than 10 kgs!|
|1||Sleeping Bag||Warm sleeping bag is needed at least three season rated to 15F|
|2||Daypack or Hipbelt||To carry water, one jacket some nuts, chocolates, cap, camera to keep with you in the day, maybe gloves and cap as well, hiking poles etc.|
|3||Boots or Trekking Shoes||one pair|
|4||Slippers or Sandals for camp||lightweight to wear in the evenings|
|5||warm Socks||2 pairs to carry and one pair to wear|
|7||Underwear||1 to wear and 2 to carry|
|8||Warm Cap||one- Wool or fleece is usually good|
|9||Heavy jacket||the warmest you can get as nights and early mornings are cold - down is usually preferred otherwise a warm synthetic filled jacket.|
|10||Thermal Underwear ( top and bottom) - long johns||inner layer to wear at night and early morning ;|
|11||Mid Layer||Usually a jacket of fleece or wool which can be worn over a thermal layer or by itself while walking|
|12||T shirts for walking||one to wear and 2 to carry - if the sun is hot you can walk in a T shirt|
|13||Trousers /tights etc||one to wear and one to carry light weight preferred|
|14||One Rain Jacket /Wind Jacket/Soft Shell jacket||useful in case of wind ... you may need it in light rain though we would usually take shelter and wait for the rain to stop. Our trek is not in the rainy season though some light rain/snow in the late afternoon evenings cannot be ruled out.|
|15||Torch or headlamp||one small needed carry one set spare batteries|
|16||Sun bloc||one small tube should be ok spf 30 or 50|
|17||some essential medicines||vitamins, headache, fever, pain killers, diamox for altitude, your own specific medicines etc|
|18||Hiking poles||if you have bad knees then this is recommended especially on the down hills!!|
|19||Water bottle||one no 500 ml or 1 litre is ok you can use the 500 or 600 ml empty coke or pepis bottles|
|20||Sun glasses||the sun is strong in the day|
|21||Cap for the sun||ditto!|
|22||small towel||for baths and wash up in case you can use the hot shower|
|23||toothbrush, paste, soap, shampoo, vaseline, comb||and any other toilet items you may need!|
|24||wet tissues - wet ones for bathroom||called wet ones in India|
|25||some washing powder surf etc small||to wash clothes en route if needed|
|26||Nuts, raisins etc all mixed up||can be divided into small packets for daily use|
|27||Chocolates /Energy Bars/Amul cheese slices/tea bags||Carry some chocolates or energy bars to have on the way. Amul cheese slices are very useful and can be had as snacks when you are tired of sweets!|
|29||Volini gel/ Bengay etc for aches and pains||or any other equivalent|
|30||Iodine or chlorine tablets for water purification||available in Kathmandu- this is important as mineral water bottles are expensive; for overseas visitors you can get iodine tablets in REI and other large outdoor outlets|
|31||Electral or any other rehydating salts||Carry a few small packets of electrolyte - useful to have mixed with water if dehydrated|
|32||some spare plastic bags to pack wet stuff, dirty clothes etc|
|33||Book in case you want to read on the way and IPOd for music optional!|
|34||Two small locks one for your duffle bag and one for your room in case the lodge does not have a lock|
|35||Clothes line with hooks on either side in case you want to hang up your wet clothes to dry outside!!|
|36||Super Glue||To patch up boots that may give way!|
|37||Face mask||For dust, cold winds etc available in kathmandu|
|38||Extra shoe laces||one pair|
The cancellation policy and refunds available are given below:
0-7 days before the start of the trek =75%
8 -15 days before the start of the trek = 50%
16-30 days before the start of the trek = 35%
31-45 days before the start of the trek = 25%
46 days and above = 15%
IN CASE OF LEAVING THE GROUP
If due to illness or any other reason a client has to leave the group and go down or wait at a lodge for the group to pick him/her up on the way back or return to Leh, all expenses including lodging, fooding, transport and any porter/guide related expenses if any are to be borne by the individual client over and above the trek fees paid for the trek. There are also no refunds for leaving a trek before completion.
HIRING OF PONIES ETC
In the eventuality of a client needed the services of a pony to come down to lower altitudes, the cost of hiring the pony will be paid by the client.
DELAYS DUE TO BANDHS, STRIKES AND OTHER FORCE MAJEURE EVENTS
In the event of a delay in starting or ending the trek due to issues beyond the control of South Col, additional costs if any arising out of the same would have to be borne by the clients.
The trek route and day wise schedule will be fixed by South Col and will have to be followed by the client.
RISKS AND LIABILITY
The trek is in a remote mountain area and has certain additional dangers and risks, some of which include: physical exertion for which the client should be prepared; weather extremes subject to sudden and unexpected changes; remoteness from normal medical services; evacuation difficulties.
In the event of injury or illness South Col Expeditions (Sujoy Das) or its Staff can, at the clients cost arrange any medical treatment and emergency evacuation service as it or they deem necessary for the health and safety of the client. You will need to sign the waiver of liability and release form prior to commencement of the trek.