Trek In Bhutan: Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek

One of the most scenic of treks in Bhutan is unmistakably the Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek which is a 217 km trek, spanning over 14 days beginning at  Drukgyel in Paro valley. The trek is named after the highest peak of Bhutan Mt. Jomolhari which is also believed to be the abode of the Goddess of protection (Jomo). The trek will take you through gorgeous alpine meadows, high mountain passes, and dense subtropical jungles before ending at Damji in Tashithang. Along the trail of the Jomolhari Laya Gasa Trek, you will be able to spot indigenous animals of Bhutan such as blue sheep and takins and pass through most pristine and unspoiled landscapes in Bhutan. The trek also offers a day of relaxation at the famous Gasa hot springs en-route. The best months to visit Bhutan to complete this trek are between April-June and mid-September-mid-November, when Bhutan experiences clear skies and a pleasant climate.

Day 1 starts at the Gunitsawa Village in northern Paro and ends at Sharna Zampa (2850m). The following day you trek for almost 22km to reach the campsite at Thangthangkha (3610m). You get the first view of Mt. Jomolhari from here. On Day 3, the trail ends at Jangothang (4080m) while passing through alpine meadows and sightings of yaks. This part of the trek is especially scenic. Day 4 is a rest day for acclimatization and a chance to spot blue sheep and enjoy short hikes around the campsite. The next day, the trail begins at a rapid climb towards Nyilila Pass (4870m) after which there is a descent towards the Lingshi Basin (a U shaped valley). The day ends near the Lingshi Dzong (4010m). The half-day mark takes you to the village of Chebsia (3880m) where the day ends. From here you can also visit the stone houses in the Goyul village nearby.

The 7th Day will lead you towards Gobu La Pass (4410m) and will end above the tributary of Mo Chhu river at Shomuthang (4220m). The eighth day will take you to Jhari La (4750m) from where you can glimpse Sinche La (the pass which comes on the 9th Day), the Great Tiger Mountain, Tserim kang and the Jomolhari. The day ends at Robluthang (4160m), which is in a rocky meadow. The 9th day takes you to Sinche La (5005m), the final and the highest pass on this trek. You will then cross the Kango Chhu and then reach the Limithang campsite (4140m). The 10th day is a downhill trail along the winding river valley to the Laya village (3840m) with glorious views of Mt. Gangchhenta and Mt. Masagang. This is where you will end the day. On the 11th day, the trail takes you to the river valley of Mo Chhu, the major river in Bhutan, up to Kohi Lapcha and then down to Koina (3050) where you will camp for the night. On the 12th day, you will climb to cross the Bari la (3740m) pass to reach the campsite at the Gasa village (2240m), close to the Gasa Dzong. If you descend for another hour, you can relax in the rejuvenating mineral waters of the Gasa Tsachu, one of the most popular hot springs in Bhutan. The trek ends here and offers you a chance to explore this remote village in the northwest of Bhutan. Gasa is home to a distinctive and architecturally unique Dzong and is also an environmentally protected area of Bhutan

Every trek in Bhutan is accompanied by a guide, cook, camping assistant, and a few horsemen and horses to carry gear and the Owl Trek is no different. The maximum elevation that is reached during the trek is 5005m (16420 feet above sea level). Make sure to wear hiking boots, all-terrain clothing and carry a sleeping bag, water-bottle, first-aid kit, and a de-hydration kit as essentials.

To know more about this trek in details, read here: https://www.tourgenie.com/travel-diaries/travel-blogs/trek-in-bhutan-jomolhari-laya-gasa-trek

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