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 24th to 31st 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.
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.