Trekking in Bhutan can offer crystal clear air and magnificent alpine views. However, with climate change also affecting this region we cannot guarantee the weather and you MUST be prepared for all eventualities.
Some treks are shorter, and suitable for beginners, while others can be long and challenging, requiring exceptional fitness and preparedness by the trekker. It can very quickly become extremely cold, wet and muddy (and don’t forget snow & wind!!).
Whilst your trek will include the services of a professional trek guide and crew, ‘Mountain Rules’ prevail, and you need to be responsible for yourself at all times. You MUST be fully prepared for what can be a challenging experience and your own mental preparedness is also paramount!
All treks in Bhutan use tented campsite accommodation.
Check out our 2017 small group trekking tour below: Alternatively ask us about a private tour for you and your friends.
Trained Guide, Cook, Assistant & Horsemen
All trekking parties are accompanied by a trained guide, a cook, an assistant and a number of horsemen. Horses and, occasionally, yaks carry all provisions and most belongings; trekkers only have to carry their day pack for basic necessities such as raincoat, spare clothes, camera, sunscreen, water bottle etc.
The support crew walks ahead of the trekking party each day and pitches camp before the trekkers arrive. A hot cup of tea waiting in the dining tent is a most welcome treat after hours of trekking in this beautiful kingdom.
All meals are carefully planned. Your wake-up call each morning will be a hot tea or coffee bought to your tent along with a bowl of hot water for personal hygiene. For meals, a dinner table is set up with a table cloth, chairs and condiments. A bowl of hot soapy water is provided before all meals as hygiene remains a priority. Breakfast is always cooked and dinner includes a choice of at least four dishes. In many of the remote parts of the country, villages are scarce and few people cross paths and as a result BTCL takes every precaution to ensure the safety and comfort of all trekkers.
THIS IS A MUST READ!!!
You will need to take the following equipment.
- A quality sleeping bag rated to -15C.
- A quality raincoat, big enough to cover your day pack.
- A Gore-Tex jacket and pants.
- Waterproof gators and a warm winter hat.
- Extra tops and pants (wool pile and/or down filled).
- Gore-Tex socks & boots.
- Camp boots (down filled/Ugg boots).
- Lots of snacks for between meals!!
- Sleeping mat for extra cushioning. eg. (Thermarest- or a self inflating mat pack).
- Heating packets (a blessing in very cold conditions).
- A headlamp torch and a normal torch. (including spare batteries.)
- Solar battery charger.
- Binoculars and Camera.
- Day pack incl plastic garbage bag with spare clothes.
- Lots of snacks for between meals!!
- Water bottle.
- Water treatment tablets.
- Sunscreen, insect repellent, sun hat and sun glasses.
- Small medical kit that includes aspirin, motion sickness tablets, diamox for altitude sickness, compression bandage, athletic tape, blister gear & a knife.
(The guide carries a larger Medical kit but please bring own travel medications as Bhutan struggles to provide all the medications foreigners are accustomed to).
- Quality footwear that has been previously worn in.
- Antiseptic hand gel for disinfecting hands without water.
- ……and did we say ‘LOTS OF SNACKS’ (dried fruit/nuts/chocolate etc).
Check out the Trekking equipment checklist.
PREMIUM TREKKING OPTION
We have revolutionized trekking in Bhutan by way of introducing our ‘Premium Trekking’ option which offers:
- Bigger & better tents
- Folding camp beds
- Foam mattresses
- Fleece blanket
- Sheets, pillow & pillow case
- Gas heaters for outside use
- Hot water bottles with covers
- 2 x Shower Tents & mats
- Picnic mats
- 2 x Toilet Pots
There is a tour surcharge for this premium trekking equipment as follows:
1-3 Trekkers @ US$42 per person per night while trekking
4-6 Trekkers @ US$32.00 per person per night while trekking
7+ Trekkers @ US$22.00 per person per night while trekking
Altitude Sickness Notes
Although rare altitude sickness can be an acute problem for trekkers in Bhutan. Some of the designated treks go above 3,000 metres (9,000 feet). Those who have not properly acclimatized, are unfit and/or those who suffer from respiratory problems are at risk of altitude sickness and are advised not to trek.
PLEASE NOTE: Many treks take you to higher altitudes where the air is thin. The potential for altitude sickness should be taken into account when planning your itinerary and we recommend you consider carrying a supply of Diamox as a precaution. Please note oxygen cylinders are not available for trekkers in Bhutan.
Less experienced trekkers are recommended to consider either the Sinchula Trek, Chele La nature trek or the Dagala 1000 Lakes trek, which are all easily accessible in western Bhutan, passing crystal clear lakes and on clear days offering splendid views of the high Himalayas.
Strenuous rated treks take in northern villages and pass yak herdsmen who spend most of the year tending to their herds. Some of these treks climb as high as 5,500 metres and should only be attempted by exceptionally fit & strong trekkers with alpine experience.
Download & Print Important Trek Routes in Bhutan as follows:
Please note – Due to a number of farm roads now compromising many trek routes the above 12 listed treks are less affected by new road construction. (NOV16)
- Trek 1: Chomolhari Trek – 10d/9n, rated strenuous
- Trek 2: Druk Path Trek – 6d/5n, rated easy/moderate (or shorter 4 nts)
- Trek 3: Dagala Thousand Lakes Trek – 6d/5n, rated moderate.
- Trek 4: Bumthang Owl Trek – 3d/2n, rated moderate.
- Trek 5: Dur Hot Springs Trek – 9d/8n, rated moderate.
- Trek 6: Wild East Rodungla Trek – 10d/9n, rated strenuous
- Trek 7: Laya Gasa Trek – 13d/12n, rated strenuous.
- Trek 8: Jili Dzong Trek – 2d/1n, rated moderate.
- Trek 9: Chele La Nature Trek – 3d/2n, rated easy.
- Trek 10: Bumdra Monastery Trek – 2d/1n or 3d/2n option, rated moderate.
- Trek 11: Merak & Sakteng Trek – 6d/5n, rated easy/moderate.
- Trek 12: Nobding/Samtengang Trek – 3d/2n, rated easy/moderate.
Download & Print: Trekking Seasons, Reference Chart & Trekking Routes (136KB)
Download & Print: Trekking in Bhutan incl all the ‘Important Trek Routes’ (247KB)