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Bumthang Owl Trek 3 days

Bumthang Owl Trek 3 days

Easy to moderate trek in central Bhutan

Bumthang Owl Trek 3 days in Bhutan is one of the popular and easy trek. This three day Bumthang Owl Trek offers an invigorating experience of the culture and environment of the country. It is an easy to moderate 3-day hiking starting from Menchugang and ends at Tharpaling Monastery in Bumthang. The trail has an abundance of flora and fauna, and the panoramic views of the valleys beneath the hill tops and the Himalayas spread over a broad horizon will be an experience that one shall cherish for a lifetime. This trek could be a substitute for the Bumthang Cultural Trek that has been deteriorated to a great degree by the farm road constructions.

On this trek you have the opportunity to see village life in Dhur. The virgin temperate forest of blue pine, hemlock, fir, spruce, juniper with under growth of bamboo spices, rhododendrons, birch, maple, chestnut and many others. In spring the rhododendrons flowers are in bloom that beautifies the whole trek route. The valley views and the Himalayan snow capped mountains in the north are quite beautiful. Birds of different spices, among them the big monal pheasants can be sighted around the second camp and Tharpaling area during mornings and evenings. You will also be able to see relatively remote and large Monasteries and their life in Tharpaling, Choedak and Zhambala.


Trip Facts

Trek duration: 3 days with 2 nights camp.
Minimum Duration needed for this tour: 11 nights
Difficulty: Easy to Moderate


The trek can be done through-out the year with exception of Winter months (Dec, Jan & Feb). However the best time for it is in the Spring (March till May) and Autumn (Late Sept till mid November).

Trek Day 1: Begin Trek; Jakar- Menchugang-Dhur-Schonath
Transfer by vehicle till the road head and start the trek at Manchugang. Visit the biggest village in Bumthang, called Dhur at an elevation of 2900m. The village consists of about 75 households with a recorded population of around 800 people. In this single village, there are three types of inhabitant called the Kheps (tax payers, with cattle and farmland), the Brokpas, (nomadic yak herders) and the third group having either. This village also use two different dialects; the usual Bumthang Kha and the Brokke (nomadic dialects). A walk above the village to get the overall view of the village is interesting. Climb down to the river where the traditional water-driven flour mill can be visited. This traditional water driven flour mill used to be a source of livelihood for the people of Dhur village. It has been abandoned after the intake channel was washed away by flash flood. The program has been rehabilitated as it symbolizes an authentic Bhutanese tradition. Continue the trek uphill through the blue pine forest and reach the camp at Schonath (3450m) in hemlock and juniper forest. The hauling of owls through the night is quite common, hence the name the Owl Trek.
Overnight in the tent camp.

Trek Day 2: Trekking through the virgin forest of huge temperate trees like spruce, hemlock, fir, birch and many species of rhododendron makes you breathe the real wilderness of Bhutan. Bamboos are the main undergrowth of this wild forest. During the months of April and May the rhododendrons are in full bloom. In about two hours, you will arrive at the Drangela Pass (3600m). Ascending the Kitiphu ridge brings you to an altitude of 3870m for the night camp. If weather favors you, have a wonderful view of the valley and the panoramic snow capped Himalayan Mountains. The highest mountain of Bhutan Gangkar Punsum (7541m) stands right in front of you when you are on the peak of Kitiphu. Overnight in tent camp.

Day 3: Climb down to the monasteries of Zambhalha, Chuedak and Tharpaling which brings you to the religious life of monk hood, the historical Buddhist learning center. Chuedak monastery has 100 Avoloketeshvaras in the form of Chukchizhey (eleven heads) that you will see nowhere else in the country. Afternoon, walk along the ridge of Kikila and finally follow the traditional trek route between Trongsa and Bumthang (the Royal Heritage Trail). The best view of Jakar Dzong will end your three day trek with many interesting and unforgettable memories. Transfer to your hotel in Jakar (1hr) or Chumey (30min) or Trongsa (2hrs)

Suggested Itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive in Paro and transfer to Thimphu. Sightseeing in Thimphu as per available time. Overnight in hotel.
Day 2: Drive to Punakha. Local sightseeing and walks in Punakha. Overnight hotel.
Day 3:  Tour Punakha & Wangdue. Overnight in hotel
Day 4: Drive to Jakar, Bumthang (7-8hrs).Overnight hotel.
Day 5: Full day for sightseeing and walking tour in and around Bumthang. Overnight hotel.
Day 6 & 7: Trek and camp as per trekking details provided above.
Day 8: Trek most of the day and drive to Trongsa or stay in Chumey valley. Overnight hotel.
Day 9: Drive and visit Gangtey in Phobjikha valley. Overnight hotel.
Day 10: Drive to Thimphu (6-7hrs) and overnight in hotel.
Day 11: Thimphu tour and Paro valley tour. Overnight hotel.
Day 12: Paro. Full day for hiking excursion to Taktsang. Return to Paro. Overnight hotel.
Day 13: Departure transfer to the airport in time for your flight.

Alternate Itinerary using one way by flight:

Day 1: Arrive in Paro and tour. Overnight in hotel
Day 2: Fly to Jakar, Bumthang and tour (Flight operates only on certain days). Overnight in hotel
Day 3: Tour and walk around Jakar
Day 4 & 5: Trek as per itinerary and camp
Day 6: Trek end and drive to Trongsa. Overnight in hotel
Day 7: Drive to Punakha (Option to take a side trip to Gangtey). Overnight in Punakha
Day 8: In Punakha & Wangdue touring. Overnight in hotel.
Day 9 & 10: Drive to Thimphu (3-4hrs) and spend extra day in Thimphu
Day 11: Drive to Paro and hike to Taktsang monastery. Overnight hotel in Paro
Day 12: Departure.

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Bumthang Owl Trek Video


Bumthang Owl Trek Map




Trek Photos


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