Laya Gasa Trek 17 Days - The most-beautiful trek in Bhutan
Laya Gasa Trek is considered one of the most scenic long-distance treks in Bhutan. Running along the border with Tibet, the trek offers amazing views of some of the most pristine and unspoiled landscapes in Bhutan. The trek begins at Drugyel in Paro and takes you through gorgeous alpine meadows and High Mountain passes with awe-inspiring views of Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang. You will trek through the remote semi-nomadic village of Laya with unique culture, traditions and appearance. You will also see indigenous animals such as blue sheep and Takins along the trail. From Laya, we descend to Gasa, where you will have a day of relaxation at the hot spring to rejuvenate yourself.
5Km | 4-5 hours | 900m Ascent
After breakfast, hike to Taktsang (Tiger’s Nest) Monastery, Bhutan’s most famous monastery, which stands at 3180m gives you acclimatization for the next day’s trek. According to the legend, it is believed that Guru Rimpoche, the 8th century Spiritual Master, flew to this location on the back of a tigress to meditate. Explore the Monastery and hike back to Paro. On the way, visit Kyichu Lhakhang, one of the oldest temples in Bhutan. Overnight hotel in Paro.
17Km | 5-6 hours | 300 Ascent | Camp altitude 2850m
The trek starts from the ruins of Drugyal Dzong at 2300m with a downhill walk on a wide trail. The trail climbs gently traversing through well-maintained rice terraces and fields of millet. The route later enters an area of apple orchards and forests. Soon the valley widens and you reach Gunitsawa village where you pass the army post. The campsite is on the opposite side of the river, not far from Gunitsawa. Camp at an altitude of 2850m.
21Km | 6-7 hours | 900 Ascent | Camp altitude 3750m
On this long day, the trail continues with lots of small ups and downs. After going uphill through the river valley the valley finally narrows gradually to a mere path, which descends to a meadow where a camp will be set up at the altitude of 3750m. From here, if weather permits, you will have the first great view of Mt. Jumolhari.
19Km | 4-5 hours | 300 Ascent | Camp altitude 4050m
This morning the trek continues up the Paro Chhu valley, which widens into patches of alpine meadow and scanty growths of forest. You will cross an army checkpoint along the way and enjoy a spectacular view of high mountain ridges and snow-capped peaks. In this area, yaks and their herder’s homes become a regular feature of the landscape. Passing the villages Soe, Takethang and Dangochang is another asset on this day. After reaching Jangothang, one of the most beautiful campsites of the Himalayas, you will again have a spectacular view of Mount Jumolhari and Jichu Drake.
The rest day in Jangothang provides plenty of possibilities for day hikes with great views of lakes and snow capped mountains such as Jumolhari and Jichu Drake. There are good chances to spot some blue sheep on the upper slopes of the valley. Jangothang is a perfect environment for your acclimatization. You can also trek up to Tsophu Lake or hike around the area.
19Km | 6-7 hours | 800 Ascent | 730 Descent | Camp altitude 4100m
The trail follows the stream or half an hour and crosses the bridge to the right side. Start the climb up to the first ridge with a breathtaking view of Jumolhari, Jichu Drake and Tshering Gang. Then walk towards the valley, almost flat for a while, until the climb to the Ngye La pass at an altitude of 4830m. After the pass, it is a gradual descent to the Lingshi camp, enjoying the panoramic view of the peaks and Lingshi Dzong.
12Km | 5-6 hours | 100m Ascent | 250m Descent | Camp altitude 3850m
Shortly after starting you will reach a Chorten below Lingshi Dzong. Here, you have the choice of staying on the main trail or taking a detour up to the Lingshi Dzong (4220m), which sits right atop a high ridge. After Lingshi Dzong, It is an easy day and pleasant walk through villages and yak herders camp. On reaching the campsite at Chebisa, you will have plenty of time to visit the village houses. There is also a beautiful waterfall located behind the village that is worth visiting.
17Km | 6-7 hours | 570m Ascent | 290 Descent | Camp altitude 4130m
The morning starts with a long ascent behind Chebisa Village through a wide pastureland towards Gogou La pass at an altitude of 4420m. On the way, you will see a few people herd Gogou La, you descend into the valley, then climb again a little bit, before descending again to Shakshe pasa (3980m), a large U-shaped valley. Climbing from here you will finally reach the campsite at Shomuthang, above a river, which is a tributary of the Mochu river.
