The Snowman Trek
Paro, Bhutan 22 nights from £9,499

The Snowman Trek

Take on one of the toughest trekking adventures in the world. Over 18 days of trekking through the Bhutanese Himalaya, climb high mountain passes and explore the mysterious Kingdom of Bhutan.

  • 18 days trekking

Highlights

Bhutanese culture

Bhutanese culture

Immerse yourself in the rich history and customs of this mysterious kingdom.

Enchanting mountains

Enchanting mountains

Explore the peaks of the high Himalaya, with mountains views to die for.

Where the yak roam

Where the yak roam

Traverse high plateaus and hanging valleys in the land of the yak.

Overview

The Snowman trek offers a hugely challenging and rewarding adventure in the Kingdom of Bhutan. Explore the remote Lunana district on a three week adventure that tackles long distances, high altitudes, hazardous weather conditions and extreme remoteness. Hike to some of the lesser explored reaches of the planet, with the chance to explore the cities of Thimphu, Punakha, Bumthang and Paro.

Route Highlights

  • Remote trekking

    Trek in some of the wildest realms of the planet.

  • Visit the Tiger's Nest

    Explore incredible cliff top monasteries.

  • Undiscovered Bhutan

    Immerse yourself in the magical Kingdom of Bhutan.

  • Mountain
  • Forest
  • Superfit only
  • Solo
  • Groups
  • Couples

Degree of difficulty

  • The Snowman Trek is regularly considered as one of the toughest treks in the world
  • Trekking in Bhutan presents a substantial physical challenge. A very good degree of physical fitness is required, as is experience in long multi-day treks at altitude.
  • Expect 18 consecutive days of consecutive hiking in high altitude terrain over rocky and uneven ground.
  • Mental toughness and resilience are important, as treks in the Himalaya take both a physical and mental toll.
  • A training regime for three to five months prior to the trip is recommended to ensure success on the trek.

Accommodation in Bhutan

  • Hotels in Bhutan all have to be approved by the Tourism Council. The hotels used on this trip are all clean and comfortable, in quieter locations to help facilitate a good night's sleep.
  • Whilst trekking, good quality spacious tents are provided. A three man tent is to be shared by two participants.
  • Meals are taken in a separate mess tent, which offers a space to be used as a communal area in the evenings.

Eating and drinking in Bhutan

  • The trip is presented on a full board basis. 
  • Meals are provided at the pre and post trek hotels, and are usually offered in a buffet style, with Indian, Chinese and Bhutanese dishes.
  • Bhutanese cuisine generally consists of steamed rice, with a choice of meat and vegetarian curries.
  • Meals prepared whilst trekking will be healthy and nutritious, with fresh vegetables and meat offered at every meal. 
  • Hot picnics are offered each day whilst trekking. 
  • Drinking water is provided both on the trek, but also on cultural tours. It's recommended to bring a reusable bottle in addition to any hydration bladder.

 

Season

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

  • Transfers

Meeting point

Paro International Airport - Bhutan
Paro
12001
Bhutan

Getting to Bhutan

  • Fly to Paro International Airport in Bhutan.
  • Two flights operators fly to Bhutan, Drukair and Bhutan Airlines. 
  • Flights arrive from Bangkok, Dhaka, Delhi, Kolkata, Kathmandu, Doha, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. 
  • All these airports are well serviced from the UK and Europe.
  • Visas can only be arranged by travel companies, and are issues on arrival. 
  • Flights into Bhutan are likely to be on a separate ticket to the flight leaving the UK. Transit visas may need to be organised depending upon which country the connection is through. 

  • Hill
  • Mountain
  • Forest
  • Lake

The Snowman TrekItinerary

  • Day 1 | Arrival

    Fly to Paro, taking a transfer to the hotel before a pre trek briefing in the evening with the lead guide. 

  • Day 2 | Tour of Thimphu

    Visit the National Library, home to a collection of ancient Buddhist texts and manuscripts, and Zorig Chusum, a traditional arts and crafts school. After lunch take a drive to Dochu-La Pass, to enjoy incredible views of the 7000m peaks that dominate the skyline. Crossing the pass, the road descends into the Punakha valley to reach the overnight hotel.

  • Day 3 | Tour of Punakha

    Take a guided tour of Punakha Dzong, the second largest dzong in Bhutan. After taking lunch in Punakha, take a drive up the valley to Gasa Tshachu, famous for the healing powers of its hot springs. 

  • Day 4 | Gasa to Chamsa

    Start the trek with a climb through thick sub-tropical forest to the village of Chamsa.

  • Day 5 | Chamsa to Laya

    Descend to the Mo Chhu river, before a gradual climb to Laya, to the campsite. 

  • Day 6 | Laya to Rhodophu

    Descend from Laya, following the river before an ascent through a rhododendron to reach a hanging valley to camp alongside the river.

  • Day 7 | Acclimatisation day

    A day to acclimatise with a hike to higher altitude to prepare for the high mountain passes. 

  • Day 8 | Rhodophu to Narethang

    Climb to the Tsimola La Pass, at 4700m, superb views of Mt Chomolhari and Jichu Drake. Continue the ascent to 4900, to the campsite at Narethang.

  • Day 9 | Narethang to Tarina

    Start with a fairly flat hike before commencing the climb to Ganglakarchung La Pass at 5100m, a stupendous viewpoint at which to absorb the views of the mountain peaks. After admiring the views, take the long descent down the Tarina Valley. 

  • Day 10 | Tarina to Woche

    A continued descent through forests and woodland, following the upper reaches of the Pho Chhu river. Climb over a ridge before the descent to the village of Woche.

