The Druk Path Trek is the most popular trek in the country as it passes through a gorgeous natural landscape of blue pine forests, high ridges and pristine lakes while at the same time offering the opportunity to visit some ancient lhakhangs, dzongs and villages. This trek is also a fairly easy hike to undertake as the distances between rest camps is fairly short. The trail takes you through forests of fir, blue pine and dwarf rhododendrons at altitudes ranging between 2400-4200 m. On the third day hikers will arrive at Jimiling Lake, whose crystal clear waters are home to gigantic trout. This trek also offers hikers stunning views of Mt. Gangkar Puensum, the highest unscaled peak in the world. The best times to embark on the Druk Path Trek are between March-June and September-November.
Day 1: Arrival – Paro
Day 2: Hike to the Tiger’s Nest (Taktshang)
Day 3: Paro – Jeli Dzong
Distance 7 km, 4-5 hours, 1,090 m ascent, camp altitude 3,480 m. The first day can be quite arduous 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 the Dzong.
Day 4: Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha
Distance 10 km, 4-5 hours, 310 m ascent, 50 m descent, camp altitude 3,770 m. You begin with a steep climb for about an hour and a half, then the slope evens a bit and the ascent is more gradual. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see herders and their yaks around your campsite.
Day 5: Jangchulakha – Jimilang Tsho
Distance 11 km, 4 hours, 230 m descent, 330 m ascent, and camp altitude 3,870 m. The trail follows a ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are simply stunning. The campsite is close to the Jimgelang Tsho Lake. This lake is known for its giant sized trout.
Day 6: Jimilang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho
Distance 11 km, 4 hours, 820 m ascent, 400 m descent, camp altitude 4,110 m. The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and past Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder 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 7: Simkotra Tsho – Phajodhing
Distance 10 km, 3-4 hours, 130 m ascent, 680 m descent, camp altitude 3,750 m. The day 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 several other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill towards Phajodhing where you will halt for the night. The camp is located just above Phadjoding Monastery.
Day 8: Phajodhing – Thimphu
Distance 4-5 km, 3 hours, 1,130 m descent. After passing Phadjoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours to reach the road point. .
The Druk Path finishes at the Bhutan Broadcast Service (BBS) Telecommunication Tower, offering great view of the city of Thimphu.
Day 9: Thimphu
Day 10: Thimphu – Paro – Departure