` Good Karma Travels

Snoman Trek II

Snowman Trek is an extension of Laya-Gasa Trek, and it takes the trekker beyond Laya to Lunana and further on to Gangkar Puensum and Bumthang or down to Sephu in Trongsa District, depending on which route we choose. It takes tough trekkers who can camp at 5,000 m and above. The trekkers have to sometimes camp on snow.
The Lonely Planet describes the Snowman Trek as “one of the most difficult treks of the world”. The best time for Snowman Trek is summer unlike many other high altitude treks of Bhutan. Many who attempt this trek do not complete it owing to problems related to high altitude or snow-bound passes. However, those who complete it take back the most memorable memories.
On Snowman Trek II, we can spend a day or two at one of the most beautiful hot springs in Bhutan, perhaps one of the best across the Himalayas.
Duration: 25 days
Maximum Elevation: 5,320 m
Highest Camp: 5,050 m
Standard: Hard
Best Seasons: Mid-June to Mid-October
Start: Gunyitsawa Village, Paro Valley
Finish: Dur Village, Bumthang

Day 1
Gunyitsawa Village to Sharna Zampa
Time: 40 mins
Trail: 80 m descent
Campsite altitude: 2,850 m
This trek begins at Gunyitsawa and passes by the army check post where the trek permit is checked and endorsed.

Day 2
Sharna Zampa to Thangthangkha (this is a day-long trek)
Time: 7-8 hrs
Distance: 22 km
Trail: 770 m ascent, 10 m descent
Campsite altitude: 3,610 m

Day 3
Thangthangkha to Jangothang
Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance 19 km
Trail: 480 m ascent
Campsite altitude: 4,080 m
If we arrive at the campsite early in the evening, we will be able to see Mt. Jomolhari. If not, we will see the mountain early in the morning. From here, the trek continues up the Pachhu river valley.

Day 4
Halt at Jangothang
The halt at Jangothang provides plenty of time for hikes that provides resplendent views of lakes and snow-capped mountains such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. Here, if we are lucky, we can spot the blue sheep on the upper slopes.

Day 5
Jangothang to Lingzhi
Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance: 18 km
Trail: 840 m ascent, 870 m descent
Campsite altitude: 4,010 m
At a short distance from the camp, the trail climbs steeply for about half an hour and then gradually climbs to Nyilila pass at 4,870 m.

Day 6
Lingzhi to Chebisa
Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance 10 km
Trail: 280 m ascent, 410 m descent
Campsite altitude: 3,880 m
Shortly after starting the trek, we reach a choeten below Lingzhi Dzong from where we can choose to stay on the main trail or take a detour.

Day 7
Chebisa to Shomuthang
Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance 17 km
Trail: 890 m ascent, 540 m descent
Campsite altitude: 4,220 m
The trek starts with a long (2-3 hrs) ascent behind Chebisa Village across a wide pastureland towards Gobula pass. A few yak herders can be seen along the route.

Day 8
Shomuthang to Robluthang
Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance 18 km
Trail: 700 m ascent, 760 m descent
Campsite altitude: 4,160 m
The trek begins by climbing up the valley to view Kang Bum at 6,526 m and some edelweiss. After two hours, we arrive at Jhari La at 4,750 m from where we can catch the first sight of Sinche La.

Day 9
Robluthang to Limithang
Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance 19 km
Trail: 850 m ascent, 870 m descent
Campsite altitude: 4,140 m
The trek starts with 40-60 minutes ascent before the climb becomes gradual across a field of boulders for one and a half hours. Then, the trail climbs steeply for an hour before reaching Sinche La at 5,005 m.

Day 10
Limithang to Laya
Time: 4-5 hrs
Distance 10 km
Trail: 60 m ascent, 340 m descent
Campsite altitude: 3,840 m
The trail today takes us downhill across a narrow, winding river valley. The trail takes us through a densely forested area to the western side of Laya village.

Day 11
Rest/Acclimatisation day in Laya
If we have trekked from Paro, we should spend one day here recuperating and preparing for the rest of the hard trek. If we have started from Gasa, we should walk to Laya to acclimatise.

Day 12
Laya to Rhoduphu
Time: 6-8 hrs
Distance 19 km
Trail: 1,030m ascent, 750 m descent
Campsite altitude: 4,160 m
The trail descends to an army camp and follows a river. After lunch, the trial leads through rhododendron bushes to the camp at Rhoduphu.

