Druk Path Trek
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Duration: Six days
Highest Camp: 4,110m
Standard: Easy to medium
Best Seasons: March to June & September to November
Start: National Museum in Paro
Finish: Mothitang (Thimphu)
Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. It is a short and scenic trek with some great views and beautiful lakes en route. Although it leads up to altitudes above 4,000m it is not too strenuous as walking distances between the camps are not too long. Besides the lakes, it is the Phadjoding monastery that is one of the highlights of this trek.
Day 1: Paro – Jili Dzong
(Distance seven km, four to five hours, 1,090m ascent, camp altitude 3,480m).
The first day is a long day as you have to climb more than 1,000m elevation. You start from the Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro. The trek follows a gravel road past a few farms for about 30 minutes and then climbs up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge below Jili Dzong you descend about 100m to the campsite below Jili Dzong.
Day 2: Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha
(Distance 10 km, four to five hours, 310m ascent, 50m descent, camp altitude 3,770m).
You begin with a climb for about an hour and a half and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see yaks and yak herders around your campsite.
Day 3: Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho
(Distance 11 km, four hours, 230m descent, 330m ascent, camp altitude – 3,870m).
The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake. The lake is known for its giant sized trout.
Day 4: Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho
(Distance 11 km, four hours, 820m ascent, 400 m descent, camp altitude 4,110m).
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder’s camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.
Day 5: Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding
(Distance 10 km, three to four hours, 130m ascent, 680m descent, camp altitude 3,750m).
The trek begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill to Phajodhing for a nights halt. The camp is above Phadjoding.
Day 6: Phajodhing – Mothitang
(Distance fur to five km, three hours, 1,130 m descent).
After passing Phadjoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is all the way downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours.