Bhutan Snowman Trek – When to Travel and more
Bhutan Snowman Trek
Bhutan is an incredible place gifted with great cultural and natural features. People often say that a thunder dragon protected the country and its people from any trespassers or evil spirits. Bhutan was isolated for generations from the outside world to preserve and protect the culture. But in today’s world Bhutan is the center of attraction for tourist and adventure geeks. Among many famous trekking places in Bhutan Snowman Trek is one of the finest treks where you will witness pristine mountain lakes, imposing glaciers, and some of the world’s most endangered species. Bhutan Snowman trek region is also known as Land of the Thunder Dragon.
This trek is also considered one of the challenging and finest treks in Bhutan. You will get to explore and enjoy the hidden and untouched part of Bhutan along with the great Himalayan range. Bhutan Snowman trek takes 30 -35 days to be completed and the maximum elevation of this trek is 5,050 meters from sea level. Through this trek, you will also get an opportunity to be close to the culture and tradition of the Bhutanese people. The trail to the Bhutan snowman trek goes through the green grassland.
The trail on the way to the snowman trek also goes through many high mountain passes, you will be shocked to see the beautiful mountain range that seems scattered, floating above the clouds like islands of snow. Combined attributes of distance, going through high altitudes, extreme and unpredictable weather conditions and remoteness makes this trek tough and hard to climb.
Throughout the trek, you will notice tiny Buddhist monasteries and secluded villages all over. Snowman Trek in Bhutan is all about nature, peace, high snow peaks mountains, and welcoming people.
Bhutan Snowman Trek Difficulty
Snowman trek is the most difficult and probably the highest trek in Bhutan. This route is only recommended for trekkers who have experience in trekking different mountains. Snowman trek is also the longest trek, this trek is combined with the two most incredible treks like Chomolhari base camp and Laya Lingshi trek. Walking at such a high altitude might be problematic for many people. Beginners should not trek snowman trek without proper and complete training. You should also be physically strong for this trek. For increasing your physical strength, you can do exercise daily, yoga, swimming, or gym before 3 months of this trek.
During this trek, you will need to cross 9 passes which are above the altitude of 4500 meters from sea level. Crossing these passes might be very difficult for many trekkers. This trek also goes through the Drukgyel Dzong and Paro were the third highest mountain of Bhutan Jhomolhari which is at an altitude of 7314 meters. Winter in the snowmen trek region is very extreme and difficult to trek. Because of this reason snowman trek is mostly closed during the winter season. Along with this, this trek is not for beginners, you will need to have some trekking techniques and experience before this trek. This trek is not for the solo and family trekkers. There must be 5 people in a group for this trek. The itinerary of the snowman trek is very long and many people might be fitted to the itinerary.
Snowman trek will refresh your mind and your soul and connect you with the peace of nature. Bhutan trek is a small world in itself where you can drown without resurrection.
More about Bhutan Snowman trek
Here are some of the things that you might need to know before this trek: –
The currency of Bhutan is called The Bhutanese Ngultrum is commonly known as Nu. The value of Bhutanese currency is equal to the Indian currency. Some of the major currencies of the world like US Dollars, Sterling Pounds and Euros, and even the cheques of the trekkers can change in the airport of Paro and banks or hotels. Bhutanese Ngultrum is a close currency is a closed currency so, his currency can only be exchanged after you arrive.
Although there are different hotels and banks on the trek where you can exchange our currency but we recommend you to take the local currency (Bhutanese Ngultrum) on the trek. Remember that in the shops or hotels in Bhutan cash economy and a credit card are not quite accepted. If you are carrying a credit or debit card during the trek for an emergency fund then you will have to make sure that your card can be used abroad.
2) Trekking Bag Weight
While trekking in foreign countries you will have to know the weight up to which you can carry your luggage. The luggage limit o Bhutan for trekkers and travelers is 15 kgs. This would be more than adequate for the things you will need during the trek. Your trekking bag will be weighed before you leave the country at the airport. If your trekking bag is overweighed then you will have to take out some of the items from the bag. While packing for the snowman trek to Bhutan you will have to put all of your trekking equipment in the trekking bag. You can carry your personal belongings like password, I card visa on your hand carry.
3) Bhutanese etiquette
Except for the courtyards, people or trekkers are not allowed to take pictures inside any monastery, temple, or dzong all around the country. While visiting temples or any religious sites in Bhutan walking in the clockwise direction is considered to be the best way. If you point your fingers at any scared or religious object then it is taken as very disrespectful. For those people who smoke Bhutanese government has imposed a 200% tax at the airport, there will get a permit to smoke. If you smoke without a permit in the public areas or trekking Dzongs and Monastery then you will be taken into custody.
4) Food and Drinking water in Bhutan
As Snowman trek in Bhutan is a very long trek so you will have to carry some energy bars also dried fruit and nuts are also considered to be a good source for providing energy to your body. Also, carry energy drink powder and water purifying powder during this trek. You should not worry about the food during this trek as there are plenty of hotels on the way to the snowman trek. Remember to eat healthy and energy giving food brought the entire trek. You should not worry about the drinking water as well because you can buy water anywhere on the trail or drink water at the hotels.
We also suggest you bring re-usable water bottles on the trek to reduce the use of plastic, if you bring a reusable bottle then you can fill and carry the water. Drinking water during the trek helps to hydrate your body and adapt to the weather condition of the snowman trek. Besides the please avoid hard drinks like alcoholic, beverages as they might not be safe to drink in high-altitude places.
5) Important information
This trek holds a lot of challenges but once you reach the destination it will worth it. You will be provided with a trekking guide. You will need to have the day to day update of the weather and temperature of the snowman trek. Your trek might be delayed due to various reasons so, you should make your trek flexibly. Always carry ash with you as many of the hotels will not take cards.
Trekking in Nepal vs trekking in Bhutan
Though snowman trek of Bhutan is very much like trekking in Nepal. The main difference between trekking in Nepal and trekking in Bhutan is that there are very few people trekking in Bhutan. You will not see many other trekkers while trekking in Bhutan but on the other hand while trekking in Nepal you will meet many fellow trekkers on the way. You will also observe that people living on the hills or at the higher latitude places are lower in Bhutan. But here are a higher number of people who reliving in the higher altitude places like the Khumbu region.
Because of his daring the entire trek you will see Jangothang, Lingshi, Goyok, Laya, Woche, Chozo, and Thanza villages. But while trekking in Nepal you will see a village or stay at villages daily. The landscape in Bhutan is a heavier forest than the landscapes in Nepal.
Although animals like deer, blue sheep, Himalayan black bear, snow leopard are found in both countries. Besides all these differences almost all the culture between these countries is same.
Itinerary of Bhutan Snowman Trek
Day 1: Arrive at Kathmandu airport
After you arrive at the Kathmandu airport out team above the Himalayan will pick you at the airport. You will be escorted to your hotel. If you arrive in Nepal in the daytime then you, we have some time to roam and visit around Kathmandu. At the time of dinner, you will meet with your guide and trekking partners. You will also have a small meeting with our team regarding the trek.
Day 2: Flight from Kathmandu to Paro (2280 meter)
You will have a flight from Kathmandu to Paro. Paro is the main point from where you will start your trek to the snowman in Bhutan. While flying from Nepal you will have an exotic aerial view of the mountains like Everest, Lhotse, Makalu, and Kangchenjunga. Observing the beautiful landscape and foothills of Bhutan from the sky you will reach Paro. You reach Paro you will meet with your Bhutanese guide. You will be escorted to your hotel.
Day 3: Hike to Taktsang Monastery (2,000ft/609m)
Taktsang Monastery is also referred to as “Tiger’s nest” this place is one of the most religious places of Bhutan. The significance of the Taksang monastery is that this place is the point where Indian guru Taktsang Padma Sambhava flew from Tibet on the back of a tiger to defeat five demons who were against Buddhism in Bhutan. The trail to this monastery goes through the pine forest. From the top of this monastery, you will have a magnificent view of the mountains and Paro city. Which returning to Paro you will see Kyichu Lakhang which is also a small Buddhist monster. Kyichu Lakhang is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan.
Day 4: Drive from Paro to Shana (2860) meter to Shiring Karup (3100m)
Duration: 4 hrs.
You will start your trek after your breakfast. From Paro, you will take a drive to Shana. After driving for about 20 minutes, you will reach Drukyel Dzong where you will have lunch.
You will be continuing your journey, after the drive of 1- 2 hours you will reach Shana. from ere your actual trek starts, on the way to Shiring Karup you will be passing through the incredible fields of rice, wheat, barley, mustard, potato, and radish as well as herds of cows. On the trail, you will also get the first view of the mount of Jomolhari (7314m). After few kilometers of walking, you will reach the remote village of Shiring Karup. Overnight at the camp on Shiring Karup.
Day 5: Trek from Shiring Karup to Soi Thangthanka, 3,586m/11,765ft – (7-8 hours)
After having breakfast, you will be trekking within Jigme Dorje National Park which is probably the largest protected area of Bhutan. The total areal of this national park is 4350 sq. km. you can see isolated farmhouses and plenty of wildlife on the way to Soi Thangthanka. The forest of Soi Thangthanka is filled with oaks, maple, birch, larch pine and alders, and rhododendron. After walking for about 7 -8 hours on the trail you will reach Soi Thangthanka.
Day 6: Trek from Thangthanka to Jangothang 4,102m/13,458ft – 5-6 hours
Jogothang is the famous place on the Bhutan snowman trek from where you will get the best view of Bhutan’s second-highest mountain, Chomolhari on the top of the remote valley. From Thangthanka out will have to walk for about an hour, slowly you will be leaving the forest line and climbing up to the lovely village called Tengethang. Here you can observe the remote life of Bhutanese, there is a big school in the middle of the village where you will see children playing. On walking few kilometers, you will reach the ba8se camp of Mount Chomolhari. Many of the trekkers might suffer from altitude sickness on the base camp. Overnight at the base camp.
Day 7: Rest and acclimatization day at Jangothang
Since acclimatization is very important while trekking in a higher altitude place. Here at Jangothang, you will be having a day off. If you want to get the best view of the mountain range you will have to walk for about an hour from Jangothang. Some of the famous places in jangothang are Tshophu and Nyile La pass. Today you can observe the local lifestyle of Bhutanese people closely. There also few yak herds on the side of the lake. From here you will have a beautiful back view of Chomolhari and Jitchu Drake.
Day 8: Trek from Jangothang to Lingshi, 4,001m/13,126ft, crossing the Nyile La Pass, 4,817m/15,804ft – 6-7 hours
Today you will be walking through some of the places with the exotic view of the stunning Himalaya range like Jitchu Drake, 6,850m/22,470ft, and Tsering Kang, 6,994m/22,946ft. After hiking upward for about 4 hours you will reach Nyile pass at an altitude of 4,817 meters. From there you will have to trek down towards Lingshi where you will get the first view of dzong atop. Dzong atop was damaged badly by t8he earthquake. There might be the repairing work of houses, hunts, and buildings going on. With the fine weather of Bhutan, you will enjoy the walk with the spectacular views of the mountains. It takes about 4 – 5 hours of walk to reach Nyile la pass from Lingshi. On the way, you will see many yak herders and small stupas throughout the way. Overnight at the camp in Nyile la pass.
Day 9: Trek to Chebisa, 3,870m/12,697ft – 5 hours.
You will be continuing your journey with the amazing view of the mountains and observing the cuter n tradition of the Bhutanese people. Today you will be heading on the northeastern part toward Lingshi Dzong. The trail includes the high alpine forest filled with rhododendron and pine tree. if you are lucky enough then you might get the glan8ce of the beautiful daphne. Once you reach the Chebisa valley you will be stunned by the picturesque and uniqueness of Chebisa. The houses are made up of stoned and are singled roofs. On the way to Chebisa, you will also be crossing a huge and lovely waterfall. Overnight at Chebisa.
Day 10: Trek to Shomuthang, 4,222m/13,852ft, crossing the Gobu La Pass, 4,349m/14,268ft – 5-6 hours.
From Chebisa our next trekking destination is Shomuthang. The trail to Shomuthang has lots of ups and downs so, it might be very difficult for you to walk. Gobu La pass is another pass that you have to cross during this trek. Gobu La pass lies at an altitude of 4440 meters. From here you can get the backside view of the beautiful village of Lingshi with the best view of the mountains. The path to Shomuthang goes through the gorgeous valley below Jarela. From here you will have to descent through the forest. If you are tired then after walking for about half an hour from the forest you can camp here.
