Dagala Trek
Private Group Journeys

Dagala Trek

Dagala Thousand Lake Trek in Bhutan

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A legion of trekkers has been drawn by the irresistible mystical charms of Bhutan’s mountains and its surreal, exquisite landscapes. The Dagala Trek in Bhutan is one such trek. In addition to its many small, beautiful lakes (hence also fondly called the “Thousand Lakes Trek”) and breathtaking vistas, it remains relatively unexplored with fewer trekkers.

Dagala trek follows a trail along the ridge-line of Dagala range, that separates Thimphu valley from the lower hills to the south with uninterrupted views in almost all direction. On a clear day, you can see not only the peaks of Bhutan, but could also see far off peaks of Sikkim and Nepal as well. With exposed ridge line, the weather can also change dramatically in a short period.

 The trek begins from above the village of Genekha, situated on the slopes of a hill between Thimphu and Paro. As the trek progresses, it gradually unveils many of its treasures, such as beautiful alpine meadows, numerous small lakes, nomadic yak herders’ camps, varied forms of flora and fauna, and a soulfully pristine environment. Not only does it invigorate the spirit with its awe-inspiring landscapes and unspoiled environment, but it also provides an opportunity for a close encounter with nomadic yak herders.

This trail now used only by nomadic Yak Herders and few trekkers, was once an important trade route connecting Thimphu with Dagana in south. This trek may test your physical conditioning with steep climbs in some parts. However, aside from a significant altitude gain on the second day of the trek, it is generally considered to be a moderate to easy level of difficulty. With an exposed ridge line, the weather can also change dramatically in a short period along the trail. However, the advantage of this route is that you can rapidly descend to lower altitudes in a short amount of time.
In the spring, the forest along the lower ridges is ablaze with rhododendron blooms, and during the summer, the alpine meadows come alive with a technicolor array of wildflowers. With the opportunity to meet the nomads and learn about their lifestyle, as well as the breathtaking views throughout, the Dagala trek is truly exceptional.


Outline Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paro
Day 2: Paro -Punakha
Day 3: In Punakha & Wangdue
Day 4: Thimphu
Day 5: Begin trek Gyenkha to Gur
Day 6: Gur- Lambatama
Day 7: In Lambatama
Day 8: Labatama- Panka
Day 9: Pankha- Talakha-Chamgang – trek end and drive to Paro
Day 10: In Paro (Day hike to Taktsang)
Day 11: Departure

Since most of the treks in Bhutan are at high altitudes, some form of physical conditioning and training beforehand will greatly enhance your enjoyment of the trek. Trekking itineraries are typically designed with a few days of cultural activities planned and included. These not only provide rewarding insights into the social, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of Bhutan but also aid in acclimatization. We have also incorporated some excellent day hikes into our itinerary, which will help set the tone for your upcoming trek.

Overview

trekking Trip Type Trekking
Activities Included Activities Included
Activities Included Trekking
Accommodation Accommodation We use hotels with good location, service, and good value. They are typically 3-4 star hotels. However there are options to upgrade.
Meal Meal Full board.
Best Seasons Best Seasons This trek can be done from mid April till October. Best time is before June and after August since this is the monsoon time. However June till September is when the alpine flowers bloom and temperature is pleasant as well.
Route Route Paro-Punakha-Thimphu-Trek-Paro
  Best Months Best Months March, April, May, September, October, November

Not Recommended Months Not Recommended Months January, February, December

Scenic high altitude trek with access to glacial lakes, breathtaking vistas, alpine meadows and verdant forests. Opportunity to meet nomadic cattle herders, Yaks, some wildlife, birds and opportunity for fishing

 

Cost Information

Cost is based on the number of participants and travel date. For details contact us.
From $2400

Included

  • Daily tourists fees and taxes (SDF)
  • Visa & Visa fees
  • Accommodations in listed or similar hotels (pleasant hotels 3-4 star type) during the tour and in tents during the trek.
  • All meals
  • All land transfers by private vehicle with driver
  • sightseeing with entrance fees.
  • Experienced English Speaking Bhutanese Tour Guide.
  • Bottled water in the vehicle and other Comp. services.
  • During the trek:
    Fully-serviced camping trek
    Tents (4-season high quality sleeping tent, dining tent, Kitchen tents and toilet tents)
  • Trekking mattresses, small air pillow, Hot-water bag, Pressured Altitude Bag for altitude emergencies, Pack animals to carry luggage and additional riding pony for emergency.
  • Basic Medical Kit (recommend bring your own)
  • Trekking Guide, Cook and at least Assistants (or more), Horseman accompany the group.
  • All meals, snacks and beverages (freshly prepared daily at the campsite)
    Sleeping bag is available for nominal cleaning charges.
    Also available to borrow for free: Walking Sticks (trekking poles), Umbrella/Pancho, Water Bottle
    We are constantly upgrading our trekking equipment and gears, so you can be assured that you will receive the best and latest.

Not included

  • Flights in and out of Bhutan.
  • Personal trekking gears such as sleeping bag, clothing, shoes etc.
  • Sleeping bags are available for small cleaning fee.
  • And items not listed  in included section

Detailed Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1:

Arrive in Paro

Upon arrival in Paro, you are met and transferred to the hotel. Spend rest of the day visiting few sights, walking and strolling in Paro. Overnight in hotel.

