Laya Gasa Trek in Bhutan

The Laya Gasa Trek is one of the most desired trekking adventures in Bhutan. It is a two-week trek which starts from Paro Drugyel Dzong and continues towards spectacular Jomolhari base camp. The trek offers you with variety of trekking conditions such as beautiful mountains with breathtaking views of Himalayas. It takes you through Bhutan’s popular mountain peaks such as Jomolhari and Jichu Drake. Laya is a place in Gasa District which is situated in northern Bhutan. It is a remote place consisting of about 110 houses. The Layaps, the people of Laya has a unique culture and traditions which will surely fascinate you to know about the cultures of Laya.

Tour Overview

DAY 1: PARO TO SHARNA ZAMPA

Distance: 17KM
Time:  5-6 HOURS
CAMP ALT 2870M

Your trekking starts from Drugyel Dzong, the fortress that once guarded Paro Valleys against Tibetan invaders. The first day of trekking starts with walking on trial that tracks along Pachu (Paro Chu). As you ascend, you will come across beautiful paddies of rice and wheat fields. After an hour walk, you will find a farmhouse and a small settlement of Mitshi Zampa. After crossing the bridge, you will walk through blue pine forest where you will reach an army post at Gunitsawa where your trekking permits will be checked and stamped. After that, just beyond the outpost of Gunitsawa, you will reach at the campsite at Sharna (2870m)in an open space where it is surrounded by blue pine forest.

DAY 2: SHARNA ZAMPA TO SOI THANGKHA

Distance: 22KM
Time: 7-8 HOURS
CAMP ALT 3750M

You will continue your hiking just like the previous day, where you will follow the river valley gradually ascending through a mixed forest of blue pines, maple trees and rhododendrons. The trail is quite rocky so you should be careful if it rains since it becomes muddy. After 2 hours of hiking and crossing several bridges, you will then be served with delicious lunch at a narrow valley called Shingkarap, a popular stopping place. There are several trails which would lead you in other directions such as; the left road is a route to Tibet and right road to the wooden. You will take the second one, followed by climbing through rhododendrons forest and crossing off another bridge again. Finally, we reach our basecamp at 3750m which directly faces the popular mountain peak, Mount Jomolhari.

DAY 3:  SOI THANGKHA TO JANGOTHANG BASE CAMP

Distance: 19KM
Time: 5-6 HOURS
CAMP ALT 4040M

Unlike previous days trek, the third day’s trek is a short one so it will be fine if you set off a little later. You will take a path that ascends from our camp to an army camp. Then you will follow the river above the tree line and the trail passes through a beautiful small village. It will take less than 4 hours to reach Jangothang, Base Camp. The altitude at the base camp is 4000m and it’s a nice place to spend the night. From the base camp, the view of Jomolhari and Jichu Drake will soothe your eyes after a tiring hike and towards the evening, you will see the ruined JangothangDzong which is probably populated by huge ravens.

DAY 4: JANGOTHANG HALT

Today, you will take rest since our body also needs to adjust to the falling temperatures, especially during the night. You will get the opportunity to explore the valleys and enjoy the mountain views. You are likely to spot rare blue sheep, vultures, golden eagles and our national flower – the blue poppy. Jichu Drake is the base camp of Jangothang with flat grassy land with ruins of a fortress on the hillock. It is highly recommended to halt here as most of the hikers get mountain sickness at this altitude.

DAY 5: JANGOTHANG TO LINGSHI

Distance: 18KM
Time: 6-7 HOURS
CAMP ALT 4010M

You will now climb up to where you will be greeted by a breathtaking view of Jomolhari (7314m), Jichu Drake (6989m) and Tshering Gang (6789m). While walking on the flat track for sometimes, you will then have to climb to Ngye La pass at 4700m. After reaching the pass, you will gradually descend to camp. You will get an excellent view of LingzhiDzong from here. LingzhiDzong was a way to station for Bhutanese pilgrims and was one of the main defensive forts in the north of Bhutan against Tibetan and Mongolian invaders. You will camp here for today at an altitude of 4010m.

DAY 6: LINGZHI TO CHEBISA

Distance: 12KM
Time:  5-6 HOURS
CAMP ALT 3850M

LingzhiDzong was badly damaged by an earthquake so probably it will only be possible to visit it if the renovation work is completed. Today’s trek is a short one where you will have a pleasant walk through villages and yak herders’ camp. After a short walk, you will then reach Chebisa (3850), a blissful village with a crystal clear waterfall. You will camp by the side of a stream for today.

DAY 7: CHEBISA TO SHOUMUTHANG

Distance: 17KM
Time: 6-7 HOURS
CAMP ALT: 4130M

The trail goes through the pasture land where we can see yaks grazing.  You will climb up a ridge Gogu La pass (4500) and after crossing the pass, you will now descend in your route where you will be taken through rhododendron bushes to a lunch stop. The afternoon continues along an undulating path and you will come across flocks of Blue sheep frequently. You will arrive at Shakepasa at 3980m, which is considered as one of the most beautiful ones on the trek. You will arrive at our camp located beside a stream at 4250m.

