Gangtey Cultural Trek

Trek Grade: Easy to Moderate.
Maximum Altitude: 3500m/11500ft.
Maximum Camp Altitude: 3200m/10500ft.

Gangtey valley, also known as Phobjikha valley, is one of the few glacial valleys in Bhutan and the chosen winter home of the rare black necked cranes, who migrate here annually from the Tibetan plateau.

The 3-day trek begins from this beautiful valley, and takes you to visit several, remote villages, passing through meadows, fields, forests of juniper, magnolia and rhododendrons. It is a relatively easy trek with low elevations. The best time for this trek is March to June & September to November.

Start: Phobjikha (3,000 m)
Finish: Zasa (3,130 m)
Distance: 15 km
Time: 6-7 hours
Ascent: Ascent 610 m, descent 410m
Camp Altitude: 3,130 m

Day 1: The trek starts from Tabiting village. The trail leads through meadows and fields, and the climb takes you to Tsele La (3430m) through a mixed forest of juniper, bamboo, magnolia and rhododendron. From Tsele La you will descend into Juge Kangkha Chhu valley. And then the path leads to Gogona, well known for its “Gogona Cheese” production.

The campsite is a bit further on besides a small stream in a yak pasture called Zasa. Camping at Zasa yak pasture.

Start: Zasa (3,130 m)
Finish: Chorten Karpo (3,330 m)
Distance: 16 km
Time: 5-7 hours
Ascent: ascent 450 m, descent: 860 m
Camp Altitude: 3,330 m

Day 2: The trail goes gently uphill. A long and gradual climb will lead you to Shobe La Pass (3,480m). After crossing the pass, you will descend to a wide valley, surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges. Passing an old coal mine and a miner’s camp, you will eventually come to Chorten Karpo, where you will see four ‘chortens’ in honor of the four chief abbots who came from this area.

Camping near the Chorten Karpo.

Start: Chorten Karpo (3,330 m)
Finish: Tikke Zampa (1500m)
Distance: 12 km
Time: 4-5 hours
Ascent: Ascent 120 m, descent 1,340m

Day 3: From the camp you climb till you reach a forest road. From here it’s an easy walk up to a little ridge at Tashi La (2800m). Then the trail leads you back into the valley through one of the finest bird-watching areas in Bhutan. There are species found here like laughing thrush, shrike, magpie and woodpecker.

Further on, the trail descends into terraced wheat fields and finally meets the road near Tikke Zampa at 1500m. The trekking ends.