Dagala Trek BhutanDagala Trek Bhutan
Dagala – Thousand Lakes Trek
Legion of trekkers have been drawn by the irresistible mystical charms of Bhutanese mountains and its surreal exquisite landscapes. One aspect that sets Dagala Trek Bhutan apart, in addition to its many small beautiful lakes (therefore also called thousand lakes trek) and its beautiful vistas, is that it is without the crowd, unlike some other treks such as Drukpath.
As the trek progresses it gradually reveals many of its treasures in form of beautiful alpine meadows, crystal clear expressive lakes, nomadic yak herders camp, varied forms of flora and fauna, soulful pristine environment. Not only it revved up the spirit with its awe inspiring landscapes and pristine environment but it also allows a close encounter with nomadic yak herders, an opportunity to delve into their lifestyle.
The trail is along the traditional Yak Herder’s routes, rugged and weather beaten, in some places. It may challenge your physical conditioning with steep climb in some parts and long descent. Apart from staying in high-altitude, the trek is considered moderate to easy type.
On clear days, one can see astounding view of some of the world’s highest peaks such Jomolhari, Masang Gang, Jichu Drake, Gangche Ta and even as far west as Mt, Everest. In the spring, the forest along the lower ridges ablaze with rhododendron, and in the summer the alpine meadows come alive with technicolor bloom of wild flowers, plus an opportunity to meet the nomads and learn about their lifestyle, makes this Dagala trek exceptional.
The other benefit of this trek is that if one experience difficulty, there is also an alternate path or one can descend to lower Thimphu valley.
Dagala Trek Bhutan Overview:
Trek days: 5days with option to rest one day.
Camping nights: 4 nights in tents
Maximum Altitude: 4520m
Maximum Altitude of campsite: 4300m at Labatama
Seasons: Best time: April- May & October till first week in Nov. Good time: June & July (although it could rains, the alpine flowers bloom at this time and you will see plenty of Yaks and nomads)
Day 1: Arrive in Paro-Thimphu
Upon arrival in Paro, you are met by Wind Horse Tours staff and transferred to Thimphu. Tour in Thimphu as per available time. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Thimphu -Punakha
Visit Thimphu in the morning and around noon drive to Punakha. Lunch could be planned at Dochula pass. Weather permitting, the views of eastern Himalayan range is spectacular from Dochula.
After lunch, descend to Punakha and Wangdue valley, where we hope to cover some tours including visit to Chimi Lhakhang temple. Overnight in hotel.
Day 3: In Punakha & Wangdue
Punakha-Wangdue valley is at a lower elevation of about 1250m above-sea-level. Therefore it enjoys subtropical climate with warm summers and pleasant winters.
In the morning drive short distance north of Punakha, and hike uphill through rice fields for about 40 minutes to beautiful Khamsum Yuelley Chorten, which stands out on a ridge with great view of Punakha valley. On return visit Punakha Dzong, located at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. Later visit Wangdue Phodrang and Richengang villages. Overnight in hotel.
Day 4: Punakha- Thimphu
Return drive to Thimphu re-crossing Dochula pass with one more opportunity to have a great view of the Himalayas. Upon arrival at Dochula pass you can begin our 2hr. ridge top hike to visit Lungchuzekha Temple. The trail is through rich vegetation of moss laden birch, hemlock and rhododendrons trees. The monastery has been recently repaired and the views from here on a clear day are astounding; with almost all of Bhutan’s great peaks seen from here. Return to Dochula pass or follow the trail that takes us to another ridge top village of Trashigang with monasteries and retreat houses and down to the road head above Hongtsho, from where it is short distance to Thimphu. We may still have some time for local tour and get ready for the trek tommmow. Overnight in Hotel
Day 5: Begin trek from Gyenkha- Gur
Distance 7 km, 5 hours, 550 m ascent, 210 m descent, camp altitude 3,290 m.Drive short distance to south of Thimphu for an hour to Gyenekha village. The trek starts at beautiful Gynekha village and begins with a short descent to the river. After crossing the river you start climbing until you reach a huge rock platform from where you have a picturesque view of the below. After another two hours you reach Gur, an area of yak pastures located just below the main trail. Overnight in tents.
Day 6: Gur- Lambatama
Distance 12 km, 6 hours, 1,220 m ascent, 110 m descent, camp altitude 4,300 m.On the second day, the trail takes you across the high ridges from where you can truly appreciate the rugged beauty of your surroundings and the mountain vegetation. The path winds through refreshing meadows adorned with wild flowers and asparagus (in spring). The first mountain pass you cross is marked by a huge cairn and gives a spectacular view of Kanjenjunga (Sikkim in India) and number of the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. As you descend the pass you will be able to see the entirety of the Dagala mountain range including meadows and yak herder camps. Once you have descended into the Labatama valley you begin climbing gradually through the valley, passing several yak herder huts before you arrive at Uthso Tsho. The campsite is right next to the lake. Overnight in tents.
Day 7: In Lambatama
This day will be dedicated to relaxing and recuperating at Labatama. It is an ideal to take an excursion to any of three nearby lakes: Reli Tsho, Hen Tsho and Jama Tsho. There is an opportunity to engage in some trout fishing. Permits are required for fishing so you should let us know to make the necessary arrangements beforehand. Overnight in tents.
Day 8: Labatama- Panka
Distance 8 km, 4-5hrs (+1hr for optional climb), 260 m ascent, 520 m descent, camp altitude 4,000 m. The trail climbs along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at 4,520m. From here onwards you will have a fantastic view of the majestic Himalayan peaks all through the descent. The mountain peaks visible include Mt. Everest (Nepal), Mt. Kanchenjunga (Sikkim), Mt. Jomolhari, Mt. Jichu Drake, Mt. Tshering Gang, Mt. Khangbum, Mt. Masang Gang, Mt. Tsende Gang and Mt. Gangche Ta. If you want an even better view, you can climb a peak close to the saddle with an altitude of 4,720m. From the saddle the path descends, passing some yak herder huts to Doccha Chhu. You follow the river for a while, but stay higher up on the slope to reach Panka with ascents and descents along the way. Overnight in tents.
Day 9: Pankha- Talakha-Chamgang- Paro
Distance 10 km, 5-6 hours, 70 m ascent, 1000 m descent. This day entails the crossing of several passes but none of them require a major climb. Watch out for different varieties of blue poppy (June-July) and birds while in this area. After crossing the last pass, Tale La (4,180m) you start a long descent to Chamgang. However the new dirt road has come up quite a bit till Talakha monastery. If the road condition is good, you may only have to walk till the monastery saving few kilometers on foot. Meet your vehicle and drive to Paro, which takes about 2hrs. This evening we hope to visit Rinphung Dzong and others as per available time. Overnight in hotel at Paro.
Day 10: Paro valley ( Taktshang)
Transfer to the trail head and hike to famous Taktsang or Tiger’s nest monastery. Upon return visit the ruins Drukgyel dzong and 7th century Kichu Lhakhang. In the evening stroll around Paro town with farewell dinner in a nice local restaurant. Overnight in hotel.
Day 11: Departure
Transfer to Paro airport in time for your departure flight.
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