12 Day Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek Journey

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrival in Paro, Town stroll, o/n Paro
Day 2 Explore Paro valley, Tiger’s Nest Hike, o/n Paro
Day 3 Transfer to Thimphu. o/n Thimphu
Day 4 Explore Thimphu valley, o/n Thimphu
Day 5 Trek. Thimphu to Geynekha
Day 6 Trek. Geynekha to Gur
Day 7 Trek. Gur to Labatamba
Day 8 Trek. Labatamba Halt
Day 9 Trek. Labatamba to Panka
Day 10 Trek. Panka to Talekha
Day 11 Trek. Talekha to Thimphu to Paro
Day 12 International Departure

Grade: moderate
Duration: 7 days trek and 12 days total program
Distance: 23 miles/37km
Altitude gain: 7810ft/2381m
Altitude loss: 9450ft/2881m
Best time: April/Sep – Oct

This 7 days trek near Thimphu passes through numerous picturesque high altitude lakes. It is a moderate trek with short trekking days but with few steep climbs.
Program
Day 1: Arrive in Paro
On arrival at Paro airport, you will be met by your guide and driver and transferred to your hotel after completion of arrival formalities.
In the afternoon, visit Ta Dzong, built in 1651 as a watchtower. In 1968, the watchtower was converted to Bhutan’s National Museum. The collection includes art, relics, religious Thangkha paintings, postage stamps, coins and handicrafts, as well as a small natural history collection. Then walk down a short hillside trail to visit Rinpung Dzong built in 1646. The Dzong now houses the offices of the district administration and Paro’s monk body.

Day 2: Explore Paro valley
This morning will begin with a hike up to view one of Bhutan’s most revered monuments, the Taktshang Goemba, more commonly referred to as the “Tiger’s Nest”. The four to five hour return trek offers spectacular views of this sacred monastery perched on a cliff face 900m above the valley floor.

In the afternoon there will be choice of excursions with those wanting a further immersion into the culture and religion, visits to the Kyichu Lhakhang, Dumtse Lhakhang with a nice stroll around town afterwards.

Day 3: Paro – Thimphu

Distance: 34.3miles/55 km
Time: 1.5 hours
This morning drive down the valley following the Pa Chu (Paro river) to its confluence with the Wang Chu (Thimphu river). Turn left up the valley leading to the Kingdom’s capital, Thimphu. Enroute visit Simtokha Dzong (1627), the kingdom’s oldest fortress which now houses the Institute for Language and Culture Studies.
After lunch, visit the National Memorial Chorten, Tashichhodzong which houses the Throne room, His Majesty’s secretariat, some ministries, and also the Central Monk Body during the summer months. In the evening, take a stroll through Thimphu market and town.

Day 4: Explore Thimphu valley
After breakfast, visit the Institute for Zorig Chusum, where students learn the 13 traditional arts and crafts of Bhutan; the National Library, which houses an extensive collection of Buddhist literature, including some manuscripts dating back several hundred years; the National Institute of Traditional Medicine, where medicinal herbs are compounded and dispensed, and traditional medicine practitioners are trained; and the Folk Heritage and National Textile Museums, for fascinating insights into Bhutanese material culture and way of life.
After lunch, visit the government-run Handicrafts Emporium, which carries a wide range of hand-woven textiles and craft products, and browse in the bookshops and many smaller handicrafts shops around the town. Take an early evening drive up to a lookout festooned with prayer flags, for a fine view of Thimphu valley.
Other option today is to Cheri Monastery, north of Thimphu, to prepare for the trek tomorrow.

Day 5: Thimphu – Geynekha
Distance: 8.7miles/14km
Time: 4 hours
Drive for 45 minutes to reach the starting point for the trek. The first day’s walk is along a mule path, passing by terraced fields and coniferous forest, and ending at the signboard of Genekha School. Overnight camp at Genekha (2,800m) alongside a stream.

Day 6: Geynekha – Gur
Distance: 9.3miles/15km
Time: 4 hours

On today’s trek the true communion with nature begins, and you will see many varieties of alpine flora and also some animals and many birds. After two hours of walking gradually uphill, rest at a huge rock platform, from where there is a picturesque view of the valley below. After another two hours the trek ends for the day. Camp at Gur, where flowers are abundant in spring.

Day 7: Gur – Labatamba
Distance: 7.5miles/12km
Time: 5hours

While trekking across the ridges, one enjoys the beauty of the rugged mountain vegetation. Today’s trek takes us across meadows where wild asparagus and other small plants grow, and in spring, you will feel like you are walking on carpet of flowers. The first pass, marked by a large cairn gives a spectacular view of the whole Dagala range, alpine meadows and yak herders’ camps. We will lunch at a nearby yak herder’s camp. After lunch we will walk across hills and over meadows, ending the third day of our trek at Yutsho Lake, where golden trout abound. Overnight camp near the lake.

Day 8: Labatamba Halt
This day is for an excursion to any one of the three lakes: Relitsho, Hentsho and Jamatsho. Your trekking leader will tell you mystical stories about these lakes. This would also be an ideal time and place for some trout fishing. Overnight camp.

Day 9: Labatamba – Panka
Distance: 5miles/8km
Time: 4 hours

Walk for 20 minutes upwards before beginning the descent at around 4,460m. There will be splendid views of the Himalayas on the descent. Your guide will help you in identifying individual peaks such as Everest, Kanchenjunga, Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tserimgang, Khangbum, Masagang, Tsendegang and Gangchenta. Himalayan monal pheasants are a common sight. Overnight camp on a grassy meadow at Panka.

Day 10: Panka – Talekha
Distance: 5miles/8km
Time: 4 hours

This day entails the crossing of several increasingly impressive passes. You will see several varieties of the blue poppy (if trekking in June-July) and also many mountain birds along the way. Lunch at the point where the trail divides into two paths leading to Talekha and to Wangduephodrang respectively. After lunch, an hour’s gradual climb brings us to the top of the last ridge on the Dagala range from where there is a spectacular view of Thimphu valley below. Another hour’s walk will take you to your last camp, a little above Talekha monastery

Day 11: Talekha – Thimphu – Paro

Distance: 3.7miles/6km
Time: 2 hours

Passing through alpine and mixed vegetation of bamboo thickets and wild flowers, one reaches Talekha monastery and village and once again the view of Thimphu is superb. We walk through mixed vegetation and apple orchards, finally reaching the main motorable road to Thimphu where our car will be waiting for us. Drive to Thimphu in time for lunch. In the evening drive back to Paro.

Day 12: Paro – International Departure
After early breakfast in the hotel, drive to the airport for flight to onward destination.

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