The Laya – Gasa trek takes you to remote Bhutan where nomadic communities live within its rugged topography. This trek is quite popular because it traverses a great cross section of Bhutan as it winds from Paro valley in Bhutanese middle hills, up to Laya and Lingshi in Northwest Bhutan which are situated above 4,000m. The trial passes through views of alpine landscape with snow-capped mountains and mirrored crystal lakes dotted with yak hair tents of the migratory yak herders. It also offers opportunity to soak in a hot spring revered for its medical values.
All meals, tea and snacks, complementary bottled water in car, hotels, transport, guide, government levy, visa fee, entrance fees, permits and sightseeing. On trek includes – sleeping tents, dinning tents, toilet and shower tents, toilet seats, mats, duffle bags, cooking utensils, all meals, guide, trek chef assistants and horses.
Flight tickets, insurance, tips, drinks and beverages, sleeping bag on trek, laundry, internet, phone and other bills of personal nature.
Distance: 22km, walking time: 7-8 hours, ascent: 770m, camp altitude: 3,640m
In the morning drive about 2 hours through farm road to Shana, where we will start your trek. The trail follows the Pachu with lots of ups and downs through pine, oak and spruce forests. After going uphill through the river valley, we will enter the Jigme Dorji National park. A hot lunch will be served after crossing the wooden bridge nearby the riverside. We then turn north toward Mt. Jomolhari, and after a short walk arrive to the camp.
Distance: 19km, walking time: 5-6 hours, ascent: 480m, camp altitude: 4,100m
If you did not see Mount Jomolhari last evening, we will have a chance to get a great view this early morning. The trek continues up the Pachhu which widens into patches of alpine meadow and meagre growth of forest. Today, we will be crossing the tree line (4,000m) enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks.
Distance: 18km, walking time: 6-7 hours, ascent: 840m, descent: 870m, camp altitude: 4,010m
From the camp, the trails climbs rapidly for about half an hour and then becomes gradual ascend to the Nyile La pass at 4,870m. We may see herds of blue sheep grazing on the slopes of the mountains. From the pass, we will have magnificent views of Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserim Gang, all of them rising above 7,000m. As we come down in to the Lingshi, we will get a wonderful view of Lingshi Dzong.
Distance: 10km, walking time: 5-6 hours, ascent: 280m, descent: 420m, camp altitude: 3,880m
This is the shortest trekking day. Cross the stream below the camp on a wooden bridge and climb up the opposite side to a chorten below Lingshi Dzong. In the hidden valley to the east is a cluster of Lingshi village.
Distance: 17km, walking time: 6-7 hours, ascent: 890m, descent: 540m, camp altitude: 4,250m
This morning, we have a big uphill climb along the vast meadow till Gobula Pass (4,440m). As we climb up slowly, we may see some blue sheep grazing in high yak pastures and vultures flying high in the clear blue sky. After the pass, it is mostly downhill to our camp beside a stream through the forests of junipers and fir.
Distance: 18km, walking distance: 6-7 hour, ascent: 700m, descent: 750m, camp altitude: 4,160m
We start with a climb to Jhari La (4,600m) where we are rewarded with stunning views, then descend again through forest to Tsharihang, the valley where herds of takin (national animal) can normally be seen. We will also see lots of edelweiss flowers and view of snow-capped peak called Khang Bum (6,526m) is stunning.
Distance: 19km, walking time: 6-7hours, ascent: 850m, descent: 870m, camp altitude: 4,140m
Today we have a long and hard day crossing SinchuLa pass at 5,005m, the last and the highest pass on the trek. The snow covered peak of Gangchentag fills the horizon to the north. The descent is on rough and rock trials that follows a moraine into another glacier valley. It is then a short walk on a good trial through a cedar forest till we reach to the camp.
Distance: 10km, walking time: 4-5 hours, ascent: 70m, descent: 340m, camp altitude: 3,480m
Trail to Laya is mostly downhill along a winding river with incredible view. We will pass through the dense forests, filled with moss and singing birds. Laya is the second highest settlement in the country at altitude of 3,840m.
Distance: 19km, walking time: 6-7 hours, ascent: 260m, descent: 1,070m, camp altitude: 3,050m
The trails exits the village through a Khonying (arch chorten), then passes another chorten at Taje-kha as it descends on a muddy trial to a stream. There are a few houses near the trial, but it is mostly deep forest all the way to the river. The route follows the Mo-Chhu downstream all the way to Punakha. The route for Snowman Trek leads uphill from here on a tiny path. The muddy trial stays high for about half an hour until it reaches a stone staircase, where it turns in to single valley and arrives at Koina.
Distance: 14km, walking time: 6-7hours, ascent: 900m, descent: 1,710m, camp altitude: 2,240m
Today is our last trek to Gasa. After ascending to the Bari La pass (3,900m), there is a small rock cairn and a few prayer flags at the pass. The trail descends and sometimes steeply through a bamboo forest to a stream. Continue walking until we reach the lovely village of Gasa. Time permits; soak in a hot spring revered for its medicinal values.
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