Druk Path Trek is one of the finest short treks in Bhutan. Leading through an ancient trading route, over high mountain passes, it connects the valleys of Paro and Thimpu. Trail passes through spectacular rhododendron forests, alpine yak pastures and beautiful lakes stocked with snowy mountain trouts.
The trek begins by walking up through apple orchards and pine forest past ruined Jele Dzong (fortress), which sits on a high grassy ridge with breath-taking views of Mount Jumolhari to the north. In the next 4 days, we climb above the tree line and cross several passes, including the Phume La (4210m.). En route, we come across clear mountain lakes, number of yak herder’s camps and have splendid views of Himalaya along the Bhutan – Tibet border including Mount Jumolhari, Jitchu Drake and Gangkar Punsum. Our final descent through pine and juniper forests via Phadjoding monasteries would lead into Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan.
After breakfast hike to Taktsang (Tiger's Nest) Monastery, which is Bhutan's most famous monastery situated at 3180 meters. Guru Rinpoche (spiritual master) is said to have flown on the back of a tigress to meditate in a cave where Taktsang Monastery now stands. Lunch will be served in the Cafeteria Restaurant, located about halfway up on the mountain. The monastery is perched on the edge of a steep cliff, about 900 meters above Paro Valley. After having explored the monastery, you will hike down to Paro. Overnight hotel in Paro.
After breakfast in your hotel, you will drive to the road head at the National Museum from where you will start the trek. The trek trail is rather gradual up till the camp and if the weather is clear the Paro valley can be seen with snow-capped mountains behind including Jumolhari in the distance. Above the camp is Jele La Dzong (3,400m) and Jele Dzong is mostly in ruins and there is a Lhakhang with the statute of Buddha Sakyamuni. Overnight camp. Altitude 3480m.
Before your trek, you can explore the Jele Dzong which sits at 3570m. Today’s trek begins with an hour and half climb and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and rhododendrons crossing the Jele La (3490m). You may see yak herders around your campsite. There are fascinating views of Jumolhari and other snow capped mountains and you can also hear some Monal peasants during the day. Overnight camp. Altitude 3770m.
The trail climbs steeply to the Jangchulakha (4180m). On a clear day the views of the mountains and valleys are sensational. Descending from the pass you arrive at your camp beside the Jimilangtsho lakes. These lakes are famous for their giant sized trouts. Also there are great views of 6,989m Jichu Drake, the peak representing the protective deity of Paro and Gangkar Puensum (7497m), Bhutan’s highest mountain. Overnight camp. Altitude 3870m.
The trails climbs up from lower end of the lake and makes a traverse along the side of the ridge, then descends to a single stone shelter. Again ascend to a summit at 4050m overlooking Janetsho Lake. Today you may come across some yak herder’s camp and get an idea how these people live. Camp is close to Simkota Lake. Overnight camp. Altitude 4110m.
Today you begin with gradual climb and if the weather permits, you will enjoy majestic view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, and also the other peaks. The trail slowly descends through junipers trees to a community hall near Phajodhing. From Phajodhing the trek to Thimphu is downhill all the way, passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. On arrival, check into hotel in Thimphu. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
The trek to Thimphu is all the way down hill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. Taking a leisurely pace you reach Thimphu in about 3 hours. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at the hotel in Thimphu.