DAY 8: SHOMUTHANG TO ROBLUNGTHANG

Distance: 17KM
Time: 6-7 HOURS
CAMP ALT:  4130M

Today the track begins by walking through the trial and then climbing to Jari La pass at an altitude of 4700m. You will get stunning views of snowcapped peaks; then again descend through the forest of Tsharithang valley, where herds of Takin (National Animal of Bhutan) can be seen. The valley is usually summer residence for rare Himalayan Takins.  The scenery over here is breathtaking. Cross the stream and walk to the left which leads you to reach Robluthang at an altitude of 4200m.

DAY 9: ROBLUTHANG TO LINGMITHANG

Distance: 19KM
Time: 7-8 HOURS
CAMP ALT: 4140M

Today’s trek will be an exciting or thrilling one as you will cross the highest pass in our entire trek. As you follow the trials, you will come across the streams and after crossing it, you will now reach to Shingchen La pass at an altitude of 5005m. At this spot, you will be treated with the spectacular views of snow-covered Gang Chen Ta or the great Tiger Mountain at an altitude of 6840m. You will now reach at Limithang (4140) after walking through the narrow path. Lingmithang is a beautiful place to camp, fresh meadows by the river with Tiger Mountain behind the campsite.

DAY 10: LINGMITHANG TO LAYA

Distance: 10KM
Time: 3-4 HOURS
CAMP ALT: 3850M

To reach Laya, your journey today starts with passing through the damp forest filled with mosses and birds singing, which will definitely soothe your ears. It is quite a long walk through this valley. While following the trials, you will come across a waterfall and later at a junction. After some time, you will arrive at Laya village, the second-highest settlement in the country at an altitude of 3800m.

DAY 11: REST DAY AT LAYA

On the 11th day, you will take a day off from your usual trekking and you will get time to explore Laya village and go visit the local people. The Layaps have their unique attire which is quite fascinating. Beautiful layup women have their long black hair topped with conical-shaped hats, clothes made out of yak wool with jewellery made of items such as silver and turquoise on their back. These are the things which makes people of Laya unique and which will surely boost your interest in their unique culture. If you visit them, you will be genuinely welcomed with a smiling face and served with the best hospitality.

DAY 12: LAYA TO CHAMSA

Distance: 19KM
Time: 6-7 HOURS
CAMP ALT 3800M

You will descend to an army camp, join the Mo Chu River and follow the river until you cross the bridge. After crossing the bridge, you will now have to ascend and descend several times through juniper and fir forest until you reach the camp at Chamsa at an altitude of 3800m.

DAY 13: CHAMSA TO GASA TSHACHU

Distance: 19KM
Time: 6-7 HOURS
CAMP ALT: 2900M

Walk for about half an hour over flat land to Bari La pass as, from this point, you will descend to reach to Gasa Tsha Chu (Hot spring water). You can stop for a while to have your lunch at Gasa village. After that, you can explore the Gasa village and Dzong too. The Gasa Dzong was built by Zhabdrung (unifier of Bhutan as a nation-state) in 1664 to commemorate the victories over Tibetan and it later defended the country against several invasions. After visiting the Dzong, descend towards Gasa Tshachu (hot spring) to enjoy a hot bath in one of the pools. Gasa Tshachu is one of the most popular hot springs in our country for its healing power. It attracts more than 7000 visitors a year.

Day 14: GASA TSHACHU VIA DAMJI AND TRASHITHANG TO PUNAKHA

In the morning, after you are done with your breakfast, you will drive on an unpaved road through heavily forested areas with lots of wild orchids. In this area, there are leeches so you should be careful during the summer. Continue following the Mo Chu River down through the forest until you reach at Tashithang at an altitude of 1620m. After crossing Damji village, you will now drive toward Punakha (55km) following the river all the way.

Inclusions for Laya Gasa Trek 

  • 3 Star Accommodation
  • Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Transport for Local Transfers
  • Camping Equipment and Porter Services for Treks
  • Taxes and Charges
  • USD 65 as Sustainable Development Fees
  • Entry Fees for all Tourist Sites
  • Personal guide

Best Time to trek

Though Bhutan is deemed as all-season tourist destinations, it is not advisable to trek during the monsoon season which is also the summer season (June, July, and August).

The best time to trek is spring and autumn. In the spring season, the mountains are adorned with beautiful flowers and fresh green grasses which is a treat to experience. Whereas autumn is favourable with a fresh breeze blowing in from the mountains, also you will have better chances of being able to view the mountain peaks.

Booking Policy 

  • The approval of tourists VISA is subject on the full payment of the tour
  • Flight ticket payment is subject to the Ticketing Time Limit issued by the airlines

 Tour Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • 45 days before the trip begins – No charges. 100% refund.
  • 40 days before the trip begins – 10% of the trip cost
  • 30 days before the trip begins – 15% of the trip cost
  • 20 days before the trip begins – 30% of the trip cost
  • 15 days or cancellation without notice – 50% of the trip cost
  • After arriving in Bhutan – 100% of the trip cost. No refunds

Flight Ticket Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • Subject to the cancellation terms of the Airline

Rescheduling Tour Dates:

  • There are no charges for rescheduling your trip. However, the minimum daily tariff, hotel rates, airline charges are subject to change depending on your new travelling dates.