15Km | 5-6 hours | 620m Ascent | 590 Descent | Camp altitude 4160m
You begin by climbing up the valley. Edelweiss abounds along the trail. The snow peak you can see to the southeast is Kang Bum (6526m). After two hours of climbing you will reach Jhari La (4750m), from where you catch the first glimpse of Sinche La, the pass you will have to cross the day after. The big snow peak in the north is Gangchenta 6840m, better known as the Great Tiger Mountain. The camp by the river is called Tsheri Jathang located in a beautiful wide and remote valley. Climb up a little bit and you will reach the campsite at Robluthang in a rocky meadow.
19Km | 7-8 hours | 850m Ascent | 870m Descent | Camp altitude 4140m
It is a long climb unto Shingchen la pass (5010m). The view of the mountains from the path is stunning. As you descend, you will see an impressive terminal moraine and a glacial lake at the foot of the valley. Below the moraine, you cross the Kango Chhu and soon reach the Lingmithang campsite. The peak of Gangchenta towers over the campsite even though it’s quite a distance away.
10Km | 3-4 hours | 60m Ascent | 340 Descent | Camp altitude 3850m
In the morning you wake up with a superb view of Gangchenta peak in front of you. The walk to Laya is very pleasant with wonderful views. You will pass through a damp forest, filled with moss and singing birds. Arrive at Laya village, the second highest settlement in the country, at altitude of 3850m. From the west of the village, you will have spectacular views of Mt. Gangchenta and catch Mt. Masagang.
19Km | 6-7 hours | 50 Descent | Camp altitude 3800m
Descend to army camp and join the Mo Chhu river. Follow the river till you cross the bridge. After the bridge it is up and down several times, through juniper and fir forests until you reach the camp at Koena at an altitude of 3,800m.
19Km | 6-7 hours | 300m Ascent | 1200m Descent | Camp altitude 2900m
Walk for about half an hour over flat land till the Barila La pass (4100m). After this it is downhill all the way to Gasa Tshachu. Lunch will be served at Gasa village. After lunch visit the village. Then descend to Gasa Tshachu (hot spring) for camp at an altitude of 2900m. You soak in Hot Spring, which has curative values for various ailments.
Today you will drive to Punakha on unpaved roads. The drive is through the high agricultural benches above the Mochu (Chu means River) into a lush semi-tropical gorge filled with banana trees and creepers. After lunch, you will visit the Punakha Dzong, which is one of the most beautiful Dzongs in Bhutan. Overnight hotel in Punakha.
Set out for Thimphu with a stop at Dochu La Pass for tea, where on a clear day you can get spectacular views of the Himalayas. Check into your hotel on arrival in Thimphu. In the afternoon, you can stroll freely in Thimphu city. Overnight hotel in Thimphu.
In the morning, you will drive to the airport for departure. Our representative will bid you farewell.
- Airport pick-up and drop-off by private vehicle.
- 3-star accommodation (4 & 5 stars may require an additional premium).
- Bhutan visa fee - including all necessary processing
- Route Permit
- Three meals per day during your stay in Bhutan
- A licensed Bhutanese tour guide
- All land transportation by private vehicle
- Camping equipment and haulage for trekking tours
- Sightseeing as per itinerary
- Monuments entrance fees where applicable
- Drinking water
- All internal taxes and charges
- A sustainable development fee of $65. (This sustainable development fee goes towards free education, free healthcare, and poverty alleviation, along with the building of infrastructure.)
- Airfare & Travel Insurance
- Expenses of personal nature, Tips to guides and drivers
- Expenses occurred due to unavoidable events i.e. road wrecks, flight delays etc.
One of the most unique features of our tours is that all the itineraries are fully customizable. At Bhutan Tours & Luxury Exclusive we don’t do standard tours, you have the power to customize your trips from A to Z, for example, accommodation, transportations, trip length, activities, places of interest, the pace of travel and more.
The trek begins at Drugyel in Paro and takes you through gorgeous alpine meadows and High Mountain passes with awe-inspiring views of Mount Jomolhari, Jichu Drake and Tserimgang.
You will trek through the remote semi-nomadic village of Laya with unique culture, traditions, and appearance. You will also see indigenous animals such as blue sheep and Takins along the trail.
From Laya, we descend to Gasa, where you will have a day of relaxation at the hot spring to rejuvenate yourself.
Along the trail, you’ll be able to spot indigenous animals such as blue sheep and Takins, the national animal of Bhutan. You’ll travel through remote mountain villages inhabited by Layaps (people of Laya), a distinct segment of the Bhutanese society with unique culture, traditions, and appearance.
The trek also offers a day of relaxation at the famous Gasa hot springs that is sure to rejuvenate you. This is one of the more difficult treks offered in Bhutan due to the high altitudes and steep ascents and descents along the path.
The best seasons to complete this challenge are in April-June and Mid-September-Mid-November.