Generally, flights arrive in the morning, allowing you to visit all the listed sights on the same day. However, if the flight arrives late, we can arrange to cover those sights on the following day.

MEALS:
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: Paro - 2200 m
Day 2:

Paro - Punakha

Drive short distance to Thimphu (1hr), where we spend the morning visiting its attractions.  Then drive across spectacular Dochula pass to Punakha (3+hrs). Lunch could be planned at Dochula pass or in Thimphu. In the evening, visit Rinchingang village near Wangdue and Chimi Lhakhang temple near Lobesa.

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: Docula Pass - 3150m, Punakha 1300m
Duration Duration: 3-4hrs drive
Day 3:

In Punakha & Wangdi

The Punakha-Wangdue valley is situated at a lower elevation of approximately 1250 meters above sea level, giving it a subtropical climate characterized by warm summers and enjoyable winters. We’ll embark on a 45-minute uphill hike to explore the Khamsum Yuelley Chorten. Upon descending, we’ll pay a visit to the impressive Punakha Dzong, strategically positioned at the confluence of the Pho Chhu and Mo Chhu rivers. Later in the afternoon, we’ll drive to one of the villages perched high on the hills and commence a 2-3 hour scenic walk.

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: 1300m
Day 4:

Drive to Thimphu

We will commence our journey back to Thimphu, passing through the Dochula Pass once more. This will grant us another remarkable chance to immerse ourselves in the awe-inspiring vistas of the grand Himalayan mountains. During our journey, we will make a stop at Lamperi Botanical Park for a brief walk.

The remainder of the day will be dedicated to taking leisurely strolls and exploring the sights in the capital, helping us acclimate and prepare for the upcoming trek

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: 2300m
Day 5:

Begin Trek Gyenkha to Gur

We will embark on a brief one-hour drive to the south of Thimphu, reaching the charming Gyenekha village. Our trek commences from this picturesque village, beginning with a gentle descent towards the river. Once across the river, the ascent begins and continues until you arrive at a sprawling rock platform, providing a picturesque view of the area below. Continuing onward for another two hours, we will arrive at Gur, an expanse of yak pastures situated just beneath the main trail.

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: 550m ascent, 210m descent, Camp at 3,290m.
Duration Duration: Trek about 7km 3- 5 hours.
Overnight Tented Camp
Day 6

Gur- Lambatama

 1,220m ascent, 110m descent, camp altitude 4,300m.
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.

Trek from Gur to Labatama traverses across high ridge, temperate vegetation, Yak pastures , Yak Herder Camps, High mountain pass etc.

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: 1,220m ascent, 110m descent, camp altitude 4,300m.
Duration Duration: Approx. Distance 12km / 6 hrs
Overnight Tented Camp
Day 7:

In Labatama

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.

For those who are short on time, this day could be removed

It's a rest day, you may relax or you may choose an excursion to visit lakes.

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: Camp altitude - 4300m
Overnight Tented Camp
Day 8:

Labatama - Panka

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.

Today's trek affords a stunning views of eastern Himalayan mountains peaks.

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: 260m ascent, 520m descent, Camp altitude 4,000m
Duration Duration: Approximate 8 km, 4-5hrs
Overnight Tented Camp
Day 9:

Pankha- Talakha-Chamgang- Paro

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. 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.

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: 70m ascent - 1000m descent. Tale La Pass - 4180m.
Duration Duration: Approximate 10 km - 5-6 hours
Day 10:

Takstang Hike

Transfer to the trail head and hike to famous Taktsang or Tiger’s nest monastery. It takes around 2 hours to reach 1st viewpoint and further walk of 1 hr or more takes you to 2nd viewpoint. Following the flight of stairs down and across a chasm and with slight mount will arrive at Tiger Nest Monastery. Upon return visit the ruins of Drukgyel Dzong and other sights in Paro. In the evening stroll around Paro town with option for farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in hotel.

Typically, the final day in Bhutan is reserved for the hike to the iconic Taktsang Monastery. If you're interested, instead of retracing your steps on the same path, you have the option to continue hiking along an old pilgrimage trail. This trail leads to the Zangdopelri Temple and Ugyen Tsemo. You can return using a different route, providing a unique and varied experience.

MEALS:
Breakfast
Lunch
Dinner
Altitude Altitude: 3120m at the Tiger Nest monastery. Paro 2200m
Duration Duration: Day hike - 6 -7 hours round trip. It's a whole day affair.
Day 11:

Departure.

Transfer to Airport on time for your outbound journey. If your flight departs late, we can utilize the morning for more sightseeing in Paro valley.

MEALS:
Breakfast

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Overview

trekking Trip Type Trekking
Activities Included Activities Included
Activities Included Trekking
Accommodation Accommodation We use hotels with good location, service, and good value. They are typically 3-4 star hotels. However there are options to upgrade.
Meals Meals Full board.
Route Route Paro-Punakha-Thimphu-Trek-Paro
Max Group Size Max Group Size With your own group
Best Seasons Best Seasons This trek can be done from mid April till October. Best time is before June and after August since this is the monsoon time. However June till September is when the alpine flowers bloom and temperature is pleasant as well.
Best Months Best Months March, April, May, September, October, November

 Not Recommended Months Not Recommended Months January, February, December

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