Laya Gasa Trek - the most beautiful trek in Bhutan

Laya-Gasa Trek is one of the most scenic long distance treks in Bhutan. The trek runs along the Tibetan border and offers amazing views of some of the most pristine and untouched landscapes in Bhutan

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From To Base Fee Final Price Note
01/01/2021 31/10/2022 2800 € 2910 € Per person "starting from" in low season

Laya Gasa Trek - the most beautiful trek in Bhutan
Duration: 13 Nights 14 Days
Grade: demanding
Maximum Altitude: 4820 m

Laya-Gasa Trek is one of the most scenic long distance treks in Bhutan. The trek runs along the Tibetan border and offers amazing views of some of the most pristine and untouched landscapes in Bhutan. The trek begins at Drukgyel in Paro and takes you through serene alpine meadows and high mountain passes with magnificent views of Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tsherimgang. The trek will traverse the remote semi-nomadic village of Laya. You will get to enjoy the unique culture and tradition of the indigenous people of Laya (Layaps). You will also see native animals such as blue sheep and Takins along the trail. From Laya you descend to Gasa, where you will have a day of relaxation at the hot spring to rejuvenate.

Day1: Arrive Bhutan
The flight to Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights in the world, with a constantly changing panorama of some of the highest mountains on earth. Our representative will meet you at Paro airport. After lunch enjoy afternoon sightseeing around Paro, including a visit to the National Museum, Ta Dzong. This museum houses many religious relics, works of art and handicrafts offering a great orientation into Bhutan’s historical and cultural past. Next, visit the Rimpong Dzong to see the painting of the great saint Milarepa, considered as the master of meditation by the Bhutanese and believed to have attained enlightenment in a lifetime. Dzongs are large monasteries and district administrative centers, which were once strategic forts. Afterwards walk to the beautiful cantilever wooden bridge still in use.

Overnight in Paro

Day 2: Paro-Hike To Taksang
After breakfast hike to Taktsang Monastery. The trail is broad and the walk of approximately 3 hours uphill takes you high above the Paro valley. The view of Taktsang Monastery built on a sheer cliff face 900 meters above the valley floor is a spectacular sight. The great Guru Rinpoche is said to have flown here on the back of a tigress when he brought the teachings of the Buddhist Dharma to Bhutan in the 8th Century. Nearby there is a teahouse where you can stop for lunch.
In the afternoon drive to the ruins of the 17th Century Drukgyel Dzong, an historic monument built by the Zhabdrung to commemorate his victory against invading Tibetans in 1644. In fine weather the towering peak of the sacred Mount Jomolhari (7314m) appears as a stunning backdrop. On the return drive to Paro, visit 7th Century Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the 108 temples constructed by the Tibetan king Songtsen Gampo. Kyichu is built in a manner similar to the Jokhang in Lhasa, Tibet.

Overnight in Paro

 

Day 3: Sharna Zampa – Soi Thangthankha
Distance 22km, 7-8 hours, 685 m ascent, 0 m descent.
Camp altitude: 3,750 m.

You will drive 12km north of Paro valley from your hotel, pass Army post of Gunitsawa, till Sharna Zampa. Your trekking crew will be waiting here for you. After a brief meeting, you will follow the Pachhu (Paro river) trail, ascending and descending through pine, oak and spruce forests. After 2 hours of continuous hiking and crossing several streams, you will reach at Shingkharap, a stone house at 3110m. A hot lunch will be served after crossing the bridge towards the left side of the river. Little ahead is the trail junction – left an old trade route and invasion from Tibet and right leading to the wooden bridge (we follow the right). After climbing up through rhododendron forests and finally crossing the bridge again, we reach our camp at 3750m, which is amidst beautiful meadows.

Day 4: Soi Thangthangkha to Jangothang Base Camp.
Distance 19km, 5-6 hours, 469 m ascent, 0 m descent.
Camp altitude: 4044 m.