Day 11: Trek to Robulathang, 4,152m/13,662ft, crossing the Jarela Pass, 4,635m/15,207ft – 7-8 hours.
Today will be a long walk so you will have to get up early in the morning. After that, you will be continuing your trekking journey toward Robulathang. When you start your trek, you will have to trek upward crossing the grassy slopes and windswept hills. After that, you will reach Jare La Pass. You can see Blue sheep and lammergeiers on this pass. After this, once you reach the gap you will see the mark of flags and cairns from where you will see the valley and Sinche La pass. The trail further moves toward the forest of rhododendron, spruce, cypress, and brish toward the valley. After reaching Robulathang valley you will observe the local people wearing distinctive clothes.
Day 12 Trek to Limithang,
Total Attitude- 4,118m/13,510ft,
Passing the Shingela La
Total Altitude- 4,912m/16,115ft
Duration 6-7 hours.
Trek to Limithang via shingle la pass on the snowman trek to Bhutan might be the most difficult part of this trek. From the camp, it will take about 4 – 5 hours of ascent to cross Since La pass. This ascent to Sinche La pass is very hard as the trail is straight upward. If you take a slow and steady pace to be comfortable then it will be more difficult for you. So, we recommend you to walk fast without a pause to this trek. While crossing the Shingela La pass you will see the striking view of Gnagchenta.
While descending the grassy slopes will make it hard to walk. Moving further to Limithang you will witness the wonderful glacial blue lake and white stream below the exquisite peak “tigers Ears”. Overnight at camp
Day 13: Trek to Laya, 3,812m/12,506ft – 4 hours.
From Limithang your next trekking destination is Laya. Your trek starts with the descend from the Zamdo Nangi Chhu to the Laya village. Laya village is the largest village on this trek. On the way, you will have to pass through the thick forest and the lovely river flowing at the side of the forest. Laya village is the only village on this trek that is well developing and rich in culture and facility both.
You can find all kinds of facilities here like a large school, electricity, a phone signal and is now only a day even the road head at Koina. Vertically striped yak-hair clothing and strange conical bamboo hats are the major thing that s famous in Laya. The interesting fact of Laya is that there are more Tibetan/Mongolian people more than Bhutanese people living here.
Day 14: Rest day at Laya
Acclimatation is the key to a successful trek. Today you are again acclimating at Laya. You can release all the tiredness and pain from the trek. Hot stone bath is also offered in Laya where you can realize your pain and just relax. You can spend this day resting and exploring the beautiful village of Laya. You can even communicate with the local people. Walking few meters up from Laya village will provide you the best view of the mountains. Horses are very famous in Laya you can also do horse riding here.
Day 15 Trek to Rodhophu through Taksaka
From the Laya village, you will be descending a long way down to the gorge. You will be going through the wooden gateway leaving the 14 Laya village. The wooden gateway is ancient and old lots of cultural beliefs of the people living there. After walking half an hour from the gateway, you will reach the army post of Takasaka. From here walking for few kilometers, you will be heading east toward Lunana.
Here you will have to climb the forest gradually to an old hut. There are no villages or any kind of human habitat here. You will be gradually climbing up to a higher altitude from here. You will be entering a ringed valley with the Rocky Mountains behind. The trail to Rodhophu has a rocky trail that causes ups and downs. After walking for few minutes, you will see a checkpoint where you will have to show your trekking permit and passwords.
Day 16: Cross Tsome La Pass, 4,709m/15,450ft, and trek to below Gangla Karchung La, 4,900m/16,076ft – 5-6 hours
After about 2 – 3 hours of walk through the rocky trail, you will reach Tsome la pass. Tsome la pass is an extremely beautiful and remote area of Bhutan. After you cross the pass there is a rolling series of folds around the large mountainside of the trek. On the trail to Gangla Karchung la, you will also get to witness the great mountain range of Gangla Karchung (6395m).