Day 13
Rhoduphu to Narethang
Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance 17 km
Trail: 740 m ascent
Campsite altitude: 4,900 m
Today too, the trail follows the river for about half an hour. Then it gently climbs to an open valley at 4,600 m and beyond that to Tsomo La at 4,900 m.

Day 14
Narethang to Tarina
Time: 5-6 hrs
Distance 18 km
Trail: 270 m ascent, 1,200 m descent
Campsite altitude: 3,970 m
Today, the trail climbs for an hour to Gangla Karchung La at 5,120 m. The view from the pass over many mountain ranges is spectacular.

Day 15
Tarina to Wache
Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance 17 km
Trail: 270 m ascent, 330 m descent
Campsite altitude: 3,910 m
The trail now winds through coniferous forests across the upper ridge of the Phochhu River. On the way, we walk past some sparkling waterfalls.

Day 16
Wache to Lhedi
Time: 6-7 hrs
Distance 17 km
Trail: 980 m ascent, 1,190 m descent
Campsite altitude: 3,700 m
The trail begins through juniper and fir forests, then through rhododendron bushes until we reach Keche La pass at 4,650 m from where the surrounding mountains can be seen in all their majesty and grandeur.

Day 17
Lhedi to Thanza
Time: 7-8 hrs
Distance 17 km
Trail: 450 m ascent
Campsite altitude: 4,150 m
If it’s a bright day, today the enchanting view of Table Mountain at 7,100 m spreads before us. At around midday, the trail goes past the small village of Chozo lying at 4,090 m. The village boasts of a dzong.

Day 18
Rest day at Thanza
The yaks from Laya return form Thanza. So, new yaks need to be arranged, which takes time. As new yaks are being arranged, we can choose to experience the highland village life or climb up the ridge to feast one’s eyes on intriguing views of lakes and mountains.

Day 19
Thanza to Tshorim
Time: 8-9 hrs
Camp altitude: 5,120 m
Having chosen the trail to Bumthang, instead of Sephu, the trek starts by climbing a ridge 4,500 m with a great view of Table Mountain and Thanza valley. The ridge rises up to 4,650 m.

Day 20
Tshorim to Gangkar Puensum Base Camp
Time: 6-7 hrs
Campsite altitude: 4,970 m
The day starts with a short climb to Tshorim Tsho (lake). As we walk by the side of lake, we can enjoy a panoramic view of Gophu La ranges. The climb to Gophu La pass at 5,230 m is short.

Day 21
Gangkar Puensum Base Camp to Geshe Woma
Time: 6-7 hrs
Campsite altitude: 4,200 m
Today, the trail follows the Sha Chhu and descends to Geshe Woma.

Day 22
Geshe Woma to Warathang
Time: 8-9 hrs
Campsite altitude: 4,000 m
The trail continues to follow Sha Chhu for two and a half hours until the sharp climb to Saka La begins. Visibility along the Saka La trail is mostly poor.

Day 23
Warathang to Dur Tshachu
Time: 5 hrs
Campsite altitude: 3,590 m
An hour’s climb from the camp leads to Juli La at 4,700 m. Then we descend to a riverside through dense rhododendron, juniper and coniferous forests. After crossing the bridge over the river, a short climb leads to Dur Tshachu.

Day 24
Dur Tshachu to Tshochenchen
Time: 8-9 hrs
Campsite altitude: 3,850 m
From the hot springs, it is a long and steady climb again with great views of mountains in Lunana. We will also come across lakes and yak herders’ huts.

Day 25
Tshochenchen to Dur Village
This is the last day of the trek and our porters change from yaks to horses. The path follows the Chamkharchhu River, descending gradually with a few climbs in between. The trek ends here when we arrive at Dur village. From here we drive to Bjakar (Bumthang). Snowman Trek II - Finish


1. Druk Path Trek
2.Jomolhari-Laya-Gasa Trek
3. Jomolhari Loop
4. Jomolhari Trek
5. Snoman Trek I
6. Snoman Trek II
7.Punakha Winter Trek
8. Dur Hot Spring Trek
9. Yaksa Trek
10. Tshaluna Trek