The Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek passes by picturesque lakes, alpine meadows, abundant wildlife and many yak herder camps set to a backdrop of magnificent mountainous landscapes. The centerpiece of this communion with nature is time spent exploring the high altitude lakes overflowing with trout and mystical history. It is a moderate trek with mostly short trekking days, but includes a few steep climbs. This trek is a great option for those with a desire to experience the variety of flora and fauna in Bhutan, and capture a glimpse of the local nomadic lifestyle. Also includes a tour of the fascinating sites of Thimphu and Paro.Season: Apr – Sep and October.

Category: Moderate

DAY 01: Arrive Paro

The Pinehill Bhutan Travels tour guide will escort you to your hotel in Paro. After lunch, enjoy sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the Ta Dzong and Rimpong Dzong. Before dinner at the hotel, there will be an orientation on Bhutanese etiquette by your guide. Overnight in Paro.

DAY 02: Paro

After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery or Tiger’s Nest that takes about 5 hours round trip.  The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. Afterwards drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, and 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang. Overnight in Paro.

DAY 03: Paro – Gur (4-5 hours) (Trek Starts)

Drive to the village of Genekha (2800 m) to commence the trek. After crossing a bridge over the Wang Chu (Thimphu River), we follow a good track steadily upwards through oak forest to a rocky platform and good resting spot. We continue slowly up through birch and bamboo forest to reach our camp in a meadow at Gur (3350 m).

DAY 04: Gur – Wataching (5 hours)

We head upwards from Gur on a good trail to reach the alpine zone with open views down the valley. We soon reach a possible campsite at Gibze Kebze (3710 m) where we may camp, for although we have only been walking for a couple of hours, the height gain is 360 m and you will start to feel the altitude. If everyone is acclimatizing well, we may carry on across hillsides lined with rhododendron to Pagalabsta La Pass (4170 m) for fine views of the Dagala range. Continue downwards to a stone yak herders hut at Wataching (4100 m). Overnight at campsite.

DAY 05: Wataching – Labatama (4-5 hours)

From Wataching, we cross several ridges gradually entering more rugged terrain, and follow a broad valley known locally as Labatama, dotted with several yak herders’ huts. We follow the valley to its end to a campsite below cliffs near to Utsho Lake (4250 m), famous for its golden trout. There is time to explore this area and perhaps to climb Jomo if weather and energy allows. The route to Jomo passes Setsho Lake and from its summit in fine weather are views of Kanchenjunga and Chomolhari. Jomo represents the female deity which protects animals and is much revered, as most people in the vicinity rely on cattle or horses for their livelihood. Juniper will be burned and locals may request that we stop at the lower peak (4530 m) as a mark of respect. Overnight at campsite.

DAY 06: Labatama – Panka (5-6 hours)

Leaving Labatama, we cross Labajong La Pass (4400m). For those with energy to spare there is a good view point close to the pass (Approx 30 mins detour). From here there are several camps to choose from. Depending on the availability of water, our camps may vary pre and post monsoon, but we will aim for Panka. If we climb take a different route to Panka. Overnight at campsite.

DAY 07: Panka – Talakha monastery (5-6 hours)

A clear early morning will reveal breathtaking views of Kanchenjunga, Chomolhari and Jichu Drake amongst many more Himalayan peaks. The path continues on through a forest of rhododendrons populated by Himalayan pheasants. We reach enormous cairns at Chole La Pass (4100 m). From here, we drop down to Kiwi Chowa (4030 m). We follow the northern route past a ruin said to have once been a dzong to monitor the movement of locals between Wangduephodrang & Thimphu districts. A ridge leads to Talakha Peak (4300 m) revealing great views of the Thimphu Valley. From Talakha peak we drop down steadily. Finally we reach Talakha Monastery whose shy monks, tremendous views over the Thimphu valley and outdoor bathtub make for a memorable stay. Overnight at a campsite near the monastery.

DAY 08: Talakha monastery – Thimphu (Trek Ends)

It’s only an hour’s walk down to the road head and soon we are driving through apple orchards to reach Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan. After checking into your hotel and enjoy some time to unwind and eat lunch, enjoy sightseeing around Thimphu. Overnight at your hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 09: Thimphu

After breakfast, visit Kuensel Phodrang (tallest Buddha statue), National Memorial Chorten (stupa), Takin preserve, Tashichhoe Dzong (fortress of the glorious religion) and Craft Bazaar. Overnight at hotel in Thimphu.

DAY 10: Thimphu – Punakha

Drive over the Dochu-La pass (3,100 m). On a clear day it offers an incredible view of Himalayan peaks before descending into balmy Punakha valley (about 3 hrs total driving time). On arrival at Punakha, visit the Dzong (Palace of Great Happiness) built in 1637. After lunch, enjoy a walk to Chimi Lhakhang considered a symbol of fertility. Overnight in Punakha/ Wangduephodrang.

DAY 11: Punakha – Thimphu

In the morning drive to Yabesa village and hike to through rice fields and up to Khamsum Yueley Namgyal Chorten. Take a picnic lunch on a riverside before enjoying a pleasant walk through farmland and along the picturesque river bank back to Punakha Dzong.

Drive back to Thimphu where you will have an opportunity to visit handicraft and souvenir stores. Overnight in Thimphu.

DAY 12: Thimphu – Paro

The day is at leisure to relax in Thimphu before departing for Paro, or return to Paro early to further explore the beautiful Paro valley. Alternatively, day 12 could be spent on a day trip to the Haa Valley, one of the most picturesque districts in Bhutan. Overnight in Paro.

DAY 13: Depart Paro

Drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. We hope to serve you again with our other exciting tour packages in the future.