Although today’s is not a long trekking day, a significant height gain will take place as your trail goes above tree line. From the camp, your path ascends for a while till you reach the army camp. Then follow the river above the tree line enjoying the stunning view of surrounding peaks. We walk through a very muddy section of trail, pass a mani wall and enter yak country. Hot lunch will be served inside a yak herder’s camp. After lunch, we walk past yak herder settlements of Soi and Takethang. Common crops that people grow here are barley, potatoes and turnips. We walk our final approach across a plateau and up a streambed and Dangochang village to the awesome campsite of Jangothang at an altitude of 4,040m. From here, the views of Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake are superb.

Day 5: Jangothang acclimatization  & exploration.
 A day by doing four-hour acclimatization hike to the north of your camp. There is practically no trail but you will climb on an open and endless slope till you see the view of Mt Jichu Drake (6989m). You can scramble further up till 4895m (higher than Mount Blanc) to see amazing view of Mount Jumolhari. You are likely to spot rare blue sheep, Himalayan rhubarb, griffon vultures, golden eagles and the remarkable blue poppy. Jangothang base is a flat grassy land with an old ruined fortress on a hillock in the foreground, beneath the colossal Mount Jumolhari and its neighbor Jichu Drake. Most people show signs of mountain sickness at this altitude and it is recommended that all trekkers halt here. If you do not wish to hike but simply wish to just relax in camp, whichever option you choose, its certainly going to be a memorable day.

Day 6: Jangothang to Lingshi
Distance 18km, 5-6 hours, 660 m ascent, 660 m descent.
Camp altitude: 4010 m.

Today’s trail follows the stream for half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. You will then start to climb up to the first ridge where you will be greeted by a breathtaking view of Jumolhari (7314m), Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tshering Gang (6789m). You will then be walking on an almost flat track for sometime towards the valley and then you will have to climb to Ngye La pass at 4,700m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the camp. You will get to enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the peaks here and the Lingshi Dzong. If time permits, you can take a detour to this tiny fortress that is sits on a hilltop overlooking Lingzhi village. For centuries, Lingzhi Dzong was a way station for weary Buddhist pilgrims and was a defense fort against Tibetan and Mongol invaders. You will camp today at an altitude of 4010m.

Day 7: Lingshi to Chebisa                                                                    
Distance 12km, 5-6 hours, 660 m ascent, 160 m descent.
Camp altitude: 3850 m.

Perched on a hilltop with breathtaking views of green hills, meandering rivers and magnificent peaks is the Lingshi Dzong. For centuries, Lingzhi Dzong was a way station for Buddhist pilgrims. It was also a defense fort against Tibetan and Mongol invaders. Today is an easy day filled with pleasant walks through villages and yak herders’ camp. After lunch, a short walk will take you to Chebisa, a charming little village adorned with a beautiful crystal clear waterfall. You will camp by the side of a stream at an altitude of 3,850m.

Day 8: Chebisa to Shoumuthang                                                     
Distance 17km, 6-7 hours, 570 m ascent, 290 m descent.
Camp altitude: 4130 m

You will begin your trek with a steep climb up a ridge to Gogu La pass (4500m) which will take nearly four hours. It is common to spot rare blue sheep on the rocks near the top of this pass. After the pass you will make a descent in your route where you will pass through rhododendron bushes to a lunch stop. In the afternoon you will continue to walk along the trail with scattered ascents and descents. After crossing the stream, walking through rhododendron forests and yak herders camp, we arrive at Shakepasa at 3980m. After this point, you will be climbing steeply up to the northern side of the valley and passing by a few yak herders’ camp. We will then arrive at our camp located beside a stream at an altitude 4,250m.

