Dagala Thousand Lakes Trekking

dagala-thousand-lakes-trekkingDagala Thousand Lakes is a six day trek that takes you into an area adorned with a multitude of pristine, crystal clear lakes. As you walk amidst the shimmering lakes you will be treated to stunning views of the entire Himalayan mountain range and some of the world’s highest peaks including Everest (8848m), Jomolhari (7315m), Masang Gang (7165m), Jichu Drake (6794m), Gangche Ta (6794m) and many more.

During the trek an entire day will be dedicated to visiting some of the more picturesque lakes, fishing and resting. The trail also takes you through several Bhutanese villages so you can get a good idea of traditional Bhutanese village life as you make your way back from the lakes.

Dagala Thousand Lakes Trekking is a somewhat strenuous trek, it is well worth the effort because of the tranquillity and beauty of the natural landscape that you will enjoy during the journey. The best time to embark on this trek is between April and June or September and October.

This trek also takes in a visit to the awe inspiring Taktsang Monastery (Tigers Nest) and to visit two other Dzongs in Paro on arrival.

Trek Facts

Trek: Dagala
Trek starts: Genekha
Trek duration: 7 days/12 days including transportation
Grade: Moderate
Maximum altitude: 4720m
Minimum altitude: 2250m
Trek ends: Thimphu

Trip Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu and a representative of Unique Nepal Adventure Trek will welcome and transfer you to your selected hotel by private vehicle.

Day 2: Fly from Kathmandu to Paro (2250m). This flight into Paro is one of the most spectacular mountain flights to take, as it flies past Everest, Makalu, Kanchenjunga and many more peaks. The flight takes around an hour and a half. We will then go to our hotel and take refreshment and visit Ta Dzong (National Museum) and Paro Rinpung Dzong.

Day 3: After breakfast, we drive to Kyichu Lhakhang. King Songtsän Gampo built the Lhakhang in the 7th century AD. The associated legend is that – this is one of 108 Lhakhang’s built in a single night by the king to tame his kingdom’s borders. The next stop is the ancient ruins of Drukgyal Dzong (30 minutes). The Dzong is a monument to the Shabdrung’s victory against an invasion of allied Tibetan-Mongolian forces in 1649. The name “Drukgyal Dzong” thus translates to “Fortress of Victory”. The Dzong was destroyed in a fire in the 1950s. On clear days, Drukgyal is an excellent place to view the glorious mountain Jomolhari. Return to stay for lunch, rest and prepare for the trek up to Taktsang Monastery (the “Tiger’s Nest”).

Drive to the start of the trek. Trek (or horse ride) to Taktsang Monastery (trek time is 2-3 hours depending on weather and fitness level).Taktsang is perched on a precipitous 900 meter cliff. The monastery has been restored at painstaking efforts to former glory after a fire in 1998. The legend is that Guru Padmasambhava flew to this holy place on the back of tigress to meditate. More recently, one of the most enlightened abbots in modern Bhutan history, Geshe Gendun Rinchen (1926 – 1997) also known as Draphugpa (Of the Caves), was born in a small cave by the path to the monastery. Tea and refreshments will be taken at Taktsang Café for about an hour’s rest to take photos and view the scenery. We will then descend to road point (horses cannot be ridden) and drive back to Paro to prepare for the trek.

Day 4:Genekha – Gur
Distance 7 km, 5 hours, 550m ascent, 210m descent, camp altitude 3290m.
After breakfast we drive for about an hour to the beautiful Genekha village. The trek begins with a short descent to the river. After crossing the river you start climbing until you reach a huge rock platform from where you have a picturesque view of the valley below. After another two hours you reach Gur, an area of yak pastures located just below the main trail.

Day 5: Gur – Labatama
Distance 12 km, 5 hours, 1220 m ascent, 110m descent, camp altitude 4300m.
On the second day, the trail takes you across the high ridges from where you can truly appreciate the rugged beauty of your surroundings and the mountain vegetation. The path winds through refreshing meadows adorned with wild flowers and asparagus (in spring). The first mountain pass you cross is marked by a huge cairn and gives a spectacular view of Kanchenjunga (Sikkim) and a number of the Bhutanese Himalayan peaks. As you descend the pass you will be able to see the entirety of the Dagala mountain range including meadows and yak herder camps. Once you have descended into the Labatama valley you begin climbing gradually through the valley, passing several yak herder huts before you arrive at Uthso Tsho. The campsite is right next to the lake.

