The Classic Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek
This moderate trek passes through numerous crystal clear high altitude lakes so named as the Thousand Lakes Trek. The trek also offers a good opportunity to enjoy the tranquility, nature, diverse flora, fauna and bird life of the Bhutan Himalayas as well as contact with the nomadic highlanders who depend on yak rearing for their livelihood.
The route also presents fascinating views of the Himalayan peaks which includes Everest, Kanchenjunga the third highest in the world, Chomolhari, Jichu Drake, Masang Gang, Tsenda Gang and Gangchhen Tak in Bhutan. The best time to enjoy this trek is from April to June and September to November.
Additional sightseeing, modifications, extensions or activities can also be incorporated depending on your interests and local events. We assure you all the flexibility possible in terms of the daily tour activities.
Day 1 / Arrive in Bhutan
The flight into Paro is a befitting introduction to the spectacular beauty of our country as the flight offers magnificent views of the Himalayas. After an exciting descent into Bhutan, you will be met on arrival by our guide and transferred to your hotel for a brief rest. In the afternoon we visit the imposing fortress of Paro, the national museum and enjoy a leisurely stroll in Paro Town to get a sense of the Place.
Day 2 / Paro
Acclimatisation hike to Taktsang Monastery which is commonly known as the Tiger's Nest, the most awe inspiring monastery and probably the most photographed one in Bhutan. It is said that Guru Rinpoche arrived here on the back of a tigress and meditated at this monastery hence it is called "Tigers Nest". Lunch will be served at the cafeteria before we take the walk back. Evening at leisure.
Day 3 / Genekha to Gur
Distance: 7 km
Walking Duration: 4 Hours
Altitude at Campsite: 3290m
The drive from Paro to Genekha takes about an hour. The road leaves the Thimphu highway and ascends into the mountainside villages of Bama and Chizhi. We disembark at Genekha and walk past the village of Tsochekha, this will also be a good opportunity to observe the traditional way of life in the remote mountain villages.
We then cross a suspension bridge from where the trail heads west for a while, then turns south along the east side of the Genetsang Chu (left river) to a side stream, the Dolung Chu. Upon crossing the stream we head uphill on a eroded trail through oak forests, which is famous for its mushrooms, the area is perhaps the most prominent of all the mushroom habitats in the country due to the high concentration of mushrooms. The mushroom season runs from July to September each year and supplements the income of the villages in these parts. The trail used to function as a major trading route between Thimphu and Dagana until the 1980’s, nowadays it is mainly used by the yak herders, mushroom hunters, woodcutters and some trekkers. As we emerge out of the oak forest the trail leads up a rocky out crop which takes us to our campsite at Gur.
Day 04 / Gur to Labatamba
Distance: 12 km
Walking duration: 5 hours
Altitude at campsite: 4300m
On the second day, the trail traverses through blue pine forests and then gradually through forests of spruce and fir forests. From these high ridges one can truly appreciate the rugged beauty of the intact environment, mountain vegetation and crystal clear streams rushing down the mountains. The path winds through some refreshing meadows adorned with wild flowers and fields of wild asparagus during the spring The first mountain pass at Pangalabtsa (4240m) is marked by a huge cairn and gives a spectacular view of the Kanchenjunga peak and a number of the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. As we descend the pass into the Labatama meadows the entirety of the Dagala mountain range is visible. The Labatama meadows is a favoured encampment area for the nomadic yak herders due to its rich pasture lands. If the camps are around, we will visit some yak herders homes before climbing gradually through the valley to Uthso lake. We camp near the lake, where there are said to be plenty of golden trout. There are also many other lakes in the vicinity and this high altitude area is a mass of alpine wildflowers in September.
Day 6 / Labatama
Today will be dedicated for resting, relaxing and recuperating at the scenic Labatama area. There will also be options available to undertake an excursion to any of three nearby lakes: Reli Tsho, Hen Tsho and Jama Tsho which are usually teeming with mountain trout.
Day 7 / Labatamba to Panka
Distance: 8 km
Walking duration: 6-7 hours
Altitude at campsite: 4000m
We begin the morning with a climb along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at 4520m. The saddle offers panoramic view of the majestic Himalayan peaks all through the descent. The mountain peaks visible include Everest in Nepal, Kanchenjunga in India, Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tshering Gang, Khangbum, Masagang, Tsende Gang and Gangchen Tak in Bhutan. From the saddle the path descends, passing some yak herder huts to the Doccha Chu river. We then follow the river to reach the Panka campsite.
Day 8 / Panka to Talakha and drive to Thimphu
Distance: 8 km
Walking Duration: 5 to 6 hours
The route today leads north to a crest at 4100m where several trails lead off in different directions. The trail to Talakha climbs steeply up a slate slope and it's then a long traverse to Tale La at 4180m. The area is also a habitat of the rare blue poppy, the national flower of Bhutan. Along the way, we can get spectacular views of the Dagala Range and of Thimphu, far to the north. We then descent through bamboo forests to the Talakha Goemba (monastery) where our vehicle will await us to drive 30 minutes to Thimphu for a hot shower and a comfortable rest at the hotel.
Day 9 / Thimphu to Paro
We enjoy a full day sightseeing in Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. The sightseeing tour today will consist of museums, Institute of arts and crafts, monasteries, markets, an archery range, city viewpoint, temples and a nice leisurely stroll in the market before we drive back to Paro in the evening.
Day 10 / Paro to onward destination
We check in two hours prior to flight departure to ensure the best seats on board, best suited to take in the panoramic view of the Himalayas.
We bid you goodbye and happy travels.
PRICING GUIDE AND INCLUSIONS
High season touring for 10 days will typically cost USD$2500pp for a group of two or more people. The following are included in this price guide:
- Accommodation and Camping Support
- All Meals
- All Transportation
- Trekking Guides, Porters and Pack Animals
- Visa for entry into Bhutan
What's not included:
- International flights into and out of Paro
- Drinks and Alcohol
- Tips for guides