Thimphu – Pangizampa Hongtsho Mountain Bike Trail

Full Day Mountain Biking in Thimphu

Thimphu – Pangizampa – Hongtsho is a full day mountain bike trail loop covering around 47kms from Thimphu.  Starting in Thimphu city (2350m), pedal north along the valley toward Dechencholing with less than 5% gradient along a paved highway.  At the intersection take the dirt road till Pangizampa (2420m).  From here, the logging trail starts, and the ride turns uphill with the average gradient of +11 % till Taba Top (3090 m).  The logging trail ends at this point, giving way to narrower trail with more ascend of +10 % gradients till Sinchula Forest road Junction (3650 m). Continue biking through dirt road with relative ascend of +7% gradient till Sinchula Pass (3650 m), the summit point after which bike downhill with average gradient of -10% till Hongtsho village  (2920 m).  From Hongtso, you can choose to hike or ride to Trashigang Gompa, a hilltop monastic community (3180m), which is around 5km with +10% gradient along the farm road. You can return downhill via shorter off-road trail as well.   From Hongtsho ride downhill along the paved highway till Semtokha, it involves the gradient of approx. -9%.  Visit Semtokha Dzong (one of oldest Dzong in Bhutan). From Semtokha, follow the old highway or join the main road with light ascends and descends and arrive in the city center completing 47km (plus optional ride to Trashigang Gompa).

The ride as described above is a mix of paved roads, logging trails and narrow dirt roads through mixed conifer forest of Blue Pine, Hemlock, juniper and Rhododendron. It starts with northward paved road biking trail (Tango/Cheri road) till Dechencholing Junction and taking a sharp turn towards east along the ridge that overlooks some of the prominent cultural entities of Thimphu valley like Tashicho Dzong, Parliament building, etc. till Taba top. From the Taba top’s panoramic view of Tango/ Cheri, Doderma are visible. On a clear day, you will be greeted with astounding vista of eastern snowcapped Himalayan ranges including Jhomolari Mountain from Sinchula Pass.  As you descend towards Hongtsho village, it offers a grand vista of beautiful Tashigang Monastery across the valley. Further 15 kms biking on paved highway road takes you back to Thimphu city.

Overview

  • Total Distance – 47km plus Trashigang Gompa
  • Time taken – 5 to 7 hrs depending on hike to Tashigang Temple and Semtokha Dzong visit.
  • Trails : Paved road, logging trail and dirt road (Major portion consist of off road trails – logging trails & dirt roads)
  •  Altitudes:  Starting point (Thimphu) – 2350 m and the summit (Sinchula Pass) -3650m
  • Thimphu city – Pangizampa = 8km. Gradient =+5%
  • Pangizampa – Taba top = 7km. Gradient = +11%
  •  Taba Top – Sinchula Road Forest Junction = 3km. Gradient = +10%
  • Sinchula Forest Junction – Sinchula Pass = 5km. Gradient = +7%
  • Sinchula Pass – Hongtsho = 9km. Gradient = -10%
  • Hongtsho to Trashigang Gompa = approx 5km one way (option to return via off-road walking path)
  • Hongtsho – Semtokha = 9km. Gradient = -9%
  • Semtokha – Thimphu city = 6km. Gradient = -3%

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