TREKKING IN BHUTAN
The scope for trekking in Bhutan is immense – from short walks to arduous treks. The very moment you step off the road to start your trek, you will be totally de-linked from the stressful sights and sounds of urban life. Instead, you will enjoy views of snowcapped peaks, dense forested hillsides and river valleys, and the sounds of birds and gushing streams, flowing down to the temperate river valleys from the melting snows of the mighty Himalayan peaks.
Trekking provides an excellent opportunity to experience the real heart of Bhutan. Contact with people in remote villages provides an excellent opportunity to get insight into the rural culture of the kingdom. You can easily feel you are in hitherto unexplored territory, as your journey on foot takes you through remote and deep forests with their scattered, tiny settlements and then out onto the high alpine grazing lands of the nomadic yak herders. It’s still a curiosity for isolated villagers to see foreigners – the local people will stare at you, but with open and friendly faces, and you will be greeted warmly.
In general, trekking in Bhutan is physically demanding due to frequent and abrupt changes in elevation necessitated by the terrain. Some trekking days can involve a strenuous walk along a rocky and muddy path, keeping on the move for 7-9 hours with few rests along the way, so as to reach the designated campsite before dark. A trek in Bhutan can be anything from a three day leisurely walk around a valley, to the arduous 25 day Snowman trek, taking one well above the snowline into Bhutan’s most remote high altitude settled region, Lunana. Most people take a trek which lasts around one week.
Trekking is a year round activity, but most routes are best undertaken only during certain seasons. The most important consideration is weather: the winter snows and summer rains effectively limit most treks to autumn and spring, Bhutan’s most popular trekking seasons. If you want to see alpine flowers you need to come during summer (July and August), but you should be prepared to encounter rain (and possibly leeches!). During the autumn, nights are cold but the days are clear, so you will enjoy spectacular views presenting great photo opportunities. Late spring is warmer, and the blooming season for endemic varieties of the Himalayan rhododendron, but there is a higher possibility of rain or snow. In winter, trekkers can enjoy several pleasant and not too taxing low altitude walks in the hills around the Punakha/Wangduephodrang valleys. Weather is very settled at this time of the year, with clear, sunny days and deep blue skies.
On your trek you will be accompanied by a small and efficient trekking team, who will guide you, prepare the meals, and look after all the camping arrangements. We provide two-person tents with foam mattresses, eating utensils, dining & toilet tents. Everything is transported by pack animals: horses in the low lands and yaks at higher elevations. There are no teahouses or lodges along the trekking routes.
Here are a few of our trekking itineraries, each one offering you an enchanting journey amidst the Himalayas. Our trekking tours are planned in great detail, and we will send you on your way with a competent and resourceful team of Joyful Bhutan Tours & Treks guides, caterers etc. to take care of all the necessities, so that you can enjoy your trekking experience to the full.
TREKKING IN BHUTAN