Day 1: Paro – Jili Dzong
Distance 7 km, 4-5 hours, 1,090 m ascent, camp altitude 3,480 m.
The first day can be quite arduous as you have to climb more than 1,000m elevation. You start from the Ta Dzong (National Museum) in Paro. The trek follows a gravel road past a few farms for about 30 minutes and then climbs up a steep ridge before leading through blue pine and fir forests to Damche Gom. Once you reach the ridge below Jili Dzong you descend about 100m to the campsite below the Dzong.
Day 2: Jili Dzong – Jangchulakha
Distance 10 km, 4-5 hours, 310 m ascent, 50 m descent, camp altitude 3,770 m.
You begin with a steep climb for about an hour and a half, then the slope evens a bit and the ascent is more gradual. The trail takes you through thick alpine forests and dwarf rhododendron tress. You may see herders and their yaks around your campsite.
Day 3: Jangchulakha – Jimgelang Tsho
Distance 11 km, 4 hours, 230 m descent, 330 m ascent, camp altitude 3,870 m.
The trail follows a ridge and on a clear day the view of the mountains and valley are simply stunning. The campsite is close to the Jimgelang Tsho Lake. This lake is known for its giant sized trout.
Day 4: Jimgelang Tsho – Simkotra Tsho
Distance 11 km, 4 hours, 820 m ascent, 400 m descent, camp altitude 4,110 m.
The trail takes you through dwarf rhododendron trees and past Janetso Lake. You may come across some yak herder camps where you will have the opportunity to get a glimpse of a nomad’s life. The campsite is close to Simkotra Tsho Lake.
Day 5: Simkotra Tsho – Phajoding
Distance 10 km, 3-4 hours, 130 m ascent, 680 m descent, camp altitude 3,750 m.
The day begins with a gradual climb. If the weather permits, you will have a spectacular view of Mount Gangkar Puensum, the highest mountain in Bhutan and several other Himalayan peaks. From this pass, the trek takes you downhill towards Phajodhing where you will halt for the night. The camp is located just above Phadjoding Monastery.
Day 6: Phajodhing – Mothitang
Distance 4-5 km, 3 hours, 1,130 m descent.
After passing Phadjoding monastery, the trek to Thimphu (Mothitang) is downhill through a forested area of mostly blue pine. The walk, at a leisurely pace, takes about three hours.