Laya Gasa Trek - 12 days/11 nights

Gasa Dzong


This trek route offers great variety of trekking conditions, from picturesque farmland and forests to alpine pastureland and high passes.

Spectacular campsites, beneath some of Bhutan’s most impressive peaks, of which the most notable are Mount Chomolhari and Mount Jichu Drake, are also the features of this trekking route. Numerous isolated Dzongs and scattered settlements, including the outlandish village of Laya, provide a great deal of cultural interest enroute.

Wildlife such as the blue sheep, marmots, musk deer and the national animal, the Takin, can be seen. One should also not rule out the possibility of the rare sighting of a snow leopard, great Himalayan bear or even the yeti!

The best season for this strenuous rated trek is April-May and mid September to mid November.

Please remember you must add at least 4 additional nights in Bhutan to complete this trek. Two nights prior to commencement of trek (minimum duration required for acclimatisation purposes) & two nights post trek before your departure from Bhutan.

Private Trek Tour Itinerary Overview.

  • 2 nights Paro with sightseeing & hiking
  • 11 nights Laya Gasa Trek
  • 1 night Punakha valley
  • 1 night Paro valley

AUS toll free, James – 0412 416 111, Nicola – 0413 598 669

Detailed Trek Itinerary:

Day 01: Laya Gasa Trek

Gunetshawa – Shana Zampa – Soi Thangthangkha, distance  22 km, time–7/8 hours.

Depart Paro this morning travelling by road via Drukgyel Dzong to the village of Gunetshawa. At the army post just outside Gunetshawa your trek permit will be checked and endorsed. Your trek begins close to the village of Gunetshawa.

The trail continues its gradual climb alongside the Pa Chhu (Paro River) through forests of oak, rhododendrons and ferns and breathtaking vistas. The campsite (3,630m) is surrounded with beautiful views and lulled by the sound of the Paro River.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 02: Laya Gasa Trek

Soi Thangthangkha – Jangothang, distance – 19 km, time – 6/7 hours.

This day starts with beautiful landscape reaching to summer pastures of yaks, truly beasts of bounty for herders providing abundant cheese, butter, meat and thick waterproof hair for making tents, caps and blankets. The approach to Jangothang (4,090m) camp site is heralded by prayer walls, chhortens, prayer flags fluttering in the wind and a spectacular view of Mount. Chomolhari (7,314m).

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 03: Laya Gasa Trek

Jangothang – Lingshi, distance – 18 km, time – 6/7 hours.

Ten minutes walk from Jangothang presents spectacular views of Mount. Jichu Drake (6,989m) and further ahead Mount Tserim Kang (6,789m). The final pull enroute is Nyile la pass (4,890m) about 4 hours from Jangothang. The trail later travels above the tributary of Mo Chhu River, gradually descending to the campsite at Lingshi (4,010m).

There is also the possibility of an excursion from Lingshi to the base camp of Mount Tserim Kang for fishing and encountering enroute blue sheep and musk deer.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 04: Laya Gasa Trek

Lingshi – Chebisa, distance – 10 km, time – 5 hours.

Proceed ahead passing Lingshi Dzong built in the 17th century, perched on the hilltop with a commanding view of the green hills, the winding river and magnificent peaks. After an hour from Lingshi, the trail reaches a cairn and prayer flags on a ridge at 4,140m and then makes a long descent to the pleasant settlement of Gayul (3,870m).

Leaving this village, after making a short ascent and descent, the route leads to the spectacular Chebisa valley. Campsite on a meadow at an altitude of 3,880m.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 05: Laya Gasa Trek

Chebisa – Shomuthang, distance – 17 km, time – 7 hours.

On today’s early part of the trek, there is the possibility of spotting blue sheep, branded vultures and Himalayan griffons.

The route later crosses Gombu la pass (4,500m) and then descends through rhododendrons bushes to a stream at about 4,170m. The trail further climbs over a small ridge through a cedar forest then into the main Jholethang Chhu valley in a deep forest of fir and birch and then to the village of Shakshepasa (3,980m).

There are several yak herders huts enroute. The camp is at Shomuthang (4,200m) in a clusterof brush beside a stream.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 06: Laya Gasa Trek

Shomuthang – Robluthang, distance – 18 km, time – 6 / 7 hours. The trek starts with a climb to Jari la pass (4,700m) then descending to Tasharijathang valley, the summer place of the rare Himalayan Takin. Camp is at Tsheri Jathang valley which has been declared a special Takin sanctuary.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 07: Laya Gasa Trek

Robluthang – Limithang, distance – 19 km time – 7 hours.

Today cross Shinje la pass (4,900m) the last and the highest pass on the trek which is about 5 hours walk from camp.

Later the descent is on a rough, rocky trail into a glacial valley, eventually reaching to Kango Chhu, a stream. After that it is a short climb through rhododendron trail and cedar forest interspersed small meadows to Limithang (4,140m), a lovely campsite in a big meadow.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 08: Laya Gasa Trek

Limithang – Laya, distance – 10 km, time – 5 hours.

Today’s walk to Laya is extremely pleasant with wonderful mountain scenery and passing through forests filled with moss and singing birds. 

The village of Laya is the second highest settlement in the country at an altitude of 3,800m.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 09: Laya Gasa Trek

Laya Halt.

Spend the day relaxing visiting village houses or going on short hikes above the camp.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 10: Laya Gasa Trek

Laya – Koina, distance – 19 km, time – 6 / 7 hours.

The route follows the Mo Chhu river downstream all the way to Punakha (western Bhutan) crossing few streams and making several ascents and descents.

Also the route offers interesting view of Masang Gang peak (7,165m). Camp at Koina at an altitude of 3,050m.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 11: Laya Gasa Trek

Koina – Gasa Tsachu, distance – 14 km, time – 5 / 6 hours.

The day starts with a major ascent to Bari la pass (3,900m) traversing through deep forests of fir.

The route starts down again, sometimes steeply through a bamboo forest to a stream at 3,080m, the view point of Gasa Dzong. The trail further traverses above Jigme Dorji Wangchuck National Park onwards to Gasa.

Overnight Tented Campsite.

Day 12: Laya Gasa Trek

Trek to Springs at Gasa Tsachu (2 hours)

This morning spend a few hours relaxing in the medicinal waters of the hot springs.

This afternoon it is only a short 20 min hike to the roadside where you we will collected and transferred by road to your overnight accommodation in the Punakha Valley. (3 – 4 hrs)

Overnight Punakha Valley – Bhutanese Style 3* Hotel.