Day 6: Labatama – Rest day
This day will be dedicated to relaxing and recuperating at Labatama. It is ideal to take an excursion to any of three nearby lakes: Reli Tsho, Hen Tsho and Jama Tsho. Trekkers are encouraged to take the opportunity to engage in some trout fishing as the location is ideal. Permits are required for fishing, so you should make a request to your tour operator to make the necessary arrangements beforehand.

Day 7: Labatama – Panka
Distance 8 km, 6-7 hours, 260m ascent, 520m descent, camp altitude 4000m.
The trail climbs along the western side of Dala Tsho up to a saddle at 4520m. From here onwards you will have a fantastic view of the majestic Himalayan peaks all through the descent. The mountain peaks visible include Everest (Nepal), Kanchenjunga (Sikkim), Jomolhari, Jichu Drake, Tshering Gang, Khangbum, Masang Gang, Tsende Gang and Gangche Ta. If you want an even better view, you can climb a peak close to the saddle with an altitude of 4720m. From the saddle, the path descends, passing some yak herder huts to Doccha Chhu. You follow the river for a while, but stay higher up on the slope to reach Panka with ascents and descents along the way. On this route Himalayan Monal Pheasants are a common site.

Day 8: Panka – Talakha
Distance 8 km, 5-6 hours, 180m ascent, 110m descent, camp altitude 3080m.
This day entails the crossing of several passes but none of them require a major climb. You should keep your eyes open for different varieties of blue poppy (June to July) and mountain birds while in this area. After crossing the last pass, Tale La (4180m) you start a long descent to Talakha Gompa. You will camp right beside the monastery and wake up to the early morning prayers of the monks. From here you will be treated to a great view of Thimphu, Bhutan’s capital.

Day 9:Talakha – Chamgang
Distance 6 km, 3 hours, 440m descent.
From the monastery it’s a short walk down to the feeder road which will lead you to the village of Chamgang. En route, visit the Simtokha Dzong (6 kms from Thimphu), the oldest Dzong in Bhutan.

On completion of the trek, you will be transferred to your overnight accommodation in Paro. This afternoon simply spend the time relaxing at the hotel or enjoy a well earned massage or hot stone bath. Alternatively, venture into Paro town and visit the local handicraft shops. Stay overnight at a hotel in Paro.

Day 10: Fly back to Kathmandu. Stay overnight at your selected hotel in Kathmandu.

Day 11: Souvenir and sightseeing in Kathmandu.

Day 12: A representative ofUnique Nepal Adventure Trek will drop you off at Tribhuvan International Airport by private vehicle.

Price Includes:

  • Airport pick-up and drop off by private vehicle.
  • Two nights in your selected Kathmandu hotel with breakfast.
  • All meals during the trek (lunch, dinner, breakfast and tea or coffee).
  • Accommodation in a hotel in Paro.
  • Accommodation in twin shared tents with mattress.
  • All necessary equipment for camping.
  • One English speaking government trained license holder and well informed trekking guide.
  • Dependent on group size, cook, kitchen boy and extra horses)
  • All expenses for guide and porters – meals, accommodation, salary, equipment, insurance, transportation (bus/flights) etc.
  • First Aid kit bag.
  • Government and local area taxes where applicable. These include Royalty fees and road permit fees.
  • Return transportation from Kathmandu to Paro by flight.
  • Return transportation from Paro to the start and at the end of the trek.
  • A Bhutanese visa fee, where the cost is dependent on the time of year you visit. See the link for Bhutan Information for prices.

Price Excludes:

  • Nepalese entry visa fee and departure tax. (See the ‘Visa Information’ link under ‘Trekking Info’ for current fees)
  • Travel insurance.
  • Soft and alcoholic drinks (mineral water, hot water, coke, fanta, beer, spirits, etc).
  • Snacks (Chocolate, biscuits etc).
  • Hot water, hot shower, heater charge, battery charge, phone calls and laundry service.
  • Donation, tips and personal expenses.
  • Emergency evacuation and medical equipment.
  • In case of natural calamities i.e. political unrest, cancellation of flight due to weather, landslides, etc, the extra charge will be borne by themselves.
  • Lunch and dinner in Kathmandu.
  • Please note that you cannot hire equipment and other personal items in Bhutan such as (sleeping bag, down jacket, hiking boots, etc). You must either bring these items into the country by yourself, or they can be hired from Kathmandu.
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