Day 17: Cross the Gangla Karchung La, 5,156m/16,916ft, to Tarina, 3,919m/12,857ft – 6-7 hours
Today is probably the great day of this trek as you will be climbing up to the pass from where you will witness the glacial lakes and Kang Bum 7100 meters. The mountain is surrounded by the debris dams at the top of the Lunana. The lakes like snakes twisting down the valley. The trail also goes through the wide forest of red rhododendron with the stunning view of the mountains all over. From the rhododendron forest after walking for a couple of hours you will reach Tarina.
Day 18: Trek to camp above Woche, 4,114m/13,599ft – 6 hours
From Tarina, you will have a pleasant walk downwards. The downward valley is surrounded by rock walls and rocky peaks. From here you will observe many exotic glasses of the waterfall from the hill. The valley can be seen very colorful with the flowers and colorful heathers all over. After that again you will be climbing up to reach to first Lunana village of Woche. Woche is very famous for the tea and it has the different varieties best tea in the world. You can enjoy and communicate with the local people of Woche.
Day 19: Trek to Lhedi, 3,728m/12,231ft, across the Kashe La Pass, 4,556m/14,947ft – 6-7 hours
The next day you will be trekking further toward Lhedi. The trail to Lhedi goes by crossing the Kashe La pass. On the trail, you will observe the sacred lake of the people which is in pea-green color. You will have to respect the culture of the people and throwing stones and garbage is not allowed on that lake. Continuing your trek, you have to pass Kashe La pass with the magnificent few of the mountains. After that trekking for few hours, you will reach Lhedi. Lhedi s another beautiful village with the string houses on the terrace high and the river flowing by the side of the villages. The Houses are here are making of rock.
Day 20: Trek to Thanza, 4,126m/13,537ft – 4-5 hours.
There are lots of junctions and confusion of the route to Thanza. If you walk continually from Lhedi you will reach Thanza within four hours. On the way, you can stop at Chozo the artic view of the mountains. From Lhedi you will have to follow the river o the junction, then you will be following the route to the upper valley. Once you reach the upper valley then shortly after a few minutes f walk you will reach Chozo. Chozo is also a village of Lunana, and the people of the Chozo valley are more superstitious and believe in the spirits.
From Chozo village you Chozo will have to walk through the plain, gradually you will reach to the higher upper valley which is the big village and divided into two sides of the river.
From here trekking for about an hour you will reach Thanza.
Day 21: Rest day in Thanza
Today is the third acclimatization day of this trek. Today you will be resting and exploring the village of Thanza. You will be exploring and communicating with the people of the Thanza village. We will also discover new things about the culture and tradition of the people living in the Thanza village. You can also enjoy wearing the cultural and traditional dress and playing the traditional games of the local people.
Day 22: Trek to before Gophu La, stop at Tshorim, 5,225m/17,142ft – 7-8 hours
You will resume your trek by the steady climb from Thanza. From here you will have to cross the Gophu La pass. On the way, you will exigence the ups and downs on the rocky trail with minor waterfalls from the hills. You will also witness a great view of the lake surrounded by the high snow Peaks Mountains.
After you reach Tshorim by crossing Gophu La pass there are two campsites one is before the lake and the other is after the lake. You can choose any campsite and stay overnight.
Day 23: Cross the Gophu La with altitude 5,454m/17,894ft, to Geche Woma (4,625m/15,174ft) – 8 hours
This day will be the most beautiful day of this trek. Today you will be having breath-taking views of the mountain’s peaks and the green grassland. In the morning you will observe the striking view of the sunrise from the middle of the mountain peaks.
When you cross the Gophu La you will have a great view of Gangkar Punsum, 7,550m/24,770ft. Geche Woma is the camping place in the valley where you will stay overnight.
Day 24: Cross the Saga La pass, 4,930m/16,175ft. Trek to Sachu Kheti, 4,267m/14,000ft – 7-8 hours
The trek continues down to the valley. From the valley, after walking for about 45 minutes you will reach the lunch spot. You can rest and explore there for some time. Then you will have to cross the Saga La pass and while crossing the pas you will have a dramatic view of the mountains. From the pass, you will be trekking down on the steep trail slowly and from here you will reach Sachu Kheti.