  • Day 11 | Woche to Lhedi

    Trek through juniper and fir forests, before a climb to the Keche La Pass at 4480m, before following the trail down the other side to a river, with great views of Table Mountain. Walk upstream along the river, to arrive in Lhedi village to camp overnight. 

  • Day 12 | Lhedi to Thanza

    Continue along the banks of the river, climbing to Choejong village, to stop for lunch. After visiting the village temple, the hike continues, eventually crossing the river to reach the campsite at Thanza.

  • Day 13 | Acclimatisation day

    A day of relaxation, again to help with acclimatisation to the altitude. Optional hike to a mountain ridge for exceptional views.

  • Day 14 | Thanza to Tshorim

    Start the day with a climb to access superb views of the Thana valley, before crossing the ridge to enter a small valley, following a stream for a short while, before a climb to exit the valley and reach the campsite at Tshorim.

  • Day 15 | Tshorim to Gangkar Puensum Base Camp

    A short climb to the Tshorim lake to start the day, before climbing to the Gupho La Pass at 5230m. Across the pass, take the trail as it descends to the Base Camp, with an option to detour to climb a pyramidal peak, which offers superb views.

  • Day 16 | Gangkar Puensum Base Camp to Geshe Woma

    Trek along the Sha Chhu river, descending to Geshe Woma to overnight.

  • Day 17 | Geshe Woma to Warathang

    Hike along the banks of the Sha Chhu river, before a steep climb to Saka La. Stop for lunch before tackling the climb to the Saka La Pass at 4800m, with time to catch breath while descending to the alekes, before a further ascent to the Warathang La Pass at 4590m.

  • Day 18 | Warathang to Dur Tshachu

    Climb to the Juelela Pass at 4400m, before a descent through dense forests, leading to the hot springs at Dur Tshachu.

  • Day 19 | Dur Tshachu to Tshochenchen

    Revitalised by the hot springs, a long steady climb leads to the Gokthong La Pass at 4650m, before a scenic descent to a number of blue lakes in the valley. A final climb of the day leads to the Jule La Pass at 4700m, before overnighting at Tshochenchen.

  • Day 20 | Tshochenchen to Gorsum

    Descend from Tshochenchen, following the Yoleng Chhy river, to arrive at the campsite at Gorum.

  • Day 21 | Gorsum to Dur

    A long day of trekking, following the Chamkhar Chhu river, with a gradual descent before arriving at the village of Dur, where the trek finishes. From here, take a transfer to the lodge in Bumthang.

  • Day 22 | Tour of Bumthang

    Explore the Bumthang valley, the cultural heartland of the nation. A day to enjoy time in the valley, visiting Jakar Dzong, Kurje Lhakhang, Jambey Lhakhang and Tamshing Lhakhang, before returning to the lodge.

  • Day 23 | Bumthang to Paro

    Fly from Bumthang to Paro, free time to rest and relax.

  • Day 24 | Taktshang Lhakhang

    Morning excursion to Tatshand Lhakhang, the Tiger's Nest Monastery, one of Bhutan's most famous monasteries, perched on a clifftop around 3100m high. After lunch, visit the 7th century Kyichu Lhakhang, a temple which marks the introduction of Buddhism to Bhutan.

  • Day 25 | Departure

    Take a transfer to the airport to start the journey home. 

 

  • Accommodation
  • Guides
  • Meals
  • Transfers

Included

  • Hotel stay for the 2 nights before and 4 nights after the trek on a full board basis
  • All airport transfers
  • Entry visa to Bhutan
  • Government royalty fee
  • A fully supported trek with a qualified mountain guide
  • All food and drinking water on the trek
  • Internal flight from Bumthang to Paro
  • Monument and monastery entrance fees

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Tips for guides and porters
  • Personal items
  • Travel insurance (must be insured specifically for treks up to 6000m)
  • Personal trekking gear
  • Personal medicines or prescriptions
  • Beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)

  • Carbon offset
  • Plastic bottle free

This trip takes responsibility seriously and ‘goes the extra mile’ to ensure that your presence in this country is entirely positive.

Central to this is

  • Caring for the crew
  • Caring for the local environment
  • Caring for the local communities

All guides and partners are hand picked to ensure that every aspect of your trip operates to the highest standard and reflect the strong values, ethics and joy of travel.

This commitment to Responsible Travel is mutually beneficial without compromising the countries and communities touched or the depth and uniqueness of your adventure.

Key values of this trip

  • Leave nothing behind
  • We’re the visitors, let’s be respectful at all times
  • Deliver a breathtaking experience
  • Let’s benefit local communities and environments

Let’s help keep these wonderful places precious.

Porters and crew

All crew are paid proper wages and are treated with respect and dignity. This trip with IMEC, IPPG and KPAP, all not-for-profit organisations that focus on improving the working conditions of porters.

Friends of Conservation

Travellers are given the opportunity to mitigate some of the environmental impacts of flying by supporting community and conservation initiatives.

Travellers Against Plastic

This trip is a proud supporter of the Leave No Trace and Travellers Against Plastic campaigns, which help educate travellers on the impact of travel and provide practical guidance for enjoying the outdoors responsibly.

  • Age 18 & over
  • Between 2-10 in group
  • Private group option
  • ABTA
  • ATOL

Costs

Price per person (inc deposit)

£9499.00

Enquiries & bookings

If you have any questions or would like to check availability or make a booking, please provide a few details about you, your group size and any preferred dates. A member of the team will then get back to you or you can go ahead and book online.