Day 9: Shoumuthang to Robluthang                                              
Distance 16km, 6-7 hours, 520 m ascent, 250 m descent.
Camp altitude: 4220 m

Today the trek begins by you walking through edelweiss bound trail and then a climb to Jari La pass at an altitude of 4,700m. The snow-capped peak visible to the southeast is Kangbum at 6526m. You will then descend to Tsarijathang valley. This valley is the summer residence of rare Himalayan Takins (national animal of Bhutan). From here on you may have to cross streams without a footbridge because in most cases these bridges are washed away. After crossing the stream, to the left the trail ascends till you reach Robluthang. It is a rocky meadow camp at an altitude of 4,200m.

Day 10: Robluthang to Lingmithang
Distance 19km, 7-8 hours, 850 m ascent, 870 m descent.
Camp altitude: 4140

Today will be an exhilarating day as you will cross the highest pass in our entire trek. You will climb all the way up through boggy patches. As you follow this trail you’ll be crossing streams and spotting marmot holes and moraine. You will then reach the top of Shingchen La pass (5005m). You will be greeted with the view stunning view of the snow-covered Gangchenta or the Tiger Mountain (6,840m) filling the northern horizon. After taking in the view you will descend through a rough rocky trail following the moraine river valley to Kango Chhu River. You will find that the path is quite narrow and you may be expected to cross a stream again and get yourself wet. After a fresh walk through cedar forests you will finally arrive at Lingmethang (4,140m). Lingmithang is a beautiful campsite, with scattered meadows by the river with Tiger Mountain (Gangchenta) towering behind your campsite.

Day 11: Lingmithang to Laya
Distance 10 km, 3-4 hours
Camp altitude: 3850m

In the morning you will wake up to a superb view of Gangchenta peak. The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views. You will pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. It is a pretty long walk through this uninhabited valley. You will also see a waterfall as you follow this trail. As you walk further, you will find yourself at a junction. The upper route will bring you to fields spotted with stone houses. Arrive at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country, at an altitude of 3,800m.

Day 11: Laya
Today is a day you can temper to your taste. Explore Laya village and go visit any of the houses around. Hospitality is a big part of Bhutanese tradition. Even to a perfect stranger, traditional Bhutanese hospitality is extended and a cup of tea and Chang (local, wine) is always offered. You will notice that the people in this valley are very interesting especially their attire. Women in particular have very conspicuous attire, wearing conical bamboo hats decorated with turquoise and silver ornaments

Day 12: Laya to Gasa Tshachu
Distance 16km, 7 hours, 0 m ascent, 560 m descent.
Camp altitude: 2700

Today you will descend to the army camp and join the Mo Chhu (Female River of Punakha). You will then follow the river till you cross the bridge. After you cross the bridge you will be making several ascents and descents through juniper and fir forests. You will eventually reach the camp at Chamsa at an altitude of 3,800m. On the way, you may spot Satyr Tragopan, Himalayan Monal, and Blood Pheasants.

After walking for about half an hour over flat land you will get to Bari La pass. From this point the trail decreases in altitude all the way to Koina, the road point. Dive to Gasa Tshachu (Hot water spring). Unwind for the evening at the hot spring.

Day 13: Gasa Tshachu to Thimphu
Distance 67Km.

After breakfast drive to Thimphu.

Visit the following sites:
- Punakha Dzong
- Chimi Lhakhang (Fertility Temple)
- Druk Wangyel Chorten
- Kuenselphodrang
- Memorial Chorten

In the evening explore Thimphu market on you our own.

Day 14: Depart
Drive to the airport for flight to your onward destination. Our representative will then bid you farewell.

Price per person in double room in Low Season: starting from 2800 euro
Price per person in double room in High Season: stating from 3510 euro


LOW SEASON: January, February, June; July, August, December
HIGH SEASON: March, April, May, September, October, November

The price includes:
- accommodation in facilities as scheduled for 10 nights
- meals as scheduled
- English speaking guide for the whole tour
- car / minivan available for the whole tour
- support
- Bhutanese entry fee
- visa

The fee does not include
- Flights from
- drinks, meals not mentioned
- tips (around USD 10 per day)
- currency adjustment
- everything not expressly specified in "the price includes"