Laya-Gasa Trek is one of the toughest and longest treks in Bhutan. It is grueling and strenuous because the trail will take you through all kinds of rough paths, often testing your stamina, resilience and patience. But it will take near the virgin mountain peaks and it will make you walk through clear, secluded and beautiful lakes. Most importantly, the trail will lead you almost through the feet of untouched and unconquered Mt Jomolhari. If you are a trekker, this 18 days trek is highly recommended. Trip length: 18 Days Level: Moderate / DifficultS Maximum altitude: 4900m Suitable month: April to June & September to Mid -November.
Day 1: Paro
Arrive at Paro International Airport.Visit the majestic Rimpung Dzong, Kyichu Lhakhang and Drukgyal Dzong. We will also try to visit the National Museum if time permits.
Accommodation: Bhutan Mandala Resort (or similar)
Day 2: Hike to Taktshang
After breakfast, start the day’s excursion to Taktshang, the Tiger’s Nest Monastery perched on a vertical granite rock, 900m above the Paro Valley floor.
Afternoon, we will be travelling towards the point from where our trek should begin
Day 3: Gunitsawa- SoeThangthangkha
After early breakfast, we will drive northwards.
Our trek will actually being from Gunitsawa. The winding trail with frequent climb and descend leads us to our camp site in a meadow with stone shelter at 3,720m. By then, we would have trekked about 23km in around 7-8hours.
Day 4: Thangthangkha – Jangothang
Trekking resumes. We will trek along the Pachhu and the valley opens again after crossing a small army outpost.
After trekking for some 15km within 5 to 6 hours, we will call it a day near the ruined fortress at the base of Mt. Jomolhari at 4040m.
Day 5: Jangothang to halt.
We will take a recess for a day and explore the beautiful area.
Spend the night at the camp.
Day 6: Jangothang – Lingshi
We will begin climbing gradually toward the pass through a wide pastureland. It is a long trekking day.
At 4150 m, we will camp in a stone shelter with built-in-fire pit or in the tent. By then, we would have covered 19km of trail within 5 to 6 hours of trek.
Day 7: Lingshi – Chebisa
Perhaps, today’s route would be the shortest one.
After 3 to 4 hours of trekking, we will reach Chebisa which stands at 3, 850 m. We will pitch our tents in a village.
Day 8: Chebisa – Shomuthang
We will begin trekking through a wide pastureland which would lead us up to Gobu La Pass. We will have a long distance to cover from there before having recess of the day.
The campsite will be above a river bank, a tributary of a Mochhu River at the elevation of 4, 260m. By then, we would have trekked 17km, around 5 to 6 hours.
Day 9: Shomuthang – Robluthang
Because today’s journey is little rough and strenuous, we have to begin trekking bit early. Upon crossing the Jerela Pass at 4, 600m, descend to Tsharijathang Valley, where you can see the herds of Takin, the National Animal of Bhutan.
Camp at Tsharijathang at 4, 390m after having trekked 15km, 6 to 7 hours!
Day 10: Robluthang – Lingmithang
It’s again a long day trek. So we will resume our journey little early. We will Cross the Shingela Pass at 4, 900m, then Lingmithang village.
We will call it a day at Lingmithang which stands at the elevation of 4, 140m. Today, we would have trekked for 6 to 7 hours covering 19 km of the trail.
Day 11: Lingmithang – Laya
The trek for the day is downhill walk along the narrow winding river valley. The trail leads you to the west side of the Laya Village. At the elevation of 3, 850m, campsite is on a high flat bench above the village. The trek stretches for about 10 km requiring 3 to 4 hours of normal trekking.
Day 12: Laya Halt
A day halt at Laya will give us a time to go around and explore the Laya Village to the fullest.
Day 13: Laya – Koena
The trail involves series of winding rounds to avoid steep cliffs while affording break-taking views of crashing river, feeder streams and cascades of waterfalls. Covering 19km of trail in 6 to 7 hours, we will reach at our campsite at 3, 800m.
Day 14: Koena – Gasa (GasaTsachu or Hot spring),
Upon crossing the Babela Pass at 3, 740m, the trail is all the way down leading up to our campsite, close to Gasa Dzong at the elevation of 2, 900m. The 17km stretch of the trek takes 6 to 7 hours of normal trekking. Camp near the Hot Spring!
Day 15: GasaTsachu – Punakha (Trek ends)
Today, we will have a half day trek. Then, our vehicles will be waiting for us at the road-head. From there, we will be transported to Punakha.
Day 16: Punakha – Thimphu
Drive back to Thimphu with a stop at Dochhula. Visit the new Druk Wangyal Monastery and 108 stupas. Then, we will continue travelling to Thimphu.
After a brief recess at your hotel in Thimphu, we will visit the National Memorial Chorten, National Library, Handicraft Emporium, Buddha Point, Trashichodzong.
Day 17: Thimphu – Paro
In the morning, hike to Tango Monastery, the 15th Century Monastery. Apart from getting to see monks in their daily religious practices, from the monastery one can have a panoramic view of Thimphu Valley.
Day 18: Paro (Departure)
We will see off from the Paro International Airport.