Day 25: Travel unnamed pass (4,520m/14,829ft) & Trek to Demsho Wom (4,520m/14,892ft – 4 hours)
This is one of the fabulous days of the trek. Today you will be going through the farmlands which consist of oddly shaped towers, unusual spires, mushrooms of rock, and great cantilevered flakes. While crossing the unnamed pass you will also get a great view of Saga La Pass. From the pass, you will be walking through the huge valley meanders off to your right with more intriguing peaks and cliffs.
Day 26: Trek from Demsho Wom to Tshering Dorji Yak Herder Camp (Meluthang), 4,425m/14,518ft – 6 hours
Today is a great day along with the great challenge of this trek. it takes 45 minutes to reach a large lake from the Demsho Wom. Just below the Demsho La pass, there is a fine-looking valley that consists of two lakes. This valley lies far from the civilization. Habitat is also very less in this region. You will breathe in the cold and clean air in this region. After crossing the path hiking for about 4 hours you will reach Tshering Dorji Yak Herder Cap.
Day 27: Cross small pass (4,360m/14,340ft), Trek to Padim (4,515m/14,813ft – 5 hours)
This is also one of the important days of this trek you will be crossing many small passes today and final cam at Padim. The route goes through the many lakes on the higher altitude place and eventually climbing up and down from here to the tail which consists of a level grassy platform. Is and eventually believed that there is a path that leads to Gangkar Punsum heading north, but for humans only; it is too difficult for animals, so after a short walk from here you will reach Padim.
Day 28: Trek from Padim to Khemi La Khemi La, 4,572m/15,000ft and trek below to Chachi La pass, 3,682m/12,080ft – 6-7 hours
If you get up early in the morning you will get a magnificent view of the sunrise and mountains.
After that, you will continue your trek. Today you will be crossing two paths. First of all, you will be crossing Khemi la Pass, and the after you will be moving down and cross Chachi La pass.
Day 29: Trek from Chachi La pass 4,638m/15,216ft to Maurothang, 3,682m/12,080ft – 6-7 hours
We have nearly come to the end of this trek. Today we will be crossing Chachi La pass and trekking down to the Maurothang. On the trail, you will observe beautiful and clear views of the mountain’s peaks. Walking through the sloop and grassy trail finally you will reach Maurothang.
Day 30: Trek to Sephu, 2,672m/8,766ft – 5-6 hours. Drive to Paro
This will be the last day of your snowman trek to Bhutan. It takes 4 hours to trek back to Sephu. From Sephu you will drive Paro via Punakha. On the way, you can see the oldest monastery in Punakha. After you arrive at Paro we will go to the hotel and have a rest.
Day 31: Flight from Paro to Kathmandu and final departure
This is your last day Bhutan. If your flight is in the evening then you can roam near Paro. After that, you will catch your flight to Kathmandu. From Kathmandu airport, you will have your final departure. Happy trekking!!!!
Frequently asked questions on the Bhutan Snowman Trek
- When is the best time to trek Bhutan snowman trek?
Since the Bhutan snowman trek is not possible during winter due to extreme cold weather. But there are two main seasons for trekking to Bhutan snowman trek spring and autumn season. The spring season falls starts in March and carries on to the end of May and the Autumn season starts from mid-September to the end of November. Weather and temperature remain best for trekking during these times of the year. The trekking trail to snowman trek goes with blooming rhododendron and pine trees all over. Precipitation is also very less during the autumn and spring season.
What happens if I get sick during this trek?
It is common to get sick while traveling to a different country. Your body might not adapt to the weather or atmosphere of a new place. When it comes to trekking in a higher altitude place like snowman trek in Bhutan then the chance of getting sick is even more. However, our team of above the Himalayan, we allow sufficient time for trekkers to acclimate during this trek. We also provide guidelines or ways for avoiding diseases. We have a connection with the hospitals or medical services in Bhutan where at the time of emergencies we can take you there. But if you seriously fall sick during the trek then we would arrange a helicopter evacuation back.
- What kind of facilities that I will have during this trek?
Bhutan Snowman trek is well facilitating. Although there are something’s that you will need to compromises. As this trek goes through the remoteness of Bhutan, you will not have many facilities there. For example, you might not be able to charge batteries, mobile for your electrical device, so you should carry a power bank as an alternate. On camping, you will have to cook your food and sleep on the camp which is uncomfortable.