Druk Path Trek

Start: Paro (2,470 m)
Finish: Jili Dzong (3,400 m)
Distance: 7 km
Time: 4-5 hours
Ascent: Ascent 1,090 m, descent 40 m
Camp Altitude: 3,480 m

Druk Path Trek is one of the most popular treks in Bhutan. It is a short and scenic trek with some great views and beautiful lakes. Although it leads up to altitudes above 4,000m it is not too strenuous as walking distances between the camps are not too long.

Besides the lakes, it is the Phadjoding monastery that is one of the highlights of this trek. Starting from Paro’s National Museum, Druk Path Trek follows a wilderness trail eastwardly to a fairyland of dense pine forests, high ridges and pristine lakes.

Start: Paro
End: Jili Dzong
Walking Distance: 7 km
Walk Time: 4-5 hours
Ascent: 1,090m
Camp Altitude: 3,480m

Day 1: The first day is a long day 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 Jili Dzong.

Start: Jili Dzong
End: Jangchulakha
Walking Distance: 10 km
Walk Time: 4-5 hours
Ascent: 310m
Descent: 50m
Camp Altitude: 3,770m

Day 2: You begin with a climb for about an hour and a half and then ascend gradually up. The trail takes you through thick alpine forest and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see yaks and yak herders around your campsite.

Start: Jangchulakha
End: Jimilang Tsho
Walking Distance: 11 km
Walk Time: 4 hours
Ascent: 230m
Descent: 330m
Camp Altitude: 3,870m

Day 3: The trail follows the ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are beautiful. The campsite is close to the Jimilang Tsho Lake. The lake is known for its giant sized trout.

Druk Path Trek - Photo by Krivec Ales
Druk Path Trek - Photo by Krivec Ales

Start: Jimilang Tsho
End: Simkotra Tsho
Walking Distance: 11 km
Walk Time: 4 hours
Ascent: 820m
Descent: 400m
Camp Altitude: 4,110m

Day 4: The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder’s camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.

Start: Simkotra Tsho
End: Phajoding
Walking Distance: 10 km
Walk Time: 3-4 hours
Ascent: 130m
Descent: 680m
Camp Altitude: 3,750m

Day 5: The trek 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 other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill to Phajodhing for a nights halt. The camp is above Phadjoding.

Start: Phajodhing
End: Mothitang
Walking Distance: 4-5 km
Walk Time: 3 hours
Descent: 1,130m

Day 6: After passing Phadjoding monastery the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is all the way downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours.