The Druk Path Trek

From Paro to Thimbu

The Druk Path trek leads from Paro to Thimpu, following the traditional high route crossing the chain of mountains that separates the two valleys. The route crosses several passes, including the Phume La (4210m) and is still used by local yak herders. Although the route is sparsely inhabited, there are akes teeming with fish and the area is famous for its spectacular rhododendron forests, which bloom in May. It was clear weather which provided us with great views of the Himalaya. Our trek started at the roadhead of the Ta-Dzong National Museum (2510m) which is the ancient watchtower situated above Paro Dzong. We began with a gentle 1-hour walk and then climbed steeply to our camping place just below Jele Dzong. There were great views of the Paro Valley with snow- capped mountains behind including Chomolhari in the distance. Above the camp is Jele La pass (3490m) and Jele Dzong that is mostly in ruins.  Overnight camp (8km, 4 hours walking). Our second day’s walk began with a climb through thick rhododendron forest to cross the Jele La (3490m) and onto a saddle at 3590 metres. We saw yak herders and there were fascinating views of Chomolhari and other snow-capped peaks. (11km 4 hours walking). Today was a longer trekking day so we started a little earlier. The trail followed the ridge past the Jimilangtsho lakes (3880m), which are famous for their giant sized trout and up to our highest point 4,250m.  We passed dwarf rhododendron trees and yak herder’s  camps. After Motithang we passed Tsalu Ney, a 14th century Lhakang (temple) built on the site of a cave where Guru Rimpoche is said to have meditated. We trekked downward, passing through a forested area of mostly blue pine. to reach our hotel late afternoon. (20km, 9 hours walking)

Our Trek

A typical day started with a cup of tea at 6am. Then we were given warm water for a wash. After breakfast we packed up the tents and started walking between 7am and 8am. Lunch was around 11.30 or 12 and we reached our camp site around 4pm when we have tea and a biscuit. Dinner was around a camp fire at 7pm then bed around 11pm.   The camping conditions were very cold at night. We put hot drinking water in a sock to use as a hot water bottle. Our warmth was from a sleeping bag, inner lining and warm clothes. Our supplies and equipment were transported on the mules.